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Tom Rethinks 1492

My editor, Tom, has another dumb question, and since he bought me lunch I'm going to post it and then take a weak stab at answering it:

"Imagine that it is the late 15th Century, and all is as it was EXCEPT that the legal, ethical and moral awareness of Europeans is exactly as it is in the early 21st Century. So what would be the proper moral/ethical course to take when Europeans discover an entire New World, lightly populated primarily by groups of hunter-gatherers and subsistence farmers without anything parallel to the European concepts of land ownership, nation-state negotiations, etc. In particular, would there be any acceptable course that would have allowed for extensive European settlement in the New World? And if so, what form would that have taken?"

I think the premise is so much of a stretch as to be nonsensical. [Tom disagrees: He is hinting that I'm being humorless, snippety and sanctimonious.] Our ethics today were shaped by 500-plus years of cultural encounters, and all the crimes and calamities and racial turmoil and civil wars that went along with those encounters. This is true for Europeans, Africans, Native Americans, all the cultures caught up in the melding of two hemispheres. I just don't think you can detach our ethics from our history and transport those ethics back to 1492 as though they were nothing more than a piece of technology, like cellphones or email.

But I'll play along, stipulating first that the Americas weren't lightly populated. There were at least 20 million people in the Inca empire alone. Lots of Aztecs. The two continents had many civilizations, scientists, farmers, sprawling cities, political networks, etc. -- not everyone was hunting buffalo. The area that became the continental United States was long thought to have been "lightly populated," but the real population may have been much higher than the textbooks say. Millions died from disease soon after Contact.

Knowing then what they know now, Europeans would be obligated, ethically, scientifically, anthropologically, etc., to refrain from any sort of colonization -- even if it didn't require force, pillage, plunder, etc. -- until the pathogenic and cultural consequences of Contact could be appreciated and mitigated. The Prime Directive would apply.

Unless, of course, the oil and gas lobby insisted.

By Joel Achenbach  |  May 2, 2005; 2:59 PM ET
 
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Comments

Joel, you're right.

This question is incoherent, and may only serve to let Tom expense that lunch to the WP.

The typical $6.00 sci-fi/alternate history paperback novel covers this kind of question with a greater degree of thought.

Having said that, I don't think Europe has it exists today as being vibrant enough or as having the kind of social and economic pressures/drivers and resources necessary to settle a new world. For that matter, I don't think America does either, but that's another question.

I think that Tom's New World would be colonized by countries that have the combination of socio-economical situation, and resources and ambition to do so: China and India (warning: irony alert), with some smaller colonies of Russian and Japanese origin that may be eventually subsumed by what I think would be the eventual overall winner, China. Hmm, anyone else out there read Fred Pohl's 'The Cool War?'

But again, without the past 500 years of world history in our timeline, it's impossible to come up with even a very cogent argument even for that. But I've never let the lack of a sound basis for argument stop me. Just ask my wife.

bc

Posted by: bc | May 2, 2005 3:52 PM | Report abuse

What's the fun with speculation without counterfactual premises? Tom's universe would have to be one without suffering. Otherwise the host of failures that have yielded few successes through the course of history would be independent from any effect, and either there would be no history, no success, or no humans.

Vis a vis American Indians, I like to think that Americans should have behaved like the Acadians - or Cajuns. They enjoyed diplomatic unadversarial relations with surrounding native tribes and colonial powers. They shared technology instead of turning it against their fellow men.

Posted by: peter | May 2, 2005 3:55 PM | Report abuse

This is a good question to pose to Jared Diamond, author of the Pulitzer Prize-winning "Guns, Germs, and Steel, The Fates of Human Societies."
http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg/detail/-/0393317552/104-7643985-2094303?v=glance. You are an important journalist.... ask him....

Your analysis is raises some good points. Your last sentence and the last election might answer the question.

Posted by: Former Optimist, Current Cynic | May 2, 2005 3:57 PM | Report abuse

I'm a history grad student and periodically we get questions like this. What if there was not Revolutionary War? What if we didn't have slavery? What if there truly weren't people on the continent?

We discuss and debate these things for a while in a pretentious manner and then I usually say. "Yes, but ... we DID have a Revolution. We DID have slavery."

Time better spent is learning lessons from the past than imagining what could have been.

Haarrumph.

