The Romantics argued that at the core of being there is an authentic self that is pure in nature, although corruptible by society. What made the Romantic era unique within the context of the evolutionary history of empathic consciousness is the great stress placed on what Rousseau, and later Wordsworth and Whitman, called the “Sentiment of Being.”

1755 In “Discourse on the Origins and Foundations of Inequality among Men” Rousseau argued that the noble savage man, alienated from others was more authentic than the hypocritical, servile social man who tells people what they want to hear. Kant developed the concept of the “enlarged mentality” – the ability to exercise empathy, to “stand up in the mind of others”.

“the savage lives within himself; the social man lives always outside himself; he knows how to live only in the opinion of others, it is, so to speak from their judgment along that he derives the sense of his own existence.”

The social man is someone who cares only about appearances. Rousseau abandoned Paris (and the modern age) for rural isolation claiming that even the politeness of the city promoted corruption. He concluded that,

“We have only a deceptive and frivolous outward appearance, honour without virtue, reason without wisdom, and pleasure without happiness. It suffices for me to to have proved that this is not the original state of man, and that it is only the spirit of society and the inequality it engenders which thus transform and corrupt all our natural inclinations.”

Rousseau sees human history as beginning with the struggle for mutual recognition that Hegel analyzed as the master-slave dialectic. Rousseau’s Sentiment of Being.”

1762 Rousseau’s self-help book on proper parenting entitled Emile was published.

1790s Rousseau’s self-help book on proper parenting entitled Emile rose in popularity at the dawn of the Romantic period. Romantics were attracted to Rousseau’s emphasis on nurturing the child’s natural instincts in direct opposition to John Locke’s assertion that children are born a tabula rasa, a blank slate. Rousseau argued that children who are naturally inclined towards the good and that childhood is a time for parents to honour and nurture their children so their naturally good instincts will develop (See Rifkin EC:354).

1790s Jane Austin introduced the two sisters Elinor and Marianne in her satire of dominant currents of the later 18th century entitled Sense and Sensibility (published in 1811). The reliable, predictable Elinor, who is the voice of reason, has a deep sense of responsibility, keeps her emotions in check, fulfills her social responsibilities but ultimately finds happiness when she discovers her inner sensibility and finally marries her true love. The overly emotional, romantic, Marianne is spontaneous to the point of being irresponsible represents the bleeding heart liberal governed entirely by passions and desires. She finds happiness when she balances her exercises more sense and reason in her decision-making and actions. keywords: ideological thinking. See Rifkin (EC:320).

1805 In The Prelude begun in his twenties by Romantic poet William Wordsworth (1770-1850)’s semi-autobiographical poem of his lifelong spiritual journey. early years spiritual autobiography, he associated the experience of beauty as transcending rational thought: Wordsworth’s “Sentiment of Being.” See Trilling 1972 Sincerity and Authenticity.

The song would speak
          Of that interminable building reared
          By observation of affinities
          In objects where no brotherhood exists
          To passive minds. My seventeenth year was come
          And, whether from this habit rooted now
          So deeply in my mind, or from excess
          In the great social principle of life
          Coercing all things into sympathy,                         390
          To unorganic natures were transferred
          My own enjoyments; or the power of truth
          Coming in revelation, did converse
          With things that really are; I, at this time,
          Saw blessings spread around me like a sea.
          Thus while the days flew by, and years passed on,
          From Nature and her overflowing soul,
          I had received so much, that all my thoughts
          Were steeped in feeling; I was only then
          Contented, when with bliss ineffable                       400
          I felt the sentiment of Being spread
          O'er all that moves and all that seemeth still;
          O'er all that, lost beyond the reach of thought
          And human knowledge, to the human eye
          Invisible, yet liveth to the heart;
          O'er all that leaps and runs, and shouts and sings,
          Or beats the gladsome air; o'er all that glides
          Beneath the wave, yea, in the wave itself,
          And mighty depth of waters. Wonder not
          If high the transport, great the joy I felt,               410
          Communing in this sort through earth and heaven
          With every form of creature, as it looked
          Towards the Uncreated with a countenance
          Of adoration, with an eye of love.
          One song they sang, and it was audible,
          Most audible, then, when the fleshly ear,
          O'ercome by humblest prelude of that strain
          Forgot her functions, and slept undisturbed.

Whitman “Sentiment of Being.”

1807 G.W.F. Hegel major philosophical work entitled  Phänomenologie des Geistes [Phenomenology of Mind, Phenomenology of Spirit] was published. Hegel traced the evolution of consciousness distinguishing between lower and higher levels of consciousness. In the section entitled “Self Consciousness > A: Independence and Dependence of Self-Consciousness > Lordship and Bondage” Hegel developed the Master-slave dialectic.

1870 In “St. Paul and Protestantism” Matthew Arnold (1822-1888) wrote,

Below the surface stream, shallow and light,
Of what we say and feel — below the stream,
As light, of what we think we feel, there flows
With noiseless current, strong, obscure and deep,
The central stream of what we feel indeed.

Trilling cited this in Sincerity and Authenticity (1972).

1968 Student uprisings at Columbia University, Trilling’s academic intellectuals community. The adversary culture, the cruder form of liberalism, asserted itself. Complex arena of mental struggles were forced into the arena of simple political struggles. Moral, psychological, social selves that we imagined ourselves possessing were split and fragmented and a “dissociation of sensibility” took over. Wordsworth and Rousseau are crucial to Trlling in Sincerity and Authenticity.

1972 Trilling, Lionel. 1969-70. Sincerity and Authenticity. Charles Eliot Norton Lectures at Harvard published in 1972. “It comprises a history of the elaborate development of mind and self since Shakespeare, a brief consideration of certain literary texts he sees as central, a polemical refutation of some prophets of our time, and an authorial credo that conceals hope about literature while it counsels stoic resignation about life. And as his last argument with the forceful reality of death, it is also Trilling’s attempt to discover a means by which estrangement of self from self might at last be resolved. Trilling’s authentic authenticity is perhaps best embodied in Conrad of Heart of Darkness. Lesser authenticities Chace, William M. Lionel Trilling, criticism and politics. Lionel Trilling makes the point that authenticity is not to be confused with sincerity, which is being true to one’s social self. Authenticity runs deeper-it is, in the words of Trilling, a “primitive” strength that is continually compromised by society. Maintaining one’s core authenticity, for Rousseau and the Romantics, required a life of personal suffering and constant attention and sympathy to the plight of others. Only the alientated could enter into this world (Rifkin EC:350).

