Imperialism: Imperialism and Elephant George Orwell Essay

Submitted By AdhamAbdelhameed
Words: 641
Pages: 3

Adham Abdelhameed 2/26/13 Outline
Throughout history, the Western world employed imperialism to exploit the indigenous populations of underdeveloped nations. In the beginning of the 19th century, Europeans saw their chance to expand their dominion over the world under the nationalistic impression that they were of “master race.” Ideally, imperialism is an opportunistic window for the subjugated peoples to learn from their subjugators. As John Stuart Mill suggested in his piece, “A Few Words on Non-Intervention,” there has to be certain “reciprocity” for imperialism to succeed and benefit humanity as a whole. Such a reciprocal relationship between oppressor and subject is not possible and it contradicts the true nature of imperialism.
Thesis: In actuality, the theory of imperialism is a paradox, it is all one large contradiction; imperialism is un-mutual, immoral and self-destructive.

Paragraph I: Address flaws with the theory presented by Mill- no reciprocity
Point 1: Mill’s idea of reciprocity is completely hypothetical.
Point 2: Fanon tells us the reality of the situation:
From Fanon: “The zone where the natives live is not complementary to the zone inhabited by the settlers. The two zones are opposed, but not in the service of higher unity... No conciliation is possible, for of the two terms one is superfluous.” Paragraph II: Theory in context vs. Theory in practice the issue of morality Mill said that exploiting a civilization for ones one good is unwarranted. “He cannot rightfully be compelled to do or forbear because it will be better for him to do so because it will make him happier, because, in the opinions of others, to do so would be wise.” Consider William’s letter to King Leopold Williams: The flaw with Mills’ theory relative to the events in Williams’ letter is that Mills assumes the morality of the imperialist. Leopold promised the Congo would benefit but failed to uphold his responsibilities as a leader. Mill said that the imperialists were responsible for the well being of the colonized, but again we see Mills theory fails in practice. Consider Orwell’s Shooting an Elephant George Orwell was “disgusted by the inhumanity of colonial rule that he witnessed while stationed in Burma” (2835 Longman Anthology).

Obviously, Orwell agrees that imperialism fails in practice, just as it did in Leopold’s case. In shooting an elephant, the narrator is faced with an internal conflict that is symbolic of the nature of imperialism. No matter which road the narrator takes, he reaches a dead end. He has to uphold…