And About Western Colonialism?

I’ve heard/read something similar to this before and never retained the info, but now I have a document to which to link/download. There’s a controversy, of course, because the document examines the case for (as in, in favor of) Western colonialism.

The case for colonialism

Bruce Gilley (Professor of Political Science, Portland St U)


For the last 100 years, Western colonialism has had a bad name. It is high time to question this orthodoxy. Western colonialism was, as a general rule, both objectively beneficial and subjectively legitimate in most of the places where it was found, using realistic measures of those concepts. The countries that embraced their colonial inheritance, by and large, did better than those that spurned it. Anti-colonial ideology imposed grave harms on subject peoples and continues to thwart sustained development and a fruitful encounter with modernity in many places. Colonialism can be recovered by weak and fragile states today in three ways: by reclaiming colonial modes of governance; by recolonising some areas; and by creating new Western colonies from scratch.

Sarah Hoyt linked to this on Instapundit via a different article on PJ Media that discusses the controversy. The latter post states an interesting point:

The one thing that is not mentioned as grounds for retraction by those who want the article retracted is the one thing that would truly warrant it being retracted. They never argue it is wrong.


In the comments to Sarah’s post is a link to another interesting article in which I learned a new word, “clerisy”. That’s a good word.

Update (20170922): A Twitter update essentially running through the same info; one of the comments has a link to another one of those bits of info I’ve seen before:

In the end, the colonial project turned out to be far more successful than its initiators could ever have hoped – the only difference being that, as he wasn’t well seen to be a colonialist any more, the pilot parachuted out of the plane. Another one took over – he’s the one at the controls now – and he’s a crappy pilot doing his thing without a real flight plan. He pretends that he knows his way around the cockpit, but it’s just an ego trip.

And indeed, as a couple of other commenters note: What have the Romans ever done for us?

Update (20170922): Aaand, withdrawn.

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