Christopher Columbus: “The Globalization of Greed”

I’m reading a book that described Christopher Columbus’s expeditions as, “the globalization of greed.” This description puts into historical perspective the mores and values of present day society.

Here’s how the author astutely describes Columbus and his travels:

“Columbus had set out from a Europe ravaged by poverty, violence, famine, and the Black Death to find a hospitable, forthcoming people whose wisdom for living he, in doltish condescension, could not rise to credit. In the Santangel Letter, Columbus had said of the Taino, ‘They even took pieces of the broken hoops of the wine casks and, like beasts, gave what they had.’ By common assessment, he was a bigoted, grasping, vainglorious, deceitful man whose overweening preoccupation with titles, honors, profits, and privileges threatened for him at his advanced age a last-chance mission that presaged five centuries of suffering for nonwhite peoples the world over. But for all his flaws, his values were emblematic of the Europe that dispatched him westward…

Columbus himself confessed that he had been involved as a slave trader in Africa.” -From, “Quitting America” By: Randall Robinson

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