Monday, May 14, 2018

June 15:In my last blog, I promised.... include in this one an outline of the rise of capitalism. I already regret that promise. It's a story so ugly as to be unbelievable. Alas, it's all too true. And we are living at its terrible edge.

Through most of written history, humans have been ruled by an aristocracy of birth. There were exceptions - as among our native peoples here in Canada - but generally it was an aristocracy of kings and nobility whose only qualification was being born to the right parents.

For the most part, this aristocracy couldn't care less about the 'common' people who worked the fields of the aristocracy and died in its armies. In Rome, aristocrats were buried in magnificent tombs. Commoners were simply dumped by the thousands in huge pits to turn into what some historians described as a sort of jelly.

Starting about the time of the discovery of the Americas, a new class arose. These were people who owed their status to their ability to make money in a system that we now call capitalism. Within a few centuries, it had largely displaced the old aristocracy. However, it had at least two, strong similarities to the aristocracy it was replacing.

One is that it, like the aristocracy it was replacing,  was commonly inherited its status rather than earned. The first generation, like the aristocracy, might have done it by skill. But the succeeding ones did not.

And this new aristocracy, like the old one, had nothing but contempt for the rest of  us.

The American Revolution was a triumph for that capitalist class. It threw off the ties to Britain - but it did not put power into the hands of most Americans. Certainly, it put none into the hands of women or slaves or native peoples or the poor in general. It is no accident that the years immediately after the revolution were devoted to the slaughter of native peoples - a move of great benefit to capitalist land speculators like George Washington.

Later that power would shift to another group of capitalists, the factory owners of the north, who created the civil war not to free slaves (that wasn't even mentioned until more than a year after the war started). The war was to force the southern landcapitalists to buy farm machinery from the factories of the north rather than from Britain.

As capitalists grew in numbers and wealth, they bought governments. Indeed, in the U.S. they have traditionally been the governments with people like Washington, the Roosevelts, Kennedy, both George Bushes, and now Donald Trump. Every war the U.S. has ever fought was fought to benefit the aristocracy of wealth. That includes all the conquests in Latin America, The Phillipines, World Wars 1 and 2 (the U.S. war against Japan was coming with or without Pearl Harbour as US capitalists wanted control of China)  - and some seventy or more wars since World War 2.

Every federal government Canada has ever had was a servant to, at first, British and Canadian capitalists, and now to American and Canadian capitalists.

(And that's why, as I write this, New Brunswick voters are wondering if they should vote Liberal or Conservative. Dream on. It makes not the slightest difference which of those they vote for. And only rarely, as in the case of Louis Robichaud, has it ever mattered which of the two they voted in.)

Our aristocracy is one of wealth. It has no interest whatever in what we need - just as the old, British aristocracy couldn't have cared less what their peasants needed.

And, like the old, British aristocracy, it is an aristocracy of birth rather than of brains. (Can you seriously believe that a person as slow as George Bush jr. could earn a graduate degree at the university level? It is,  I'm afraid, not unknown for universities to give degrees to very rich morons.)

We are ruled by a wealthy class and, like the old aristocracy, it is one of wealth rather than brains or morality. And it is distinguished for greed. And that is a bad combination.

Oh, and with the advent of mass news media in the 1870s or so, we allowed these people get control of almost all our sources of news. That's why we get heavy doses of propaganda to please the boss - and we get lots of  trivia, as sloppily produced by the irving press.

(As I write this, the world is on the edge of a war that could go nuclear. And the big, front page story for the irving press? Some local people found a piece of metal from a fighter plane that crashed on a Scottish hillside in World War Two.

And world news for the irving press? A father in Australia killed himself and six family members. And there's another big story about the preacher who will marry Prince Harry and Meghan. The U.S. thrust to war with Iran? The horrid mass starvation of Yemen? The slaughter of unarmed Palestinians on the border with Israel? The determination of Trump to steal a large part of Syria to be plundered by American capitalists? The danger of Israeli nukes? Who gives a damn? Right?)

