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Was "independence" such a good idea? Options
TheParser
Posted: Friday, January 11, 2013 6:38:59 AM
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Starting in the 1960's, many countries (no names, of course) started to get their independence.

Since then, many of those countries have experienced the most unspeakable acts of violence, corruption, and poverty.

Some people say that if the European powers had continued to rule, then those countries would today be prosperous societies.

And millions of people would never have died in brutal civil conflicts.

I do not have an opinion. I would like to know your opinion.


Thank you
Thommy
Posted: Friday, January 11, 2013 7:22:35 AM
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Hi TheParser,

Since I'm a German I find your subject very interesting.
As you know,Germany was one of the European powers in
Africa,at least until the end of WW I.Like Germany,all
other European powers brought on the one hand law and order,
up to a certain stage,to their colonies but on the other
hand a lot of violence,misery and exploitation to those people.
Would have died less people under an ongoing colonial rule
as it happend afterwards?Would there be more wealth?
Nobody can say it for certain.
One should ask the people themselves for their opinion.
I would be very interested in their answers.
At least,I have heard that some black people in Namibia
(former "Deutsch Südwest Afrika") and other former German colonies
do have the opinion that it would be better the Germans still were there.
zielonosiwy
Posted: Friday, January 11, 2013 8:38:30 AM
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who has read Heart of Darkness?
Thommy
Posted: Friday, January 11, 2013 9:14:10 AM
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Zielonosiwy wrote:
who has read Heart of Darkness?


I didn't.

Tell us about.
IMcRout
Posted: Friday, January 11, 2013 9:24:45 AM
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RedStar
Posted: Friday, January 11, 2013 9:36:42 AM
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Location: United States
TheParser wrote:
Starting in the 1960's, many countries (no names, of course) started to get their independence.

Since then, many of those countries have experienced the most unspeakable acts of violence, corruption, and poverty.

Some people say that if the European powers had continued to rule, then those countries would today be prosperous societies.

And millions of people would never have died in brutal civil conflicts.

I do not have an opinion. I would like to know your opinion.


Thank you



Without question independence is overrated. Nations with a single ruler are far better off. The United States needs a definitive ruler who can enact laws and make decisions without the intrusion of a legislature. Personal rights and independence has often gotten in the way of progress for the masses. We need to bypass the people. The government knows more about what's best for them than they do. I can only hope that we are now moving in that direction.
pedro
Posted: Friday, January 11, 2013 11:08:06 AM
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The horror! The horror!
Ravindra
Posted: Friday, January 11, 2013 11:23:27 AM
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I am sixty four. My parents, relatives and known people of my parents age, used to occasionally tell us that things were better off during British period. Thereafter, particularly of late, things are turning bad to worse and worse to worst. And there seems to be an urgent and dire need to find further degrees of comparison. Though I know nothing about that period, I am definitely witnessing the degradation in many spheres. Some time back a justice of our Apex Court observed that 'Even God can not save this country'. Literally true!

The three great problems of this century; the degradation of man in the proletariat, the subjection of women through hunger, the atrophy of the child by darkness.
Victor Hugo


The three greatest problems of this country are population; corruption; and erosion of values in every sphere.



deepakmrl
Posted: Friday, January 11, 2013 1:27:10 PM
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@ Ravindra your parents and relatives must have been blood sucking parasites.And as regards things getting from bad to worse,that will always be so no matter how good things are.
early_apex
Posted: Friday, January 11, 2013 2:12:20 PM
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RedStar wrote:



Without question independence is overrated. Nations with a single ruler are far better off. The United States needs a definitive ruler who can enact laws and make decisions without the intrusion of a legislature. Personal rights and independence has often gotten in the way of progress for the masses. We need to bypass the people. The government knows more about what's best for them than they do. I can only hope that we are now moving in that direction.


Your faith in government is awe-inspiring!
RedStar
Posted: Friday, January 11, 2013 3:07:10 PM
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early_apex wrote:


Your faith in government is awe-inspiring!


The one big difference between me and a lot of others on this board is that I’m not embarassed to stand up for what I am. I am a communist and proud of it. The majority here want serious gun control, but the majority in the U.S. do not. What could be easier than one leader simply saying “no more guns”. I hope that our president will do that soon.

Many here want a greener planet. What could be easier than for the president to decree that there will be no more gasoline powered vehicles. But the people would be hesitant to do that. Many here want to see us all staying healthier. What would be easier than the president decreeing that red meat will no longer be sold in the United States? But the majority of the people insist on eating what they want, not what’s best for them.

