Civilization has us believe that humans should strive toward advancement, and if a culture isn't striving for advancement, it's due to confusion or some other exploitative and condescending reason. It's easy to forget that all advanced cultures developed through a process and didn't just immediately blossom, yet when one is a part of an advanced culture, historical development seems more like a fancy story than an actual process driven by actual people.
When Orwell fled Spain due to Nationalist takeover, he landed in the small pastoral village of Marrakech, Morocco. There, the black laborers had become invisible, indistinguishable from the very landscape they worked. How? Why? Pages 121-122: "When you walk through a town like this--two hundred thousand inhabitants, of whom at least twenty thousand own literally nothing except the rags they stand up in--when you see how the people live, and still more how easily they die, it is always difficult to believe that you are walking among human beings. All colonial empires are in reality founded upon that fact. The people have brown faces--besides, there are so many of them! Are they really the same flesh as yourself? Do they even have names?"
Human beings have a 100% mortality rate, yet according to Orwell colonial empires (I take that as a metaphor for civilization) view the Marrakech's high young mortality rate as idiotic, because it assumes that people should have a longer life if the means are at all possible. No human in their right mind would subject themselves to this treatment! Hence, this assumption is what makes them invisible. They cultivate vegetables in a cracked, arid land, surviving with very little water, and have no use to market themselves to "improve" their situation because that'd use precious energy, plus they don't even know of the oily concept in the first place. Maybe civilization is the one at a loss here; it seems it's lost the bearing on how to recognize precious, useful and necessary energy, and how fragile we all really are.
What's interesting about the relationship between those in power and those only asserting empowerment is that although those seeking empowerment keep their noses to themselves and do their work, those in power go out of their way to teach them about power. What better way is there to control someone than to teach them that's just the way it is? On page 126: "As they went past a tall, very young negro turned and caught my eye. But the look he gave me was not in the least the kind of look you might expect. Not hostile, not contemptuous, not sullen, not even inquisitive. It was the shy, wide-eyed negro look, which actually is the look of profound respect. I saw how it was. This wretched boy, who is a French citizen and has therefore been dragged from the forest to scrub floors and catch syphilis in garrison towns, actually has feeling of reverence before a white skin. He has been taught that the white race are his masters, and he still believes it."
So the colonial man pitied the black man, yet used him as a source of power. Although distinctly significant to the Marrakech, this power play between those in power and those deprived of power, is still a manipulation done to this day, though utilizing much more invasive and
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