Monday, November 23, 2015

Nov. 23: Trying again. Will this have real paragraphs?

Let's deal quickly with the Irving press. There isn't much to it.

A front page story is that Moncton drivers often don't stop for  a funeral procession. That's not a front page news story. It's not a news story at all. It could be an editorial or a comment column. On p. 3, a big story says collecting hockey cards is coming back into favour. Well, that certainly changes my outlook on the world. And that's about it for local news.

On the editorial page, Norbert Cunningham tells us our politicians always do only the expedient thing, avoiding useful and important decisions. So that's the world according to Norbert. Again, this resembles his quasi-racist view of society. Politicians are useless. Civil servants are incompetents. Teachers don't know what they're doing. Gosh, it that's true, this pattern of incompetence must be a racial one, inherited from defective parents. So let's extend it a bit.

Who elected all those politicians in New Brunswick since 1867? The people of New Brunsiwck. Right? They elect Conservatives who screw up. So they then elect Liberals who screw up. And when they screw up, we elect Conservatives who screw up.  This has been a consistent pattern for the whole province throughout its history. So New Brunswickers must be born stupid. (That's the logic of what you're saying, Norbert.)

But I don't believe in racism. So I don't believe that New Brunswickers are born stupid. I think they are made stupid by their lives of exposure to a lying and propagandizing press. (And I'm sure you know which one I mean.) It's a press owned by a man who wants people in this province to know nothing and to think nothing. Congratulations to the editors of the Irving Press for your good work in carrying out this vision.

Steve Malloy has a good column on the effect of our mindnumbing reliance on the computer for our social life. It's a repeat of the dumbing-down of society that was begun by TV. Like TV, it's become trivial and, even more than TV, it's become bland. The computer has uses. But social life is not something it's really good at.

Alec Bruce ponders the truth about the so-called baby-boomer generation. In fact, as Bruce says, they are the disadvantaged generation. He doesn't give a solution - but this wasn't written to offer a solution. It was written to make us realize that there is a problem. It also affects education; I must devote a day sometime to that.
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Section B, as always, seems to work on the assumption that the rest of the world is far away; so we don't need to know about it.

Two headlines on are page B1 are examples of the use of 'news' (which is really no news at all) for fear-mongering - as in "Brussels remains on high alert over threat of Paris-style attack" and "Obama says U.S. will 'not succumb to fear". Really,neither story is news at all, and neither explains what's happening. These are two headlines that tell us nothing is  happening, but are worded so as the induce fear. And bigotry.

If their is an attack on Brussels, we will read all about how brave little Belgium is standing up to terrorism. This the same "brave little Belgium" which murdered tens of millions in Congo so it could loot the country and impoverish its people. Brave Little Belgium was one of the most brutal of West's imperial powers.

For some samples of writing about it, see---

http://www.theguardian.com/books/2007/nov/02/fiction

There's another story to encourage panic on B4 - "NYC emergency responders simulate terror attack".

There is nothing in any section of the paper to explain why all this is happening. And there never has been.

So, I'll take a stab at it.
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I don't know a whole lot about empires before 1492. But I know a fair bit about about those since then.

Columbus' discovery that the peoples of the Americas had gold triggered over five hundred years of empire-building by western Europe, led by Britain, France, The Netherlands, Belgium, Italy, and then the U.S.  All the conquests were built on looting countries, and either enslaving their people or destroying their economies, converting the native people to slaves or very, very cheap labour.

In the beginning, the conquests were to enrich kings.  But the process was soon taken over by a quickly rising class which quickly displaced the power of aristocracies and even of kings. In 1775, the American revolution to dispose of the power of Britain was inspired largely by the capitalists of the southern states who dominated the lucrative, cotton trade. It is not a coincidence that George Washington was a very wealthy slave owner.

Native peoples were taken as slaves, starting in 1492. But it was too easy for them to escape into the forests they knew so well. So the slave market shifted to Africans. It is estimated than tens of millions of them died just in transit. The rest were left with a result of imperialism which would became characteristic of all colonized people.

