Saturday, March 19, 2011

First Step

I recently returned from a trip from the third-world-country of Morocco where I studied ideologies surrounding diffusionism (defined as exogenous invention or material effect that emerged from a foreign country) and colonization (defined as the usurpation and settlement from a dominant and rapacious country into a specific land in which inhabitants already dwell). Colonization began in northern Africa during the middle of the 19th century in the third round of global empire. In the area within the Maghreb (Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia, Libya, Mauritania, and the disputed Western Sahara), colonization came from the French Empire. In studying the specific aspect of the inevitable revolution as the writer Albert Memmi stated in his book, The Colonizer, the Colonized, as the result of colonization, one must identify the participating factors, in other words, the usurper and the conquered subordinate.
            The colonizer, as identified as the usurper, derived from a direct result of the Métropole (the French mother land in Europe) ideology of civilizing abroad in order to civilize at home (the Métropole). Imperialism from the French perspective allowed for national pride through conquest and the Enlightenment concept of la mission civilisatrice. This ideology comes from “The White Man’s Burden,” a supposition entailing the white man’s place in the world. Rudyard Kipling authored the writings entitled “The White Man’s Burden,” in which he detailed that the civilized, white man shoulders an obligation to civilize the heathen world, in this case, Africa. The colonizer believed he possessed a right to colonize even at the expense of becoming a usurper because of the civilizing mission as Paul Leroy-Beaulieu wrote that colonization brings the substandard civilizations to maturity and grow into a productive member of the world society. Leroy-Beaulieu compared the idea to a parent raising a child. Albert Memmi portrayed the colonizer as a hegemonic (defined as domination of one group over another: politically, culturally, economically, or socially) colonial that accepted himself as a usurper of privilege by putting his own laws in a land that was not his own.
            The colonized, as identified as the conquered subordinate, emanated from a more tribal environment and while constructing a semblance of urbanization and government the tribal community’s loyalty lay with the village authorities. The colonized maintained a technologically inferior civilization in the means of war and in so much that the colonizer tenaciously dominated the native population which commenced the mentality of internalizing the effigy of the colonizer from the view of the colonized. The authority of the colonizer remained essential because if the colonized believed in the colonizer they may start to inculcate the colonizers’ negative ideologies of the colonized and accept it as the truth. This internal authoritative understanding on the part of the colonized initiates the beginning stage of colonized revolution.


At March 24, 2011 at 7:32 PM , Blogger Mara said...

This is a nicely concise overview of the colonial relationship. Is that what your topic will be or have you decided yet? I'm interested to see your point of view as a history major, who I would assume has had many classes that discussed colonization and its effects (at least to some extent). Also, don't forget that colonization in the Maghreb started long before the French came to town.

At March 27, 2011 at 2:35 PM , Blogger said...

You start out talking about diffusionism. Will you be elaborating more on this in future blog entries? If so, what kinds of diffusionism? French, American or something else? Political, social, linguistic, etc? Whenever I travel, I find myself noting how cultures I'm familiar with have influenced the country I'm in. I try to figure out through what paths those things came to be in that country. I also like to laugh over some of the funnier versions of diffusionism, such as seeing little girls in townships outside of Cape Town, SA wearing backpacks with Miley Cyrus on them. From Nashville to Khayetlisha; it's amusing.

Also, there is one part of your entry which I find a bit confusing: "The colonizer, as identified as the usurper, derived from a direct result of the Métropole (the French mother land in Europe) ideology of civilizing abroad in order to civilize at home (the Métropole)." What do you mean by "civilizing at home"? You follow up this sentence by speaking of French national pride. Do you believe national pride to be a trait of a civilized culture?

At March 27, 2011 at 2:56 PM , Blogger Colloquium Writer said...

National pride is a direct result of any successful empire. Although "civilized" is interpretive, the Eurocentric ideologies viewed the French as civilized of course. When Dr. Propes, a European historian, delivered her lecture, she explained that "la mission civilisatrice" was a propaganda tool used by the Métropole in order to show their tenacious civility by civilizing abroad in that no country can therotically civilize abroad without first being civilized at home (the Métropole).

At March 27, 2011 at 9:14 PM , Blogger Steven said...

I think I would have to agree that national pride is key to being able to be a successful colonizer. Throughout history, countries have invaded others but many of these conquests (such as those of the Vikings) were mostly for conquest and plunder, not colonization. The very idea of colonization requires a country that feels they have something that is worth sharing with the rest of the world, which then morphs into the ideology of the white man's burden and la mission civilisatrice.


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