Hidden Colonialism of Communism
Eventually the colonized world began
to import not only predominant Western belief systems, like
capitalism and Christianity, but minority and antagonistic systems
like communism and socialism. At this level a very interesting
transformation took place.
The Western educated elites of the
colonized world, already alienated from their own heritages and yet
naturally antagonistic to any foreign domination, gravitated toward
such alternative Western systems. This was the great appeal of
communism in the Third World, particularly Asia where intellectuals
wanted a way out of colonial domination but were already too
Westernized to discover a solution within their own traditions.
Communism allowed colonized peoples to be both Western and
anti-Western at the same time, accepting Western ways of thought but
opposing the exploitation done by Western powers. They could
challenge Western colonial rule by following revolutionary Western
thinkers and aligning themselves with revolutionary elements within
Western culture, which could provide them with the education and
resources to stage their revolt.
This had yet a more damaging effect
on traditional cultures. The communists of the Third World came to
identify their own native traditions with the very dominant Western
traditions that European communist leaders had opposed. They lumped
their own traditional hierarchies - their kings, rajas, merchants,
monks and mandarins - along with the kings, church, bourgeoisie and
bureaucracy of Europe. They came to look upon their own cultures as
their real enemies and eliminated them with the same cruel
righteousness that they would a foreign tyrant. They lumped their
own non-Christian religions along with Christianity to be opposed,
giving their monks and swamis the hatred European communists
reserved for the pope and the church.