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5 hours ago, Devil's Advocate said:

More closely that some people in the East hate the West because the West exposed them to a principle of equal rights, e.g. property, pursuit of happiness, they could not experience.

I assume you do not mean consciously. You won;t have people who think to themselves "I hate the West because they taught me about equal rights, and I cannot experience it".

I assume you mean the West taught them about equal rights, but they could not experience it. Do you mean they could not experience it during colonial rule, or later. I guess you could say that they were fine with all sorts of rulers, and then the colonists were similar -- albeit white-skinned. yet, the colonists were telling them that all were equal, while not treating them equally? But, that would explain why they rose up and got their independence. it might even explain residual hatred for the colonists (though -- in fact -- that's not the norm, at least in British colonies).

Not sure how that would be an explanation for hatred a few generations later. What's the chain of reasoning there?

Edited by softwareNerd

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5 hours ago, softwareNerd said:

Not sure how that would be an explanation for hatred a few generations later. What's the chain of reasoning there?

Europeans offered trade deals that literally couldn't be refused because they were negotiated from a position of power and historical advantage.  Where trade agreements did occur, they were of the kind one might expect children to make with adults.  And the colonialists thought (as you suggest) that these cultures benefited, or at least were no worse off in the exchange.

What followed was a period of mimicry where the less advanced attempted to jump forward by passing through hoops designed by the more advanced, e.g. play dress-up and learn to speaka-lika-colonist.  But becoming a peer culture was never really attainable for essentially the same reason a child can never really compete with an adult.  They cannot compete as peers, but they can become dangerous, and so they did.

The colonists experienced violent push-back in their day, but nothing like the scale modern weaponry can bring to bear.  So yesterday's colonists have become today's nationalists, desperately trying to return that infectious notion of rights their ancestors unwittingly scattered about the world back into Pandora's Box, while today's terrorists ride about in Toyotas with iPads seeking equality by attempting to level the playing field with fire.

Guns, Germs, and Steel, by Jared Diamond, sets a historical stage, that Age of Anger, by Pankaj Mishra, populates with today's actors.  Both are worth a read, and probably in that order.

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5 hours ago, Devil's Advocate said:

Europeans offered trade deals that literally couldn't be refused ...

What followed was a period of mimicry ... a child can never really compete with an adult.  ...

...  So yesterday's colonists have become today's nationalists, desperately trying to return that infectious notion of rights their ancestors unwittingly scattered about the world back into Pandora's Box, while today's terrorists ride about in Toyotas with iPads seeking equality by attempting to level the playing field with fire....

The historical part is fine (paragraphs 1 and 2). There's a jump in paragraph 3 when it comes to the current day. It really does not follow.

Firstly, I'm not sure what it mean to say that Britishers seek to return to a notion of rights. What rights? Do you mean rights that aren't really rights? Where British people have more rights than Kenyans? If so, do you mean more rights within Britain or in the world in general? I don't see it.

And terrorists seeking equality... nope, not that either.

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5 hours ago, softwareNerd said:

The historical part is fine (paragraphs 1 and 2). There's a jump in paragraph 3 when it comes to the current day. It really does not follow.

Sorry, I guess I'm still learning to use my words.

What I'm trying to express is an argument that positive ideals like Rights and Capitalism remain unknown primarily due to a faulty practice of them.  I suppose that's because ideals require sponsorship of the kind represented by British colonists, which is why I was intrigued by your defense of them earlier.  British colonists interacted with "Indians" on two separate continents and when they left, the power vacuum which was filled in both cases by leaders who applied what they had learned from their colonial experience.  I would argue the British never really left the Americas, but that's just another thread.

From today's perspective on these two instances of British colonialism, do you still maintain the lives of the Indians and their descendants are better off (on balance) from those colonial practices of Rights and Capitalism?

 

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I could only read half way through that article. Absolutely horrible mish-mash of overly flowery text with misidentified or poorly defined concepts. It's almost as if the author believes there was a period in time in the past where capitalism based on rational egoism actually had existed and there is now some sort of backlash against it? It makes no sense; nothing even close to that has ever happened. The issue is that nearly everybody in the world believes that we don't live a socialist enough society yet, even though I question that the majority are true altruists, because they are not. Average people want the government to hand them free health care, but they don't believe they should sacrifice besides minor taxation. I personally don't fully understand their (the majority of society's) exact position.

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@EC,

This is why I suggest the positive ideals of rights and capitalism remain unknown, or are known incorrectly by practice. Those who fault capitalism seldom qualify their criticism in the context of the failing of a mixed economic version.  To be fair, Mishra is basing his conclusions on the experience of this kind of flawed practice, not that which has yet to be achieved. But in order to begin to understand today's international angst, it's important to recognize the context such as it is, not as how it ought to be.

