Imperialism Quotes

Quotes tagged as "imperialism" Showing 31-60 of 231
Noam Chomsky
“The two main criminals are France and the United States. They owe Haiti enormous reparations because of actions going back hundreds of years. If we could ever get to the stage where somebody could say, 'We're sorry we did it,' that would be nice. But if that just assuages guilt, it's just another crime. To become minimally civilized, we would have to say, 'We carried out and benefited from vicious crimes. A large part of the wealth of France comes from the crimes we committed against Haiti, and the United States gained as well. Therefore we are going to pay reparations to the Haitian people.' Then you will see the beginnings of civilization.”
Noam Chomsky, Imperial Ambitions: Conversations on the Post-9/11 World

Edward W. Said
“We are at a point in our work when we can no longer ignore empires and the imperial context in our studies. (p. 5)”
Edward W. Said, Culture and Imperialism

Samuel P. Huntington
“Arabs and other Muslims generally agreed that Saddam Hussein might be a bloody tyrant, but, paralleling FDR's thinking, "he is our bloody tyrant." In their view, the invasion was a family affair to be settled within the family and those who intervened in the name of some grand theory of international justice were doing so to protect their own selfish interests and to maintain Arab subordination to the west.”
Samuel P. Huntington, The Clash of Civilizations and the Remaking of World Order

Carl Schmitt
“The concept of humanity is an especially useful ideological instrument of imperialist expansion, and in its ethical-humanitarian form it is a specific vehicle of economic imperialism. Here one is reminded of a somewhat modified expression of Proudhon’s: whoever invokes humanity wants to cheat. To confiscate the word humanity, to invoke and monopolize such a term probably has certain incalculable effects, such as denying the enemy the quality of being human and declaring him to be an outlaw of humanity; and a war can thereby be driven to the most extreme inhumanity.”
Carl Schmitt

“Afghanistan—where empires go to die. ”
Mike Malloy

Hannah Arendt
“Imperialism was born when the ruling class in capitalist production came up against national limitations to its economic expansion. The bourgeoisie turned to politics out of economic necessity; for if it did not want to give up the capitalist system whose inherent law is constant economic growth, it had to impose this law upon its home governments and to proclaim expansion to be an ultimate political goal of foreign policy.”
Hannah Arendt, The Origins of Totalitarianism

“Eurocentrism is quite simply the colonizer's model of the world.”
J.M. Blaut, The Colonizer's Model of the World: Geographical Diffusionism and Eurocentric History

Vladimir Lenin
“But suppose, for the sake of argument, free competition, without any sort of monopoly, would develop capitalism trade more rapidly. Is it not a fact that the more rapidly trade and capitalism develop, the greater is the concentration of production and capital which gives rise to monopoly?”
Vladimir Ilyich Lenin, Imperialism, the highest stage of capitalism: a popular outline

Christopher Hitchens
“I resolutely refuse to believe that the state of Edward's health had anything to do with this, and I don't say this only because I was once later accused of attacking him 'on his deathbed.' He was entirely lucid to the end, and the positions he took were easily recognizable by me as extensions or outgrowths of views he had expressed (and also declined to express) in the past. Alas, it is true that he was closer to the end than anybody knew when the thirtieth anniversary reissue of his Orientalism was published, but his long-precarious condition would hardly argue for giving him a lenient review, let alone denying him one altogether, which would have been the only alternatives. In the introduction he wrote for the new edition, he generally declined the opportunity to answer his scholarly critics, and instead gave the recent American arrival in Baghdad as a grand example of 'Orientalism' in action. The looting and destruction of the exhibits in the Iraq National Museum had, he wrote, been a deliberate piece of United States vandalism, perpetrated in order to shear the Iraqi people of their cultural patrimony and demonstrate to them their new servitude. Even at a time when anything at all could be said and believed so long as it was sufficiently and hysterically anti-Bush, this could be described as exceptionally mendacious. So when the Atlantic invited me to review Edward's revised edition, I decided I'd suspect myself more if I declined than if I agreed, and I wrote what I felt I had to.

