It is utterly sickening that two of the greatest ever writers of English literature, William Somerset Maugham and Joseph Rudyard Kipling have become non persons, cast into oblivion by the politically correct left. Not because they promoted Empire, but because they wrote about it. We now have had several generations who have been denied the incredible insight into the human condition, the great adventures, the fantastic characters, the sounds and smells of exotic places that both these amazing authors created. But you can’t keep a great man down, Kipling rightly won the Nobel Prize for literature and every year If is voted to be the nation’s favourite poem. The ignorant left must be seething.
The left’s view of Empire is that it was just pure exploitation and suppression. This is a complete lie. The British Empire did more to advance civilisation than any other force in history. Let’s look at some of what was achieved:
- Peace. Pax Brittanica. We came to lands were warfare had been the way of life for millennia, India and Africa. And we stopped it. We made the world into the most peaceful place it had ever been, far more peaceful than it is today.
- Rule of Law. Most places we arrived had no rule of law. Might was right. We put in the British legal system which gave the vast majority of people far more human rights than they had ever had before.
- Trade. The left spout that Empire was exploitative and merely extracted the wealth of other nations. This is a lie. Empire was all about trade, creating markets for British goods around the world whilst creating markets for global goods in Britain. And huge trade between all the different parts of Empire. This massively advanced the economy of the whole world.
- Infrastructure. We established and maintained the world’s shipping routes, road systems everywhere we went, and railways including the world’s biggest system, in India. Our plumbing was famous and on the Mediterranean islands we ran, Cyprus, Malta, Rhodes, Corfu, Menorca etc it is safe to drink the tap water!
- Education. In many nations we brought literacy for the first time and created widespread educational reform. When we found intellectual superstars we often brought them back to Britain to receive the world’s best education. Look up Srinivasa Ramanujan.
- The English language. The world’s language upon which so much of man’s development has been built. English is the language of trade, the language of science, the language of entertainment.
- A middle class. Not only businessmen and traders, Empire created a global middle class of doctors, dentists, lawyers, journalists and all the other professions necessary for an advanced civilisation.
- Technology. The industrial revolution happened in Britain, we invented and developed most of the technology that makes the modern world possible. And we exported much of this out to the Empire. From printing presses to steel works. Tata Iron and Steel Company (TISCO) was established by Dorabji Tata, India in 1907.
- Sport. The world’s sports, from soccer, through golf to tennis are the British sports. Empire achieved this.
- Slavery. The British led the world in trying to get rid of this. The Slave Trade Act of 1807 made the slave trade illegal throughout the British Empire, the Slavery Abolition Act of 1833 made slavery totally illegal. Between 1808 and 1860, the Royal Navy’s West Africa Squadron seized approximately 1,600 slave ships and freed 150,000 Africans who were aboard.
When Empire ended it was often not replaced by liberal democracy, instead a venal, avaricious ruling class took over and treated whole countries as personal fiefdoms. Very many countries went backwards and lots of people in the world would have preferred to have the Empire back. And for those who think that democracy is the great panacea, just remember the immense harm it has caused (click here to open article).
So far from something to be ashamed of, the British Empire was one of mankind’s greatest ever achievements. It created the modern world that we all live in and everyone owes it a huge debt for the huge advance in civilisation that it brought. The left are very wrong about this, just as they are wrong about most things.