Posted by: Karen | May 2, 2005 4:43 PM | Report abuse

I'd bet you're the kind of person who would advocate a world without borders.

Posted by: Jed | May 2, 2005 5:03 PM | Report abuse

Why not a Coasean bargain: treat the natives' claims as valid, but buy them out.

As for any holdouts... enlist the Germans to "solve the problem"? [I'm joking, and mean no disrespect... the Germans have been a highly peaceable people for a whole half century, after all]

Posted by: Huntsman | May 2, 2005 5:04 PM | Report abuse

Prospero would teach Caliban how to use magic.

Mastery and slavery would be eradicated and replaced by teaching and learning, two faces of a reciprocal process.

For all that, it is not the case. Violence is necessary, and neither good nor evil. Violence as routine maintains order. Violence as anomaly restores history. Where there is violence, there is suffering; where there is suffering, there are human beings.

Posted by: peter | May 2, 2005 5:06 PM | Report abuse

I'm not overly sure that things would have turned out any differently. I mean, for all the talk about how Europe (and America and the other advanced industrialized nations) have a much greater sense of the moral imperatives that ought to play a part in political decisionmaking, that's not the reality. The reality is that Europeans and Americans are still all too happy to buy cheaply made goods produced in overseas sweatshops by 12 year olds paid pennies an hour.

But we'll wear shirts from these sweatshops while talking about how great it is that this enlightened country outlawed slavery.

My point is not to condemn those who purchase such items (lord knows I'm one of them), but to point out that not much has changed. We're not more "enlightened," we just like to pretend that we are.

So yeah, in response to Tom's question, the Europeans probably would not have behaved much differently had they been imbued with our "modern sensibilities." The British West Indies Company still would have sent over boatloads of settlers who would have cleared the fields and killed the natives to grow tobacco to export back to Europe. The Spanish still would have forced the natives to work their fields and build their cities. The French would have set up trading outposts.

And of course, smallpox would have killed off millions regardless.

Human nature is human nature, and to think that somehow the empires of today behave any differently than the empires of yesterday is folly. Of course, every civilization that has the capacity to read over history always comes to the firm conclusion that "our" civilization is, of course, far different, and this time we're not going to futz things up.

So yeah, the only difference is probably that the British West Indies Company would have been renamed the "Coalition Provisional Authority" and probably started by requisitioning 500,000 blankets to help the natives through the rough winters.

Posted by: Noah | May 2, 2005 5:10 PM | Report abuse

Europeans and other intruders would have been pecked to death by IBWs.

Woodpeckers of the World Unite!

Posted by: Bird Union Local 1492 | May 2, 2005 5:11 PM | Report abuse

Maybe it would be easier to visualize this problem from a slightly different temporal perspective: What if tomorrow we discovered a human-like civilization on another planet, a civilization of beings who were less techologically advanced than we earthlings? How would we proceed? We'd probably set up some sort of observation station there and start collecting samples of their resources, whether they wanted us to or not, provided we were confident of the superiority of our defense capabilities. We'd probably perform all sorts of experiments on these individuals. And we'd probably take steps to make sure they didn't try anything similar on us. Maybe we wouldn't shoot at them or seize them against their will initially, but I wouldn't be very surprised if the techniques we employed to persuade them to comply with our wishes started bordering on the unethical pretty quickly. And we'd probably justify it to ourselves on the grounds that is was all part of some greater good.

Posted by: Dreamer | May 2, 2005 5:23 PM | Report abuse

Ha, ha, that we all know and extoll the virtues of the Prime Directive, yet we live in a country that, unfortunately, doesn't seem to....meanwhile think about this situation in reverse: those living in far more primitive conditions (maybe not quite the 15th century) immigrating into the 21st century conditions of 1st world countries in the present day. Will these people survive long enough to affect our moral and ethical sensibilities (not to mention, enrich us in many other ways)? I agree with Joel, history informs the actions of the present day. but if time travel ever becomes a reality, hold on to your hats (oops, I guess that would be a moot point)!

Posted by: anne | May 2, 2005 5:24 PM | Report abuse

Yeah, I was thinking we shouldn't have messed with the New World until the Native Americans at least learned how to master the warp drive myself.

but seriously, everyone's right. Everything DID happen, and for a reason. Just find solice in the fact that our nation, which was founded on the basis of freedom from ideals ended up being the supreme power in the world, which can impose it's ideals as it chooses...especially if it means lower as prices.

