History

Posted: 19/09/2013 in Finance, Struggle, War
Tags: , ,

Today is grey and dismal at the beach.With the wind there is a slanting drizzle that is continually giving the occasional spatter on my face. Kleun yaai – the waves are a bit high, unless there is a change I suspect there will be no exercise. But things can quickly change for the better – or worse. Should I pay attention to this? Of course not, it is still good to be here, but the realisation of the mindful ignorance is quite disturbing. But then with the dog problem and health issues my meditation has not been good, and I am letting this get to me. How weak!!

I am not therefore feeling particularly spiritual so I looked at a book which I have referred to Howard Zinn’s A Peoples’ History of the United States. It is a significant book in the jigsaw of history, I suspect I will be too ill-disciplined to finish it. The first book I read which taught me to understand history is Walter Rodney’s “How Europe Underdeveloped Africa”. This might well best be understood if read in conjunction with Basil Davidson’s Africa (Basil’s Guardian Obituary). “Africa” is a wonderful series talking about the history of Africa, an Africa which contemporaneously compared with Europe was civilised. Here is the series:-

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Walter Rodney gave a much more economic analysis of the process including bringing it up-to-date (Second World War) with the exploitations of the then multinationals of the corporatocracy explaining the division of the cake that was the first world war. Now this book describes Africa and its development as a European colony (derivation of colony is farm). At the time I studied this book and the series Africa, I wanted to understand UK race relations. Primarily the race issues in the UK in the 70s revolved around British racism and the Afro-Caribbean communities who were encouraged to migrate to the UK post-second world war to do the lesser paid jobs that could not be filled because of the decimation of the white population in the second world war.

The First World War was primarily fought between Britain and France and Germany. France had its colonies known as Francophone Africa – basically West Africa except for Ghana and Nigeria. Britain fundamentally colonised the rest of black Africa (Bantu) except for the Arab colonies of North Africa, excluding the German and Belgian colonies. This is an over-simplistic analysis.

The weather is miserable, the heavens have opened, the horizon is grey; if I were to go home now I would be soaked – I will probably be soaked anyway.

But this British history is effectively the second colonial stage because it misses out an important historical process – finance. The book that brings finance into the picture before British colonial history is Eduardo Galeano’s “Open Veins of Latin America”. He introduces key figures of colonial history – the conquistadores. These often-lauded figures of history, Cortes, Pizarro, Columbus and others were sponsored to go “East” to find gold. After the decimation of Latin American civilisations of the Incas and Aztecs who contemporaneously had historically been far in advance of their European counterparts, this gold was brought back to Spain. From my school history along comes the hero Francis Drake to fight the nasty Spanish who had nasty people like the Spanish Inquisition. This belies the real history where the English wanted Spanish gold. Then there were the heroes and legends that were pirates in the Caribbean. Basically the Spanish were killing the indigenous people for their gold and the British were stealing that gold from the Spanish. It was this gold that sponsored the underdevelopment of Africa, once Spain had been overthrown.

Once the finance had been sourced the historical picture fits together more clearly, but no history can leave out the current hegemony – the US, and this is where Howard Zinn’s book comes in. Columbus so-called discovery of America was the murder of Arawak Indians to loot the gold his sponsors had desired. Columbus began the stream of exploiters who were US heritage. A leopard cannot change its spots – the US started as and continues to be the harbinger of exploitation that became the global hegemony towards the end of the Second World War (as described at Bretton Woods and in the Marshall plan). Some of this US history is discussed here. For a more detailed understanding of the rise of the US read Howard Zinn’s book.

The accumulation of the gold in Europe primarily Britain gave rise to the banking dynasties, for a description of their place in history check the Money Masters.

Between the banking institutions, the Military Industrial Complex and the owners of the Transnationals we have the basis of the corporatocracy. These people maintain political control through their satrapies. These satrapies are sham democracies manipulated as a dual choice between democrat and republican, labour and conservative etc as clearly explained in the movie, Lifting the Veil. There is no choice for the people only the better shade of puppetry.

Placing The Orient in the context of this history is difficult for me – I am not knowledgeable enough. Chinese history is long. Perhaps China’s civilisations predated those of Africa and Latin America. China is the key player in Oriental history but that is not to dismiss the developments in other countries. China was significant in European history as it was from China the Europeans got the gun. The Orient was primarily a trading partner rather than colonially exploited. This could be understood through the Silk Route and others. There were various European colonies such as Indonesia and Malaysia, there was an attempt to colonise China – that failed in the Boxer revolution. I have no coherent picture of the East, and nowhere to point you – sorry.

Update 29/9/13

This movie, Harvest of Empire brings up-to-date the effects of contemporary US foreign policy. Starting with the murder and enslavement of the Native Americans (Indians) as described by Howard Zinn’s “Peoples-history-of-the-united-states-1492-present”, the movie shows how dependent the US is on Latino workers to maintain their standard of living. I was amused when Juan Gonzalez (from Democracy Now said that by the end of this century more US citizens will have Latino origins than European. And yet now all the government does is maintain a legal regime that prevents citizenship, allowing legal exile and continued impoverishing wage-slavery.

I was rather disappointed with the position on Nicaragua. It was clearly stated that the Sandinista revolution was a Peoples’ revolution – people from diverse backgrounds, and it was equally clearly stated that Reagan, and not Carter, chose to finance the Contras. But then the movie focussed on Luis Enrique, a famous Nicaraguan singer – apparently, who fled to the US because his family could not choose sides. At that point it came across that at that stage of the Nicaraguan struggle both sides were equally to blame. Now the theme of the movie is to present the situation that the US economy depends on Latino labour, that that labour is in the US because of US foreign policy that had created and supported puppet dictators who murdered their own people, but to place the Sandinistas and Contras as equally at fault at the time of Luis Enrique is almost traitorous. The Sandinista revolution to me was the clearest example of a democratic overthrow of a dictatorship, on a par with the people supporting Castro; Juan, tell me what could the Sandinistas have done at the time of Luis Enrique? Didn’t the Sandinistas have a democratic mandate far higher than any ballot box, a mandate where the majority of Nicaraguan peoples of all classes supported the sandinistas led by Daniel Ortega?

The movie finished with the figures that there will be 130 million Latinos, 1/3 of the US population, by 2050. “Ït is an immigrant nation”. The movie does not discuss policy, a means for change. With the global inequality of wealth what is going to happen? Does this notion of immigrant nation mean that existing Americans, however that is defined nationality-wise, must accept that there is to be an ever-increasing influx of Latino peoples? Where is the practicality in such an approach? During the movie there were several quotes from bigots from all status in US society. If the choice is between bigotry and continuous influx, then more and more have to accept bigotry; the approach must be practical. US foreign policy that brought the immigrants, but this reality cannot give a “human right” for all of the world’s Latinos. The situation of illegality is inhuman, advantages only big business, and is no solution. But what is?

I saw signs for the Dream Act, what is it?

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This is taken from wiki “Dream Act”, and here is the Dream Act portal. But this looks like a bog-standard buying off of the intellectuals who are the leaders of immigration rights, and does nothing for workers who are not educated.

Books:- Treatise, Wai Zandtao Scifi, Matriellez Education.

Other blogs:- Ginsukapaapdee, Mandtao, Matriellez.

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