New Nations

New Nations

New Nations

New Nations

Excerpt

One of the crucial events of the mid-twentieth century is the emergence to political independence of the majority of the peoples whom the nineteenth century brought under colonial rule. The political expansion of Europe was made possible by the superiority of Europe's technical knowledge, and the same technical knowledge enabled Europeans to develop the material resources of tropical territories and bring them into the world economic system. The new rulers of these territories are committed to go on with this process, and even hope to accelerate it.

The process is essentially that of increasing the scale of economic operations. This is not possible unless the scale of political and social relationships is also increased. The theme of this book is the effect of this increase in scale in different areas of the life of the people experiencing it.

There is a great mass of literature devoted to changes in the customs of non-European peoples under the influence of contact with the dominant European nations; of course this contact began before Europeans had gained the immense technical superiority that power-driven machinery gave them, but before the industrial revolution they had less need and less ability to reorganise other people's lives. Most of the literature starts from the assumption that when people are confronted with . . .

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