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TheGreatOneSea t1_j0n1dnz wrote

There are multiple ways of defining imperialism, but what's usually meant is what John Hobsin wrote about (though I'm going off memory here:) Imperialism is an attempt by one nation to force its own identity upon another.

Historically, that was very rarely the case: the Romans and Athenians did not seek to spread democracy, or togas, or their religions. They sought wealth and power, and their institutions only spread as far as it would take to acquire those things.

Imperialism is basically the inverse of that: spreading one's institutions and culture as a justification for acquiring more wealth and power. The first time I believe we see something like that is with Qin China and Legalism, but even that was limited to China itself.


Dazzling-Plastic-465 t1_j0p2fs2 wrote

Was it limited to China or is China the region that it was applied to. There was no line in the ground or on a map that said China back then.

I really have to squint to see the differences you seem to be seeing. The Arab conquest not spreading identity? How about the Aztecs? Half of Europe speak Latin languages somehow. The Roman colonists were different to later colonist how? Roman law had no impact on local tradition I presume?


GyantSpyder t1_j14g88i wrote

Why historical traditions frame things in a certain way tends to be unrelated to whether that framing has truth value, and is definitely unrelated to whether it's good or right.

John Hobson was very influential and the way he thought and wrote about imperialism has a lot of influence to this day. Through Lenin his ideas became the basis for an entire new form of international relations.

He also thought the advanced nations of the world should all get together one day and create a commission to exterminate or sterilize all people in the world from inferior races.

People say a lot of things.