The book the heart of darkness looks at the Victorian perspective and the efforts of a white man to civilize the black man. The role of men and women in shaping the political environment of the time has also been looked at. The current changes that have happened live modern philosophers believing that some of the stories of imperialism are mythical and can hence not be proved. The fact however remains that the past political environment helped shaped the current scene. In this paper, we shall be looking at the mythical perspective of the book ‘heart of darkness’ in relation to imperialism and modernism.
The title, the heart of darkness signifies various things in relation to imperialism and modernism. For instances, darkness signifies the dark leadership that the citizens of the African citizens were exposed to yet they were blinded to see its evil. They had been so much accustomed to such kind of dictatorial leadership that it never clicked their minds that they were being manipulated. The deliverance that came their way was however also manipulative though it was done in a different perspective. The white person came with the aim of studying the great culture that was being practiced by the African community yet in the real sense, he wanted to overturn the leadership that was undermining the African people. Leadership is key to every country and no person can live without leadership. However, the world has had to deal with poor governance. Despite the negativity that is held against such leadership, it has turned out to be vital especially in cautioning people against poor governance.
The heart of darkness appear to be a mythical story in the sense that it does not give a clear timeline of when the events happened and the affected countries. However, analysing the story, we realise that it is a general trend happening both in the white and black dominated countries. Democracy is a form of leadership that has been deemed to be practiced by several countries. This however remains a theoretical word that is used for such leadership. In Africa, there is a lot of voter manipulation where they are either enticed to vote in certain leaders or contrary leaders find themselves in government. Most countries and especially in the African and Asian countries are dominated by selfish and greedy leaders who do not necessarily have the interest of the people at heart.
Just when the people feel they have voted in leaders who had good and visionary strategies to develop the ordinary man, they realise that it was only a strategy to get them into power to satisfy their personal interests. It is even worse when such leaders are not willing to step down from their positions especially when they have been proven not to deliver on what they had promised. The whites on the other hand who display themselves to be real saviours of such nations employ other manipulative strategies towards African state. They in fact take advantage of the fact that they are desperate for a leadership that will grant them economic empowerment. They use the leaders to gain access to their resources with the promise of boosting the economy (Conrad 54). The help, which comes in form of grants, end up being an area where the western countries gain control of important resources.
Imperialism has always been related to history and not considered an issue in the modern world. This is mainly because of the specific actions such as direct manipulation of the poor by leaders. There was a wide gap between those in government positions and the ordinary citizens. Despite the fact that the majority of the voters are living in poor conditions, they still vote in for leaders who care less about their economic development. Despite the minimum resources they have, they still have to pay taxes which are not well utilized for economic development. Even though many citizens are not living in such poor states right now, there is still a very wide gap between those who are in leadership and the ordinary citizens that carry the vote. There is a slight reverse on how imperialism is exercised in a deemed democratic environment.
The devolution system of government ensures that people of all categories to represent in the government. However, once such people get into such positions of leadership and are all of a sudden exposed to a lot of power and money, they forget the main objective of them being in leadership. The leaders are polluted either by others who have been in such positions before, or simply realise that they are in government for a short period. They therefore use every opportunity to gather wealth. Campaigning for a leadership position in today’s society is like looking for an opportunity to enrich oneself within a short period. Political enemies are created when one has gathered enough wealth and there is need for them to grab the opportunity. This hence implies that in as much as people have the will power to vote in the kind of leadership that they desire, they are not guaranteed of good governance.
The book the heart of darkness reveals some of the issues that lead to political enmity between and among states. As local leaders look out for ways they can enrich themselves and gain popularity, western states look for loopholes where they can benefit from the resources. Most of the targeted African and Asian nations are those that are rich in minerals. There is a lot that happens between the leaders and other foreign companies, which ultimately lead to civil wars (Sivanandan 15). One of the main reasons why many African states that are rich in resources are still poor or fighting instability in the government is simply because of some international interference. Just because the nations do not have the capacity to process and utilize the resource they have, they tend to seek help from external forces.
Imperialism is form of political manipulation whose form keeps changing with modernism. Politicians only have to look for indirect means that will make them appear nice to the people yet in reality, they are playing games with their resources. One of the strategies that is used is to bring in development projects that will ultimately not be well accounted for. Citizens are forced to pay higher taxes just to fund them yet the amount of money that is being siphoned into individual people’s pockets is unimaginable. Bills that favour a certain class of people are also passed at the expense of the majority of citizens. It has always been assumed that modern systems of government will avert imperialism yet it appears as if the system is taking a more dangerous twist.
Conrad, Joseph. Heart of darkness. Macmillan, 2010.
Sivanandan, A. "New circuits of imperialism." Race & Class 30.4 (1989): 1-19.