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January 12, 2022

Colonialism for me, but not for thee [Joe Mannix]

"Colonialism" is yet another example of the Left's assault on language. You see this word all over the place in the writings of the woke, but it is never defined. This is because the definition is insane. In modern Left-speak, "colonialism" translates approximately to "white European influence." It applies specifically to anything American, though the British get a free ride as a result. Like the rest of the stuff that traces back to Postmodernism, colonialism is also, of course, a function of power. If you're powerful, your influence is colonial. If you're not powerful, your influence is non-colonial or even anti-colonial - unless an American does it, in which case it's "cultural appropriation." Nice trap.

So what is it, then? It's a pretty broad definition and is of course meaningless. But for some examples, the fact that English is the international language of business is "colonialism." American cultural exports (TV shows, movies, music, etc.) are "colonialism." Western standards for anything are "colonial" if those standards are extended to, say, a non-Western business partner. This is, of course, absurd.

But what isn't "colonialism?" Unsurprisingly, actual colonialism isn't colonialism. The best example of this is the 20-year experiment in Afghanistan. After conquering the country, the US government and countless NGOs flooded the country with all sorts of progressive propaganda and agencies. Western standard were imposed on the conquered. Giant signs and limitless quantities of materials on any given progressive concept - from women's rights to gay and transgender equality to medical care to everything else - were produced and distributed in Afghanistan. It was top-down imposition of alien cultural values on the vanquished population, and much of it was nice and Leftist - and unrelenting.

The destruction of these artifacts happened with astonishing rapidity as the Taliban retook control of the country during and after our disastrous and grossly mismanaged withdrawal. The fall of the progressive propaganda complex and various Western good deeds like girls schools in Afghanistan were much bemoaned by the Left. So much progress lost, and the country was returning to oppressive antiquated tyranny. They also didn't get why the Taliban was so enabled to sweep through the country without even token resistance. The two cannot possibly be related in any way whatsoever.

The contradiction in this is apparent. Any Western or - heaven forbid - American cultural influence is awful and oppressive and "colonial." Unless, of course, it is the work of the State/NGO complex that is working in accordance with their progressive goals. In that case, it isn't "colonialism" at all, it is just work to further the cause of various hyphenated forms of so-called "justice." It wasn't colonialism machinating in Afghanistan, it was merely justice being spread.

Your influence and ideas, whatever they are, are dangerous and oppressive colonialism. Their influence and ideas, even when financed by state actors and backed up with military might projected from the other side of the world, is just progress. Their literal, military-backed, state-sponsored imperial experiments are, somehow, not colonialism. Your insistence that all employees show up on time for meetings, however, is colonialism.

Doublespeak. It's what's for breakfast. And lunch. And dinner. Unless your culture doesn't value three meals a day, of course. We wouldn't want to be colonial about it.

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posted by Open Blogger at 11:00 AM

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