Colonialism

Analysis of political issues across the world

Colonialism

Postby Yessica » 24 Jul 2014, 06:51

I hope we all agree that colonialism is a bad thing and should not be repeated... but please let's talk about it apart from that, let's talk about which consequences it has today and how they can be told from things not caused by it. To be honest: I don't understand much about colonialism.

What I do understand: A number of countries has been colonized, some countries which have been colonized are doing quite well such as Taiwan, other countries such as Liberia are quite messed up without ever being a colony.

There have been a number of countries in the former Eastern blog which have been more or less controlled by the Sowjet Union, forced to adapt some of it's cultural elements and also used as producer and raw-material supplier for the Soviet Union. That has not been called colonialism so far or seen as a reason those countries cannot achieve/must send refugees to one of the 15 former Soviet republics.

The former African colonies are riddled with tribal wars, some of them are said to be caused by the fact that the borders were not drawn along tribal lines.
There might be some truth in it.

Currently I see colonialism discussed a lot in context of the refugees of Lampedusa which by some are believed to be right to come to Europe as an attonement for colonialism.

Do you think that there would be no boat people today had Europe stayed away from Africa?

Do you know a good book about colonialism?
Yessica
 
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Re: Colonialism

Postby Thomas M. » 20 Oct 2014, 11:29

To my knowledge the best introduction on 19th-century African colonization is The Scramble for Africa: White Man's Conquest of the Dark Continent from 1876 to 1912. Another good read is African Perspectives on Colonialism.

As for tribalism, one of the main reads on this subject is The Graves Are Not Yet Full which points out how both colonial powers and many post-independence leaders fostered tribalism as a way to keep the status quo. Of course it's not exactly written by a conservative (nor are the other two books), but it's still a good read regardless.

As far as Liberia goes, I can't recommend any books off the top of my head but it's worth noting that the society the freed slaves built there was like a parody of the American South, with a one-party tophat-wearing oligarchy subjecting the actual "native" Africans to slavelike conditions. This left a lasting imprint on Liberian society and when the Americo-Liberian oligarchy was overthrown in 1980 an African from the native tribes, Samuel Doe, promptly used his leadership position to empty the treasury for his own purposes. Discontent under him was promptly exploited by Charles Taylor who turned from a rebel leader into a warlord. Liberia promptly descended into civil war once Doe was killed.
Thomas M.
 
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