Thursday, December 17, 2009

Take Up the White Man's Burden

Take up the White Man's burden--
The savage wars of peace--
Fill full the mouth of Famine
And bid the sickness cease;
And when your goal is nearest
The end for others sought,
Watch sloth and heathen Folly
Bring all your hopes to nought.

Take up the White Man's burden--
And reap his old reward:
The blame of those ye better,
The hate of those ye guard--
The cry of hosts ye humour
(Ah, slowly!) toward the light:--
"Why brought he us from bondage,
Our loved Egyptian night?"

Take up the White Man's burden--
Have done with childish days--
The lightly proferred laurel,
The easy, ungrudged praise.
Comes now, to search your manhood
Through all the thankless years
Cold, edged with dear-bought wisdom,
The judgment of your peers!

This great poem by Rudyard Kipling is spot-on. The Western civilization, which has brought science, culture and freedom to the entire world and lifted it up from the brink of survival to unprecedented prosperity, is villified as the exploiter and hated. It's a clear instance of "hatred of the good for being the good." 

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