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"Decolonization in Wargaming" Topic


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©1994-2022 Bill Armintrout
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Personal logo Editor in Chief Bill The Editor of TMP Fezian12 Jan 2022 2:39 p.m. PST

I frequently get emails in my inbox, telling me that various processes need to be decolonized.

As I understand it, decolonization means to realize that there has been too much emphasis on the historical view from the perspective of the colonizing powers, and that the viewpoints of indigenous peoples need to be recognized.

Does this apply to wargaming?

Do our rulesets tend to be biased in favor of colonial armies, and to depict indigenous peoples from a colonial viewpoint?

What should be changed to liberate wargaming from any lingering colonial biases? Does this apply only to Colonial-era wargaming, or does it apply more generally?

Personal logo ColCampbell Supporting Member of TMP12 Jan 2022 2:53 p.m. PST

I think the rule sets I use, "The Sword and the Flame" and "The Men Who Would Be Kings" from a Victorian Colonial perspective, are fairly well balanced between the European powers and the native powers. There have been many a game where the natives have scotched the Europeans.

If that was not so, then we would not be playing them as much as we do.

Jim

Frederick Supporting Member of TMP12 Jan 2022 2:54 p.m. PST

I think that most war game designers are ahead of the curve on this at least in that the rulesets I use give colonial armies and indigenous peoples about equal chances of winning – at least when I play the colonial army!

skipper John12 Jan 2022 3:09 p.m. PST

Perhaps reparations are due to our indigenous armies? I propose that hence forth, a plus 1 be applied to all their attacks!

robert piepenbrink Supporting Member of TMP12 Jan 2022 3:10 p.m. PST

"I frequently get emails in my inbox, telling me that various processes need to be decolonized."

First thing to do is improve your spam filter.

This is playing with toy soldiers, not an exercise in re-programming the politically unenlightened. If anyone doesn't like the present rules/scenarios/toys they can produce something else and see whether anyone will buy or play. Perhaps your e-mail bullies should be liberated from their own biases instead?

Col Durnford12 Jan 2022 3:11 p.m. PST

Yes, the native forces get far more victories on our tabletop then they ever did in real life.

No fun in the game any other way.

More likely we would get in trouble over glorifying war.

Personal logo Editor in Chief Bill The Editor of TMP Fezian12 Jan 2022 3:33 p.m. PST

First thing to do is improve your spam filter.

One of my history email groups sent me this link about "Decolonizing the Public Engagement Process" – link

Bunkermeister Supporting Member of TMP12 Jan 2022 4:18 p.m. PST

+1 Robert Piepenbrink.

Let those who are interested write well researched books about the actual viewpoints of those being colonized and it if it interesting perhaps we will change up our wargames. Provided of course there is a military reason for it.

I don't need to know the viewpoint of the enemy in a wargame, I need to know if I can hit them from this range with my Martini-Henry rifle and what dice numbers I need to roll.

Stop politicizing everything.

Mike Bunkermeister Creek
Bunker Talk blog

rustymusket Supporting Member of TMP12 Jan 2022 4:28 p.m. PST

Bunkermeister,

With all due respect, I believe that the word "viewpoint" as it is being used by Bill would be better replaced by "understanding". History needs to be understood from the perspective of all those involved in order to truly understand why the events happened as they did. That is not politicizing the history; it is making history more understandable and usually more complex, which is reality.

