Saturday, January 28, 2017

Jan.28: Our ignoring of the United Nations

This will probably be a little short as I face the horror of packing for a move.

We are into preparations for the last, possible stage of imperialism. In recent history (the last few hundred years), the world was ruled by European powers - notably Britain, France, The Netherlands, Spain, Portugal, Italy, the United States. All of them were murderous and exploitive of their colonies. Most of those empires ended after World War 2.

The British empire, in particular, was brought down by the U.S. It used World War Two, for example, to put Britain deep into debt, refusing to extend to it the aid it extended to other countries that had suffered in the war. And so it was that Britain, like Canada, Australia and New Zealand became a colony of the U.S.   And now, Britain, as an American colony, obediently fights American wars. (That's why it was in Iraq.) Already in control of South America and The Phillipines, and soon adding most of the middle east, the U.S. used new institutions like NATO to create American colonies all over Europe. (Supposedly, NATO is a defensive organization for Europe and North America. It isn't, and it never was. It's part of the American empire.)

We were not told about any of that in 1945. We were told there would be a new  world order dedicated to peace and international cooperation. It's central institution would be the United Nations.  But American corporation bosses were never fond of it. It could get in their way of making the whole world a collection of U.S. colonies. It could get in the way of the U.S. ruling the world. So the U.S., from 1950 or so on, increasingly was hostile to the UN, and disdainful of it. And now, Donald Trump has announced he will cut 40% off its financial support for the UN.

This comes very close to killing the organization and the kind of world that we were told we had fought for in World War Two. (Remember that next Remembrance Day.) And that's why scientists have moved the nuclear clock to within two and half minutes of midnight.

We needed the opposite of all this. In wars of the last few hundred years, capitalists have used them to advance their wealth. We are patriotic. We kill, and we die. And the nation-state is a wonderful  tool for that. Capitalists use their money to buy governments on the understanding that governments will go to war to benefit capitalists, and ordinary people will fight and die- to benefit the capitalists. That's why scientists have moved the nuclear clock to within 2 and a half minutes of midnight.

There's a lesson here. The lesson is that the nation-state has reached the end of its usefulness. The world needs cooperation - not threats from the Trumps of this world.

I  can't pretend to know how best to do that. Certainly, the nation-state as it is, controlled by the wealthiest 1 percent, is making the 1% richer, the rest of us poorer, and driving us into the final war. To create a one-nation world under a sort of UN is a nice thought but, oh, it's a very long-term one. (We've been working at it for some seventy years without getting anywhere.) So, for now, we need massive change to our democracies to end ownership of them by the very wealthy. We also need to reconsider our access to news.

The private news media, most of them,  have NEVER been honest. They have ALWAYS spread propaganda. We need to address that. We'll never have a democracy until we have honest information and an informed public.
And we have to address the weakest link of all in our political system - us. It was an educated Germany that produced Adolph Hitler. It was an educated United States that produced two, hopelessly unfitted people for the presidential nomination. There is very little reasoned or intelligent or open discussion of politics in any society. New Brunswick is by no means the only one like that.
The result is that political thinking, for most people, is simply an expression of anger and/or of prejudice.

And we can't afford that at two and half minutes to midnight.
Canadians beware. Trump will be putting the heat on to get colonies like Canada to play a bigger role in his imperial wars.
We get almost no news of Latin America. But after a century of domination by the U.S., South America is changing itself.
So far, most of the Canadian press has treated the US/Mexico wall as simply a political issue. It's actually much bigger than that.
Here's a story that hasn't made most of our news services. (take time, take lots of time to look at the picture.)
I don't entirely agree with this next one - but I certainly agree with part of it. We don't get much criticism of Canada. We should.
Haaretz has this opinon on Trump's refusal to accept Muslim refugees. I  have only one quarrel with it. It asks what would have happened if  countries had refused to accept European Jews in the Hitler years. We know what happened. Both Canada and the U.S. refused to accept them, a refusal that was not removed until well after the war. And what happened is that they were murdered by the millions.

Many Canadians might well have voted for a Trump - or a Hitler - in that period.
And now the horror of moving.

1 comment:

  1. Good luck with your moving Graeme. Once again thanks for an excellent post that give us all much to think about.