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The Racist Term "Colonialism"

Peter Zohrab 2020

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The term "Colonialism" has negative emotional overtones and is routinely used in political contexts. Because of its political potential as a weapon for moral argument and condemnation, the term needs to be analysed carefully and not just left to journalists, so-called "academics" and other leftists. In order to analyse it, you need to find an acceptably authoritative description of it and I have chosen the Wikipedia article on this topic (as at 29 July 2020). I think that what I want to say on the topic would probably apply to any reasonably authoritative description of it.

This article includes three definitions. One of them, drawn from the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy, reportedly defines it as:

"the process of European settlement and political control over the rest of the world ... the project of European political domination from the sixteenth to the twentieth centuries that ended with the national liberation movements of the 1960s."

Human history (let alone prehistory) started long before the sixteenth century, however, and there is no indication as to why this term only applies to Europeans and only to that relatively short period of 400-odd years. It seems to be purely and simply a guilt-driven reaction by Whites to the actions of their ancestors and an angry and jealous reaction by Non-Whites to that period of domination by Whites.

The Wikipedia article on Colonialism itself states as follows:

"Colonialism is strongly associated with the European colonial period starting with the 15th century when some European states established colonising empires."

The phrase "is strongly associated " is pseudo-scientific and seems to imply that we are discussing some objective phenomenon here. However, all it actually means is that the people who use the term "Colonialism" use it almost exclusively to denote what Europeans did at a certain, fairly recent period in history. There is no indication of any objective difference between what the Europeans did at that time and what countless other human groups have done on a large or small scale. History is full of land-based empires, for example, such as the Russian, Chinese, Roman, Macedonian, Napoleonic, Ottoman, Holy Roman and Mongol empires. Surely the fact that many European colonisers travelled by sailing ship, rather than overland, is not a relevant factor!

What makes it absolutely clear that Colonialism, as a term, is just a stick to beat dead White people with is the fact that this Wikipedia article actually includes a short section entitled "British public opinion about the British Empire"! This section uses words like "pride" and "shame" and thus makes it clear that the term "Colonialism" is racist and singles out one particular continent and one particular period of time as an exercise in Moral Philosophy, rather than objective historiography.


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Peter Douglas Zohrab

Latest Update

21 May 2023