Thursday, October 28, 2010

"History repeats itself first as tragedy, then as farce...

...then as stupidity."

The (New) Tragedy of Pudd'nhead Wilson

There are a number of "counterinsurgency" strategies available from history. The most effective is extermination of the native population. This was employed successfully in Newfoundland, Tasmania, New Zealand (by the Maoris), and the Inuit in the Canadian Arctic (who exterminated the Dorset). There are other examples.

The second most effective strategy is to deport the native population to somewhere else. This was notably employed by Stalin, although the long term results seem more ambiguous than total extermination. People tend to come back, if left alive.

The least effective strategy is colonization. This has other names, euphemisms, what have you, but involves one alien culture from Somewhere Else trying to impose itself on the native culture that Lives There. The alien culture always Means Well, but is usually using the Native Country for its own purposes, and finds the natives who Live There to be an inconvenience, unless economically useful.

The lesson of history is that Colonization doesn't work. People keep not learning this. The only way it is at all successful is if combined in some form with Extermination. Extermination can of course be accomplished obliquely, with drugs and disease, but the Alien Culture often shows delusional requirements of acting for the Greater Good.

This never works. It always ends up that the people who actually live there want to run their own lives and have the benefit of their own resources. It's much more practical, if you want the resources in some particular territory, to kill all the natives.