Posted by: Jeff | May 2, 2005 5:30 PM | Report abuse

Putting aside the fact that it would be impossible to exist in the 15th century with the mores and ethics of modern (abundancy-supported) Europe, I expect that the outcome would be the same in the end. They'd send over groups to study the natives and help enlighten them, and then bury their disease-riddle bodies that would quickly pile up.

Shortly after that, they (the Europeans) would realize that if they weren't careful, some less enlightened culture such as the Chinese or the Turkish Empire would be gazing at North America with covetous eys, so the Europeans would send over troops and administrators to make sure that North America was protected from those awful others.

A few more epidemics and a lot of land opens up, and the Europeans now have someplace to live while they're teaching the natives how to exploit the land, and when those natives either don't get it or are dead from various diseases, the colonial administration would carry out the work for them.

The only thing that would have to change substantially is the presence of slavery if we presume that the Europeans wouldn't start the slave trade in the first place.

Posted by: PeterK | May 2, 2005 5:45 PM | Report abuse

The dilemma of this entire discussion is that the proposition is nonsensical, but I think Noah's response was the most worthy of note.

Cultural, social and moral "evolution" and enlightenment requires that we have had to come from "there" to "here" somehow. We could not learn from the lessons of history unless there existed lessons from history. ( of course I may be making a huge leap to assume that we really LEARN much from "lessons of history" at all...) Therefore we could not have been enlightened to any degree unless we followed some progression through the changes and events of our past good and bad, momentous and humiliating. So to apply our present state of mind and culture to the past is impossible.

Which brings me to my next point. Not all parts of human society have evolved in a manner that today amounts to enlightenment or social/intellectual evolution. Even in our society where we consider ourselves so advanced and superior-- and yet so many in this society are still disputing the enormous amount of evidence supporting Evolution and opting to believe in some amorphous faith basedidealogy (as opposed to known facts) about creation. I wonder if these people are still living in caves in Kansas.

So as one person said, this is a waste of time and we should spend more time learning from the past and becoming informed and involved in today's events and applying those lessons.

Posted by: Rosemary | May 2, 2005 5:56 PM | Report abuse

I would strongly disagree to the proposition that this is a waste of time.

As long as there is a lesson to be learned (and I think the lesson that modern society isn't much more enlightened than 16th century Europe is an important one), then this discussion is certainly not a waste.

One could just as well argue that it would be pointless to read The Art of War, because nobody uses chariots and cavalry any more. Or for that matter, that it's pointless because none of us are generals. This ignores the point that sometimes the overall lesson is more important than any specific knowledge gained in the process.

Posted by: Noah | May 2, 2005 6:24 PM | Report abuse

Would it be different if the technology and other social situation were the same as it was in 1492 and are ethics were as they were now? History would have turned out the same. I'm not a scholar so this is a coarse description, and it is also a bit cynical. Ethics are a guide of how to coexist and always developed by how much we could push up against the next guy before told to stand back. A single ethic is elusive because for some folks, ethics is more about what they can get away with over what is right. Without the technology to show the world back in Europe what was happening in the New World, no body had to worry about being held accountable, so the same would have happened, but maybe not as openly. Does anyone behaving unethically but not being caught ever just stop being unethical? Do people consider their actions unethical if they are not caught?

Posted by: Avoiding Homework | May 2, 2005 8:39 PM | Report abuse

I think it's completely wrong to assert that our "ethics" are more "advanced" today than they were in the 1500's. Jesus Christ was advocating non-violence and love 2000 years ago, but in the 21st century the United States still has the death penalty and is currently engaged in a pre-emptive war for no better motive than profit for a few American companies. Throughout history there have been individuals who sought to live in peace and other individuals who used violence to obtain their short-term objectives. Europe is a little bit ahead of us on this issue, but there are still Nazis in Europe; they aren't home free yet. (And they are powerless to stop the United States from waging war anyplace it wants.)

I believe that everything that needs to be accomplished can be accomplished without violence. If Tom said, what would I do if I was in the situation that Europe was in, I would say, do whatever you want, barring violence. That means, if you can trade, buy, barter, educate, convince, insinuate, intermarry, etc., go for it. Immigration would proceed but much more slowly. A time might come when the indigenous people realize that deadly diseases are being brought in by these foreigners and that no amount of technology is worth that price and they might ban further contact. In that case, immigration would have to come to a halt until the invention of vaccines or other methods of mitigating the problem.

