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BS: Belgium Colonialism

Raggytash 16 Apr 18 - 04:03 AM
Jim Carroll 16 Apr 18 - 04:20 AM
Rapparee 16 Apr 18 - 08:37 AM
Senoufou 16 Apr 18 - 08:42 AM
Jack Campin 16 Apr 18 - 08:44 AM
Rapparee 17 Apr 18 - 09:19 AM

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Subject: BS: Belgium Colonialism
From: Raggytash
Date: 16 Apr 18 - 04:03 AM

An article in todays Guardian exposes the inhumanity of the government of Belgium as recently as 1958. I think Jim, in particular, would like to read this.


Human Zoo


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Subject: RE: BS: Belgium Colonialism
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 16 Apr 18 - 04:20 AM

Many thanks for the heads-up
I was first made aware of the horrors of Belgian colonisation, first taken on as a private enterprise by King Leopold, later by the nation as a whole, by reading Mark Twain's pamphlet, King Leopold's Dream (or Soliloquy, depending where you buy it )
More recently, Adam Hochschild’s book King Leopold’s Ghost, covered it in detail - (both of these magnificent and highly-readable exposés are still available on The Book Depository)
Joseph Conrad's classic, 'Heart of Darkness' is based on his visit to The Congo at the time
These events took place a decade and a half before the world was plunged into war with propaganda such as "The Rape of Gallant Little Belgium"
Belgium was a not-too-extreme example of what Colonialism was about
It still gives be a buzz of home-place pride to remember that is was an insignificant Scouser shipping clerk who brought Leopold's murderous enterprise crashing around his ears
Up the 'Pool
Look forward to reading more on this project
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: BS: Belgium Colonialism
From: Rapparee
Date: 16 Apr 18 - 08:37 AM

Cecil Rhodes was no great shakes as a human being either. But then, all of Africa was populated by sub-human species suitable only for enslavement by Europeans and their descendants in the "New World."


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Subject: RE: BS: Belgium Colonialism
From: Senoufou
Date: 16 Apr 18 - 08:42 AM

At the root of all colonialism in Africa were two overriding tenets:-

One, the idea that black races were inferior, primitive, savage and heathen. This justified robust and cruel methods of 'civilising' them, sending missionaries out to instil Christianity, making them wear more 'decent' clothing and interfering with their traditions and culture. This basic ignorance and despising of Africans' way of life was one of the worst things contaminating the colonists' attitudes to black peoples. They even congratulated themselves on achieving these detrimental changes and felt noble about it.

Two, the precept that white Westerners had every right to invade African territories to exploit the vast resources and riches to be mined, forests to be felled, crops to be harvested, all by using black labour, like a giant pigs' trough to be eaten greedily until it was almost empty.

It has to be said that, in the wake of the invasions, many countries benefited with the building of hospitals, clinics, schools, roads and railways. But I still find the attitude that 'we are superior to Africans' among white Europeans, even today. It usually occurs among folk who have never set foot on the continent and who know nothing at all about the myriad cultures, traditions and dignity of African ways of life.
Those photos of the Human Zoo brought a lump to my throat. The despair of the 'exhibits' is palpable. Poor poor souls.


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Subject: RE: BS: Belgium Colonialism
From: Jack Campin
Date: 16 Apr 18 - 08:44 AM

That zoo is a fairly trivial matter compared with what the mining companies are doing to the Congo right now. Leopold's project has never stopped for a minute.


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Subject: RE: BS: Belgium Colonialism
From: Rapparee
Date: 17 Apr 18 - 09:19 AM

Just within the last century or so, there's Britain. I do not exclude, by any means, the US or Russia or France or Germany or any other country. But while handing out blame, let's not forget the Opium Wars and a few other things. No country anywhere has clean hands.


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Mudcat time: 21 April 4:55 PM EDT

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