Many men hate what they admire

This is so, writes Dalrymple,

especially when they admire it from afar and it is unattainable for a long time. When they are in a position to do so, therefore, they both imitate and destroy, crushing with delectation those who kept them for so long from the enjoyment of what they admired. They revenge themselves on those whom they envied and admired.

Dalrymple avers that humiliation is

a much-underestimated factor in the revolt against colonialism, and the history of both anti-colonialism and post-colonialism.

As is so often the case with revolts, those who led the revolt in Africa

were not themselves the worst off, far from it; they were the educated few who, instead of being incorporated into the colonial élite as partners, as they thought their due, were daily humiliated by people whom they believed to be their inferiors.

To many a colonial white,

an African with a doctorate would still be a boy, in the technical colonial sense of the word, merely by virtue of his race. A white would often speak disdainfully of Africans in front of them, even though he knew the Africans understood his language. I do not think that Ian Smith was personally so insensitive, but many of the people who elected him were.

Dalrymple notes that this type of repeated and often daily humiliation

is a wound that very rarely heals. (I am not sure I would ever have got over it had I experienced it. I rather think I would not.) It is all the worse when you admire the people who are humiliating you by constant small humiliations that demonstrate that they do not consider you their equal, or even fully human.

Small humiliations of this type

are worse than great but abstract injustices. It is humiliation, in my belief, and not the unjust distribution of land, that galled Mugabe and gave rise to his Comrade side.

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