Not long afterward, an Iraqi comrade sent me without comment an article Edward had contributed to a magazine in London that was published by a princeling of the Saudi royal family. In it, Edward quoted some sentences about the Iraq war that he off-handedly described as 'racist.' The sentences in question had been written by me. I felt myself assailed by a reaction that was at once hot-eyed and frigidly cold. He had cited the words without naming their author, and this I briefly thought could be construed as a friendly hesitance. Or as cowardice... I can never quite act the stern role of Mr. Darcy with any conviction, but privately I sometimes resolve that that's 'it' as it were. I didn't say anything to Edward but then, I never said anything to him again, either. I believe that one or two charges simply must retain their face value and not become debauched or devalued. 'Racist' is one such. It is an accusation that must either be made good upon, or fully retracted. I would not have as a friend somebody whom I suspected of that prejudice, and I decided to presume that Edward was honest and serious enough to feel the same way. I feel misery stealing over me again as I set this down: I wrote the best tribute I could manage when he died not long afterward (and there was no strain in that, as I was relieved to find), but I didn't go to, and wasn't invited to, his funeral.”
Christopher Hitchens, Hitch 22: A Memoir

Saddam Hussein
“Based on the considerations of history, ancient history, and international axioms, the logic of following up a citizen with his shadow for the purpose of the demarcation of political frontiers of any state has been discounted for international conventions. For example the Arabs cannot ask Spain just because they were there some time in the past nor can they ask for any other area outside the frontiers of the Arab homeland”
Saddam Hussein, Saddam Hussein on Current Events in Iraq

Hannah Arendt
“For an ideology differs from a simple opinion in that it claims to possess either the key to history, or the solution for all the "riddles of the universe," or the intimate knowledge of the hidden universal laws which are supposed to rule nature and man. Few ideologies have won enough prominence to survive the hard competitive struggle of persuasion, and only two have come out on top and essentially defeated all others: the ideology which interprets history as an economic struggle of classes, and the other that interprets history as a natural fight of races. The appeal of both to large masses was so strong that they were able to enlist state support and establish themselves as official national doctrines. But far beyond the boundaries within which race-thinking and class-thinking have developed into obligatory patterns of thought, free public opinion has adopted them to such an extent that not only intellectuals but great masses of people will no longer accept a presentation of past or present facts that is not in agreement with either of these views.”
Hannah Arendt, The Origins of Totalitarianism

Joseph Conrad
“The conquest of the earth, which mostly means the taking
it away from those who have a different complexion or slightly
flatter noses than ourselves, is not a pretty thing when you look
into it too much. What redeems it is the idea only. An idea at the
back of it; not a sentimental pretence but an idea; and an
unselfish belief in the idea—something you can set up, and bow down
before, and offer a sacrifice to…”
Joseph Conrad, Heart of Darkness

Christopher Hitchens
“Some say that because the United States was wrong before, it cannot possibly be right now, or has not the right to be right. (The British Empire sent a fleet to Africa and the Caribbean to maintain the slave trade while the very same empire later sent another fleet to enforce abolition. I would not have opposed the second policy because of my objections to the first; rather it seems to me that the second policy was morally necessitated by its predecessor.)”
Christopher Hitchens, A Long Short War: The Postponed Liberation of Iraq

“The arrogance and brutality of empire are not repealed when they temporarily get deployed in a just cause.”
Michael Kazin, Christopher Hitchens and His Critics: Terror, Iraq, and the Left

“In 1924 Mao took a Chinese friend, newly arrived from Europe, to see the notorious sign in the Shanghai park, 'Chinese and Dogs Not Allowed'.”
Paul Johnson, Modern Times

Christopher Hitchens
“A local phrase book, entitled Speak in Korean, has the following handy expressions. In the section 'On the Way to the Hotel': 'Let's Mutilate US Imperialism!' In the section 'Word Order': 'Yankees are wolves in human shape—Yankees / in human shape / wolves / are.' In the section 'Farewell Talk': 'The US Imperialists are the sworn enemy of the Korean people.' Not that the book is all like this—the section 'At the Hospital' has the term solsaga ('I have loose bowels'), and the section 'Our Foreign Friends Say' contains the Korean for 'President Kim Il Sung is the sun of mankind.'

