A blog by an old seminary friend, Chris. We discuss colonialism……Me: As I’m familiar with it, the Colonialism debate isn’t about whether or not the colonial power subjugated the natives and exploited their resources but whether or not, on balance, the colonial powers left their subjects in better shape or not. So, in India one might debate whether, on balance, being Christianized and modernized was worth the genocides, cultural chaos, and loss of resources and raw materials. Obviously, one of the more fundamental questions is whether or not the colonial powers themselves have the right to even comment on the question. Who were the Brits, for example, to determine for the Indian peoples what is good for India? What gave the Dutch and English the right to determine what was best for South Africa?
This article by Dennis Prager, on Why the Left Hates Western Civilization (do please read it) reminds me of a conversation I once had an an evening soiree, where a professor of Literature and I discussed Robinson Crusoe. As an enthusiast of the Western Canon of Literature, I prize Crusoe as a brilliant spiritual biography as well as a killer adventure story filled with ingenuity, economic wisdom, planning, and heroism. I’ve taught some sublime tomes in addition to Crusoe to high school students, including Dante’s Inferno, and The Brothers Karamazov.
However, I was told that Crusoe is actually a propaganda piece lauding the white, Christian male of British imperialism and colonialism. This can be known due to Crusoe’s reference to the savage he rescues from cannibals—named Friday— as “My man.” The professor repeated this phrase over and over and she seemed rather angry. “My
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