The Jeff Cumberbatch Column – “…The Ball that Shot Nelson” (2)

Jeff Cumberbatch – Chairman of the FTC and Deputy Dean, Law Faculty, UWI, Cave Hill

Last week, the first part of this column treated the submission by Sir Hilary Beckles, Vice Chancellor of the University of the West Indies, that the statue of Lord Admiral Horatio Nelson had outlived its incongruous presence in Heroes Square and that its continued presence there makes Barbados a deviant and a pariah in the community of progressive nations that oppose publicly revering persons (such as Nelson) known to have committed “crimes against humanity”.

In that first part, I also bemoaned the absence of a popular discourse on the Vice Chancellor’s proposal, an absence that I found mystifying. In the past week, however, there has been some public reaction to the proposal, most of it predictably defensive of preservation of the status quo rather than of its alteration by one jot or tittle.

For example, in last Friday’s edition of the Barbados Advocate, a correspondent, Mr Michael Rudder, chose to pray in aid the undeniable reality of the criminally forcible mix of the races present in most if not all slave societies and to wonder “if any of my African ancestors were responsible for selling any of their “brothers” to those who carried on the slave trade” while he admits knowledge that the family of one Caucasian ancestor did have slaves.

He then proceeds to make the amazing rhetorical point that since we are all mixed, “what does it matter that some ancestor was a so-called white supremacist? And he continues still rhetorically, “Did your ancestor see him/herself as such? Do we see ourselves as black supremacists?

Essentially, he makes the point that we should acknowledge our history and move on and not “keep holding up the rear mirror of our past”.

It is tempting to read this opinion in a sense clearly not intended by the author and to treat it as an agreement with Sir Hilary’s thesis that officially to maintain the statue of Lord Nelson in its current location is to hold up the rear view mirror of 1813 Barbados when Nelson was a hero to the existing societal structure, the identical structure that was to be the target of a slave rebellion a mere three years later, officially recognized by the elevation of one of its reputed leaders to the highest national status. Indeed, there is a bit of a paradox in having both of these men elevated to this lofty status, even if that status of one of them is now merely situational.

It is a conundrum that seems to pervade Barbadian society, where the general attitude appears to be “I do not really care what they do about Lord Nelson, but he is part of our history” OR the more extreme and silly, “if we move Nelson then we should remove all traces of English influence, including place names, titles and perhaps surnames…”

Veteran columnist Patrick Hoyos in his column last Sunday required “some sort of consistent rationale if Nelson should be moved” although he did not spell out what would constitute such consistency or who would be the ultimate arbiter of it.

Mr Hoyos also appears to have interpreted Sir Hilary’s letter in a way different to me. He construes the following passages from the Beckles letter as indicating that Sir Hilary would not have minded Nelson remaining standing so long as he was overlooking Carlisle Bay contemplating his exploits beyond the horizon…”

“ The Democratic Labour Party turned it around and deepened its roots when it had the opportunity to move it to a marine park on the pier.

• The Barbados Labour Party did not wish the Right Excellent Errol Barrow at the centre of Parliament Square and placed him out of sight of the Assembly in what was a public car park. Nelson remained in the more prominent place”.

Perhaps owing to my professional training, I prefer to base the gist of an opinion on the interpretation that what is stated later should generally overrule an earlier statute or decision that is inconsistent with it through the doctrine of implied repeal. I prefer to ascertain Sir Hilary’s sentiments from his final paragraphs-

“The assumption is growing, I have been informed, that the Government might rather citizens, in an act of moral civil disobedience, to take matters in their own hands, and remove the offending obstacle to democracy. This has been the case in the United States and South Africa.

Quietly, state officials could slip away and say that the people have spoken. Such alliances of active citizens and passive state have moved many societies. Barbados must move on.”

This most assuredly does not read as a paean to a mere relocation of the statue to me.

O Dominica!

I should wish to express my sincere best wishes for the full renaissance and recovery of the island of Dominica after its devastation by Hurricane Maria during last week. Owing to my occupation, I have come into contact with many of the people of that island whether as teachers, classmates, or most latterly students, and they have been without exception, some of the most gracious and warmest people you will ever encounter. Dominica was also the first country that I slept in outside of Barbados when as a member of the Animation Choir under the leadership of Mr Harold Rock, I sailed there by the Federal Palm, I believe, in 1968. I do not remember much of it now; except partaking of the sweet lime fruit and hazarding a taste of stewed mountain chicken.

