Postcolonial Poverty


With the death of Queen Elizabeth, much is inevitably being said of the evils of the British Empire.

It is an interesting fact that Columbus discovered the New
World the same year that the Spanish finally expelled the Moors. In other words,
Spain began its greatest, most glorious era the very year it slipped the yoke
of colonization itself.

The Dutch repeated the trick: they built an overseas empire just
as they were casting off the Spanish yoke in turn.

The Jews, we know, are notably successful. Within living
memory, they were hunted and killed throughout Europe.

In 1930, under the British Empire, India was responsible for
6.42% of world GDP. Five years after independence, it was down to 3.8%. In
2010, it was at 4.2%; it has risen in the last few years to 7.19%.

In other words, places like Africa and South Asia cannot
blame their present poverty on having been oppressed three generations ago. Modern
American blacks cannot blame their present poverty on slavery a century and a
half ago. It does not work like that.



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