The Evolution of Mankind

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The evolution of mankind has resulted to constant change in society which reflects the current day design. The contemporary society can be associated with the development of technology, colonization, industrialization and globalization as well as other elements such as race, power and dominance colonial mentality. These elements have brought other aspects that are found in the contemporary society such as gender inequality and slavery among others. This essay is going to focus more on race, power and dominance colonial mentality.


There are different categories of people in the world. These together make up different races. According to Fozdar (2014) race is defined as the categorization of groups of people on the basis of physical characteristics. These biological features may include skin color, hair type, the shape of the face and shape and color of the eyes.  Dyer (1997) asserts that skin color is the strongest maker of differences.  Fodzar further distinguishes race from racism where the latter signifies ideology and practices that discriminate against people based on assumptions about their biological or cultural inferiority. Racial hierarchy also hinders the economic growth of the discriminated people.

The division of people according to their race results in racism.  For instance, in India where racial hierarchy exists, people of different classes or castes find it difficult to associate with each other. As such, those from high class or castes are not allowed to marry from the lower castes and vice versa.  Goldberg (1993) argues that people have accepted the division into racial categories as natural and universal phenomenon or a law of nature. Despite this acceptance, Michael Banton in his book Racial Theories (1998) has showed how theories about race are influenced by social and political circumstances of the time in which they are developed.

Discrimination is common where racial hierarchy is found. The most common of this is labor discrimination. Staff are recruited and segregated from work depending on their religious beliefs, culture, race and education. Kleiman (2006) explains how workers are discriminated against when racial division is put into practice.  He notes that discrimination could be used on workers during promotion and consideration for compensation. Fanon (1970) in his psychoanalysis of the colonial mentality of indigenous people argues that indigenous people often internalize negative stereotypes about their own people.  They take on the norms, values and opinion of dominant group, accept their inferiority and ultimately support their own domination.

Racial hierarchy hinders economic growth. Following this order, people who are placed in the lower class find it difficult to improve their lives as they are looked down on job opportunities.  They experience insecurity and sometimes massacres as it happened in Rwanda and Burundi in Africa.

 It is here that the Institutions and social changes need to play a big role to strengthen the development processes and the inclusion of the poor people. In order to change the aspect of racial hierarchy, the society need to present opportunities which  leads to expansion of economic opportunities for the disadvantaged people  by making markets work better for poor people and work for their inclusion.

Colonial Dominance Mentality

According to David and Okazaki (2006a) colonial mentality is defined as the ethnic and cultural inferiority, which takes form in valuing the attitudes, beliefs, and behaviors of the dominant or colonizing culture over one’s indigenous culture. It is the perception of ethnic and cultural inferiority, where the colonized people internalize the oppression of the colonizer. On the other hand, colonial dominance is the supremacy of a nation over the other or the power and influence that the colonizing nations exercise over the colonized states.

The colonial dominance mentality runs back to the fifteenth and sixteenth century, when the European nations started expanding their territories outside Europe. There are various factors that led to the expansion of these territories: The industrial revolution where most of the European countries produced more goods than they could consume. They therefore needed markets for their surplus commodities. Apart from this, the Europeans wanted to exercise economic power by controlling the Atlantic slave trade in the West Coast of Africa. The technological advancement allowed Europeans to take lead in navigation and discovery of new lands due to their powerful naval ships which could resist strong oceanic currents.

According to Quijano (2000) colonialism started in the Americas with the European invasion, occupation and exploitation.  The author adds that the motive of the invasion was not only the pursuit of material exploitation and cultural dominance, but also self-glorification. The colonial dominance mentality was that the Europeans were superior to other people. Due to their sophisticated arms, the Europeans could control other people easily. Colonialism was therefore driven by political, economic, cultural and psychological motives.

The development and expansion of colonialism affected the behavior and the life of the colonized people. For instance, the Atlantic Slave trade not only caused immense suffering for persons forced into slavery such as breakage of families, inequality and loss of life, but also enabled Europeans to expand their settlement in new world and earn huge capital for Europeans to finance the industrial revolution (William, 1966).

The Europeans used different strategies in each colonized part of world, such as technologies, diseases and motivations.  For example, the enslavement of African people on the tobacco and cotton farms of the Americas; the military conquests and economic power of the British in India; the transport of convicts to America and Australia; and the role of missionaries and Christian churches in Africa and Asia.

David & Okazaki (2006a) argue that colonial mentality is one of the consequences of colonialism. The logic here is that one has been conditioned to attach more importance to the values of the dominant culture over one’s own. For instance, the French people who came to Africa as colonizers required their African colonies adopt their way of living. To achieve this, the French applied the rule of assimilation where the colonized people were to do everything like them.  The Africans were assimilated into French way of living, although at a certain point the assimilation rule started to experience some challenges.

The colonial dominance mentality manifested itself in different ways among the colonized people. 

The reality of colonial dominance mentality is not only evidenced in Africa where Africans were taken to Europe and America as slaves but also in other parts of the world where colonization took place. For instance, the issues that faced the Aboriginal people in Australia are similar to the issues faced by indigenous peoples around the world. The history of imperialism, deprivation of civil and human rights, oppressive policies and politics are drawn together.


According to Weber (1922) power refers to the ability to exercise one`s will over others. Power has been used in various parts of the world for various purposes such as political, economic and cultural control. Armed power was used by colonial powers to conquer and to alienate land from the colonized states especially in Africa.


Some countries have experienced political dictatorship where the ruling regime had total control over the citizens. This is seen in Libya, Iraq and Brazil in the early 1980s. Levine (1999) in the History of Brazil explains how the military violated human rights during the dictatorship period. Other countries such Cuba went through political and economic dictatorship under Fidel Castro.

                                                            The power of color

In Australia whiteness was seen as an important and a powerful virtue. Whiteness theory indicates that there are significant power and privileges associated with being white. White people were given more power than black people.  As such, they succeeded in education which made it possible to get other privileges and job opportunities.

The rise of human civilization can be told as a story of colonization, warfare and genocide. An example of this is the Rwandan genocide, also known as the genocide against the Tutsi.  In 1990, the Tutsis in Rwanda were massacred during the Rwandan Civil War.  Here, power was at play as the episode was directed by members of the Hutu majority government, where the military participated in an event that saw innocent people lose their lives.

 According to (Foucault 1991) power is a regime of truth that suffuses society which is in constant change and negotiation. The author asserts that apart from sovereign and occasional exercise of power, traditionally centered in medieval states, to force their subjects, a new disciplinary power could be observed in the administrative system and social services that were created in the 18th century in Europe.

This form of power was applied in schools, prisons and mental hospitals where the coordination and assessment never required force and brutality. People learnt to discipline themselves and behave in their expected manner.


The aspects of struggle for power or colonization, racial hierarchy and colonial dominance mentality in contemporary society have affected people in diverse ways. The society need to change the effects of these elements by presenting opportunities which leads to healing and expansion of economic opportunities for the disadvantaged people. The colonial dominance mentality has to change in order to address the structural causes of inequality.  This has already taken effect with the decolonization of the countries which struggled to be free from the colonial dominance.


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August 14, 2023




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