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Imperialism: Science and Religion Combined for Conquest and Power

Updated on March 22, 2013
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Imperialism: Science and Religion combined for Conquest and Power

by Richard Brown


Science and religion don't always conflict. Imperialism is the practice of stronger cultures taking over weaker ones, usually with military force. How countries and dictators gain power is nothing short of scientific. Religion is often used to ethically justify the blood letting. Science and religion often cooperate; imperialism is an example.

History

The Chaldiac Tablets my be the oldest written record archaeologist have uncovered. They were uncovered in the Mesopotamia area and tell of the conquest of the king of Chaldiac; just after the fall of the babel tower. The king conquered most of what is now the middle east. His empire stretched from the Persian Gulf to the Mediterranean Sea, bordering the early Egyptian empire. The Chaldiaceans were the first international merchants with the “cry”, “to the ships”. The narrative of King Mena, the first king of Egypt, follows a similar pattern of conquest.

Source

Proto-Totalitarianism

The practice continues to this day with dictators consolidating control of there countries and maintaining that control through wanton violence. The Prince by Machiavelli, provides a textbook on how dictators control populations. These millennia old practices have modern interpretations.

The late president of Egypt provides an example of how the state can run a campaign of terror and the international community will not interrupt. Protests are quelled by “supporters” trucked in; brandishing clubs, razors, and machetes. These “supporters” are hired thugs and convicts used to initiate violence. The military overlooks the slaughter of unarmed people, with tanks and machine guns.

These regimes are inherently unstable, requiring increasing violence to prevent dissent from being voiced. Freedom of the press is nonexistent with strictly enforced censorship. This keeps areas isolated. People only learn of the states media campaign. Social issues and violence are released with political spin. These spins make scapegoats for all social issues. The groups that are first scapegoated are rival political groups. Minority religious and Ethnic groups are a natural second. As the media campaign and violence escalates the foreign press has to be controlled.

With the repression of freedom of speech comes a state media barrage. The state controlled media creates a presidential personality cult. This media campaign deifies the dictator making his decisions unquestionable. If you tell someone hears something often enough they will believe it. photographs of the dictator are everywhere to make the hierarchy of power seem logical.

The outbreaks of violence are then used as evidence that without him the country would fall into chaos. By repeating similar violent actions and rhetoric, they pass off blood baths with apparent nobility of cause to foreign observers. The side pressing for reform is made to seem to impatient despite it's legitimate pro-democracy aims. “If I resign today there will be chaos” Mubarak. These “dirty war” tactics are not isolated to Egypt they are transparently used in Algeria, Iran, Zimbabwe, and many other places.

Vietnamese re-education camp
Vietnamese re-education camp | Source

Education

Education systems have to be tightly controlled. Vows of allegiance to the country and regime must be pressed into the identities of children and reinforced for years. The sate makes an official religion were the heads of state are gods viceroys. It is common for totalitarian states to regulate religious practices and declare them selves atheists make it the sole director of ethics.

The states official history is the only history that can be taught. This aggrandizes the regime and further scapegoats certain groups. As The state maintains effective control over it's people these groups shift from internal political groups and becomes foreigners.

Science is taught as a way to rationalize the states dichotomy. Twisted interpretations of evolution are are used to dehumanize minority ethnic groups. Term Psychology is used to describe the state philosophy; to have ideas that are inconsistent with the state becomes psychosis.

The states official religion is taught as part of the curriculum and incorporated into every subject including math. The states dichotomy is used to formulate mathematical story problems.

Literacy is high. The state wants as much of the population to be able to read propaganda. Children are encouraged to write of the sates benevolent presence and its constant struggle against scapegoated groups. The high literacy rate is then used to reinforce the claim of an excellent education system.

The term re-education is used for the states campaign of extensive brain washing individuals when its public education system fails. To brain wash some one they are subjected to extreme physical stress and then repeat state dictum. They are considered re-educated when they renounce all claims that are contrary to state dictum.

Chinese police arresting Tibetan woman
Chinese police arresting Tibetan woman | Source

Expansion

Expanding its power is the sole aim of totalitarian states. This is there self identity. Control of more land, resources, and people. As the state power becomes stronger in its own territory it will expand into neighboring regions. Traditional military force is most often used to conquer. These new territories are policed using terror tactics to consolidate control.

China has continued it's empire expansion throughout the 20th century. In 1949 China began it's invasion of Tibet, arriving at the Tibetan capital of Lhasa in1959 encountering minimal resistance from the population.

Tibetans are as pacifist as a society can be. Construction of buildings were often halted out of concern for the worms and insects that might have been unduly harmed. If a Tibetan wishes to pluck a leaf from a plant, he or she should first ask the plant for permission, and than thank the plant for allowing the person to take a piece of it.

In 2001 Amnesty International (a human rights advocacy group) estimated that over 2,000 Tibetans were being held as political prisoners. If the prisoners are released they often walk to India over the Himalayan Highlands, a trail littered with corpses of people who didn't survive the 3 week trek; frozen in the snow. Medical exams and polygraph tests confirm that almost all of them had been tortured while in Chinese prisons.

