The Other McCain

"One should either write ruthlessly what one believes to be the truth, or else shut up." — Arthur Koestler

Have The Dutch Torn Down All Their Statues and Renamed All Their Streets?

Posted on | July 1, 2023 | Comments Off on Have The Dutch Torn Down All Their Statues and Renamed All Their Streets?

Obviously it’s just a matter of time:

Dutch King Willem-Alexander has apologized for his country’s historic involvement in slavery and its ongoing repercussions, as the Netherlands on Saturday begins an official event to mark 150 years since the end of slavery in Dutch colonies.
The king issued his apology during a speech marking the event.
“Today I’m standing here in front of you as your king and as part of the government. Today I am apologising myself,” Willem-Alexander said. “And I feel the weight of the words in my heart and my soul.”
The king commissioned a study into the exact role the Dutch royal family, the House of Orange-Nassau, played in slavery in the Netherlands.
He asked for forgiveness “for the clear failure to act in the face of this crime against humanity.”
Thousands of descendants from the former Dutch colony of Suriname and the Dutch overseas territories of Aruba, Bonaire and Curacao are attending celebrations in Amsterdam.
The event has been dubbed “Keti Koti,” meaning “breaking chains” in Sranan Togo, a Creole language spoken in Suriname.
Queen Maxina and Prime Minister Mark Rutte are also expected to attend Keti Koti commemorations. . . .
Last December, Rutte apologized for slavery on behalf of the Dutch government.
A number of Dutch cities, including Amsterdam, issued their own apologies before the prime minister did so.
Beginning in the 17th Century, the Netherlands grew into one of Europe’s major colonial powers and was responsible for about 5% of the trans-Atlantic slave trade.
Some 600,000 slaves were transported from Africa to colonies in the Americas, and many Javanese and Balinese people were enslaved and taken to South Africa under Dutch colonial rule.
The Netherlands officially abolished slavery on July 1, 1863. However, slaves continued working on plantations in the Dutch Caribbean for another decade before abolition was put into practice.

As I said quite recently:

If one studies slavery from a global and historical perspective, the idea of a transtemporal collective grievance ā€” an idea Thomas Sowell addresses in The Quest for Cosmic Justice ā€” is simply absurd. To carry around permanent grudges over the practices of antiquity is a foolish posture. 

Sowell addressed the issue of colonialism more specifically in Conquests and Cultures: An International History, the general point of which is that the endless anti-American guilt-tripping by “progressives” over our nation’s history is based on ignorance. Almost everybody everywhere in the world has, at one time or another, been either a “victim” or “oppressor,” as such things as judged by the Social Justice Warriors who insist that we should feel ashamed if we are one or two notches above anyone else on the socioeconomic hierarchy. Just yesterday, for example, I was re-reading Winston Churchill’s account of the English Civil War, when King Charles was beheaded and various of the aristocracy who supported his Royalist (“Cavalier”) cause had their property stolen by supporters of the victorious Republican (“Roundhead”) faction. After about a dozen years of Puritan dictatorship, when the English finally decided they’d be better off with a king, Charles II was welcomed to take the crown under an agreement that stipulated, among other things, that the properties seized during the Civil War would not be returned to their previous owners. So the heirs of various dukes and earls were never compensated for their lost property. No “social justice” for them.

Well, so much for the disinherited and expropriated English Royalists. What about the former Dutch colony of Suriname?

It has a population of approximately 612,985, dominated by descendants from the slaves and labourers brought in from Africa and Asia by the Dutch Empire and Republic. . . .
Europeans arrived in the 16th century, with the Dutch establishing control over much of the country’s current territory by the late 17th century. During the Dutch colonial period, Suriname was a lucrative source of sugar, its plantation economy driven by African slave labour, and after abolition of slavery in 1863, by indentured servants from Asia, predominantly from British India, as well as the Dutch East Indies. . . .
In 1667, during negotiations leading to the Treaty of Breda after the Second Anglo-Dutch War, the Dutch decided to keep the nascent plantation colony of Surinam they had gained from the English. In return the English kept New Amsterdam, the main city of the former colony of New Netherland in North America on the mid-Atlantic coast. The British renamed it New York City, after the Duke of York who would later become King James II of England. . . .

(Excellent bargain you made there, Dutch colonialists!)

The Netherlands abolished slavery in Suriname in 1863, under a gradual process that required slaves to work on plantations for 10 transition years for minimal pay, which was considered as partial compensation for their masters. After that transition period expired in 1873, most freedmen largely abandoned the plantations where they had worked for several generations in favor of the capital city, Paramaribo. Some of them were able to purchase the plantations they worked on, especially in the district of Para and Coronie. Their descendants still live on those grounds today. . . .
As a plantation colony, Suriname had an economy dependent on labor-intensive commodity crops. To make up for a shortage of labor, the Dutch recruited and transported contract or indentured laborers from the Dutch East Indies (modern Indonesia) and India (the latter through an arrangement with the British, who then ruled the area). In addition, during the late 19th and early 20th centuries, small numbers of laborers, mostly men, were recruited from China and the Middle East. . . .
The largest ethnic group are Indians [i.e., descendants of laborers brought from India], who form over a quarter of the population (27.4%). . . . If counted as one ethnic group, the Afro-Surinamese are the largest community, at around 37.4%; however, they are usually divided into two cultural/ethnic groups: the Creoles and the Maroons. Surinamese Maroons, whose ancestors are mostly runaway slaves that fled to the interior, comprise 21.7% of the population. . . . Surinamese Creoles, mixed people descending from African slaves and Europeans (mostly Dutch), form 15.7% of the population. . . . Javanese make up 14% of the population, and like the East Indians, descend largely from workers contracted from the island of Java in the former Dutch East Indies (modern Indonesia). . . .
A small but influential number of Europeans remain in the country, comprising about 1% of the population.

Very interesting. Now, per capital gross domestic product:

Netherlands ….. $61,098
Suriname ………… $5,556

You can hear all the SJWs screaming: “RAAAAACISM!”

But instead of comparing Suriname’s per capital GDP to the Netherlands (the world’s 11th-richest country), let’s compare it to two countries where the ancestors of modern-day Surinamese came from:

Suriname ………… $5,556
Indonesia ……….. $5,016
India ……………….. $2,601

Now, compare to a few nations of the “Slave Coast” of Africa:

Suriname ………… $5,556
Angola …………….. $3,204
Ivory Coast ………. $2,646
Nigeria …………… $2,280
Senegal …………… $1,719
Cameroon ………. $1,699
Guinea …………… $1,549

It is not a defense of slavery, nor of 17th-century Dutch colonial policy, to point out that the modern descendants of slaves in Suriname are demonstrably better off than residents of many African nations. However, it is a useful antidote to the idiotic social-justice mentality that leads to the absurd spectacle of the King of the Netherlands confessing to his personal guilt in “this crime against humanity.ā€ Right, and I’m still waiting for an apology from the King of England for the various “crimes against humanity” perpetrated against my Scottish ancestors.

Only from what Sowell calls the “cosmic justice” perspective does this kind of guilt-tripping make sense: “Let’s all point fingers about what happened 200 or 300 years ago, because that’s easier than finding practical ways to deal with the problems we have in the here and now!”

Meanwhile, some Dutch guy is reading my blog and saying, “Wait a minute — we traded New York to the English for freaking Suriname? What a rip-off! Let’s make the English apologize for that swindle!”

BWAHAHAHAHA! Sucks to be you, Dutch guy.




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