Sunday, May 13, 2012
The Subjectivity of Colonialism
While there are objective criteria that define colonial relationships such as alien political control and economic exploitation there is also a subjective element. That is a group of people have to feel that they are colonized and demonstrate opposition to their political rule by outsiders. Hence far more people have argued that the relationship between England and Ireland was colonial than have posited a colonial relationship between England and Scotland. The existence of systems where outside political domination of ethnically distinct territories exists, but other defining factors of colonialism such as economic exploitation or a subjective view of being colonized do not exist might be defined as semi-colonial. The remaining US territories in the Pacific and the Caribbean such as Guam, Samoa, Puerto Rico, and the Virgin Islands seem to be semi-colonial.