In 3 February 1992 Lobsang Choedon was 16 and a Buddhist nun, she was arrested for praying at Jokhang, Tibet's most sacred temple.. The police threw her in a van then beat and kicked her with steel toed boots. When she arrived at the jail the police electrocuted her face, mouth, and arms with a 7,000 volt cattle prod. She was sentenced with out trial, serving 3 years in prison. The 3 other nun that were arrested with her died at ages 18, 19, and 24 after their torture.(Tofani)

Prison guards beat prisoners with chains, metal rods, and wooden sticks spiked with nails. The victims are usually shackled or hanging from the ceiling. Cattle prods are the most common torture instrument. Some prisoners report that they have been held underwater while being shocked. They have branding marks from their experiences. Prisoners are beaten while they were on the ground, attacked by trained dogs , and locked in concrete” coffins” for days or months. Torture and intimidation are facts of life for Tibetans as China campaigns to eradicate their nationality, culture, and religion.

China's official response to human rights inquiries is 'I can't say this never happens. It depends on certain people.' Lu Wen Xiang, First Secretary in the Press Office of the Chinese Embassy in Washington.

The Chinese have increased their oppression in several ways in the past couple of decades as they begin a new phase of intimidation. Tibetan shop keepers are being forced to hand over their shops to Chinese merchants. Only 25% of businesses in Lhasa are owned by Tibetans, forty years ago it was about 100%. There is a “re-education” campaign that include “examinations” of monks and nuns were they are required to renounce the Dali Lama, this is the equivalent of Christians renouncing Christ. The Chinese have warned that they intend to extend “examinations” to all Tibetans, according to the monks in Lhasa. The systematic removal of photographs of the Dali Lama, is being extended to school children, along with forbidding them to carry red prayer cords. Hundreds of thousands of soldiers and police patrol the country side. Undercover agents spy on visitors and Tibetans alike, even posing as monks. Over 130,000 people have fled most by the same trek earlier described.

The Chinese economically and logistically benefit from their occupation of Tibet. They take the natural resources like gold, lumber, and uranium. The prisoners are used for mining and logging. Tibet is being used as a nuclear test and waste disposal site. Mountaineers are drawn to Tibet along with Buddhist making it a tourist attraction. India, Nepal, Bhutan, and Burma also share borders with Tibet giving it strategical importance.

March 1988 some Tibetans hurled rocks at some Chinese officers during a demonstration, 18 Tibetans were killed and 150 were injured by the resulting gun fire. The Dali Lama (1989 Nobel Peace Prize recipient) again pleaded for nonviolence; now they might chant loudly. Tibetans are possibly the most devote Buddhist pacifists. They do not believe in swatting flies much less taking up arms. “I feel angry' said Dawa Kyizom, a Tibetan student, now in India, who said she was tortured in jail after helping make a Tibetan flag that was raised at a monastery. 'The anger makes me have no fear. Most Tibetans have no fear. This is what makes us speak out for Tibetan independence and go to prison.”(Tofani)

Imperialism is still present in the world, it hasn't gone anywhere. The United States of America Practices Neo-Imperialism were we control a countries politics through economic pressure. We install puppets in the highest offices and give them the means to conduct atrocities. One of the early attempts was in Cuba. We supplied General Batista with arms and money in a military coup to over through a freely elected president. This created a country were police officers routinely raped women in the streets and shot anyone who tried to stop them. Peaceful protesters were napalmed when we gave him B-52's to do it more efficiently. This lead to the communist take over by the Fidel brothers and Che Guevara (Che was one of times 10 best people of the century). We applied economic pressure to Castro's regime by an embargo. All other countries were obliged to follow, either through alliance or contrivance, creating a famine in a country whose only major product is sugar. Many thousands died from malnutrition; many more by inadequate medical support that could have been supplied by free trade. We also supported Guatemalan genocide by giving them the arms and money to do it and continued to support them while they did it.

Conclusion

We continue to this day to support asinine regimes that have some advantage to us. Religion and science are twisted to support totalitarianism and imperialist aims.. Imperialism is in our earliest recorded histories. Dictators use simple patterns to maintain the political control of there empires. Imperialism is not a pretty picture, most people would not identify it as the exchange of ideas as some religious sources would imply, it is the violent destruction of a culture. Science and religion often cooperate imperialism is an example.



Works Cited

Tofani, Loretta. "Tibetans Under Chinese Rule." Genocide. Ed. Christina Fisanick. Detroit: Greenhaven Press, 2007. Contemporary Issues Companion. Rpt. from "Bodies Scarred, Spirits Broken." Inquirer8 Dec. 1996. Opposing Viewpoints In Context. Web. 17 Mar. 2013

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      Howard Schneider 3 years ago from Parsippany, New Jersey

      Very interesting Hub, Richard. Science certainly gives governments the power to conquer. Often religion is used as the justification. I do agree with Oztinato that it is human greed along with other negative impulses that are at the base of these conquering empires.

    • Oztinato profile image

      Oztinato 3 years ago from Australia

      It is neither science nor religion that creates violent empires: it is hypocritical politics and human greed. Both these negative human impulses do not correctly belong to either science or religion.