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Thread: Anti-Imperialism causes war & suffering.

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    Re: Anti-Imperialism causes war & suffering.

    For those who don't have a problem with Imperialism, here's a quick Wiki definition:

    Imperialism has two meanings, one describing an action and the other describing an attitude. Most commonly it is understood in relation to Empire building, as the forceful extension of a nation's authority by territorial conquest establishing economic and political domination of other nations. In its second meaning the term describes the imperialistic attitude of superiority, subordination and dominion over foreign peoples.
    [Fancy words bolded for emphasis.]

    And a online dictionary definition for those who don't trust Wikipedia.

    The policy of extending a nation's authority by territorial acquisition or by the establishment of economic and political hegemony over other nations.
    Strong imperialistic nations are aggressive little rabbits, and bring about far more problems they "solve". Feelings of imperialism I think tie in strongly with feelings of superiority, it's sort of the line of thinking that your country is entitled to more than it has. I doubt these countries are the sympathetic liberation squads they are being made out to be. With all anti-imperialism, you'd still probably see war, but I'd doubt you'd see a a large scale war of WWII proportions. Large scale wars are the result of large egos clashing, or even just one large ego going nuts. One of the primary causes of such egos is Imperialism.

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    Re: Anti-Imperialism causes war & suffering.

    im·pe·ri·al·ism
    –noun
    1. the policy of extending the rule or authority of an empire or nation over foreign countries, or of acquiring and holding colonies and dependencies.
    2. advocacy of imperial interests.
    3. an imperial system of government.
    4. imperial government.
    5. British. the policy of so uniting the separate parts of an empire with separate governments as to secure for certain purposes a single state.
    [Origin: 1855–60; imperial1 + -ism]

    Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2006.

    There is no mention of a superiority complex in any of the definitions in the dictionary. We are not discussing superiority complexes we are discussing Imperialism. You're response however is a perfect example of anti-imperialism. This belief that by conquering or taking control of a government there will automatically be superciliousness taking place and the country conquered would be better off on it's own. Can you back it up with examples? Perhaps some of these "far more problems" created?

    Quote Originally Posted by Luminous View Post
    With all anti-imperialism, you'd still probably see war, but I'd doubt you'd see a a large scale war of WWII proportions. Large scale wars are the result of large egos clashing, or even just one large ego going nuts. One of the primary causes of such egos is Imperialism.
    WWI & II however are off the table. All large wars like them were not caused by Imperialism but by extensive mutual military protection treaties. Because you have weaker countries who shore up their defense by signing treaties with stronger countries that if they are attacked they will come to each others defense. When the next country has treaties with another and so on and so forth the instant one country goes to war every other is pulled in as well. It has been going on so long that even the Trojan war was supposed to be caused by it. Can you give an example of a "large war" that has had Imperialism and not these treaties at their root?

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    Re: Anti-Imperialism causes war & suffering.

    There is no mention of a superiority complex in any of the definitions in the dictionary. We are not discussing superiority complexes we are discussing Imperialism. You're response however is a perfect example of anti-imperialism. This belief that by conquering or taking control of a government there will automatically be superciliousness taking place and the country conquered would be better off on it's own. Can you back it up with examples? Perhaps some of these "far more problems" created?
    I think that in a lot of cases, imperialistic nations have that mind set when they take control of a country. When colonies were forming, it happened a lot more. Britain, America, Spain, etc.. Spain is a case I'd look at when debating imperialism. They brought peace to South America on one hand. On the other hand, they butchered up every squabbling(I like that word for some reason...) empire that was there at the time. Even if the Spanish conquest of the Aztecs and other inhabitants of Central and South America was to stop the fighting among the various war-like Empires, would that be cause to call it justified? I hope you see where I might find that somewhat debatable.

    WWI & II however are off the table.
    WWI is understandable, since that was pretty much as you say, a giant mess of treaties. WWII is a bit more ambiguous I think though, as I think Hitler was rather imperialistic. Certainly, he went beyond the scope of simply trying to regain Germany's glory after the Treaty of Versailles. And regardless of defensive pacts, I'm fairly certain that war would have started eventually anyways if only for self defence. I suppose that's up for debate though.


    Ancient Greece is a possible place to look at for an example of a problem with Imperialism. They wanted to be independant city-states, rather than a united Empire(Although they did unite in the interests of mutal defence, a common sense decision). Athens and Sparta were imperialistic on the other hand. The mind set was that a united Greece would stop all the petty squabbling amongst the city-states. Of course, both these imperialistic cities eventually duked it out in an all out war(Far larger than squabbles betwen city-states), and even when Sparta eventually succeeded in finally turning Greece into a unified nation rather than bickering city-states, within years everyone was sick and tired of it, and revolted. Here in lies one of the problems I'm sort of talking about. Even if you are an Imperialistic nation trying to stop petty fights, the people might not want your help, and revolt even if you manage to exert control over them for a time.


    I'm not going to make the generalization that Imperialism is always a bad thing, and every country that tries to bring others under their wing, so to speak, are evil spawn devil incarnates that must be burned at the stake for their heathonistic ways. Tis certainly not the case. What I do say is that in some cases, an imperialistic nation taking over may just result in war all the same due to revolts, etc, and in some cases imperialism causes slightly larger wars(Even if it is treaties that blow it out of proportion, imperialism is a factor that can cause one to invade a country, which would trigger such treaties). I have an on the fence opinion. Anti-imperialism causes wars to continue due to its laissez faire attitude(Hope I'm using that term right...), but all the same, imperialism isn't a whole lot better of an option.

