American Heart of Darkness

July 7, 2018

 

Reading again Joseph Conrad’s The Heart of Darkness (1890) I came to the following which, in the light of US politics of the early 21st century, may be seen as a late extension of our North American conquest as well as the consciousness by which it has run —and, cruelly reminiscent, still runs:

Trump DarknessConrad’s character, Marlowe is speaking of the history of Roman conquest in Britain:

“They were conquerors, and for that you want only brute force—nothing to boast of, when you have it, since your strength is just an accident arising from the weakness of others…. It was just robbery with violence, aggravated murder on a great scale, and men going at it blind… The conquest of the earth, which mostly means the taking it away from those who have a different complexion or slightly flatter noses than ourselves, is not a pretty thing when you look into it too much. What redeems it is the idea only. An idea at the back of it…something you can set up, and bow down before, and offer sacrifice to…”

The idea is white supremacy, again. The idea is to keep certain peoples out to purify the nation —to be frank. The idea is to set authoritarians up to lead the dirty work of cleansing in the name of protecting, what, our greatness? …so we keep our personal hands clean.

Jim Culleny
7/7/18

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