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Author Topic: Imperialism  (Read 9244 times)
Senior Member
Posts: 634

Ayanna's Roots

« on: December 30, 2003, 02:06:01 PM »

Jurgen Osterhammel, in his work on Colonialism has indicated that the concept of formal empire suggests a condition of forced rule by one nation over another, where indigenous political systems are replaced by those of the conqueror, pre colonial policies cease to exist or function with any real effectiveness and all diplomatic relations of the colonized are taken over by the foreign power.  The notion of Imperialism implies a feeling of superiority, of the inherent right of a powerful nation to expand its territory beyond its boundaries, to take land and resources which the ‘Imperator’ believes are rightfully his as ordained by God and Fate, and to bear the burden of ‘civilized’ men, to spread their notion of civilization to unsuspecting, ‘barbaric’ nations. Osterhammel however adds an interesting twist to this well-established idea: “Imperialism presupposes the will and the ability of an imperial center to define as imperial its own national interests and enforce them worldwide… Imperialism thus implies not only colonial politics, but international politics for which colonies are not just ends in themselves, but also pawns in global power games…(It) allows for a worldwide protection of interests and for capitalist penetration of large economic areas.”


Colonialism: A Theoretical Overview
by Jurgen Osterhammel

Senior Member
Posts: 610


« Reply #1 on: December 30, 2003, 07:15:37 PM »

"The notion of Imperialism implies a feeling of superiority..." I was brought up short lately by the realization that I myself have shared characteristics with the very systems that I have for so long criticized and condemned. I have abused my own self like the New World Order architects are abusing the earth.  I too have held a self-referential view of everything, behaving as if the universe revolved on the axis of little me and my little concerns. I too have tried to define my own interests as paramount and enforce them on others. I too have assumed that certain privileges rightly fall to me as one most obviously worthy and qualified.
What a relief when those constructs finally begin to fall and I can see how badly I have abused myself above all else in living with these illusions born of my insecurities. For surely, all feelings of superiority stem from gnawing feelings of inferiority!
I don't mean to paint myself as particularly troubled or neurotic, for most humans suffer this way. And the proof of that is that the world as it is.
We actually attempt to colonize our own selves, and the rest of the trouble follows from there.

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