Intervention philosophy is an ideological justification for outsiders or intruders to guide native peoples in specific directions. Intervention philosophy can also be applied to economic development plans. According to Bodley, says that the basic belief behind interventions has been the same for over 100 years. Whether by colonists, missionaries, governments, countries, or development planners, intervention schemes follow the same basic outline. The belief is that industrialization, Westernization, individualism, and modernization are universally desirable evolutionary advances and that the institution of these schemes will produce long-term benefits to a local people. In an extreme form, intervention philosophy is a battle between the superior wisdom of the enlightened colonial or First World power against the conservative, ignorant, and obsolete local people.
Intervention philosophy is also manifested when governments deal with resources that are found on tribal lands. Driven by deficits, debt, and greed, the government seeks to acquire as much wealth as possible while intruding on tribal territories. The result has been the global intrusion on indigenous people and their local ecosystems and resources by construction of highways, mining, hydroelectric plants, ranching, lumbering, agriculture, and planned colonization.
The intervention philosophy used by the British during the peak of imperialism was The White Man's Burden, which was also a poem written by Rudyard Kipling. Kipling wrote the poem in an effort to get the United States to develop the newly acquired Philippines. The U.S. had won the Philippines from Spain after the Spanish-American War.
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- John Bodley (1988)
- Phillip, Conrad. (2005). Window on Humanity. New York: McGraw-Hill