Is it fair how we became rich nations..?

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0723206004
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there is a concept in African,Asian and Latin american countries that European nations became rich from the resources we robbed from them during 15 to 19 centuries...is it true? for me..it is true.. it is like go to another person's home and humiliating that family and robbing them... shouldn't we shame about our history?:confused:
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shawn_o1
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Sadly the only way to become rich is to exploit...
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A5ko
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I'm not about to grovel, it's not like I was personally responsible or have any power to change what happened.
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Omni Vanitas
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It is true, that is why I find it cringeworthy when someone goes "I'm proud of being (e.g. English, Spanish, Belgian etc.)"
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Arbolus
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To some extent, it's true. However, that doesn't mean Western nations are any more horrible than African and Asian ones, because they would have done exactly the same to us had they been a bit more advanced. And, indeed, throughout history various African and Asian empires have done more than their fair share of looting plundering. The West doing it back to them could be seen as simply redressing the balance - a thief who steals from another thief has no need to apologize.

The only things we could and ought to apologize for are the various massacres and other instances of brutality - but those apologies should be directed at the people directly affected if they are still alive, not to entire countries or ethnic groups, and not to very distant descendants.
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B-FJL3
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(Original post by 0723206004)
there is a concept in African,Asian and Latin american countries that European nations became rich from the resources we robbed from them during 15 to 19 centuries...is it true? for me..it is true.. it is like go to another person's home and humiliating that family and robbing them... shouldn't we shame about our history?:confused:

No we should not be ashamed about our history, no one should be. Empire has been the default setting of every great civilisation in history. The Babylonians, Egyptians, Romans, Macedonians, Greeks, Mongols, Russians, Chinese, Persians, Mughals, Zulus, Incas, Aztecs, Mayans, Germans, Tartars, Carthaginians, Dutch, British, French, Spanish, Americans, Venetians, Portuguese, Ottomans, Byzantines, Arabs, Japanese... I could go on but I'm sure you get the point. All these empires had a mixture of good and bad influences on the World

Out of all those many, many great civilisations it was the British who created the largest empire the World has ever seen. If that isn't something to be damn proud of I don't know what is. I suggest you read up on some of the incredible individuals who built the European empires from the 15th century onwards. When I read their stories my first reaction is certainly not shame. They were of their time, and held views accordingly, but they also possessed qualities such as courage, integrity, imagination and inventiveness, determination, leadership... to cut a long story short, I'd be proud if any child of mine went on to display half the positive traits many of those individuals possessed.

That is not to say I am one of these ridiculous, jingoistic types who harps on about returning to glorious days of empire. Of course not, that is ridiculous. The World moves on, things change and all empires must fall to be replaced by others. I simply find the modern day perspective of it to be absurdly skewed and biased in favour of the colonised, hence I recommend rebalancing the scales by also looking at events from the perspective of the Europeans at the time and taking account of what it was that made them successful.

This link might be a 60s Hollywood take on the matter, but it does rather succinctly (if a little harshly) sum up the situation when European powers clashed with indigenous peoples. I'd suggest watching it all for context, but you can skip to about 3:06 minutes in for the main thrust of it...


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B-FJL3
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(Original post by Omni Vanitas)
It is true, that is why I find it cringeworthy when someone goes "I'm proud of being (e.g. English, Spanish, Belgian etc.)"

This is exactly the kind of damaging attitude I am wholly opposed to. The Germans have had a huge struggle overcoming a sense of national shame at their actions during WWII. Only recently have they felt able to do something as simple as wave their country's flag at football matches and be patriotic. Yet no one today would consider it in any way justifiable to blame young Germans for any of WWII.