Sartre, the French existential philosopher of the mid-twentieth century, defined the sentiment of being as the place where

“each of us finds himself as well as the others. The common place belongs to me; in me, it



1990 Kenneth D. Bailey defined social entropy  as “a measure of social system structure, having both theoretical and statistical interpretations, i.e. society (macrosocietal variables) measured in terms of how the individual functions in society (microsocietal variables); also related to social equilibrium” in his publication entitled Social Entropy Theory. (State University of New York Press).

1999 In their publication entitled A Primer of Jungian Psychology  , (New York: Meridian), Calvin S. Hall and J. Vernon described “psychological entropy as the distribution of energy in the psyche, which tends to seek equilibrium or balance among all the structures of the psyche.”

Robinson, Jeffrey Cane. The current of romantic passion.

A mechanical reproduction of the Gothic painting by Henry Fuseli entitled “The Nightmare” became a a major inspiration to the brooding, brilliant, brittle and oddly vulnerable DCI Tanner in the episode entitled Parasomnia (1999) in the BBC/PBS series Second Sight.

The Gothic genre has thrived as a transgressive art form in various styles and forms, in high culture and pop culture, since its origins in the late eighteenth century through the postmodern and into the 21st century. Consumers of the gothic genre enter willingly into the nightmare narratives experienced by those who inhabit the shadow lands of modernity: that spectral cast of incubus, ghosts, monsters and vampires who reveal to us the threat of dystopia that looms on the edge of our planned utopias, the dark side of human nature that we narrowly avoid due to the superhuman efforts of the fictional hero and heroine. The consumer of the gothic narrative escapes with a cathartic pseudo-Burkean-sublime-feeling, the Malarme or Beaudelaire’s ‘frisson’ experienced in the art gallery, winged arm chair or theater, of having survived the terrible through human reason and virtue. See also Botting (1995).

Nietzsche: “Who ever battles with monsters had better see that it does not turn himself into a monster. And if you gaze long into an abyss, the abyss will gaze back into you.”

Gothic instantiations and influences to be included:

Fuseli’ Nightmare (Tate), Fuseli’s Nightmare NGC

Angela Carter,

David Lynch.

Parasomnia Second Sight DVD

Neitzsche’s rautzche?? sp

Foucault on terror


Climatic descriptions


1667 John Milton’s Paradise Lost was published but it did not take its preeminent place in English literature until his work became a major influence on Mary Shelley and other Romantic-Gothic artists.

c. 1735-40 William Hogarth’s “Satan, Sin and Death.” (A Scene from Milton’s ‘Paradise Lost’). oil on canvas. London, UK. Tate Gallery.

1741 David Garrick was ‘arguably the most versatile actor of the eighteenth century, responsible for a radical change in the style of acting and particularly noted for his performances in the tragedies and histories of Shakespeare (Lloyd 1994:21).’ His greatest performance was perhaps as the King in Richard III, first given in 1741, which Edmund Burke claimed ‘raised the character of his profession to the rank of a liberal art (Lloyd 1994:21).’

1741 William Hogarth attempted to portray the sublime in response to Edmund Burke’s 1756 publication. Hogarth’s large 1741 portrait of Garrick as Richard III — now in the Walker Art Gallery in Liverpool — has been described as a sublime history portrait. (Lloyd 1994):21)

1757 William Hogarth’s “Satan, Sin and Death.”

1757 Edmund Burke and the sublime (1729 – 1797): “Whatever is fitted in any sort to excite the ideas of pain, and danger, that is to say, whatever is in any sort terrible, or is conversant about terrible objects, or operates in a manner analogous to terror, is a source of the Sublime; that is, it is capable of producing the strongest emotions which the mind is capable of feeling. – Edmund Burke” Political philosopher Edmund Burke’s theories of the sublime and the beautiful (1756) influenced the Romantic movement.

1759 Adam Smith suggested that conscious reasoning, analysis and imagination contributed were mechanisms of the phenomenon of emotional contagion. “Though our brother is on the rack . . . by the imagination we place ourselves in his situation, we conceive ourselves enduring all the same torments, we enter as it were into his body, and become in some measure the same person with him, and thence form some idea of the sensations, and even feel something which, through weaker in degree, is not altogether unlike them (Smith 1759:9 cited in Decety and Ickes).” Smith also described motor mimicry, “When we see a stroke aimed, and just ready to fall upon the leg or arm of another person, we naturally shrink and draw back on our leg or our arm (Smith 1759:4 cited in Decety and Ickes).

1759 The Lady’s last Stake, another, homelier genre scene, William Hogarth’s last “comic history”, painted at the request of Lord Charlemont; also Sigismunda, at the request of Sir Richard Grosvenor who had asked for a similar genre scene, leaving the subject to Hogarth, and who had to pay for this austere painting in which William Hogarth had undertaken to outdo the Italian painters of the seicento, who had recently reached absurdly high prices at a sensational auction. Also Satan, Sin and Death, William Hogarth’s last attempt at sublimity, a Miltonian scene inspired by Edmund Burke’s Philosophical Enquiry into the Sublime and Beautiful (1757); left unfinished, but engraved in 1767, it probably inspired Fuseli and Blake and the vogue of “sublime” romantic painting. http://hogarth.chez.tiscali.fr/biography/biography.htm

1764 Horace Walpole (1717-1797), son of the first prime minister Sir Robert Walpole, published the first Gothic novel entitled The Castle of Otranto. Horace and his friend Thomas Brand took the Grand Tour around Italy and France c. 1740-42.

1767 William Hogarth’s unfinished painting Satan, Sin and Death is a Miltonian scene that was engraved in 1767. Hogarth’s Satan, Sin and Death possibly fuelled the vogue of the sublime in romantic painting and may have inspired Fuseli and Blake.

William Blake Satan, Sin, and Death Pen and watercolor, 19-1/2 x 15-13/16 inches

1776 Henry Fuseli’s Pen and sepia with brown and grey wash 26.2 x 37.7″ “Satan and Death Separated by Sin.” at the Visitors of the Ashmolean Museum in Oxford. ‘All that was to change by the end of the eighteenth century, when for complex and even contradictory reasons, ranging from the recovery of Renaissance culture to sudden pressures for political reform, Paradise Lost claimed an unquestionable prominence, even preeminence, among the treasures of English literary art and began to exert a broad influence on the emerging literature of Romanticism. Although the impact can be felt on every one of the major Romantic poets, as well as on dozens of minor ones as well, it is a curious and even wonderful truth that nowhere in this rich literature does Milton’s epic resonate as richly and subtly as in Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein. That has been attributed by some critics to the orchestration of Percy Bysshe Shelley, who was a devoted follower of “the sacred Milton,” as he referred to him in the Preface to Prometheus Unbound, and continually allowed his own work to resonate with deliberate allusions to Paradise Lost. Undoubtedly, he helped Mary with the polishing of her Miltonic textures, providing the epigraph, for example (X.743-45). But with a writing partnership that up to this point in England had only the short-lived relationship of Wollstonecraft and Godwin as a model, there is no reason to attribute the origin of any particular idea or theme to Percy Bysshe Shelley simply because he was older or male. And, indeed, it is possible to read his later comments on Paradise Lost in the Preface to Prometheus Unbound (1820) or in “A Defence of Poetry” (1821) as revealing how powerful an influence Mary’s novel shed on his own conceptions of the work. On whomever the decision to foreground Milton’s poem rests, Mary Shelley did write the novel and therefore is responsible for the complex patterns of allusion that amplify and contextualize her modernization of Western creation myths. (Lynch)’

