Colonialism: Myths, Realities

My only claim to fame in regards to colonial scholarship rests on a paper I wrote for an Honors course in Western Civilization as an undergraduate.  The paper won a spot at an Honors consortium held at Stanford, so I was able to do even more research on the subject.  The following post is a summation of my research in blog form.


The first task I have is to explain what colonialism is not.  Colonialism is not a European invention or concept designed specifically to keep non-white people down.  The myth of the evil white colonialist is one of the most pernicious myths espoused today, and for a couple of big reasons.  The first reason is that colonialism has been around for a long time.  Today, the Han practice colonialism through the fascist Chinese state.  In the 19th century, the Ashanti practiced colonialism throughout their slave-trading empire.  The Ottoman Turks practiced colonialism until Istanbul was forced to dissolve in 1923; and with it a 600 year period of colonialism.  The theocratic Javanese state of Mataram practiced colonialism until its demise in the 17th century.  The Incan state was also well-versed in colonial practices.


It is important to remind readers of colonialism's history because of a lack of criticality on society's part.  This lack of critical thinking skills stems from the condescending view of non-Western societies that the modern Western citizen has adopted.  As co-blogger Jacques Delacroix so eloquently states:

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