Colonialism

creation and maintenance of colonies by people from another territory

Colonialism is the establishment, exploitation, maintenance, acquisition, and expansion of colonies in one territory by a political power from another territory.

Whence the self-congratulation of “dominant” races, as if “dominant” meant “righteous” and carried with it a title to inherit the earth? ~ Anna Julia Haywood Cooper
The Ottomans colonized the territories they conquered, they introduced an administrative system for collecting taxes to promote national economic growth and also established fortresses and garrisons at strategic points and along the frontiers
William Blake, Europe Supported By Africa and America, 1796. Allegorical representation of a point of view on European colonization
"The East Offering its Riches to Britannia", painted by Spiridione Roma for the boardroom of the British East India Company

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A edit

  • The first observation is that our community is not homogeneous but divided up into peoples that have grown rich and peoples that are still poor. Yet more important is to recognize that even among the poor nations there are, unfortunately, some which are poorer still; and that many survive under particularly unbearable conditions. Their economy is dominated by foreign powers; outsiders hold all or part of their territory; they still suffer the yoke of colonialism; or a majority of their population is exposed to the violence of racial prejudice and of apartheid. Worse still, in many of our nations deep social disparities oppress the masses and benefit only the privileged few. The second observation is that the toil and the resources of the poorer nations pay for the prosperity of the affluent peoples. Our business here is not to harp on old injustices but to show that the world trade structure, as it operates today, has become an instrument of pillage by means of which the less developed nations are sucked dry.
    • Salvador Allende, April 13, 1972, as quoted in Historic Documents of 1972. Washington, DC: CQ Press.

B edit

 
Everybody involved in the administration of the New World was blind to the simple truth enshrined in the first principles of law and government that nobody who is not a subject of a civil power in the first place can be deemed in law to be in rebellion against that power. ~ Bartolomé de las Casas
 
It should be recalled that the pretext upon which the Spanish invaded each of these provinces and proceeded to massacre the people and destroy their lands—lands which teemed with people and should surely have been a joy and a delight to any true Christian—was purely and simply that they were making good the claim of the Spanish Crown to the territories in question. ~ Bartolomé de las Casas
  • When they laid down their arms, we murdered them. We lied to them. We cheated them out of their lands. We starved them into signing fraudulent agreements that we called treaties which we never kept. We turned them into beggars on a continent that gave life for as long as life can remember. And by any interpretation of history, however twisted, we did not do right. We were not lawful nor were we just in what we did. For them, we do not have to restore these people, we do not have to live up to some agreements, because it is given to us by virtue of our power to attack the rights of others, to take their property, to take their lives when they are trying to defend their land and liberty, and to make their virtues a crime and our own vices virtues.

C edit

  • It should be recalled that the pretext upon which the Spanish invaded each of these provinces and proceeded to massacre the people and destroy their lands—lands which teemed with people and should surely have been a joy and a delight to any true Christian—was purely and simply that they were making good the claim of the Spanish Crown to the territories in question. At no stage had any order been issued entitling them to massacre the people or to enslave them. Yet, whenever the natives did not drop everything and rush to recognize publicly the truth of the irrational and illogical claims that were made, and whenever they did not immediately place themselves completely at the mercy of the iniquitous and cruel and bestial individuals who were making such claims, they were dubbed outlaws and held to be in rebellion against His Majesty. This, indeed was the tenor of the letters that were sent back to the Spanish court, and everybody involved in the administration of the New World was blind to the simple truth enshrined in the first principles of law and government that nobody who is not a subject of a civil power in the first place can be deemed in law to be in rebellion against that power.
  • What, fundamentally, is colonization? To agree on what it is not: neither evangelization, nor a philanthropic enterprise, nor a desire to push back the frontiers of ignorance, disease, and tyranny, nor a project undertaken for the greater glory of God, nor an attempt to extend the rule of law. To admit once for all, without flinching at the consequences, that the decisive actors here are the adventurer and the pirate, the wholesale grocer and the ship owner, the gold digger and the merchant.
  • First we must study how colonization works to decivilize the colonizer, to brutalize him in the true sense of the word, to degrade him, to awaken him to buried instincts, to covetousness, violence, race hatred, and moral relativism..a poison has been instilled into the veins of Europe and, slowly but surely, the continent proceeds toward savagery.
  • Whence this sneaking admiration we all have for bullies and prize-fighters? Whence the self-congratulation of “dominant” races, as if “dominant” meant “righteous” and carried with it a title to inherit the earth? Whence the scorn of so-called weak or unwarlike races and individuals, and the very comfortable assurance that it is their manifest destiny to be wiped out as vermin before this advancing civilization? As if the possession of the Christian graces of meekness, non-resistance and forgiveness, were incompatible with a civilization professedly based on Christianity, the religion of love!

D edit

  • The Europeans looked down on the Black world and condescended to touch nothing but its riches.

