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Old 03-28-2007, 06:33 PM   #91
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Junior college...
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Old 03-28-2007, 06:34 PM   #92
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Ok, thank you
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Old 03-28-2007, 06:38 PM   #93
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Junior college...

WTF is that?


For the non Americans here

In the United States, a junior college is a two-year post-secondary school whose main purpose is to provide academic, vocational and professional education. The highest certificate offered by such schools is usually an associate's degree, although many junior college students continue their education at a university or college, transferring some or all of the credit earned at the junior college toward the degree requirements of the four-year school.
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Old 03-28-2007, 06:54 PM   #94
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Thank you for the explanation.
I really have no clue about all the details of the American school system.
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Old 03-29-2007, 09:47 AM   #95
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I can understand why this issue is personal to you. As a matter of fact, I think the issue of race is more often emotional than it is rational.
Let me be clear, that I stand by the rationality of my arguments. Where the emotional aspect comes in, is in my more heated tone. In that respect it's hard to stay even-keeled. But I'm convinced that rationality of my statements on this topic is sound.

Let me also point out that there's a good reason that many people have a strong "emotional" reaction to the issue of racism. Because racism causes very real emotional pain in a way that our differences over our views of the current administration never will. Let's not casually dismiss people getting emotionally worked up over the things that matter most in their lives. How "unemotional" would you be if someone started in on your mother? Your children?


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we were forced to read and write essays on African poetry which the teacher considered "just as beautiful and important." Needless to say - the poetry was pure crap.
Yeah. It's this bit that seems to give you away, as numerous posters have pointed out. In order to have even a remote leg to stand on in this discussion, you're going to have to explain that. Adequately.
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Old 03-29-2007, 09:58 AM   #96
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You could argue that countries are better off today (higher standard of living, better educated) for their time under Imperialistic rule or because of colonization, yet also argue that national sovereignty is more important in the end.
Hmmm. I don't know about that one. . .I'm trying to think of a country that's really benefited with a higher standard of living, and better education due to colonialism. India maybe? (Yolland could probably clarify that since it's her area of expertise). Singapore? But that country was a mess when the British pulled out in the 60s and it was really the Singaporean government run by Singaporeans that put the country on the road to the prosperity it now enjoys. But I think can think of a lot more countries that haven't benefited. Much of Africa comes to mind.

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You sound like you travel a lot. I'm torn, on one hand I think it's inevitable that slowly the world will continue trending towards sounding and looking alike as peoples and cultures blend. Being better to happen naturally and not as the result of invasion as these things have happened in the past. However, it's nice to travel and experience different foods, and customs and such. Diversity can be a very good thing.
I do travel alot and I live essentially outside of the U.S. (though technically this is U.S. soil). I generally agree with your statment here, though I do hope that the world won't become too homegenized, as I also enjoy the diversity. Like I say though, culture is a dynamic, always changing thing, so I think whatever version of "western culture" may eventually "take over the world" will be quite different from what we know it as now.
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Old 03-29-2007, 10:05 AM   #97
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I had shrill propagandists in both my core and and in my major studies.
And you don't think you're hearing a lot of shrill propaganda from the Right?

AEON, you're an intelligent man--that much is clear, and I can tell you think deeply. But I have to tell you, I get the sense you're being sold a bill of goods and don't even realize it.

Every now and then you drop these Limbaugh/Coulter/Hannity sound-a-like one-liners, snappy little sweeping statements, and I'm just amazed you don't see those types of statements you're parroting for the propaganda THEY are.
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Old 03-29-2007, 10:09 AM   #98
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Originally posted by maycocksean


Hmmm. I don't know about that one. . .I'm trying to think of a country that's really benefited with a higher standard of living, and better education due to colonialism.


West and Central Africa have had such a dandy time since the end of colonalism. Sierra Leone and Liberia and Congo are much, much better off.
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Old 03-29-2007, 10:15 AM   #99
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West and Central Africa have had such a dandy time since the end of colonalism. Sierra Leone and Liberia and Congo are much, much better off.
Indeed. Though, technically, Liberia was never a colony per se.
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Old 03-29-2007, 11:18 AM   #100
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West and Central Africa have had such a dandy time since the end of colonalism. Sierra Leone and Liberia and Congo are much, much better off.
Never been, but I hear Guam and Puerto Rico aren't doing too shabby as territories of the United States. The United States itself have benefited greatly from being settled by the French, Spanish, Dutch and of coarse the British, which saw 13 of it's colonies rebel against their rule in 1776.
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Old 03-30-2007, 02:28 AM   #101
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This is awesome. Look at what the Genie in Alladin did for blue people!
LOL
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Old 03-30-2007, 02:30 AM   #102
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Originally posted by maycocksean
I'm trying to think of a country that's really benefited with a higher standard of living, and better education due to colonialism. India maybe?
Whether and to what extent countries which were colonies during the European colonial era could be said to have "benefited" from the experience is a contentious, contradiction-filled and, IMO, ultimately rather moot question (as we have no way of knowing how they might have responded, or failed to respond, to global modernizing trends otherwise). India is somewhat unique in that the Raj was, *relative to* other colonial ventures of its time, characterized by a formidably competent, efficient administration and a level of regard for and understanding of the indigenous culture, society and institutions rarely seen elsewhere. In democratization theory, you'll sometimes see the sociological concept of the 'modular society' employed to highlight certain aspects of a country's traditional political culture, implying that these tendencies made it more amenable to the introduction of modern liberal-democratic institutions. With reference to India, this argument basically states that above and beyond the institutional and infrastructural foundations which were (again *relatively*, quite securely) laid during the long years of the Raj, there were also many tendencies in Indian political history which facilitated a fairly smooth transition to democracy: decentralized power structures in which no one party held absolute power; well-developed legal institutions accustomed to working from written laws; extensive regional and international trade networks; and perhaps above all the caste system, which allowed interest groups defined by a trade real 'collective bargaining power' in the political sphere, in a similar way to how the guild system and the merchant classes acted as a check on monarchal power (and in this case each other's power) in European history. So, they did have extensive experience in reconciling and balancing competing group interests against each other through a political process of give-and-take.