My more recent visits unfortunately have been severely limited in duration and in free time, but I have seem the photographs of the recent destruction wrought and I weep for the country I remember.

O Dominica, the land of beauty

The land of verdant and glorious sunshine…

499 comments

  • Drax “arrived with a stock of no more than £300.”
    +++++++++++++++++++++

    So where did he get the riches in 1642

    to buy cane plants,
    ship them here,
    clear the land,
    plant the cane,
    clear more land
    replant from the mature cane to increase the acreage,
    fertilize,
    reap,
    buy the stock,
    buy the “ingeniio” to grind the cane,
    buy the boiling equipment
    build buildings to house the equipment

    etc etc etc.

    with no more than 300 GBP’s in 1627

    You can stretch a dollar bill (also a GBP) only so far for 15 years by living in a cave and he could not go to Chefette.

    Aaahhh I know, tell us from Ward, perhaps even Ligon what the investment in a sugar works was in 1642 so we can see how he was able to stretch the less than 300 GBP’s he had in 1627!!

    Clearly, he had access to riches way beyond the less than 300 GBP’s he arrived with, whether his own or through a mortgage.

    But he had wealth, his plan to grow sugar which attracted the riches to make it possible.

    You say you are involved in entrepreneurship … use your own experiences!!!!

    Like

  • peterlawrencethompson

    @John,
    You have provided no evidence of subsidies during the 1642 – 1838 time period.

    Like

  • 1689-1697 War —
    1698-1702 Peace —
    1714-1748 —

    ???????????????????????

    Like

  • You have provided no evidence of subsidies during the 1642 – 1838 time period.
    ++++++++++++++++

    You have

    The periods of losses

    Who made up the shortfall?

    Like

  • peterlawrencethompson

    @John September 29, 2017 at 3:08 PM #
    “The periods of losses Who made up the shortfall?”

    As in any business it was a combination of retained earnings, which were copious, and moneylenders if the plantation was badly managed.

    Like

  • Well Well @ Consequences Observing Blogger

    ..John is so possessed by this legacy of evil….
    What a punishment…
    What a price to pay…

    that`s the whole crux right there Bushman….clean spirits at all cost resist and never bow to evil doers, absorb or enable those who walk in perpetual darkness…we know much better.

    at downgrade #20, they cant even use begging bowls anymore, there is nothing left to beg descendants of slaves for…this is all they got…reminisce about the evil days of other peoples misery….

    the young ones will have to run go look for real work in the real world….the old ones like these two demons will languish in darkness and despair until family chuck them in a room somewhere in diapers with only their darkness for company….saw one suffer to die some years ago, their end is very long and drawn out..

    i have seen them before…their end is never pretty…and the one thing you never do is show them sympathy or kindness, just be glad that the stains that they are..got removed from the earth…

    Like

  • Hahaha…..on point with bugging…….he is so bitter towards you that he intends to belittle you if he cannot destroy you……fifty years of bile…..sad.

    Like

  • peterlawrencethompson

    John September 29, 2017 at 3:04 PM #
    “[Drax] had access to riches way beyond the less than 300 GBP’s he arrived with, whether his own or through a mortgage”

    This is very easy to figure out John.

    £300 in the late 1620s was a decent amount of investment capital (worth about £678,000 in today’s money), undoubtedly a great deal more than most Englishmen arrived in Barbados with. He and William would have invested that mostly in land; he had one of the largest estates and was a prominent planter and parliamentarian long before he experimented with sugar.

    It would have been very easy for him to raise investment capital by mortgaging land in order to finance his sugar experiments in the early 1640s. It would also have given him enough cash to buy enslaved people, 50 by 1644.

    None of this required any kind of sugar subsidy.

    Like

  • peterlawrencethompson

    @vincent haynesw September 29, 2017 at 3:28 PM #
    “he is so bitter”

    On the contrary Vincent, I lead a charmed life: money in the bank, a beautiful girlfriend, a sea bath any morning I feel like it, two brilliant successful sons, meaningful work helping other people, lots of time to waste on arguments with John… I really don’t know how life could possibly be better.

    Like

  • peterlawrencethompson

    @John September 29, 2017 at 3:06 PM #
    1689-1697 War —
    1698-1702 Peace —
    1714-1748 —
    ???????????????????????

    As you are well aware John, there are holes in the historical financial records. There is absolutely no hard evidence, however that the sugar industry was not profitable during these periods.

