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World Association of International Studies

Post Does the "Enlightened Colonizer" Exist?
Created by John Eipper on 07/11/18 3:17 AM

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Does the "Enlightened Colonizer" Exist? (Tor Guimaraes, USA, 07/11/18 3:17 am)

As one who enjoys the wonderful delights of different cultures and abhors the trampling of cultural rights, I also agree with John Eipper's comment that foreign authorities must use their power to defend the rights of the powerless. (See Timothy Ashby, July 8th.)

This apparent contradiction can be easily explained by my belief in God the Universe, and that scientific knowledge must override mythology and religious superstition from all religious zealots hurting people. After reading Timothy Ashby's post, I am quite impressed by the great administrative performance by Field Marshal Henry Hardinge. While some of the native population may chose to see the glass half empty because of the other many negative side effects from colonialism, it would take an idiot cultural relativist not to see the great benefits from much of Hardinge's cultural intervention.

JE comments:  I didn't say that colonial authorities must use their power to defend the powerless.  Rather, I asked whether a colonizer who improves human rights can be considered "enlightened."  The examples are numerous, from prohibiting human sacrifice in the Americas to Mussolini outlawing Ethiopian slavery in 1935.  But let us consider just this last case--does freeing the enslaved justify a war of conquest?

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  • Does Emancipation Justify War? (Timothy Ashby, -Spain 07/11/18 5:32 AM)
    When talking about Italy's conquest and colonization of Ethiopia, John E asked:

    "Does freeing the enslaved justify a war of conquest?"

    In the latter stages of the US Civil War, freeing the enslaved became the paramount justification for the North's war of conquest against the South (and it was truly a war of conquest and occupation).

    By the way, following the Norman Conquest, the Domesday Book of 1086 records that around 10 percent of the English population were slaves.

    JE comments: Ah, slavery and the US Civil War. Did the Peculiar Institution cause the war? Depends on who you ask. Did Lincoln fight against the Confederacy in order to free the slaves? No, at least not until 1863. Even the hallowed Emancipation Proclamation started out as a tactic to undermine the Confederate economy. Finally, did the North fight a war of conquest? This depends on whether you take the Confederacy as a legitimate nation or a separatist rebellion. How about a war of reconquest?

    Does emancipation justify war?  Gosh, this depends on who you ask.

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