Who knows what the end result would be, but without the violence at least the process would be more pleasant.

Posted by: Karen B | May 3, 2005 8:09 AM | Report abuse

I think it's completely wrong to assert that our "ethics" are more "advanced" today than they were in the 1500's. Jesus Christ was advocating non-violence and love 2000 years ago, but in the 21st century the United States still has the death penalty and is currently engaged in a pre-emptive war for no better motive than profit for a few American companies. Throughout history there have been individuals who sought to live in peace and other individuals who used violence to obtain their short-term objectives. Europe is a little bit ahead of us on this issue, but there are still Nazis in Europe; they aren't home free yet. (And they are powerless to stop the United States from waging war anyplace it wants.)

I believe that everything that needs to be accomplished can be accomplished without violence. If Tom said, what would I do if I was in the situation that Europe was in, I would say, do whatever you want, barring violence. That means, if you can trade, buy, barter, educate, convince, insinuate, intermarry, etc., go for it. Immigration would proceed but much more slowly. A time might come when the indigenous people realize that deadly diseases are being brought in by these foreigners and that no amount of technology is worth that price and they might ban further contact. In that case, immigration would have to come to a halt until the invention of vaccines or other methods of mitigating the problem.

Who knows what the end result would be, but without the violence at least the process would be more pleasant.

Posted by: Karen B | May 3, 2005 8:10 AM | Report abuse

You're forgetting the Federation's Prime Directive.

Posted by: Russ | May 3, 2005 9:33 AM | Report abuse

Actually, throughout history there have been initial attempts to be 'sensitive' to newly found indigenous peoples, usually involving a few more enlightened churchmen. So that is probably what would happen in this hypothetical scenario. The Sensitive Theorists would be first to decide how to deal with the New World. Then riches would be found, and they would be shunted aside, or maybe left with a milksop of an organization to give them the illusion that they mattered, while the Businesspeople move up (tell me a time in history when money did not trump all). Then in order to regulate the new commerce you need laws, and here come the politicians. Which is basically what happened in the New World anyway. Human nature is human nature and the veneer of our sensi-sensibilities is just that, a veneer. Look at history, everything from the German nation in WW II to the Norman veneer that fell away on the death of William the Conqueror and you'll see that veneers are frighteningly easy things to lose. But I can see your editor's point. He wants to ask a provocative question... and leave you to handle the fallout. And that's why he's an editor.

Posted by: Nancy in Va. | May 3, 2005 10:15 AM | Report abuse

Joel, in all the years that I have known you and in all of your work with the paper, I have never observed you to be snippety.

If Tom is going to hint at snippety, he had better be popping for an expensive lunch!

Oh yes, Mario Monti would have the three ships split into 6 floating pieces of debris 2/3's of the way to the new world, in a European effort to ensure competitiveness.

Posted by: Dolphin Michael | May 3, 2005 10:18 AM | Report abuse

Knowing what we know now, we know ethical inquiry takes a backseat to greed and "manifest destiny". Knowing what we know now, not one frigging boat that crossed the Atlantic filled with Pilgrims, criminals, protestants/catholics, future bankers and future fast-food workers would have been allowed to leave without first being burned from topmast to hull.

Posted by: Lee | May 3, 2005 10:22 AM | Report abuse

It is interesting to note that Spanish theologians actually debated whether Indians had souls and needed to be treated as human beings. While the Spanish were cruel often they did let more native peoples survive than did Protestants in North America who never bothered to inquire whether Indians had souls.

Of course at the same time these Spanish theologians were debating this question they were justifying the burning of people they pretended were crypto-Jews and crypto-Muslims. Go figure.

Posted by: norman | May 3, 2005 10:22 AM | Report abuse

According to a leading 3rd world Marxist author whose name escapes me at the moment (he wrote a book called Global Rift...Stavrianos?), the cause of colonialism was not ethics but need--the exploiters always came from areas of limited resource and too dense population and the expoitees always have abundant resources. As such, the technology and economic conditions in Europe of the 15th Century would dictate colonial behavior much as the current conditions in Europe have made colonial behavior unnecessary over the past 50 years or so. The current American adventure can be similarly explained. The need for a critical resource will spark colonialism again wherever that need is found.

