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I had no intention of shooting the elephant I had merely sent for the rifle to defend myself if necessary and it is always unnerving to have a crowd following you. It was the same motive, for example, that caused the Malayan jungles to be cleared for rubber estates, and which now causes those estates to be handed over intact to the Japanese. At last, after what seemed a long time it might have been five seconds, I dare say he sagged flabbily to his knees. The fact that such a thing essay on imperialism good bad poetry can exist is a sign of the emotional overlap between the intellectual and the ordinary man, essay on imperialism. Those who now call themselves Conservatives are either Liberals, Fascists or the accomplices of Fascists. Somehow it always seems worse to kill a large animal. It was a very poor quarter, essay on imperialism, a labyrinth of squalid bamboo huts, thatched with palmleaf, winding all over a steep hillside.

Rudyard Kipling Essay It was a pity that Mr. Kipling is in the peculiar position of having been a byword for fifty years. During five literary generations every enlightened person has despised him, and at the end of that time nine-tenths of those enlightened persons are forgotten and Kipling is in some sense still there. Kipling is a jingo imperialist, he is morally insensitive and aesthetically disgusting.

It is better to start by admitting that, and then to try to find out why it is that he survives while the refined people who have sniggered at him seem to wear so badly. This line is always good for a snigger in pansy-left circles. In its context the sense of the line is almost the exact opposite of this. The whole poem, conventionally thought of as an orgy of boasting, is a denunciation of power politics, British as well as German.

Two stanzas are worth quoting I am quoting this as politics, not as poetry: If, drunk with sight of power, we loose Wild tongues that have not Thee in awe, Such boastings as the Gentiles use, Or lesser breeds without the Law-- Lord God of hosts, be with us yet, Lest we forget--lest we forget! For heathen heart that puts her trust In reeking tube and iron shard, All valiant dust that builds on dust, And guarding, calls not Thee to guard, For frantic boast and foolish word-- Thy mercy on Thy People, Lord!

No one, in our time, believes in any sanction greater than military power; no one believes that it is possible to overcome force except by greater force. I am not saying that that is a true belief, merely that it is the belief which all modern men do actually hold.

Those who pretend otherwise are either intellectual cowards, or power-worshippers under a thin disguise, or have simply not caught up with the age they are living in. He does not foresee the tank, the bombing plane, the radio and the secret police, or their psychological results. No, one is merely saying that the nineteenth-century imperialist outlook and the modern gangster outlook are two different things.

Kipling belongs very definitely to the period The Great War and its aftermath embittered him, but he shows little sign of having learned anything from any event later than the Boer War. All his confidence, his bouncing vulgar vitality, sprang out of limitations which no Fascist or near-Fascist shares.

Kipling spent the later part of his life in sulking, and no doubt it was political disappointment rather than literary vanity that account for this. Somehow history had not gone according to plan. After the greatest victory she had ever known, Britain was a lesser world power than before, and Kipling was quite acute enough to see this.

The virtue had gone out of the classes he idealized, the young were hedonistic or disaffected, the desire to paint the map red had evaporated. He could not understand what was happening, because he had never had any grasp of the economic forces underlying imperial expansion. It is notable that Kipling does not seem to realize, any more than the average soldier or colonial administrator, that an empire is primarily a money-making concern.

Imperialism as he sees it is a sort of forcible evangelizing. He could not foresee, therefore, that the same motives which brought the Empire into existence would end by destroying it. It was the same motive, for example, that caused the Malayan jungles to be cleared for rubber estates, and which now causes those estates to be handed over intact to the Japanese. The modern totalitarians know what they are doing, and the nineteenth-century English did not know what they were doing.

Both attitudes have their advantages, but Kipling was never able to move forward from one into the other. The middle-class Left hate him for this quite as much as for his cruelty and vulgarity. All left-wing parties in the highly industrialized countries are at bottom a sham, because they make it their business to fight against something which they do not really wish to destroy.

They have internationalist aims, and at the same time they struggle to keep up a standard of life with which those aims are incompatible. It is true that Kipling does not understand the economic aspect of the relationship between the highbrow and the blimp. He does not see that the map is painted red chiefly in order that the coolie may be exploited. Instead of the coolie he sees the Indian Civil Servant; but even on that plane his grasp of function, of who protects whom, is very sound.

He sees clearly that men can only be highly civilized while other men, inevitably less civilized, are there to guard and feed them. How far does Kipling really identify himself with the administrators, soldiers and engineers whose praises he sings? Not so completely as is sometimes assumed. He had travelled very widely while he was still a young man, he had grown up with a brilliant mind in mainly philistine surroundings, and some streak in him that may have been partly neurotic led him to prefer the active man to the sensitive man.

The nineteenth-century Anglo-Indians, to name the least sympathetic of his idols, were at any rate people who did things. It may be that all that they did was evil, but they changed the face of the earth it is instructive to look at a map of Asia and compare the railway system of India with that of the surrounding countries , whereas they could have achieved nothing, could not have maintained themselves in power for a single week, if the normal Anglo-Indian outlook had been that of, say, E.

