When the Europeans discovered that the world was much larger than they had supposed, and having gained the deadly power of guns and cannonry, they chose to divide up the rest of the world as if it were a piece of pie. They murdered native people, stole the wealth and natural resources of these foreign lands, and enslaved millions to do the labor of extracting all the riches they could for themselves.
Did their morality make them hesitate? Did their religion give them second thoughts? The answer is, of course, no. And by this fact you can judge the importance of the values and civilization of “the West” when it came down to the most basic choices between good and evil, help and harm. Greed and narrow self-interest proved to be the real principles of civilization, and the contempt for people different than themselves trumped all ethics, all philosophy, all devotion to God in any form. In fact, these things were employed in the service of oppression. Religious convictions and high-minded rhetoric dressed the realities of murder and theft in the language of love and beneficent action for the good of mankind.
Eventually colonialism collapsed, and imperialism took more subtle forms. Now, looking at the chaos, poverty, and destruction in the “developing” world, the “enlightened” men of the West furrow their brows and wonder why. Here’s why. We are still suffering from a world hangover, the effects of the mean and short-sighted decisions of our ancestors. The same forces rule over us with a different name. Now they are the multinational corporations, but their goal is the same, to plunder every bit of wealth they can from this earth, and to hell with the masses.
The enemy is self-centered greed and its monumental power. It doesn’t matter that it happened to be Europe that did this. Anyone can catch this disease. The question is, what is the cure? All we know is that it is both spiritual—freedom from this principle of blind oppression—and political—organized resistance to this system of inhumanity which plagues us still.