Posted by: Chris | May 3, 2005 10:53 AM | Report abuse

Has anyone read Pastwatch: The Redemption of Christopher Columbus by Orson Scott Card? http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg/detail/-/0812508645/qid=1115131937/sr=8-10/ref=sr_8_xs_ap_i10_xgl14/102-0508021-1650518?v=glance&s=books&n=507846
It is about a group of people far in the future who have the ability to change the past. They decide that the critical event that they need to change is what the Europeans did in the Americas, and that the way to do it is to send ambassadors from the future to enlighten Columbus and convince him that the Native Americans are not savages and should be treated the same as he would treat other Europeans. The ambassadors also give the natives vaccines against smallpox and syphillis, and some other aid to enable them to meet Columbus on equal footing. Very interesting book!

Posted by: Katie | May 3, 2005 11:01 AM | Report abuse

If I may recommend the book "Pastwatch" by Orson Scott Card, you all that find the question interesting might find that book an interesting read. And I'll also make the observation that the Prime Directive seemed to me to be a plot device raised for the sole purpose of being broken within the next half hour.....

Posted by: Les Elkins | May 3, 2005 11:04 AM | Report abuse

Back in the 1995-ish timeframe, my husband and I were new to Texas and spent a night at a great B&B in Mineola, Texas, east of Dallas. The next morning we were seated next to a couple who were/are missionaries and who had spent time with the the most remote native tribe on the upper Amazon--the name of this tribal group escapes me at the momnet.

What were they doing among one of the most remote native populations existing in the world? Proselytizing! Oh, shades of my distant great-grandfather, Rev. Grindal Rawson! We don't leave new life forms alone from our own interference--we see them, study them ever so briefly, and immediately set out to change them! Reminds me of a first marriage. ;-)

Congrats on mentioning Jared Diamond's "Guns, Germs, and Steel" in your blog. This Pulitzer Prize winner of non-fiction several years back is a gem! Recommended for all with a hgihly developed sense of curiosity! Your editor Tom sounds brilliant-like someone I would LOVE to meet!

Posted by: Linda Loomis | May 3, 2005 11:17 AM | Report abuse

If we were to face 1492 with today's ethics, the result would be - exactly the same. Any lip service we pay today about respecting other cultures is quickly abandoned when resources and $ is on the line. We only respect other cultures when they have nothing that interests us.

Look at what is happening today, with the almost certain decision to drill in the Artic National Wildlife Refuge.

The Gwitchin people of interior Alaska depend on the porcupine caribou herd for their livelihoods, and it is a big part of preserving their culture. The coastal plain of ANWR, is essential for the caribou at a very sensetive time, when they are calving.

Yet the livelihood of native peoples are quickly brushed aside in favor of our fictional "energy crisis." The oil in ANWR is hardly criticial - if we all made sure our car tires were inflated
to the correct pressure we'd more than save the oil we'd obtain in the
Refuge. But it is easier to push aside one more inconvenient group that employ self-discipline.

Posted by: Greenlady | May 3, 2005 2:47 PM | Report abuse

I would also recommend Diamond's "Desicions". I which he examines why societies choose to fail. Sometimes it is not the outsider that does a society in.

Posted by: David | May 3, 2005 2:51 PM | Report abuse

Hey Linda: Have you checked out Tom's book? ("Old Souls: Compelling Evidence From Children Who Remember Past Lives")
That book blew my mind; I couldn't put it down.

Posted by: Tom fan | May 3, 2005 2:54 PM | Report abuse

Joel I think like most of your readers you missed the point of the question. Tom wanted to you analyze how current European policy would translate in situations like that. Meaning to take the assumption that world events leading up to that point gave Europe the atmosphere it has today.

Europe today is a generally peaceful society with few imperialist intentions. At first thought this might suggest that the europeans would never have found the new world if they didn't intend to colonize, but we must remember Columbus was exploring for trade routes and not imperialism.

Current European policy intends to promote economic prosperity and social equity characterized by the EU as well as strong health and social programs. This suggests that Europe would not colonize the new world but rather try to establish a global free market in which to exchange goods without penalties of tarriffs and waring of imperialist powers. The European powers would economically pressure the societies of the New World to stablize their economies to the appropriate standards to join the EU.

