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Brutal as it might be, there has been a beneficial side to conquest,
particularly to future generations of conquered people.

You might think that’s awful to say, but think about where England
might be
had it not been conquered by the Roman Empire. Why? The British were, as

Julius Caesar said, “barbarians.” The Romans through conquest, starting
with 55
B.C., brought a far superior culture, education and skills to England.
Romans also brought superior road construction, military tactics and
agricultural methods.

Four centuries later, when the Romans left, England underwent a
temporary
retrogression. In 1066, the Normans invaded England. Again, England
benefited by imports from a superior culture. As a result of skills
gained
by being a “victim” of conquest, England became the world’s most
powerful
nation — so much so that it became possible to say, “The sun never sets
on
the British Empire.”

Other peoples have benefited from conquest. Conquest and colonization

unquestionably brought suffering to sub-Saharan Africans. But the
importation of
European institutions, skills and tools brought benefits, just as the
Roman
conquest earlier brought benefits to England. Europeans introduced
plows,
wheeled vehicles, medicine, railroads, written language, and law and
order,
as well as other fundamental tools of more advanced societies.

Professor Thomas Sowell points out in his book “Conquest and
Cultures”
that, in addition to improvements in living standards directly
attributable
to Europeans, the cessation of tribal warfare as a result of domination
meant that not only would whites seize and bring vast amounts of land in

countries like Rhodesia (now Zimbabwe) under cultivation, but Africans
cultivated more land as well. Law and order also meant that Lebanese and

Indians would migrate to Africa, bringing with them their economic
skills.

Under colonialism, and for a brief period after independence,
sub-Saharan
Africa was self-sufficient in food.

Today, Africa is a mass importer of food. According to the Food and
Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, 19 African countries –
like Burundi, Niger, Somalia, Tanzania and Uganda — are on the brink of
starvation, or euphemistically put, “facing
exceptional food emergencies.” Not on the list are Zimbabwe and South
Africa, but in a few years they will be. You might wonder why. Let’s
look at
it.

In an attempt to stay in power, Zimbabwe’s President Robert Mugabe is

inciting blacks to take land from white farmers. Blacks are not only
seizing
land but raping, shooting and intimidating white farmers. In the wake of

increasing violence, and government complicity, the Commercial Farmers
Union
has warned 6,000 white families to evacuate their farms as fast as they
can
and go to “safe” areas. Down the road, many Zimbabwean whites will
conclude
that the only really safe area is another country. Whites in South
Africa
will reach the same conclusion.

What’s going on in Zimbabwe is part of what has been a general
pattern in
Africa and elsewhere: The most productive people are forced to flee. Not

only do white Africans flee, but the most productive black Africans
flee, as
well. Black Africans do well when they come to the United States and
Europe,
while their brethren at home perish.

Guess what makes it possible for African leaders to keep their people
in
misery? It’s foreign aid, and IMF and World Bank loans that make
resources
available to corrupt leaders so they can buy cronies, maintain a
military
and stay in power. Instead of members of America’s black leadership
marching
and worrying about the Confederate flag, they might use that energy and
resources to march on Africa’s embassies just as they marched on the
South
African Embassy during the 1980s — but maybe for America’s black
leadership
it’s only the color of the tyrant that matters.

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