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Should We Be Proud Of The British Empire?


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#16 MrJohnDClare

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Posted 05 June 2009 - 05:28 PM

I'm just here to talk about slavery.

You really are a sharp cookie, and it is a delight to correspond with you.

Basically i'm a bit old-fashioned in some terms as you may say that i do not appreciate moral issues and you are exactly correct ... In my opinion, the British Empire was right in one way. It reaped its conquest ... So in my opinion, if slavery grants you a victory that can lead to more, than it should be exploited, no matter the moral issues.

However, although you might indeed be able to SAY these things, IN REAL LIFE people are surely bound to take the ethical/moral issues into account.
And that makes slavery wrong because it is a crime against humanty to enslave people.

YOUR argument - which amounts to: 'let's leave the moral issues on one side, and just say that slavery was good because it was effective' - is akin to Harold Shipman (that doctor who murdered all those old ladies) saying: 'Well let's leave on one side the moral issue that killing people is wrong, and then people will be able to praise the clever ways in which I murdered them and stole their money'.
Equally, your teacher could cut your tongue out and say: 'Well - leaving aside the physical assault - didn't I do well at stopping him talking'.

There's no doubt that you are an extremely clever pupil, but until you take the ethical issues into account in your arguments, you arguments will be shallow.

What makes the slavery debate interesting is the ethical issue: that Britain benefited hugely (basically, the slave trade helped cause the Industrial Revolution) from a wicked practice (and Africa was irrevocably damaged) ... and what are we going to do about it?
And what makes the British Empire debate interesting is the conflict of ethical issues - that the British Empire undeniably brought good things to Africa (railways, hospitals, law etc.) at the cost of depriving the African peoples of their right of self-determination ... so was it a good thing or a bad thing?

It's only when you add the ethical dimension that the thing becomes worth discussing.

#17 Cyfer

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Posted 06 June 2009 - 01:34 PM

I'll definitely take into account the point you made about an argument being shallow with ethnics, yet since i have started my rant this way, i'll have to continue as i'm extremely stubborn. Although next time i will take into account ethnics :)

What i am trying to get across a single empire, no divisions, factions, all the same basically, like some of the dystopian fictions you might read (i recommend 'We'). Britain could have all become this if it just used slavery more.

Yes i think slavery could help for a while. Although my idea of using slavery is that Britain could have conquered the world with slavery, than abolish it.
1) Slavery would give them a huge advantage to produce more weapons etc
2) If slavery was abolished 5 generations after it started than not too many people would remember it. Yes they might still have the old hatred but most of them would be extremely grateful to their previous 'owners' and stay loyal to them (well most of them). This way, you would achieve a huge empire with people very loyal to you!

There are a few huge flaws with this though
1) We would need someone like Cromwell to lead who does not desire power or riches
2) Securing the countries would be extremely difficult

The 'slaves' would now be freed people with all their own rights. Yet with the British as the head, the government.


When you talked about the man who killed old ladies for money and to show his skill i was disgusted. As i say i am old-fashioned and i only believe a victory should be used for honour. Slaves to be used to a greater cause, such as the get a larger empire, not by making them serve people but by making them create the needed weapons and be in the army. Than when you have achieved the cause you should free them, as they have now achieved your purpose and there is no reason for them to be treated that way anymore.


Yes this is a hugely flawed plan and it will never work. Its only an idea.

~Cyfer/Cipher

#18 Cyfer

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Posted 06 June 2009 - 01:43 PM

Excuse me Mr Clare, but what do you mean by a 'sharp cookie'?

#19 MrJohnDClare

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Posted 06 June 2009 - 01:54 PM

Point taken. The only counter-argument I would make is that - again - leaving out the ethical considerations invalidates the argument.
I can understand your argument that - in theory - an empire/slavery is a very efficient way of running the show.
BUT, as soon as you take the wickedness of slavery, and the deprivation of self-determination into account, it chnages the whole balance of debate. Mainly because the people who are so enslaved and depreioved of their liberty immediately stop supporting the state and start actively trying to undermine and wreck it ... which makes it VERY less efficient.

being shallow with ethnics, yet since i have started my rant this way, i'll have to continue as i'm extremely stubborn. Although next time i will take into account ethnics :)

You have muddled up ethics (= morality/right and wrong) with ethnics (= race/cultural issues)

1) We would need someone like Cromwell to lead who does not desire power or riches

So you are coming round to my way of thinking that Cromwell was a hero, then? :lol:

#20 MrJohnDClare

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Posted 06 June 2009 - 01:56 PM

Excuse me Mr Clare, but what do you mean by a 'sharp cookie'?

A bright, able pupil with a clever brain, a quick reposte and an admirable sense of your self-worth.

#21 Cyfer

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Posted 06 June 2009 - 05:35 PM

Point taken. The only counter-argument I would make is that - again - leaving out the ethical considerations invalidates the argument.
I can understand your argument that - in theory - an empire/slavery is a very efficient way of running the show.
BUT, as soon as you take the wickedness of slavery, and the deprivation of self-determination into account, it chnages the whole balance of debate. Mainly because the people who are so enslaved and depreioved of their liberty immediately stop supporting the state and start actively trying to undermine and wreck it ... which makes it VERY less efficient.

being shallow with ethnics, yet since i have started my rant this way, i'll have to continue as i'm extremely stubborn. Although next time i will take into account ethnics :)

You have muddled up ethics (= morality/right and wrong) with ethnics (= race/cultural issues)

1) We would need someone like Cromwell to lead who does not desire power or riches

So you are coming round to my way of thinking that Cromwell was a hero, then? :lol:


Cromwell as a hero? Not really. As a selfless leader that does not desire power yes.

