Talk:New Imperialism/Archive 5

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Talk:New Imperialism/Linking to the alternative version from the top of the article
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Ortolan88 already explained the importance of that paragraph. 172

As you can see above, Ortolan88 has not made any statements regarding this paragraph since my initial move of the text to imperialism. Vera Cruz

They're probably not online or something. They're also sick of you, with your dozens of unwanted, unacceptable "minor" edits to this article.

lol Vera Cruz

You're not the final word on this article, Vera Cruz. So far I think that Ortolan88's paragraph is essential for understanding what distinguishes this era of imperialism from others; you do as well, but you seem to want to sabotage the clarity of the article on the basis of a technicality.

Let's get Ortolan88's opinion since we have this disagreement.


So go call him or something? Why is it so essential to restate text from imperialism here, text which is not about this era, but rather a discussion of the origins of a word/phrase. Vera Cruz

To close the book on this discussion, as noted below I dropped out of the New Imperialism because I could not stomach dealing with Vera Cruz. I do believe it is important for this article titled NewImperialism to include an explanation of what is new about it and I am glad to see that it is back again. (And glad that VC is gone.) I only got sucked into this whole thing because I asked the innocent question, "What's new about it?". Ortolan88

the term, imperialism was used in reference to policies of the Roman Empire. In the 20th century, the term has been used to describe the policies of both the Soviet Union and the United States although analytically these differed greatly from each the subect... Vera Cruz

I have a constructive proposition:

I will never edit this article again, which I started and largely wrote, if Vera Cruz stops working on it permanently. Let’s leave it to Ortolan88, Slrubenstein, Tannin, etc.

Other users: endorse this idea. I’m tired of having to obstruct the bulk of Vera Cruz’s asinine deletions.


Why should u get to work on an article and not me? Besides, Im not deleting something, Im moving it. Little difference there... Vera Cruz

No. I'm saying that I'll stop working on this article if you stop working on it. That simple.


Right, but you already worked on it and Im still waiting for my turn. Vera Cruz

Your "turn"?

Who the hell knows what you would do to this thing with your last "turn". LET'S BOTH STOP NOW! You're the person who deletes 90% of an article and calls it "minor".


I have a right to make edits to your golden prose. Vera Cruz

Wouldn't it be easier if we both stoped working on this article today, leaving it to Ortolan88, Slrubenstein, and Tannin?


Sure would. It'd be easier to just quit doing everything and sit around all day bloating in the sun. Vera Cruz

I will accept your deletion of that important paragraph (hopefully another user will restore it) if you promise that that one revert will be your last change to this article. If so, I will never touch this article again either.


Im glad to hear that you agree and I can continue to edit the rest of the article. Vera Cruz

That isn't what 172 meant, Vera. Do you really have trouble understanding what people say, or are you being childish? -- Tarquin 23:35 Jan 18, 2003 (UTC)

I understood what 172 meant, he meant, "You should never edit this article because I disagree with your edits." That is childish. Vera Cruz

No, he didn't. he was suggesting that you and he BOTH stop working on this article, and let other Wikipedians try and work on the NPOV. I think it would be a good idea, at least for a few weeks. --- Tarquin 01:28 Jan 19, 2003 (UTC)

We already tried that, very little was done on the article. I would think the proper course of action would be to discuss the article rather than engaging in petty flame wars as a means to settle disputes. Vera Cruz

Vera Cruz:

Tannin and Ortolan88 would be happy to work on this article once we have both stopped editing it. Those conversations are posted on my talk page. Please, refrain from editing this article once again. If and only if you do, I won’t touch it again.


I don't mind if you edit this article. I don't appreciate your attempts to prevent me from doing likewise. Vera Cruz

Lir, aka Vera Cruz:

You’ve driven away Ortolan88, Tannin, and Slrubenstein from this article already. As one user said, you’re already on borrowed time. Dismember this article, and those three users would be glad to revamp it once you’re banned again.


I haven't driven them away. Vera Cruz

Lir, aka Vera Cruz:

Oh, yes you did: (172)

the following inset quotes are from 172's home page, quoted here by 172, but marked off as quotes by me, Tannin, because I would not have spoken so frankly or personally in this page. And I'm extending the same courtesy to Ortolan, who's comment (quoted from the same place) follows.

