Debate:British imperialism

From RationalWiki
Jump to navigation Jump to search
Debate.png This is a Debate page.
Feel free to add your own spin on the story. Please keep it civil!
Information icon.svg This debate was created by

Maybe you should tell your neo-pagan buddies that aping the same imaginary friends as the Hammerskin Nation is not a good way to be taken seriously? Not my fault they get so sensitive and defensive when racism or Nazism are mentioned. Otherwise people might turn their eyes on them, and we can't have that, now can we. — Unsigned, by: / talk / contribs

ListenerX's odinism has nothing to do with this conflict. But I'm glad you're calm. It's a good thing. -- =w= 19:44, 27 January 2010 (UTC)
My point was a blanket statement calling the British Empire "the most violent in history" is opinion. Acei9 19:45, 27 January 2010 (UTC)
And my big point was that a genocidal, imperialistic Empire which murdered millions and enslaved ten times that for cheap tea and sugar shouldn't have an article about how quaint and funny they are. People will debate about things like the Armenian Genocide, the Holodomor and the Holocaust until the sun burns out, yet when someone dares to even mention the British and their terrible misdeeds throughout history, it is perpetually ignored. Are you all that big of suckers for the accent, or is it just not worth talking about when it's swarthy heathens dying? — Unsigned, by: / talk / contribs
Whatever, get some sources together for the claim. Having an unsourced "The British Empire covered x territory" is one thing but an unsourced statement about genocide is another. Acei9 19:58, 27 January 2010 (UTC)
Get together some sources? That would be just about the first time ever on this Wiki. I don't know why I'm being held to a high academic standard while neo-Pagans are writing huge screeds about how they're NOT RACIST and that burning cross is actually symbolizing the strength of Thor. If you get your little over-sensitive babies to call off the dogs, I'd be glad to write a real article about the British Empire, instead of just "LOOK HOW CUTE THEY ARE! AREN'T THOSE ACCENTS CUTE? AWWW! HE'S PLAYING WITH AN INDIAN SKULL! HOW CUTE!"— Unsigned, by: / talk / contribs
The Wotanists are about as representative of Germanic paganism as Joseph Stalin was of atheism. Mjollnir.svgListenerXTalkerX 20:28, 27 January 2010 (UTC)
I do not understand this obsession with the British accdent. I hate the Brits. Lived there for over a year and got sick of them very quickly. That said, if you are going to accuse a nation of genocide then source it so it doesnt look like opinion. Its like calling someone a rascist without backing it up, it comes across as opinion. Acei9 20:10, 27 January 2010 (UTC)
The fact that I should even have to back it up is proof of just how devious the Empire was. If I said "The Nazis comitted genocide", no one would question that statement, yet if I said "British imperialism was a violent, bloody affair which killed millions and left entire regions of the world shattered", I would need a college level dissertation to back it up. Heaven forbid if I tried to write "After raising the taxes on the bottom 2 Indian castes to levels that essentially rendered them slaves, the British then violently suppressed the ensuing rebellion in 1857, resulting in many millions of deaths. They were so thirsty for blood, that they surrounded the city of Delhi, murdered every living inhabitant and razed the city to the ground, with a young British soldier writing .... All the city people found within the walls (of the city of Delhi) when our troops entered were bayoneted on the spot, and the number was considerable, as you may suppose, when I tell you that in some houses forty and fifty people were hiding. These were not mutineers but residents of the city, who trusted to our well-known mild rule for pardon. I am glad to say they were disappointed." I would apparently need all the libraries and scholars on earth to "prove" it, even when a simple Google search would show that it did happen. — Unsigned, by: / talk / contribs
Conspiracy theories do not go down well here. Mjollnir.svgListenerXTalkerX 20:28, 27 January 2010 (UTC)
Right, it's just that the British slaughtering millions in India is as much a conspiracy theory as Odin is real. Which is to say, not at all. That's just India, too. I could go on and on. The British had a lot more colonies, and none of them got off lightly. (talk) 20:36, 27 January 2010 (UTC)
The existence of Odin is of little relevance here; in any event, I am not aware that the British intentionally killed millions of people like the Nazis or the Reds did. Mjollnir.svgListenerXTalkerX 20:41, 27 January 2010 (UTC)
"The Almighty, indeed, sent the potato blight, but the English created the Famine." — Sincerely, Neveruse / Talk / Block 20:44, 27 January 2010 (UTC)
True, but they did not do it with the aim of killing off the Irish. Mjollnir.svgListenerXTalkerX 20:47, 27 January 2010 (UTC)
Just because you weren't aware of it doesn't mean it never happened. Conservative estimates place the repercussions from the 1857 revolt at around 300,000 dead, most of them civilians, and Indian society was re-ordered to ensure it wouldn't happen again. Prior to this rebellion, the caste system, for example, was a regional thing. The British spread it throughout the country after the revolt, and set up the top 2 castes as their teacher's pets, while the others were just fodder for oppression. Total death tolls from all of India during British rule sit at around 30 million, and this is again being quite conservative. Yet, how much did you learn about this in school? None, I would suspect. (talk) 20:48, 27 January 2010 (UTC)
But did the British intentionally kill those 300,000? Mjollnir.svgListenerXTalkerX 20:51, 27 January 2010 (UTC)
This is the dumbest question I've ever heard. They marched in an army and shot, stabbed and hung these people. They surrounded Delhi and razed the city to the ground, after murdering every living person inside. How in the world could this possibly be unintentional? Unless, of course, intentional in your mind means "those filthy Reds did it", in which case, being as the Brits did it in the name of Capitalism, it must have been some gigantic, bloody mistake. I'm sure their bayonet hands just slipped. (talk) 20:55, 27 January 2010 (UTC)
Ah, I see; then the people they expelled from the city after they recaptured it must have been ghosts! Mjollnir.svgListenerXTalkerX 20:59, 27 January 2010 (UTC)
Are you talking about the British citizens that the rebels let go when THEY captured the city? Or are you referring to the great ruse where the British would let citizens go, only to capture them a few miles down and execute them for holding rebel sympathies? At least you're admitting this happened now, which I guess is a big step forward. Maybe tomorrow we can start on colors and what sound a cow makes. (talk) 21:05, 27 January 2010 (UTC)
I fucking love this guy. — Sincerely, Neveruse / Talk / Block 21:06, 27 January 2010 (UTC)