But he did not greatly resemble the people he admired. They said, no doubt truly, that he knew nothing about India, and on the other hand, he was from their point of view too much of a highbrow. Much in his development is traceable to his having been born in India and having left school early. With a slightly different background he might have been a good novelist or a superlative writer of music-hall songs.

But how true is it that he was a vulgar flagwaver, a sort of publicity agent for Cecil Rhodes? It is true, but it is not true that he was a yes-man or a time-server. After his early days, if then, he never courted public opinion.

Eliot says that what is held against him is that he expressed unpopular views in a popular style. The mass of the people, in the nineties as now, were anti-militarist, bored by the Empire, and only unconsciously patriotic. But it is doubtful whether the blimps have ever read him with attention, any more than they have read the Bible.

Much of what he says they could not possibly approve. Few people who have criticized England from the inside have said bitterer things about her than this gutter patriot. As a rule it is the British working class that he is attacking, but not always. Some of the verses he wrote about the Boer War have a curiously modern ring, so far as their subject-matter goes.

Kipling idealizes the army officer, especially the junior officer, and that to an idiotic extent, but the private soldier, though lovable and romantic, has to be a comic. Very often the result is as embarrassing as the humorous recitation at a church social. This is especially true of his refrains, which often have a truly lyrical quality. Two examples will do one is about a funeral and the other about a wedding: Oh, hark to the big drum calling, Follow me--follow me home!

Grey gun-horses in the lando, And a rogue is married to a whore! Here I have restored the aitches, etc. Kipling ought to have known better. In the ancient ballads the lord and the peasant speak the same language. But even where it makes no difference musically the facetiousness of his stage Cockney dialect is irritating. However, he is more often quoted aloud than read on the printed page, and most people instinctively make the necessary alterations when they quote him.

It is very hard to do so. Any soldier capable of reading a book of verse would notice at once that Kipling is almost unconscious of the class war that goes on in an army as much as elsewhere. It is not only that he thinks the soldier comic, but that he thinks him patriotic, feudal, a ready admirer of his officers and proud to be a soldier of the Queen.

He sees that the soldier is neglected, meanly underpaid and hypocritically despised by the people whose incomes he safeguards. He is accused of glorifying war, and perhaps he does so, but not in the usual manner, by pretending that war is a sort of football match.

Like most people capable of writing battle poetry, Kipling had never been in battle, but his vision of war is realistic.

He knows that bullets hurt, that under fire everyone is terrified, that the ordinary soldier never knows what the war is about or what is happening except in his own corner of the battlefield, and that British troops, like other troops, frequently run away: Modernize the style of this, and it might have come out of one of the debunking war books of the nineteen-twenties.

Was there a man dismayed? If anything, Kipling overdoes the horrors, for the wars of his youth were hardly wars at all by our standards. Perhaps that is due to the neurotic strain in him, the hunger for cruelty. But at least he knows that men ordered to attack impossible objectives ARE dismayed, and also that fourpence a day is not a generous pension. How complete or truthful a picture has Kipling left us of the long-service, mercenary army of the late nineteenth century? One must say of this, as of what Kipling wrote about nineteenth-century Anglo-India, that it is not only the best but almost the only literary picture we have.

He has put on record an immense amount of stuff that one could otherwise only gather from verbal tradition or from unreadable regimental histories. Perhaps his picture of army life seems fuller and more accurate than it is because any middle-class English person is likely to know enough to fill up the gaps.

At any rate, reading the essay on Kipling that Mr. Edmund Wilson has just published or is just about to publish [Note, below], I was struck by the number of things that are boringly familiar to us and seem to be barely intelligible to an American. On about the same level they will be able to learn something of British India in the days when motor-cars and refrigerators were unheard of.

That is the kind of accident that cannot happen. Tolstoy lived in a great military empire in which it seemed natural for almost any young man of family to spend a few years in the army, whereas the British Empire was and still is demilitarized to a degree which continental observers find almost incredible. Civilized men do not readily move away from the centres of civilization, and in most languages there is a great dearth of what one might call colonial literature.

Hauksbee pose against a background of palm trees to the sound of temple bells, and one necessary circumstance was that Kipling himself was only half civilized. The phrases and neologisms which we take over and use without remembering their origin do not always come from writers we admire. Here are half a dozen phrases coined by Kipling which one sees quoted in leaderettes in the gutter press or overhears in saloon bars from people who have barely heard his name.

It will be seen that they all have a certain characteristic in common: East is East, and West is West. What do they know of England who only England know? The female of the species is more deadly than the male. Somewhere East of Suez. There are various others, including some that have outlived their context by many years. It does not matter, from this point of view, that thinking and decent people generally find themselves on the other side of the fence from him.

Linguistic Roots of imperialism. The original meaning of imperialism was a simple one: "imperial government," that is, empire in the classical sense (such as existed in ancient Rome, China, and Greece). In more recent times, imperialism has become synonymous with western hegemony in Africa and Asia from the 18th through the 20th centuries . What is neoliberalism and how did it emerge or come about? This part of the global issues web site looks at this question.

Total 3 comments.
#1 05.09.2018 15:56 Andis:
The anonymous youth

#2 13.09.2018 23:07 Gorgabash:
In general, the writer cheerfully annealed.

#3 18.09.2018 18:58 Gash05:
As usual, the naked writer wrote.