    Like

  • You clearly haven’t read “The Groans of the Plantations”!!

    Check the date

    Like

  • @ peterlawrencethompson who wrote ” I lead a CHARMED life: MONEY in the bank,

    a BEAUTIFUL girlfriend, two BRILLIANT SUCCESSFUL sons,lots of time to waste .

    I really don’t know how life could possibly be better.”

    Peter you sound like Donald Trump.

    Like

  • As in any business it was a combination of retained earnings, which were copious, and moneylenders if the plantation was badly managed.
    ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

    So, if plantations held on to their retained earnings which they did to ensure they were in operation in the bad years and could employ, feed, hose clothe etc their slaves it stands to reason that there was no mucho dinero in circulation.

    Which pertained in the period after slavery as well

    Barbados survived on a shoestring … it used to be referred to as thrift.

    Like

  • PLT

    Humility, dear boy, humility.

    Like

  • Chuckle…..I need say nothing more on that issue.

    Like

  • Hey, If you have money in the bank, a beautiful woman successful sons and are helping others, then you have reasons to feel good. Don’t let the aspiring journalist (Ha) and the pelau aspiring to be white (VH) put clouds in your sky.

    Like

  • @ John September 29, 2017 at 4:15 PM
    “So, if plantations held on to their retained earnings which they did to ensure they were in operation in the bad years and could employ, feed, hose clothe etc their slaves it stands to reason that there was no mucho dinero in circulation.”

    What do you mean by “could employ”? Do you mean it as in “give work to (someone) and pay them for it”?

    Or do you mean it as in ‘forced them to labour from Sunup to Sundown, 365 times per year with a period off to celebrate the ‘crop-over’ to sing, dance and make wisecracks to entertain Massa and his family and friends’?

    Stop being a Saul and see the Light of Paul. Stop making excuses for the sins of your ancestors by painting slavery as the best thing to have happened to Africans sold by their own kith and kin.

    John, why don’t you do like your namesake John (Newton) and do an ‘Amazingly’ graceful thing?

    Ask your god for forgiveness on behalf of your ancestors. And then your eyes will be opened to see the Light of Truth that leads to the road of catharsis and reconciliation leading to a brighter future of racial coexistence.

    “Amazing grace! How sweet the sound
    That saved a wretch like me!
    I once was lost, but now am found;
    Was blind, but now I see.

    When we’ve been there ten thousand years,
    Bright shining as the sun,
    We’ve no less days to sing God’s praise
    Than when we’d first begun.”

    Liked by 1 person

  • peterlawrencethompson

    @John September 29, 2017 at 3:48 PM #
    “You clearly haven’t read “The Groans of the Plantations”!!”

    You are right. I have not read it. I was looking, instead, for hard evidence like the plantation records from Codrington that you showed me. I will see if I can find an electronic copy online.

    Like

  • peterlawrencethompson

    @Hal Austin September 29, 2017 at 4:34 PM #
    “Humility, dear boy, humility.”

    I have done nothing to deserve my extraordinary luck, so I am indeed humble. I regret that my passion for the truth mislead Vincent to think me bitter… I will work to figure out ways of expressing my passion without it being intimidating to some people.

    Like

  • peterlawrencethompson

    @TheGazer September 29, 2017 at 5:55 PM #
    “Don’t let the aspiring journalist (Ha) and the pelau aspiring to be white (VH) put clouds in your sky.”

    Oh they don’t cloud my sky at all… John makes me a bit sad because I’m so aware of the wasted talent, but that is not my cross to bear.

    Like

  • peterlawrencethompson

    @John September 29, 2017 at 4:15 PM #
    “… if plantations held on to their retained earnings which they did to ensure they were in operation in the bad years and could employ, feed, hose clothe etc their slaves it stands to reason that there was no mucho dinero in circulation….”

    Are you really this innocent of the ways of business John?? Apple and Google hang on to billions in retained earnings… it does not in any way indicate that there is not “mucho dinero” in circulation. It is simply the way that capitalism works. The sugar plantations, if they were halfway competently administered, had incredible cash flow and copious profits. How could they not when the most important variable cost, the production labour, was stolen?

    Like

  • peterlawrencethompson

    @Hants September 29, 2017 at 4:15 PM #
    “Peter you sound like Donald Trump.”