In Britain and France especially, there seems to be an effort to make the people feel ashamed of their recent colonial history in a similar manner. It is toxic to national pride and identity, and totally illogical.
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Duncan2012
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(Original post by Omni Vanitas)
It is true, that is why I find it cringeworthy when someone goes "I'm proud of being (e.g. English, Spanish, Belgian etc.)"
What an utterly stupid attitude to have.
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JoshDawg
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To be fair, some of the aid we are sending to those countries (In the MILLIONS by the way) is getting lost through their own corruption.
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cake_lover
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It is unfair, but it is not your fault, the people responsible are long dead. What rich can do now is help support poorer countries, especially in times of need. That's where foreign aid comes in I guess, just trying to make the world a better place
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Duncan2012
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Corruption, abuse of power, nepotism, over-reliance on foreign aid, tribal and religious wars have resulted, in many cases, in little or no progress since independence (generally 50+ years).
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william walker
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I can smell the Liberalism from here. No Britain became rich because of trade, it used that trade to gain manipulation over local competing factions and increase its power. We did it because we were rich and had something to offer, we didn't get rich off it.
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Rakas21
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(Original post by 0723206004)
there is a concept in African,Asian and Latin american countries that European nations became rich from the resources we robbed from them during 15 to 19 centuries...is it true? for me..it is true.. it is like go to another person's home and humiliating that family and robbing them... shouldn't we shame about our history?:confused:
In falling to socialism most of those regions damaged their potential prosperity more than we ever could.

Cuba in the early 1960's had the third highest real wages in the world.. today it has an average wage of ~$30 per month. In the early 1960's Hong Kong was little more than a fishing village, today it'd GDP per capita is more than ours.

Point being, the empire may have held some countries back (though many were very primitive when we arrived) but the reason they are poor today has nothing to do with the empire, but rather their refusal to embrace markets.
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miser
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The strong do what they can and the weak suffer what they must.
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whorace
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It has always been this way, almost every civilization has been guilty of this practice, many of them out of simple necessity and fear of other cultures. The British were not lone powers even at the height of their empire, just across the channel the French always posed a massive threat to imperial power until increased diplomatic efforts. I'd say contrary to what people commonly think, democracy is not necessarily why we enjoy peace as we do today, but rather it is due to open diplomacy and easy transport. I can go to Austria anytime I want, and I can see their culture and ways prove no threat to me, not so in the past. The past was a culture of suspicion, the price people pay for their fears is their realization.
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I'm a Bad Boy
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Life isn't about fairness, you'll learn that when you finish university and get into the real world
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El Salvador
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(Original post by Arbolus)
To some extent, it's true. However, that doesn't mean Western nations are any more horrible than African and Asian ones, because they would have done exactly the same to us had they been a bit more advanced. And, indeed, throughout history various African and Asian empires have done more than their fair share of looting plundering. The West doing it back to them could be seen as simply redressing the balance - a thief who steals from another thief has no need to apologize.

The only things we could and ought to apologize for are the various massacres and other instances of brutality - but those apologies should be directed at the people directly affected if they are still alive, not to entire countries or ethnic groups, and not to very distant descendants.
Actually when China was clearly the most advanced nation on Earth, it did not go around and colonise every country it touched to the extent western colonial powers did. The surrounding countries, whilst being seen as inferior and subsidiary, were autonomous and not exploited nearly to the extent western colonial powers did, if at all. During Ming Dynasty, when China had the technology and money to fund overseas expedition, all it did was to give gifts to foreign nations, cultural exchanges, and to spread its name. Very far from the exploitation, control, and slavery western colonial powers had conducted.
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El Salvador
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(Original post by Rakas21)
In falling to socialism most of those regions damaged their potential prosperity more than we ever could.

Cuba in the early 1960's had the third highest real wages in the world.. today it has an average wage of ~$30 per month. In the early 1960's Hong Kong was little more than a fishing village, today it'd GDP per capita is more than ours.

Point being, the empire may have held some countries back (though many were very primitive when we arrived) but the reason they are poor today has nothing to do with the empire, but rather their refusal to embrace markets.
The Cultural Revolution and everything before it that happened in mainland China obviously harmed it economically, but India and Africa did not fall into socialism, did they?
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El Salvador
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(Original post by william walker)
I can smell the Liberalism from here. No Britain became rich because of trade, it used that trade to gain manipulation over local competing factions and increase its power. We did it because we were rich and had something to offer, we didn't get rich off it.
'Trade' as in literally bombing China to let Britain to sell its people drugs?

In fact, at that time, Britain was not rich at all compared to China, and the fact that China had a lot of items Britain wanted was one of the reasons why Britain invaded.
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Bill_Gates
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In the case of Africa, Maybe.

However i think Asia in particular is beginning to level up.
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