Skip to main content

Full text of "Man In The Modern World"

See other formats

E world is changing under our eyes.   To the accompaniment
JL of much blood-letting, burning of crops, destruction of buildings,
hunger, disease, and torture (but also much bravery, devotion, in-
genuity, efficiency, and hard thinking), the institutions and ideas of a
historical epoch are on their way into the discard. Unlimited national
sovereignty, laisser-faire liberalism, unrestricted capitalist enterprise,
neutrality, the police state, free trade, are swirling irrevocably down
the cosmic drain.
In such a confusion of change, the colonies are bound to be in-
volved. The world's conscience is beginning to grow a little uneasy
over the fact of one country "possessing" another as a colony, just
as it grew uneasy a century or so ago over the fact of one human
being possessing another as a slave. The inter-war disputation be-
tween the "have" and the "have-not" powers is wearing a bit thin.
It is beginning to dawn on us that the real "have-nots" are the
colonial peoples themselves.
The mercantilist view of colonies as milch-cows to be exploited for
the benefit of the metropolitan power, when looked at firmly in the
light of post-depression economics, is seen to be as short-sighted as it
was selfish; not merely to provide a moral basis for their dependent
empires, but to increase general prosperity, the standard of living of
the native colonial peoples (nearly an eighth of the world's population)
niust imperatively be raised. The principle of trusteeship sounded
rather noble when applied to mandates in 1919; but now, even if it
were to be adopted for all colonies, it would look inadequate. The
only possible substitute for imperialism is seen to be the development
—political and social as well as economic—of the areas now classed
as colonies. What is more, the development must be undertaken
internationally. The separate possession of colonies was an inevitable
consequence or extension of the game of power politics as played by
independent sovereign states; whatever international framework is
superposed upon nationalism after this war, it must concern itself
with the colonies as well as with the advanced nations on which the
colonies depend.
Colonies in the broad sense of the word may enjoy the status of
Crown colonies, protectorates, condominiums, mandated territories
of various categories, and so forth. But they all share one essential
feature—they are politically dependent territories, administered from