n Kipling’s haunting short story, The Man Who Would be King, the adventurers Dravot and Carnehan tire of the regulations of British India. “You can’t lift a spade, nor chip a rock, nor look for oil nor anything like that without all the government saying – ‘Leave it alone and let us govern’,” Carnehan tells the narrator before heading to the remote land of Kafiristan to overawe the natives.
Dravot and Carnehan are dishevelled vagrants on the edge of British society, but they know that small, backward countries are the easiest to dominate. They only have to fire their western rifles for the Kafiristanis to believe they are gods.
Money works as well as weapons and lawyers as well as soldiers. Throughout the summer, many of the 300,000 inhabitants of the small country of Belize have been revolting against the domination of Michael Ashcroft, the deputy chairman of the Conservative party. The Belize government seized control of Telemedia, the principal communications company, and the prime minister, Dean Barrow, raised the standard of anti-colonial liberation. “There will be no more suffering of this one man’s campaign to subjugate an entire nation to his will,” he cried.
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