The past year has seen a flood of articles commemorating the end of the Cold War, and the fact that "peace" seems to be breaking out in many regions of the world. Most of these analyses lack any larger conceptual framework for distinguishing between what is essential and what is contingent or accidental in world history, and are predictably superficial. Gorbachev were ousted from the Kremlin or a new Ayatollah proclaimed the millennium from a desolate Middle Eastern capital, these same commentators would scramble to announce the rebirth of a new era of conflict.
In Moulmein, in Lower Burma, I was hated by large numbers of people — the only time in my life that I have been important enough for this to happen to me. I was sub-divisional police officer of the town, and in an aimless, petty kind of way anti-European feeling was very bitter.
No one had the guts to raise a riot, but if a European woman went through the bazaars alone somebody would probably spit betel juice over her dress. As a police officer I was an obvious target and was baited whenever it seemed safe to do so. When a nimble Burman tripped me up on the football field and the referee another Burman looked the other way, the crowd yelled with hideous laughter.
This happened more than once.
In the end the sneering yellow faces of young men that met me everywhere, the insults hooted after me when I was at a safe distance, got badly on my nerves. The young Buddhist priests were the worst of all. There were several thousands of them in the town and none of them seemed to have anything to do except stand on street corners and jeer at Europeans.
All this was perplexing and upsetting. For at that time I had already made up my mind that imperialism was an evil thing and the sooner I chucked up my job and got out of it the better. Theoretically — and secretly, of course — I was all for the Burmese and all against their oppressors, the British.
As for the job I was doing, I hated it more bitterly than I can perhaps make clear.
In a job like that you see the dirty work of Empire at close quarters. The wretched prisoners huddling in the stinking cages of the lock-ups, the grey, cowed faces of the long-term convicts, the scarred buttocks of the men who had been flogged with bamboos — all these oppressed me with an intolerable sense of guilt.
But I could get nothing into perspective. I was young and ill-educated and I had had to think out my problems in the utter silence that is imposed on every Englishman in the East. I did not even know that the British Empire is dying, still less did I know that it is a great deal better than the younger empires that are going to supplant it.
All I knew was that I was stuck between my hatred of the empire I served and my rage against the evil-spirited little beasts who tried to make my job impossible.
Feelings like these are the normal by-products of imperialism; ask any Anglo-Indian official, if you can catch him off duty. One day something happened which in a roundabout way was enlightening.
It was a tiny incident in itself, but it gave me a better glimpse than I had had before of the real nature of imperialism — the real motives for which despotic governments act. Early one morning the sub-inspector at a police station the other end of the town rang me up on the phone and said that an elephant was ravaging the bazaar.
Would I please come and do something about it? I did not know what I could do, but I wanted to see what was happening and I got on to a pony and started out. I took my rifle, an old 44 Winchester and much too small to kill an elephant, but I thought the noise might be useful in terrorem.
It was not, of course, a wild elephant, but a tame one which had gone "must. The Burmese population had no weapons and were quite helpless against it.
The Burmese sub-inspector and some Indian constables were waiting for me in the quarter where the elephant had been seen. It was a very poor quarter, a labyrinth of squalid bamboo huts, thatched with palmleaf, winding all over a steep hillside.
I remember that it was a cloudy, stuffy morning at the beginning of the rains. We began questioning the people as to where the elephant had gone and, as usual, failed to get any definite information.
That is invariably the case in the East; a story always sounds clear enough at a distance, but the nearer you get to the scene of events the vaguer it becomes.
Some of the people said that the elephant had gone in one direction, some said that he had gone in another, some professed not even to have heard of any elephant. I had almost made up my mind that the whole story was a pack of lies, when we heard yells a little distance away.
There was a loud, scandalized cry of "Go away, child!
Go away this instant!BECAUSE I could not stop for Death: He kindly stopped for me; The carriage held but just ourselves: And Immortality. We slowly drove, he knew no haste, 5: And I had put away. IN WATCHING the flow of events over the past decade or so, it is hard to avoid the feeling that something very fundamental has happened in world history.
May When people care enough about something to do it well, those who do it best tend to be far better than everyone else. There's a huge gap between Leonardo and second-rate contemporaries like Borgognone.
Online Library of Liberty.
A collection of scholarly works about individual liberty and free markets. A project of Liberty Fund, Inc. Moses, I believe you and applaud this hard truth that you have been made to reveal.
I regarding Mia’s brother, John Farrow, who is a convicted child molestor, and whom she whose case she had never mentioned. January Have you ever seen an old photo of yourself and been embarrassed at the way you looked?
May When people care enough about something to do it well, those who do it best tend to be far better than everyone else. There's a huge gap between . Obama’s Unconstitutional ‘Czar Power Grab’ Must Be Stopped. ObamaNation Articles. OBAMA’S UNCONSTITUTIONAL ‘CZAR POWER GRAB’ MUST BE STOPPED. Aug 02, · I was only 8 when “The French Chef” first appeared on American television in , but it didn’t take long for me to realize that this Julia Child had improved the quality of life around our.
Did we actually dress like that? We did. And we had no idea how silly we looked.