By Djelal Kadir
The language of prophecy and divine predestination fills the pronouncements of these who ventured around the Atlantic. the results of such language and their implications for present theoretical debates approximately colonialism and decolonization are legion. Kadir means that during this supposedly postcolonial period, richer countries and the privileged nonetheless manage the rhetoric of conquest to justify and serve their very own worldly ends. For colonized peoples who reside at the present time on the "ends of the earth," the age of exploitation will be no assorted from the age of exploration.
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Extra info for Columbus and the Ends of the Earth: Europe's Prophetic Rhetoric as Conquering Ideology
Willed its prophetic paradigm to America's posterity. Our historical canon invariably has it that the New World was first "discovered" and that then it was "conquered," with the latter action occluded behind the rhetoric of more benign synonyms such as "pacified" and "populated" in Iberian America or "settled" and "planted" in the more northerly phase of the conquest. I should like to propose that the conquest of the New World, in fact, antedates its discovery, and that the conquest was already under way before any geographical encounter.
And I protest that the deaths and calamities that should ensue from this will be due to your own fault, and not His Highness's, or mine, or these gentlemen's who came with me . ] For the canonist Palacios Rubios, the Conquistador Pedrarías Dávila who first carried this proclamation on a conquering expedition to Darién, that most conquerable geography, as history continues to prove, that is the geographical umbilical cord of the Americas today called Panama, and for the bachiller Martín Fernández de Enciso, the first lector of the Requerimiento whose account of the Indian chiefs' reaction to the proclamation we cited earlier—for all of these Spaniards the choices offered by the dictum were perfectly clear and mutually exclusive.
But the crusades had only whetted the appetite of the curialist political thinkers and of the papacy itself. It was soon discovered that by a logical elaboration of the ideas which first prompted the enterprise of the crusades, papal powers and supremacy could be extended so that it might, at least in theory, embrace the whole of what was known as the universe. In other words, the crusades were considered only a stepping stone in the direction of the eventual establishment of a fully fledged world government.