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Thu Jan 9, 2020, 10:30 AM

Let's Talk About Colonialism

The word “colonialism” brings to mind many things. Most notably, it is a term associated with European imperialist adventures in the “New World” and all of the attendant horrors that followed. It invokes, in specie, mental images of white-European settlers, armed with Bibles and bayonets, dominating “less advanced” (and typically non-white) indigenous populations, leading to some of the worst human rights atrocities in history – the massacre at Wounded Knee, the African slave trade, the racial segregation policies of South Africa, the reservation schools, and the extirpation of countless native cultures throughout the world.

And since nearly all of these and other more infamous examples of colonialism were specifically white-European, the concept itself has come to be seen as coterminous with white supremacism. In other words, it is perceived as an exclusively European vice, whereas the colonial histories of non-white nations are (in almost all cases) ignored or summarily dismissed. It is under this rubric, and in conjunction with the postmodern progressive fixation on racial justice (and the very recent re-formulation of Ashkenazi Jews as “white-European”), that Zionism has been cast as a “colonial” movement, while the ongoing Arab effort to reverse the gains made by the indigenous Jewish people in 1948 is championed as “anti-colonialism”. Many have even gone as far as to describe Israel as the “last remaining settler colony in existence”.

Zionism, however, is not colonialism, but the polar opposite thereof. To understand why this is so, it is important to clearly define both of these concepts.


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Reply Let's Talk About Colonialism (Original post)
Mosby Jan 2020 OP
DetlefK Jan 2020 #1
Vogon_Glory Jan 2020 #2
Mosby Jan 2020 #3
Vogon_Glory Jan 2020 #4

Response to Mosby (Original post)

Thu Jan 9, 2020, 10:48 AM

1. This is not a matter of colonialism.

After their failed revolution against the Roman Empire, Emperor Hadrian retaliated by conducting ethnic cleansings in the kingdom Israel, driving the Jews out of their own country.

With the Jews out, other ethnicities moved in and made that very same strip of land THEIR home. That is not colonialism.

And the Jews returning to Palestine to make a new country Israel is also not colonialism.

Exactly the same has happened in Europe, especially eastern Europe, where ethnicities moved around willy-nilly. Barely any ethnicity in eastern Europe is nowadays where they were 1000, let alone 2000, years ago.

For example: The Tatars came to Crimea in the 1250s when Genghis Khan's army invaded Ukraine. Should Ukraine/Russia kick them out of Crimea even though they have lived there since 1250?

What about England? Should the Irish kick the English out of Britain because the Angles and the Saxons replaced the Celts?

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Response to Mosby (Original post)

Thu Jan 9, 2020, 11:57 AM

2. Colonialism: Not Just For white Europeans

Whenever I read yet another progressive rant blaming white Europeans for colonialism, I can't help but wonder whether they've bothered to really read history.

Colonialism still goes on, and not by those no-goodnik Europeans and Americans. I think that what the Chinese do to their minorities is a flagrant example of colonialism and would have a lot of DU progressives howling with outrage--if those acts were committed by Europeans.

I think it is entirely arguable that what the Indonesians are doing in Timor and eastern New Guinea is also colonialism. Again, I expect either crickets or blame-shifting from the perpetually-indignant.

I believe that what the Vietnamese have done to the mountain tribes living there also qualifies as colonialism.

And in Africa...Lots of examples there. What the Sudanese did to the folks of what used to be southern Sudan was another example. There are other examples in sub-Saharan Africa and there's something funny about it: the folks doing it don't have pale skin, they don't wear pith helmets, and neither French not English is their primary language. But to say so is considered naughty.

This is not to say that I'm excusing European colonialism or the colonialism practiced by us 'Murricans or by the various Latin American elites--I'm most certainly not.

I'm just saying that there's a lot more of humanity with very grubby hands than certain parlor elitists like to think.

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Response to Vogon_Glory (Reply #2)

Thu Jan 9, 2020, 12:06 PM

3. That's an important point.

You mention the Hmong as an example, the Cypriots is another example where no one says much if anything about what the Turks have been doing for a long time.

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Response to Mosby (Reply #3)

Thu Jan 9, 2020, 12:33 PM

4. Narco Syndicates in Latin America: Colonialists Too?

I think that what the narcos are doing in Central and South America is also colonialism, even if it isn't structured like the nice, tidy models the Marxist Left and their admirers have been using for decades.

What the narcos are doing in Central and South America is very much like what the United Fruit Company at its most wicked was doing--except that the narcos aren't using the USMC or the US Navy: Instead, they're performing the murder and mayhem themselves.

They can afford to. As horrible as this is to say, it appears that the narcos are not only better-organized than many Central and South American governments, but they've also got better intelligence and better firepower when and where it counts than the shambling messes south of the Mexican border.

And the perpetually-indignant fail to notice that while the narcos lack formal addresses and fancy edifices in Washington, DC, they ARE a foreign power.

They're so strong that they've bent local and provincial governments to their will, much like the United Fruit Company used to do, but mention that to a lot of the peace community, and the most you can hope for are blank looks while the worst is that you'll be accused of being a colonialist apologist.

I admit that I'm not a good little Marxist. I'm not even a Marxist. But these things need to be said.

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