Via haiku, not sure of the source:
I thought you might be interested in seeing a point of view utterly opposed to the current, compulsory and widespread politically correct propaganda. Well perhaps you aren’t, so you could simply delete the whole thing now!
O tempora, o mores!
Well, first of all, one should be fully aware that “autres temps autres moeurs” (other times, other manners) needs to be taken into account. In the nineteenth century I think the Victorians were actually right and no one can deny that the building of ports, railways, roads, schools, universities, hospitals, law courts and libraries in our colonies made the local people healthier, better educated and more prosperous.
There was indeed a certain degree of altruism involved in the colonisation of British territories and permanent benefits were reaped by India, The Federated Malay States, Singapore, Hong Kong, Australia, New Zealand and the Pacific islands – in other words in all the Asian and Eastern parts of the Empire.
For whatever reasons the Sub Saharan countries have, without exception, slipped into various degrees of corruption, oppression and barbarism. Perhaps I should – or shouldn’t! – say “slipped back”. Obviously many were in the Empire for what they could get out of it – a not uncommon motive abroad even, dare I say?, today. And some had mixed motives.
Indians have come up to me in India and said “Thank God you were here!”, so some imperial legatees tell a quite different story from the miserable self abasing rubbish taught in British schools nowadays. Go to any British cemetery in India and just take in the number of very young doctors, engineers, teachers and administrators buried there together with their wives and scores of infants and young children.
These people were not out to exploit anyone. On the contrary they wished to help others less fortunate than themselves. Years ago Margery Perham wrote a book called “The Colonial Reckoning” which concludes that, taking everything into account, Britain accomplished something commendable and good.
Secondly what were the alternatives? The collapsing Mughal Empire was established by invading Muslims who were far from enlightened or merciful. The first Muslim incursions, from Afghanistan, around the 12th century massacred the Hindus, destroyed their temples and carried off immense amounts of treasure. The University of Nalanda, famous even as far as Greece and beyond, employed 2000 teachers, mostly monks.
The Muslims beheaded every single one of them. The library was so vast that it took the Muslims three whole weeks to burn all the books to the very last one. Then they razed the many beautiful buildings to the ground.
This put an end to Buddhism in India, the land of its birth. British scholars, on the other hand, revived and saved the Sanskrit language. The Mughals, like all Muslims, were concerned with forcible conversions. The Christians tried gentle persuasion without much success. So other, previous arrangements can be compared with British rule almost always to the credit of the latter.
Thirdly who would have taken over if the British hadn’t? In India it would have been the Portuguese and/or the French, neither of whom have shone so far as their colonial administrations are concerned. In Africa, if not the British, it would definitely have been another European power not one of whom had a particularly humane outlook. Belgium of course comes out as rock bottom.
So I would say that the British territories were the lucky ones. Did you know that British missionaries to Africa and India took their coffins out with them as they didn’t expect to survive longer than around six weeks? One of my uncles was a District Officer in Nigeria and told me that people out in villages in the Bush literally wept when they heard he was leaving them, before independence.
“Why?”, they asked, “You know what will happen to us if you go”. And of course they were right – it has happened! Look at the Muslim massacres and forcible conversions there and the inter-tribal conflict.
It is not widely known that not one penny raised in tax in India was spent outside India. Nor is it common knowledge that Indian independence was planned for from the nineteenth century onwards. Independence came before the British administration had had time to complete the Indianisation of the civil service, alas. And the birth of the one British failure in the East: Pakistan – became inevitable. The Partition should never have been allowed to happen.
Fourthly one cannot judge former centuries by the sensibilities and prejudices of our own times. It seems to occur to no one that slavery was not considered unusual or particularly wrong until the beginning of the nineteenth century. It had been the norm since civilisation began, thousands of years B.C. There were thousands of fair skinned British slaves in the American colonies in the 17th and early eighteenth centuries.
The Muslims, on the North African coast, enslaved over a million fair skinned Europeans, including Britons, from the mid 16th century to the 18th century. The Turks enslaved hundreds of thousands perhaps millions of unfortunate Europeans.
The Muslims began enslaving people right from the start of Islam, in the 7th century. the Romans famously enslaved Britons even earlier. So Africans are not the only people to have suffered slavery through the centuries. even if they are the only ones to make a song and dance about it.
It would surely never occur to indigenous British people to stage demonstrations in Turkey and Algeria because their forebears were enslaved by the forebears of the Muslims. It is also conveniently forgotten that it was the Africans in Benin, Togo, Nigeria and Angola who didn’t hesitate to sell other Africans to the Europeans for selling again in the Americas.
In any case no one feels that young Germans are responsible for the horrors perpetrated by the Nazis for the simple reason that they are not responsible.
This politically correct shaming and naming game has no credible rationale at all. In addition to the facts that enormous numbers of Europeans have also been enslaved in the Americas and in North Africa and the Near and Middle East and that that the origin of the African slave trade was in the hands of Black African slave traders in Africa, it is seldom mentioned that it was the British who first realised that slavery was wrong, on a large scale, and who first banned slavery everywhere in the world, not only in the British Empire.
Royal Navy ships regularly stopped foreign ships from transporting slaves over the Atlantic. Small thanks they have got for it. In fact if people wish to blame contemporary people for the sins of their ancestors they should also be prepared to praise them for the good deeds of their ancestors. Who put an end to it, and enforced emancipation, for heaven’s sake!
Of course no one can justify the appalling violence and brutality of the American police and those deaths are lamentable and horrifying.
Now we have the unedifying spectacle of football teams kneeling down in servile and abject penitence for sins they never committed and for which they can never be held responsible – any more than young Germans can be held responsible for the Holocaust. The whole thing is irrational and basically evil – a witch hunt. People of former times must be judged according to the lights of their times and not by ours.
Tony Timpa, an innocent, fair skinned young man was suffocated to death by the US police, last year, in the identical manner in which George Floyd was killed. The only difference is that Tony was innocent, fair skinned and had just called for help and not a word was said in protest of his killing, while Floyd was black skinned and a violent career criminal who had just tried to spend a fraudulent bank note and his death released a mayhem of looting, smashing up and burning of innocent people’s property, the beating up and killing of innocent people, and the toppling of statues – all, obviously, in contravention of established law.
And this unparalleled violence, murder and destruction is justified as revenge for what was done long ago by people with totally different sets of values and beliefs and for none of whose acts anyone alive today bears the slightest responsibility.
Now everyone feels obliged to conform to politically correct maxims in which most people probably don’t actually believe. Everyone is going overboard in sickening displays of servile and fraudulent self righteousness and self congratulation. Free speech has gone out of the window and ordinary people are cowed, afraid and unable to openly say what they really think. Utter humbug.