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Letters by a modern St. Ferdinand III about cults

Gab@StFerdinandIII -

Plenty of cults exist - every cult has its 'religious dogma', its idols, its 'prophets', its 'science', its 'proof' and its intolerant liturgy of demands.  Cults everywhere:  Corona, 'The Science' or Scientism, Islam, the State, the cult of Gender Fascism, Marxism, Darwin and Evolution, Globaloneywarming, Changing Climate, Abortion...

Tempus Fugit Memento Mori - Time Flies Remember Death 

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Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Crocker's 'Politically Incorrect Guide to the British Empire', part 2. Africa

A good example of why post-modern analysis of the BE is so bizarre.

by StFerdIII

 I couldn't help but wondering what Niall Ferguson, whose 'modest, unpretentious' book I am reading is called 'Civilization', and who makes the often, implausible and unsourced claim that the Chinese invented pretty much of everything, would make of the following phrase by Crocker, in his 'The Politically Incorrect Guide to the British Empire', [reviewed here]:

The irony of the British Empire in Africa is that while it started with slave ships tapping into the millennium-old slave trade of the Dark Continent, Britain became the most powerful force in the world for ending slavery and the slave trade, and the anti-slaving campaign drove the expansion of the British Empire.” [p. 189]

Rather obvious. This fact sends the cultural self-loathing Obamatrons into limp wristed hissy fits of spitting and self-flagellation. How dare the British Empire do anything right? Ending slavery! Oh please didn't the Chinese do that first pace Ferguson?

The British conquered Africa because they had better technology, vaccines, medicine, modern organizational methods, private capital, a market system, independence of character and initiative; a cultural superiority and a supremacy in institutions and political-economic governance. Not to mention self-confidence and a modernizing, industrializing economy. If Ferguson's list of apocryphal Chinese inventions [the usual tired list, blast furnaces circa 10.000 B.C., iron smelting (he might have forgotten about the iron age in Europe), printing, toilet paper, golf....] was really true, it would have been the 300 foot junks of Admiral He and not the literally hundreds of British ships and sea captains, which would have mapped and then quested to conquer a huge, forbidding land-mass. Something in Ferguson's narrative does not make sense. Any society that created 'everything' would also be the first to explore and develop Africa. It is a lot simpler given the monsoon rains and winds to sail from east to west to reach Africa, then to brazen it out going north south and then south to north east to reach the Zanzibar coast, the most hospitable landing point on the Dark part of that Continent.

It wasn't the Chinese 'mining' genius which unearthed diamonds and gold, it was the British who began to use their technology and techniques to turn the African backwater hinterland, into a part of civilisation:

In addition, in southern Africa the British unearthed diamonds and gold; in eastern Africa they established farms and ranches; in northern Africa they took command of the Suez Canal; and everywhere in Africa they were motivated by something else: a desire for discovery – most famously, to find the source of the Nile.”

Fancy that. Self-confident men and women searching for profit, adventure, personal and social gain; to convert the 'natives' to cvilisation; and to find out truth and reality, such as the main spring of the Nile. According to Ferguson the Chinese had already done this is Africa, at least 2500 years before the hairy, stupid Briton, in his small raft stumbled on the beach at Cape Town gaping in stupidity at the cultural magnificence of local Zulu society.

Crocker goes through a small list of British individuals who changed the course of history and brought a superior civilisation to Africa. A fact which offends everyone who 'knows' that the British Empire was nothing but an evil imposition of an inferior form of social development on superior native customs and mores:

-Wolseley in 1873-4 leading a small force of British regulars and defeating the Ashanti along the poorly named Gold Coast or West Africa securing naval bases, free trade with the Ashanti and access to the Niger. The Gold Coast was formerly annexed in the 1890s.

-Lugard brought serious and honest Victorian governance as well as investment to the Gold Coast. Hospitals, roads, railways and mines were developed under Lugard and the British greatly benefiting both the ruled and the rulers. The area was governed through local councils and elections – something unique to the West African experience.

-Livingston in central Africa, preaching the gospel of commerce, Christianity and civilization. One of the most interesting and avid of Britain's cultural heroes in Africa.

-Chelmsford destroying the Zulu state which had preyed upon both Dutch and British farmers and possessions and had engaged in a long litany of unprovoked and savage attacks on both civilian and military targets. Chelmsford's victory removed the only obstacle between a Dutch and British clash in Southern Africa.

-Cecil Rhodes and others who both forced Britain into the Boer war, and helped her win it. Rhodes was the quintessential imperialist who believed in Britain's divine right to rule and in her civilizing mission. I doubt he is taught anymore in school.

-General Gordon stopping slavery in Egypt and the Sudan. He was murdered by Moslems in Khartoum. A crime paid back by the decisive British victory in 1898 at Omdurman by Kitchener against the Moslem Dervishes [the Dervishes were Sufists who followed a 12th century Afghan-Moslem cult of superstition and mysticism which included dancing in a trance].

Most don't know that in Southern Africa Britain defended the rights of Blacks to both own land and vote in Dutch and British territory. This was something that the Dutch Boers wanted no part of. The British were great agriculturalists which benefited the local population, many of whom worked as free men on the estates and would later become proprietors. In Kenya and Rhodesia, for the first time in African history, large well managed and irrigated plantations started to produce a variety of saleable and even exportable crop. Tea, coffee, vegetables, fruits and other products were grown en masse.

Throughout Africa the British invested about 5% of their GDP annually into infrastructure. Schools, hospitals, roads, rail-lines, government buildings, law courts, and the infrastructure of a modern political-economy slowly developed on the Dark Continent. One supposes that the Chinese had done this long before the era of Rome. After all they must have invented the infrastructure of the modern world.

Crocker goes into some detail about the British involvement in Africa. It is hard to make the claim that Africa is better off without Britain has the colonial master of must of its territory. Moslem 'extremists' are now in power in North Africa and Egypt. Arab Moslems slaughter darker-skinned 'inferiors' in the Sudan – something a modern day Gordon would not tolerate. Somalia is a Moslem wasteland as are vast tracts of Nigeria, Mali, and central Africa.

Only a few states in Africa are 'normal' and function to modern standards. African troubles have little to do with Western or whitey-imperialism. Corruption, the wrong culture, violence, intolerance, tribal hatreds, Islam and other distortions have wasted the $2 Trillion sent by the White world to the Dark Continent. This is the fault of Africa post colonialism.

The post-modern paternalistic racism namely; send Blacks money out of guilt and because 'we' the Western elite feel that they are too ignorant to understand how to build a modern political-economy, has no echo in British imperialism. The Victorians had a mission but not a racist theology. They ended slavery, had a belief that Africans were just as good as anyone else if given a chance at civilization, and developed Africa as much out of a mission to bring a better world to the Dark Continent, as from the baser motives of profit, greed, blood-lust and power. Africa since 1965 has not improved. Witness Zimbabwe or Rhodesia. Maybe there is something good in imperialism after all. Even Niall Ferguson might agree with that. This is why Crocker's book is such a good read. 

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