Sexual ethics and colonialism for the modern age

Back when Great Britain had its empire, colonialism was all the rage. We’ll take your stuff, utilise your natural resources for our own gain and salve the conscience by insisting that we were doing everyone a favour by civilising the savages. After all, they didn’t know what to do with their gold and coal anyways and we built them some nice railways. Everybody wins, surely?

Of course, everybody didn’t win. Some people won, at the expense of a lot of others. The civilisation we apparently imposed did a lot of damage to otherwise quite advanced cultures already present. Of course, not everything about those cultures was good, just as not everything about British culture was bad. But it takes a certain level of arrogance to forget that your own culture is far from perfect and imposing it on everyone else is not necessarily an upgrade in all areas.

These days, colonialism has a much worse rep. We, of course, wouldn’t want to return to those days. What right have we got to go into another country and steal its resources for personal gain? What right have we got to claim we are civilising the savages? Are there cultural practices that fall further from the gospel vision for nations? Of course there are. But any pretence that our own culture doesn’t manage to do that too is a self-deception that will not stand. And there are those who are so culturally aware of our own failings as a nation, and who are awake to the history of colonialism, that they are adamant they do not want a return to it again. Any hint of flag waving will rile such people because of what they perceive it represents. Any notion of civilising the savages is (rightly) met by aggressive pushback, for who are we to interfere in another culture that we don’t fully understand? It is for other nations to determine their own culture, not for former colonial nations – who should be embarrassed by much of that particular history – to make modern pronouncements on what those nations should think, say and do.

Which is all very interesting, until we start talking about politically aligning oneself with matters pertaining to LGBT+ issues. Then, dear friends, we see the colonial attitude arise in some like the the proverbial phoenix. We wouldn’t dream of interfering in another culture, unless of course it refuses to affirm cultural attitudes held in Britain, at which point we insist that the savages must be brought into line once again. And make no mistake, it is most definitely colonial because it is almost always targeted against majority ethnic minority strongly Christian and Muslim countries and individuals.

It is notable, for example, how Israel Folau was treated without any respect given towards his Polynesian culture, within which some of these ideas are prominent. It is a point that Stephen McAlpine makes here with reference to other players of Polynesian descent who made the same cultural calculation. It is similarly notable how it has taken similar shape on the issue of abortion in Ireland and Northern Ireland (see here). And now, it is following a similar pathway in the world of football (or, soccer, if you must).

A Senegalese football player – Idrissa Gueye – is being accused of dodging a football match so that he wouldn’t have to wear a shirt featuring a rainbow flag to mark the International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia and Biphobia. Two of his Senegal team mates – both of whom also play in Premier League – have come out in support of Gueye. The issue has been further exacerbated because Gueye is Muslim and the match was being played between Paris Saint-Germain and Montpellier, which is significant because Muslims have regularly been accused of seeking to impose practices that are deemed at odds with the secular values underpinning their state. Which is interesting because the former colonial power of France wants to insist, in the name of not having values it disagrees with imposed on it, that its values must be imposed on everyone else whether French or not.

And of course, it is in the British press because we are largely in accord with the French of this issue. We, too, have spent time seeking to impose “British values” (whatever they are) around the world. And anyone who dissents from whatever the secular liberal values of the day happen to be will be quashed, cancelled and rejected for holding heinous views contrary to benevolence and reason. Only uncivilised savages believe such things and their views are not to be respected. They must be defeated and taught to value what we value. Which, interestingly, tends to mean a lot of black, Asian and Polynesian people, from nations who do not think such things are self-evident nor views that necessarily serve the common good, must change their uncivilised opinions at the behest of majority white nations with a history of doing exactly this to precisely those sorts of people.

As Stephen McAlpine said before, and as seems to be on display once again:

Sexular Colonialism is also the reason why 600 Muslim families, of assorted racial backgrounds, have been protesting outside government schools in the UK, where a radical sexual curriculum is being rolled out across schools.  The very cohort who the Left has championed for so long are now firmly in the same cohort’s crosshairs.

You would assume it would make the new colonists stop and think.  And it does.  They stop, think, and then say “You’re wrong, get on board.”

Now none of this is to say that there are not those within these communities who take a different approach to sex.  But what it is to say is that when it comes to pushing a dominant cultural barrow that is alien to those outside the West, the Left is as good as any at doing it.  And they’re hypocrites for denying it.

I’m not so sure it is unique to “the Left”, but it is certainly a dominant trait among Western liberal nations at large. Perhaps this is why so many of them are keen to airbrush colonialism out of our history; so they can get away with reimagining it for the modern age on the down low?