You see - one ruler with total control can make those decisions, while you here simply lament that we can’t do it because of those mean old republicans. To H@@l with the republicans. We have a man in charge who can decree that these things should be done. It’s time for someone to be in control - and not just for eight years.

So when you look at the causes that many of you champion, there’s not that much difference between me and a lot of you. A lot of you talk a big game, but don’t want to be branded. it's time to get past that and give the government the power to do the things that need to be done, regardless of what the majority think.
Tovarish
Posted: Friday, January 11, 2013 6:26:14 PM
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Deepakmrl, you are new to the Forum, and welcome,

BUT mind your mouth, good manners are expected at all times.

TheParser, I have also contemplated the same mental exercise, what if?

With some of the countries that are constantly on the news, could it have been any worse?

In 1901 Australia achieved Federation, and I think we are a success story, however we keep very close ties with the UK.

We are not a Republic.

excaelis
Posted: Friday, January 11, 2013 7:38:43 PM

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RedStar wrote:
TheParser wrote:
Starting in the 1960's, many countries (no names, of course) started to get their independence.

Since then, many of those countries have experienced the most unspeakable acts of violence, corruption, and poverty.

Some people say that if the European powers had continued to rule, then those countries would today be prosperous societies.

And millions of people would never have died in brutal civil conflicts.

I do not have an opinion. I would like to know your opinion.


Thank you



Without question independence is overrated. Nations with a single ruler are far better off. The United States needs a definitive ruler who can enact laws and make decisions without the intrusion of a legislature. Personal rights and independence has often gotten in the way of progress for the masses. We need to bypass the people. The government knows more about what's best for them than they do. I can only hope that we are now moving in that direction.



Yeah, Germany and Russia and Thailand tried that and I'm not sure ( you'd have to look up the numbers ) that it worked out so well.

The problem is that populations who have been politically infantilised for centuries, in some cases, by colonial rule are suddenly thrown into situations that they just can't cope with. If the majority of an electorate can't read they're unlikely to be able to manage the critical thought that is essential to western-style democracy. Independence requires decades of education to work, and departing autocracies are ( to say the least ) unwilling to engage in such an expensive and time-consuming process.
Blooper
Posted: Friday, January 11, 2013 8:27:47 PM
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When I was younger I had a thought that We (Indonesia) would be a better country had we were colonised/imperialised by British. Simply because the facts that Malaysia, Singapore, Brunei Darussalam are better countries that We are (May I add Australia, NZ, Hong Kong, or Canada?). We were colonised by the Dutch for almost 350 years. British took us over in 1811 but gave us back to the Dutch in 1816. I don't know why, maybe because the Dutch helped British against the French.
Tovarish
Posted: Friday, January 11, 2013 9:10:38 PM
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Blooper, that we still have the ties of a strong Commonwealth is an assurity to our countries.
Ravindra
Posted: Friday, January 11, 2013 11:55:35 PM
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Thank you Tovarish. If someone can not, rather does not, be on the same wave-length of mine, I never take them amiss. Each one has a right to be of himself/herself. I equally respect others' views, as I do of mine. But, as you stated, one can not afford to be impolite on a forum, particularly one like this. Since Deepakmrl is a new born here, s/he would soon learn.

“Speak politely to an enraged dragon.”
― J.R.R. Tolkien

Tovarish
Posted: Saturday, January 12, 2013 12:47:46 AM
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You are very welcome Rav.

We all have different political and cultural backgrounds, and hopefully we can learn from each other.
deepakmrl
Posted: Saturday, January 12, 2013 1:03:06 AM
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@ Ravindra
I understand that I said something I shouldn't have said and I am sorry about that.It was just that I couldn't stand the suggestion of colonial rule being better than self rule .I agree that I could have put forth my views in a better manner.
Personally I feel that there has never been a better time to live.The optimism can be attributed to my young age in the same way as pessimism can be attributed to older age.It is only natural to be discontented with the way things are.Feeling good about colonial rule or autocracy would be like saying the grass is greener everywhere else.

@Tovarish Thanks for the welcome
Tovarish
Posted: Saturday, January 12, 2013 3:21:42 AM
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We all need to study accurate descriptions of our country's history to know how life really was, and then decide for ourselves.