E edit

  • Our people are aware that their poverty produces wealth for others. The accumulated resentment against political colonialism is now reborn against economic colonialism. Colonial attitudes that should have disppeared still try to control international relations. The centers of world influence impose their conditions for exchange on the other countries. Moreover, they reduce the capacity of action of weak nations by opposing indispensable transformation of structures or by intervening in the political processes of these nations. The history of underdeveloped nations is a permanent struggle between the forces that seek social change and those that try to perpetuate injustice. The latter almost always have the support of powerful foreign groups that try to impose inadequate systems on countries whose true reality they ignore.
    • Luis Echeverría, June 15, 1972, as quoted in Historic Documents of 1972. Washington, DC: CQ Press.

F edit

  • The colonized protect themselves from colonial alienation by going one step better with religious alienation, with the ultimate end result of having accumulated two alienations, each of which reinforces the other.
  • The famous dictum which states that all men are equal will find its illustration in the colonies only when the colonized subject states he is equal to the colonist.
  • Colonialism is not a thinking machine, nor a body endowed with reasoning faculties. It is violence in its natural state, and it will only yield when confronted with greater violence.
  • When the native hears a speech about Western culture he pulls out his knife—or at least he makes sure it is within reach. The violence with which the supremacy of white values is affirmed and the aggressiveness which has permeated the victory of these values over the ways of life and of thought of the native mean that, in revenge, the native laughs in mockery when Western values are mentioned in front of him.

G edit

  • Millions of people moved closer to areas of more intensive colonial rule, sent their children to colonial schools and hospitals, went beyond the call of duty in positions in colonial governments, reported crimes to colonial police, migrated from non-colonized to colonized areas, fought for colonial armies, and participated in colonial political processes – all relatively voluntary acts. Indeed, the rapid spread and persistence of Western colonialism with very little force relative to the populations and areas concerned is prima facie evidence of its acceptance by subject populations compared to the feasible alternatives... In most colonial areas, subject peoples either faced grave security threats from rival groups or they saw the benefits of being governed by a modernized and liberal state.

J edit

  • When I was growing up I didn’t hear the word ‘colonisation’ very much but I was always aware, I think, of its cold and unrelenting hurt.
  • It was impossible to separate the place of Māori in the prison system from the impact of colonisation, and the disputes around the meaning of the Treaty of Waitangi.

L edit

  • Africans used the new opportunities created by colonial conquest and colonial rule to pursue their own agendas even as they served their employers.

M edit

  • The peoples of Asia found their opportunity in the war just past to throw off the shackles of colonialism and now see the dawn of new opportunity, a heretofore unfelt dignity, and the self-respect of political freedom. Mustering half the world's population and 60 percent of its natural resources, these people are rapidly consolidating a new force, both moral and material. This is the direction of Asian progress and it may not be stopped. It is a corollary to the shift of the world economic frontiers as the whole epicentre of world affairs rotates back towards the area whence it started.
  • The most modern pretense for colonial conquest is condensed in the slogan “raw materials.” Hitler and Mussolini tried to justify their plans by pointing out that the natural resources of the earth were not fairly distributed. As have-nots they were eager to get their fair share from those nations which had more than they should have had.
    • Ludwig von Mises, Omnipotent Government: The Rise of the Total State and the Total War, Mises Institute (2010) p. 100. First published in 1944 by Yale University Press.

R edit

  • There is a substantial difference between the dependence of the metropoles on the colonies and the subjugation of the colonies under a foreign capitalist yoke. The capitalist countries are technologically more advanced and are therefore the sector of the imperialist system which determined the direction of change. [...] A formerly colonized nation has no hope of developing until it breaks effectively with the vicious circle of dependence and exploitation which characterizes imperialism.
  • Colonialism was not merely a system of exploitation, but one whose essential purpose was to repatriate the profits to the so-called mother country. From an African viewpoint, that amounted to consistent expatriation of surplus produced by African labor out of African resources. It meant the development of Europe as part of the same dialectical process in which Africa was underdeveloped.
  • Colonialism was one aspect of imperialism. Colonialism was based on alien political rule and was restricted to some parts of the world. Imperialism, however, underlay all colonies, extended all over the world (except where replaced by socialist revolutions), and it allowed the participation of all capitalist nations. Therefore, lack of colonies on the part of any capitalist nation was not a barrier to enjoying the fruits of exploiting the colonial and semi-colonial world, which was the backyard of metropolitan capitalism.
  • The composition of Unilever should serve as a warning that colonialism was not simply a matter of ties between a given colony and its mother country, but between colonies on the one hand and metropoles on the other. The German capital in Unilever joined the British in exploiting Africa and the Dutch in exploiting the East Indies. The rewards spread through the capitalist system in such a way that even those capitalist nations who were not colonial powers were also beneficiaries of the spoils. Unilever factories established in Switzerland, New Zealand, Canada, and the U.S.A. were participants in the expropriation of Africa’s surplus and in using that surplus for their own development.
  • Colonialism strengthened the Western European ruling class and capitalism as a whole. Particularly in its later phases, it was evidently giving a new lease of life to a mode of production that was otherwise dying. From every viewpoint other than that of the minority class of capitalists, colonialism was a monstrous institution holding back the liberation of man.

