Re: Neutrality (was: Uusisuom language (Online lesson))
|From:||Raymond Brown <ray.brown@...>|
|Date:||Friday, March 30, 2001, 6:52|
At 3:54 pm -0500 29/3/01, John Cowan wrote:
>> Nor am I at all proud of much of the
>> imperial past of my country - certainly not for being the inventors of the
>> concentration camp.
>And, alas, of the "administrative massacre" of the kind the Germans practiced
>so well in 1933-45.
>> I do _not_ argue that; and I doubt the Boer women & children in the
>> concentration camps during the Boer War would agree with you either.
>> Imperialism is imperialism, full-stop.
>I can't agree with you there. British imperialism was the foundation
>of free institutions in this country (admittedly with an ideological
>push from the Iroquois Compact) and many others.
In the sense that you lot rebelled from us and the Founding Fathers
deliberately devised a constitution (which BTW I admire) that expressly set
out to avoid the abuses they saw in the way Britain governed itself :)
I know British rule, for example, can claim to have brought many benefits
to the Indian sub-continent (not the least being cricket :) and many
Indians still seem to regard us with affection - but the history of the
British conquest of that sub-continent is not exactly edifying; nor was the
early British treatment of the Australian aboriginies nor the _complete_
genocide of Tasmanian man.
>The same cannot be said of Russo-Soviet imperialism.
At present - nor, thankfully, did we get ruled by anyone as cruel as Stalin
- but when the dust of history has settled and we are a generation or two
away from the Soviet empire, then I think we'll notice that it also will
have left some benefits in its wake. I'm still an optimist even after 61+
I think it futile to argue about which Imperialism is better or worse -
after all, we Brits did not have the technology to maintain the same grip
in the 18th & 19th centuries as the Soviets did in the 20th (or the Chinese
still do in Tibet). I just do not like imperialism whether 'benign' or not.
A mind which thinks at its own expense
will always interfere with language.
[J.G. Hamann 1760]