"The women were lounging about the houses, some cleaning fish, others pounding rice; but they do not care for work, and the little money which they need for buying cloes they can make by selling mats or jungle fruits."
some English lady who spent 5 weeks in Malaya in 1879 that Syed Hussein Alatas quotes in The Myth of the Lazy Native. The joke practically writes itself, but Alatas says it for us: “We may ask the author what is meant by work here? Is cleaning fish and pounding rice not work? Work here means wage earning outside the home. Are making mats and selling fruits not work? It is clear that work here means that activitiy introduced by colonial capitalism. If the ladies became coolies or servants of British planters or firm officials, she would then have considered them as working.”
So when the settler colonials say Indigenous people are lazy, they really mean “they won’t work for us to help us engineer their economy for our benefit”.
but they do not care for capitalism, or living in a way which makes absolutely no sense within the circumstances
“living in a way which makes absolutely no sense within the circumstances” <—— this right here, the true reason so many colonised nations suffered/suffer from poverty, disease, poor quality of life. Someone (guess who) invaded and forced them to stop living sensibly in a manner that worked for them, and to start living according to rules from half a world away (while simultaneously being denied most of the rights and privileges due to those native to that lifestyle).(via ooksaidthelibrarian)