1794 Ann Ward Radcliffe (1764-1823) published the Gothic novel entitled The Mysteries of Udolpho. Radcliffe socially acceptable stories surrounding a virtuous heroine, implied a supernatural intrusion but always could be traced to a logical natural cause. Key words: Orphans, Fiction, Horror tales, Inheritance and succession, Young women, Gothic fiction, Guardian and ward, Castles, Italy, climatic scene setting.

The virtuous heroine, Emily  . . . “returned over the cliffs towards the chateau, meditating upon what she had just heard, till, at length she forced her mind upon less interesting subjects. The wind was high, and as she drew near the chateau, she often paused to listen to its awful sound, as it swept over the billows, that beat below, or groaned along the surrounding woods; and, while she rested on a cliff at a short distance from the chateau, and looked upon the wide waters, seen dimly beneath the last shade of twilight, she thought of the following address:  To the Winds: Viewless, through heaven’s vast vault your course ye steer, Unknown from whence ye come, or whither go! Mysterious pow’rs! I hear ye murmur low, Till swells your loud gust on my startled ear, And, awful! seems to say–some God is near! I love to list your midnight voices float In the dread storm, that o’er the ocean rolls, And, while their charm the angry wave controuls, Mix with its sullen roar, and sink remote.”

1818 Mary Wollstonecraft (Godwin) Shelley (1797-1851) published the Gothic novel entitled Frankenstein: The Modern Prometheus in which her main character, the scientist Victor Frankenstein, infused life into a monstrous creature whom he then rejected. The creature tortured by loneliness and rejection murdered everyone that Dr. Frankenstein loved and finally ended his own life in the Far North. Key words: Science fiction, Horror tales, Scientists, Monsters, golum, electricity, galvanism, climatic scene setting,

“When I was about fifteen years old we had retired to our house near Belrive, when we witnessed a most violent and terrible thunderstorm. It advanced from behind the mountains of Jura, and the thunder burst at once with frightful loudness from various quarters of the heavens. I remained, while the storm lasted, watching its progress with curiosity and delight. As I stood at the door, on a sudden I beheld a stream of fire issue from an old and beautiful oak which stood about twenty yards from our house; and so soon as the dazzling light vanished, the oak had disappeared, and nothing remained but a blasted stump. When we visited it the next morning, we found the tree shattered in a singular manner. It was not splintered by the shock, but entirely reduced to thin ribbons of wood. I never beheld anything so utterly destroyed. Before this I was not unacquainted with the more obvious laws of electricity. On this occasion a man of great research in natural philosophy was with us, and excited by this catastrophe, he entered on the explanation of a theory which he had formed on the subject of electricity and galvanism, which was at once new and astonishing to me. All that he said threw greatly into the shade Cornelius Agrippa, Albertus Magnus, and Paracelsus, the lords of my imagination; but by some fatality the overthrow of these men disinclined me to pursue my accustomed studies. It seemed to me as if nothing would or could ever be known. All that had so long engaged my attention suddenly grew despicable. By one of those caprices of the mind which we are perhaps most subject to in early youth, I at once gave up my former occupations, set down natural history and all its progeny as a deformed and abortive creation, and entertained the greatest disdain for a would-be science which could never even step within the threshold of real knowledge. In this mood of mind I betook myself to the mathematics and the branches of study appertaining to that science as being built upon secure foundations, and so worthy of my consideration.”

1897 Irish novelist Abraham “Bram” Stoker (1847 –  1912) published his Gothic novel entitled Dracula.

1890s Nietsche “Who ever battles with monsters had better see that it does not turn himself into a monster. And if you gaze long into an abyss, the abyss will gaze back into you.”

1950 Powell, Nicolas. 1950. “Fuseli: catalogue of an exhibition of paintings and drawings.” Introduction by Ganz, Paul. (1872-1954). Arts Council of Great Britain. London.

1956. Antal, Frederick (1887-1954). 1956. “Fuseli studies.” London, Routledge.

1973 Powell, Nicolas, 1920- Fuseli : The Nightmare. London : Penguin, 1973

1979 Pressly, Nancy L. 1979. “The Fuseli circle in Rome : early romantic art of the 1770s.” New Haven: Yale Center for British Art, c1979. “This catalogue was published on the occasion of an exhibition at the Yale Center for British Art, New Haven, Connecticut, from September 12 through November 11, 1979.”

1985. Gizzi, Corrado. 1985. Fussli e Dante Palazzo di Brera. Milano. Mazzotta. Catalog of an exhibition held at the Palazzo di Brera, Milan, Nov. 20, 1985-Jan. 19, 1986.

1983 Henry Fuseli : 12 November – 18 December 1983 : The National Museum of Western Art,Tokyo

1990 Nationalmuseum (Sweden). 1990. Füssli.” Stockholm: Sweden. “Part of a double exhibition: Sergel-Füssli held Nov. 4, 1990 – Jan. 6, 1991. Swedish text with English summary.

1995 (Botting 1995) ”

1998 FUSELI TO MENZEL: DRAWINGS AND WATERCOLORS FROM THE AGE OF GOETHE June 23 through September 6, 1998 “For the first time, New York audiences will view a selection of major works from one of the most important private collections of German drawings and watercolors of the period c. 1750 through 1850. Known as the Age of Goethe, this era is considered to be one of the greatest in German draftsmanship. Nonetheless, such works on paper are exceedingly rare in both public and private collections in the United States, making this traveling exhibition a particularly rich and unusual opportunity. On view thissummer at The Frick Collection, this presentation of eighty works by forty-nine artists is drawn from thecelebrated holdings of Munich attorney Alfred Winterstein (1895-1976). The exhibition explores the range and significance of German draftsmanship from the Enlightenment, Romantic, and Realist periods,and includes landscapes and nature studies by Caspar David Friedrich and preeminent writer and artist Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, architectural studies by Karl Friedrich Schinkel and Friedrich Gilly, and portraits by Joseph Karl Stieler and Ludwig Emil Grimm. Among the other notable artists featured are Henry Fuseli, Carl Philipp Fohr, Philipp Otto Runge, Julius Schnorr von Carolsfeld, Moritz von Schwind, Johann Georg von Dillis, and Adolph Menzel. Never before have so many works from the Winterstein collection been on view outside of Germany, where it made its last major tour four decadesago, in 1958. Fuseli to Menzel: Drawings and Watercolors from the Age of Goethe is curated by Hinrich Sieveking, curator of the Winterstein Collection. Presentation of Fuseli to Menzel at The Frick Collection has been coordinated by Associate Curator Susan Grace Galassi. The exhibition was initiated and organized by the Busch-Reisinger Museum, Harvard University Art Museums,Cambridge, MA, and has been made possible by the generous support of Merck, Finck & Co., Privatbankiers, a member of the Barclays Group, with additional support from the Friends of the Busch-Reisinger Museum and theFellows of The Frick Collection