    OMG that is truly frightening. Trump is a gaping a**hole of a human being… he thinks that he deserves his riches, but I know that whatever little I have is through good fortune and that it is my duty to share as best I can.

    Like

  • Well Well & Consequences Observing Blogger.

    “and the pelau aspiring to be white (VH).””

    The way the sentence was trailing off my mind wandered and it looked like Gazer was describing some disease. ….

    …..it took my 5 minutes to stop laughing…lol

    Like

  • 166 square miles Fixed!

    Output of sugar fixed, no new technology like steam till the 1840’s!!

    Only fluctuations in output due to drought, flood, hurricane, disease, management, varieties etc.

    …. and a population which needs to fed, clothed, housed and cared … that doubles.

    My point form the beginning, slavery never made financial sense long term!!

    … but if you like, go look at output figures for sugar in Schomburgk

    The only thing that would change this assertion is if the price of sugar remained high and increased.

    We all know it did not!!

    Ergo, plantations were unprofitable long term so long as they were worked by slave labour.

    Also, since the slave population doubled, clearly there was an excess of labour for the job in hand.

    That expressed itself after emancipation when plantations only needed to employ labour as needed.

    In 1854, 20,000 plus Bajans died in the Cholera Epidemic and still 50 years later 20,000 left for panama, and many many more for the US..

    We have for centuries had more people than we can employ in Barbados.

    That’s a fact.

    Like

  • The only conclusion is we have always been subsidized!!

    Like

  • There is absolutely no need to resort to name calling just face the facts like adults

    Like

  • Well Well & Consequences Observing Blogger.

    Ya john….but ya will be subsidized no more…we will see to it, not off the backs of the descendants of slaves.

    Go look for work, honest work.

    Like

  • John

    Name calling is their forte and so far you have done an admirable job ignoring the ad hominem comments.

    In your above it seems that you are suggesting that BIM was a money laundering site.

    Like

  • Help me…
    How did you arrive at such a suggestion?

    Like

  • peterlawrencethompson

    @John September 29, 2017 at 8:54 PM #

    “The Profitability of Sugar Planting in the British West Indies, 1650-1834” by J. R. Ward utterly disproves your argument but you prattle on as though this research did not exist.

    It is clear that you have no interest in good peer reviewed research so I will leave you to your fantasies.

    Like

  • peterlawrencethompson

    @John September 29, 2017 at 8:56 PM #
    “The only conclusion is we have always been subsidized!!”

    Subsidized by whom and in what manner??

    “The Groans of the Plantations” which you recommended mostly seems to be a self serving complaint by the plantocracy that Britain was making to much money off of taxing sugar and enforcing laws that it had to be shipped in British vessels (an indirect tax). Taxes are the exact opposite of subsidies.

    Like

  • In your above it seems that you are suggesting that BIM was a money laundering site.
    +++++++++++++++++++++++

    Except the money/profits were eaten by our ancestors!!

    Like

  • Peter

    Surely you know the ACP negotiated prices for sugar above world market prices with the UK for years before the UK joined the EU.

    Have you ever heard the term sugar quotas?

    Ok, you have been over and away for 40 years but for crying out aloud, you cannot be that ignorant of your own country’s history.

    Have you ever even heard of Tate and Lisle?

    … or the Lome (with an acute) convention?

    Like

  • If you check on the origin of the word plantocracy you will find it did not even exist before 1835!!

    Could not possibly apply to the 1600’s.

    Like

  • “The Profitability of Sugar Planting in the British West Indies, 1650-1834” by J. R. Ward utterly disproves your argument but you prattle on as though this research did not exist.
    ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

    I found nothing in Ward to dispute the fact that the Island of Barbados is 166 sq. miles or that the slave population doubled between the census of the 1680’s and 1817.

    If you look at Schomburgk you will see the population of Barbados in 1848 was about 122K!

    In the next 100 or so years it had doubled.

    What I did discover was that there are two schools of thought, one came up with the conclusion “unprofitable” the other, Ward’s, found the opposite after making many assumptions.

    Me, I just used my common sense!!

    Like

  • … and if you are looking for the retained earnings up to the early 60’s look no further than the Deep Water Harbour and QEH.

    But they were never put for the rainy day back so the period of bust has got to the state where GOB ends up subsidizing the industry.

    Simple Simon and the rest of Barbados are subsidizing the Industry with their tax dollars

    They can say, at least we have the Deep Water Harbour and QEH to show to justify the subsidy!!

