Back to Index

Why do people hate us?

Miles Seeley asks: "Were we more brutal toward the natives of the American West than the European powers were toward the natives in Africa? More brutal then the Japanese? Or the Chinese themselves? More brutal then the Arab slave traders and the African natives who sold their own tribesmen? Than the Australians toward the aborigines? I think not.

It has always struck me as particularly pointless to agonize over past misdeeds. What counts is what we are doing now, all of us. It seems to me we are hated because we are so strong and have become the world's policemen, not a role that endears us to others. My experience has been that while we may be hated, we are also envied enough so that given the chance, a large percentage of people in underdeveloped countries would move here in a New York minute, if they could".

My comment: We should try, however difficult, to draw up a list of the relative cruelty of imperial powers, and correlate it to the provocations and the need for the use of force. In Africa, the conquest of the Belgian Congo was the most brutal. In the Americas, the conquest of Brazil was probably the least cruel, while that of the American West was one of the worst. On paragraph two, I am in complete agreement with Miles.

Ronald Hilton - 7/21/02