(UNINDENT) I am talking about the ones that had to leave the city because they could not be fed until the fighting ended and food could be brought in again.

"At least you're admitting this happened now..." What is this, exactly? The Siege of Delhi, or some purported mass slaughter? Mjollnir.svgListenerXTalkerX 21:19, 27 January 2010 (UTC)

I think LX has made up his mind, so this cannot possibly satisfy him, but still it's interesting: WP:Jallianwala_Bagh_massacre, wp:Qissa_Khwani_bazaar_massacre. — Sincerely, Neveruse / Talk / Block 21:23, 27 January 2010 (UTC)
So you're talking about the first capture of Delhi, then, when the Rebels captured it from the British. That may well have happened, but what I am talking about is when they city was turned into a pile of rubble upon recapture. Even if they wanted to (Which their later actions show they didn't) the British could not possibly expel people from a city they did not control. By this, I mean the Devil's Wind, the reprecussions to the Indian Revolt of 1857. Although you still won't admit that killing hundreds of thousands is mass slaughter, which makes you either very dumb or very biased. (talk) 21:26, 27 January 2010 (UTC)
Everything I can find points to the British army murdering a number of people on the order of hundreds of thousands in reaction to the 1857 rebellion. Perhaps LX is just trolling? — Sincerely, Neveruse / Talk / Block 21:29, 27 January 2010 (UTC)
(EC) It is fairly clear that I was talking about the British capturing Delhi from the rebels. And in case you did not notice, I am disputing your claim that the British put the whole of Delhi to the sword. (Citation, please?)
As to the Jallianwala Bagh massacre, the article says that its leader was acting extralegally, and consequently was court-martialed and forced to resign his post. Mjollnir.svgListenerXTalkerX 21:31, 27 January 2010 (UTC)
I have no online sources for this claim, but I could give you a list of books which go into detail regarding the British razing of Delhi. Among them are Twelve Years in India, War of No Pity: The Indian Mutiny and Victorian Trauma and Recalcitrance. There are also many newspaper articles from the time, and even letters from soldiers who were actually there. (talk) 00:27, 28 January 2010 (UTC)


