Chapter One – Liberalism and Eurocentrism

Notes on Eurocentrism


Black-and-white sketched cartoon of European colonist standing on Africa with his legs and arms spread out. His stance and his hat in his hands mimics the victory of Cecil John Rhodes, the man pictured, when he announced plans for a telegraph line and railroad.
The Rhodes Colossus: Caricature of Cecil John Rhodes, after he announced plans for a telegraph line and railroad from Cape Town to Cairo


  • World view that privileges the trajectory of Europe over the trajectory of BIPOC
  • Progress envisioned as control of nature in pursuit of profit
  • Characterizes BIPOC, non-Europeans as inferior to Whites
  • Places BIPOC in a mythical state of nature. Rousseau’s “Savage”
  • Refers to colonization of BIPOC as a “White Man’s Burden” to save the “savages” from themselves and “help” them to “progress”

Eurocentric Myths

  • Human civilization is seen as a trajectory that departed from a state of nature and culminated in Europe. All other experiences are deemed as “pre-civilized” or “primitive” or “underdeveloped”
  • The differences between Europe and non-Europe are naturalized, and racialized, that is, blamed on the “race” of BIPOC. This racialization constitutes an erasure of past atrocities committed by imperial armies and the Catholic Church. Racializing and normalizing these differences allows Europe to hide the results of Europes’ imperialism and colonization. It hides how European countries depleted non-Western areas of their wealth and their people, through the forced extraction of natural resources and the enslavement of their population.
Simple double-sided arrow timeline labeled with some major events pertaining to European Colonization Timeline.
European Colonization Timeline by Graciela Monteagudo


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