2005 National Gallery of Canada, and Douglas E. Schoenherr. 2005. Henry Fuseli. ISBN 0888848021.

Who’s Who?

Fuseli, Henry (1741-1825);

Dante Alighieri, (1265-1321).

Key concepts

Primitive emotional contagion is of critical importance in understanding human cognition, emotion and behaviour. It is a basic building block of human interaction, assisting in “mind reading” and allowing people to understand and to share the feelings of others.” The Emotional Contagion scale was designed to assess people’s susceptibility to “catching” joy, happiness, love, fear, anxiety, anger, sadness, depression, as well as emotions in general. True empathy requires three skills: 1: the ability to share the other person’s feelings; the cognitive ability to intuit what the other person is feeling; and a socially beneficial intention to respond compassionately to that person’s distress. Emotional contagion is the “tendency to automatically mimic and synchronize facial expressions, vocalizations, postures, and movements with those of the other person and consequently, to converge emotionally (Hatfield, Cacloppo, Rapson 1994:5 in Decety and Ickes).


Art:Neoclassicism, Italy:Art, Art:Romanantic,

Webliography and Bibliography

Botting, Fred. 1995 Gothic. Series: The New Critical Idiom. Routledge.

Decety, Jean. Ickes, William. The Social Neuroscience of Empathy. MIT Press.

Schoenherr, Douglas E. 2005. Henry Fuseli. National Gallery of Canada. Ottawa, ON.

Decety, Jean. Ickes, William. The Social Neuroscience of Empathy. MIT Press.


God’s creation,
Great Chain of Being,
Charles II,
Bloodless Revolution,
Mary Shelley,
Far North,
Prometheus Unbound,
the Palace of Satan,

common terms:

“adventures aesthetic alienation ambivalence anxiety aristocratic associated barbaric boundaries Burke’s Caleb Carmilla Castle of Otranto century conventional corruption criminal critical cultural dark death diabolical distinctions disturbing domestic double Dracula effects eighteenth eighteenth-century emotions enlightened evil evoked excess external externalisation extravagant fantasy fears female feudal figures film Frankenstein genre ghost story ghostly gloomy Gothic architecture Gothic fiction Gothic forms Gothic novels Gothic romance Gothic texts Gothic writing haunted Helsing hero heroines human Hyde identity images imagination individual internalisation Jekyll labyrinth linked literary literature medieval mirror Monk monster moral Mysteries of Udolpho mysterious nature neoclassical objects Old English Baron passions past persecution political popular present produced propriety Radcliffe’s rational readers reality religious representation Romanticism ruins scientific secret sense sexual significant social society spectral strange sublime supernatural superstition terror and horror Terrorist Novel threat threatening tradition transgression uncanny values vampire Vathek villain violence virtue Walpole wild” By Fred Botting


Ferdowsi's Shahnameb: The Persian Book of Kings (c. 1000) Illustration Public domain. ?Miniature from the Berlin Manuscript of Firdausi's Shahnameh (1605)?


Imagine Goethe’s inner gaze marveling at majestic Mount Damāvand, the highest peak in the Middle East, immortalized in Persian literature through masterful works like Ferdowsi’s Shâhnameh. From its seemingly timeless lofty heights, Mount Damāvand, remains as unconstrained as the wind, in contrast with the social, political and historical changes unfolding all around it.

I was looking for the fertile, picturesque places with names like warm valley and seven creeks where the judge’s grandson grew up when I came across images of Mount Damāvand and learned of its history.

Illustrations inspired by Abolghassem Mansour-ibn-Hassan Firdausi Tousi (Ferdowsi)’s epic work entitled Shâhnâmeh (Book of Kings) (1010) were submitted by Iran for inclusion inclusion in the Memory of the World Register in 2007. They now host a gallery of illustrations.

“Abolghassem Mansour-ibn-Hassan Firdausi Tousi (Ferdowsi) was a prominent figure in Iranian poetry and the nationalist poet of the Persian Empire. He was born in the Iranian city of Tous in 941 and died in 1020, ten years after he finished his major epic work, the Shâhnâmeh (Book of Kings). This is one of the classics of the Persian-speaking world and is on a par with the ‘Iliad’ and the ‘Aeniad’ of the Greco-Romano cultural communities. An important feature of this work is that although during the period of its creation, Arabic was the main language of science and literature, Ferdowsi used only Persian and therefore helped to revive and maintain this important world language. Today Persian is spoken by over 65 million people in Iran, Afghanistan, Tajikistan and Pakistan and diaspora communities. The Shâhnâmeh has also become an important text throughout Central Asia, India and the former Ottoman Empire. It has been copied countless times and three of these copies could be said to have universal value: the “Demotte Shâhnâmeh” made in the early 1300s for the Il-Khanid patron, Giyath al-Din ; the 16th Century “Houghton Shâhnâmeh” ; and the “Bayasanghori Shâhnâmeh”, which was made in 1430 for Prince Bayasanghor (1399-1433), the grandson of the legendary Central Asian leader Timur (1336-1405). Only the “Bayasanghori Shâhnâmeh” has survived and is kept under lock and key in the Imperial Library of the Golestan Palace in Tehran. The Shâhnâmeh represents the quintessence of aesthetic and literary values of the elite rulers of the Timurid Renaissance who dominated Central and Western Asia in the 15th Century.”

In the nineteenth century, Goethe considered Persian literature to be one of the four main bodies of world literature (Ferdowsi 2006) and his “Verstandnis des West-Ostlichen Divans” was inspired by Persian literature.

“When we turn our attention to a peaceful, civilized people, the Persians, we must — since it was actually their poetry that inspired this work — go back to the earliest period to be able to understand more recent times. It will always seem strange to the historians that no matter how many times a country has been conquered, subjugated and even destroyed by enemies, there is always a certain national core preserved in its character, and before you know it, there re-emerges a long-familiar native phenomenon. In this sense, it would be pleasant to learn about the most ancient Persians and quickly follow them up to the present day at an all the more free and steady pace (Goethe 1819 in Wiesehofer and Azodi 2001: Preface).”