I will urgently write an article about how British people are cute. -- =w= 20:07, 27 January 2010 (UTC)
<crosses Ace off Christmas card list> I have just eaten Toast& stiltontalk 20:20, 27 January 2010 (UTC)
British people are good for about an evening and as it starts to drag on, they become quite irritating with their little quips. — Sincerely, Neveruse / Talk / Block 20:21, 27 January 2010 (UTC)
British people get very tiresome after 27 years, but none of them that I have the misfortune to regularly socialise with make 'little quips'. Our sense of humour seems much the same as the rest of Western and Northern Europe; albeit with a greater penchant for absurdity, and less for tragicomedy. I have noticed a bizarre trend (not particularly on RW, but elsewhere online) that people, specifically people from the USA, seem to expect most Britons to be Niles Crane with a terribly posh accent. People here like sports, beer, and reality television. A typical 'quip' on a night out is a comment on whether Natalie Dormer is more or less attractive than Iggy Azalea. (OT- colonialism and imperialism result in some pretty awful acts done to retain control, but despite several massacres and associated atrocities, to my knowledge, the British Empire has committed no genocides and remains fairly middle-of-the-road as far as being bloodthirsty goes. ~British Guest

Why is this a debate?[edit]

I wasn't debating whether it were true or not, I was debating the addition of unsourced material and was going to offer an alternative that MC BoN add a new section entitled "Colonialism". Acei9 20:27, 27 January 2010 (UTC)

I cut it to this page only to get it off Mei's talk-page. Mjollnir.svgListenerXTalkerX 20:29, 27 January 2010 (UTC)
You don't like Mei's talkpage? ;___; -- =w= 20:39, 27 January 2010 (UTC)
I wouldn't have a problem with that, so long as you can keep the manchildren out. Just going off the British Empire alone, you could write an article longer and more horrifying than anything else on here. — Unsigned, by: / talk / contribs
When posting on a talk-page, sign the post with four tildes. Mjollnir.svgListenerXTalkerX 20:32, 27 January 2010 (UTC)
All colonial nations have their crosses to bear - the share of atrocities. But adding "the most violent in history" is opinion and, if true, just reflects the breadth of the empire and not specifically a more violent intent than any other nation. Acei9 20:33, 27 January 2010 (UTC)
And that's a reason why we shouldn't discuss their crimes? Seems a pretty filmsy one to me. (talk) 20:35, 27 January 2010 (UTC)
No, you are deliberatly being obtuse now. I never stated we shouldn't discuss it but the blanket statement "the most violent" doesn't cut it without some sort of backing up, comparison or historical accuracy. Acei9 20:37, 27 January 2010 (UTC)
Without some metric or reliable source, the statement is arguable at best. You can still get your point across without naming it the "most violent". — Sincerely, Neveruse / Talk / Block 20:40, 27 January 2010 (UTC)
You're the one arguing semantics here, buddy. We're still suffering from the repercussions of British Imperialism, and they were so damn slick about it that we've been reduced to arguing about petty semantics, while we ignore the pile of bayoneted Indian skulls in the corner. I doubt I could count, even if I had a lifetime to do it, the books written about Nazism, yet I can think of only one book that directly addresses what the British did in India("Recalcitrance" by Anurag Kumar), which was only one of many of their horrible deeds. (talk) 20:44, 27 January 2010 (UTC)
No, it is not semantics and has nothing to with the slickness of the British Empire. Saying the "the most violent" is like saying "the USA is the best country". Why not just list the atrocities? Acei9 20:46, 27 January 2010 (UTC)
(edit conflict) Cite that, write your complaint section properly, and stop bitching. -- =w= 20:46, 27 January 2010 (UTC)

It is true that British colonies depended on slave labour, as a matter of fact, slavery was the basis of the British Empire. Britain was responsible for the transportation of a third of all slaves transported across the Atlantic.

On the other hand, the British were the first big slave-trading nation to abandon it, and they did this when there were still huge profits to be made. Also, not all black people were slaves in the Empire.

To call something "the most violent", you must have a very good argumentation.