    Like

  • Subsidized by whom and in what manner??
    ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

    Right now, by SS et al!!

    Like

  • Well Well & Consequences Observing Blogger.

    If according to the demons, enslaving and brutalizing millions of Africans was nit a crime, how could the proceeds from that enslaving, selling etc be money laundering, which is a crime…

    John…ya will know soon enough when all contracts dry up, no more access to pensioners and taxpayer’s money…just watch for it.

    Like

  • Well Well & Consequences Observing Blogger.

    If according to the two BU demons, enslaving and brutalizing millions of Africans was NOT a crime, how could the proceeds from that enslaving, selling of Black people etc be money laundering, which IS a crime…

    Ya dont get to choose.

    Like

  • peterlawrencethompson

    @John September 29, 2017 at 11:21 PM #
    “Surely you know the ACP negotiated prices for sugar above world market prices with the UK for years before the UK joined the EU.”

    John, I know that sugar was subsidized in the 20th century. You, however, said that “… we have always been subsidized.” You were arguing that it was subsidized during the era of slavery.

    Who subsidized sugar production in Barbados between 1642 and 1834… and in what manner?

    Like

  • peterlawrencethompson

    @John September 29, 2017 at 11:39 PM #
    “there are two schools of thought, one came up with the conclusion “unprofitable” the other, Ward’s, found the opposite after making many assumptions.”

    You have completely misread Ward. You and the others who allege that the sugar industry was unprofitable make a bunch of assumptions about the effects of limited land area, population growth, lack of new technology, drought, flood, hurricane, disease, etc.

    Ward makes no assumptions at all, but simply understands the definition of profit… and so finds the historical accounting records which show the profit. The historical accounting records that he points to are irrefutable, and they prove that the sugar industry was profitable overall in Barbados between 1643 and 1834.

    Like

  • peterlawrencethompson

    The degree of economic illiteracy here is staggering.

    sub·si·dy, noun
    a sum of money granted by the government or a public body to assist an industry or business so that the price of a commodity or service may remain low or competitive.

    In the context of the Barbados sugar industry in the era of slavery it means a grant from the British Crown and Parliament to the sugar plantations. This simply did not happen. The closest thing was the grants given for recovery after natural disasters like hurricanes, but these sums, though large, were a tiny fraction of the revenue that the British Crown and Parliament derived from taxing the Barbados sugar industry. So it is idiotic to claim that the Barbados sugar industry in the era of slavery was “subsidized.”

    mon·ey laun·der·ing, noun
    the concealment of the origins of illegally obtained money, typically by means of transfers involving foreign banks or legitimate businesses.

    In the context of the Barbados sugar industry in the era of slavery there is a strong case that the profits were “illegally obtained money” as they were the proceeds from the theft of labour, but there was absolutely no attempt at “concealment of the origins” of this money. It was displayed openly in conspicuous consumption and bragged about.

    Like

  • John

    I take your point on the laundering.

    Showing the profitability of the sugar regime prior to emancipation is THE sine qua non of the reparationists,hence you will never be able to get an agreement as their case will be through the eddoes.They cannot rely on the one off payment alone as that was also paid to the Niger delta kings.

    The difference between a person who only relies on book knowledge as opposed to some one who marries practical knowledge with historical facts as opposed to assumptions and uses common sense is stark.

    Like

  • peterlawrencethompson

    @Vincent
    The difference here is stark. I am open to learning the truth.. you and john have your minds already made up so you have to resort to lies to defend your illusions.

    Knowing the actual definition of “money laundering” is not “book learning:” it is the difference between literacy and ignorance.

    Like

  • Their arguments have been destroyed over and over. But there is no end to their silly prattle; they will not stop lying.

    Above their computer is the verse “The race is not given to the swift nor the strong but he who endures until the end.”

    I saw this quote “Time will inevitably uncover dishonesty and lies. History has no place for them”. I hope this is true and the lies of John do not become a part of the permanent record.

    Like

  • Well Well & Consequences Observing Blogger.

    Also well documented exists …so there is massive proof in every slave museum across the globe. .

    As I said, I have met the likes of these two demons before, life never ends well for them, the last one had me so disgusted, I never attended her funeral, did not want that blighted spirit or aura following anywhere..

    “mon·ey laun·der·ing, noun
    the concealment of the origins of illegally obtained money, typically by means of transfers involving foreign banks or legitimate businesses.

