Tuesday, May 21, 2013

John Kenneth Galbaith's "Age of Uncertainty: The Colonial Idea"

Today's episode of John Kenneth Galbraith's 1977 The Age of Uncertainty is Episode 4 The Colonial Idea:

Galbraith makes this comment on the state of the colonial enterprise, broadly conceived, in the companion volume:
Does the colonial experience belong forever to history? The United States has badly burned fingers; the effort to govern indirectly and shape political development in distant lands will henceforth surely be viewed with caution. And it is not only the United States that has had this pain. The Soviet Union, in the years following World War II, sought to extend its influence in Yugoslavia, China, Egypt, Indonesia and Ghana. Contemplating the results, it can hardly feel pleased. When Ben Bella, a Soviet acolyte, was deposed in Algeria, a Russian newspaper correspondent said to me rather sadly, "They used our tanks. Well, at least they didn't use our advisers." The Chinese, in their turn, became the bitter enemies of the Russians. Once again "The Blame of those ye better." One hopes that there is now a volume of Kipling in the Kremlin.
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