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

Ighayere

Ad Honorem
Jul 2012
2,552
Benin City, Nigeria
#61
They didn't know how to read or write before the Berbers and Arabs.

Timbuktu as a center of learning was created by Berbers and Arabs. They created the islamic 'university' (madrasa) there.
Timbuktu as a center of learning did not really exist before Muslim blacks in the region made it one. I never said they didn't get their writing or religion from Arabs of course.
 
Likes: bodhi
Aug 2018
368
london
#62
Well Ibn Battuta described it as the northern most town of the blacks.
He said that most of the inhabitants were Sanhaja Berbers.

Timbuktu was originally a Berber town, but it was conquered by the Mali Empire. Probably something similar happened in Walata. The architecture there is certainly Berber in origin.
 

Ighayere

Ad Honorem
Jul 2012
2,552
Benin City, Nigeria
#64
He said that most of the inhabitants were Sanhaja Berbers.

Timbuktu was originally a Berber town, but it was conquered by the Mali Empire. Probably something similar happened in Walata. The architecture there is certainly Berber in origin.
No, Ibn Battuta said Massufa, not Sanhaja, and he also said it was a town of the blacks. . .

And I don't see how it makes any sense to suggest Walata was "originally a Berber town" when the name is explicitly Mande and when the place was located near/in the Soninke heartland. The architecture bears a vague resemblance to that of certain Soninke ruins as well.
 
Likes: bodhi

Ighayere

Ad Honorem
Jul 2012
2,552
Benin City, Nigeria
#66
And the origins of those Sahelian kingdoms/empires seem to involve berbers or arabs. At least that's what their oral traditions say.
Muslim rulers commonly claimed origin from Yemen, or from Arabs generally, during that time. That is a well documented and studied phenomenon.

An interesting case is Kanem-Bornu, where a ruler gave his (fictitious) origin from Yemen in a certain letter, but a later Arab scholar who read the account of the ruler's lineage noticed a blatant error in the supposed lineage and pointed it out.
 
Feb 2011
6,343
#67
"it's bad for the colonized."

In some cases, such as Belgium, yes. In other cases, such as India, the USA or Canada, obviously no.



You are probably just ideologically inclined to ignore inconvenient facts which don't support your irrational insistence upon judging all colonialism with blanket statements such as "its always bad for the colonized", among others.

Quite obviously, to almost anyone with sense, having low technology is not a "crime." Nazi Germany had better rockets than Britain or the USA, and that certainly wasn't a crime on the part of the USA or the Allies. But pretty much all nations who bought technology from European nations were more than happy to use that technology against other natives. And it isn't just about technology: relatively primitive nations were hiring European artists, composers, philosophers and scientists. European tutors taught the classics to many native peoples (granted, usually rich natives).
What inconvenient facts am I ignoring? Let's look at the numbers:

When the British left India:
Literacy rate was 16%. What was British literacy rate?
Life expectancy was 27. What was British life expectancy?

Mass starvation was a regular feature of life in India under British rule. The last ‘famine’ that was inflicted on India was in 1943 when over four million people died in Bengal. The British Army took millions of tons of rice from starving people. Even when other nations tried to send aid to the people of Bengal, Winston Churchill refused the offers.


The major famines that occurred in India under British rule:
  1. The Great Bengal Famine (1769-1770) – over 10 million deaths
  2. Madras City/surrounding areas (1782-1783) and Chalisa famines (1783-1784) – total deaths for both was over 11 million
  3. Doji Bara Famine (1791-1792) – over 11 million deaths
  4. Agra Famine (1837-1838) – close to 1 million deaths
  5. Upper Doab Famine (1860-1861) – 2 million deaths
  6. Orissa (Odisha) Famine (1866) – over 1 million deaths: Mr Naoroji noted that India had actually exported over 200m pounds of rice to Britain. He discovered a similar pattern of mass exportation during other famine years
  7. Rajputana Famine (1868-1870) – over 1.5+ million deaths
  8. Bihar Famine (1873-1874) – the relief effort for this famine was deemed ‘excessive’, it was decided future relief to be “thrift”. Lord Salisbury said it was "a mistake to spend so much money to save a lot of black fellows"
  9. Great Famine (1876-1878) – 5.5+ million deaths: Lord Lytton said "discourage relief works in every possible way.... Mere distress is not a sufficient reason for opening a relief work "
  10. Ganjam/Orissa/Bihar (1888-1889) – hundreds of thousands of deaths
  11. Indian Famine (1896-1897) – millions of deaths
  12. Indian Famine (1899-1900) – 1+ million deaths
  13. Bombay Presidency Famine (1905-1906) – hundreds of thousands of deaths
  14. Bengal Famine (1943-1944) – over 4+ million deaths: Churchill said it was the Indians' own fault for "breeding like rabbits"