--Earthland (talk) 20:51, 27 January 2010 (UTC)

It very well may be true that the BE was the most violent, but without establishing a metric or citing a reliable source, I'm afraid I can't take at his word, informed as it may be. — Sincerely, Neveruse / Talk / Block 20:56, 27 January 2010 (UTC)
No, the British only abandoned slavery within the United Kingdom itself, it continued in their colonies long after it's abolition. See: 13 colonies, Jamaica, Nepal, India and many others. (talk) 20:58, 27 January 2010 (UTC)
Slavery was never legal within England, according to the ruling in the James Somersett case. Slavery was abolished altogether in 1833 throughout the Empire. Mjollnir.svgListenerXTalkerX 21:00, 27 January 2010 (UTC)
Yet oddly enough, it continued in India, many parts of Africa, the Caribbean and Nepal until almost a century later, in some cases. Actually, Nepal just totally abolished slavery very recently. A decade ago, you could buy an entire family in Khatmandu. (talk) 21:09, 27 January 2010 (UTC)
Can you provide any reference to this, er... interesting claim? --Earthland (talk) 21:12, 27 January 2010 (UTC)
Slavery in Africa predates the British empire. -- =w= 21:14, 27 January 2010 (UTC)
Sure can, this article is even from the BBC. Being British, of course, they fail to mention anything they might have done to cause this. Also, slavery predates the settlement of the British Isles, but that does not mean they were not still major players in it's perpetuation. (talk) 21:17, 27 January 2010 (UTC)
So you have a theory that the British media are conspiring to whitewash the BE? Cubic harmonic Hoover! 21:25, 27 January 2010 (UTC)
Being people in the twentieth century, they didn't do anything to cause it. -- =w= 21:17, 27 January 2010 (UTC)
Thank you for the reference. I still fail to see how exactly is it connected to the British Empire and how it makes BE "the most violent one". By the way, maybe you don't mind reading about Ad hominem circumstantial. --Earthland (talk) 21:20, 27 January 2010 (UTC)
But Nepal was never even a British protectorate. Mjollnir.svgListenerXTalkerX 21:21, 27 January 2010 (UTC)
The whole of Nepal was not subjugated, but much of their territory was ceded to the British in the Saugauli Treaty of 1815. Also, the kingdom was quite friendly with the British, post-Anglo Nepalese war. They even helped suppress the Indian Rebellion of 1857. (talk) 21:30, 27 January 2010 (UTC)
That does not make them part of the British Empire, as you claimed they were. Mjollnir.svgListenerXTalkerX 21:32, 27 January 2010 (UTC)
O PuppetGods, I'll just leave Denialism here. In real life, everybody's a denialist.--Swedmann (talk) 21:26, 27 January 2010 (UTC)

My Slant[edit]

Can I just inject my view here? I hate the fact that as an Englishman the success and global outreach of my country is based on centuries of oppression and violent "I claim this land in the name of the king" actions. However, it should be noted that one of my best friends who is originally from Hong Kong has the utmost praise for the British and was pissed off when Hong Kong was handed back to China, but is content with his UK citizenship and is serving the country well by working (and studying / researching for his Phd) in the UK. Also, had it not been for the British occupation of India and Kenya my wife's grandparents would not have been able to emigrate to Kenya from India in search of work, and then to the UK where they concieved and bought up a beautiful and intelligent lawyer for the Crown Prosecution Service, upholding the criminal justice system and paying more tax per year than some of the arsehole chav council estate scum claim in benefits per year while whining about "pakis stealing our jobs".

So yeah, I dislike the initial intention, but I can't whine to much now can I? </DrunkenBollocks> CrundyTalk nerdy to me 21:55, 27 January 2010 (UTC)

Of course, nothing is 100% wrong or 100% bad. There were positive aspects to British imperialism. Logically for the colonies only the collaborators, etc, really benefited. But, the British did leave many positive marks. If former British colonies were instead colonised by the French, or Dutch, or other rivals, would those positive elements have happened? Would those granted independence without a war of independence have HAD to fight one against different occupiers? There are number of possibilities that thankfully we don't have to contemplate. As </DrunkenBollocks> has pointed out there is the benefit of easier immigration, naturalisation & studying opportunities. Correspondingly a sort of reverse racism or hypocrisy when it comes to British racists towards former colonies cizizens visiting/moving to the UK; they were told FROM BIRTH that Britain is the greatest country in the world and London the greatest city in the world. And are sometimes treated badly when they come anyway. Very silly. Yes, ideas and so on don't inherently travel violently and don't need violence to help spread. But, that's the past. User:Jamesbaker1 12:22 AM, 10 August 2015 (UTC)

Reanimating a corpse, much? Scream!! (talk) 14:39, 9 August 2015 (UTC)