renato rosaldo

Imperialist Nostalgia: a mood of nostalgia that makes racial domination appear innocent and pure; people mourning the passing or transformation of what they have caused to be transformed. Imperialist nostalgia revolves around a paradox: A person kills somebody and then mourns the victim; or someone deliberately alters a life form and then regrets that things have not remained as they were… Imperialist nostalgia uses a pose of “innocent yearning” both to capture peoples’ imagination and to conceal its complicity with often brutal domination (R. Rosaldo, Culture and Truth: The Remaking of Social Analysis)

The ethic of the pie derives from institutional pressure to divide and conquer, and watch the spectacle of people fighting over crumbs. In this ethic, the image of limited good makes resources appear finite so that, if the other person has more, then you have less. Translated into the realm of self-esteem, the ethic says that you can increase your self-esteem by capturing some from somebody else. If the other loses, you win; if the other grows shorter, you appear taller. No doubt we all know the ethic of the pie.
The ethic of love says we are all in the same boat. It recognizes our shared fate and the fundamental interdependence among members of a group or institution. If people think of themselves as connected, the other’s well-being enhances yours. If they thrive, you thrive; if they suffer, you suffer. Love is also an expandable, not a pie-like finite resource. If you love one person, that does not mean that you have less love for another. It could be that your capacity for love increases so that you have even more to offer somebody else.
—  *the ethic of the pie, the ethic of love.

from Renato Rosaldo (1994), Cultural Citizenship and Educational Democracy, Cultural Anthropology, Vol. 9, No. 3, Further Inflections: Toward Ethnographies of the Future