Diffusionist and evolutionist models of cultural change indicate a telling correspondence with historical trends in Britain's foreign policy and liberal philosophy in the nineteenth-century. Anthropological theory provided a convenient cultural rationale for the effects of mid-century free trade and, later, the new empire-building of liberal imperialism on subject peoples. The ideological compact of liberalism, imperialism and anthropology made liberal social and political norms a standard for colonial societies. Bourgeois self-projection gave energy to this liberal imputation; moreover, this imputation also served as a covert criticism of organicist claims by conservatives and socialists. Contemporary neo-conservatism and the rhetoric of globalization exhibit a similar content and project.
Black, J. David
"A VIEW FROM THE BRIDGE: Anthropology, Free Trade, and Britain's Empire,"
1, Article 3.
Available at: http://digitalcommons.mcmaster.ca/nexus/vol9/iss1/3