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What Do Brits Think Of The British Empire?




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#11 wiccan_witch

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Posted June 19 2015 - 05:05 AM

Many of the features of the empire are regrettable. Slavery, which you didn't mention being one of the worst things, and a primary source of wealth for the colonialists.

The way in which indigenous cultures were treated was appalling, in Africa, Australasia and many other places, America of course being another example.

Also worth bearing in mind is that those who benefited from the empire were only an elite at the top of the social pile. Conditions in Britain for workers were very bad during the empire period,severe poverty was rampant,and the ill gotten gains of colonialism were appropriated by the ruling class. The same ruling class who were willing to sacrifice the lives of millions in the pointless imperial war of 1914-18.

That said, although I regret the empire, I don't feel shame, as it was previous generations who did all that.I might as well feel shame at just being human, given all the abuses humans have carried out globally over the entire course of history.On the other hand, I am certainly not proud of this country or it's blood soaked past. I'd like to see an end to the British establishment, but they have a way of hanging on. I suspect that during the next century we will see Britain reduced further to the status of a minor and insignificant player on the world stage.



Blackbill - are you from the UK? :) I suppose the differences in our perspectives if you are, may come from my being born and brought up in a former colony. The impact of what happened to the indigenous people here in NZ is still occurring here. Maori land disputes under the Treaty of Waitangi are still a very real and ongoing thing here. Maori are vastly over represented in crime stats and health stats due to an often very low socio economic status, not to mention what I hear my fellow Pakeha (fellow European New Zealanders) saying about them sometimes when they feel there are no Maori around. Here, we can't just say 'Oh well, it's done now, and was done for the best, and I personally didn't do anything wrong, so why don't they just get over it?'. For the country to move forward as a whole, changes need to be made, and rights need to be wronged. This is happening, but slowly, and changes in attitudes will take time.

#12 NoxiousGas

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Posted June 19 2015 - 06:21 AM

funny how Balbus is always absent from these threads about Britain, but if it was "what do Brits think about America" he would have posted 6 pages by now.

 

 

LOL


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#13 BlackBillBlake

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Posted June 19 2015 - 11:54 AM

Blackbill - are you from the UK? :) I suppose the differences in our perspectives if you are, may come from my being born and brought up in a former colony. The impact of what happened to the indigenous people here in NZ is still occurring here. Maori land disputes under the Treaty of Waitangi are still a very real and ongoing thing here. Maori are vastly over represented in crime stats and health stats due to an often very low socio economic status, not to mention what I hear my fellow Pakeha (fellow European New Zealanders) saying about them sometimes when they feel there are no Maori around. Here, we can't just say 'Oh well, it's done now, and was done for the best, and I personally didn't do anything wrong, so why don't they just get over it?'. For the country to move forward as a whole, changes need to be made, and rights need to be wronged. This is happening, but slowly, and changes in attitudes will take time.

Yes - I'm from the UK. And I think you're right that we would have different perspectives on the after effects of colonialism. I can't say I know much about the specific situation of the Maori. But from what you say it's the same story that's repeated elsewhere where indigenous people's feel they have been displaced, and I sympathize with them. I hope you're right that attitudes are changing and things will get better in the future.

 

Although I am from the UK, I'm actually only 50% genetically British, as my grandfather was Irish, and my grandmother French. So maybe because of that I don't feel as identified with the history of Britain as many Brits do. I see that Britain made great contributions in terms of science, medicine, exploration - many fields, but also that untold suffering was caused to huge numbers of people in the empire period.

 

I'm all for moving ahead into the future with the attitude that we should try where we can to redress wrongs that were done in the past. 


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#14 autophobe2e

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Posted August 13 2015 - 01:45 PM

No shame about the actions of previous generations, but a recognition that the quality of life and position on the world stage that we currently enjoy were earned in deeply unethical ways should imbue us with a sense of social responsibility.


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#15 BlackBillBlake

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Posted August 14 2015 - 10:05 AM

No shame about the actions of previous generations, but a recognition that the quality of life and position on the world stage that we currently enjoy were earned in deeply unethical ways should imbue us with a sense of social responsibility.

It should indeed. But the sad truth is that we still have millions reading the Sun, a paper that recently described African and other migrants drowning in the Mediterranean as 'cockroaches'.

So evidently, there's a long way to go. 


'Delicacy and dignity are taught by the heart and not by the dancing master' - Dostoevsky.


#16 Asmo

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Posted August 15 2015 - 03:08 AM

No shame about the actions of previous generations, but a recognition that the quality of life and position on the world stage that we currently enjoy were earned in deeply unethical ways should imbue us with a sense of social responsibility.

 

 

It should indeed. But the sad truth is that we still have millions reading the Sun, a paper that recently described African and other migrants drowning in the Mediterranean as 'cockroaches'.

So evidently, there's a long way to go. 

 

Love these posts. They could also be in the ultimate evil empire threads. Yes, it is sometimes very relative.



#17 BlackBillBlake

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Posted August 15 2015 - 03:42 AM

Love these posts. They could also be in the ultimate evil empire threads. Yes, it is sometimes very relative.

It's all relative. I mean that abuses occur in many cultures and nations. What varies is the scale and nature of the abuses.

 

So whilst we still have a lot of post imperialist racist morons, we also have had some progress in things like banning corporal punishment and the death penalty, women's equality, gay rights and so on.

 

What we're seeing at present with the situation over immigrants trying to get through the channel tunnel, is that the govt, here don't want to to apply the same standard to 'outsiders' as to the native population. I don't mean we should just have an open border, but the rhetoric used against these people has become quite vicious.


'Delicacy and dignity are taught by the heart and not by the dancing master' - Dostoevsky.


#18 Asmo

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Posted August 15 2015 - 04:18 AM

We shouldn't have an open border but to say we don't take any more fugitives while they are already in Europe (so basically say it's on Italy, Greece and other countries where these fugitives' travels stagnates) is pretty sad and wrong. We are fucking both our fellow EU countries as well as these refugees over. Saying they should have stayed on the other side of the mediterrean does not work. They did cross it and many others do and are dying while trying. 



#19 BlackBillBlake

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Posted August 15 2015 - 04:43 AM

We shouldn't have an open border but to say we don't take any more fugitives while they are already in Europe (so basically say it's on Italy, Greece and other countries where these fugitives' travels stagnates) is pretty sad and wrong. We are fucking both our fellow EU countries as well as these refugees over. Saying they should have stayed on the other side of the mediterrean does not work. They did cross it and many others do and are dying while trying. 

I feel for those people. It seems to me that our politicians don't care if other EU countries get more than their share, and that the immigrants themselves are somehow less than human, or less than Brits anyway. Cameron recently described them as a 'swarm' - and got criticized for de-humanizing them with those comments. Evidently though , he's unrepentant.

 

Anyway, as one of the biggest economies in Europe, and as a post-imperial power, I feel we should do more to help. Best thing would be to have an EU conference and decide on quotas for each country - at least as far as people who have already made it to Europe are concerned. All the right wing press here do is criticize the French whilst portraying immigrants as scroungers who only want to come here to claim benefits. They seem to have no human feeling towards these people at all.


'Delicacy and dignity are taught by the heart and not by the dancing master' - Dostoevsky.


#20 ozjohn39

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Posted September 07 2017 - 05:13 PM

The British Empire no longer exists!






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