I’ve been learning more about colonialism lately, as regular readers could probably tell from my recently reading Heart of Darkness, King Leopold’s Ghost, and Cobalt Red, among others. I used to think colonialism was something from the past, that we outgrew.
Do you consider imposing on other people’s life, liberty, and property wrong? Do you find past colonialist behavior wrong and believe colonialism is mostly in the past?
Do you consider yourself not a colonialist?
If so, do you buy fossil fuels extracted not from your own property? Do you buy products built with minerals not from your own property?
So far you may say, “sure, but there’s a division of labor. I contribute my part to global trade, others contribute theirs, I get things I need, they get things they need, and everyone benefits.”
Then what are you contributing to the system? Are you really providing value comparable to what you’re receiving? Are the people with initial claims to land the fossil fuels and minerals come from getting value remotely comparable to what you’re contributing, if anything?
If not, might you be benefiting from a colonial system depriving others of life, liberty, and property without their consent. This situation applies for nearly all Americans and citizens of rich countries.
I see a lot of Americans not realizing this situation. I don’t think they realize how much they’re funding the colonial system they’re benefiting from.
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