"172, I don't think I can be much help. I cannot reason with VC once she takes it into her head to start "improving" an article with a thousand cuts and changes any more than you can. I don't mean that the task is difficult, I mean that the task, so far as I can tell, is impossible. It makes no real difference if there are dozens of other contributors bringing evidence and reasoned argument to the task: once VC has decided to "improve" an article it just becomes a mindless edit war until she either gets her way or makes a tactical withdrawl in order to concentrate on "improving" something else for a while. Sometimes, these really are improvements. I'm not sure if this is evidence of an intermittent desire to contribute useful information; a camouflage tactic for the real intent; or simply examples of the usual random changes which just happen to be useful ones.
"The only two things you can do, so far as I can see, are (a) resign yourself to an eternity of filling up the Wiki database with endless reversions when you could be doing something productive, or (b) on VC's arrival, give up on whatever article she is infesting and go elsewhere.
"Here in Australia there is a species of bird called the Noisy Miner, a type of honeyeater. When miners arrive in an area of forest, they aggressivily chase all other creatures out, even ones much bigger than themselves, and then settle down to eat the lerps. (Lerps are the sugary secretions of a leaf-sucking insect, they form little white spots on the eucalyptus leaves.) Unlike other lerp-eating birds, miners take the secretion but do not eat the insect itself. In consequence, the lerp psyllids multiply explosively. This provides the colony of noisy miners with ample food, but eventually destroys the trees that the lerps are parasitic on. The patch of forest dies and the miners move on to invade another area, leaving their former colony empty. Slowly, it begins to recover, other creatures are free to move back in, and life goes on.
"The admins banned VC some time ago (under the name "Lir" and before I was here) but seem to have decided to ignore this renewed presence under another name. I have no idea why.
"As I wrote on the mailing list (you can find it by clicking here, it would take only a week or so to turn New Imperialism into a truly excellent article which people from all sides of the political spectrum could agree with. But to do that we must be able to work together in a cooperative spirit. I cannot see any realistic possibility of that happening until VC moves on to another part of the Wiki forest."
"A PS: I really do recommend that you take one of those links to the mailing list above. (Or just click here.) You can read this month's messages there, and click "refresh" now and then to read the latest ones. If you want to contribute, you have to do it by email. (Yes, email lists are primitive and very user-unfriendly, but my guess is that this format is retained for a good reason, which I won't bore you with here.) If you do want to say something on the list at any time and find the procedure difficult to understand, just drop a note on my talk page and I'll walk you through it. User:Tannin"
"172, thanks for asking, but I just do not have the stomach for dealing with Vera Cruz. It is too upsetting. My best contribution is to go off to some other topic where I can be productive and hope that VC doesn't find me and decide to make a mess of that one too. It is the contention, the enraged response, the endless discussion, that feeds VC and I don't care to feed VC. I do wish you'd join us on the mailing list as suggested by several people above, including Jimbo Wales, who owns the server and originated the idea of the Wikipedia. I have just sent mail to the list pointing out that VC is Lir (as many others have) and that Lir is banned and so should be VC. I have defended you on that same list, perhaps not in ways you would personally care for, but vouching for your sincerity." User:Ortolan88

I made some minor changes to the article: I reverted to restore Ortolan88's (I think it was his, apologies if I am wrong) paragraph on etymology; I deleted a redundant paragraph on what "new" means; I changed betwixt (sorry, we didn't use this in Brooklyn) to between; and in the intro I put in the dates again -- a paragraph should not begin with a deictic (During "this" period). Slrubenstein

Slrubenstein, thanks for coming back to the article.


Note for all who are not already aware of it: Vera Cruz has been banned. I might not be able to spend any time here for a few days - the bushfire situation here in Australia is pretty serious just now and I have to go and help a friend with a country property - but I look forward to seeing 172 and SLR turning this into a really good article. Perhaps it is time to archive all this talk off and start a fresh page. Tannin 21:42 Jan 19, 2003 (UTC)

I deleted some up the subheadings for "The Decline of Pax Britanica and the Rise of NI" because I don't think they reflected a logical structure. I don't propose any new content but I do think there can still be some reorganization of this section and new subheadings. I'll work on it if I have time and invite otehrs to as well, Slrubenstein

I firmly disagree. Each heading lists separate, albeit interconnected, trends associated with the rise of formal colonialism in the late nineteenth century. They were important for the article’s organization. This format was preferable, as there is not the degree of historical consensus that could justify weaving all of these subtopics into a single narrative. Although Slrubenstein has improved the article in many ways, and has been an invaluable contributor, I’m going to revert the former version since its organization had been accepted for so long.

Let’s in the mean time wait to find out what other contributors think.


