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Memorial plaque for the Canadian soldiers in world war 1 and 2

Most striking (for me): “The duties and responsibilities of empire”.


Anonymous 2013-07-17 18:10:25

Imperialists Don’t Say They’re In It for Plunder

Take up the White Man’s burden— And reap his old reward: The blame of those ye better The hate of those ye guard

The benefits and costs of imperialism are arguable, both to the imperial power and to the conquered. But it shouldn’t be suprising that the people performing a given action convince themselves that it is the moral thing to do. The British people generally supported their empire because they believed it did good in the world (rule of law, infrastructure, education, Christianity, economic development, etc.), and that it was a rational response to global threats (e.g., if Britain doesn’t dominate Egypt, then the French will do so), not because they imagined it would be highly profitable.

In the specific case of WWI, resisting German aggression really was morally correct, even though Canada was not attacked. To be sure, better still if the whole inconclusive bloodbath could have been avoided.