Has anyone taken a look at Bruce Gilley's pro-colonialism article?

Ighayere

Ad Honorem
Jul 2012
2,594
Benin City, Nigeria
Well, there's things like this to check out:
British Policy, Trade, and Informal Empire in the Mid-Nineteenth Century - Oxford Scholarship

The operative concept is "informal empire". The volume of the British informal empire in the first half of 19th c.through banking and finance was larger than the formal empire. Essentially it was British industry and finance at its relative peak as a cut of the global GDP. There were massive profits from British industralisation that were invested globally. (Almost all railroads in South America were British-financed fx.) And yes, part of the drive to formal empire, when the pink bits really started to race away of the world map late in the 19th c., was due to the British informal empire finding new challenges from European rivals starting to catch up, and so the arrangements of dependency through banking and finance did in parts switch to direct, formal empire.

Which is where the possible analogies with China's return as one of the real movers and shakers of the world become pertinent. It's ain't JUST the formal empires that can do the job. Restraint and not getting too "creative" might be a good idea. Or not, since it's about profits anyway.
I'll have to read the entire book later when I can, but for now, I've read chapter 7 ("Britain and Latin America" by Alan Knight) of the book you've referenced through a preview online, and that chapter does provide the sort of details I was asking about.

However, the issue is that there still was no transition to "direct, formal empire" in South America in those areas. In fact, Knight mentions that "As British trade and investment grew, British interference and intervention declined" and he ends the chapter by noting that by the early 20th century Britain had "renounced political intervention" and didn't have "the political privileges which were the rewards of Formal Empire" in Latin America.

So even if the comparison between what Britain did in Latin America in the 19th century and what China is doing in parts of the developing world now really is apt, why believe that the alleged dependency will lead to formal empire?
 

Ighayere

Ad Honorem
Jul 2012
2,594
Benin City, Nigeria
British finance in the 19th paid for the development of entire continents, and not just the bits that became the British empire.
Regarding the "bits that became the British empire", can you elaborate on the role of British finance in the 19th century in their development, other than Egypt? So far Egypt is all I can think of.
 
Likes: Futurist
Feb 2012
3,888
Portugal
Colonialism always came with a heavy price also for the colonial power. All 20th century revolutions that ocurred here one of which left the country at the verge of anarchy and another that led to a long lasting dictatorship plus a disastrous participation in WWI can be ascribed to colonialism. It is incredible that people never relate the end of the Roman Republic or the failure of the French revolution with its military expansion Robespierre did and he certainly predicted the second. The article does not speak about violent colonialism and consented one already exists, but if you moraly legitimize it how long before the abuses will start?
Besides if people complain about immigrants that come to their countries and are not able to integrate them, maybe good intentions should start there.
 
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robto

Ad Honorem
Jun 2014
6,142
Lisbon, Portugal
Something tells me that the author of this article was really pushing for controversy. I think it was deliberate, he really wanted to cause an outrage.
IMHO he did it for either two reasons:
- He wants to cause more awareness about other aspects of colonialism that has been ignored in academia and by initiating an academic debate over this subject;
- Or, in a sinister way, he wants to pull off a "Milo Yannapoulis" scheme. He wants to be as outrageous and ludacris as possible, then people don't want to publish his articles or opinions because of his preposterous claims, and then he will cry like a baby and scream of how he is being unfairly treated and how they are denying his "freedom of speech". And then he uses his case and campaigns for a stupid political cause in which "SJWs" and "crazy leftists" are destroying our "freedoms" and such...
I hope it's not the latter.

By the way, I wonder how this article went to peer-review and got published on a highly reputable academic journal. It's not because it is offensive (it really is) but because it contains a lot of inaccuracies, bad analysis and lacks any sort of empirical basis. It looks like more of a journalistic opinion piece rather than an academic paper. Raising certain questions about this subject and presenting criticism on postcolonial studies and anti-colonialism are all very well welcome in academia, but this paper presents it in a very erroneous way.
I don't know what the entire journal academic board was thinking when they decided to review and publish this article, but well, they know more than me, so they might have very good legitimate reasons to approve his paper.
 
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Dec 2011
1,304
By the way, I wonder how this article went to peer-review and got published on a highly reputable academic journal. It's not because it is offensive (it really is) but because it contains a lot of inaccuracies, bad analysis and lacks any sort of empirical basis. It looks like more of a journalistic opinion piece rather than an academic paper. Raising certain questions about this subject and presenting criticism on postcolonial studies and anti-colonialism are all very well welcome in academia, but this paper presents it in a very erroneous way.
I don't know what the entire journal academic board was thinking when they decided to review and publish this article, but well, they know more than me, so they might have very good legitimate reasons to approve his paper.
Because this is not a scholarly article, but an opinion piece under the rubric of "Viewpoint". It is a normal thing in many journals to allow scholars to publish essays that do not have to be held to the same standards as their scholarly articles because their point is to start a debate or to point out aspects of a research object otherwise largely ignored.
And then, just look at the metrics for this article: 16,205 views in less and 1.5 years. That's more than most scholars get for their entire life's work. Surely that played a role in the decision to publish this essay. They must have known this would cause outrage and would be cited by many.
 
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robto

Ad Honorem
Jun 2014
6,142
Lisbon, Portugal
Because this is not a scholarly article, but an opinion piece under the rubric of "Viewpoint". It is a normal thing in many journals to allow scholars to publish essays that do not have to be held to the same standards as their scholarly articles because their point is to start a debate or to point out aspects of a research object otherwise largely ignored.
And then, just look at the metrics for this article: 16,205 views in less and 1.5 years. That's more than most scholars get for their entire life's work. Surely that played a role in the decision to publish this essay. They must have known this would cause outrage and would be cited by many.
Ah, ok. So that makes more sense now.
 

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