For over 2600 years Persia has been at the geographic centre of trade and cultural exchange, friction If you draw lines from the Mediterranean to Beijing or Beijing to Cairo or Paris to Delhi, they all pass through Iran, which straddles a region where East meets West. Over 26 centuries, a blending of the hemispheres has been going on here—trade, cultural interchange, friction—with Iran smack in the middle.

“If we could realize that great works such as the Shahnameh [of Ferdowsi] exists in the world, we would not become so much proud of our own works in such a silly manner (Saint-Beuve cited in Wiesehofer 2001-08-18).”

1. This UNESCO site entitled Memory of the World hosts digital images like this 1430 illustration from the “Bayasanghori Shâhnâmeh” for Prince Bayasanghor (1399-1433). It illustrated one of the stories in Ferdowsi’s Shahnameb (1010) showing the tyrant Zahhak, nailed to the walls of a cave in Mount Damavand.

2. Some Poems in English

3. “FERDOWSĪ,ABU’L-QĀSEM (329-410 or 416/940-1019 or 1025), one of the greatest epic poets and author of the Šāh-nāma, the national epic of Persia. See also ŠĀH-NĀMA. […] The sum of such heartfelt, mature, and eloquently expressed views and ethical precepts regarding the world and mankind have led to his being referred to, from an early period, as ḥakīm (philosopher), dānā (sage), and farzāna (learned); that is, he was considered a philosopher, though he was not attached to any specific philosophical school nor possessed a complete knowledge of the various philosophical and scientific views of his time. [His sobriquet or pen name], Ferdowsī means “[man] from paradise” (Khaleghi, 1988, p. 92). From Encylopedia Iranica

4. The concepts of freedom and human rights allegedly originated in the first Persian Empire, as early as the c. 539 BC with the Achaemenid Persian Shāhanshāh Emperor Cyrus the Great (c. 600/576 BC – c. 530/29 BC). His successors including Darius ruled over a stable global superpower, the world’s first religiously and culturally tolerant empire administrated with the first human rights charter (Farrokh 2007:44, Robertson and Merrills 1996:7, Lauren 2003:11, Xenophon and Hedrick 2007:xiii) with a central government in Pasargadae for more than a thousand years. The borders of the Persian Empire ultimately extended from the Mediterranean to the Indus River, encompassing 23 different peoples and including nations and regions that by 2008 were called Iraq, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan, Turkey, Jordan, Cyprus, Syria, Lebanon, Israel, Egypt, and the Caucasus region (Del Giudice 2008-08:5).” It was Emperor Cyrus the Great who freed the enslaved Jews of Babylon in 539 B. C. providing them with necessary funds to rebuild their in Jerusalem through the Edict of Restoration. (Del Giudice 2008-08:5)”

5. Cyrus the Great Cylinder, The First Charter of Rights of Nations: (Farrokh 2007:44, Robertson and Merrills 1996:7, Lauren 2003:11, Xenophon and Hedrick 2007:xiii)

“In short, the figure of Cyrus has survived throughout history as more than a great man who founded an empire. He became the epitome of the great qualities expected of a ruler in antiquity, and he assumed heroic features as a conqueror who was tolerant and magnanimous as well as brave and daring. His personality as seen by the Greeks influenced them and Alexander the Great, and, as the tradition was transmitted by the Romans, may be considered to influence our thinking even now (Frye 1963).”

6. Richard N. Frye (1920- ), now a professor emeritus at Harvard devoted more than sixty years to teaching, learning and research on Persian history. He founded the Center for Middle Eastern Studies at Harvard and is the Aga Khan Professior of Iranian history at Harvard University. Frye’s books entitled the Nation of Archers (1954) and The Heritage of Persia (1962) The Heritage of Persia (Bibliotheca Iranica, No 1). Islam and the West. Proceedings of the Harvard Summer School Conference on the …
His mentor and predecessor, Arthur Pope was director of the Asia Institute in Shiraz.

“Thus, to refer to the Sasanian period of Iran’s history, Vahram-i Varjavand, seems to me to be a greatly heroised example of the millenary tradition, for he is a truly messianic personality, even though probably a greatly heroised form of the historic Bahrám Chobin. As I have frequently stated, in the past of Iran, for the people, history was not what really happened, or even what they thought had happened, but what they thought should have happened. This is a fundamental characteristic of the view of the past among a people who have a strong epic tradition and a messianic tradition of time speculation (Frye, 1974:57-69 1964: 36-54 cited in Buck 1998).”

7. Some useful translations
Shâhnameh Shahnameh (Farsi) Emperor
Kūrošé Kabīr or Kūrošé Bozorg Kurose Kabir or Kurose Bozorg (Farsi) Emperor Cyrus the Great
Koresh (Hebrew in Bible) Emperor Cyrus the Great
Dhul-Qarnayn (Arabic in Qur’an) possibly referring to Emperor Cyrus the Great.
Damāvand – Damavand
West-Ostlichen (German) West-Eastern

Webliography and Bibliography

Buck, Christopher. 1998. “Bahá’u’lláh as Zoroastrian saviour.” Baha’i Studies Review. 8. London: Association for Baha’i Studies English-Speaking Europe. pp.14–33.

Farrokh, Kaveh. 2007. Shadows in the Desert: Ancient Persia at War. History.

Frye, Richard N. 1963. The Heritage of Persia: The pre-Islamic History of One of the World’s Great Civilizations. World Publishing Company: New York.

Ghasemi, Shapour. “The Cyrus the Great Cylinder.” History of Iran. Accessed February 24.

Knappert, Jan. Ed. 1999.Encyclopaedia of Middle Eastern mythology and religion. Longmead, UK.

Robertson, Arthur Henry; Merrills, J. G. 1996. Human Rights in the World: An Introduction to the Study of the International. Political Science.:7.

Lauren, Paul Gordon. 2003. The Evolution of International Human Rights: Visions Seen. Political Science. p.11.

Xenophon; Hedrick, Larry. 2007. “Xenophon’s Cyrus the Great: The Arts of Leadership and War. History. p.xiii.

Del Giudice, Marguerite. 2008-08. “Persia: Ancient Soul of Iran: A Glorious Past Inspired by a Conflicted Nation.” National Geographic. PP. 34-67.
Ferdowsi, Abolqasem. 2006. Translated by Davis, Dick. 2006. Shahnameh: The Persian Book of Kings. Viking.

Goethe. 1819. Noten and Abhandlungen zu besserem Verstandnis des West-Ostlichen Divans.

