When the facts are too hard for us to bear, fiction may provide us with a comfortable alternative reality. And yet there are circumstances where both fact nor fiction matter. Because they are both beside the point.
I recently stumbled upon this image and accompanying text that seems to have stirred quite some controversy on the web. It is an alleged statement by a British colonial ruler in the 1800’s in which he observes African culture and formulates the proper imperial response in order to “break the very backbone of this [African] nation…” (sic!)
That’s quite the statement, isn’t it? My initial response was to find out more about the author of the said quote, only to enter a hornet’s nest of opposing opinions and conflicting statements.
But wait a minute… let’s take a step back and look at the bigger picture.
- Does it really matter whether it was Macauly who can be attributed to this quote?
- Does it really matter if this statement is a factual part of the historical record and therefore true?
Let’s assume that the statement is true and can be attributed to Macauly. Can we learn anything new from it? Something we didn’t already know? And if it turns out to be a hoax does this change our perception?
Actions speak louder than words.
Whether it is Africa, India, Indonesia, or Australia for that matter, colonial powers did devise policies that were targeted at and very disruptive to the cultural identity and social fabric of the nations that were subject to it.
To name a few of those policies:
- The installation of local puppet regimes and rulers that were subservient to colonial rule;
- The development of educational programs that ignored local history, heritage, and culture;
- The influx of foreign religion with total disregard for local belief systems that date back to the dawn of humanity;
- The prevalence of western medical practices over traditional healing and ancient knowledge of nature;
These are some of the facts that can be referenced and cross-referenced in abundance. Facts that can be attributed to policies that were instigated centuries ago.
Whether they were imposed by design or by a matter of the opportune is not that relevant if we consider the disastrous effects that can be felt up to this day. I find it to be more meaningful and productive to figure out why this has been done. What was the motive?
Who was to benefit from this all?
The obvious answer would be the Western colonial powers. But who are they? White people? Is racism the root cause of it all? Or is it just another symptom? Let us take another step back and see if we are able to establish an even bigger picture.
If we look at the ‘apartheid’ laws of the ’50s and ’60s in South Africa and compare them to the nazi laws of 1930’s Germany. Aren’t they in essence the same? Targeted at a specific part of the population in order to subdue and eventually destroy them. Whether it be an African majority or a Jewish minority.
Forced segregation and relocation of significant parts of a population. It seems to be a favored method of the powers that be and we don’t have to look that far and beyond to recognize similar patterns in the Yugoslavia and Rwanda of the ’90s and the current situation in Palestine.
Each and all of these situations ended up destroying the social fabric, the human fabric of trust, mutuality, and love. There are no winners here, only fellow human beings who suffered to more or lesser extent and who keep on suffering up to this day.
Who wants to claim the title of being the biggest victim?
How different is the suffering of one human being who was fed with lies from the one who lived the consequences of those lies?
You may want to ask the obvious perpetrators, the Boers, the Hutus, Germans, Japanese, Serbs, Israeli’s or Palestinians to what extent they have benefitted from their actions. And while you’re at it ask any British, French, Belgian, Dutch, or US citizen how they have benefitted from filling their pockets but emptying out their souls.
Fact or fiction? When it matters and when not
If you'd ask me, it doesn't matter for it is not about fact or fiction but about power and control. Race, culture, national identity, fact, or fiction are metaphorical concepts when compared to the deeper underlying struggle over power and control, good over evil.
‘Factionals’ like the Macauly quote are not intended to inform the public but to misinform and mystify the truth. To instigate, to set up one fellow human being against another. Brother against brother. Sister against sister. They are part of the package of psychological and spiritual warfare that is being shed out over our heads on a daily basis throughout history.
Again, I ask you. Who is to benefit from this all?
We may have to include other sources in order to find our answers. It is however up to us to make up our own minds. To be informed, educate ourselves, investigate the matters at hand.
I have made up my mind. I urge you to do the same.
And I wept much, because no man was found worthy to open and to read the book, neither to look thereon. And one of the elders saith unto me, Weep not: behold, the Lion of Judah, the Root of David, hath prevailed to open the book, and to loose the seven seals thereof. And I beheld, and lo, in the midst of the throne and of the four beasts, and in the midst of the elders, stood a lamb as it had been slain, having seven horns and seven eyes, which are the seven Spirits of God sent forth into all the earth. […] And they sung a new song, saying, Thou art worthy to take the book, and to open the seals thereof: for thou wast slain, and hast redeemed us to God by thy blood out of every kindred, and tongue, and people and nation.