Tuesday, June 16, 2015

The benefits of colonization
The New Zealand Company had quaint views about expropriating Maori land. Maori land could be bought cheaply in its view, as Maori would be rewarded by their being 'civilized' [Patricia Burns, Fatal Success, p. 52] Wakefield, writing about the 'Exceptional Laws in favour of the Natives of New Zealand' quoted an anonymous authority that Colonization was a 'great and unwonted blessing when one party was 'immeasurably inferior to the other'. New Zealanders looked up to the Englishman 'as being eminently superior to himself, that the idea of asserting his own independence of equality never entered his mind …' [Ibid p.53] Wakefied not only knew little about the Maori, he also refused to learn from the literature around at the time. Polack's book, at least his his first book, Travels and Adventures had been published, as well as books by missionaries and other travellers. It was debated in the House of Lords and the House of Representative. The debates were widely reported in the newspapers. But presenting the reality undermined the fantasy and the fantasy was necessary for the huge profits investors hoped to make from the settlement of New Zealand. Deliberate ignorance and turning a blind eye to reality was useful for turning a profit. This was true in the early nineteenth century, it was true in the twentieth century. Killing Patrice Lumumba in the Congo in 1961, Mohammad Mosaddegh in Iran in 1953, Salvador Allende in Chile in 1973, Muhammar Gaddafi in Libya in 2011 were similarly cloaked in the guise of spreading democracy, a profit motivated objective grounded in ignorance of the prevailing conditions.