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A figleaf for colonialism and intervention in less-developed regions in the late 19th & early 20th centuries. The claim lost much of its already dubious credibility as Europeans spent four years butchering each other after 1914, so instead we got the rule of international law. That became a bit inconvenient too in the 1990s, so then we got "humanitarian intervention". New bottle, old wine: it wasn't up to much first time round and it hasn't aged well.

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9y ago
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Q: What was the civilizing mission of westerners?
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