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The Orthodox Nationalist: The Opium Wars and Liberal Imperialism – TON 101619

Dr Matthew Raphael Johnson looks at reasons for getting the Chinese hooked on opium and the way the trade was presented to the British public.

The Opium Wars comprised two separate conflicts spanning 1839 to 1860. It is particularly galling because it involved the profits derived from getting the Chinese hooked on narcotics. China is and has always been an elite, world historic people with a powerful work ethic and one of the world's highest IQs. The empire was the world's largest economy at the time, dominating most of Asia. London was going to end this, and drugs was the weapon of choice.

The conclusion of the wars proved their purpose: the British were given full freedom to pump the country full of drugs while forcing the state to accept all manner of British exports to the detriment of native producers. In fact, China was forced to buy more goods from the British whether they wanted them or not.

Significantly, these wars also featured the deliberate destruction of Chinese cultural artefacts. Soldiers burnt 3000 year old scrolls, ancient manuscripts and works of art. This wasn't "looting" but was explicit state policy. In order to fit traditional China into the British liberal world order, it needed a violent revolution from within. This revolution would be created by free trade ideology on the one hand, and drugs, on the other.

Presented by Matt Johnson

The Orthodox Nationalist: The Opium Wars and Liberal Imperialism – TON 101619 


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