Dashetal12 Jan 2022 4:37 p.m. PST

Usually, indigenous people were at a disadvantage when fighting the colonizers so if your game models real life what's the point of gaming it? The indigenous people need to be allowed the things such as terrain, tactics etc. that would even the playing field. Your rulesets and scenarios are usually what allows that to happen. Most wargames are not about the viewpoint of right or wrong. Little miniature men facing other miniature men is merely a game akin to chess. Comparing Decolonizing the Public Engagement Process to wargames is an apple to oranges comparison.

jurgenation Supporting Member of TMP12 Jan 2022 5:22 p.m. PST

…sigh….

pfmodel12 Jan 2022 5:48 p.m. PST

Most gaming is focused on duplicating and testing reality rather than focusing on spin. As a result most wargamners are well ahead of the curve and have been testing the established historical understanding of an event for years. Just look at the arguments over the German decision to swing south in August 1941, some claim it avoided the mistakes of 1812, some claim it was a mistake and taking Moscow, as occurred in 1812, was the correct strategy. Many gamers have an opinion on this, but these opinions are normally grounding in reality and fact and not just following some historians opinion because they like the historian.

Reality and cold hard brutal evidence tends to remove a lot of the spin from history.

lkmjbc312 Jan 2022 6:01 p.m. PST

Err- no…

The whole concept is simply neo-Marxist. It deserves to be mocked and then tossed on the trash pile… along with the other writings of its progenitors and backers.

Joe Collins

Augustus12 Jan 2022 6:57 p.m. PST

Winners write the history. I am tired of this nonsense.

pfmodel12 Jan 2022 7:17 p.m. PST

The whole concept is simply neo-Marxist

Very true, the term "decolonized" is a post-modernist term which by definition has nothing to do with reality.

Stryderg12 Jan 2022 7:32 p.m. PST

As per the slide show:
Decolonize: "to free from colonial status"
Mission accomplished! Great job guys, keep up the good work, atta-boy, etc.

Wargamer Blue12 Jan 2022 9:08 p.m. PST

I like toy soldiers. Please leave me alone crazy people.

Zephyr112 Jan 2022 9:33 p.m. PST

"(…) various processes need to be decolonized."

You see this word all over the place in the writings of the woke, but it is never defined. Even if you tried to comply with what they want, you'd still be wrong. Ignore it, it's garbage…

Personal logo Grelber Supporting Member of TMP12 Jan 2022 9:34 p.m. PST

OK, I'm trying to figure this one out, and frankly it is a bit confusing.
First, a great many of the indigenous people who were colonized were illiterate and have no written record of their thoughts or positions. Also, if you've read much about Custer's battle at the Little Bighorn, you know the Dakota and Cheyenne had a totally different view of history than their opponents. Even if somebody collected accounts after the war, these are likely to be difficult for us to put together.

A lot of our colonial era gaming is inspired by movies. These are told from the point of view of European or American protagonists. There are things I will never understand about the French in North Africa or the British in the Sudan because I live a century later and thousands of miles away, but I come much closer to understanding them than I do their Berber or Dervish enemies. I get "The Four Feathers," where Harry Faversham regains the respect of his comrades and wins the hand of Eithne/June Duprez(!) at the end of the movie. The movie doesn't tell me what the dervishes are fighting for, what they hope to get out of the whole affair. They are just faceless cannon fodder.

Perhaps somebody needs to make a good flick about the dervishes, their goals, hopes and desires, so we could understand them and want to purchase and paint dervish armies. We might want to create a situation where everybody wants to do dervishes, and poor Jeff, who isn't here tonight, will just get stuck doing the Brits.

As ColCampbell points out, we do have balanced rules that give the indigenous people a reasonable chance of winning. Moreover, if you do a TMP Search for Herero War, you'll find that Roy Jones and Tim Abbott have done some really good Herero War scenarios. The Hereros have goals other than wiping out the Germans.

Grelber

Whirlwind12 Jan 2022 9:57 p.m. PST

As I understand it, decolonization means to realize that there has been too much emphasis on the historical view from the perspective of the colonizing powers, and that the viewpoints of indigenous peoples need to be recognized. Does this apply to wargaming?

