By ‘White Warrior’
Disclaimer. It must not be assumed that we agree with this comment in its entirety just because we single it out for publication as a feature article. We publish it because it is well written and presents an intellectually defensible point of view. It questions the myth of the Noble Savage (pictured) and pushes the philosophy of the “White man’s burden”, i.e., the duty of the technologically and morally superior White man to improve the life of people in backward countries.
It has been argued, for example, with much plausibility, that India became a better country when the the British took over and abolished the cruel custom of suttee, the burning to death of widows after the death of their husbands. Similarly, the abolition of cannibalism in Africa is hardly something for which the Brits can be blamed. White Warrior’s comment falls into this category of critique. However politically incorrect, it constitutes an intellectually defensible point of view. Hence our reason for publishing it — as a matter for polite and intelligent discussion. (LD)
‘THE WHITE MAN’S BURDEN’
Detroit Journal cartoon, 1898
‘White Warrior’ SAYS:
This White man lives by the best principles of his race. We took America because we wanted it. We took Australia because we wanted it. We took Africa because we wanted it. We took these lands because we knew we could use them in ways that the natives could not.
Look at Australia for example. A barren, hostile wilderness – an arid land, which had for 60,000 years been inhabited by a Neolithic people with an average IQ of 67. In less than 200 years we Europeans turned this barren wasteland into a modern society with cities the equal of Europe.
Because we could! Because we could use the land in infinitely superior ways to the way the Aboriginal had used it.
The aboriginal now lives in a better society – a more literate society – a society he could never have built. He has benefited by our hard work, our industry and our intellect.
Take South Africa. The Zulu, like the White man, was a relatively recent settler. Zulus arrived in South Africa about 100 years before the whites. When the Zulus arrived, they systematically went about killing the natives – blacks slaughtering other blacks. You might want to review the history of the Rwandan genocide to see what blacks are capable of doing to other blacks.
Let’s stop this Noble Savage nonsense right here and now!
Endnote by Lasha Darkmoon
The American Indian was regarded by many as the paradigm of the Noble Savage. When the “evil White man” came to North America, he put an end to the peaceful and pastoral lifestyle of the Noble Savage he found there, corrupting him with cheap alcohol and genociding him. So runs the story.
These famous lines written by Alexander Pope in the 18th century are widely regarded as the best account of the ways of the Noble Savage. No one has put it better:
Lo, the poor Indian! whose untutored mind
Sees God in clouds, or hears him in the wind.
His soul proud Science never taught to stray
Far as the solar walk or milky way;
Yet simple Nature to his hope has given,
Behind the cloud-topped hill, a humbler heaven:
Some safer world in depth of woods embraced,
Some happier island in the watery waste,
Where slaves once more their native land behold,
No fiends torment, no Christians thirst for gold!
To be, contents his natural desire.
He asks no angel’s wing, no seraph’s fire;
But thinks, admitted to that equal sky,
His faithful dog shall bear him company.
— Alexander Pope, Essay on Man, 1734