What is the meaning of "Britain's Imperial Dynasty" by Wilfred Blunt?

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Wilfred Scawen Blunt was renowned throughout his lifetime for his consistent—and very public—hostility toward British imperialism. As a member of the social elite, Blunt might have been expected to support Britain's imperial mission. Indeed, he'd served as a diplomat for over a decade, placing him at the very heart of...

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Wilfred Scawen Blunt was renowned throughout his lifetime for his consistent—and very public—hostility toward British imperialism. As a member of the social elite, Blunt might have been expected to support Britain's imperial mission. Indeed, he'd served as a diplomat for over a decade, placing him at the very heart of Britain's foreign policy establishment. Yet Blunt developed an implacable hostility towards British imperialism. His involvement in agitation against British rule in Ireland even landed him a short spell in prison.

In the extracts from his diary that constitute "Britain's Imperial Destiny," Blunt offers a scathing critique of what he sees as the sham of the so-called civilizing mission of empire. He frankly welcomes what he hopes will be the imminent demise of the British Empire, describing it as "the greatest engine of evil for the weak races now existing in the world." In a highly colorful metaphor Blunt likens the Empire to gangrene, which doesn't just infect indigenous peoples but also the British themselves, endangering their hard-won ancient liberties.

Blunt is equally withering in his assessment of British imperialists' contempt for international law. He details a conversation he had with a junior minister in the War Office in which the minister frankly reveals that international law as it applies to Africa simply means the interests and understandings of Western colonial powers. Issues of right and wrong are of no concern, the minister goes on; it's all about the economic interests of the Empire. They are what matter above all else. The details of this conversation are intended to reveal the cynicism of the Western colonial powers in using the cover of international law to exploit the African continent.

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This document, a scathing critique of imperialism, was actually excerpted from Wilfred Scawen Blunt's diary entries. Blunt was a Conservative politicians who disagreed with the current policy of imperialism. Writing in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, Blunt argued that imperialism was bad for Great Britain. He claimed that it corrupted the morality of the British people and that it would eventually lead to conflict with other imperial nations, as well as the people who lived in the territories where the British were attempting to gain influence:

We have now managed in the last six months to quarrel violently with China, Turkey, Belgium, Ashanti, France, Venezuela, America, and Germany. This is a record performance, and if it does not break up the British Empire nothing will...[T]he British Empire is the greatest engine of evil for the weak races now existing in the world....The gangrene of colonial rowdyism is infecting us, and the habit of repressing liberty in weak nations is endangering our own. I should be glad to see the end....

He excoriated British imperialists (and those in other imperialist nations) for their hypocrisy and brutality, and foresaw that the drive for imperialism would lead to the decline not just of the British Empire, as mentioned in the quote, but in the decline of Great Britain as a whole. In short, he argued that imperialism was immoral, destructive, expensive, and a dangerous course to follow.

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