What makes a society “civilized”? Does it have to contain such professions as Lawyers (the defenders of justice and law), Accountants (the controllers of money), and Directors (corporate management)? Throughout the long history of Western Civilization, they have always tried to civilize others through inhumane ways. But have the conquerors actually looked to see if they were fine from the start without their influence? Maybe it’s a whole other thing, ignored since the commencing of global “civilization”.

Turmoil has gripped the African continent for many years, due to the greed of western imperialistic values. The history of Africa has been a bloody and irredeemable series of misfortunes; beginning with the Belgium claim to the Congo by King Leopold, to blood diamonds being smuggled out of Sierra Leone to be sold by rich western nations of today. Civilizing the Africans by enslaving any who could work would be arbitrary to today’s moral values, as slavery is a horrifying idea to our newly shaped moral beliefs. Many do not question how our actions will change the outcome our future, and what impact it has on the thresh hold of humanity. We have simply accepted what was told to us by convention and years of old tradition, which of course are ancient, and do not reflect the moral codes which control us today. Western nations especially have been guilty of going where they should not go, using their advancement in armed combat.

Imperialism was a big contributor to how the world turned out today. The belief of getting as much as you can as fast as you can is unavoidably present, in everyday life. Throughout “Heart of Darkness” by Joseph Conrad, Marlow (protagonist), witnesses what has been done to the natives of Africa for the white man’s lust of ivory. The natives lost their culture, shelter, and livelihood for the blind ambition of imperialism. Relating to the past, corporations today are slowly brainwashing the general populace into believing that buying more will support the growth of their economy. We have basically no idea where our goods are coming from, and we take pride in owning lots of… stuff…? As in the past, western powerhouses invade other countries to take control over their natural goods, exploiting their inhabitants, and make production plants in those countries, where they use the cheap labour to produce goods. Child labour, and cruelty are few of the many tactics corporations try to use to cut back and get more money in their wallets. So have we really changed at all?

The human race has done a lot of deeds which can’t be undone. The colourful past will forever be there and unable to change. Perhaps ignorance is bliss, so we can stay blind from what is truly happening and has been happening for the past thousands of years. Perhaps, it is not. Things must change, and it’s our own responsibility to be aware of what is happening globally because we cannot trust corporate management to do it for us. Civilization is just an excuse for people with power to gain more power, may it be caused by corporations, or imperialism. As a human race, we must must MUST, think for ourselves, and be aware of what is happening to us, and the world in which we live. Sometimes, it just takes one word. No.

References

Conrad, J. (1997). Heart of Darkness. Toronto, Canada: Signet Classic

Leavitt, C. (2006). Blood Diamond.

Pictured rendered by Hantao

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