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damp squib

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damp squib last won the day on September 16 2017

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  1. This is important. One of the methods used to downplay or justify colonialism, slavery etc. is to say that we can't judge the past by today's moral standards. Examples like this show that it doesn't wash. There was always internal opposition to these things because people have a basic sense of morality. They were ignored/suppressed and their opposition forgotten, just like those today who stand against injustice are ignored/suppressed and will later be forgotten.
  2. I accept that makes sense within this world, or rather in the context of the economic system predominant in this world. However I believe this economic system to be unjust (and largely a product of colonialism) and that Britain's (and America's/Russia's/Ireland's etc) armed forces and their interventions uphold that unjust system. I suspect this is where we rapidly diverge in views!
  3. I mostly agree with this but will have to agree to disagree on the last paragraph. I would go into it more but that's a hell of a rabbit hole and I'm already making a mockery of my vow to spend less time online!
  4. It's common enough in ex-colonies to view your own coloniser as particularly cruel - former British colonies say the same about the British. Likewise it's almost universal that people from colonial countries view their former Empire as more enlightened and benign than the others. I don't really see the point in a league table of colonial cruelty, just recognise all colonialism as evil.
  5. Absolutely. Just look at this thread. In fact going back to the OP and the idea that this is the source of Britain's problems i.e. Brexit, I no longer contribute to the Brexit thread because I find that both sides are making arguments steeped in the British exceptionalism created to justify the empire (yourself excluded obviously). With Leavers you take it as a given but how Remainers can simultaneously recognise the imperial nostalgia behind Brexit and also lament the absence of Tony Blair from politics, whitewash the devastation of the Iraq war as a simple political blunder and worry that post Brexit military cuts will prevent the British army from being deployed overseas is beyond me. I'm not sure if you agree with me on that but I find it all stems from the fact that the Imperial British state survived it's loss of colonies completely intact. Perhaps Brexit is it's final unravelling.
  6. I totally get that and the knowledge gap is so vast that I understand the temptation to approach it this way. The problem I have is that the denial in British society about the Empire is based not so much on outright suppression of information (although that is also in abundance e.g. operation legacy) but by a series of equivocations and characterisations of aspects of colonialism as natural phenomenon or an "acknowledge but minimise" approach. I think sugar coating empire, even as an introduction, feeds into that. Really the Empire should be viewed by the British the way the Nazis are viewed by the Germans. Maybe Hitler made the trains run in time, I don't care. The only people who care to bring that up are Nazis who want to whitewash Nazism. It should be the same for the Empire. The difference is the Nazi state was comprehensively defeated by an overwhelming force which forced the Germans to reckon with their history. The British Empire was defeated by a series of smaller forces, leaving the British state, and all the institutions and propaganda which maintained public support for the empire, intact.
  7. Is your friend one of the vast majority of Panamanians with indigenous background? If so he should probably look at the fate of the indigenous peoples of the States, Oz etc.
  8. Fair enough. I just think that a summary that implies colonialism did some good could lead to misunderstanding about what colonialism is.
  9. I have to take issue with this framing of the Empire legacy question (and do so acknowledging that you're miles ahead of most people on this issue). The idea of the empire being a balance sheet of good and bad things I think misunderstands both the intended purpose and reality of the "good things" and how they were simply a means of facilitating the "bad things" to happen. Look at the colonial infrastructure left behind by the British in any former colony and it becomes clear. To take two oft-cited "good thing" examples - Britain built large networks of railways in their former colonies and agricultural productivity increased. Those railways always follow the same basic pattern - Point A (Resource e.g. mine in the interior) to Point B (Port). In Europe, rail infrastructure was built to facilitate communications between trading centres and to transport mostly finished commodities between developed markets. It allowed for the development of modern industrial capitalism e.g. finished cotton products could be sent from the north west to London for export worldwide. In Africa (for example) rail infrastructure only facilitated the transport of raw materials fro the interior to ports for export to Europe. As a result, regional markets and industrial capitalism was never allowed to develop in Africa. The entire economy of a vast continent was completely dismantled and rebuilt for the sole purpose of exporting raw materials thousands of miles away to manufacturing centres in Europe. Why did agricultural productivity increase? Colonialism involved the mass dispossession of people from the land that they worked as subsistence farmers. Farms were "rationalised" and modernised (often by white settlers who took possession of the cleared lands) and became more productive, at the expense of the vast bulk of the indigenous population who were left without their traditional means of subsistence. Conveniently for the colonisers, this also created a vast army of labourers with no other choice than to work in near slavery in the mines etc. which supplied the raw materials for export. Those who were unable or unwilling to do this, or were simply surplus labour that couldn't find a job, would starve under the repeated famines which characterised European colonies despite massive increases in agricultural productivity, as they were unable to afford the food which, under imperialist capitalism, was now a commodity. This is the cycle of a colonial economy. So I suppose if you are a big fan of capitalism it can be argued that colonialism left some infrastructure in place and integrated the colonies into the "global" (i.e. western capitalist) economy, but it came at the cost of the complete destruction of traditional societies, mass dispossession of indigenous people, the irrevocable loss of cultures, languages etc. and of course, the starvation and murder of millions of people. It's like if someone breaks into your house using an angle grinder, steals everything you own, burns the house down, salts the earth but then leaves their angle grinder behind when escaping. You wouldn't characterise this incident as bad because the loss of your house and possessions outweighs the good of obtaining an angle grinder. It's just unequivocally bad.
  10. I thought he had explicitly mentioned Montreal as a future location.
  11. Despite what he says in the article about Ottawa, Montreal was obviously Perez's preferred location but he probably couldn't get enough investors interested.
  12. This is a valid concern, but thinking positively about it, it might just attract a different sort of player? I was only in Ottawa for a couple of days but it seemed like a very laid back, family friendly sort of place which may appeal to players with young families.
  13. As someone who came to the game of RL late I really like these terms. They're far more useful in understanding the role of each player, particularly "roaming pivot" which I think is a useful distinguishing description of the role of a RL full-back vs their Union counterparts. And let's face it, among non rugby fans the term "hooker" elicits first a giggle, and then bewilderment when the act it refers to never happens on the pitch. Although I prefer "acting half forward" to "dummy half forward". More descriptive. It's an interesting thought exercise.
  14. I like him but his kicking game is nowhere near good enough for the NRL.
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