Sorry i did mean ethics, just got it muddled up (as in the spelling).

If slaves try to undermine the state than we crack down and make their lives even more miserable until we have achieved our goal. Than we can free them. A way to stop them rebelling would be to frighten them ######less, with mass public executions, and employ the concentration camp policy substituting an escapee for a person who rebels. 1 man steps out of place, 10 get executed.

~Cyfer/Cipher

#22 Cyfer

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Posted 06 June 2009 - 05:40 PM

Excuse me Mr Clare, but what do you mean by a 'sharp cookie'?

A bright, able pupil with a clever brain, a quick reposte and an admirable sense of your self-worth.


Excuse but how would that be possible to derive without speaking to me earlier just from a quote that was straight-forward and to the point?

Sorry, actually i wrote that sentence too fast but i'll keep it just for the sake of reminding me to stop and think more. I shouldn't exclude previous actions, i was just curious to see how it was possible to do what i said above with only that quote.

By the way, what are you're favorite periods in history, why and in which continent are they situated in?
Such as mine would be the Renaissance period or Mongolian period with Genghis Khan. Genghis Khan because he is my hero as i admire him for his ruthlessness and efficiency in securing the world's largest empire at one point. Renaissance because it was a time of dramatic change and change interests me.

~Cyfer/Cipher

#23 MrJohnDClare

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Posted 06 June 2009 - 08:37 PM

A way to stop them rebelling would be to frighten them ######less, with mass public executions, and employ the concentration camp policy substituting an escapee for a person who rebels. 1 man steps out of place, 10 get executed.

You mean like Hitler?

#24 Cyfer

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Posted 07 June 2009 - 12:42 PM

A way to stop them rebelling would be to frighten them ######less, with mass public executions, and employ the concentration camp policy substituting an escapee for a person who rebels. 1 man steps out of place, 10 get executed.

You mean like Hitler?


yes, sorry for the vulgar language.

I did say i'm not taking into moral ethics into THIS conversation because i'm stubborn.

#25 MrJohnDClare

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Posted 07 June 2009 - 01:22 PM

I did say i'm not taking into moral ethics into THIS conversation because i'm stubborn.

Yes - I'm sure everybody will be able to see that you've abandoned all attempt at any morality whatsoever!

Posted Image
(Cyfer's hero)

I'm only joking. And to be fair, what you are suggesting was what every successful civilisation did right up to about 1939.
It's only after 1945 that we in the West have been trying to grow out of that sort of approach to civil rights.

#26 Anti45

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Posted 08 June 2009 - 02:46 PM

I'm only joking. And to be fair, what you are suggesting was what every successful civilisation did right up to about 1939.
It's only after 1945 that we in the West have been trying to grow out of that sort of approach to civil rights.


A bit of a simplification of British Imperial Policy.
I mean Slavey was abolished in 1833.
And while much of Africa was still subject to well meaning but unfortunatly flawed Christian Missionary Missions and social darwinists , like Cecil Rhodes. India was in the embryonic stages of self governance well before 1939. Most illustrated through its advanced independence movement and the role many British educated Indians had running the nation at regional levels.

Oh and Hello :)

#27 MrJohnDClare

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Posted 08 June 2009 - 04:53 PM

I'm only joking. And to be fair, what you are suggesting was what every successful civilisation did right up to about 1939.
It's only after 1945 that we in the West have been trying to grow out of that sort of approach to civil rights.


A bit of a simplification of British Imperial Policy.
I mean Slavey was abolished in 1833.
And while much of Africa was still subject to well meaning but unfortunatly flawed Christian Missionary Missions and social darwinists , like Cecil Rhodes. India was in the embryonic stages of self governance well before 1939. Most illustrated through its advanced independence movement and the role many British educated Indians had running the nation at regional levels.

Good point well made.

#28 Cyfer

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Posted 08 June 2009 - 06:26 PM

I'm only joking. And to be fair, what you are suggesting was what every successful civilisation did right up to about 1939.
It's only after 1945 that we in the West have been trying to grow out of that sort of approach to civil rights.


A bit of a simplification of British Imperial Policy.
I mean Slavey was abolished in 1833.
And while much of Africa was still subject to well meaning but unfortunatly flawed Christian Missionary Missions and social darwinists , like Cecil Rhodes. India was in the embryonic stages of self governance well before 1939. Most illustrated through its advanced independence movement and the role many British educated Indians had running the nation at regional levels.

Oh and Hello :)


Christian Missionaries have been flawed everywhere, my favorite example is how they controlled trade and made billions in Japan.

Hi :D

#29 smarty

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Posted 04 July 2009 - 05:21 PM

no you shouldnt be coz british empire looted india and all its resources from kohinoor diamond everyone can get stronger by looting. ;)

#30 Marx

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Posted 31 July 2009 - 06:18 PM

If slavery was abolished 5 generations after it started than not too many people would remember it.


So, for instance if Germany won World War 2, would we now be thanking them for the holocaust ?

Would we be congratulating Stalin for his speedy execution of up to 20 million people during his purges ?

Evidence can always be altered (including photographs [1] and videos) to prove things otherwise, but the truth will nearly always pass down through writing or word of mouth from generation to generation.


I think we should be proud of what we achieved, we're a tiny country after all, however we should be ashamed of the methods used to achieve it.




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