Friday, February 17, 2006

Colonialism and mistaken superiority

I was so annoyed when Samer brought in the latest issue of the Economist, with its cover story characterizing the whole Danish cartoon brouhaha as an issue of freedom of speech. What crap! And I'm a pretty big fan of the Economist.

So today I was happy to come across this user-friendly opinion piece by Martin Jacques in the Guardian. It's Euro-centric, but applies to the West in general and its attitude of superiority with regard to the rest of the world.

Here's a bit:

There is a profound hypocrisy - and deep historical ignorance - when Europeans complain about the problems posed by the ethnic and religious minorities in their midst, for that is exactly what European colonial rule meant for peoples around the world. With one crucial difference, of course: the white minorities ruled the roost, whereas Europe's new ethnic minorities are marginalised, excluded and castigated, as recent events have shown. . .


Old attitudes of superiority and disdain - dressed up in terms of free speech, progress or whatever - are still very powerful. Nor - as many liberals like to think - are they necessarily in decline. On the contrary, racial bigotry is on the rise, even in countries that have previously been regarded as tolerant. . .


When Europe dominated, there were no or few feedback loops. Or, to put it another way, there were few, if any, consequences for its behaviour towards the non-western world: relations were simply too unequal. Now - and increasingly in the future - it will be very different. And the subject of these feedback loops, or consequences, will concern not just present but also past behaviour.

2 Comments:

At 4:47 AM, Anonymous Nas said...

the whole thing smells of manifest destiny

 
At 12:38 PM, Blogger YABCO said...

Really im trying to get ur point...

 

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