Of course this does not account for the reactions of societies in the new world because the question does not ask us to assume they are any different. Well the Aztecs and Inca's were imperialist societies at the time, run by strong leaders. It is tough to imagine how they would react to the European quest for free trade. I would venture to guess they may be willing to accept it initially after learning of some of the new military technology developed in europe at the time. The cooperation of these large societies may only be contingent on the desire to either get the new technology to expand their empire's further. Or it may be that the Aztec and Incan leaders would truly be open to the trade unions, but political pressure to resume their conquering ways could spark tension if they have an economic downturn.

I could go on further but I really must return to my studies.

Posted by: Econ Student | May 3, 2005 3:23 PM | Report abuse

"Europe today is a generally peaceful society with few imperialist intentions. At first thought this might suggest that the europeans (sic)would never have found the new world if they didn't intend to colonize, but we must remember Columbus was exploring for trade routes and not imperialism"

I must butt in where fools dare to tread. Wasn't Columbus' original voyage one to discover the spices of the East Indies--the result of a lack or refrigerators and lots of spoiling, untasty meat. Isn't the surest way to a man's heart throught his stomach? So, the underlying reasons for the voyage were as much passion and romance as exploration in the expectation of monopolistic trade (knowledge)? Of course, you must factor in the high tech of maps and compasses, among other burgeoning technologies. (Oh, thank you great master teacher, Dan Allen of Stanford Research Institute!)

Isn't Jared Diamond's book (his latest)about societies that (choose to) fail, as posted by David, titled "Collapse" rather than "Decisions?"

And, according to your one fan (maybe one have more than one, Mr. Achenbach?), Tom has written a book titled "Old Souls: Compelling Evidence from Children from Children who Remember Past Lives?" What an absolutely fascinating title! ;-) Who is this Tom character anyway? Some hints on his curriculum vitae? Sounds like a man after my own heart!!! ;-) What'd you say his last name is?

Posted by: Linda Loomis | May 3, 2005 4:24 PM | Report abuse

In all seriousness, your light-hearted blog makes my day!

Posted by: Linda Loomis | May 3, 2005 4:27 PM | Report abuse

Shroder -- Tom's last name is Shroder.

Posted by: Tom fan | May 3, 2005 4:29 PM | Report abuse

At long last, a question to displace the one that's tormented me for years: "What if Eleanor Roosevelt could fly?"

Posted by: daryl | May 3, 2005 7:23 PM | Report abuse

We demand that Tom show himself and reveal his thoughts on this scenario, or that he answer the Eleanor Roosevelt query.

Posted by: The People | May 3, 2005 8:24 PM | Report abuse

If the Iraqi War is any indication, we would have invaded America more quickly, shoved democracy down their throats and leash their POWs as we parade them before digital cameras.

Posted by: Ryan | May 4, 2005 7:16 AM | Report abuse

_The Sparrow_, by Mary Doria Russell, addresses this issue -- intelligent life discovered on another planet, explorers with the best of intentions (learning all they could from the mistakes of the conquistadores, et al.) go to find out about it, Bad Things ensue. Not a bad read.

Posted by: Trick | May 4, 2005 10:56 AM | Report abuse

I agree with one poster who said it would be the same. Our technology is more advanced but beyond that humans ares till fraught with the same foibles and failings. We still are jealous, covetous, ambitious, all the things that are not so great about people. Just look at Enron,and other corporate malfeasance and any number of government scandals across the world. We still have petty dictators and we still commit inhuman acts against one another in the name of religions.
Transporting today's ethics to 1492 might be a whole lot worse!

Posted by: alberta | May 4, 2005 2:45 PM | Report abuse

Does Tom suggest that the same power structure that finished ejecting the Muslims from Spain in that same year, forced Jews to convert, and got to work on that
fun concept known as the Inquisition would have been all New Age about the New World?
Or is this a trick physics question about
parallel universes existing in different time?

Posted by: Laurie in Lima | May 4, 2005 7:52 PM | Report abuse

One on the foundations of the kindler/gentler ethics of this century:

"I do not agree that the dog in a manger has the final right to the manger even though he may have lain there for a very long time. I do not admit that right. I do not admit for instance, that a great wrong has been done to the Red Indians of America or the black people of Australia. I do not admit that a wrong has been done to these people by the fact that a stronger race, a higher-grade race, a more worldly wise race to put it that way, has come in and taken their place."

-- Winston Churchill

Posted by: Tim Smalls | May 4, 2005 9:45 PM | Report abuse

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