However, it goes without saying that Britain's interests in India weren't altruistic in nature, and the indigenous economy was utterly devastated by British rule no matter how you slice it. Starting under the British East India Company and accelerating during the Raj period, mercantilist policies--regional and international trade monopolies which flooded Indian markets with cheap imports while minimizing exports; increased tax burdens despite often lower labor wages; inflationary measures which drove up food costs; large-scale export of staple crops to Britain; seizure and forced conversion of farmland to British-owned plantations--combined to decimate native industries. More than 100 million Indians died from famines directly caused or greatly exacerbated by these policies, and in the opinion of most historians, India's estimated share of global GDP plummeted from 25% to about 10% under the Raj. And that's not counting death tolls from conquests nor from Partition, probably Britain's single most catastrophic administrative mistake. Furthermore the usual divide-and-conquer tactics, 'effective' though they often were, often also greatly exacerbated existing social divides, and in some cases created ones which hadn't previously existed. As for education, much of India did have a traditional system of temple/mosque/church-academy based education (gurukhul) which was widespread in towns and cities through to the early colonial period (subsidized by the wealthier castes, inexpensive or free for poorer castes) but that completely fell apart in all but a few regions after the British instituted modern Western-style schools and colleges, which were the only ones they recognized degrees from. It was left to independent India to bring about universal compulsory education and the results of this have been decidedly middling, as have economic policies which for too long gave building a solid industrial base ill-advisedly short shrift in favor of, first, agriculture and, later, high-tech trades.

I've gone on enough already, but suffice to say you could identify just as many "ambiguities" in the history of almost any former colony. While it's not my area of expertise, I agree you'd be hard-pressed to argue most sub-Saharan African former colonies really benefited much from colonialism--over and over there you see the patterns of (once again) devastation of the native economy, land use and political representation policies which greatly exacerbated existing social divides, drawing of boundaries with no regard to indigenous demographics, subsequent opportunistic Cold War meddling which propped up thug-warlords-turned-thug-dictators, and so on. As for colonial America, I don't think that makes for a very good comparison (unless we're talking impact on Native Americans) as most of the colonists were already the product of at least incipient capitalist democracies to begin with and didn't experience anything on the order of the forced transformation of their 'traditional' economies and political institutions that others did.

Finally, it should be kept in mind that democracy and economic modernization hardly proceeded smoothly (or without a big boost from colonial ventures, for that matter) in much of the West--you know, civil wars, fascism and all that. And that none of this has anything remotely sensible to do with whether it's a good, bad, or neutral thing that the Walt Disney Company is now preparing to offer us a black *American* cartoon princess. So much of what passes for the "Culture Wars" is in fact the product of debates which are internal to and longstanding within Western culture, not a question of there actually being some ready-at-hand 'alternative civilization' which anyone proposes to 'replace' ours with.

And for a bit of levity, since INDY mentioned those ambassadors par excellence for Western culture The Beatles, here's a glimpse at Bollywood's take on what they and the tourists they inspired had to "spread" among Indian youth, circa 1971. Paranoia and distorted perceptions of what exactly is being introduced go both ways.
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Old 03-30-2007, 10:21 AM   #103
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Never been, but I hear Guam and Puerto Rico aren't doing too shabby as territories of the United States. The United States itself have benefited greatly from being settled by the French, Spanish, Dutch and of coarse the British, which saw 13 of it's colonies rebel against their rule in 1776.


but you have heard about all those pesky african civil wars -- the 4.5 million who died in the congo around 2002 or so, and that movie "Blood Diamond" and the Liberian civil war from 2003 or so.
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Old 03-30-2007, 10:35 AM   #104
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The reason there hasn't been one before is because, simply, the storylines didn't fit it. Most fairy tales are European. They did an excellent job of finding international stories like Aladdin and Mulan, and Pocahontas the American princess. I don't see how this "Maddy" is royalty, perhaps they should have used an African tale? The story looks very cute, and it's great that it's going to be something all American kids will love, the color of the princess makes no difference. I will be glad to see her on the "Princess" cereal box with the others.
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Old 03-30-2007, 06:21 PM   #105
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for reals

AND NOW WE GET A 20 MILLION MAKEOVER FOR:




to Chairman of the Board

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