Quite obviously, to almost anyone with sense, having low technology is not a "crime." Nazi Germany had better rockets than Britain or the USA, and that certainly wasn't a crime on the part of the USA or the Allies. But pretty much all nations who bought technology from European nations were more than happy to use that technology against other natives. And it isn't just about technology: relatively primitive nations were hiring European artists, composers, philosophers and scientists. European tutors taught the classics to many native peoples (granted, usually rich natives).
If you admit low technology is not a "crime", then you shouldn't use low technology as an excuse to subjugate others as second-class citizens.
 
Last edited:
Aug 2018
368
london
#68
No, Ibn Battuta said Massufa, not Sanhaja, and he also said it was a town of the blacks. . .

And I don't see how it makes any sense to suggest Walata was "originally a Berber town" when the name is explicitly Mande and when the place was located near/in the Soninke heartland. The architecture bears a vague resemblance to that of certain Soninke ruins as well.
According to UNESCO it's Berber:

 

Ighayere

Ad Honorem
Jul 2012
2,552
Benin City, Nigeria
#69
Well no a different branch of the Berbers.

Also one can find Arabic sources which reference black Berbers from the same time period, plus another source which states explicitly that the Berbers in the south, near or in the bilad al-Sudan (land of the blacks) were black. . .so as I said, there is likely some ambiguity in what Ibn Battuta was saying.
 
Likes: bodhi
May 2018
646
Michigan
#70
What inconvenient facts am I ignoring? Let's look at the numbers:

When the British left India:
Literacy rate was 16%. What was British literacy rate?
Life expectancy was 27. What was British life expectancy?

Mass starvation was a regular feature of life in India under British rule. The last ‘famine’ that was inflicted on India was in 1943 when over four million people died in Bengal. The British Army took millions of tons of rice from starving people. Even when other nations tried to send aid to the people of Bengal, Winston Churchill refused the offers.


The major famines that occurred in India under British rule:
  1. The Great Bengal Famine (1769-1770) – over 10 million deaths
  2. Madras City/surrounding areas (1782-1783) and Chalisa famines (1783-1784) – total deaths for both was over 11 million
  3. Doji Bara Famine (1791-1792) – over 11 million deaths
  4. Agra Famine (1837-1838) – close to 1 million deaths
  5. Upper Doab Famine (1860-1861) – 2 million deaths
  6. Orissa (Odisha) Famine (1866) – over 1 million deaths
  7. Rajputana Famine (1868-1870) – over 1.5+ million deaths
  8. Bihar Famine (1873-1874) – the relief effort for this famine was deemed ‘excessive’, it was decided future relief to be “thrift”.
  9. Great Famine (1876-1878) – 5.5+ million deaths
  10. Ganjam/Orissa/Bihar (1888-1889) – hundreds of thousands of deaths
  11. Indian Famine (1896-1897) – millions of deaths
  12. Indian Famine (1899-1900) – 1+ million deaths
  13. Bombay Presidency Famine (1905-1906) – hundreds of thousands of deaths
  14. Bengal Famine (1943-1944) – over 4+ million deaths
The British ran what they termed ‘relief works’ during some of the famines. Indians were worked to death.

During the Bihar famine it was declared that the relief given to the starving was too generous, and thus decided that future relief was to be ‘thrift’. Lord Salisbury was convinced by senior civil servants that it was “a mistake to spend so much money to save a lot of black fellows”.

One of the methods the British devised for starving Indians who wanted to get relief was the ‘distance test’. They would be made to walk over ten miles to and from the relief works. Less food was given at these slave labour camps than at the Nazi concentration camp Buchenwald. The annual death rate in 1877 was 94%. [ii]

From Lytton: "discourage relief works in every possible way.... Mere distress is not a sufficient reason for opening a relief work "
"market forces alone would suffice to feed the starving Indians "





If you admit low technology is not a "crime", then you shouldn't use low technology as an excuse to subjugate others as second-class citizens.
The famine myth has been debunked: famines regularly occured in India (and occurred long before British power there. Someone posted about it in another thread, I'll see if I can find it.