Wednesday, June 29, 2016

June 29: Not a good day.

Perhaps unwisely, I may devote all or most of today's blog to brexit and the European Union.

Was this  the result of racism? When I ask this, I remember, at age six or so, being coached by my father to memorize the lines of Rudyard Kipling, writing about the duties of empire.

It was a hymn to racism. In it, Kipling made Britain's slaughter, abuse, theft and exploitation of billions of humans into a Christian crusade to bring the Christian God and civilization to the world. It was written for an American audience because the U.S. was now doing the same thing with invasions of Latin America and The Phillipines.

Just about all people in the history of this world have believed, at some point, that they were racially superior to others. In Canada, we have, on racial grounds, murdered native peoples, exploited and humiliated orientals, blacks. There was a time when Irish Catholics were not welcome in Canada. Nor were Jews. Or East Europeans. Or Chinese. Or Japanese.

Poles were pollacks. French were Frogs. English were les maudit blokes. Jews were kikes and yids. And this is not ancient history. Indeed, some of it still exists. For that matter, the poor are often treated as an inferior race. And the very wealthy are treated as a superior race.  You can see samples of that in Norbert Cunningham's commentaries. (I'll return to this later.)

By some miracle of genetics, once people become accepted as Americans (African-Americans are still working on this) all those British, Polish, Irish, Jews, Germans become a part of a new race. That race is, presumably genetically, superior to all others. And it has been chosen by God to rule over all others on this earth. It's a step beyond anything that even Kipling thought of.
God intends the U.S. to rule the world because it is racially superior to other peoples. That is what is behind the 'American Exceptionalism' that even Obama embraces. Yes, the descendant of slaves has publicly embraced the concept of a racial superiority ordered by God. And that, without directly mentioning God, is what Project for the New American Century is all about - God's will that Americans, through genetic superiority, will rule the world. Those who oppose that view are evil, and their evil is a product of their genetic inferiority.

That takes us back to 1945, the end of World War 2. I well remember the day that war ended. I was a very young child caught up in the tumult of downtown Montreal that day, the streets filled with jubilant crowds. The old, war-time signs were still up. "Loose lips sink ships". "Buy War Bonds". But there was also a new one. "We've won the war. Now we've got to win the peace."

I didn't understand it at the time. But our governments explained it. War had killed some 80 million people. We now had to create a world order that would end war. That world order was called the United Nations. That was what so many Canadians had died for, we were told.

But Britain, France, the Soviet Union, the U.S. and China weren't about to submit to anything so democratic. In particular, the first four of those still had dreams of power. So they gave themselves the power to veto any UN decisions. With that, the new world order died even as it was born.

The only power that could take advantage of its veto turned out to be the U.S. And the government of the U.S. was and is controlled by the ambitions and greed of  the very wealthy. And the U.S. public is controlled by the news media owned by the very wealthy.

In the view of the very wealthy, the U.N. was simply in the way of their conquest of the world. And they set out to destroy it by ignoring it. Since world war 2, the U.S. has invaded countless countries. We know about the big wars - Vietman, Iraq... We don't hear about the drone attacks on Pakistan, Yemen and others - or the illegal acts of war against Cuba (the bombing of a civilian airliner, the trade sanctions), two invasions of Guatemala and a mass murder of its civilians. We pretend the most recent invasion of Cuba was 'peacekeeping'.  And who cares about the carpet bombing of Cambodia - among others?  We dismiss the murders of South American Presidents and environmental and union activists.

By ignoring the UN, the U.S. has effectively  destroyed it. And, by ignoring this, we and our news media have betrayed the promises we made to those Canadians who fought and died in World War Two.

Replacing the UN, we now have a set of U.S. controlled alliances. They are essentially economic and military. They are economic because they are structured to be highly profitable for American corporations, and for allied corporations in other countries. They are military because military power, as in Kipling's day, is the base of economic power.

The European Union was not simply the blending of European countries into one. It was the blending of European economies to ensure the continued dominance of capitalism and, in particular, of American capitalism.

