What the colonizer’s model of the world is.
Updated: Jan 16
J.M. Blaut writes (p.10) “Eurocentrism is quite simply the colonizer’s model of the world.”
Eurocentrism was used in the colonialist world model to support the concept of garnering resources from non-Europeans, building Europe, protecting the interests of the upper classes, and justifying and supporting colonization. On the one hand, we must acknowledge that European colonialism developed Europe and non-European places. It is unavoidable as a result of human progress. However, the impact of European expansion, through colonialism and colonial economic dominance, on the other hand, established an extensive model that knowledge was shaped into theories advantageous to colonialism. All of these theories or beliefs are used to legitimize acts of conquest, oppression, and exploitation, as well as to portray colonial actions as morally acceptable like right. Almost all scholarship at the time was diffusionist cause they implicitly accepted the internal and external model (historical tunnel vision ), whereby Europeans invented almost all new breakthroughs and only afterwards diffused them to the rest of the world. As a result, the entire knowledge system upheld colonialism's authority and supplied the theoretical foundation for Western colonialism's activities.
My examples are teaching resources. The diffusion of Asian culture to Europe, such as the Silk Road, got little mention in history books. This stands in contrast with the rich storey of the creation of Modern European culture and its expansion to other world areas. Depicting Asians as insignificant contributors to world history tends to highlight the influence of Europeans.
Blaut began by analyzing race, sovereignty, and culture through the viewpoint of Eurocentrism. First of all, scholars of the period believed that Europe was the permanent centre of the world and that people in other parts of the world were backward and uncreative, necessitating its need from Europe to bring culture and promote progressive values. But human intelligence is unified and equal. Secondly, the settlement of European immigrants believed they did not impede local political sovereignty. They claimed the natives had no idea of private ownership and the original inhabitants were vagrants, so the colonists were free to inhabit and own land. But the fact is many indigenous people were forced to flee their homes. Furthermore, Eurocentrism argued that the economic wealth of the colonies, such as minerals and labour, were justified as part of the compensation for the transmission of civilization from Europe to non-Europe. Eurocentrism was filled with systematic misconceptions of non-European regions, which supplied legitimacy for Colonial expansion and domination. It also made Europeans more willing to accept societal and lifestyle changes, support and even engage in the colonies. Eurocentrism, according to Blaut, believes that Europe's progress is due to internal particularity rather than external colonization. But in fact, In terms of social and economic structure, Asia, Africa, and Europe are all roughly on par. Rather than European superiority of Eurocentrism, Europe's prosperity is attributable to the affluence of its colonial aggression.
Bibliography Blaut, James M. “Chapter 1 History Inside Out.” Essay. In The Colonizer's Model of the World, 1–40. Guilford Press, 2000.