Before the Nazis, there were the Colonialists, and it is very rare to hear anyone say that the colonising nations, of which Great Britain was the most successful, were worse.
Last night’s Empire, Making a Fortune, made a contribution to altering this.
England was the empire on which the sun never set, perhaps it wasn’t the sun that propelled this tiny nation into becoming a world power.
After beginning as pirates – Somali pirates may have something to say about that today – some of the worst and most selfish of human beings on earth set up sugar plantations in the West Indies where slaves shipped in from Africa – we all know how they came here, and a third would die within the first three years – were then treated as property with arbitrary punishments meted out because the man in charge could.
Jeremy Paxman read an account written by one slave owner, Thomas Thislewood of how he spent the day inflicting punishments on his property during three months in 1756.
Darwin, he wrote, had to punished for eating sugar cane so he was flogged, pickled and then Hector was told to shit in his mouth.
Thislewood was proud about the numbers of female slaves he raped, over a thousand by his own admission.
Then, every Sunday, he and his other plantation owners would meet to thank the Lord, for they were good Christian folk.
Exactly who were these people and how they came to be like this, is something that I suppose you could never understand.
This is what the word RAW truly means, that is raw greed, envy, superiority – all the basest instincts known to man.
And they are of course the very cold emotions that created and drove the Nazis.