Immigration, Assimilation, Ethnicity and All That Jazz

No European Colonialism = No issues in former colonies?

Posted by chinesecanuck on June 12, 2008

From Racialicious, posted by Eujunco:

Now Thats some sad stuff, if the Europeans just left everyone alone we probably won’t have as much problems as we do today, all we can do now is try to work things out with each other with violence being the last option, or not even an option.

I think it will depend on the country and the issues we’re talking about. Japan wasn’t a European colony, but it is certainly influenced by the west, especially after it opened to the “outside world” in the nineteenth century (there were westerners in Japan prior to 1854, but to my understanding, they were mostly missionaries). I mean, would we as a society, be playing Grand Theft Auto (I’m not playing this, but the boyfriend is) on our PS3s? Will we be driving Toyotas? Buying Toshiba laptops? Eating sushi? I don’t know of a single person who doesn’t own at least one Japanese brand. Even my grandparents, who grew up in China during WWII own a Japanese rice cooker, watches Chinese soaps on a Sony television and drives a Toyota!

In some cases, yes, there might be issues, especially in terms of ethnicity, but we might not be enjoying products we love without western influence!

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6 Responses to “No European Colonialism = No issues in former colonies?”

  1. Oh my gosh. Eujunco was talking about colonialism specifically, yet you pretend that she is talking about Western influence in general. Cultural exchange happens everywhere, and is not unique to the West. Cultural exchange is not relevant to evaluating the ethics of colonialism, as it happens without colonialism.

    It’s as if you think that a criticism of Western colonialism is the same as hating Western culture and cultural exchange.

    Why are you like this? Why are you under the impression that Western culture (minus the aspects that are racist) is under attack from antiracists?

  2. You know, colonialism has its good points and bad points. Hong Kong, without colonialism would be just another hick town. And because of the lack of money (the bigwigs would all be up in Beijing and Shanghai), it would likely have suffered greatly under Chairman Mao. Hong Kong will unlikely be as cosmopolitan as it is today (ditto with Singapore).

  3. Renee said

    wow are you ever full of assumptions. Colonialism is an oppressive system built upon the exploitation of bodies of color. What we (the west) have deemed advancement has meant the death of millions not to mention the untold damage to the environment. Just because some products are convenient does not mean that they are worth the destruction that is necessary for production.

  4. Hmmm….I really doubt that people in Hong Kong would be sending their children abroad if they hated the British…most of the Asian (boarding) students at my alma mater were from Hong Kong. Many families send their kids to school in the UK as well (e.g. several of my family friends)

  5. Sabrina said

    Hahaha, you are hilarious and obviously know nothing about HK and the protests going on there. Yeah, I’m sure that all the people sending their kids to UK schools were totally not adversely affected by colonialism…because they sent their kids to UK schools.
    Go make some friends with Hong Kong businessmen, but be sure to avoid the older districts, you will be sadly sadly disillusioned that the residents of Hong Kong love the British.
    Do you live under some Canadian rock? Or do you only learn history from Wikipedia? B/c that’s where I read some really ridiculous and stupid colonialist tripe about HK being a hicktown without the British. New research says it isn’t so. And Hong Kong has been struggling mightily with de-colonizing themselves and saving the vestiges of their culture from behind shiny malls.

  6. So Sabrina, you really think Hong Kong would have been successful under Mao? I’m sorry, but Hong Kong would not have developed during the time when mainland China was closed to the rest of the world. You do realize that Hong Kong was basically a fishing village in the 1800s, right? Sure, had the British not colonized HK, it could still very well be very successful today, but it would definitely have a different image. It’ll likely be a winter destination for seniors from Beijing and Shanghai. Think Florida.

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