The Psychology of Colonialism​​
England (English Empire) actually trained young men to become leaders and govern colonies in Africa.  It was probably a lot like students today training to become business managers.  The psychology of European Colonialism started with The Berlin Conference of 1884-1885, dividing Africa into 50 irregular countries. The new map of the Continent was superimposed over the 1,000 indigenous cultures and regions of Africa. “The percentage of territories belonging to the European/US Colonial Powers in 1939 was:  Africa 90.4%, Polynesia 98.9%, Asia 56.5%, Australia 100%, and the Americas 27.2%” (Townsend 19).  In order to justify the act of economically exploiting Africa and other parts of the world, the science of Anthropology was introduced to classify and divide mankind into races.  Charles Darwin’s book, The Origin of Species and The Advent of Anthropology were responsible for a systematic division of man and the practice of a hierarchy according to color.  People of color were deemed “inferior” and sometimes referred to as “savages.” 

Both Orwell and Gordimer write relentlessly about their embedded feelings as loyalists to the British government’s gospel and practice of colonialism whereas, Naipaul and Walcott are writing from the point-of-view of the oppressed or displaced.  Orwell and Gordimer transfer a “British Subject Loyalty” into their writing and mix it with their inner conflicting moral feelings.  Even though the authors know that colonialism is wrong, their feelings are bypassed in favor of upholding “British Loyalty.”  Naipaul and Walcott write about their conflicts but seem willing to accept colonialism if it means they are accepted within the “normalcy” that helps them find peace within themselves.

Orwell’s “Shooting an Elephant” is an essay about a colonial officer’s obligation to shoot a rogue elephant. The narrator does not want to shoot the elephant but feels obligated because he does not want a crowd of Burmese residents to think he is spineless. Orwell illustrates the hostility in his essay between the officials of the British Empire and the natives showing that both sides feel hatred, distrust, and resentment.  The following lines taken from the essay contain the use of words showing a psychological mechanism of colonialism as it existed during that era.   

“I was stuck between my hatred of the empire I served and my rage against the evil-spirited little beasts that tried to make my job impossible.”

“The Burmese population had no weapons and was quite helpless against it.”
“The owner was furious, but he was only an Indian and could do nothing.”

“When a nimble Burman tripped me up on the football field and the referee (another Burman) looked the other way, the crowd yelled with hideous laughter. This happened more than once. In the end the sneering yellow faces of young men that met me everywhere, the insults hooted after me when I was at a safe distance, got badly on my nerves.”

In Nadine Gordimer’s “The Moment Before the Gun Went Off” a white man accidentally kills his black son.  Throughout the short story, Van der Vyver avoids shame and turmoil by withholding his emotions. At the funeral of his dead farmhand/son, he stares silently at the coffin and so does the young man’s mother. They stare at the coffin, never looking up to face each other.  The dead man reminded Van der Vyver of his defiance of the law that prohibits sexual intercourse between blacks and whites.  A law they did not make punishes both the farmer and his son, but the farmer chooses to honor the law of his forefathers, which outlawed any love he might have felt for his son he had created with a black woman.  Gordimer uses the poem to help herself shed the feelings she knows is not right.  I feel she uses the poem to show the differences in the colors “black and white.”  

“The dead man’s mother and he stare at the grave in communication like that between the black man outside and the white man inside the cab the moment before the gun went off.”

“The young man callously shot through the negligence of the white man was not the farmer's boy; he was his son.”

In Vidiadhar Naipaul’s “One Out of Many,” he presents an image of social reality, where people search for order in their lives because they not included in the mainstream.  According to a critic, “Naipaul has been culturally uprooted and forced to create his own world.”  “Naipaul presents not objective reality but subjective perceptions.”

“His employer was upset, not because of the injustice inflicted upon his work he was more upset that others would conclude that he lived poorly in Bombay.”

“The bias of racism and injustice were no longer barriers to his freedom.  His journey had ended, and ended in victory.”

 “The worm, colonial of carrion, cries:  ‘Waste no compassion  on these separate dead!’”

In Derek Walcott’s, “A Cry from Africa,” he associates the Africans with a primitive, natural strength, and the British are portrayed as an artificially enhanced power.  At one point he refers to blacks as gorillas and whites supermen uttering the oppressor’s choice of words.  In the first two stanzas of the poem, there are natural images of Africa portrayed with unnatural images of colonization and violence.  Walcott seems to have an inner conflict deciding on which racial side to stand.  Probably the lines that were most definitive to point out racial differences were the following:

“The gorilla wrestles with the superman.”

“The Kikuyu resemble primitive savages who abuse the fertile resources of their native plains.”

Much of Asia and Africa have experienced at the hands of the European and British governments seem to be in a REPEATING Mode as the United States and England invade Iraq and Afganistan for the same purpose—colonialism and imperialism.  The establishment of US military bases throughout what the Pentagon calls the Greater Middle East is an essential part of the permanent US government strategy to control world energy resources as the way to control its economic rivals, principally Europe and northeast Asia.  Those who fail to learn the lessons of history are doomed to repeat them. 

People who consider themselves White would rather have you think they originated from apes than from Black Africans.  The History Channel has recently aired a special on the evolution of man.  The producers actively misinformed viewers about the information that would lead a prudent person to seriously doubt the validity of the specimens used. Fraudulent evidence and grossly exaggerated findings are more or less the norms in paleoanthropology. The series would have the viewer to believe the origin of the Black man was in Africa, White men in Europe, and Asian men in Asia.  The channel showed homo sapiens with aboriginal facial features with a larger brain than most folks living today (Neanderthals). Neanderthals, once thought to be our ancestors, are almost universally accepted as being completely homo sapiens today.
Research starting in and published in the journal Nature (2007 19 July) has proved the single origin of human theory by combining studies of global genetic variations in humans with skull measurements across the world. The research, at the University of Cambridge and funded by the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC), represents a final blow for supporters of multiple origins of humans theory. New genetic research claims to have "proved" that all humans originate from one single ancestor in sub-Saharan Africa. Researchers until now have been divided by two competing theories, the other holding that populations of modern humans evolved at several locations around the world. 

The British Empire comprised dominions, colonies, protectorates, mandates and other territories ruled or administered by the United Kingdom and its predecessor states. It originated with the overseas possessions and trading posts established by England between the late 16th and early 18th centuries. At its height, it was the largest empire in history and, for over a century, was the foremost global power. By 1913, the British Empire held sway over 412 million people, 23% of the world population at the time, and by 1920, it covered 35,500,000 km2 (13,700,000 sq mi), 24% of the Earth's total land area. As a result, its political, legal, linguistic and cultural legacy is widespread. At the peak of its power, the phrase "the empire on which the sun never sets" was often used to describe the British Empire, because its expanse around the globe meant that the sun was always shining on at least one of its territories.

Works Cited

Gordimer, Nadine. Jump and Other Stories Reviewed by Nicholas Southey,
Orwell, George. “Shooting an Elephant,” 1936
Townsend, Mary Evelyn. “European Colonial Expansion Since 1871,” Chicago: J.P. Lippincott Company, 1941. 19.
Naipaul, Vidiadhar Surajprasad., “Second Essay:  One Out of Many,”
Sachs, William L., “V. S. Naipaul and the Plight of the Dispossessed,” “Christian Century Foundation,” 17 Nov 1982. 1167. 
Walcott, Derek. “A Far Cry from Africa,” Mr. Africa Poetry Lounge!