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Imperialism vs modern times - badlands - June 1st, 2019

Is it worse now or when the world was under imperialism? A lot of countries that were under European control have killed each other and more poverty than when they were under imperialism?

RE: Imperialism vs modern times - Bacchus - June 2nd, 2019

Boy, is that a loaded question!

The Imperial age is rightly viewed with disdain for the unapologetic exploitation of indigenous peoples around the world. That said, it did in many cases tend to raise the standard of living, and the post colonial period hasn’t been very kind to many of the erstwhile colonies of the European powers. Like most things, the question isn’t very amenable to a simple good vs evil answer.

RE: Imperialism vs modern times - Michael - June 3rd, 2019

European imperialism led to the deaths of tens of millions of people in Asia, Africa, the Americas, and Australia. I don't think that time was in any way better for those native peoples than what they have today. Yes, there are a lot of wars and poverty in those nations but they were not exactly peaceful paradises before European incursions.

At least modern society has international aid organizations that can make an effort to help improve the lives of poor people in many nations despite their rotten governments. You have a few countries, like Somalia and Venezuela (among others), where international aid is threatened and limited, or prevented from helping people. But for the most part I think many former European colonies are doing better and benefiting from international trade and communication.

RE: Imperialism vs modern times - august - June 3rd, 2019

I think Monty Python covered this nearly 40 years ago:

RE: Imperialism vs modern times - Bacchus - June 13th, 2019

(June 3rd, 2019, 12:31 AM)Michael Wrote: European imperialism led to the deaths of tens of millions of people in Asia, Africa, the Americas, and Australia.

That number seemed wildly high to me, so I did a little spot research. I see two possible calamities that might possibly justify the number-WWII and the spread of disease in North America to which the indigenous population had little or no natural defense. I don’t think either calamity can be solely blamed on European imperialism.

The truly appalling casualties in WWII came in the barbaric battles between Germany and Russia, but both combatants were de facto European powers, notwithstanding the fact that most Russian territory was in Asia. This battle doesn’t really fit the exploitation of an indigenous people imperialism model, but was rather a great powers struggle. Japan’s expansionist activity in China gets (dis)honorable mention here, but is clearly not European imperialism.

The hypothesized depopulation of North America due to disease brought by colonists might fairly be attributed to European imperialism, but I think that oversimplifies the matter. Even if the European powers had had no interest in colonization, I think they absolutely would have tried to trade with NA, which almost certainly would have introduced the same invasive diseases into the ecosystem.