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Full text of "Man In The Modern World"

MAN IN THE  MODERN  WORLD
For these and other reasons, it seems best, while perhaps retaining
the mandatory principle for the existing mandated areas, to include
it within a wholly new system. This system must be as comprehen-
sively international as possible. It is no good blinking the fact that
some colonial areas are by no means well administered, either in the
sense of efficiency or in that of promoting the welfare of their in-
habitants. The world's conscience will not long continue to tolerate
any such gross inequality of standards. What is more, inefficient
administration and insufficient development interfere with world pros-
perity. And inequality of treatment will, sooner rather than later,
create a sense of political grievance. Malays, Negroes, Melanesians
—all the colonial peoples are rapidly and inevitably reaching a level
at which they are capable of a simple but heady brand of political
thinking. In the so-called Dark Continent, for instance, fifty years
ago the negro millions still lived their tribal lives as ignorant of the
word Africa and its implications as were the vast majority of Indians
a century ago of the implications of the word India. To-day, how-
ever, there is a rapidly growing minority who think of themselves
first and foremost as Africans; and the Italian annexation of Abys-
sinia, together with the fact that the white men have fought two wars
among themselves in the last twenty-five years, is now in the back-
ground of the native mind from the Sudan to the Gape, from Tan-
ganyika to French West Africa. Africans can see just as far beyond
their noses as other people: and inequality of treatment in neigh-
bouring areas, perhaps more than any other type of injustice, is likely
to produce a resentful and dangerous type of Africanism, in place of
the healthy African patriotism and ambition which it should be the
business of the colonial powers to encourage and to guide.
What system, then, should we aim at setting up? In the first place,
it is desirable that the new conceptions of colonial status should be
internationally expressed and publicly proclaimed. This would prob-
ably be best accomplished by the promulgation of a Colonial Charter,
which would be for the colonial peoples what Magna Carta was to
medieval England or the Declaration of Independence to the infant
United States. Such a Charter should be jointly proclaimed by as
many as possible of the United Nations; it would be difficult for any
of the colonial powers to stand outside for long. It should be neither
detailed nor lengthy, but need affirm only a few general principles.
First, colonial dependencies are not possessions but are held in trust
or guardianship. Second, the primary aim of the guardianship is to
help the colonial peoples as rapidly as possible toward self-govern-
ment. Thirdly, its other major aim is the development of the colonial
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