I might argue, for example, that the black market is more capitalistic than wall street by virtue of a lack of regulation, but that remains unfair to the positive ideal of capitalism.  By the same reasoning, one can fault the practice of rights enforced by otherwise liberal societies that exclude or exploit them, but that remains unfair to the positive ideal of rights.  Nevertheless we live in a world of practice, not ideals, and there's plenty of evidence supporting Mishra's point that much of today's violence is in reaction to experiencing the flaw in lieu of the ideal.

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12 hours ago, Devil's Advocate said:

From today's perspective on these two instances of British colonialism, do you still maintain the lives of the Indians and their descendants are better off (on balance) from those colonial practices of Rights and Capitalism?

Yes. I have no doubt at all. Also, while it is hard to argue counter-factuals, if WW-2 had not speeded up the British withdrawal from India, that might have worked still better for Indians.

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5 hours ago, Devil's Advocate said:

Perhaps, but I can't help wondering if the American "Indians" might have fared better from a more complete withdrawal.

There are major differences between Europeans coming to the Americas or to Australia. That was settlement, which was very different from the colonization of a people in the sense of British or French running their colonies.

Secondly,  you have complications like bringing disease, which were never such a major problem when one was dealing with the known and connected land-masses. mass deaths were going to happen even if the Europeans had remained in a peaceful relationship with the natives. 

Most importantly, the rule of the British, particularly in India was a continuity rather than a discontinuity. The British did not go in and start talking about rights, nor did they try to start westernizing the locals. they did not colonize "India" as a whole, and did not even have ambitions to do so for the first so many decades. They evolved, from being armed traders sticking enforcing their side of some deal, to mercenaries fighting on the side of local chieftains, to becoming local chieftains themselves. 

So, let's take the case where the Brits took over some tiny "Indian" kingdom by force. Let's say they were unfair to the masses they ruled, let's say they  enforced their monopolies in certain trades. It would be fine to judge them negatively for this, but one should judge the previous ruler the same way too. One will usually find that the previous king was also unfair to his citizens and also enforced monopolies so that he could skim a cut. The Brits were a continuity in that type of rule. A change of local dynasty, with much of the local power structure staying in place. 

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4 hours ago, softwareNerd said:

The Brits were a continuity in that type of rule. A change of local dynasty, with much of the local power structure staying in place.  

A continuity?

The inevitability of mass deaths, corrupt leadership and poor living conditions used to justify a "no worse off" argument for what happened to native populations is counter-factual too, n'est-ce pas?  What occurred was exposure to formidable interlopers whose actions demonstrated the practice of "might makes right", regardless of how they spoke about it. And that lesson was learned, went viral and continues to rationalize the actions of those who vie for power today.

Therefore, I'm inclined to believe the practice of colonialism, imperialism and the like are immoral, regardless of whatever incidental benefits fall as scraps from the interloper's table, because the ends do not justify the means.

Perhaps the Trader Principle is an unknown ideal too?

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On 12/17/2018 at 2:42 PM, EC said:

No. Don't remember the details of that war. It's because they were constantly attacking, raiding, and killing, colonists, frontiersman, etc. for unclear reasoning. 

It makes a big difference. Your entire context here seems to assume that all Native Americans were part of the same tribe, and had a great deal of similar beliefs. But this just isn't true. Some were a lot like terrorists, others were not. In a discussion about colonialism or imperialism, I think it's important to make distinctions about all kinds of activities. What sort of attacks and raids might be justified as far as colonists killing natives? Should we ask who started it? Did colonists neglect that they committed rights violations, and were somehow surprised when they face retaliation? Which tribes actually joined with colonists of enemy countries, like the French? You seem to be assuming that there were no clear reasons, only based on your lack of knowledge. 

Edited by Eiuol

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5 hours ago, Devil's Advocate said:

A continuity?

The inevitability of mass deaths, corrupt leadership and poor living conditions used to justify a "no worse off" argument for what happened to native populations is counter-factual too, n'est-ce pas?  What occurred was exposure to formidable interlopers whose actions demonstrated the practice of "might makes right", regardless of how they spoke about it. And that lesson was learned, went viral and continues to rationalize the actions of those who vie for power today.

Therefore, I'm inclined to believe the practice of colonialism, imperialism and the like are immoral, regardless of whatever incidental benefits fall as scraps from the interloper's table, because the ends do not justify the means.

Perhaps the Trader Principle is an unknown ideal too?

I can't talk about India much, but I think the point stands that you do not communicate the principles of capitalism (or reason more generally) by enslaving people or otherwise violating their rights.

If the colonizers of India or the colonists of North America had believed firmly in such rights or "property" as we understand it, etc., I believe that they would have acted much differently. As to the typical observation that they were generally "better" in some rights-respecting way, perhaps that's true, though I never know how much that is supposed to matter to the person who is yet unfairly despoiled.

