The Free State
"Man, in a word, has no nature. What he has is - history."

Saturday, November 13, 2004

The White Man's Burden

An imperialist poet named Kipling wrote a poem in 1899 called "The White Man's Burden". It was the ultimate justification for the rape of Africa and the conquering of Asia. Because 'we know best, don't we?' And yes, read the serious post. Selected extracts of the poem:

"Take up the White Man's burden--
Send forth the best ye breed--"

"Your new-caught, sullen peoples,
Half-devil and half-child."

"Take up the White Man's burden--
And reap his old reward:
The blame of those ye better,
The hate of those ye guard--"

"Take up the White Man's burden--
Ye dare not stoop to less--"
This is the most insidious of all, it makes my bowels churn. A dictator takes over a country, fights beligerent wars and slaughters for power's sake... Do we not have the duty to fight for them? Is it not below us to let them be? How do we know when it is altruism or paternalism or a poor excuse for exploitation?

Perhaps they are the same.

The white man's burden has nothing to do with race, not biologically anyway. Condoleeza Rice is guilty of it. Today it might be called "the Man in Tie's Burden". It began with the Romans, and their own missions to civilize Gaul and Britain. It reached its ultimate form in the 19th century by the conquest of the rest of world by Europe, in order to free, civilize and modernize.

The Soviets flee Afganistan

The soviets were extraordinarily guilty of it as well. Their invasion of Afganistan and their whole presumptious ideology that ALL HISTORY OF ALL MAN was the same as the white man's are typical. Even more typical is that, they arent racist or emotional about it, they simply don't acknowledge the possibility of the validity or worth of non-white man thought. It doesn't even OCCUR to them.

Mr. Fukuyama, not your average ideologue, but still guilty

In Iraq today, we have our own White Man's Burden. Because we know best, don't we? Mr Fukuyama has been hard at work creating our own ideology claiming to understand all men, all human societies, their history and their future. We have our own ideology of democracy, freedom fries and most importantly, OUR WAY. How do we know if we are being "good" or if we're just forcing what we think is right upon them? Whether its imperialist, communist or liberal, its all the same:
We assume we know how they are and we treat them like children. In reality, they are as alien to us as we are to them. We are children as well, all men are children, we are the children with the guns.


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