Thanks for your response, Chris, there's a lot of meat to chew through here, but your critical engagement with the article is precisely the kind of thinking needed to continue the war on history. So that is encouraging, if we ignore the casual insults peppered throughout.

I'll start at the top:

I wouldn't use the word conspiracy, I'd call it colonialism. Not-so-unique because, as you said, there were technologically superior states which went on to form empires before Western Europe, and sadly, I'm sure there will be others which follow. I don't see how your reference to Europe's "sudden burst of progress" negates this argument.

Yes, history is complex and faction-ridden. The end of slavery and the dismantling of the empire continues to cause controversy between rival factions within the British establishment. This, however, doesn't negate that colonialism (or the conspiracy, as you call it) existed for hundreds of years.

As for side-stepping democratic principles, no. Side-stepping direct democracy, such as the referendum which has torn the UK apart over the last four years, yes. Democracy means entrusting the will of the people to the government. Democracy is more than just holding elections, the Chinese regime holds elections and we'd not argue that it fulfilled the criteria for democracy, would we? An intrinsic principle of democracy is majority rule with minority rights. The protection of minorities is a pillar of democracy and regimes such as the UK and US are failing this principle right now.

You've made some interesting points, however, aside from a terminology dispute near the beginning, these points do not contradict the article.

China specialist, feminist, political scientist in progress. Reviews, socialism & everyday academia. Low-brow, no jargon/acronyms. Editor of The Open Bookshelf.