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Was/Is colonisation wrong? watch

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    (Original post by Banjo Barley)
    The reason I answered in the way I did (focusing on intentions as you point out) was because of the moral focus of the original question: namely is colonialism wrong, not whether it is advantageous to the natives or even successful in its acquisition of land etc.
    If you take it from a purely moral point of view, I suppose your point is legitimate, but I still think that any moral argument must take into account the facts on the ground (i.e. did the natives benefit).
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    (Original post by Bismarck)
    More like the people who first conquered Central Asia and Afghanistan then conquered India.
    That was later. Peoples who lived in Afghanistan and Central Asia were slowly 'Indianised.' The Graeco-Bactrians became buddhists, and many became Hindus, the Kushans started adopting Sanskrit and Prakrit, and let us not forget the large number of ancient Hindu and Buddhist institutions in the region.
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    (Original post by william1986)
    A lack of wealth = no democratic culuture = dictators emerge. Thats why in the UK for example we had wealth and than democracy emerged as the middle classes demanded protection for their property. Africa has no middle class, only extremes, and thus no democratic culture.
    In the richest continent, in terms of natural resources. How come there is a lack of wealth? Private interests like Cecil Rhodes?

    (Original post by william1986)
    The idea that getting rid of protectionist trade regulations = economy fails is nonsence. Look at India. In the 1970s and 80s she was protectionist but since the economic reforms of 1991 India has been growing rapidly.
    The example of India cannot be applied to most other contries who have undergone restructuring. The IMF strategy for any country will be different to others. It's not as simple as protectionist or non protrectionist, there is a vast spectrum inbetween not to mention the hundreds of different measures (conditions, orders) imposed like the forced handover of water production over to private interests.

    (Original post by william1986)
    Dictators don't emerge because a state is in debt, if that was the case the US would have a dictatorship. Why would debt = dictator.
    No, you can't simplify it to an equasion like that. Poverty can create the conditions for a dictator to emerge. But watch this space re the US.
    (Original post by william1986)
    And they are poor because of protectionism, not because of it.
    Protection by who? Their own government or the foreign governments like the US protecting their farmers with huge subsidies?

    (Original post by william1986)
    We can see this with the examples of SE Asian states. Look at those that are protectionist but have nothing to do wth the IMF e.g N Korea, they are still poor.
    Is that the only factor in these countries economic status?

    We can see from a host of other examples where the IMFs stategies have halted growth even caused decline.

    Prior to the begining of the current neo-liberal economics (1960 - 1980), when developing contries were operating on the 'Import Substitution Model' with larger government investment and high tarrifs, per capita income grew by 73% in latin america and 34% in africa.

    Post 1980 latin american growth has virtually ceased and african incomes have shrunk by 23%.

    That's just bad luck i guess though.
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    (Original post by LoveYourSlavery)
    In the richest continent, in terms of natural resources. How come there is a lack of wealth? Private interests like Cecil Rhodes?
    While abusing Cecil Rhodes is quite the fashion these days for the young socialist-about-town, I must politely disagree. Rhodesia and South Africa towards the end of British rule was an oasis of civilisation in an otherwise undeveloped continent.

    I think we must analyse the reasons that no civilisation grew within this area prior to colonialism (with the obvious exception of North Africa, which is separate culturally,) if indeed it is so well endowed in terms of natural resources, if we wish to appreciate Africa's present backwardness.

    Personally I blame the temperature...
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    (Original post by LoveYourSlavery)
    In the richest continent, in terms of natural resources. How come there is a lack of wealth? Private interests like Cecil Rhodes?
    [/i]Is Africa the richest continent in natural resources? One of the problems with natural resources is that human ingenuity is devoted to needing less of them if they become expensive. If you look at the GDPs of African countries and others since WWII you'll find that both have increased greatly: the problem with African countries is that their populations have increased as much or even more quickly.

    ...
    We can see from a host of other examples where the IMFs stategies have halted growth even caused decline.

    Prior to the begining of the current neo-liberal economics (1960 - 1980), when developing contries were operating on the 'Import Substitution Model' with larger government investment and high tarrifs, per capita income grew by 73% in latin america and 34% in africa.

    Post 1980 latin american growth has virtually ceased and african incomes have shrunk by 23%.