There is every possibility that Canada could be sucked into the chaos of the middle east though it has nothing to do with us. So shouldn't Canadians get some understanding of what is going on in the rest of the world?

Apparently not.

Never kid yourself about wars we have fought. Almost all were fought to benefit our major capitalists. Canadians fought and died in Korea because our American bosses wanted to conquer it for an invasion of China. And our Canadian bosses needed us to please the American bosses. Ditto for Afghanistan. Watch for us now to get sucked into the Middle East.

World Wars one and two had nothing to do with German evil. Indeed, the western world,  including Canada,   was as anti-semitic as Hitler was. But we fight whoever our capitalists, Canadian and American, tell us to fight. Our real enemy in World War 2 was German industry which might start beating ours, and a Japan that might conquer China before the U.S. could. That is why the war was fought.

The situation became much worse after the 1950s. After the brief wartime and early peacetime recovery from the depression years of the 1930s, big capitalism returned to turning the clock back. That's when the gap between the very, very rich and the rest of us began to worsen.

In the U.S., especially, poverty has been runaway in recent years. The U.S. is governed by its major capitalists - and they don't give a damn about the American people. That's why American education has become a horror show. That's why hospital care is beyond the reach of most Americans. That's why the minimum wage is low.

Canada is going down the same path - if more slowly.

In both Canada and the U.S., the wealthy have made it worse by pure greed - as in the refusal to pay income tax like the rest of us - and their incomes are so high that the loss of their taxes is doing enormous damage to us.

Couple that, especially in the U.S., with dreadful deficits in government spending, and you have economic disaster looming. (And forget this election bilge about how it's all the fault of government for overspending. It's not. It's the fault of major capitalists for being greedy and hiding their billions - trillions in the U.S.)

To make it worse, the U.S. is going into the deepest debt in history to pay off contracts to the war businesses (which don't pay taxes). This a dead loss with no benefit whatever to the American people.

Now, it's getting worse because the American aristocracy is determined to rule the world. All the things we said we were fighting for in World War Two - such as international law - have been tossed out the window to satisfy a greed that cannot be satisfied. Officially, the U.S. has gone to war against some seventy countries (actually  more) in the last sixty or so years.  Not one of those wars was legal. It also uses its power to impose trade sanctions (which really means poverty) on countries that won't bow it. That's illegal, too. It is deliberately starving people to death. Millions of them. That's illegal. It  has freely used chemical weapons - like agent Orange. That's illegal. It sends killer squads into various countries to kill people it doesn't like. That's illegal. Civilians have been the major targets of almost all its wars. That's illegal.

The United States of today  (with Canadians kissing up on the sidelines) is easily the most vicious nation in history. As I write this, millions of children are dying of hunger and disease inflicted on them by the U.S.

Incidentally, the U.S. has long been cutting off supplies of food and medicine to Yemen. That strikes mostly civilians - adults and children. It is quite likely that this will kill millions - slowly and painfully - as will the illnesses that are killing the children of Yemen for lack of medical supplies.  Ever heard of something as cruel as that before? Sure you can. Think of the nazi holocaust of European Jews.

We in the west have become the naziis of our time. And have you noticed that the irving press has never mentioned this? That's not a coincidence.

All of this is because we have abandoned all principles of intelligence and morality to allow ourselves to be governed by the greediest and most irresponsible among us.

And, as a footnote to this, we are living in a world 2000 years after Christ, and, obviously, Christianity has not gained an inch in these 2000 years.

Where will all of this take us?

Most likely it will take us to the final war.... Along the way, it is quite possible that it will take us into  a severe, world financial crash. For a start, as we automate the work place, the planning will be done by the aristocracy to benefit the aristocracy. That is what has  happened for centuries in times past. Early industrialization in the western world, for example, meant dreadful pay, insecurity and vile slums. (One thinks of the case in Toronto of the late 19th century when a teenager working on a dangerous piece of machinery lost his arm. He was immediately fired and sent home. And that was the end of the company's responsibility.)

