Un impérialisme revendiqué

LONDRES – L’Histoire ne rend pas de verdicts définitifs. Les évolutions majeures des évènements et du pouvoir entrainent de nouveaux sujets de discussions et de nouvelles interprétations.

Il y a cinquante ans, alors que le processus de décolonisation s’accélérait, personne ne trouvait de termes positifs pour parler de l’impérialisme. Il était immanquablement mal considéré, par les ex-impérialistes comme par leurs sujets libérés. On apprenait aux écoliers les horreurs du colonialisme, comment il avait exploité les populations conquises. Il était peu, ou même pas question des bénéfices de l’impérialisme.

Puis, dans les années 80, est apparue une histoire révisionniste. Ce n’était pas uniquement que le temps prête un certain charme à n’importe quelle vision. L’Occident – principalement sa partie anglo-américaine – avait retrouvé un certain niveau de fierté et de cran sous la présidence américaine de Ronald Reagan et le mandat de premier ministre britannique de Margaret Thatcher. Puis vinrent les signes de plus en plus évidents de l’échec, de la violence et de la corruption des régimes post-coloniaux, surtout en Afrique.

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