What is usually forgotten in the “patriotic” (i.e., historic) appeal to anticolonialism is, first of all, the fact that here we are not facing any “ism” whatever. The term “colonialism” will hardly be found in authoritative dictionaries before 1914 or even 1924. Colonizing is not the result of a systematic ideology, of a Weltanschauung, of a philosophy, political or other. A second fact has to do with the great variety of situations actually covered by the term’ ‘colony.” There have been and there still exist a few colonies which before the arrival of the white man were totally void of the human element. This is true, for instance, of a number of islands in the Indian Ocean. Is it an iniquitous situation if such settlements are governed by the motherland? When does their God-given right of secession and independence begin? Certainly not with the landing of the first settler. When are they “ripe” for autonomy? All answers of necessity will be arbitrary.

We have to place into the same category areas which were practically deserted and where the indigenous population at best had tribal but not political organizations. It would not be too easy to prove that the Britishers were infringing on the natural law (or on God-given rights) when they started to colonize Australia. Whatever may be the case, the colony in the classic sense of the term was a city or a whole area settled by people from a “motherland” (metropolis) speaking the same language, adhering to the same laws, praying to the same gods as the people in the motherland. In the remote past their independence usually resulted from the impossibility of long-distance administration. Political decisions had to be made on the spot without much delay. In antiquity independence always evolved in an organic process. The moral and emotional ties between motherland and colony were rarely broken. As a result, military alliance was the rule rather than the exception.

Erik Kuehnelt-Leddihn, Leftism: From de Sade and Marx to Hitler and Marcuse (1974)


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