Maybe a bit. There are a few aspects to this:

1 – Military history itself often tends to be from that viewpoint. There are lots of good individual reasons for this (access to languages, sources; that military history often has had a utilitarian function in training the forces of the 'colonial' powers in the widest sense) but that doesn't change the fact. I first read about the Rhodesian conflict from the ZANU-PF/ZAPLA side (in Michael Raeburn's 'Black Fire'); that has given me a slightly different view of the conflict from what I might have gleaned had wargaming magazines been my start point.

2 – There may be some systemic biases in how troops are evaluated that are either absolutely incorrect, or justified poorly. For instance, if different troops have been given the same weapons and similar training, but one set is given better ratings than the others, the games designer should make clear that that does reflect reality, not some bias; and if that reality is still there, justify it within the rules (not just -2 for being Spanish or Chinese or whatever).

3 – The technology/troop quality debate. Related to point 2, there may be a general tendency in 'Western' military history to downplay technological difference and ascribe performance differences to skill, discipline, national temperament or whatever. There is a good example of this in Lawrence of Arabia (hardly a PC film!) in which the British advisor attributes Britain's global empire in 1916 to 'British discipline', where Prince Faisal is more inclined to attribute it to 'modern artillery'. Since Napoleon himself remarked that it is with artillery that one makes war, and he knew a thing or too about it perhaps, then it perhaps suggests that we all need to be mindful about ascribing to cleverness and courage what is better explained by more material factors.

4 – For better or worse, the default background of most military history we have access to might be culturally quite limited and this affects representation. How to put this? Our rules models in entirely European contexts make rather more effort to replicate something of the command experience of some armies more than others (this isn't about being 'better' in terms of winning games, I mean a more determined effort to reflect how a given army operated). A lot of design effort has gone into trying to solve the problems of representing how a Roman legion, a Saxon shieldwall, a Napoleonic Corps or WW2 kampfgruppe was organized and commanded: a Hunnic army or Scythian 'horde', not so much. I think it is genuinely highly commendable that in wargamers are likely to have some understanding of how a Mayan, or Tupi, or Warring States Chinese army may have been comprised, but I don't think that our collective understanding of the experience of those armies is in the same league as some others…it is a work in progress, is what I am saying.

5 – Hobby wargaming began whilst overt racial biases (and in some cases, laws) were still in place; it is at least possible that some of that may have made a difference in how wargames have been designed.

Do our rulesets tend to be biased in favor of colonial armies, and to depict indigenous peoples from a colonial viewpoint?

AFAIK, the answer to the first is generally no, if only because gamers wouldn't play them if it were one-sided; the answer to the second, sometimes yes.

What should be changed to liberate wargaming from any lingering colonial biases? Does this apply only to Colonial-era wargaming, or does it apply more generally?

It applies more generally – all the world's peoples seem to have had stages where they believed that the national character of [insert nation] was x, the character of [people of this skin colour] was y, the character of [people of this denomination] was z – and this has of course influenced both contemporary writings and subsequent history. Taking that step back and asking oneself whether a given representation of a group of warriors/soldiers, or sailors, or aircrew, has been influenced past what a more objective historical view can support seems like a worthwhile thing to do. Making design effort so that a given set of rules makes commanding Jugurtha's Numidians or Shaka's Zulus just as interesting as Caesar's legions or the 24th of Foot seems a worthwhile exercise too.

I was quickly flicking through the army lists for DBR (as you do!) and if you look for it, there are a lot more (I) for 'Inferior' in some lists than others: it gave rise to the successful competition army-build the 'Wall of Crap', if I remember right. Worth thinking about how those 'inferior' troops are distributed, geographically.

gunnerphil13 Jan 2022 3:49 a.m. PST

The "History is written by the winners" people have never explained why the losers version would be more truthful.

