How the British tricked themselves into losing India

Indian independence is an inevitability for Ross. He professes that he fears its outcome for India’s sake as much as Britain’s.

While admitting that Britain’s economic policies were detrimental to India, Colin Ross sees the good outweighing the bad, as colonial rule provided India with “railways, water supplies, hygienic improvements, and medical care.” [p. 403]

Following a strange idealism, Ross claims that Indian independence is a foregone conclusion, because any thought, once expressed “does not rest until it has taken material form.” [p. 402] More instructively, he claims that the British brought India’s struggle for independence upon themselves, as they started to believe their own hypocrisy about colonialism being humanitarian at heart. “One cannot keep on talking about the white man’s burden and still think of nothing but profits.” [p. 402]
This criticism of British colonialism fits in with a more general disdain for universal human values that Ross has shown repeatedly; he rather opts for shared ideals and goals within narrower communities.1 Also, it is reminiscent of the odd text text in which Ross candidly describes racial oppression, even slavery, as a brutal but necessary solution to struggles for resources and white racial supremacy.2

Joachim Schätz

Colin Ross. [Excerpt from] Things Seen in India. The Living Age. 1930 Jun 1; 401–3.

Topic: Colonialism
Case: Oceania-Asia trip 1928-30


1 See: Colin Ross. [Excerpt from] Die drei Wirklichkeiten der Welt. In: Der Wille der Welt: eine Reise zu sich selbst. 1. Aufl. Leipzig: F.A. Brockhaus; 1932; 38–9. See Library.

2 See: Colin Ross. Amerika und das schwarze Weltproblem. Zeitschrift für Geopolitik: 1934 Jul; 11 (2. Halbband (H. 7); 399–409. See Library.

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