Monday, September 5, 2016

a little history

I am in Montreal for an indeterminate amount of time. I came for my brother-in-law's funeral. But now my sister is very ill.
And, not surprisingly, no store in all of Montreal carries the irving press.

So this is a good time to give some context to what our news media don't give context to - the news. (And I'll probably do it in a few, short blogs because the computer I'm using has already swallowed two, long blogs without a trace left.)

The theme is this. We humans, almost all of us, are greedy, murdering bastards. If we have money or social status (and the two generally go together), we murder, loot and exploit, destroying the lives of millions. And we don't care.

If we don't have money, we act as the agents to murder, loot and exploit on behalf of the rich, and kid ourselves we are being patriotic or loyal servants of the emperor - whatever.

There, in two paragraphs, is most of the history of the world. About 1900, Canadians volunteered to kill Dutch farmers and native peoples in the Boer War. Nobody knows how many they killed, though it is known that some 17,000 men, women and children died in Canadian concentration camps. When the war ended, our aoldiers came home to cheers, and were called heroes. Why?

They had killed people so that wealthy Brits could steal their goldfields. What did that have to do with patriotism or heroism? South Africa was no threat to Canada - or to anybody else. What's heroic about murdering people who were, like us, ordinary people?

More recently, we sent soldiers to kill and to die in Afghanistan. Why? Afghanistan was no threat to us. In fact, there has never been a grain of evidence it had anything to do with 9/11. So why did we do it?

Because American billionaires wanted control of Afghanistan for both economic and strategic reasons. And why did we send soldiers to die for American billionaires? Because Canadian billionaires needed to be on close terms with their American brethren. And so we bombed Libya. And sent troops to Syria. And to eastern Europe.

British "soldiers of the queen" died for the same reason in Iraq. But you'll never see this in our news media. Or in our history books.

Empires have been with us for millennia. They're all the same. They're extensive, mass murders are carried out to make the wealthy wealthier, and to exploit the colonies.

This reality has always been covered in sacred garb of patriotism or loyalty to the emperor. Nor does it, as a rule, benefit the ordinary people on the imperial side. The average American was not made richer by the American wars to create dictatorships in South America. In fact, the ordinary people of the imperial power whether in Spain, Britain, the U.S. usually get poorer as jobs are shifted toward the starvation wages of the newly enslaved colonies. It is  not an accident that most Americans are getting poorer as the American empire expands.

The ordinary person suffers and hides under the blanket of patriotism. To do otherwise could be dangerous. And the ordinary person will believe in it all because to defy the wealthy could come at an even heavier price. In this, they are guided by the mass media which  began with the modern newspaper in the 1890s. From the start, they were owned by the wealthy and used to spread propaganda for the wealthy.

Hitler was not an anomaly in western history. He was right in the pattern that we are still following today. (Yes, I know we don't have death camps for Jews. But we starve, bomb, terrorize uncounted millions of Muslims and Vietnamese. Forgive me if I don't see a difference.)

"Our" news media lie to us. Many of our history books lie to us - the U.S. ones, especially. The U.S. empire in addition to its killings and starvations has driven tens of millions to flee their homes, and to camp in misery in Europe. The wealthy have taken no responsibility whatever for those millions, many of them orphans, widows, elderly....  That's because they really don't give a damn any more than the wealthy of Rome or Spain or Britain did.

Perhaps that indifference is a blessing for them. Nor do they give a damn about what happens to people in their own country. Some day, make a list of the social services and pay increases that happened as a result of initiatives taken by the wealthy in this country - or any other.

Mind you, I don't condemn them for it. They are just behaving as humans with economic and political power always have - with nothing but greed and self-interest. And the rest of us cover our fear with patriotism.

Well, that's the general idea. Tomorrow, if I have time tomorrow, I'll take a closer look at the American empire, at it's origins which go back much further than you might think - and at why the next twenty years (or less) are crucial for it.


1 comment:

  1. Hit the nail right on the head... again. Thanks.