Propaganda & Mass Persuasion: White Man's Burden

Friday, March 31, 2006

White Man's Burden

The White Man's Burden by Rudyard Kipling was published in McClure's magazine. It is supporting the U.S. colonization of the Philippines and other former Spanish colonies and is can be seen as a warning to the U.S. of the cost of imperial adventure. "White Man's Burden" was used as a secret phrase for imperialism that seemed to justify the policy as a noble action. The poem is written in seven verses and looks to be a articulate act to white men to colonize and rule people of other nations. Kipling presents a eurocentric view of the world, in which non-European cultures are seen as childlike and crazed. This view puts forwards that white people usually have an obligation to rule over, and encourage the cultural development of, people from other ethnic and cultural backgrounds until they can take their place in the world by taking in Western ways. The term can be seen as racist, but it can also be looked at as a comparison for an arrogant view of non-Western national culture and economic traditions. It can also be looked at as the rich have an ethical duty and responsibility to help the poor better themselves whether the poor want the help or not.

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