Levinson, Von David; Christensen, Karen. 2002. Encyclopedia of Modern Asia. Charles Scribner’s Sons.

Wiesehofer, Josef; Azodi, Azizeh. 2001-08-18. Translated by Azodi, Azizeh. “Preface.” Ancient Persia: From 550 BC to 650 AD. I. B. Tauris. New Ed Edition.

Nurian, Mahdi. 1993. “Afarin Ferdowsi az Zaban Pishinian [The praises of Ferdowsi from the tongue of the ancients].” Hasti Magazine. 4. Tehran: Bahman Publishers.

Effendi, Shoghi. 1991. “Buddha, Krishna, Zoroaster.” The Compilation of Compilations.Volume I. Baha’i Publications Australia.

Effendi, Shoghi. 1944. God Passes By. Wilmette: Bahá’í Publishing Trust.

Frye, Richard N. (1992), “Zoroastrians in Central Asia in Ancient Times.” Journal of the K. R. Cama Oriental Institute. 58: 6–10.

Richard Frye, 1974. “Methodology in Iranian History,” in Neue Methodologie in der Iranistik. (Wiesbaden: Otto Harrassowitz, 1974): 57-69 [66]. Cf. idem, “The Charisma of Kingship in Ancient Iran,” Iranica Antiqua 6 (1964): 36-54.


http://maps.nationalgeographic.com/map-machine#s=h&c=35.6907639509368, 52.032623291015646&z=9


Imagine a new global financial order, the shape of capitalism to come . . .

“In many cases, economic activity is as much a function of creativity, imagination and sentiment as is the act of writing a poem or painting a picture (Bronk 2009).”

This layered image, a digitage, was inspired by Richard Bronk’s The Romantic Economist: Imagination in Economics (2009). It includes fragments from German Romantic artist Friedrich’s paintingVoyageur above the Clouds, the Merryl Lynch bull and a scene from the film Pandemonium about Romantic poets Coleridge and Wordsworth.Maureen Flynn-Burhoe 2009

“The histories and political economy of the present and preceding century partake in the general contagion of its mechanic philosophy, and are the product of an unenlivened generalizing understanding (Coleridge 1816 cited in Bronk 2009). Samuel Taylor Coleridge, The Statesman’s Manual (1816)

“In weakness we create distinctions, then Believe that all our puny boundaries are things Which we perceive and not which we have made.” William Wordsworth, Fragment (c. 1799)

“Standard economics assumes that economic agents are perfectly rational; that is the basis of its predictive equilibrium-based models. Modern versions generally allow for certain types of information problem and market failure, and recognise that institutions and even history play a role; but they still assume that these factors do not call into question the underlying model of agents as rational utility maximisers within those constraints (Bronk 2009).”

Timeline of the Shape of Capitalism to Come

1933 Keynes, in 1933 “in his lectures on his General Theory, said that current yields of firms exercise an “irrational” influence on estimating future worth (Whimster 2009-02-20).” Whimster is associated with the Global Policy Institute (GPI) [1]. 

1971 The foreign currency market arose when the United States went off the gold standard creating a huge market whose volume exceeded the combined trading of the New York, London, Frankfurt, and Tokyo stock exchanges, affecting “every aspect of economic and social order in the U.S. and the other nations of the world (Krieger 1992).” 

1980s Former graduates of the Wharton School of Business, Michael Milken and Donald Trump thrived in the 1980s through junk bonds and corporate takeovers (Portnoy 2003).

1987  Currency trader or derivatives abuser? Andrew Krieger thought New Zealand currency was overvalued so he began betting that the kiwi would fall. He bought then sold hundreds of millions of dollars, triggering a dramtic drop in the kiwi’s value, making a fortune for himself and for Bankers Trust, earning fame or infamy as the best speculative attack in history (The Economist 2004 12:18:108) and creating havoc for a national economy. 

1988-06-07 “Andrew J. Krieger, the successful young currency trader whose departure from the Bankers Trust Company in February set the Wall Street rumor mill buzzing, is quitting his second job this year. Mr. Krieger, who joined Soros Fund Management Inc. in April as senior portfolio manager, announced yesterday that he would form his own trading company, Krieger & Associates (Deutsch 1988).” 

1988-07-21 “Bankers Trust had earned $338 million in foreign exchange trading in the fourth quarter, which at the time was widely believed to be attributable to the complex trading strategies of Andrew J. Krieger. The 32-year-old star trader left the bank in February, complaining that his $3 million bonus was inadequate. At the time of Mr. Krieger’s departure there were rumors that the bank might have to restate earnings, but bank officials denied it, believing then that any impact would be immaterial. Mr. Krieger was known in the markets for taking large, billion-dollar positions in currencies and for trading currency options using highly complex strategies that even his colleagues did not pretend to understand (Bankers New York Times).”

1988 Derivative abuser Andy Krieger of  Bankers Trust mismarked $80 million of currency options. Krieger was also a graduate from the Wharton School of Business where he had studied international finance and trading in foreign-currency options (Portnoy 2003).   

1992-03-03 Andrew Krieger’s book entitled The Money Bazaar : Inside the Trillion-Dollar World of Currency Trading was published. He explained how he manipulated New Zealand currency in the 1980s.  

2002-06 Frank Partnoy’s book (2003) entitled Infectious Greed: How Deceit and Risk Corrupted the Financial Markets examined financial chaos caused by derivatives abusers during the period 1988- 2002 starting with Andy Krieger at the Bankers Trust. Partnoy profiled Nick Leeson “who bankrupted Barings Bank; Robert Citron, who did the same for Orange County; and Joseph Jett, whose “forward recon” trades helped end the independent existence of Kidder Peabody and Long Term Capital Management.” Partnoy blamed Alan Greenspan and Arthur Levitt and other credit rating agencies and federal regulators. Partnoy analysed the collapse of Enron, WorldCom and Global Crossing (Reed Business Information 2003).

2008-10-20 European leaders, like French President Nicolas Sarkozy, favor greater international oversight of markets, and U.S. officials like U.S. President George W. Bush, prefer the current model of national regulation. Mr. Sarkozy repeated his call for a new global financial order. “This is a world-wide crisis and therefore we must find a world-wide solution,” he said. The answer “will be all the more effective insofar as we find it together, we speak with one and the same voice, and we build together the capitalism of the future.” Shape of Capitalism to Come, Finance, Economy, George W. Bush, European Union, Financial Crisis, Capitalism, World Economy, Nicolas Sarkozy, Business News (McKinnon 2008-10-20) 

2009-02 Richard Bronk’s book entitled The Romantic Economist: Imagination in Economics was published [2]. Bronks is an Oxford scholar and Visiting Fellow in the European Institute at the London School of Economics and Political Science. (Elliott 2009-02-16, Whimster 2009-02-20).” 

