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The Moral Case for the British Empire
Prager University ^ | Aug 19, 2012 | HW Crocker III

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.


TOPICS: Education; History; Reference
KEYWORDS: academicbias; antiwesternism; britishempire; multiculturalism; politicalcorrectness; prageruniversity; revisionisthistory; thereisnoenglandnow; westerncivilization
Direct link to the YouTube video
1 posted on 08/20/2012 9:54:04 AM PDT by Bratch
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To: Bratch

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.


2 posted on 08/20/2012 9:58:20 AM PDT by Da Coyote
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To: Bratch

I dunno. Free market economies and representative government are all fine things but the Brits have cricket to atone for.


3 posted on 08/20/2012 10:00:47 AM PDT by Billthedrill
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To: Billthedrill
but the Brits have cricket to atone for.

And warm beer. Don't forget their guilt over warm beer!

4 posted on 08/20/2012 10:03:48 AM PDT by 17th Miss Regt
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To: Bratch

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.


5 posted on 08/20/2012 10:04:53 AM PDT by microgood
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To: 17th Miss Regt

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.


6 posted on 08/20/2012 10:07:23 AM PDT by Robwin
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To: microgood

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.


7 posted on 08/20/2012 10:16:13 AM PDT by Forward the Light Brigade (Into the Jaws of H*ll)
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To: microgood
Peace and freedom don't just drop out of the sky.

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.

8 posted on 08/20/2012 10:25:46 AM PDT by AnAmericanMother (Ministrix of ye Chasse, TTGS Ladies' Auxiliary (recess appointment))
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To: microgood

‘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.


9 posted on 08/20/2012 10:26:10 AM PDT by agere_contra (Vote ABO. Don't choose the Greater Evil and then boast about how principled you are)
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To: Forward the Light Brigade
Imperialism is a historical force of civilization—like it or not.

I understand this. I just wanted to point out that the current situation with many of these countries that have benefited from British rule was accidental on Britian's part. They would still have all these colonies under their thumb if they could.

Clearly there were more brutal imperialists even during their era (France in Haiti comes to mind), but they were imperialists nonetheless and committed all sorts of atrocities along the way (Famines in India, Mau Mau revolt in Kenya in the 1950s, Tasmanian genocide, Opium wars, etc).

History can be written in more ways than one, and brushing over the bad parts of British colonialism is one of them.
10 posted on 08/20/2012 10:53:41 AM PDT by microgood
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To: AnAmericanMother
Peace and freedom don't just drop out of the sky.

True, the British may have brought peace but they did not bring freedom.

And you can't compare the British Empire to some idealized concept of political perfection in your head.

I do not. I am just pointing out that the British intent was not to spread freedom and peace to the world. The intent was to exploit their colonies for riches and resources for the British Empire. The fact that others eventually benefited from that is great, but there are two sides to their Empire that should be acknowledged.

Though a more extreme case, there are those in Russia trying to whitewash Stalin now. So I think we need to be loyal to the complete story when discussing these historical events.
11 posted on 08/20/2012 11:02:43 AM PDT by microgood
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To: Da Coyote

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.


12 posted on 08/20/2012 11:28:32 AM PDT by a fool in paradise (Only Obama put a dog on the roof of his mouth. Dogs are friends, not food.)
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To: microgood
This is the same argument between capitalism and socialism.

"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.

13 posted on 08/20/2012 12:29:09 PM PDT by AnAmericanMother (Ministrix of ye Chasse, TTGS Ladies' Auxiliary (recess appointment))
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To: Bratch
Regardless of the truth of this thesis, if any of the presidential or vice-presidential candidates said anything remotely equivalent they would be toast.

"Free speech" may still exist in the U.S. de jure, but certainly no longer de facto.

14 posted on 08/20/2012 12:57:41 PM PDT by who_would_fardels_bear
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To: AnAmericanMother
This is the same argument between capitalism and socialism.

Not really. A better analogy would be to state that blacks in America today have benefited from the slavery of their ancestors. That does not make slavery right, but if it had not happened there would be very few blacks in America and they would conceivably have been born in Africa instead of America.

Throughout history, anything related to humans have had good and bad sides to it, as did British imperialism.

If the East India Company hadn't been able to make a profit, it would have gone home.

The East India Company not only traded with India, it ruled India. They never planned on going home, and made their profits by taxing the native population. They were at war in various regions of the country the whole time they were in charge. After a rebellion in the 1850s, the British government took over the country, but the East India company ruled parts of India with their private army for 100 years.
15 posted on 08/20/2012 1:18:53 PM PDT by microgood
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To: microgood

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.


16 posted on 08/20/2012 3:19:53 PM PDT by AnAmericanMother (Ministrix of ye Chasse, TTGS Ladies' Auxiliary (recess appointment))
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To: microgood
The East India Company not only traded with India, it ruled India.

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.

17 posted on 08/20/2012 4:55:56 PM PDT by what's up
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To: microgood
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.

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.

18 posted on 08/20/2012 5:01:38 PM PDT by PapaBear3625 (A deep-fried storm is coming, Mr Obama.)
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To: microgood
The East India Company not only traded with India, it ruled India. They never planned on going home, and made their profits by taxing the native population. They were at war in various regions of the country the whole time they were in charge. After a rebellion in the 1850s, the British government took over the country, but the East India company ruled parts of India with their private army for 100 years.

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.

19 posted on 08/20/2012 5:10:00 PM PDT by PapaBear3625 (A deep-fried storm is coming, Mr Obama.)
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To: PapaBear3625

I just saw an article here today about how Cuba was bleeding dry their colony of Venezuela.


20 posted on 08/20/2012 5:10:00 PM PDT by dfwgator
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To: PapaBear3625
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.

I think that many Irish would disagree with that assessment.

21 posted on 08/20/2012 5:24:24 PM PDT by MD Expat in PA
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To: MD Expat in PA

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).


22 posted on 08/20/2012 6:25:29 PM PDT by AnAmericanMother (Ministrix of ye Chasse, TTGS Ladies' Auxiliary (recess appointment))
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To: 17th Miss Regt
And warm beer. Don't forget their guilt over warm beer!

A vile calumny. English beer is served at room temperture, nowhere near warm.

23 posted on 08/20/2012 7:50:15 PM PDT by Oztrich Boy (Monarchy is the one system of government where power is exercised for the good of all - Aristotle)
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To: AnAmericanMother
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).

Alright, but besides the legal and political system and religious/moral code, and the industries what have the Brits ever done for us?

24 posted on 08/20/2012 7:53:58 PM PDT by dfwgator
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To: dfwgator
LOL.

You from the Popular Front of Judea?

25 posted on 08/21/2012 4:22:03 AM PDT by AnAmericanMother (Ministrix of ye Chasse, TTGS Ladies' Auxiliary (recess appointment))
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