Ask any supporter of a losing team in any sport. They do not say "Well out team played badly" .

doc mcb13 Jan 2022 6:04 a.m. PST

Stress brings out hidden things, both good and bad. War is the greatest stress (with plague, perhaps) a society can experience. Cultures are complex things, even the "simpler" ones like hunter-gatherers or neolithic villagers. A culture can be very attractive, or very ugly (e.g. the Aztecs), or more often a mixture, but in the end its SURVIVAL depends on a few basic things. Persian civilization was in many ways very attractive, while Greek culture, for all of its glory, had its share of ugliness (attitudes towards women, for example). But in the end the Immortals could not stand against a hoplite shieldwall.

Augustus13 Jan 2022 7:53 a.m. PST

So…there were no quotes by the Immortals emblazoned on stones for passers-by to read, thus, no one cares about them.The equation is simple.

I guess, if you lose, you don't get the plunder and you also don't get your name published. Sort of a "sorry, but that is how the world works" equation. Next time, win your war?

Ed Mohrmann Supporting Member of TMP13 Jan 2022 7:54 a.m. PST

I've lost a BUNCH of times to 'indigenous' peoples in
TSATF, TMWWBK and other sets. Sorry, I don't see improvement
needed.

doc mcb13 Jan 2022 8:18 a.m. PST

XXV
The Oracles
'Tis mute, the word they went to hear on high Dodona mountain
When winds were in the oakenshaws and all the cauldrons tolled,
And mute's the midland navel-stone beside the singing fountain,
And echoes list to silence now where gods told lies of old.

I took my question to the shrine that has not ceased from speaking,
The heart within, that tells the truth and tells it twice as plain;
And from the cave of oracles I heard the priestess shrieking
That she and I should surely die and never live again.

Oh priestess, what you cry is clear, and sound good sense I think it;
But let the screaming echoes rest, and froth your mouth no more.
'Tis true there's better boose than brine, but he that drowns must drink it;
And oh, my lass, the news is news that men have heard before.

The King with half the East at heel is marched from lands of morning;
Their fighters drink the rivers up, their shafts benight the air,
And he that stands will die for nought, and home there's no returning.
The Spartans on the sea-wet rock sat down and combed their hair.

A.E.Housman

Legion 413 Jan 2022 9:08 a.m. PST

History may be written by the Winners. But we also see the inaccurate re-writing of history on many levels today i.e. CRT & 1619 Project, etc. Agenda, narrative, etc., driven. Taking things out of context, spinning, bias, etc.

Yes, the native forces get far more victories on our tabletop then they ever did in real life.

No fun in the game any other way.

More likely we would get in trouble over glorifying war.

Bingo !!!!
Wargaming during any era, especially during the long period on colonization, is just a game. Maybe to shown how one side had an advantage over another. That is something throughout history. Maybe the player who historically loss and be defeated by the player of the historical losing side … But in the end it is a game … No one dies, etc.

But the "colonizers" of the past, e.g. Euros, etc., can't pick up and go back to where they came from. If someone is upset about what happened centuries ago. Fine … but to can't rewrite history. You can dig deeper, find new data, etc. But Cortez can only be defeated by the Aztecs on a gaming board. Time travel is not an option … AFAIK …

Soldat13 Jan 2022 9:28 a.m. PST

No, tell the WACKOS to pack sand

Personal logo etotheipi Sponsoring Member of TMP13 Jan 2022 9:57 a.m. PST

Where are all the PMESII link games people are playing and selling?

Don't geet me wrong – I like integratingg non-militarry aspects into a wargame. But most systems I see (read rules, watch games) only implement the military engagement. Where are these perspectives represented in the game stats or variables?

advocate13 Jan 2022 10:40 a.m. PST

Oh, there has always been plenty of bias on the side of the colonisers. Perhaps we shouldn't whinge to loudly when the boot is on the other side.
See, for example "The New Zealand Wars" by James Belich. The contemporary European reports on battles against the Maori typically exaggerated their numbers and the casualties caused upon them. To the level that European defeats became victories.

Wolfhag13 Jan 2022 11:12 a.m. PST

To the level that European defeats became victories.

