What benefits flowed to the overlord nations, apart from the personal enrichment (by means fair or foul) of the colony-founding buccaneers; the flow of raw materials needed for an expanded industrial production at home; and enhanced export markets? Purely, as an aside, Nehru pointed to the vast amounts of gold earned by the export of fine fabrics by India to the Roman Empire long before the arrival of the marauders from Europe.
The obvious benefits to Britain in India were: opium grown and exported to disrupt and control the Chinese; the creation of a creole people mainly through careless miscegenation; Christianising a few of the impoverished (did these poor souls eat better after that?); the availability of much pomp and splendiferous garments which unfortunately resulted in many ostriches losing their feathers to decorate sundry helmets; the acquisition of vast amounts of precious stones, many to adorn crowns at home; and the creation of lovely titles such as Kaiser, Empress and Viceroy! The acquisition of personal power, wealth, and a splendid lifestyle by the initial buccaneers was par for the course.
One also has to wonder – how many grand homes were built in Europe from the loot of empires? Indeed, did not the loot from South and Central America provide the funds for the economic development of Europe, including Britain?”
(These extracts from ‘On Empires – Gone & Going’ in ‘Musings at Death’s Door’ merely underline what has been known by one and all for a long time. My question is – what happened to the teachings of Christ when wonderful opportunities for pillage overseas opened up to Europe? Was saving a few souls to the bosom of Christ enough to offset the slavery of Africans, and the exposure of the Chinese people to opium, to identify the worst crimes of colonialism?
Of course, it might be worth identifying those other empire builders in history who also took a fiery priesthood with them to subjugate the colonised mentally, while exploiting them materially.)
Your material on colonialism is astute articulate and stylish. Many thanks.