Tags: credit crisis, credit system breakdown, financial crisis,  shape of capitalism to come, analysis, subprime, bailout, trust, capitalism, European Union, Nicolas Sarkozy, new global financial order, credit chaos, multiple modernities,  Friedrich, Romanticism, Pandemonium, William Wordsworth, Samuel Taylor Coleridge,

impassioned melodrama from the relationship between the 19th-century poets William Wordsworth and Samuel Taylor Coleridge. Coleridge had a fondness for opium. Linus Roach plays him as visionary and naïve in equal measure, sour-faced, dull Wordsworth, latched vampirically onto the other man in search of inspiration.

Categories: Business, Economy, Politics, Finance, Economics,  World Economy, Business News, 


1. The Global Policy Institute (GPI) website explained their work in light of our entry into a second wave of globalization that will change the face of capitalism. The current stage of emergent, self-organising globalisation will not strictly adhere to Western consumerist values or even adopt Western democracy. The EU, US and China, who embrace differing values and views, now share status as super-powers (along with a handful of lesser powers). This has shaken certitude in previously held ideas of economics, cultural and political globalisation. The shape of capitalism to come will likely include rational decision-making criteria, political self-determination, and cultural creativity but may change along the way before a global order is stabilized. GPI predicts that

“By 2020-25 it is expected that some 50% of global capitalisation will be in emergent markets. Also by 2020 (on present projections) the euro, the yuan, and the rupee will have achieved reserve currency status and the US$ will no longer remain the default value standard (Global Policy Institute (GPI).”

2. “Summary of Bronk, Richard. 2009. The Romantic Economist: Imagination in Economics.

“Since economies are dynamic processes driven by creativity, social norms and emotions, as well as rational calculation, why do economists largely study them through the prism of static equilibrium models and narrow rationalistic assumptions? Economic activity is as much a function of imagination and social sentiments as of the rational optimisation of given preferences and goods. Richard Bronk argues that economists can best model and explain these creative and social aspects of markets by using new structuring assumptions and metaphors derived from the poetry and philosophy of the Romantics. By bridging the divide between literature and science, and between Romanticism and narrow forms of rationalism, economists can access grounding assumptions, models and research methods suitable for comprehending the creativity and social dimensions of economic activity. This is a guide to how economists and other social scientists can broaden their analytical repertoire to encompass the vital role of sentiments, language and imagination. Educated at Merton College, Oxford, Richard Bronk gained a first class degree in Classics and Philosophy. He spent the first seventeen years of his career working in the City of London, where he acquired a wide expertise in international economics, business and politics. His first book, Progress and the Invisible Hand (1998) was well received critically, and anticipated millennial angst about the increasingly strained relationship between economic growth and progress in welfare. Having returned to academic life in 2000, Bronk is now a writer and part-time academic, [Visiting Fellow in the European Institute at the London School of Economics and Political Science] (Cambridge Biography and Summary).”

Webliography and Bibliography

1988-07-21. “Bankers Trust Data on Restatement.” New York Times

Bronk, Richard. 2009. The Romantic Economist: Imagination in Economics. Cambridge University Press. 

Bronk, Richard. 2009. “The Romantic and Imaginative Aspects of Economics.” The Romantic Economist: Imagination in Economics. Cambridge University Press. 

Deutsch, Claudia H. 1988-06-07. “Top Trader Quits to Start Own Firm.” New York Times

Elliott, Larry. 2009-02-16. “We are on the brink: perhaps it is time to look to the Romantics for what lies ahead. The mechanistic approach to economics has failed. We need to embrace creativity.” The Guardian.

Hutton, Will. 2008-09-28. “I’ve watched the economy for 30 years. Now I’m truly scared.” The Guardian. UK.

Krieger, Andrew. 1992-03-03. The Money Bazaar : Inside the Trillion-Dollar World of Currency Trading. Crown Publishing. 

McKinnon, John D. 2008-10-20. “Rethinking Capitalism’s Contours: Summits Will Address Financial Crisis, but Divide Looms Between U.S. and EU.” Wall Street Journal.com. 

Partnoy, Frank. 2003. Infectious Greed: How Deceit and Risk Corrupted the Financial Markets. New York: Times Books. 

Thurow, Lester C. 1996. The Future of Capitalism: How Today’s Economic Forces Shape Tomorrow’s World. New York: Penguin Group. 

Whimster, Sam. 2009-02-20. “To understand economics, we have to consider emotions too: We need to reassert human values as being superior to those of the market.” The Guardian.


December 11, 2006

tag cloud

home| about | key concepts | theorists | timelines | Opinion pieces | Web 2.0

Somewhere on the Pacific a small lifeboat shared by two unwilling and unlikely passengers rolled with the waves. Pi knew he could do more than just survive once he realized that Richard was dependent on him. Pi could fish. A Bengal Tiger, king of his own ecosystem, would die at sea without the help of the seventeen-year-old. The book really ended there; it didn’t matter after that what was truth or fiction. Pi’s understanding of power in everyday life was his new reality.

Speechless refers to both the writer and reader. At one level it’s about a writers’ block being blogged. At another level is refers to deafening silence that occurs when one speaks with too much feeling or mentions an uncomfortable idea in a nice place, a unpleasant reminder in polite company, a divergent idea in a space of group think, another perspective than the Renaissance perspective. But it also refers to robust conversations among political philosophers who understand the power of language and everyday life. Socrates, Plato, Derrida called for renewals in philosophy. They examined what we do with words, the role of memory. Speechless alludes to Derrida’s urgent appeal for a renewed democracy, for a revitalized philosophy from a cosmopolitical point of view.

The human eye can distinguish 16 values of grey but that’s not including the subtle differences in the colours of grey. We just don’t have the time to see the variations.

I began speechless on October 16, 2006. Two months later I have learned what a permalink is and how to make one. It’s the equivalent to the old web page’s index.html. Now I have to learn where to use it.


The cloud of tags below has grown organically since I first began using WordPress as my main blog host on October 16, 2006. I am building my customized clouds of folksonomies by working on and learning from a number of Web 2.0 feeds. This includes a Flickr account for photo blogging which attracts alot of viewers. I have only a couple of dozen images but one image alone uploaded on October 22, 2006 was viewed 1,179 times over a period of 64 days! I reworked this image again and posted it on speechless under “Wave Algorithms.”

