Teaching the “natives”?

I was really struck by the argument that members of the colonizing countries made that that colonists were only able to revolt based on the knowledge bestowed on them by the colonizers. Obviously, this argument is mostly ridiculous. As Said points out, the colonized blatantly want to be free from the moment their independence is taken from them. In general, however, a successful revolution does take a while to come by. I think this is in part because the colonized peoples really do need to learn something from the colonizers, most specifically, it is impossible to overthrow something very powerful without understanding their weaknesses, furthermore I think the level of anger and “language of violence” necessary to stage a complete take over takes some time to build up. To deny that the colonizers had a lasting effect on the colonized is silly (I don’t think that’s what Said is doing, I’m just saying it would be silly to argue this.) The colonized can never become 100% like the colonizers, but they can never return to what they used to be either. Instead, the postcolonial countries remain trapped in some sort of limbo. Personally, I think this is a part of the reason why several postcolonial countries experience problems upon gaining independence. It is most obviously not the argument that the “natives” are too ignorant to govern themselves. It is more that they have reached a situation where the governing system of the colonizer won’t work for them, but neither will the system they previously used. The newly independent countries need to find a new system, that suits their new identity, which is not an easy thing to do…

2 responses to “Teaching the “natives”?