How Far Successfully Said Presents Ugly Face of Imperialism? A series of lectures that Said delivered on the relationship between culture and empire in the universities in the United States, Canada and England shows that Said wants to expand the appeal of his arguments to the rest of the world. The arguments which he put forward in Orientalism were particularly focused on the Middle East but now through the subject matter of these lecturers on culture and imperialism, he wants to describe a more general structure of relationship between the modern metropolitan West and its overseas territories.

In the 19th century, European countries were in the race of setting up industrial units. This trend of industrialization led Englishmen to get raw materials like minerals, agricultural products, iron, copper, coal and oil for running the industrial units in order to get prosperity in their countries. As the local . output of such raw materials fell short in Britain and France to fulfill their growing requirements in the industries these Western countries started looking for these materials in other countries.

As most of the Asian and African countries were rich in natural sources but they were lacking in the latest technologies to utilize for improving or getting advantages from their natural sources of raw materials. The Western countries took full advantage of the insufficiency of the under developing countries in technologies and laid their hands on those resources by capturing those states. They came to these countries with the claims of developing their economy and civilizing the people. Another plus point of capturing or occupying these countries’ was that there was available huge man power in the shape of cheap labour. Due to the lackage of proper use of latest technology, the natives of the subjugated could not seek benefits from their natural resources of raw materials and ultimately, they had to welcome employment even at miserably low wages.

After the end of the cold war, the U.S.A. became a leading super power of the world. It introduced a new world order to the rest of the world. Under the influence of this strategy, it took “world responsibility to set the things right in the other countries.


As we know that primary aim of the Western countries was to annex the Northern territory by force and to dominate, exterminate and dislodge the natives. After fulfilling these aims, many distant lands came under the vital interest of America. So the signs of supremacy were seen through the interventions in the affairs of the Philippines. Europe, Middle East, Vietnam and Korea by USA. The main purpose behind this supremacy over the other countries was to capture their raw materials. This very object of the USA could even be seen in the attack on Iraq because the main purpose was to hold the immense reservoirs of oil in Iraq.

This act of supremacy over other territories of the countries is itself an act of imperialism. The Englishmen of the Western countries came or intervened in the affairs of the third world countries under the feigned guise of upgrading and improving their living standards by making them free from the tyranny of unpopular local rulers and by improving their economy and social life.

Edward Said also points out that these imperialists also clarify their viewpoint of domination as the need of the country and the people. According to him, it is a severe harmful propaganda of an act of charity and a favour to the people that the people for whom they have come to dominate; are infected in the need of reformation, improvement and development by the imperial Englishmen.

How Far Successfully Said Presents Ugly Face of Imperialism? He quotes many classical novelists to prove his arguments and pleas. He also quotes one of the reputed and famous classical writers named as Franz Fanon who comments on the behavior of the imperialists. He points out that when the imperialists left the dominated territories and the subjugated people, they did not pay their ducs. They only humbly begged pardon for this and summed up the matter. They also did not compensate the violation of basic human rights e.g. the loss of native life in case of revolt or in fighting wars of the rulers (World War I and II) could in no way be repaired. Apology, however, would have been in order.

It is worthy to note here that instead of doing so really by the cores of heart, the imperialists just did not care to apologize. There were their vanity, pride and feigned arrogance which did not allow them to bow before the people over whom they had ruled. As far as the matter of financial loss is concerned; those who suffered by the land and property, could have been compensated by the imperialists but they did not do so. Instead, they ironically bestowed independence on the natives as a favor which actually could not have been held back longer in the changed post-war situation. The African writer Franz Fanon rightly utters in this regard:

“Colonialism and imperialism did not pay their dues when they withdrew their flags and police forces from our territories”.

Edward Said quotes another writer named as Noam Chomsky who very aptly and clearly exposes the lame and feigned Western claims of civilizing the uncivilized, brutal and ignorant people of Asia and Africa. Apparently Western ideology was of ensuring human dignity, liberty, self determination and self-sufficient economy for all the independent countries of the world but practically it served for fulfilling the interests of the Western imperial powers. In fact, this ideology or claim of the Western countries has proved the cruel nature of the Englishmen. They want to keep the under-developed countries poor, ignorant and insufficient in modern technologies so that they may rule over them through the various money-lending agencies like the World Bank and I.M.F. Whatever, Chomsky has pointed out by saying, is. absolutely right in the present age. Western imperialists are holding the economies of the third world countries by lending loans through the World Bank and I.M.F. and above all they proclaim that they are favouring these countries by helping them in their difficult time of poverty, lackage of technology and feeble economy. Noam Chomsky rightly points out in this ) connection and utters:

“It’s an absolute requirement of the western system of ideology that the vast gulf be established between the civilized west, with its traditional commitment to human dignity, liberty and self determination, and the barbaric brutality of those who, for some reason, perhaps defective genes, fail to appreciate the depth of this historical commitment”.

In all aspects whether it is intervention or domination or interference, one thing or reason is very much evident that it is unending thirst or greed for capturing and looting the ray materials of most of the countries of Asia and Africa. Said once again rightly refers to British and French imperialism which once had dominated and penetrated to the farthest territories of distant lands. It had been the practice of imperialistic Englishmen that wherever they found any sign of raw materials in any country, they went for capturing it without caring how many miles these distant territories might be. The subcontinent was one case in point; so was Congo.

The history of these continents shows that Englishmen had once ruled over these lands by capturing all their natural resources of raw materials for fulfilling their industrial needs. They came in these lands under the feigned guise of professing an aim of developing the resources for the welfare of the natives, but their intervention was actually inspired by economic and strategic interests.

Their intervention and domination of a long period resulted in an interaction of cultures in the process. Said also takes much interest of this interracial culture which has its positive and negative results for the natives. Actually these developments and enlightenment did come through the interaction; as it still haunts the nations that remained under imperial rule. He takes too much interest in the cultural impact of this interaction, and opines that the attitudes and feelings of the nations involved towards each other owe their origin to the colonial experience of the past.

To conclude this topic that How Far Successfully Said Presents Ugly Face of Imperialism?, we can say in the concluding remarks that Said has very openly and Clearly exposed the inner cruel nature of imperialistic society of Europe. He has very strictly rebuked and condemned the supreme authority of the United States. After the end of the cold war, America has been assigned a role of setting the things right in all the countries of the third world under the devised term of world’s responsibility. U.S.A has also introduced a new world order which is nothing more than a reproduction of the old imperial order.

Said’s lectures on the subjects of relationship between culture and imperialism clearly and openly show the feigned supremacy and imperialistic attitude of the Englishmen of Western countries. The appeal of his lectures not only affects the subjugated people of the dominated territories of the third world but also the rest of the people of the whole world. Whatever , According to How Far Successfully Said Presents Ugly Face of Imperialism? he has said in his lectures, did absolutely happen in history; and still is happening by the Western countries under the feigned claim of civilizing the uncivilized nations of the third world countries.


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