Winston Churchill was reported to have said, "History will be kind to me, for I shall write it'.

Many reports and stories are politically distorted, factual accounts are hard to find.

Having said all that, I see on tonights news that France has sent troops to Mali (I dont remember its Colonial name)to support the government from insurgents.

leonAzul
Posted: Saturday, January 12, 2013 3:38:38 AM

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IMcRout wrote:


To which, I would concur. That is an excellent response.

Much of the current turmoil can be directly attributed to colonial policies.
Ray41
Posted: Saturday, January 12, 2013 7:05:29 AM

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I have several friends from what was Rhodesia, many who where involved in the 'bush wars'. I also have friends who left Kenya in the early to mid 1960's because of the violence that was a precursor to its so called independence (which also placed it under a dictatorial regime for a long time).
In Kenya, the Mau Mau butchered black and white indiscriminately while they terrorised the country.
Before white settlement the Kikuyu was the majority tribe in Kenya and when the white farmers created employment, many people from other tribes entered Kenya virtually tripling its population, and it was inter tribal factions that created the subsequent conflicts.
It does appear though, that Kenya, ultimately, was probably the most successful transition from white government to black.

Errors and omissions I will accept as my memory just ain't what it used to be on all the actual facts/history.

Ian Smith tried to make Rhodesia independent and keep the existing system of government in place.
He was denied this by British bloody mindedness/embargoes, and Russia sending in arms/weapons and Cuban troops, to fight with the aid of dis-satisfied black Rhodesians.
The embargoes placed on the Ian Smith Government is what allowed, what we would possibly call terrorists today, to take over.
Mugabe has been bleeding dry what was the 'food bowl' of Africa and persecuting the lesser tribes ever since.
Contrary to belief, the majority of black Rhodesians wanted the Smith Government, and many gave their lives fighting alongside native born white Rhodesians to achieve that end.
If Smith was so disliked he would not have spent the rest of his life in Rhodesia living in a normal cottage and without any security. He was a most respected leader.
If you study the history of the African Tribes then you would realise that long before any colonization they were quite capable of ruling and making laws, albeit that they would not be acceptable to a more civilised society.
Shaka, Zulu leader is a typical example of just how they 'governed'. There are many more examples of despotic rulers. Rulers(chiefs) who actually supplied the Arab slavers with captives from other tribes, the Arabs then marched these 'slaves' to the infamous barracoons from where white slavers shipped them to other countries.
The author of the book "Roots" on searching, and researching his ancestry wrote something like;"I am glad that my ancestors were transported from Africa as I could never have obtained my present status/freedom if I had been born there".(correction accepted here).

PS: It would be interesting to see just how people view Idi Amin and 'his' rule in Uganda?
jacobusmaximus
Posted: Saturday, January 12, 2013 4:01:13 PM

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This has turned out to be a touchy subject. People have surprisingly long memories and feelings evidently run high. I wonder how some of our contributers feel about Scotland's possible exit from the United Kingdom. I'm not concerned with how Scotland might be affected - it might be better or worse off in the long term - but what the political and economic effect will be on England. I really would value some serious comments on this matter.
Tovarish
Posted: Saturday, January 12, 2013 5:53:09 PM
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It is truely very interesting when we have lived through so much of Modern History, great report Ray.

Mugabe is like so many despots, living in luxuary and not having good drinking water for his people.

When my husband returned from Vietnam in 1968, a few in his batallion were asked to go to Rhodesia as a mersinaries.

He wanted to get back to 'normal' God love him!

Jyrkkä Jätkä
Posted: Saturday, January 12, 2013 6:26:10 PM

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Finland was a Swedish territory for six hundred years, then an autonomous Russian Grand Duchy for a hundred years. We never became Swedes, nor Russians. Independent since 1917.

LostinSC
Posted: Saturday, January 12, 2013 7:56:48 PM
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JJ: "We never became Swedes, nor Russians. Independent since 1917."

I'm on your side.. Seven hundred years to Independency is waaay to long.

We were colonized (successfully) in 1620's (17th century) and fought for independance in 1776 (18th century).

Us Yanks have always been an impatient bunch. We've had problems as a Nation, but we led the Industrial Revolution of the 19th century, (I expect many unfavorable comments to this viewpoint) landed on the Moon and created the Internet in the 20th century.

Now, we are wasting blood and treasure, at an unrecoverable pace, policeing (not colonizing) world dictatorship.

