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Political Science 1020E - PS - Lecture 24.docx

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Political Science
Political Science 1020E
Peter Fragiskatos

PoliSci1020E March 20, 2012 Lecture 24 TOPIC Consequences of Imperialism and Ways in Which it is Sustained What makes it possible? What sustained it?  Franz Nanon (1925 – 1961) o Key thinker who actively opposed imperialism. o Trained psychologist who frequently encountered racism. o Racist thoughts were/are a result of Imperialism. o European imperialism rested upon the mindset of the inferior “other,” and they based their invasions on spreading Christianity. It was the fate of non-Christians to become slaves to Christians. Christian theologians of the time had a difficult time explaining and labelling other and unfamiliar cultures and races (e.g. Africans).  St. Augustine (354 – 430 A.D.) o Claimed that the children of Noah’s son Hams (in the Bible) condemned to slavery, moved to Africa. Thus, African slavery and imperialism was biblically justified and part of fate.  In addition, Social Darwinism has a significant impact. o Darwin: Survival is based on adaptability abilities. o Problem: Darwin’s ideas were wrongly applied to people, in the form of Herbert Spencer’s (1820-1903) idea of “survival of the fittest.” There was no room for questioning this theory, because it was presented as science. o Effects of it for those conquered. E.g. India for Britain.  Cotton and jute were extremely hot commodities and India was considered “the crown jewel” for imperialism. They would provide a vital source of profit for the British. o Social Darwinism justifies the brutality of imperial practise – they said that the dying poor were simply those condemned to death by natural circumstances. E.g. 8 million Indians died under British rule as a result of starvation and deprivation. It was an ideology used to “explain the truth” by the imperialists to the general population. o However, it has been proven that people – even poor – can achieve if presented with opportunities.  “White Man’s Burden” (Poem) o Author: Rudyard Kipling (1865 – 1936) o Claimed that whites of Western society were simply better people – more civilized and democratic. o “Non-whites were half-devils half-children, and barbaric.” o Promoted civilizing the natives (others) as a “responsibility” of the superior and civilized white man. o His theory was used by many imperialists to justify their actions and beliefs. National Interest  Henry Kissinger (1923), Secretary of State in USA in 1920’s. o “When you’re asking Americans to die, it has to be explained in terms of national interest.”  The definition of national interest is subjective and open to different understandings. Why is it so difficult to define?  An interest can mean many things, but an interest can be defined as a claim, need, demand, or concern.  National Interest is an expression of claims, needs, demands, and concerns voiced by society as a whole.  Jean-Jacques Rousseau (1712 – 1778) o All societies have particular interests, but also common ones. These common interests are referred to as the “general will” (e.g. peace, unity, equality). Can be realized only when people put aside their particular interests. Without common interests, society would disintegrate into groups of personal and selfish interests. o It is the duty of states to introduce policies that promote the general will.  Marx o The national interest is only the interests of the dominant class (bourgeoisie), seen as a trick played by the elite. o Because the state does the bidding of the dominant class, it is impossible for them to promote an authentic national interest.  Machiavelli (1469 – 1527) o Doctrine “reason of state.” o Survival of the state should be the main concern of all rulers, achieved by either training defence or invading (imperialism). This should be the national interest (even if it includes brutality and necessary immorality). o There is a separate morality that doesn’t apply to personal life, a ruler should know how to do evil. o Justification = without the state, chaos rules. Realism  Used to make sense of the world and international relations.  Says: o Because the international realm is characterized by anarchy, there is no authority or ruler. o States are the key players and have to rely on themselves for survival; assumes dominance as a theory. o The state is not guaranteed preservation. o How to ensure state survival:  Solely self-help.  Rulers accumulate economic wealth and military power. This is what furthers the national interest. o It is dangerous for a state to base national interest and foreign policy on moral values.  Hans Morgenthau (1904 – 1980) o Key thinker, believed that basing national interest and foreign policy on moral values was mass national suicide, and you will end up getting involved everywhere. o Good intentions (universal morals) don’t always lead to good outcomes. o If you open yourself as a state to other countries and their moral concerns, you open your own state up for attack and domination. o This is an argument for self-preservation through self-interest – it’s peace- seeking. o If you keep interfering internationally, no one is left to defend at home. National Interest in Application to the Cuban Missile Crisis  Throughout the 1940’s and 50’s, Cuba was the playground for the American rich. In addition, its land and industries belonged to America’s corporations.  1954 Oil Agreement o Leader in agreement: Fulgencio Batista (1901 – 1975), was “America’s best friend.” However, in preserving outside powers, his society was poor, and controlled using violence, fear, and death tactics. Complete structural breakdown resulted.  1959 overthrown by Fidel Castro (1926 – present) and a new administration was implemented.  Early on, real and suspected Batista sympathizers were gunned down under Castro.  Thousands flee but many stay and support Castro.  Aimed to embrace socialism.  Asks for $4 million loan from states and engage in trade. U.S. rejected his propositions as long as land reform was part of his platform. Fear: U.S. businesses would lose assets. Castro promised to pay corporations back $50 million over 20 years. However, only prompt compensation would do.  Castro took over sugar cane fields and cattle ranches (all American-owned).  Result: U.S. takes counter-actions. They limited the amount of sugar that Cuba could sell to the U.S.A. Castro sold to the Soviet Union instead (other major super power at the time).  Castro’s regime rejected the principles and oppression of supposedly Marxist Eastern Europe, thus in the beginning, relations were weak.  U.S.A. and anti-Castro Cubans bombing raids on Cuban targets – sugar cane fields and munitions sites – increased. (1960)  As tensions mount, American companies ($1 billion worth) are taken over b
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