[ilds] ILDS Digest, Vol 1, Issue 88

Michael Haag michaelhaag at btinternet.com
Sat Apr 28 11:31:32 PDT 2007

For one thing, 'colonial' and 'post-colonial' are terms which justify 
nationalism and sectarianism.  There are good arguments for imperialism 
being better than nationalism and sectarianism.  Crimes have been 
committed in the names of both systems.  I suppose that Serbian 
soldiers murdering thousands of Muslims at Srebrenica are being 
post-colonial in ridding themselves of their former imperialist 


On Saturday, April 28, 2007, at 07:02  pm, william godshalk wrote:

> Michael concludes his comment (below) with a warning:
> Complex, as I said, and not to be reduced to the silly modern fashions
> of colonial and post-colonial 'theory'.
> George Lakoff in Women, Fire and Dangerous Things points out the 
> necessity for categories, and illustrates the construction of various 
> categories. I find it a very compelling book. And I imagine that 
> "colonial" and "post-colonial" are categories.
> But, as Michael seems to suggest, categories can be misleading when 
> constructed for political ends. For example, American politicians have 
> constructed a category called "war" which has little or nothing to do 
> with the usual definition of "war."  So we have the "war on drugs" and 
> the "war on terror" and "the war on poverty," and so on.
> So are "colonial" and "postcolonial" also categories constructed for 
> political ends?
> Yes, I forgot about Smyrna.  But that does not really change anything. 
> Smyrna was something like Alexandria, also a place where so-called
> foreigners had been living for generations.  In fact Smyrna was a Greek
> city taken over by the Turks; for that matter Asia Minor was Greek and
> the whole thing had been taken over by the Turks.  The point is that
> Melissa was not a foreigner in Alexandria in the tedious narrow
> parochial modern 21st century sense of being born and having come from
> what is currently recognised as being Greece; she belonged to that
> great Greek world whose origins go back to Alexander the Great, even to
> the Trojan War, and of which Alexandria was once part.  Certainly in
> speaking of the modern cosmopolitan city, the one that began dying in
> 1936, it was 'home' to Greeks who had been invited to settle there by
> Mohammed Ali, himself born and raised in what is now Greece.
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