Smith, a propagandist for British colonialism, argued that human progress was advanced with the spread of this “free market” globally, through the expansion of the British Empire.
A similar defense of British colonialism was also advanced by Karl Marx. Marx has an undeserved reputation as an opponent of British imperialism, because his writings were designed to appeal to, and manipulate people, based on their grievances. Marx emigrated from Germany to England at age 30, where he became a dupe of British Prime Minister Lord Palmerston.
Marx’s role as an apologist for the British Empire’s “globalization" is explicit in his defense of the British Empire’s rape of India. Marx advanced a Mandevillian argument, that, because “capitalism" is superior to “oriental despotism", even though the intent and actions of British colonialism were evil, British colonialism benefitted India!
Even more explicit is Marx’s defense of Britain’s first Opium War. Amidst much bravado about the potential for world revolution, Marx praised the Opium War for throwing China into chaos. He claimed that Britain was advancing civilization in China, by destroying China’s old culture, and opening up China to the international economy. He even reported, approvingly, that British policies were causing such unemployment in China, that displaced Chinese workers were being used as slave labor throughout the world.
Karl Marx wrote in a July 22, 1853 article in the New York Daily Tribune:
“Whatever be the social causes, and whatever religious, dynastic, or national shape they may assume, that have brought about the chronic rebellions subsisting in China for about ten years past, and now gathered together in one formidable revolution, the occasion of this outbreak has unquestionably been afforded by the English cannon forcing upon China that soporific drug called opium. Before the British arms the authority of the Manchu dynasty fell to pieces; the superstitious faith in the Eternity of the Celestial Empire broke down; the barbarous and hermetic isolation from the civilized world was infringed; and an opening was made for that intercourse which has since proceeded so rapidly under the golden attractions of California and Australia. At the same time the silver coin of the Empire, its life-blood, began to be drained away to the British East Indies.”
Reflecting the racism which dominated England, where the majority of the population enthusiastically supported the first Opium War (there were popular demonstrations against the second Opium War), Marx defends the British-forced addiction of China:
“It would seem as though history had first to make this whole people drunk before it could rouse them out of their hereditary stupidity.”
Marx even argued that the Chinese had a disposition for opium:
“The Chinese, it is true, are no more likely to renounce the use of opium than are the Germans to forswear tobacco.”
Adam Smith and Karl Marx: Apologists for the Empire’s “Globalization”
& Karl Marx Defends British Opium War
* 卡尔·马克思（Karl Marx）30岁时从德国移民到英国。