Yes, it's called war time propaganda. Telling the truth to the population during a war may decrease their will to fight if they are losing, exactly what the enemy is counting on.

The British cut the trans-Atlantic submarine cable to control the messaging in the US to get them into the war and blocked the German messaging that the blockades were making children starve.

The Vietnam war time propaganda, much backed by enemy sympathizers whether they knew it or not at the time, was very effective and it didn't help that the "good guys" were lying either. This is why in WWI and WWII and to an extent Lincoln in the Civil War controlled the press and the "messaging" that got out to the people. Check out the Presidential War powers Act. After the war it can all get sorted out or not.

Evey culture has a group of people telling the population what they should do, say and believe. The current culture is no different. I see this as people with a bias trying to eliminate biases from other human beings, hopefully they don't use force as they've done in the past. I try to examine all viewpoints and come to my own conclusion and ignore partisan hacks from both sides, it's not easy.

War games are normally designed with a balanced scenario which is generally unhistorical so it really does not matter who wins. It's a game, have fun and entertain yourself and friends and ignore the others.

Wolfhag

advocate13 Jan 2022 11:34 a.m. PST

Thanks, Wolfhag, for explaining propoganda to me. Certainly in 19th Century New Zealand it comes across more as 'There were hundreds of them, and you should see how bad the other guy looks' rather than organised propoganda.
I should perhaps have made it clear that many subsequent histories used these stories as impeccable sources.

robert piepenbrink Supporting Member of TMP13 Jan 2022 12:27 p.m. PST

Hmmm…So, we should be nicer to the Confederate States, since many of the same leftist whiners insist the American Civil War was about colonizing the south for northern capitalism? (I've yet to hear one get upset about slavery when practiced by the Ashante--or give the north credit for abolition.)

I'll give you one instance when something useful from a miniature wargaming perspective could be done: India, 1859. I worked it fairly hard a few years ago, and I gather quite a bit of material on the military side of the anti-British struggle still exists in archives and has never been published. Problem is, the scholars working those archives keep rehashing 19th Century Indian politics--mostly to bring them more in line with later Congress Party doctrine, I suspect. But a military history of the Mutiny drawing on non-British archival sources would fill a gap and make for more accurate wargaming.

Please let me know when one of the "decolonizers" publishes such a valuable piece of military history.

dapeters13 Jan 2022 12:49 p.m. PST

"I try to examine all viewpoints and come to my own conclusion". I think that all one can ask and I think it important that to understand we all have biase and the best way to deal with it is to acknowledge it and keep it out in front of you."

Ogdenlulimus Supporting Member of TMP13 Jan 2022 1:59 p.m. PST

Ah….tell the inbox writers to read "Guns, Germs and Steel". They will be enlightened as to why places were colonized so easily.

doc mcb13 Jan 2022 4:13 p.m. PST

Ogden, yes: in 1500 a European sailing ship with a crew of 50 and four cannon represented more force (F=MA) than an entire Indian or Chinese city.

JSchutt13 Jan 2022 6:46 p.m. PST

So….. asymmetrical rules sets are common. That being said only a fool would play a biased scenario using any rules…. so I would assume this is a fabricated argument.

HansPeterB Supporting Member of TMP13 Jan 2022 10:22 p.m. PST

I confess to finding this now lengthy thread confusing. Some posters seem to imagine that decolonization poses some sort of threat to their hobby, but I think that I can reassure them that vicious mobs of liberal academics are not going to try to forcibly deprive them of their plastic and metal toys. As far as I know, those folks most interested in promoting decolonization are blissfully unaware of our hobby and certainly have not attacked it any way, shape or form.

