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Susan B. Anthony

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« on: June 28, 2006, 06:24:06 AM »
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SouthSide

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Re: Somebody explain to me why imperialism is bad
« Reply #1 on: June 28, 2006, 06:41:55 AM »
You have to define your terms first. What do you mean by imperialism? I would define it as an attempt to further a nation's interests by establishing military, economic, or political control over other nations.

In which case, there are two main arguments against it: historical and moral/philosophical.

Historical argument: The main example of imperialism in the past 500 years has been the colonialism practiced by the European great powers over large territories in Africa, Asia, and the Americas. These colonial/imperial relationships were characterized by oppression of the people and rapacious exploitation of natural resources. In almost every case, nationalist resistance movements formed and were brutally crushed for generations before they succeeded. Looking back on the historical effect of colonialism on the colonized areas,  the result has been almost universally disastrous.

Moral/Philosophical argument: Every person has the right to self-determination, and by extension this leads to a nation's right to form a social contract and govern itself. Thus, it is wrong for one nation to unilaterally invade another for its own benefit.

Or, to take a page from Kant, you must only treat people as ends in themselves, and not as means to your own ends. Imperialism, by definition, subjects an entire nation and uses it as means toward the ends of the imperializing country. Wrong.

I know these are somewhat simplistic, but this seems like an open-and-shut case to me.
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SouthSide

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Re: Somebody explain to me why imperialism is bad
« Reply #2 on: June 28, 2006, 07:04:43 AM »
I know these are somewhat simplistic, but this seems like an open-and-shut case to me.

well it seems that way for the specific definition you're using here.

my problem might be that i see people using the term much more loosely. 

for example, is the fact that english is used so widely in non-english speaking countries imperialism?  lots of people seem to think so. 

Well, then you get into terms like cultural imperialism, which is a different thing. There are legitimate concerns about global cultural homogenization, but I don't think they are comparable to concerns about real imperialism. People who equate the two aren't being intellectually honest, and they muddy the debate.

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Happy_Weasel

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Re: Somebody explain to me why "cultural imperialism" is bad
« Reply #3 on: June 28, 2006, 05:53:54 PM »
Basically, what is being argued is that cultural imperialism is a form of theft and therefore should be treated as theft. However, what is interesting is that in this country we have cultural imperialism amongst factions when the forces of federal fail to control ambitions of a few.Though federalsim has protected our society from extremism thus so far.  Perhaps federalism, once refined could be the world's solution to the right to ambition and the right from the theft that is empire. However, is Imperialism really a problem? One could say that no theft takes place and accusations of imperialism simply steals from the alledged assailant. Perhaps if we make the thresshold of grievance at the level where the injured party suffers as a result of the alledged imperialism. Then again, is it an absolute amount or a relative amount? ...and how should it be measured?

Officer Rod Farva

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Re: Somebody explain to me why imperialism is bad
« Reply #4 on: June 28, 2006, 06:02:25 PM »
I know these are somewhat simplistic, but this seems like an open-and-shut case to me.

well it seems that way for the specific definition you're using here.

my problem might be that i see people using the term much more loosely. 

for example, is the fact that english is used so widely in non-english speaking countries imperialism?  lots of people seem to think so. 

Who are these people? What is the alternative?

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BrerAnansi

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Re: Somebody explain to me why "cultural imperialism" is bad
« Reply #5 on: June 28, 2006, 06:06:06 PM »
The english language being so widespread in of itself isn't so bad, unless you start to think about what went along with it...namely the English...
Grrr...

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BrerAnansi

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Re: Somebody explain to me why "cultural imperialism" is bad
« Reply #6 on: June 28, 2006, 06:49:59 PM »
There are other sources of money in the world and other cultures with influence.

Are you one of these other sources?...if so can I have $20?

Why blame Western Organizations when you can blame non-Western ones that reject our values and the constraints we place on aid?


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Grrr...

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kapstone

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Re: Somebody explain to me why "cultural imperialism" is bad
« Reply #7 on: June 28, 2006, 07:48:44 PM »
im about to leave work and im brain dead, but if you are serious about this read Decolonising the Mind: The Politics of Language in African Literature by Ngugi wa Thiong'o.  It is a discussion of the importance of native language in the arts and really made me change my beliefs about hegemony, etc. can provide more details when im less fried if interested. 
Hopefully more Sam Seaborn than Richard Nixon....

Happy_Weasel

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Re: Somebody explain to me why "cultural imperialism" is bad
« Reply #8 on: June 28, 2006, 08:01:34 PM »
Basically many argue a "legal realist" perspective with cultural imperialism. Arguably, the smaller culture is free to go on, but not to would be suicide. The question here is why they were sustainable at one point and not now and how come. The question then comes to whether the house caught on fire because of an accident and you have to accept your neighboor's help or if the neighboor is pulling a pryamid scheme by setting your house on fire and then offering to help only when you agree to be his slave.

If the model of helping those in need at a cost is the issue of "cultural imperialism", one must see if the need came from prior and intentional wrong of the offeror or came from unforseeable events.

Happy_Weasel

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Re: Somebody explain to me why "cultural imperialism" is bad
« Reply #9 on: June 28, 2006, 08:42:19 PM »
...and then there is the idea of the orgin of the need to sign on...

Is it because some one is being forced to or does one naturally need it whether no fault or fault of their own.

I think fault is a MAJOR legitamator of cultural expansion.

If it is the culture that is being assimilated that is at fault for becoming non-sustainable, then it cultural expansion is moral.

If it is nature that is at fault, or no human's error, then there is no real moral issue to cultural expansion.

If the assimilator is at fault, cultural expansion is immoral.