What benefits does Kipling say Westerners bring to non-Europeans?

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In his poem of the same name, Rudyard Kipling asserts that "the White Man's burden" is to civilize non-white populations. Kipling was both a product and a champion of British imperialism, and spent a significant part of his life in India. His poem reflects the attitude of benevolent paternalism common to the British colonial mindset of the late nineteenth and early twentieth-centuries. This attitude is deeply problematic for a number of reasons, not least because it denies non-white populations any agency, treating them like recalcitrant pets who must be brought to heel rather than fully-developed societies with their own complex histories and customs. With that in mind, it's worth remembering that Kipling truly felt the British Empire was a force for good, and his poem embodies the perceived nobility and self-sacrifice of those "White Men" who went out to "dark" places to impose European ideals on the native populations.

Kipling admits that the work of civilization is difficult and...

(The entire section contains 2 answers and 608 words.)

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