Tag: Kipling

The Annotated White Man’s Burden

In February, 1899, Rudyard Kipling, poet laureate of British imperialism, published in McClure’s Magazine a poem for an American audience.  In it, Kipling hailed the brash new imperialists on the block, congratulated us on our recent conquests, and – even as the sun was setting on Victoria’s Age – let would-be 20th-century colonialists know what was in store for those who chose to meet their racial obligations by lifting the unfortunate brown folk out of the mire.

Well, Ruddy, you’ll be pleased to know that we’ve finally taken your advice and shouldered the burden.  Join me, if you will, in the Cave of the Moonbat, where tonight your resident historiorantologist marks his return from life-duties-related exile with a recitation of this old chestnut – and a hearty round of thanks to Mr. Kipling.  After all, without The White Man’s Burden to guide us, we might never have seen any of this coming…