    In the context of the Barbados sugar industry in the era of slavery there is a strong case that the profits were “illegally obtained money” as they were the proceeds from the theft of labour, but there was absolutely no attempt at “concealment of the origins” of this money. It was displayed openly in conspicuous consumption and bragged about.”

    Like

  • Well Well & Consequences Observing Blogger.

    A way will soon be found to arrest the demons and creeps who glorify colonialism.

    “Stop glorifying colonialism. Have we already forgotten the starvation, plundering, and sheer brutality?

    Joseph McQuade, University of Toronto September 29, 2017 Quartz India
    India-Colonialism-British rule

    Still looking for facts? (Creative Commons/Wikimedia)
    Recently an academic article, asserting the historical benefits of colonialism, created an outcry and a petition with over 10,000 signatures calling for its removal.

    The Case for Colonialism, published in Third World Quarterly by Bruce Gilley, argues Western colonialism was both “objectively beneficial and subjectively legitimate” in most places where it existed.

    Gilley, an associate professor of political science at Portland State University, claims the solution to poverty and economic underdevelopment in parts of the Global South is to reclaim “colonial modes of governance; by recolonizing some areas; and by creating new Western colonies from scratch.”
    Understandably, the article faces widespread criticism for whitewashing a horrific history of human rights abuses. Current Affairs compared Gilley’s distortion of history to Holocaust denial.

    Last week, after many on the journal’s editorial board resigned, the author issued a public apology for the “pain and anger” his article may have caused.

    Whether the article is ultimately retracted or not, its wide circulation necessitates that its claims be held up to careful historical scrutiny. As well, in light of current public debates on censorship and free speech versus hate speech, this is a discussion well worth having. Although this debate may seem as though it is merely academic, nothing could be further from the truth.

    Although it may seem colonialist views are far behind us, a 2014 YouGov poll revealed 59% of British people view the British Empire as “something to be proud of.” Those proud of their colonial history outnumber critics of the Empire three to one. Similarly, 49% believe the Empire benefited its former colonies.

    Such views, often tied to nostalgia for old imperial glory, can help shape the foreign and domestic policies of Western countries.

    Gilley has helped to justify these views by getting his opinions published in a peer review journal. In his article, Gilley attempts to provide evidence which proves colonialism was objectively beneficial to the colonized. He says historians are simply too politically correct to admit colonialism’s benefits.
    In fact, the opposite is true. In the overwhelming majority of cases, empirical research clearly provides the facts to prove colonialism inflicted grave political, psychological and economic harm on the colonized.

    It takes a highly selective misreading of the evidence to claim that colonialism was anything other than a humanitarian disaster for most of the colonized. The publication of Gilley’s article—despite the evidence of facts—calls into question the peer review process and academic standards of The Third World Quarterly.
    Colonialism in India

    As the largest colony of the world’s largest imperial power, India is often cited by apologists for the British Empire as an example of “successful” colonialism. Actually, India provides a much more convincing case study for rebutting Gilley’s argument.

    With a population of over 1.3 billion and an economy predicted to become the world’s third-largest by 2030, India is a modern day powerhouse. While many attribute this to British colonial rule, a look at the facts says otherwise.

    From 1757 to 1947, the entire period of British rule, there was no increase in per capita income within the Indian subcontinent. This is a striking fact, given that, historically speaking, the Indian subcontinent was traditionally one of the wealthiest parts of the world.

    As proven by the macroeconomic studies of experts such as KN Chaudhuri, India and China were central to an expansive world economy long before the first European traders managed to circumnavigate the African cape.

    During the heyday of British rule, or the British Raj, from 1872 to 1921, Indian life expectancy dropped by a stunning 20%. By contrast, during the 70 years since independence, Indian life expectancy has increased by approximately 66%, or 27 years. A comparable increase of 65% can also be observed in Pakistan, which was once part of British India.

    Although many cite India’s extensive rail network as a positive legacy of British colonialism, it is important to note the railroad was built with the express purpose of transporting colonial troops inland to quell revolt. And to transport food out of productive regions for export, even in times of famine.

    This explains the fact that during the devastating famines of 1876-1879 and 1896-1902, in which 12 to 30 million Indians starved to death, mortality rates were highest in areas serviced by British rail lines.
    Colonialism did not benefit the colonized

    India’s experience is highly relevant for assessing the impact of colonialism, but it does not stand alone as the only example to refute Gilley’s assertions. Gilley argues current poverty and instability within the Democratic Republic of the Congo proves the Congolese were better off under Belgian rule. The evidence says otherwise.

