Colonialism As A Moral Problem Essay Examples
Colonialism refers to the governing of the people against their will. However, different people approach colonialism with different attitudes because there are those who consider it as right while the others perceive it as a wrong thing. The morals differ among the citizenry because what an individual could perceive as a moral wrong could become a moral right to another. Therefore, colonialism brought a moral problem due to the confusion and the conflicting ideas concerning it (Polycarp 306).
Utilitarianism theory refers to the normative principle philosophy that relates the outcomes of an action to either right or wrong. Nonetheless, Utilitarianism theory argues that a moral right is dependent on the utility level. For this reason, the higher the utility derived from an action, the higher the chances of it becoming a moral right. According to Bentham's utilitarianism theory, he states that one can measure the amount of pain or pleasure from the different policies or actions. Therefore, he recognizes that the consequences of adopting a policy could lead to either pain or pleasure.
In the case of colonialism, both the pain and the pleasure elements were present. For instance, the colonizers felt the pleasure while the colonized felt the pain. In most cases, the colonized subdued to the colonizers due to the force that they applied. The colonists viewed the peopled as inferior beings who deserved no respect due to the high illiteracy levels. As a result, the men engaged in the farm activities while the women performed the household chores. In addition, the colonialists denied the people the freedom of movement, expression and choice. Therefore, the negative attitudes led to the development of the alien feeling while in their country. The colonizers denied the citizenry a sense of belonging in their country, and it triggered negative reactions thus indulging in wars. Furthermore, the use of the forced labor inflicted pain on the laborers because most of the times, the colonizers would whip them. Therefore, the colonized reflected as a moral wrong (Kelly 60).
Nonetheless, the colonized country achieved economic developments due to the introduction of new ideas by the colonialists. As a result, the people’s living standards improved because they started using the modern farming and animal husbandry methods leading to higher crop and animal yields. Therefore, availability of the food promoted commerce in the countries hence an increase in the foreign exchange. However, the colonialists controlled the commerce in the colonials thereby making the greatest profits from the activities. In addition, the colonialists increased the literacy levels in the countries thereby eradicating poverty that the high levels of illiteracy brought. Nevertheless, both parties benefited from the agricultural developments thereby perceived colonialism as a moral right.
On the other hand, the colonialists enjoyed seeing the colonized people suffer as they imposed the forced labor thereby deriving pleasure. Furthermore, they derived pleasure from the powers they had acquired thereby strengthening the mother countries in terms of the powers based on the number of the countries they colonized. As a result, they considered colonialism as a moral right because they derived pleasure from it. Nonetheless, the pleasure would depend on the duration and t intensity of the pain they caused to the people. Colonization came with a lot of respect because the colonizers would respect each other on the basis of the colonies acquired. Consequently, the colonialists would fight extra hard to gain more territories, and, as a result, it became a moral right to dictate to the people. Therefore, into Bentham's utilitarianism theory, the society would regard anything expedient as a moral right (Polycarp 128).
The industrial revolution brought about several changes in the different activities in the colonized. Transition accompanied colonization because the colonials brought in several advancements thereby making work easier and faster. In addition, they helped improve the people’s living standards because they would use the time saved in more productive activities. The transitioning to the new production processes enhanced efficacy in the manufacturing process. As a result, it led to the improved quality of the products. Nonetheless, the industrial revolution in England touched on several aspects of life, for instance, the social, political and economic.
The industrial revolution brought about some technological advancement in the state. Therefore, the citizenry improved in the production activities leading to increased profits. As a result, the people’s income levels increased hence strengthening their purchasing power. On the other hand, the high-income levels led to a reduction in the social crimes because due to the ability of the most people in meeting their human needs and wants (Alan 250). However, the technological advancements helped to improve the bold blood between the colonizers and the colonized because they provided them with employment opportunities. Therefore, the people would regard colonialism as a moral right.
Urbanization increased in the colonial era due to the industrial revolution. The building of the industries in the cities attracted most people from the rural areas I search of employment. As a result, the population shift led to the developments in the urban centers. The infrastructural developments, increased social amenities accompanied the growth of the urban centers. Therefore, it made it easier for the movements of the services and the goods due to the free flow of activities. Nonetheless, it widened the gap between the rich and the poor thereby encouraging capitalism (Lectures on the Industrial Revolution in England 293). The rich became richer, as the poor became poorer during the colonial eras. For this reason, the urbanization faced mixed reactions from the people because the rich perceived it as moral right and the poor as a moral wrong.
The change in the political arena also occurred due to the shift from the agrarian land owners to capitalists. Therefore, the capitalists dominated the powers of the leaders of the state’s economy and the power arrangement. As a result, the revolution strengthened the capitalists thereby causing the power imbalance between them and the agrarian land owners. For this reason, the capitalists viewed colonialism as a moral right due to the addition of the powers. On the other hand, the agrarian land owners perceived it as a moral wrong power because it denied them the powers to control the country’s economy.
Nonetheless, the creation of more industries led to the deplorable working conditions. The industrial revolution provided a chance for the haste creation of more industries. As a result, most constructors did not follow the instructions to provide for better working conditions. In mot industries, the workers suffered a lot due to the poorly ventilated rooms, overcrowding, low wages and lack protective clothing. Therefore, the deplorable conditions gave rise to slums and street families thereby increasing the social evils in the cities. In addition, lack of social amenities increased pollution in the cities hence the high probabilities of respiratory diseases. In this case, one could consider colonialism as a moral wrong due to the negative effects of the revolution on the people (Kelly 249).
The industrial revolution gave rise to the trade unions that would offer collective bargaining on behalf of the workers. The deplorable conditions for the workers motivated them to form a union that would air their grievances and push for their quick address. The trade unions would engage in go- slows, strikes and boycotts to air the workers’ grievances. Therefore, the collective bargaining brought reprieve to the workers because it eased the burden of the poor working conditions and the poor pays. Colonialism paved way for the creation of the trade unions that bargain on behalf of the members. Therefore, it was a moral right because it alleviated the elements of exploitation from the employers on the employees.
In summation, the utilitarianism theory brings in different concepts before determining whether colonialism was a moral wrong or right. For this reason, what some people perceived as a moral wrong became a moral right to others during the colonial era. Therefore, there is the need to understand the amount of pleasure and pain derived from the colonialists. In addition, people would comply with the rules that they perceived as moral rights and ignore their perceived moral wrongs hence bringing about the contrast between the populations (Alan 79). On the other hand, the industrial revolution in England brought about by the colonization met the mixed reactions from the people. The level of utilities derived from the revolution determined the moral wrong or right of the achievement.
Bewell, Alan. Romanticism and Colonial Disease. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press,
Ikuenobe, Polycarp. Philosophical Perspectives on Communalism and Morality in African
Traditions. Lanham, MD [u.a.: Lexington Books, 2006. Print.
Kelly, P J. Utilitarianism and Distributive Justice: Jeremy Bentham and the Civil Law. Oxford:
Clarendon Press, 1990. Print.
Lectures on the Industrial Revolution in England: Popular Addresses, Notes and Other
Fragments. Cambridge Univ Pr, 2011. Print.90