S edit

  • In some places the metropolis makes do with paying a clique of feudal overlords; in others, it has fabricated a fake bourgeoisie of colonized subjects in a system of divide and rule; elsewhere, it has killed two birds with one stone: the colony is both settlement and exploitation.
  • In colonization, ideology interacts with economics; in administration, it interacts with opportunism and fear. In both the Nazi and the Soviet cases, periods of mass murder were also periods of enthusiastic, or at least uniform, administrative performance.

W edit

  • What happened between their forefathers and our forefathers is so far back — right, wrong or indifferent — that I don't see why we owe them anything.

X edit

  • I thank you for letting the people over in Europe know what the white man in this country is doing to black people and the hypocrisy he's practicing when he accuses them over there of not getting their house in order. Twenty million black people in this country have been just as thoroughly colonized by the American white man in a more shrewd modern way than all of the colonized people in Angola, South Africa, or any other part of this world. But the white man over here hides his own dirt by constantly pointing toward Britain and France and Portugal and all these other countries and accusing them of being colonial powers, when he mastered colonialism before these other counties ever knew what it was.

In fiction edit

 
If the Victorian vogue for adventure fiction in general seems to ride the rising tide of imperial expansion, particularly into Africa and the Pacific, the increasing popularity of journeys into outer space or under the ground in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries probably reflects the near exhaustion of the actual unexplored areas of the globe…. Having no place on Earth left for the radical exoticism of unexplored territory, the writers invent places elsewhere. ~ John Reider
  • John Rieder notes, for example, that the rising thirst for exploration of alien worlds in fiction starting in the nineteenth century, cannot be detached from growing awareness of an impending disappearance of a certain kind of exploration. He remarks: If the Victorian vogue for adventure fiction in general seems to ride the rising tide of imperial expansion, particularly into Africa and the Pacific, the increasing popularity of journeys into outer space or under the ground in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries probably reflects the near exhaustion of the actual unexplored areas of the globe…. Having no place on Earth left for the radical exoticism of unexplored territory, the writers invent places elsewhere.
  • Nonetheless, the crosscurrents flowing between representations of alien encounters and the politics of colonialism remain an enduring subject of interest for scholars as evidenced by the many articles examining the films, District 9 and Avatar, as allegories of colonial encounters. Indeed, Neill Blomkamp’s District 9 is arguably the work that first revealed the extent to which it was possible to bring together science fiction and the problematic of postcoloniality for those scholars of African literature and cinema who had not previously given any thought to science fiction as a viable genre for African writers or filmmakers. Since then, scholarly discussions of District 9 have proliferated, but not necessarily in tandem with references to the wider context for African science fiction.
  • In the six years since Walking the Clouds was published, the world of science fiction has been transformed. The genre, once firmly associated with “the increasing significance of the future to Western techno- cultural consciousness” (Wesleyan Anthology of Science Fiction, qtd in Dillon, 2), has been reclaimed by postcolonial and Indigenous thinkers, who are using the genre to imagine decolonial futures. The increasing global interest in Indigenous and Afro-futuristic narratives demonstrates that this genre, to draw on Dillon’s words, has “the capacity to envision Native futures, Indigenous hopes, and dreams recovered by rethinking the past in a new framework”. But, rather than a recent development, speculative fiction has always belonged to these cultures: as Dillon notes in her introduction, “Indigenous sf [science fiction] is not so new – just overlooked”.
    • "Walking the Clouds: An Anthology of Indigenous Science Fiction", edited by Grace L. Dillon. Reviewed by Rebecca Macklin; Decolonising Speculative Fiction. Eds. Isabelle Hesse and Edward Powell, 2018, p. 46.
  • The purpose of a postcard, of course, is to show someone who is not present in a place what that place is like, by sharing an image—a cityscape, or countryside, or wildlife. The postcard thus “straddles two spaces: the one it represents and the one it will reach,” Alloula writes. He argues that the very flatness of the staged colonial postcards, with their plain descriptions of a foreign place and its people, persuaded French viewers of the photographs’ authenticity. But they were not plain descriptions; they were designed to convince those living in France that Algeria and its topless, trapped women were better off being colonized. The colonial postcard engages in the “rhetoric of camouflage,” Alloula argues. It is a “mirror trick” that “presents itself as pure reflection.” The colonial postcard “rests, and operates, upon a false equivalency—namely, that illusion equals reality. It literally takes its desires for realities.”
  • While there has been relatively little serious analysis of colonial postcards, Malek Alloula’s influential book Le Harem colonial put forward a reading of such postcards from the early 1900s as perpetuating a harem fantasy through which French male colonists viewed North Africa. This article analyses a selection of postcards of women from France’s Indochinese colonies at the same period, and suggests that Alloula’s thesis does not fit them in a comparable way. The Indochinese postcards borrow frames of reference from pre-existing pictorial styles, taken sometimes from the harem but also from chinoiserie and contemporary European photographic portraiture; rather than portraying a single vision of the ‘Other’ they oscillate between showing the Indochinese woman as ‘same’ and ‘different’. And these images appear to have been addressed primarily to a female collector, suggesting an intended reading rather removed from Alloula’s vision of colonial postcards as pornography.

See also edit

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