What was colonialism if not the ultimate product of pedagogical optimism, based on the metaphor of the master and the pupil? Europeans gave themselves the mission of guiding toward Enlightenment the indolent, cruel, or spontaneous native, overtaken by his emotions and mired in ignorance. Anticolonialism and its sixties-era prolongation, Third Worldism, kept the metaphor while reversing the roles: the young nations of the Southern Hemisphere would be entrusted with saving the postimperial northern powers. By gaining their independence, the colonized nations offered to their former rulers the chance to redeem their souls. The materialist West could regenerate itself by becoming prisoner of its own barbarians.Link to the whole thing
Yet in both cases, it was the reference to the infantile that ultimately triumphed.
Thursday, March 9, 2017
"Barbarians and the Civilized"