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Was Colonisation entirely bad?


Soidog
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The general narrative is that colonialism and colonisation was a terrible thing and a blot on the history books of those nations who took part in it.

There is no doubt that some horrendous crimes against humanity were conducted during colonial times and that many of the nations engaged in such crimes have rightly apologised. Given the general attitude towards this period in history, there seems little room to ask what some may regard as unthinkable. Was colonialism and colonisation entirely bad? Did any benefits come from it? 
 

There are some academics that have dared to suggest a new era of colonisation is justified in order to overcome the problems many third world and developing countries are struggling to overcome. 

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1 hour ago, Soidog said:

many of the nations engaged in such crimes have rightly apologised.

Sorry, but I have to disagree with this statement.  By all means acknowledge that what was done in history was not right, evil even, but nobody has to apologise for something that nobody alive today did, participated in, or has any responsibility for.  Do we expect Mongolia to apologise for the terrible evils of Genghis Khan, or the Italians apologise for the excesses of the Roman Empire?  Where do we draw the line?  Learn from history, but it is just that, history.   

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1 hour ago, Soidog said:

There are some academics that have dared to suggest a new era of colonisation is justified in order to overcome the problems many third world and developing countries are struggling to overcome.

The ONLY country engaged in colonial activities today is China.

Except they call it the "belt and road initiative". 

Basically its debt entrapment where brown envelopes are handed over to corrupt officials in third world countries and when that country cannot afford to service its debt China comes in and takes over whatever they want.

It does not even cost China that much to do so because when an African country is persuaded they need a 6 lane highway through the jungle starting from nowhere and going nowhere its Chinese companies who are contracted to do the work using Chinese workers who pay Chinese tax. 

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I think it’s is perhaps correct for a nation to apologise when there are people still alive in the countries once colonised, if we believe colonisation was a bad thing And hence worthy of an apology?  
 

My question was do people believe it to be all bad, or did some good come from it and, as some would advocate, is there perhaps a case for a new wave of modern day colonisation? 

I would be particularly interested to hear the views of any members who come from a country previously colonised. 

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1 hour ago, Soidog said:

I think it’s is perhaps correct for a nation to apologise when there are people still alive in the countries once colonised, if we believe colonisation was a bad thing And hence worthy of an apology?  
 

My question was do people believe it to be all bad, or did some good come from it and, as some would advocate, is there perhaps a case for a new wave of modern day colonisation? 

I would be particularly interested to hear the views of any members who come from a country previously colonised. 

Assisting developing countries can be done easily without "modern colonization"

 

But unless asked, leave countries be................

 

You could say America/Western world's intervention into Middle East is a form of colonization and how did that work out?

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9 minutes ago, Marc26 said:

Assisting developing countries can be done easily without "modern colonization"

But unless asked, leave countries be................

You could say America/Western world's intervention into Middle East is a form of colonization and how did that work out?

Im not sure Middle Eastern wars were any serious attempt at colonisation. It was always regime change as the aim.
 

You could perhaps argue that Alaska and Hawaii becoming part of the US are examples of colonialism? That seems to be working out ok for those places wouldn’t you agree?
 

The question however was. Was colonisation all bad or did any good come of it? I also raised the idea that some believe a modern form of colonisation could be beneficial to some countries? 

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No. It wasn't all bad. Brining capital and equipment to less developed lands was good. But you cant say that ones colonialism was good (UK) and say Russia's was bad. That would be hypocritical. 

The imperialism was the bad part. Divide and conquer. Starting wars for ridiculous abstract reasons ect.

 

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On 1/9/2023 at 4:06 AM, Rookiescot said:

The ONLY country engaged in colonial activities today is China.

 

This is why I cant bother with topics like this anymore. What a load of utter bollocks. 

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4 hours ago, socal said:

This is why I cant bother with topics like this anymore. What a load of utter bollocks. 

Thank you for your well researched and highly informative post. The level of detail in your compelling argument has certainly caused me to re-examine my position.

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Colonialism is a fact of history. Go far back enough, and parts of England were Celtic, parts of Germany were Slavic, and part of France was, German. Where do you draw the line? 

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On 1/15/2023 at 12:59 AM, Karolyn said:

Colonialism is a fact of history. Go far back enough, and parts of England were Celtic, parts of Germany were Slavic, and part of France was, German. Where do you draw the line? 

Agreed. But the question I posed wasn’t aimed at looking who engaged in colonisation. The question is asking if colonisation (I guess I’m thinking about British, Spanish, French etc) was all bad and would a modern period of colonisation bring about much needed change to some countries? Much of the debate today focuses on the atrocities carried out by colonial powers, of which there were many. 

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7 hours ago, Soidog said:

Agreed. But the question I posed wasn’t aimed at looking who engaged in colonisation. The question is asking if colonisation (I guess I’m thinking about British, Spanish, French etc) was all bad and would a modern period of colonisation bring about much needed change to some countries? Much of the debate today focuses on the atrocities carried out by colonial powers, of which there were many. 

