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December 25, 2016 / Congau

Colonial Wars

The world was divided in masters and slaves. The masters were white men from Europe. They grabbed the land of inferior peoples and ruled them for a century. Then the slaves rose against their masters. Wars were fought, slaves were killed; they sacrificed themselves for their freedom. But they won, they won, and now they are free.

That is the story. It is told and retold in the national mythology of those who fought. The former masters are a little ashamed, but they have mended their ways and are now rulers of justice.

Colonialism is a thing of the past, bizarre in its overt injustice. It had to end and it ended. Today there are other ways to control the world; more subtle, but effective. The colonies are not colonies anymore and people rule themselves, they think.

Could there possibly have been one single country left bearing the name of Colony? No they are all independent in their dependence. Those who fought have the same kind of freedom as those who didn’t. Then why did they fight?

If we were to rewrite the history of one of those colonies and imagine that they had never taken up arms against their masters, where would they have been today? If Algeria had never fought, would it still be called a colony? If Vietnam had not risen, would it now have been the last remaining colony of the world? That is highly unlikely.

They are all called independent now. The colonies are called countries. Did they sacrifice their blood for a change of names? Maybe not even that was necessary…

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