Skip to comments.The Moral Case for the British Empire
Posted on 08/20/2012 9:53:51 AM PDT by Bratch
Is there a moral case to be made for the British Empire?
To even ask the question at your typical university would be to invite derision. That's a shame because the British Empire's legacy is one Western Civilization should be proud of. We'd be living in a much less free and prosperous world without it.
Historian HW Crocker III explains why in this eye-opening Prager University course.
At first glance, it would appear that the vast majority of the ex-colonies have been very successful. Great Britain was indeed “great.”
As for the social, economic, and political disasters pushed by your local university lib groups... let us remember that they have never come up with anything that actually works.
One should treat the typical lib prof in the same manner as we tech types treat someone who believes in perpetual energy, global warming, or electric cars.
I dunno. Free market economies and representative government are all fine things but the Brits have cricket to atone for.
And warm beer. Don't forget their guilt over warm beer!
Whatever good came from British colonization was certainly not a result of British good will. They just ended up losing their colonies and left some structures that were useful to those who they had exploited to the max.
Good video and quite accurate. However, the Fabian triumph of the early 20th century changed all that. Since then the Brits have been in decline, 2 world wars didn’t help, of course, and their former colonies are almost all socialist basket cases.
Imperialism is a historical force of civilization—like it or not. It has been that way from the dawn of history—starting with Sargon I to Egypt, China, Greece, Rome (one of the more successful empires) to others—England was one of the best. Yes, they exploit people but they do provide a peace, a system of trade and prosperity. Remember the Pax Britanica? Sargon and his family gave peace to the Middle East for 150 years (no small feat). Empires have spread ideas and beliefs—Do you think the Christian Church and message might have existed without a Roman Empire? We are in a time when the world is breaking into a patchwork of small states—most of them corrupt failures. Day will come when these will be gobbled up into new empires—We can only hope they will be led by the West rather than China or Japan. Want to read some sad history? See how China treated the lands they seized—like Tibet? Or how the Japanese treated the Koreans? Or the Turks treated the people they ruled? Imperialism will come again—Maybe this time Germany will rule (Third time is a charm they say) or a Greater Russia under Czar Putin.
Sure the Brits got some benefits for colonization, but in return they gave the fruits of a system that was 1500 years in the building (if you go back to the Anglo-Saxon moots that were the foundation of the British system). British colonies got the English legal and political system (which is pretty darned good, and forms the basis for ours - with variations) and the English religious/moral code (which isn't bad either).
Back when I spent a good deal of time in the Caribbean, the rule of thumb was that you could count on decent water, good roads, reasonably honest law enforcement, and an Anglican church wherever the Brits had been in charge.
And you can't compare the British Empire to some idealized concept of political perfection in your head. Compare it instead to its contemporaries: the brutal empires of Belgium and Germany, and the less brutal but wasteful & ineffective one of France (I once spent an hour trying to deal with a couple of Parisian customs officials who had been imported to St. Barthelemy. Even the locals hated their guts.)
What's really sad is that Britain seems to have given it all up with hardly a whimper.
‘Structures’ like the common law, parliamentary democracy and equality under the law.
The colonies that have adhered to these ‘structures’ are much better off than the ones who have torn them down.
Rhodesia has crumbled: South Africa is crumbling - precisely because they chose to tear down those structures.
But Canada and Australia are commodity powerhouses, India is a major industrial power and Jamaica is winning all the sprint medals - because they kept those structures.
The third world socialist and Islamist dictators that filled the void when the “imperialists” left were hardly better or more liberating.
The academics are fine with Islamic imperialism and Communist imperialism. They only have the daggers out for Western colonialism.
Foreign aid with no say or benefit (hired labor) in how that money is spent is foolishness.
"Oh!" say those who say they simply want to "see two sides" - "Capitalism is EVIL because it is motivated by GREED. Those nasty entrepreneurs don't go into new markets to spread the wealth to the deserving consumers! Oh, no, they go into new markets because they want to exploit them for their own benefit! Oh, the horror!"
Guess what -- if there's nothing in it for the people who are going to invest their time, their money, their lives in opening new markets, then they aren't going to bother. If the East India Company hadn't been able to make a profit, it would have gone home. And then you would still have a bunch of warring little states on the subcontinent run by despots in many cases far from benevolent, all hampered by a sclerotic system that kept a majority of the population in squalor and burned women to death.
The alternative . . . whether it's rapacious tribal conflicts or the dismal gray command economy of socialism . . . is much worse.
"Free speech" may still exist in the U.S. de jure, but certainly no longer de facto.
Why do you think the Marxists have been calling working people “Wage Slaves” for 150 years? It’s a false analogy, but they want to make it stick.
Which it took over from the Muslims. India was going to be subjugated to someone at that point. It was far better that they were ruled by Britain than the Moghuls or France.
Britain brought many benefits to India and helped to make her the competetive giant she is today. And just as the US has fiscal/altruistic motives mixed as we help open emerging markets across the globe, so was it with Britain.
You want to see "exploited to the max"? Check out the former "colonies" of the former USSR, like East Germany. In NO Brit colony did they ever have to erect a wall to keep people IN.
The Brits were pretty humane in how they conducted their colonies. You might say, they behaved in a Christian manner, turning a profit while keeping in mind the well-being of the people they ruled.
So? In order to have a profit, it's necessary that production be possible. You need healthy workers who are not in continual fear of being robbed or killed. You need good roads to get goods to market. You need reasonably competent and honest local government. All these things benefit the common people.
You know who hated the Brits the most? The local elites who wanted to rule over the people in place of the Brits, and exploit them far more than the Brits ever would.
I just saw an article here today about how Cuba was bleeding dry their colony of Venezuela.
I think that many Irish would disagree with that assessment.
Ireland wasn’t a colony in the usual sense. The problems there were of long standing and unrelated to the British colonial era. It’s been a complicated mess since the days of Strongbow, and I say that as an American of Irish descent (and a Catholic).
A vile calumny. English beer is served at room temperture, nowhere near warm.
Alright, but besides the legal and political system and religious/moral code, and the industries what have the Brits ever done for us?
You from the Popular Front of Judea?