    Since independence in 1960, life expectancy in the Congo has climbed steadily, from around 41 years on the eve of independence to 59 in 2015. This figure remains low compared to most other countries in the world. Nonetheless, it is high compared to what it was under Belgian rule.
    Under colonial rule, the Congolese population declined by estimates ranging from three million to 13 million between 1885 and 1908 due to widespread disease, a coercive labour regime, and endemic brutality.

    Gilley argues the benefits of colonialism can be observed by comparing former colonies to countries with no significant colonial history. Yet his examples of the latter erroneously include Haiti (a French colony from 1697 to 1804), Libya (a direct colony of the Ottoman Empire from 1835 and of Italy from 1911), and Guatemala (occupied by Spain from 1524 to 1821).

    By contrast, he neglects to mention Japan, a country that legitimately was never colonized and now boasts the third largest GDP on the planet, as well as Turkey, which up until recently was widely viewed as the most successful secular country in the Muslim world.
    These counter-examples disprove Gilley’s central thesis that non-Western countries are by definition incapable of reaching modernity without Western “guidance.”

    The ConversationIn short, the facts are in, but they do not paint the picture that Gilley and other imperial apologists would like to claim. Colonialism left deep scars on the Global South and for those genuinely interested in the welfare of non-Western countries, the first step is acknowledging this.

    Joseph McQuade, SSHRC Postdoctoral Fellow, Centre for South Asian Studies, Munk School of Global Affairs, University of Toronto.
    This article was originally published on The Conversation. Read the original article. We welcome your comments at ideas.india@qz.com.”

    Like

  • Well Well & Consequences Observing Blogger.

    Wannabe colonizers longing for a repeat to enrich their future generations through evil, brutality, rapes, murders, thefts and greed will be destroyed mercilessly and brutally this time around, their killing will be legendary……the stuff of legends to be recorded for prosperity for centuries…as a warning and lesson to future colonizing demons who glorify in and enrich themselves off the misery of others..

    John and Vincent the demons, be warned.

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  • Well Well & Consequences Observing Blogger.

    These are the true powerful of the earth, the truly wealthy, intelligent, powerful…all others are frauds and thieves….nobodies.

    Oseola McCarty (1908-1999)
    She is one of the most amazing women in the world who is inspired by millions of people around the world for her donation of $150,000 for the scholarship of the University of Southern Mississippi. While this may not have been the largest single donation the school ever received,what was unique was that she had saved the money over the course of her life time from her modest earnings washing other people’s clothes.

    Oseola McCarty was born, reared and started her education in Mississippi. When she was in the sixth grade, McCarty left school to care for her ailing aunt and never returned to school. For more than 75 years, she earned her living as a laundress. She did laundry for three generations of some Hattiesburg, Miss., families.

    McCarty never owned a car; she walked everywhere she went, pushing a shopping cart nearly a mile to get groceries. She rode with friends to attend services at the Friendship Baptist Church. She did not subscribe to any newspaper, considering the expense an extravagance. Similarly, although she owned a black and white television, she only received transmissions via the airways. In 1947, her uncle gave her the house in which she lived until her death. She also received some money from her aunt and mother when they died, which she also placed into savings.

    “I want to help somebody’s child go to college,” she said after announcing the donation. Her gift endowed the Oseola McCarty Scholarship. “I’m too old to get an education, but they can.” When asked about her ability to save so much money she says simply, “I didn’t buy things I didn’t need, The Lord helped me, and he’ll help you, too. It’s an honor to be blessed like that.”

    In 1998, she was awarded an honorary degree from USM, the first such degree awarded by the university. She received scores of awards and other honors recognizing her unselfish spirit, and President Bill Clinton presented her with a Presidential Citizens Medal, the nation’s second highest civilian award, during a special White House Ceremony. She also won the United Nations’ coveted Avicenna Medal for educational commitment. In June 1996, Harvard University awarded McCarty an honorary doctorate alongside Maya Lin, Walter Annenberg, and Judith Jameson.

    She passed away Sept. 26, 1999 from a cancer leaving a golden lesson of simplicity for all of us. A collection of McCarty’s views on life, work, faith, saving, and relationships can be found in her book, Simple Wisdom for Rich Living, published by Longstreet Press in 1996.

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