    Conclusive statement to wrap up my mess of random arguements: Anti-Imperialism is a lessar of two evils.

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    Re: Anti-Imperialism causes war & suffering.

    I tend to love the idea of Natural Selection.
    I heavily support it.

    But I usually say things to balance out the ideas of others.
    ...natural selection is cold. From an outward look, it's calculated. In its purest form, it rids of most emotions.

    I understand that Imperialism is grand and works for the best of humanity... but... I guess what I feel is that... when Imperialism is mentioned by someone you find unfit to lead, someone you don't really want to follow: You realize it may be for the better for people overall, but the power of the individual disappears unless you become exactly like the leader. ...which sucks when you don't agree with the leader, but you'll have to become him to defeat him.

    If Imperialism was perfect... or rather, if the person who rules with Imperialism was perfect: Then there's no quarrel. But the fact is, humans are flawed... and I can't trust Imperialism to go into effect as long as that's true.
    I'd rather have our flawed governments with our flawed leaders, than a form of a perfect government that's a danger to the people when used incorrectly.

    ...afterall, if it is truly natural selection, then you can't change the rules unless you're better. And most people who are actually strong enough to take away that crown from the leader: Are the same as the leader.
    ...Imperialism will cause in-fighting. (which I suppose is nothing new)

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    Re: Anti-Imperialism causes war & suffering.

    Quote Originally Posted by Luminous View Post
    I think that in a lot of cases, imperialistic nations have that mind set when they take control of a country. When colonies were forming, it happened a lot more. Britain, America, Spain, etc.. Spain is a case I'd look at when debating imperialism. They brought peace to South America on one hand. On the other hand, they butchered up every squabbling(I like that word for some reason...) empire that was there at the time. Even if the Spanish conquest of the Aztecs and other inhabitants of Central and South America was to stop the fighting among the various war-like Empires, would that be cause to call it justified? I hope you see where I might find that somewhat debatable.
    I would also call it colonialism which is not quite the same thing. In Imperialism generally within a generation or two the two countries merge culturally unless you have an exceptionally strong cultural identity. With Colonialism there is an elite class based entirely on who the conquerers are and never the twain shall meet. Colonialism may be a type of Imperialism but Imperialism in not usually Colonialism.



    Quote Originally Posted by Luminous View Post
    Ancient Greece is a possible place to look at for an example of a problem with Imperialism. They wanted to be independant city-states, rather than a united Empire(Although they did unite in the interests of mutal defence, a common sense decision). Athens and Sparta were imperialistic on the other hand. The mind set was that a united Greece would stop all the petty squabbling amongst the city-states. Of course, both these imperialistic cities eventually duked it out in an all out war(Far larger than squabbles betwen city-states), and even when Sparta eventually succeeded in finally turning Greece into a unified nation rather than bickering city-states, within years everyone was sick and tired of it, and revolted. Here in lies one of the problems I'm sort of talking about. Even if you are an Imperialistic nation trying to stop petty fights, the people might not want your help, and revolt even if you manage to exert control over them for a time.
    Greece is actually a perfect example of this, I agree. However... when considering Imperialism you are discussing one country with a strong government taking over a country with a weak government. Whether the integration I mentioned above occurs has nothing to do with the strength of their government but opportunity and cultural strength.

    Opportunity involves simply whether the conquered are allowed to own property and have rights under the laws. Can they rise to positions of power themselves. Are their children and their children's children citizens in full? Rome is the perfect example of this as is Alexander the Great. England's own history has it in spades even if it took a few generations at times.

    Cultural strength, identity, call it what you like but when you have a strong cultural identity it can't be taken from you. If it is extreme then even after many generations your culture will still be separate even when fully integrated into another society. The Jews/Judea are a good example of this, mind you the original Israel wasn't.... However they also had a culture and religion that had a built in law/government system as well. You cannot separate their culture from their laws even when living under others rules. Most cultures don't have that inherently built in religion/law.


    What does all this have to do with the subject? Well lets look back at Greece. Greece when it was fighting amidst itself had "weak governments" as in their government styles work well in small amounts but have a maximum capacity of population before it collapses under their own weight. None of them really had the capacity to become dominant. However when Alexander's father came along he did successfully unit Greece by using a different mode of government entirely, an Imperialistic one, that his son used quite successfully as well. Alexanders time is considered a golden time for Greece yet the young Macedonian (considered barbarians by the rest of Greece) preceded to add indiscriminately to the empire without regard for previous culture and spread the Greek culture throughout the known world. A strong culture and the addition of a strong government. That Government type was not native to Greece though and it failed to hold together after Alexanders death even as his successors continued to rule Imperially such as in Egypt where the Ptolemy's ruled so successfully for so long.

    So lets see what happened next? Well the next major power was Rome, who also conquered Greece. Rome had a very strong government but their culture was not so strong. When I studied the Roman Empire in History it was frequently joked that Greece lost the battle and won the war. They may have been conquered by Rome due to their strong government, again a weakness in Greece, but their cultural identity was much stronger then that of Romes and Rome absorbed a great many traditions and beliefs from them.

    So history is built of these clashes with the stronger government winning but the stronger culture being dominant as the two merge. Some disruption is normal for the first generation but within one or two they merge into a new whole unless they are being kept apart by elitism (such as colonialism) or if there is a built in law/religion as part of an extremely strong culture.


    So taking the wider view of cause and effect I would say that as long as religion or elitism is not a major component then such Imperialism, the conquering of a weaker government by a stronger government, is good for the world and prevents these decade long civil wars we are seeing so often these days with massive genocide at every corner.

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