It also blends with American military desires through NATO. One reader wrote to ask what the military has to do with economic policy.  It has everything to do with economic policy. The military is what we use to enforce our economic power over other countries. Any fighting in South America is to kill opposition to American capitalism. The war in Vietnam was to boost American eonomic power in Asia. The fighting in the middle east is to cement American control of middle east oil.

And, like it or not, Canada is right in the middle of all this. Justin Trudeau has committed us to an (illegal) military role in Syria. He has also committed us to an extremely foolish role in Eastern Europe. We, with the European Union, are part of the American empire.  And we are taking up "the white man's burden".
The people of England have been through this for centuries. For pennies a day, they have fought and died all over the world to make the wealthy even wealthier. In return they were left forever in poverty and filth, ruled over and sneered at by the people they had made wealthy. (That's a variety of racism, too, the sense of the rich that they are better than us, and that they have rights we do not have. A case of that took New Brunswick to the brink of fascism several years ago. And it was applauded by the irving press.)

The city of London has become the city of the very rich. And the ones who aren't very rich? Well, at least 8,000 of them - including abandoned children - live in the streets. The prosperity of London has priced them out of any hope of shelter.
There are no official statistics on homelessness; but it may be even worse in the inidustrial cities because there are no official statistics. What there is in those districts is low pay and high unemployment. This has become worse with the creation of the EU because the U.S., abandoning all responsibility for the gross misery it has created in the middle east, has forced an already overcrowded Europe to accept a mass of refugees it has no room or jobs for.

The  contribution of employers has been to hire refugees as very cheap labour, and either fire locals or cut their wages. This is coupled with a strong movement in the western world to cut social services and to privatize everything in sight. As in the U.S., Britain has seen a massive privatization of schools, for example.  (We're getting a steady chipping away of the public sector here, too, with our health system, with privatization of blood collection....)

So, is there some racism in the desire to leave the EU?  Of course there is. We all have a tendency to be racist. Thousands of years of history should have taught us that by now. Note how New Brunswick happily accepted refugees despite its own, long record of racism. It accepted them because (as we were constantly reminded by the irving press) the numbers were small, and because we were also constantly reminded by the irving press that they were essential for our economy.
Yes, racism was surely a factor in Britain voting to quit the EU. And there are at least several other countries ready to leave for the same reason. Racism was a factor. But it wasn't the cause.

The cause had more to do with growing poverty, inequality, lack of opportunity for all but the rich, destruction of essential social services. The U.S. is in a similar situation. But there's almost no discussion of it. There, the discussion is deflected by the use of racism. The US has rising numbers of homeless and hungry. It has one of the worst records for social services in the developed world.
But Trump and Clinton don't talk about that. Trump led off with his wall on the Mexican border, and deporting Mexicans, especially since Mexican men are all rapists. Both tell us that Muslims are evil. (except, of course, for the royal family of Saudi Arabia which is at least as extreme as ISIS). Both reject any responsibility for refugees. Both preach hatred.

This is all the language of racism.  The hatred of Russia is very similar. It's an official racism. That way, we avoid the real issues - control of middle east oil, and squashing of Russian and Chinese economic competition.
And we buy it because we're all prone to racism.

In the sense of all the above, the British vote to leave the EU is a reaction to the behaviours of American business leaders since 1945. They destroyed the UN. They did it deliberately. And I have not seen a word about it in our news media.
To make it worse, their greed is not matched by any intelligence.  The current crisis with the Muslim world has its origins, of course, in the discovery of oil in the middle east. It was made infinitely worse by the U.S./British destruction democracy in Iran, and their creation of a dictator so they could rip off its oil. And the only reason for that was to benefit British and American big oil. (The intervention was also illegal under international law and by the rules of the U.N. It was a sign of the death that awaited the U.N.)

Even worse was the extraordinary brutality (and illegality) of the invasion of Iraq. And then the creation of a civil war in Syria -all to enrich American oil billionaires.

The British exit vote is a product of all this. The world is facing its greatest crisis. It's not Russia. It's not China. It's not Iran or Iraq or Syria or ISIS. It's the unlimited greed of the very wealthy.