Featured folksonomy:

Benign colonialism is a term that refers to an alleged form of colonialism in which benefits outweighed risks for indigenous population whose lands, resources, rights and freedoms were preempted by a colonizing nation-state. The historical source for the concept of benign colonialism resides with John Stuart Mills who was chief examiner of the British East India Company dealing with British interests in India in the 1820s and 1830s. Mills most well-known essays (1844) on benign colonialism are found in Essays on some Unsettled Questions of Political Economy. Mills’ view contrasted with Burkean orientalists. Mills promoted the training of a corps of bureaucrats indigenous to India who could adopt the modern liberal perspective and values of 19th century Britain. Mills predicted this group’s eventual governance of India would be based on British values and perspectives. Those who adopt benign colonialism as a truth claim argue that education, health, housing and employment possibilities improved conditions for indigenous peoples as settlers, merchants and administrators also brought new industries, liberal markets, developed natural resources and introduced improved governance. The first wave of benign colonialism lasted from c. 1790s-1960s. The second wave included new colonial policies such as exemplified in Hong Kong (Liu 2003)), where unfettered expansion of the market created a new form of benign colonialism. Political interference and military interference (Doyle 2006) in independent nation-states, such as Iraq (Campo 2004 ), is also discussed under the rubric of benign colonialism in which a foreign power preempts national governance to protect a higher concept of freedom. The term is also used in the 21st century to refer to American, French and Chinese market activities in countries on the African continent with massive quantities of underdeveloped nonrenewable envied resources. Literature that challenges the assumptions of benign colonialism claiming colonialist project as it actually unfolded placed First Nations, Inuit and Métis at higher risks of vulnerabilities to catastrophes, to social exclusion and human rights abuses, have not been as widely publicized.

For more see Flynn-Burhoe (2007).

There is a widespread Canadian mythology that First Nations, Inuit and Métis are among those who benefited from settler colonies prempting, improving, managing and governing aboriginal lands, resources and educating, training, developing, serving, monitoring and governing its peoples. Those who adopt benign colonialism as a truth claim argue that education, health, housing and employment possibilities improved conditions for the indigenous peoples since the arrival of settlers. Literature that challenges the assumptions of benign colonialism claiming colonialist project as it actually unfolded placed First Nations, Inuit and Métis at higher risks of vulnerabilities to catastrophes, to social exclusion and human rights abuses, have not been as widely publicized. The Royal Commission on Aboriginal Peoples (RCAP) addressed these claims but the term benign colonialism is still a convenient truth for many. Celebratory and one-sided social histories of the Hudson’s Bay Company, the RCMP, and various government leaders such as John A. MacDonald or civil servants such as Indian Agents, northern adventurers, when viewed through the lens of settlers while ignoring the perspective of First Nations, Inuit and Métis contribute to on-going dissemination of distorted histories. Museums, maps and census contribute to these distorted histories by grave omissions.

Related citations:

“Today, Mill’s most controversial case would be benign colonialism. His principles of nonintervention only hold among “civilized” nations. “Uncivilized” peoples, among whom Mill dumps most of Africa, Asia, and Latin America, are not fit for the principle of nonintervention. Like Oude (in India), they suffer four debilitating infirmities – despotism, anarchy, amoral presentism and familism — that make them incapable of self-determination. The people are imposed upon by a “despot… so oppressive and extortionate as to devastate the country.” Despotism long endured has produced “such a state of nerveless imbecility that everyone subject to their will, who had not the means of defending himself by his own armed followers, was the prey of anybody who had a band of ruffians in his pay.” The people as a result deteriorate into amoral relations in which the present overwhelms the future and no contracts can be relied upon. Moral duties extend no further than the family; national or civic identity is altogether absent. In these circumstances, Mill claims, benign colonialism is best for the population . Normal relations cannot be maintained in such an anarchic and lawless environment. It is important to note that Mill advocates neither exploitation nor racialist domination. He applies the same reasoning to once primitive northern Europeans who benefited from the imperial rule imposed by civilized Romans. The duties of paternal care, moreover, are real, precluding oppression and exploitation and requiring care and education designed to one day fit the colonized people for independent national existence. Nonetheless, the argument also rests on (wildly distorted) readings of the history and culture of Africa and Asia and Latin America. Anarchy and despotic oppression did afflict many of the peoples in these regions, but ancient cultures embodying deep senses of social obligation made nonsense of presentism and familism. Shorn of its cultural “Orientalism,” Mill’s argument for trusteeship addresses one serious gap in our strategies of humanitarian assistance: the devastations that cannot be readily redressed by a quick intervention designed to liberate an oppressed people from the clutches of foreign oppression or a domestic despot. But how does one prevent benign trusteeship from becoming malign imperialism, particularly when one recalls the flowery words and humanitarian intentions that accompanied the conquerors of Africa? How far is it from the Anti-Slavery Campaign and the Aborigine Rights Protection Society to King Leopold’s Congo and Joseph Conrad’s “Heart of Darkness”?

Here Doyle is referring to John S. Mill cited in “A Few Words on Nonintervention.” . 1973. In Essays on Politics and Culture, edited by Gertrude Himmelfarb, 368-84. Gloucester, Peter Smith.

See also WordPress featured blogs Benign colonialism.

Related tags: Tom Kent Royal Commission on Newspapers, Hackett and Zhao, economic efficiency, Power and everyday life, ethical topography of self and the Other, teaching learning and research, wealth disparities will intensify, C.D. Howe, Cannibals with Forks.Selected annotated webliography

Campo, Juan E.  2004. “Benign Colonialism? The Iraq War: Hidden Agendas and Babylonian Intrigue.” Interventionism. 26:1. Spring.

Doyle, Michael W.  2006. “Sovereignty and Humanitarian Military Intervention.” Hoover Institute.

Falk, Richard. Human Rights Horizons: the Pursuit of Justice in a Globalizing World. New York & London: Routledge.

Flynn-Burhoe, Maureen. 2007. Benign colonialism. >> Speechless. Uploaded January 14th, 2007

Liu, Henry C. K. “China: a Case of Self-Delusion: Part 1: From colonialism to confusionLiu 2003.” Asia Times. May 14, 2003.

Kurtz,Stanley. 2003.”Lessons from the British in India.” Democratic Imperialism: A Blueprint. Policy Review.Mill, John Stuart. 1844. Essays on some Unsettled Questions of Political Economy.
Of these Essays, which were written in 1829 and 1830,

Current debates on colonization and human rights (Falk 2000) raise questions about the notion of benign colonialism. The dominant language, culture and values of colonizers imposed on colonised peoples is often narrated as salutary. Dominant social and cultural institutions contributed to faciliating the entry of indigenous peoples trapped in unsustainable subsistence economies. Previously colonised peoples claim that the colonization process resulted in a parallel process of the colonization of the minds of indigenous peoples. The process of decolonization of memory (Ricoeur 1980), history and the spirit is crucial for the social inclusion (OECD) of indigenous peoples and nations within nations, such as Canada.