Charles II couldn't care less (bless his lecherous heart) and George III can't remember why he went to war.

Independence ain't all that bad.

Losty


Ray41
Posted: Saturday, January 12, 2013 9:29:05 PM

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jacobusmaximus wrote:
This has turned out to be a touchy subject. People have surprisingly long memories and feelings evidently run high. I wonder how some of our contributers feel about Scotland's possible exit from the United Kingdom. I'm not concerned with how Scotland might be affected - it might be better or worse off in the long term - but what the political and economic effect will be on England. I really would value some serious comments on this matter.


In all seriousness Jacob, I think that it will be of great detriment to both Scotland and England.
The UK is a bit like a chocolate/malt/vanilla milkshake.
We can have all the ingredients, pure while in separate containers, but once mixed it is impossible to get back to the original purity with out creating, or going through some massive and destuctive changes.
How do you divide the Armed Forces to begin with, who protects what and where?
How will the many Scots living in England, or English living in Scotland, be treated with pensions,health care,etc.?
What does Scotland hope to achieve by removing itself from the UK?
Is autonomy so important in this day and age where the world teeters on the brink of financial meltdown?
Is it do do with the North Sea gas fields and the financial income?
What happens to major UK assets like the massive naval base in Scotland. Will England pay rent? Split the complex???? Divide up the ships and crews?
I can only see negatives in what is more an emotional driven reason from the Scottish politicians which will only lead to weakened Scotland.
Pride always comes before the fall!Think
United we stand, divided we fall has never before been more appropriate to the UK than it is today.
Inexplicably entwined, financially, commercially and socially.
Tovarish
Posted: Saturday, January 12, 2013 9:44:28 PM
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Our history prior to white settlement is a bit murky, the Dutch, Portugese,south East Asian and of course the French all called in here and made maps.

None officially 'settled' until the British, one week ahead of La Peruse, or we would be speaking French.

The Aboriginal people regard 'settlement' as an invasion of their country, dating back 40,000 years.
Tovarish
Posted: Saturday, January 12, 2013 10:02:27 PM
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For how long do we continue to blame the settlers/colonialists/imperialist for our woes?

To me it is similar to an adult still blaming his/her parents for their behaviour, only on a larger scale..

Every thing looks easy until you have to do it yourself
Tovarish
Posted: Sunday, January 13, 2013 12:20:04 AM
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I cant remember what Idi died from, was it syphilis or lead poisioning?, dreadful man.
Ray41
Posted: Sunday, January 13, 2013 5:28:02 AM

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TheParser wrote:
Starting in the 1960's, many countries (no names, of course) started to get their independence.

Since then, many of those countries have experienced the most unspeakable acts of violence, corruption, and poverty.

Some people say that if the European powers had continued to rule, then those countries would today be prosperous societies.

And millions of people would never have died in brutal civil conflicts.

I do not have an opinion. I would like to know your opinion.


Thank you



Just a thought.Shhh
Have you ever considered that the USA, Canada, Australia, New Zealand (to name but four countries) are, in theory at least, still colonies.
Independence, in the sense that you are using it, has never been handed over to the Indigenous/original inhabitants as they have not been given control, or freedom to govern?
leonAzul
Posted: Tuesday, January 15, 2013 6:04:19 AM

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Tovarish wrote:
For how long do we continue to blame the settlers/colonialists/imperialist for our woes?

To me it is similar to an adult still blaming his/her parents for their behaviour, only on a larger scale..

Every thing looks easy until you have to do it yourself


There is some truth to this. Merely blaming past actors for current events is not very productive.

Yet it must be acknowledged that many of the current conflicts have arisen due to systematically disrupting the pre-existing sense of territories in order to divide and conquer. The residents are then left with a mess that was designed to depend on European influence for order. Ignoring the systematic chaos imposed by boundaries and maps drawn for colonial convenience is not going to help much either.

Blaming the actors and their descendants goes nowhere. Identifying the structural causes of conflicts they had instituted is just the first step to resolving them.

jacobusmaximus
Posted: Tuesday, January 15, 2013 6:55:20 AM

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Ray41 says: 'Just a thought. Have you ever considered that the USA, Canada, Australia, New Zealand (to name but four countries) are, in theory at least, still colonies.
Independence, in the sense that you are using it, has never been handed over to the Indigenous/original inhabitants as they have not been given control, or freedom to govern?...'