Well I don't think you can separate the two

 

Sure, there were advancements but with a lot of suppression and in some cases, brutality

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4 minutes ago, Marc26 said:

Well I don't think you can separate the two

Sure, there were advancements but with a lot of suppression and in some cases, brutality

But wasn’t there a lot of brutality and a lot of suppression by local war lords and leaders before the colonisers arrived?  In many cases, the same type of local people filled the vacuums left by colonial powers and continue to suppress and apply acts of brutality to people. This is done without the benefit of advancements. 

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Decolonisation was never antiracist. The states 'liberated' were based on lines drawn by colonisers, and inherited social orders, in which ethnicities favored by European rulers, stayed at the top. Being as exploitatively ethnocentric as they like, but as long as both ethnies are the same skin color, no one calls it racism. (Same as with Irish in Britain and the USA.)

Whatever the rights, and wrongs of colonisation, there was fck all good came from decolonisation. Either nothing changed, or the loosening and retreat of foreign rule, had the same effect on places like Uganda and Malaysia, as the retreat of Rome had on places.

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1 hour ago, Soidog said:

But wasn’t there a lot of brutality and a lot of suppression by local war lords and leaders before the colonisers arrived?  In many cases, the same type of local people filled the vacuums left by colonial powers and continue to suppress and apply acts of brutality to people. This is done without the benefit of advancements. 

It's a fascinating subject

 

And although I recognize the negatives, it is a "romantic" time as well

 

Would have been nice to be an expat in that time, for sure.........

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9 minutes ago, Marc26 said:

It's a fascinating subject

And although I recognize the negatives, it is a "romantic" time as well

Would have been nice to be an expat in that time, for sure.........

I agree Marc, it is fascinating and it’s also one of those almost “Taboo topics”. The overwhelming narrative, for obvious reasons, sees it as a bad and negative thing. My follow on comment is perhaps even more taboo. Would some countries actually benefit from a modern day version (what ever that looked like) of colonisation? As this is a Thai forum, would colonisation by say the US, U.K. or even Australia benefit Thailand? Would one of those countries finally rid the en-passé of democracy and dictatorship. Would it be able to rid the country of endemic corruption for example?
 

Obviously, if you made a case for improving a country by colonisation, then Thailand would be well down the list of priorities. But it’s interesting to pose the question and debate it.  

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46 minutes ago, Karolyn said:

Decolonisation was never antiracist. The states 'liberated' were based on lines drawn by colonisers, and inherited social orders, in which ethnicities favored by European rulers, stayed at the top. Being as exploitatively ethnocentric as they like, but as long as both ethnies are the same skin color, no one calls it racism. (Same as with Irish in Britain and the USA.)

Whatever the rights, and wrongs of colonisation, there was fck all good came from decolonisation. Either nothing changed, or the loosening and retreat of foreign rule, had the same effect on places like Uganda and Malaysia, as the retreat of Rome had on places.

Some interesting points there. The debate about decolonisation and how you do it “properly” is as interesting as the question I posed. 

The so called “lines in the sand” that the British drew in the Middle East still cause major conflict to this day. I think that a modern form of colonisation wouldn’t make those mistakes, but it could so easily make equally damaging mistakes if it were to happen. 
 

 

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13 minutes ago, Soidog said:

I agree Marc, it is fascinating and it’s also one of those almost “Taboo topics”. The overwhelming narrative, for obvious reasons, sees it as a bad and negative thing. My follow on comment is perhaps even more taboo. Would some countries actually benefit from a modern day version (what ever that looked like) of colonisation? As this is a Thai forum, would colonisation by say the US, U.K. or even Australia benefit Thailand? Would one of those countries finally rid the en-passé of democracy and dictatorship. Would it be able to rid the country of endemic corruption for example?
 

Obviously, if you made a case for improving a country by colonisation, then Thailand would be well down the list of priorities. But it’s interesting to pose the question and debate it.  

I reminded of my trip to India, which I was pleasantly surprised with.......

It was to visit a friend who moved there.........so wasn't a place I was desiring to go to

 

But their English is impeccable, well those that know it, which are many

And despite looking chaotic, things were pretty orderly

 

I just couldn't help thinking that a lot of that had to do with their Colonial past

 

 

 

Look at Hong Kong

It would have always been a trading route.............but it is massive financial center and that is all from their British colonism.....

 

But, in the same breath, places like Shanghai and Bejing did just fine w/o 

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2 hours ago, Marc26 said:

I reminded of my trip to India, which I was pleasantly surprised with.......

It was to visit a friend who moved there.........so wasn't a place I was desiring to go to

But their English is impeccable, well those that know it, which are many

And despite looking chaotic, things were pretty orderly

I just couldn't help thinking that a lot of that had to do with their Colonial past

Look at Hong Kong

It would have always been a trading route.............but it is massive financial center and that is all from their British colonism.....

But, in the same breath, places like Shanghai and Bejing did just fine w/o 

I love India. Been there many times with work. Mainly around Mumbai and occasionally Delhi. Many reminders of home still exist and the chaos is amazing. 
 

Hong Kong is an interesting one. It made up something like 18%-20% of China’s GDP in 1997 when it was handed back to China. Today it’s more around 2%! . The U.K. technically could have kept “ownership” of Hong Kong Island and part of Kowloon. However, the New Territories would have been handed back. Without the New Territories, it would have been hard for the rest of HK to function and so the deal was done on the whole City.  

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