The term "decolonization" has been around for quite a while and referred originally to the process of freeing subject indigenous peoples from colonial, European regimes. More recently, it has come to refer by extension to efforts that actively promote the freedom, autonomy, culture, and traditions of indigenous peoples. That seems a perfectly reasonable goal, particularly from the perspective of the indigenous themselves, but the movement is trendy in academic circles particularly, and so gets described in jargon intensive, not very coherent presentations such as the one Bill referenced. It's also easily but inaccurately conflated with similar efforts to promote social justice, equity, and so forth, and in that form it makes for an easy target for those who find such ideas threatening, poorly conceived, or otherwise unacceptable. It is not Marxist or Neo-Marxist or socialist or any such thing, and trying to describe an agenda and ideology that is specifically not European using such completely European terms is frankly silly.

Bill asked whether wargames have a colonial bias, and of course some do, and that is perhaps a problem. I think that most of us would find a game in which, say, Nazi ideology was promoted as a legitimate perspective repugnant, and although Larry Brom's games do no such thing, I can see how their basic structure and certainly some of the accompanying fluff could be offensive to indigenous peoples. When one runs across "decolonization" in an academic setting (and, honestly, you are not likely to encounter it elsewhere) it is almost always associated with efforts to get students to make exactly this sort of mental leap. The idea is not that we should stop playing our games, but that we should think about how they represent indigenous peoples. Ideally, we would read some more recent history so that we would acquire some sort of context for the conflict we are gaming other than that provided by old movies and Kipling.

advocate14 Jan 2022 2:41 a.m. PST

Good post, HansPeterB.

Murvihill14 Jan 2022 4:58 a.m. PST

My first thought when reading this was "when the decolonists can explain how a European army can win battles regularly when outnumbered 10:1 by natives, and come up with a different explanation than we have we'll change our rules."
Then I realized that we generally don't have rules set up to play the native victories. What about the British retreat from Afghanistan? Or Spion Kop? Maori Hill forts? But then I remembered people wargame Isandalwana and Little Big Horn regularly, so maybe that isn't completely true.
Last, our society tends to find nobility in being oppressed, that should not bleed over to wargaming.

doc mcb14 Jan 2022 6:12 a.m. PST

Hans, that's old news, though: yes, ZULU shaped my thinking when I first saw it as a high school senior in a segregated east Texas town. And also my gaming. But i didn't need "decolonization" to do that, just reading THE WASHING OF THE SPEARS. The PROBLEM with decolonization (as with much else in current American universities) is that it too often leads students to diss their OWN cultures. By all means study the others, but love your own first.

lkmjbc314 Jan 2022 7:31 a.m. PST

HansPeterB

I disagree. It is a direct threat to our community. While this thinking may not have Neo-Marxist roots and may have some value, it has been adopted and nurtured by Neo-Marxists to fix the flaws in Marxism.

They correctly identified its corrosive effects on the spirit of our societies.

The casualties from it are legion. From academia, sports, and politics to… the New Atheist movement and the SBC… down to knitting clubs and families. Their are posters on this website that suffered because of this nonsense.

The family destruction is particularly appalling. I have seen it first hand.

If we do not carefully monitor our communities, we can certainly suffer the same fate.

Joe Collins

Blutarski14 Jan 2022 9:00 a.m. PST

+1, Joe. Spot on.

B

Personal logo Parzival Supporting Member of TMP14 Jan 2022 9:44 a.m. PST

One of my concerns with "decolonization" is that it is often used within an assumption of the moral equivalency (if not superiority) of all cultures to European culture, not only in history but in the modern day. But that is to willfully ignore the excesses of certain cultures, even among their own contemporaries, and thus assume that an indigenous culture is automatically worthy of being restored when on examination that may not be the case. One need only look at our own times and the current "restoration" of certain cultural groups to see those indigenous practices are hardly worthy of returning to the world stage— among these being the subjugation of women, caste systems, slavery, anti-semitism and other racist, even genocidal attitudes. Or we can examine the actual histories of certain cultures— do we really want to "decolonize" Mexico in favor of a return to the pre-Columbian Aztec culture featuring the ritual human sacrifice of conquered tribal and racial groups?

