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Terror. Essay

1006 words - 4 pages

Through the use of terror, technology, literature, and science, European powers forced European culture, religion and thus enlightenment on the so-called inferior races of the world. On many occasions as cultures resisted the infringement of unfamiliar values into their cultures, violence would result. In essence colonialism is in itself a form of marginalization and an attempt to wipe out ethnic tradition and culture, and replace these with the traditions of Europe. European imperialism meant brutal exploitation and dehumanization and certainly foreshadowed the holocaust. If the Europeans needed any sort of further validation that they were in fact the superior race it came with Darwin's superior species notion; confirming that white was in fact the superior race and it was about survival of the fittest. Combine this way of thinking with the advancement of technology and the Europeans take their arrogance to an entirely new level; the genocide of races that were seen as less superior suddenly became possible.The easiest way to understand the terror and control that took place during European colonization came for me, from reading Heart of Darkness, Conrad proposes that control, particularly control over other human beings, will inevitably corrupt leading to revolt, and madness. When Belgian capitalist King Leopold II discovered that the rich mineral resources of the Congo could provide him with considerable income the imperial conquest of Africa began. "The horror! The horror!" (Conrad) when Kurtz realizes that all his godliness was an illusion, the easiest and most dangerous person to mislead is the one in the mirror, Kurtz realizes in the end that it was all self-delusion. Once he started lying to himself, it was only a matter of time before he believed what he was saying.He began to believe he in fact was God. The colonizers used propaganda to instill a terror that would lead to control.Colonization and terror are closely related; Taussig states that cultures of terror evolve from "...the need to control massive populations through the cultural elaboration of fear. (469) No matter how much we try to comprehend the psychology of this terror and oppression, we can never adequately reach its core because we have never really had to experience it; we are in the privileged position of living lives, which have not been overtaken by terror in everyday life. The closest one can come to understanding this horror is when Taussig discusses experience with severe terror, the type that forced people to flee reality and explore "the space of death" "binding the culture of the conqueror with that of the conquered" (Taussig 466).European terror along with gluttony has plundered cultures, the topic unmentionable, even though the pillage continues in post-colonial manner, utilizing supposed globalization, and the ever-increasing power of seldom-accountable multi-national companies. When getting ready to enter Iraq through force because of some unconfirmed...

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