I wanted a spare copy of this phrase book to give to a friend, but found it was hard to come by. Perhaps this was a sign of a new rapprochement with the United States, or perhaps it was because, on page 46, in the section on the seasons, appear the words: haemada pungnyoni dumnida ('We have a bumper harvest every year').”
Christopher Hitchens, Love, Poverty, and War: Journeys and Essays

Max Blumenthal
“By weaponizing the discourse of human rights to justify the use of force against governments that resisted the Washington consensus, this group of well-connected liberals was able to stir support where the neocons could not. Their brand of interventionism appealed directly to the sensibility of the Democratic Party's metropolitan base, large swaths of academia, the foundation-funded human rights NGO complex, and the New York Times editorial board. The xhibition of atrocities allegedly committed by adversarial governments, either by Western-funded civil society groups, major human rights organizations or the mainstream press, was the military humanists' stock in trade, enabling them to mask imperial designs behind a patina of "genocide prevention." With this neat tactic, they effectively neutralized progressive antiwar elements and tarred those who dared to protest their wars as dictator apologists.”
Max Blumenthal, The Management of Savagery: How America's National Security State Fueled the Rise of Al Qaeda, Isis, and Donald Trump

“Neoclassical economics is precisely the theory one would expect a vastly complex system of international corporations, world markets, and interconnected currencies to create to sustain, justify, explain, and predict "itself." And classical economics, correspondingly, was a predictable expression of an earlier European capitalism.”
Roger M. Keesing, Cultural Anthropology: A Contemporary Perspective

“The year the Europeans seized Jomo Kenyatta (1952), Chepusepa and I were sharing our homestead with Arimo, a Teso, who was a headman of the local road crew. One day, Arimo's son found an ostrich's nest between Amudat and Katabok, while he was watching cattle. There were six eggs, and both of our cowherds took one. The brought the two eggs to our home and put them in the ashes near the fire. After two weeks, they hatched.
I remember the baby ostriches walking about, eating millet and stones. Arimo took care of them, and they grew quite large. One night a leopard got the female, but the male continued to thrive, and Arimo harvested its feathers twice. Then, one day, when it was fully grown, our ostrich wandered into the town of Amudat. A European saw it and asked the people, "Where did this come from?"
"Oh, it is the 'ox' of a man named Arimo, they told him.
The European immediately summoned Arimo to Amudat. "Do you have license to keep an ostrich?" he demanded.
"Of course not!" Arimo replied. "This ostrich doesn't belong to anyone else--it's mine. So why do I need a license?"
But the European decreed,"From this day on, you must not keep this ostrich without a license. If you do, you will go to jail for stealing from the government!"
That was only the beginning. The Europeans have been seizing our pet ostriches ever since. When other people heard about Arimo's trouble, they killed their ostriches so they could at least have the feathers. Another man was so angry, he killed his female ostrich and destroyed all her eggs.”
Pat Robbins

Christopher Hitchens
“It is truth, in the old saying, that is 'the daughter of time,' and the lapse of half a century has not left us many of our illusions. Churchill tried and failed to preserve one empire. He failed to preserve his own empire, but succeeded in aggrandizing two much larger ones. He seems to have used crisis after crisis as an excuse to extend his own power. His petulant refusal to relinquish the leadership was the despair of postwar British Conservatives; in my opinion this refusal had to do with his yearning to accomplish something that 'history' had so far denied him—the winning of a democratic election.”
Christopher Hitchens, Love, Poverty, and War: Journeys and Essays

