[SPORK] Was Colonialism good or bad for the world? (was: Q: Was British rule bad or good for India? and before that: The rhetoric of liberation...)

Rishab Aiyer Ghosh rishab@dxm.org
Sat, 22 Mar 2003 14:41:34 +0000


On Sat, Mar 22, 2003 at 01:11:05AM +0000, Russell Turpin wrote:
> I'm assuming the US, Canada, Australia, New
> Zealand, the Bahamas, and Bermuda are excluded,

of course. although they did have an existing population, which was
successfully eliminated, more or less.

> population. But certainly there are other
> British colonies that are today democratic:

_today_. the only example that counts here is belize, but i don't know whether
it has had a continuous democracy since independence.

> Belize
> Ireland

i'm not sure that counts either. would you count scotland or wales as colonies?
sure, the irish were treated worse, but that was a process of empire rather
than colonisation. (corsica isn't a colony of the french, nor was sweden
colonised by  the danes).

> Singapore
> Hong Kong (Maybe shouldn't count, any more.)

neither are (or ever were) democracies. singapore's ruling party has always
won the same proportion of the "vote" as dictatorships elsewhere, though 
singapore's regime is generally merely paternalistic rather than brutal.

hong kong was run by british governers as it is today run by beijing. the
british should have made it a democracy long ago, but they didn't want to,
and as it got closer to the handing-over date the chinese bullied them not
to make democratic reforms that would make HK harder to rule.

-rishab