November 12th, 2013


[ANON POST] Supporting Colonialism

I'm writing in a secondary world that's somewhat similar to the real world early 19th century. I have an expanding colonial empire. Two of my POV characters - the villain and one of the heroes - are having a discussion. The villain objects to slavery, but is not an abolitionist. He's also a proponent of colonialism. I need some points he can raise that won't make him too much of a hypocrite, but a little bit of hypocrisy is understandable given his beliefs.

He believes that slavery will eventually be abolished not because people will see the error of their ways, but because it is economically inefficient. His argument is that labor is becoming cheaper and an employer can hire cheap workers rather than pay the purchase price, healthcare, and upkeep of a slave. Slavery is mainly occurring outside of the country on plantations within the colonies. Slaves within the country are mainly curiosities and status symbols.

He believes that his country's population boom has created a lot of young men with no future. He believes that the colonies are the answer. He says that putting the military to work overseas not only improves their fighting ability, but eliminates a good deal of restless soldiers at home who may cause problems with fighting, drunkenness, and hanging around radicals.

I'm looking for real world arguments in defense of colonialism. Simple things like improving - or simply introducing - healthcare to a place that doesn't have it are the sort of thing I'm looking for. I've been looking into the "civilizing mission", "White man's burden", and various other ideas of that time and later. Anything will help. I'd like ideas and realize that things that were rational to people at the time aren't rational to people today. I realize that this is a touchy subject as well and will likely involve a racial component since colonialism always does. The ideas don't necessarily need to come from the early 19th century. Also anything involving an opposition to slavery while maintaining a belief in colonialism would be extremely helpful.

Googled: benefits of colonialism, arguments for colonialism, defense of colonialism