    That's just bad luck i guess though.
    No; it's far more the fact that the EU and USA practise massive protectionism and subsidise their own agricultural industries in ways that do great harm to African countries. The governments and policies they follow in african countries don't help either. Actual free trade might benefit African countries but it is a lie to pretend that there is free trade now.
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    (Original post by Weejimmie)
    ...No; it's far more the fact that the EU and USA practise massive protectionism and subsidise their own agricultural industries in ways that do great harm to African countries. The governments and policies they follow in african countries don't help either. Actual free trade might benefit African countries but it is a lie to pretend that there is free trade now.
    Agreed, Thought I mentioned subsidies given to EU and US producers? It's two sides of the same racket.
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    (Original post by Weejimmie)
    ...No; it's far more the fact that the EU and USA practise massive protectionism and subsidise their own agricultural industries in ways that do great harm to African countries. The governments and policies they follow in african countries don't help either. Actual free trade might benefit African countries but it is a lie to pretend that there is free trade now.
    A vast majority of the trade in the world is intraregional. America and the EU reducing tariffs isn't going to benefit Africa much. What would benefit Africa is if the African countries practiced free trade amongst themselves (African tariffs on African goods are twice as high as EU tariffs on African goods) and created an environment where local businesses could prosper, not where it takes 2 years and a yearly salary to register a business and then pay 90% of revenues as bribes to keep the business open.
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    (Original post by Bismarck)
    A vast majority of the trade in the world is intraregional. America and the EU reducing tariffs isn't going to benefit Africa much.
    Should have made it clear: I was thinking more of agricultural subsidies and dumping of agricultural produce in Africa and South and Central America
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    (Original post by Weejimmie)
    Should have made it clear: I was thinking more of agricultural subsidies and dumping of agricultural produce in Africa and South and Central America
    Most African countries aren't very big importers (Ethiopia's imports are only 2% of its GDP for example). I find it hard to believe that Europeans export enough food to Africa to change the domestic prices for food there.
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    Can't find sources at the mment as Oxfam's site [you may not like the messenger. It's the message that counts though] has been changed but certainly in Ghana, Cameroon and Niger dumping of EU agricultural produce badly damaged local agriculture.

    Another aspect is transport infrastructure: "Big mistake." said Mobutu when he was shown a new road in a neighbouring country. It meant that rebellion was easier, and the money could be better spent on bribes.
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    Has anyone noticed how former British colonies have, in general, fared a lot better than say former Spanish, Dutch or French colonies when comparing similar countries...

    To say simply that Britain was more powerful and conquered the territories with the most resources would be a bit simplistic. Just compare Canada, the US, South Africa, Australia, New Zealand to say South America... or Guyana to Suriname or Southern Africa to West Africa.

    Out of many oppressive European powers, Britain was often seen as the better of the lot. With modern media and the distortion of the image of colonial Britain, Britain is not represented properly at all.

    Two centuries ago, many countries saw Britain has a liberating force: Sri Lanka liberated from the Dutch/Portuguese, Malta (not a colony but still a territory) liberated from the French.

    A lot of countries have fond memories of their connection with Britain: mostly in the Pacific, the Carribean, the Middle East and even South Africa to a lesser extent. People were even speculating, a decade ago, that certain islands would ask to become colonies again. This even happened on a small island in the Comoro Islands (but in this case, it was a former French colony). Now, with the UN's process of decolonisation under way (seems more like a symbolic thing than an actual pragmatic process: does anyone really think that the people of Bermuda or Anguilla are oppressed?), that could never happen.

    The trouble is, a lot of people see Britain solely as the colonial force in India and even then, today, it is mostly a few Pakistani and Bangladeshi who have a serious grudge against Britain: probably more due to the civil war after 1947 than any British action. Apart from that, even in that case, India and Pakistan appreciate some of the aspects of British culture they have adopted and their colonial heritage.

    And even then, Britain was hardly like Holland in Indonesia or Portugal in Angola and Mozambique...
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    My family is from India, and my parents bemoan the day Britain left. It brought hell for them and they were forced to flee. While Gandhi turned his head the other way, many 'collaboraters' and 'members of the old regime' were killed. Look at the bloody revolts in Travancore, Hyderabad, and numerous other Kingdoms and Principalities. Gwalior has fallen into ruin, and Jammu and Kashmir have turned into a wartorn hell hole.
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    In the richest continent, in terms of natural resources. How come there is a lack of wealth? Private interests like Cecil Rhodes?
    Because they don't have free trade.

    The example of India cannot be applied to most other contries who have undergone restructuring. The IMF strategy for any country will be different to others. It's not as simple as protectionist or non protrectionist, there is a vast spectrum inbetween not to mention the hundreds of different measures (conditions, orders) imposed like the forced handover of water production over to private interests.

    Rhetoric. Please give facts. Please name a succesful protectionist economy.


    No, you can't simplify it to an equasion like that. Poverty can create the conditions for a dictator to emerge. But watch this space re the US.
    And what creates poverty? A lack of free trade. The British empire brougt free trade, when we left it was replaced by the likes of Mugabe.

    Protection by who? Their own government or the foreign governments like the US protecting their farmers with huge subsidies?
    I have never defended protectionist polices by any states. However there is also, for example, protectionist polices against China, yet she still grows at 9% pa, unlike Africa.
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    I should note that Australia is the only major Western economy with a significant agricultural sector that eliminated just about all agricultural subsidies and tariffs (throughout the '80s and '90s), and it is now what is arguably the most efficient agricultural sector in the world.

    For example, in France 4.1% of the labor force works in agriculture, yet it's responsible for only 2.7% of GDP. In Japan, the figures are 5% and 1.3% respectively. In the UK, it's 1.5% and 1%. In Australia, it's 3.6% and 3.4%, which makes it the only major Western country where the agricultural sector is as efficient as the manufacturing and service sectors.
 
 
 
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