 And it's us.

 It's us standing by with our faces hanging out as we refuse to recognize what the real threat is, as we fail to take any action at all to restore the democracy and world order that Canadians, as we've so often been told, died for in World War Two.

We've abandoned those who died. And we've abandoned ourselves.

That's what the brexit vote was all about.
I suppose I should say something about the irving press. It's a real stinker this time.
Only one story in section A is worth reading. Nurses have met to oppose private blood clinics, and to explain the long history of problems with such ventures. But Health Minister Boudreau says - guess what..... will create jobs.   ???If the hospitals were to collect the blood, wouldn't that create jobs, too?  O-O-OOH, and the government will give the private company a tax rebate. Isn't that nice?

Yessiree. What we got here is real enterpreneurs who are taking risks to make us prosperous. I have no doubt the Chamber of Commerce will give them an award supper.

The editorial is about education, and, as usual the writer knows nothing about it. Brian Cormier has a pointless little story.

Alec Bruce is right about Trump, but dead wrong about Brexit - and decidedly starry-eyed if he thinks we have a democracy.

Norbert has nothing useful to say.

And the big column is by some twit from a propaganda outfit - the Fraser Institute. That's like having a regular column by a con-man on the Faith page.
Canada&World has little Canada and almost no world. I have never read a newspaper I could finish so quickly. Hint to drug addicts - kick the habit. Subscribe to the irving press, and you'll pass out faster than any opium habit will do it.
The Guardian is still in panic mode. The only item worth reading is that a new poll shows Clinton and Trump neck and neck. I with I could care. But they're both disasters, and so are their parties. And the American people are locked in a dream of an American that never existed, and kept in a stupor by lying, manipulating news media owned by billionaires who are ripping them off.
Here's a story on brexit  you won't see  in the irving press.
And something else you won't see in the irving press.
And here's a story about the "three amigos" that our media have been gushing about.
Do you think Justin Obama will question the Mexican president about this? Good luck.
Enough. It's been a long day. Someday, I must write again and in more detail about that occasion when a prominent New Brunswicker almost brought fascism to this province, And nobody noticed.                                    Oh. I forgot.

Here is your copy of The White Man's Burden. Memorize it.

The poem[edit]

The cartoonist William H. Walker ridicules the colonial hypocrisy inherent to “the white man's burden”. (Lifemagazine)
The White Man’s Burden: The United States and The Philippine Islands (1899)
Take up the White Man's burden, Send forth the best ye breed
  Go bind your sons to exile, to serve your captives' need;
To wait in heavy harness, On fluttered folk and wild—
  Your new-caught, sullen peoples, Half-devil and half-child.

Take up the White Man's burden, In patience to abide,
  To veil the threat of terror And check the show of pride;
By open speech and simple, An hundred times made plain
  To seek another's profit, And work another's gain.

Take up the White Man's burden, The savage wars of peace—
  Fill full the mouth of Famine And bid the sickness cease;
And when your goal is nearest The end for others sought,
  Watch sloth and heathen Folly Bring all your hopes to nought.

Take up the White Man's burden, No tawdry rule of kings,
  But toil of serf and sweeper, The tale of common things.
The ports ye shall not enter, The roads ye shall not tread,
  Go make them with your living, And mark them with your dead.

Take up the White Man's burden And reap his old reward:
  The blame of those ye better, The hate of those ye guard—
The cry of hosts ye humour (Ah, slowly!) toward the light:—
  "Why brought he us from bondage, Our loved Egyptian night?"

Take up the White Man's burden, Ye dare not stoop to less—
  Nor call too loud on Freedom To cloak your weariness;
By all ye cry or whisper, By all ye leave or do,
  The silent, sullen peoples Shall weigh your gods and you.

Take up the White Man's burden, Have done with childish days—
  The lightly proferred laurel, The easy, ungrudged praise.
Comes now, to search your manhood, through all the thankless years
  Cold, edged with dear-bought wisdom, The judgment of your peers!

1 comment:

  1. Great blog post. I read it once. I will probably read it again.