Bulaba Jones wrote:And yet the point Drlee made is that the Aztecs, Incas, Mayans, and Native American tribes raped, pillaged, and enslaved each other. It's simply a dispassionate observation of history. The Europeans simply did what they did in the New World on a greater scale due to the enormous disparity in technology, manpower, and resources. What do you think would have happened to people in neighboring continents had the Mesoamericans developed steel, gunpowder, and ocean-faring ships before the Europeans did? Peace, love, and brotherly understanding?
I don't think it's fair to equate what Drlee said with someone justifying rape. He obviously isn't defending raping, pillaging, and slavery.
I'm not defending the Aztec, Inca, or Maya. They all conquered other tribes who were in turn conquered by Europeans along with them. No one's saying Europeans were exceptional in their drive for conquest, though at the same time I would caution against the assumption that any culture would have done the same -- cultures can be very different in terms of how they perceive and interact with other cultures. What is exceptional about European colonialism is how it managed to preserve itself through numerous iterations, even after these countries officially declared their independence. Europe was powerful enough to continue to enforce its debt claims long after handing over the official reigns of power, and has continued to compound its debts through international banking institutions like the IMF and World Bank. Meanwhile, intelligence agencies like the CIA have helped ensure that regimes favorable to Western interests stay in power, with those who refuse to comply finding themselves at the at the barrel of some rifles sold to a junta by Western governments. Meanwhile, they've lost traditional means of subsistence by a forced conversion to cash crops, which they export even in times of famine. No other empire has managed to maintain such tight economic control over their colonies in such clever and manipulative manner. Western imperialism is not uniquely evil, but it is uniquely efficient at being evil.