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Globalization Paper #2: ESTABLISHING PURPOSE BEYOND THE PRESENT

Globalization Paper #2: ESTABLISHING PURPOSE BEYOND THE PRESENT

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Published by Ben Turner
An essay for my globalization class on the internal pressures within a colonial-minded European pressure cooker. Uses Stefan Tanaka's "New Times in Modern Japan", David Abernethy’s "The Dynamics of Global Dominance", David Brion Davis's "Inhuman Bondage: The Rise and Fall of Slavery in the New World" and Kenneth Pomeranz's "The Great Divergence: China, Europe, and the Making of the Modern World Economy".
An essay for my globalization class on the internal pressures within a colonial-minded European pressure cooker. Uses Stefan Tanaka's "New Times in Modern Japan", David Abernethy’s "The Dynamics of Global Dominance", David Brion Davis's "Inhuman Bondage: The Rise and Fall of Slavery in the New World" and Kenneth Pomeranz's "The Great Divergence: China, Europe, and the Making of the Modern World Economy".

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Categories:Types, School Work
Published by: Ben Turner on Dec 11, 2008
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09/07/2012

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V
ICTOR 
B
ENJAMIN
T
URNER 
MSFS 507-01D
. P
ATTY
O’B
RIEN
E
STABLISHING
P
URPOSE
B
EYOND
 
THE
P
RESENT
G
LOBALIZATION
P
APER 
#2
In Stefan Tanaka's
 New Times in Modern Japan
, he quotes Inoue Enryo as saying,"There is a thing called will in humans, and when one possesses will there is definitely purpose." Tanaka expands this to say that "will is that source of progress that separateshuman nature from nature," and quotes Inoue again, that "when the complete human being is not led by will, there is no development as a human being."
1
In speaking of European colonialism and imperialism, the relentless human willand lust for hegemony were compelling factors behind the push outwards from thecramped, competitive European nation-states to new colonies worldwide. Such pressuresdid not exist in potential nation-state rivals such as China. In order to ensure their domination, perhaps subconsciously understanding the power of human will, theEuropean colonists perfected human domestication by destroying and suppressing thehuman will of other peoples so that they would not and could not resist the destruction of their cultures and assumption of their lands. But it speaks to the power of the human willthat those who were colonized eventually broke out of the manacles of mental inferiorityand enslavement and re-established their own identities as a "complete human being".Thusly, the human will must be discussed from multiple perspectives of the colonialequation: the will to expand, the will to dominate, and the will to be free.In the pre-colonial era, Europe was essentially balanced enough that its highlycompetitive states, with no room to expand geographically or economically, had reacheda stalemate. Also, according to David Abernethy’s
The Dynamics of Global Dominance
,"in cultural, economic, and geographic terms [Europe] has long been relatively unified,"
2
so the different states competed with strikingly similar goals and abilities to adopt
1
Stefan Tanaka.
 New Times in Modern Japan
(Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2004), 161.
2
David B. Abernethy.
The Dynamics of Global Dominance: European Overseas Empires 1415-1980
(New Haven and London: Yale University Press, 2000), 9.
 
advancements in military technology and economic and political theory from each other.As a result, the "nervous energy"
3
 to develop first-user technology in military and naval projection was high among the European states, and pressures to colonize new lands andexploit their resources to shift the balance of power were too great to ignore.Contrast this with China, whose recalcitrance to pursue global imperialism was probably in some subconscious level related to its disperse population and plentiful landand labor. China's different philosophic and political goals alienated it from the Europeanhomogeneous competitive mindset. As Pomeranz points out in
The Great Divergence
, inChina "none of the changes that combined to arrest Western Europe's ecological declineduring the nineteenth century was operative."
4
Such competitive energies did not exist inChina and therefore it did not have the will to change its situation, and therefore had no purpose to expand. It should be noted, however, that China was still an influence uponthe colonial expansion in its ravenous demand for silver, which created a world market assilver (which continued to be found in new deposits, thus inflating its valueeconomically) was exchanged for other goods which could be used to purchase rawmaterials elsewhere for Europe. Pomeranz sums up:"Not only were the land and labor that produced New World resource exports verymuch the fruits of extra-market coercion, but it took the unique arrangements of Caribbean plantations and of mercantilist policies throughout the New World toescape all the forces that caused core-periphery exchange within the Old World to plateau."
5
European "overseas aggression became attractive as a way of easing, thoughnever ultimately resolving, a metropole's security dilemma."
6
 The balance of power inEurope had expanded to the international stage, and the potential of finding new coloniesand resources could mean survival for the insecure European states. And Europe hadreached the limits of what it could produce at home, having "little chance of expanding
3
Abernethy, 206.
4
Kenneth Pomeranz.
The Great Divergence: China, Europe, and the Making of the Modern World  Economy
(Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2000), 239.
5
Pomeranz, 274.
6
Abernethy, 207.
 
its supplies of clothing fiber and wood from within its own borders, given its relativelynon-intensive agriculture and limited labor supply."
7
When the Europeans arrived in theAmericas, they had little idea that North America would become the economic powerhouse of the world a century later because of its plentiful land as well as plentifulimported labor. In the meantime, however, "it turned out to be possible to address theseshortages through long-distance trade"
8
through specialization in the colonies.In a very realist operating environment in Europe, the will to dominate other countries superseded all. Except for France, which showed some ambivalence towardscolonialism
9
, Europeans did not hesitate to subvert newly discovered cultures and indeedexpressed their arrogant superiority in doing so.
Abernethy describes two of Europe'smethods: the "explore-control-utilize" syndrome
and the triple attack .
The "explore-control-utilize" syndrome consisted of the affirmation of "theimportance of curiosity and the value of satisfying it"
,the feeling of entitlement "toexercise collective property rights abroad"
, and the "realization of imagined potential"through perpetual restlessness
. The will to dominate extended through this syndromeeven to controlling nature, to "realize nature's untapped potential,"
changing it to suitman's purposes and to improve upon it. It is easy to see how this mindset led to themental ease in dispatching foreign civilizations and enslaving them to do their bidding.In a competitive world, might makes right.While the "explore-control-utilize" mindset provided validation of colonialism,the triple assault was the insurmountably insidious method in which institutions were brought in to overwhelm colonized peoples. The public sector "[obtained] compliance byheavy reliance on the use and threat of force" while the private profit sector rewarded producers with imported consumer goods. To give everything an aura of timelessnessand righteousness, missionaries "specialized in what Émile Durkheim terms 'normative
7
Pomeranz, 238.
8
Pomeranz, 238.
9
Abernethy, 216.
10
Abernethy, 12. Tanaka, 97.
11
Abernethy, 185.
12
Abernethy, 227.
13
Abernethy, 185.
14
Abernethy, 186.
15
Abernethy, 186.
16
Abernethy, 187.

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