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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:
>(Private response) > >> 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+ years :) 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. Ray. ========================================= A mind which thinks at its own expense will always interfere with language. [J.G. Hamann 1760] =========================================