Tuesday, November 06, 2007

Disappearances

John Howison in 1834, some time after many Enlightenment thinkers had given up anti-imperialism:

The continent of America has aready been nearly depopulated of its aborigines by the introduction of the blessings of civilization. The West Indian archipelago, from the same cause, no longer contains a single family of its primitive inhabitants. South Africa will soon be in a similar condition, and the islanders of the Pacific Ocean are rapidly diminishing in numbers from the ravages of European diseases and the despotism of self-interested and fanatical missionaries. It is surely time that the work of destruction should cease...


(Quoted, Sven Lindquist, 'Exterminate All the Brutes', Granta Books, London, 1996, p 122).