Tuesday, March 5, 2013
The White Man's Burden
While I don't hear the term used anymore, I think the debate over the White Man's Burden is far from over. We frequently hear discussions in the news concerning our obligations to developping countries, e.g. does the West have an obligation to spread democracy to the rest of the world? Should the United States have intervened earlier in Syria? If we do have a moral responsibility to help the rebels, is it enough to merely give them supplies, or should we send in soldiers of our own? What responsibility does France owe to Mali? How much should we let a situation deteriorate before we help? And while I think that overall western society has gotten better about only involving itself for the right reasons, such as democracy and human rights, there are still examples of us intervening for the same purposes that underlay imperialism a century ago.