Edited by DonAthos

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6 hours ago, DonAthos said:

If the colonizers of India or the colonists of North America had believed firmly in such rights or "property" as we understand it, etc., I believe that they would have acted much differently. As to the typical observation that they were generally "better" in some rights-respecting way, perhaps that's true, though I never know how much that is supposed to matter to the person who is yet unfairly despoiled.

As Euiol said above there were probably some mitigating circumstances that caused certain instances to be less wrong (or even aggression from the colonists, etc.) but my overall issue is that I don't think, in general at least, that Native American's were "unfairly despoiled" even accounting for the fact that property rights weren't practiced (or understood) completely by the colonists.

What I mean is that any individual tribe couldn't essentially demand rights to entire region, not just a certain locale like a city or town, just because their particular group has been in that region longer, and then attack newcomers to that entire region with impunity. If they had just claimed an area the size of a city up to maybe the size of a county, and allowed safe passage through these areas it would have been a different story. Instead, they claimed entire regions, probably larger than states, for their tiny groups/tribes and hostilely attacked newcomers and travelers.

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6 hours ago, DonAthos said:

... you do not communicate the principles of capitalism (or reason more generally) by enslaving people or otherwise violating their rights.

Wow! Did someone make a claim like that somewhere? Not in this thread, unless it was some post I skipped reading.

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59 minutes ago, softwareNerd said:

Could you define colonialism?

I have been working with the one you responded to provided by: @Free Thinker, however I'll accept Merriam-Webster's as well: https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/colonialism (see 3a & 3b)

Continuity: https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/continuity (see 1a & 1b)

Interloper: https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/interloper (see a & b)

Are we agreed to terms?

Edited by Devil's Advocate
correction

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2 minutes ago, Devil's Advocate said:

"...control by one power over a dependent area or people..." 
You're willing to use this definition? It has no reality to me...just a floating abstraction. If communist party members ruled USSR and other people obeyed, that too is the rule of one people over another. Is colonialism defined by some type of power structure and lack of certain types of rights, or is is all about race and ethnicity?

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As I stated, I've been working with the definition you responded to, and we may continue with that one if you prefer.  Merriam-Webster's definition uses the words "power" and "dependent" which is also suitable in the context of British masters and Indian subjects, but my argument doesn't depend on that particular reference.

What does yours depend on?

Edited by Devil's Advocate

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11 hours ago, Devil's Advocate said:

I will accept this one as well from Oxford Dictionaries: https://en.oxforddictionaries.com/definition/colonialism

So, if we roll back a few thousand years where there each little village has a chieftain, and one village takes over another village, is that colonialism? When the rulers from the Cairo are take control of the Nile and the cities along its banks and also of the sea-side city of Alexandria, is that colonialism? Or is it colonialism for a few years and then the Egyptian kingdom at some point? Countries have been fighting and taking other countries over for centuries. Is that all colonialism?Or is colonialism only the most recent version, where the one taking over the other was significantly more technologically advanced?

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22 hours ago, softwareNerd said:

Wow! Did someone make a claim like that somewhere? Not in this thread, unless it was some post I skipped reading.

A claim like what?

I don't think I was responding to you, actually; but if you find your views reflected or refuted somewhere in my remarks, I suppose you can sort that out for yourself. Or if there's something I'd said you disagree with, please feel free.

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2 hours ago, softwareNerd said:

So... Is that all colonialism? Or is colonialism only the most recent version, where the one taking over the other was significantly more technologically advanced? 

OK, I'll play.

There are many definitions of colonialism, of which the common thread is an expansion by Group "A" in pursuit of resources (else why bother) into an area with resources of the kind desired by Group "A" that happens to be populated with members of Group "B".  In the historical context, this doesn't often work well for Group "B", if at all.  In terms of property (a right), Group "B" gets less of it, and in the case of the Americas that measures to about 2% today: https://www.quora.com/What-percent-of-US-land-is-still-owned-by-Native-Americans (please feel free to dispute this, or talk about casinos)

History is short on examples where this kind of expansion was welcomed by the group who happened to be in the wrong place at the wrong time, thus my characterization of the group seeking resources as an interloper (please feel free to dispute this as well).  What we see today is essentially the reverse of colonialism where a weaker interloper attempts to colonize lands with resources that happen to be populated by members of a stronger group.  Obviously that can't be tolerated, because MIGHT MAKES RIGHT, and no one should be FORCED TO SHARE or TRADE (if you care to dispute the Trader Principle, have at it).

At this point you appear to be an argument in pursuit of a definition, so please provide one.  I've given you mine.

 

 

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10 hours ago, DonAthos said:

A claim like what?

I typically skip many posts when I find a particular one of interest, and then ... if I'm in a "dialog" I will typically skip ones that are not from the other person in that dialog (except short ones). 
Did someone in this thread claim that you can communicate the principles of capitalism (or reason more generally) by enslaving people or otherwise violating their rights?

More generally, has someone in this thread actually said that colonialism is a good thing, in the sense of something we should maybe aspire toward, in order to come closer to capitalism?

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