In that case Ray, England is still a colony of the Saxons and the Normans as they never handed control back to the Britons.
leonAzul
Posted: Tuesday, January 15, 2013 7:49:51 AM

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Ray41 wrote:

Just a thought.Shhh
Have you ever considered that the USA, Canada, Australia, New Zealand (to name but four countries) are, in theory at least, still colonies.
Independence, in the sense that you are using it, has never been handed over to the Indigenous/original inhabitants as they have not been given control, or freedom to govern?


There is an interesting clause in Article I, section 8 of the US constitution that states: "The Congress shall have Power…To regulate Commerce with foreign Nations, and among the several States, and with the Indian Tribes;"

This, together with another clause that exempts Indians from the official census, is sometimes interpreted as granting a sort of co-sovereignty to the indigenous peoples of North American. Indeed, although they have often been broken, there is a long history of treaties with the Indian Tribes as if they were foreign states, and the Reservations have been treated with much the same status as a foreign embassy having certain immunities to local law. The Seminole have been particularly adept at exploiting this.
leonAzul
Posted: Tuesday, January 15, 2013 8:36:37 AM

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RedStar wrote:
it's time to get past that and give the government the power to do the things that need to be done, regardless of what the majority think.

Reality is not so pliable. Expecting to world to conform to an ideology with no evidential basis is a losing strategy and a one-way ticket to extinction.

Without exception, every attempt to impose centralized planning that does not take into account the interests and expertise of those who have a direct stake in the outcome has resulted in epic failure. That is the evidence. It is no less true today in Zimbabwe under Mugabe than it was in the USSR under Stalin.


Romany
Posted: Saturday, January 19, 2013 2:03:17 PM
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As a lot of you now know, I have spent almost my entire life living in former colonies - it was part of my fathers job to go to trouble spots and attempt to smooth things out a bit...and I guess the habit of living outside my home - England - just became entrenched.

In all of my formative years I grew up listening to discussion from both sides - and in most of my adult life have been hearing these same points of view from Africa to PNG and all places (yeah, Blooper, like Malaysia, Singapore etc.).

But as to my personal thoughts - I just equate the people of the former colonies to those in Britain who watched the Roman legions march in.

The took over a wild, rugged country with mainly illiterate, and certainly squabbling tribes; there were no infrastructures and no common justice.

When they marched out again as their own Empire was falling apart, they left a country with one of the finest road systems in the world; cities filled with classic architecture, plumbing, hospitals, and laws to govern and control what was now a united country.

So what did we do? Did we move into and upkeep these buildings, towns, cities, roads that were the marks of civillisation? Did we continue to educate our young? Did we enjoy the peace and live by the sensible laws while casting off those we had disliked?

Not a bit of it. The roads became rubbley tracks; the towns and cities were left to deteriorate and empty themselves, the palaces, mansions and ordinary dwellings were left severely alone unless we wanted to utilise the odd stone or piece of masonry for our own ramshackle dwellings. We degenerated into squabbling groups which weakened the country and allowed others to come in and foment trouble. Exactly as has happened all over India, Africa, the Far and Middle East.

Why?

Because colonists come in as conquerors. They are foreign and alien. They perpetuate atrocities. They marginalise us in our own land - the land our forefathers and mothers fought for and died defending. All our histories, our lore, our traditions, were deemed primitive so that the very things that made us Us were considered inferior: causing us to be judged as inferior too.

Yeah, so we could have had good roads and plumbed baths and studied technical matters and increased our life expectancy. So what? We would not have been Us: only second rate, wannabe Them. So we chucked out the whole box and dice and spent around 1,700 years dragging ourselves up out of the darkness we provided ourselves with. Even when a King from what was once part of our own dominions came to rule us we didn't again act as conquered peoples: our triumph over that little lot is the fact that each of us is here on this English forum...not a Norman one.

So I guess I am satisfied with the answer I came up with long ago. Would any country be better off as a conquered race? Nope. Our inherent need for freedom to make our own mistakes; to fall down into the pit and drag ourselves out of it again; and to find out for ourselves rather than be forced, wins out it seems, over hospitals and roads and schools and laws every single time.

And if I were a Scott. I should probably still feel the same now - especially as the Celts were the fiercer and prouder people of our country who refused to accept even the civillising influence of the Romans. They took to the inhospitable and scrubby hills and mountains of the north and refused to surrender. No wonder they have always despised the 'English'.
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