Jamaica Kincaid
“What I see is the millions of people, of whom I am just one, made orphans: no motherland, no fatherland, no gods, no mounds of earth for holy ground, no excess of love which might lead to the things that an excess of love sometimes brings, and worst and most painful of all, no tongue. (For isn't it odd that the only language I have in which to speak of this crime is the language of the criminal who committed the crime? And what can that really mean? For the language of the criminal can contain only the goodness of the criminal's deed. The language of the criminal can explain and express the deed only from the criminal's point of view. It cannot contain the horror of the deed, the injustice of the deed, the agony, the humiliation inflicted one me.”
Jamaica Kincaid

David Harvey
“The coup that overthrew President Chavez of Venezuela in April 2002 was greeted with euphoria in Washington. The new president—a businessman—was instantly recognized and the hope expressed that stability and order would return to the country, thus creating the basis for solid future development. The New York Times editorialized in identical language.
... The coup was reversed three days later and Chavez then came back to power. The State Department soberly denied any prior knowledge about anything, saying it was all an internal matter. It was to be hoped that a peaceful, democratic, and constitutional solution to the difficulties would be arrived at, they said. The New York Times editorial followed suit, merely adding that perhaps it was not a good idea to embrace the overthrow of a democratically elected regime, however obnoxious, too readily if one of America's fundamental values was support for democracy.”
David Harvey, The New Imperialism

C.L.R. James
“There are and always will be some who, ashamed of the behaviour of their ancestors, try to prove that slavery was not so bad after all, that its evils and its cruelty were the exaggerations of propagandists and not the habitual lot of the slaves. Men will say (and accept) anything in order to foster national pride or soothe a troubled conscience.”
C.L.R. James, The Black Jacobins: Toussaint L'Ouverture and the San Domingo Revolution

Vladimir Lenin
“Peace reigned in Europe, but this was because domination over hundreds of millions of people in the colonies by the European nations was sustained only through constant, incessant, interminable wars, which we Europeans do not regard as wars at all, since all too often they resembled, not wars, but brutal massacres, the wholesale slaughter of unarmed peoples.”
Vladimir Lenin

Shashi Tharoor
“Human beings don't live in the long run they live and suffer in the here and now”
Shashi Tharoor

Junot Díaz
“Decir estudiante hoy en día no significa na, pero en una América Latina con los ánimos exaltados por la Caída de Arbenz, por el Apedreo de Nixon, por las Guerrillas de la Sierra Maestra, por las cínicas maniobras sin fin de los Yankee Pig Dogs —en una América Latina ya entrada año y medio en la Década de la Guerrilla— ser estudiante era algo, un agente de cambio, una secuencia de quantum vibrante en el universo serio newtoniano.”
Junot Díaz, The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao

John Berger
“The present condition of the world, if accepted as it is, if approached with anything short of determined impatience to change it utterly, renders every value meaningless. Two-thirds of the people of the world are being robbed, exploited, deceived, constantly humiliated, condemned to the most abject and artificial poverty and denied as human beings. Furthermore, if this condition is accepted – or even more or less accepted with the qualification that there should be a few reforms, a little restraint and a little more foreign aid – it is quite clear from the evidence to date that the condition will become even more extreme. Imperialism is insatiable. It can modify its methods but never its appetite.”
John Berger, Art and Revolution: Ernst Neizvestny, Endurance, and the Role of the Artist

Naomi Mitchison
“VICTRIX CAVSA DIIS PLACVIT SED VICTA PVELLIS”
Naomi Mitchison, The Conquered

David Bellos
“Translation is the opposite of empire”
David Bellos, Is That a Fish in Your Ear? Translation and the Meaning of Everything

Un-su Kim
“Black tea is steeped in imperialism. That's what gives it its flavor. Anything this flavorful has to be hiding an incredible amount of carnage.”
Un-su Kim, The Plotters