172, I made some minor changes to the major headings which I think are simply a matter of style, I hope you will let this go -- for my part, I will not argue with you about the section headings. But as a less-informed (i.e. ideal) reader, let me express to you one concern that perhaps you can work on. In general, I believe people often mix up "causes" for what the thing itself is. In this article, it is just hard for me to distinguish between what "New Imperialism" is -- not just as a state policy, but as a historical phenomenon -- versus what the "causes" were. I know this is a complex issue, I just think a good article will sort this out reasonably clearly for ignorant people like myself. When you have a little more detachment, can you go through the section on causes and see if you can make this distinction clearer? Thanks, Slrubenstein


Since the topic is the “causes”, the individual sub-topics will help non-expert readers sort out the seemingly diverse rages of causes. For quick reference, it is necessary to note where exactly the article will address certain varied trends such as “the amalgamation of industry” and “Russian expansionism” that are associated with the rapid ascendancy of formal colonialism in the late nineteenth century.

I believe that Mav had earlier emphasized the needs for quick-reference headings. He was correct; a non-expert reader will be thrown off by an article that goes from discussing why academics have linked this phenomenon to the concentration of industry by finance to discussing Britain’s preoccupation with Russian expansionism.

We know that Lord Curzon and Disraeli, for instance, were particularly concerned with securing intrinsically important zones of investment with extrinsically significant, strategic “buffer zones”, that the prospects of a Russian encroachment towards the Suez Canal and towards India haunted British statesmen until the Russo-Japanese War. But the non-expert reader will wonder how the Czar was related to economic trends in Britain, for example. That’s why the headings were there, to help guide the reader through an article on a very complex historical phenomenon (complex is an understatement). The headings mark where the article will shift course.

There’s the NPOV matter as well. If this were not an NPOV encyclopedia article, I’d favor using World-Systems theory to explain the “causes of New Imperialism” in a single narrative. But since this is an encyclopedia article we have to present some very controversial topics under the banner of certain headings. Under each heading, the article explained why some historians have emphasized certain trends, including trends wholeheartedly rejected by some scholars. That way, we’re not endorsing certain interpretations, but giving a brief overview of certain points of view regarding the “causes”. The headings, thus, were there to guide non-expert readers.

Let’s see what other contributors think. In the meantime, I’ll revert the version that’s been accepted for the past month.


172, I am not arguing with you and I did not change the subheadings; nor did I make any change of content at all. I was merely pointing out an issue and suggesting a direction for further work. What is wrong with that? Slrubenstein

The heading in bold were gone. That's the problem. They're important!


172, I think we are miscommunicating because of time-delay. Yes, I originally deleted those headings, and I gave a reason. Yes, you put the headings back in, and gave me your reason. At that point I accepted your reasons and did NOT revert your change; I did not remove the headings in bold a second time. I did make some what I considered very minor changes to the larger headings (e.g. inserting a colon) -- and I did raise some questions that I would like you and others to consider about the relationship -- and differences -- between "NI" and its "causes." I continue to maintain that this is a reasonable concern, topic for discussion, and soemthing that can be addressed through further work in the article. Frankly, you seem to be getting reactive and defensive and I do not understand why. Editing an article is a process of negotiation in which all of us are involved. I made a change, you changed it back and explained why, and I respected that. Why, though, when I raise further concerns do you react this way? Please, slow down and before you revert or react check and make sure you understand what changes were made. Slrubenstein

Sorry for the misunderstanding. I thought that they were gone once again. 172

look, I am glad we sorted it out and I appreciate the apology. I assure you that I am not going to make and significant change without explaining it, and that if you raise objections I will wait until we have been able to hash it out without making any other changes, Slrubenstein

I was just passing through and couldn't help but wonder why a reader of this page would need to know the origins and complete history of the word "imperialism" before they could understand the rest of the text. I then glanced at imperialism and was amazed to discover that this text is repeated there, nearly verbatim!

Is it possible we can make this article shorter by including a polite request that a reader interested in learning about said subject could instead go to the article devoted to the history, meaning, connotation, and application of the word in question? Vera Cruz

I've been busy lately, but I'll be back.

Vera Cruz: please consult Tannin, Slrubenstein, Ortolan88 or me before beginning to make changes this time. Take in mind that the current state of the article seems fine to the vast majority of the contributors.


In principle, I agree with VC that the paragraph on etymology is a little too much, and distracting. But as 172 points out, a lot of people worked hard on this and we should discuss alternatives before making actual changes. Offhand, I think that perhaps it can be moved into the section "introduction" and edited a little, Slrubenstein

That section by Ortolan88 on the definition of imperialism is essential. Remember, this article was nearly scrapped because some contributors, Zoe in particular, couldn’t even recognize why this era differed from earlier periods of empire-building.

Remember, given the title, readers will want to know what makes this era “new”.

I'll resume making contributions soon.