It can't happen to us? Oh, it has in the past. And it will. It's already happened to tens of millions all over the world - and to way over a hundred million if you count the refugees. And this is not what Canadians fought and died for in any war.

Unless we get smart, all the horrors that we inflict on the rest of the world will come to us. And don't expect our wealthy to be of any help. They've made it abundantly clear that they, like the aristocracies of old,  have neither intelligence nor morality - and no time for us commoners.

And the time is very, very short. Our leading capitalists have the whole world on the edge of a nuclear war. The reality, which they refuse to see, is that nobody would survive such a war - no, not even our capitalists in their posh clubs.  (Nor would nuclear bunkers be much help.)

The power of weaponry has made the idea of war insane. If we are going to survive at all, we need to put capitalism in its proper place and under control. And it has to be soon. Very soon. That's why I feel that all the parties at all levels have platforms that are hopelessly inadequate.

And no. It doesn't matter whether you vote for Liberals or Conservatives. Neither of them has anything that could be called a principle. (or an intellect).

As I re-read this, I realize it doesn't scratch the surface. The whole world faces the greatest challenges it has ever seen. And I see no sign of intelligent life in the present day aristocracies who are now in control.

We are evil in what we allow to happen to us and to others. The behaviour of the U.S. aristocracy - which we largely support (or prefer to pretend we don't see) matches any evil I know of in human history - evil inflicted not just on our 'enemies', but on us.

If we are to survive, we need to take control of our own societies because aristocracies are inherently evil. And we have very little time.

As I write  this on the evening of May 13, I have just learned that my son graduates from university tomorrow. I shall have to finish writing this tonight, so it may be a little shorter than usual.

As I write this, here are a couple of stories from the middle east that the irving press hasn't noticed yet. (Actually, it never notices much. This is a drab, dreary, and trivial press whose real purpose is to keep New Brunswickers in a stupor (seriously).

This has been going on for a couple of weeks.  But it hasn't made the irving press.

It's nice to have a Haaretz that tells us something.

And here's a collector's item for a headline.

It may be a bias of mine, but I have long found that Jews have a stronger tradition than Christians do of social thought and action. And that's been showing in  the reactions of American Jews to Israel's treatment of Palestinians.

(Christian churches are more likely to do whatever the bosses tell them to.)

The cost of big capitalism. And the price that's coming soon.
The oil industry tells us that oil is perfectly safe and good for us. And it's as honest on that as it is on everything else.

The important point about this next story is something that doesn't appear in it. The American expenditure on weapons is a blessing to big capitalists. It's a field rife with corruption and high profits. U.S. spending on weapons is the biggest in the world. But strange things can happen.
1. The spending on weapons means starvation of education, of health care...
2. And new weapons soon become old  weapons. There's a strong temptation to use them too soon rather than too late. And it's all money borrowed by the American people to be blown away into the pockets of billionaires. And the borrowed money means one hell of an economic crash coming down the road.

War is a luxury we can no longer afford - and it is also a habit which no longer pays off.

In all the fuss and flurry of international quarrels, we have Canada. Canada is a puppet of the U.S. as it once was of Britain. That's good for Canadian big capitalists because if gives them easy access ( usually) to the American market. And our big capitalists are the only ones to gain from this.

As the U.S. blunders closer to world, nuclear war, Canada will be sucked along to fight the U.S. wars - as it did in Korea, Afghanistan, and Libya. We have to start by getting control over our own big capitalists.

New Brunswick is approaching a provincial election. A start in getting back control of our own lives would be NOT to vote for either the Conservatives or Liberals. Both parties are owned by you-know-who. That's why, currently, the newspapers owned by you-know-who seem to be supporting the Conservatives. Voting for either of those parties makes no sense at all.

The other parties lack tough policies, it's true. But they're the only other choices we have. Either New Brunswickers act now - or they devote the rest of their lives and their children's lives to kissing irving rear-ends.

This could be a start for a new, New Brunswick. Or it could be what it has been since 1867 - a big yawn.

And now to the big graduation.

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