Their social environment had been destroyed. They were exploit for profited - with no consideration for their social or cultural needs. They were suddenly cut off from all the social and cultural world they had known. African Blacks in the U.S. have never, even after these hundreds of years, recovered from that. It also happened to those enslaved in New France, in Acadia, across the Canada of confederation - and the recovery in modern Canada has been slower than most Canadians seem to think.

Capitalism and imperialism, together, destroyed nations that way. More than that, they destroyed cultures, customs, all that any people had ever known. They replaced these with only poverty, exploitation, humniliation and, frequently, death.

How long does it take to recover? I don't know. After five hundred years, we still don't know how long it takes to recover.

For years, the world existed only to create profits for the very wealthy of Britain, France, Belgium, Portugal, Italy. The U.S. joined the imperialists immediately after the revolution with the mass slaughter of native peoples to take their land. Canada was next on the list; but that failed. (It failed in 1812.  But we're in even greater danger now.)

Then it was the turn of Mexico and, from late in the 19th century all of Latin America, Hawaii, Alaska and The Phillipines. Then the U.S. fixed its eyes on China.

In World War One, we were told we were fighting to spread freedom and democracy. But, at the end, the only imperialist power to lose possessions was Germany, which lost its colonies in Africa and China.

After World War Two, almost all the colonies that got freedom had to fight for it. But, through the war, U.S. capitalists had their eyes on those colonies themselves. That's why the U.S. told Britain NOT to 'liberate' its colony of Hong Kong. Anerican capitalists wanted that very profitable city. It also told the French not to liberate Hanoi. The French, like the British, decided to ignore the order. The ships they sent were bombed by American aircraft. The French went ahead anyway to retake French  Indo-China. But they found themselves in a brutal war with the people of Indo-China. That's why the U.S. sent troops to help the French. And that's why, when the French gave up, the U.S. continued the war in the country we now call Vietnam.

The U.S. is still looking to make an empire of the whole world. It's called "American Exceptionalism", the doctrine that the U.S. has the right to invade and kill regardless of international law. And that is what created a powerful American hold on Africa and the middle east as the old, European empires collapsed.

The experience of imperialism is always a shattering one and, oh, it lasts. Even a powerhouse like China has never really recovered from over a century of humiliation, of loss of any sense of direction, of mass starvation, of decades of civil war in the attempt to rebuild.

In Africa and the Middle East, nations lost identities when capitalists drew new border lines on the map. Nor could the people adjust through the new economic prosperity. There was no new prosperity for them. They were murdered, forced into cheap labour, looted....
Their world, their customs, their values were annihilated.

Are some Muslims determined to kill us - even the innocent us? Well, yeah. Some people get like that if you kill enough of the innocent them. And, when you think about it, killing is not a reaction limited to Muslims. The world biggest killers through this age of western imperialism, the biggest destroyers of societies, the biggest looters, the biggest creators of poverty and fear and violence have been us Christians.

Funny how our churches haven't noticed this.

Capitalism has its place. But unregulated, it's a killer dog without a leash.

Big capitalims is now into its final phase of world conquest. Free trade deals are designed largely to destroy the power of governments. That means they are designed to destroy the power of us. That certainly seems to be true of the Trans-Pacific Trade Partnership. Governments just get in the way of the right of big business to destroy our rights, our societies, our customs just the way is has destroyed them among the 'lesser breeds'. The only difference between big business and us is that it waves the flag and tells us to be patriotic - and make it even richer.
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And let's hope this comes out with real paragraphs.

2 comments:

  1. Alas, no paragraphs. But the posts are becoming easier to read. I think my brain is training itself to read non-paragraphed text - anyway, it needs the exercise.

    Like the new focus on geopolitics and history.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Have you tried contacting the company that hosts this blog site? There may be technical help available. To guess I would say this site doesn't understand the paragraph spacing code that you use in the program you type your blog in.

    ReplyDelete