We allow ourselves to believe the best in our leaders, role models, and fail to see the truth that would shatter the pristine image we have of them. For this reason, it is that Empires are built on the lies and illusions of what really took place. Not many of us are willing to question our leaders, role models, and ideologies, because what we might find will not support the preexisting pure image of them. Even when so obviously wrong and guilty, society chooses so often to forget the wrongs simply because it is easier than asking questions, or accepting the truth. Lies, omissions, cover ups are how empires are built; by getting people to believe in them and their benevolence.
People of privileged and powerful positions have the ability to carve their image as they please, and people will support them. One of the biggest myths of all that many are still fool by is Christianity. Our school teach us that Native Americans were savage people who needed to be helped, and civilized. Through Christianity people were able to justify the rejection and lack of comprehension for Native American culture. Claiming to be helping Native people rather than being truthful of greediness and other malevolent motives is much an easier way to have people support your wrong doings.
The Spanish were the biggest promoters and missionaries of the benefits of Christianity, while simultaneously creating a superior image of themselves and degrading the image of the people they conquered. As professor O’Toole mentioned in lecture, had the Inca people been Christian they would have been able to rule themselves and be considered civilized human beings by the Spanish. Instead their paganism was frowned upon by the Europe and later by mestizos such as De La Vega. What makes Christianity better than any other religion? Nothing, but its linkage to the idea of civilization and superiority which promoted Spanish Kingdom’s support for colonization and use of force with “savage” people.
Regardless of religious beliefs, the Inca Empire was extremely civilized. Ironically, the Inca had a similar feudal system like that of the Spanish Kingdom.
Not only that,but the Inca were fair rulers who prioritized feeding and rewarding its citizens for their hard labor. They also were skilled like the Roman Empire to convince the people they took over that it was in their best interest to join their Empire rather than to fight a losing battle. Yet for a long period of time, society has depicted the Inca as savages who were incapable of ruling themselves. These myths continue today in our history books and by extension in American politics.
Black Hawk, a Native American leader once said ” How smooth must be the language of the whites, when they can make right look like wrong and wrong look like right” which is the epitome of how people of powerful positions are able to gain support even when doing wrong. Myths are passed down from generation to generations through the most powerful weapon language, and that is how Empire are created.
“Black Hawk Quote”. A-Z Quotes. N.p., 2017. Web. 17 Jan. 2017.
“Machu Picchu”. En.wikipedia.org. N.p., 2017. Web. 17 Jan. 2017.