It's desirable to look at history from the POV of as many sides as is possible and not confine ourselves to one point of interpretation or understanding, but if one side doesn't have a written record, let's be honest that this concept may in fact be impossible. And as we do examine the past, we need to be careful not to decide that the interpretations and records we do have are somehow necessarily suspect, false or morally inferior, or assume that the conquered side is somehow ennobled by the fact of being conquered. Nor should we make the foolish mistake of taking on the presumed "guilt" of our ancestors as if this is our own, nor think that action must be taken now to "repair" the assumed losses of the conquered culture to a people who bear no actual wrong today because of that past. Do those of Norman French ancestry owe anything to the descendants of the Saxons? Do the descendants of the Anglo-Saxons owe anything to the descendants of the Roman Britons? Do the Roman Britons owe anything to the descendants of the Picts? At some point it becomes a pursuit of the absurd to serve wrongs long since obviated by the progress of history. Learn from this study, yes, so that we can improve our mutual futures— but condemnation and imagined guilt and moral superiority or inferiority serve no purpose whatsoever except to stroke the egos of "virtue signaling" fools.

And if someone wants to "decolonize" my games, I'll just say "the goblins had it coming." evil grin

Personal logo Mserafin Supporting Member of TMP14 Jan 2022 10:04 a.m. PST

I find this interesting insofar as I've been watching the history of the Napoleonic Wars being "de-colonized" for a while now, and loving it.

When I started into this period (1970 or so), all the sources available in English were written by British authors or translated from French. It was rare to find anything from the Austrian, Russian or Prussian point of view.

Then I read a book called "Waterloo: Battle of Three Armies," which has English, French and German historians tell the story from each army's perspective. And noticed that each pretty consistently wrote up "their" army's accomplishments. Combining this with the knowledge that most of our sources were English and French got me to suspect that this was why the French and British armies were always rated as better than everyone else in war game rules.

These days, however, we here in the English-speaking world are being exposed to the views of the other countries. Peter Hofschroer, shrill as he could be, started shedding light on the Prussian view of Waterloo. Lieven's book "Russia Against Napoleon" was quite the eye-opener on the Russian view of the wars. And now we have forums like this where we are exposed to such viewpoints on a regular basis by actual historians working in the archives of those countries whose participation had previously been explained through the perspective of either the French or British. And our understanding is much richer for it.

If this is "de-colonization" then I'm all for it.

Inch High Guy14 Jan 2022 1:41 p.m. PST

And what have the Romans ever done for us?

YouTube link

BigfootLover14 Jan 2022 3:38 p.m. PST

Wasn't the American Revolution decolonization?

doc mcb14 Jan 2022 5:14 p.m. PST

I believe "decolonization" is a good bit more than "consider every perspective." It comes with certain assumptions about the validity of particular perspectives.

Personal logo Parzival Supporting Member of TMP14 Jan 2022 6:10 p.m. PST

Agreed, Doc. The very term itself reveals an assumed bias and point of view stemming from a negative, pejorative, and presentist stance, and indeed a racially biased one— being only applied to the actions of Europeans or their direct descendants. It doesn't matter to the "decolonizer" if the descendants are now as "native" to a region as any one else born there. The descendants are guilty, too, simply because they exist.

The delicious irony of course is that most regions of the world actually have NO truly "indigenous" people. Not one homo sapien evolved in the Americas, or Europe, or Australia, or the Indian subcontinent, or even in Asia; somewhere, probably in Eastern Africa, is the only place to which anyone can claim literal "indigenous" status. Everywhere else, they are the descendants of colonizers, one way or another.

Blutarski15 Jan 2022 7:24 a.m. PST

Bigfootlover wrote -
"Wasn't the American Revolution decolonization?"

+1 Sir. Absolutely delicious!

B

Jcfrog Supporting Member of TMP15 Jan 2022 9:04 a.m. PST

Lets decolonize my Austrians.

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