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Mon Mar 2, 2015, 12:18 AM

The Heaven and Hell of Colonialism or the Dangers of Economy First, Women and Children Last

For many in the third world, western Europe---Germany, France, Italy, Great Britain seems like heaven compared to the places where they were born and live. The irony is that some of these hellish places are the hellholes which they are because Western Europe and later the United States continue to enrich themselves by plundering the resources of their colonies. Yes, the little Colony that could, the U.S. has become a colonial superpower itself. Go figure. Apparently the right to life, liberty and happiness--and property rights---only applied to white men who could trace their ancestry to Europe.

One hundred twenty-five years ago, the so called Plains Wars ended when the U.S. stole yet another chunk of Lakota territory, slashed rations for the Lakota on the reservations, then turned around and outlawed the Ghost Dance by which the Natives hoped to reclaim their land, their buffalo herds and their freedom. One hundred-twenty-five years ago, Tatanka Iyotake (aka Sitting Bull) was murdered and then Spotted Elk and 300 his followers were killed as they attempted to surrender. The dead at Wounded Knee included woman and children who were chased down and murdered up to two miles from the initial battle site, giving the lie to the soldiers' claim that they fought in self defense.




Wounded Knee was no accident. It was an object lesson. Indian Agents across the west then advised their own Natives to settle down---with the implied threat that what happened at Wounded Knee could happen to them. It was Colonialism's last stand in the United States. After that, our government was careful to maintain at least a semblance of fair play when depriving Americans of their land and lives. Abroad, anything still went and no excess was too excessive, especially if we could claim that we were fighting the scourge of communism. Hey, the South China Sea was full of oil and gas.



Ironically, colonialism abroad helped the poor, downtrodden workers of Western Europe to improve their own lot. When dock owners in London decided to cut the already pitifully poor wages which they paid to day laborers for unloading cargo, the laborers balked. And 100,000 stevedores, firemen and other workers balked with them. They staged the Great Dock Strike of 1889. One year before, the women who worked making matches at Bryant and May in London staged the first ever successful strike as the public realized that British women were working in conditions akin to slavery. The Great Dock Strike was much bigger. The dock owners knew that hunger would eventually force the workers back to their jobs. All they had to do was wait---

And that is when colonialism turned around and bit the capitalist hand that fed it. Australian workers, no doubt remembering the poverty and tyranny that forced many of them from their home country, gathered enough money to keep the striking workers fed. The dock owners capitulated. Labor had one of its early, great victories. And today, if you are a British citizen, you have all kinds of rights and benefits, because of the efforts of those early union organizers and those early strikers and their compatriots in the colonies who made their fortunes depriving Aboriginal Natives of their land. Today, if you are a United States citizen you have all kinds of rights, privileges and advantages because we sent the Cherokee on the Trail of Tears and stole the Black Hills of Dakota when gold was discovered.

I present this slice of history from 1889 to prove a point. If you get too fixed on a single problem and a single solution to the problem, you lose sight of the big picture. London's East End workers rose from third world living conditions thanks to colonialism. That same colonialism committed cold blooded theft and semi cold blooded genocide against the Natives of North America. Colonialism abroad quickly turns to colonialism at home as the rich realize that they can use colonial tactics on their own countrymen. Once any one of us starts treating anyone anywhere in the world as expendable, the door to hell is opened and we all end up burning.



Those who say that there is only one issue that matters this election---the economy--had better think about whose economy they are referring to. The economy of the guy who lives in Detroit? The economy of the child soldier in Africa? The economy of the infant girl being exposed because she is not wanted in India? The economy of the Silicon Valley engineer? The economy of those who still languish on Reservations in our country? Because what makes one of them money may cause the other to starve to death or to die at the hands of right wing paramilitaries.



So called Women's and Children's issues---making sure that no policy is unfair to or kills any child anywhere so that someone else can have more money than he or she needs---are not merely optional. So called Women's and Children's issues are essential if we are ever to end the hopelessness that breeds war. No one anywhere will ever be able to build a tower high enough or secure a mortgage with interest low enough or accumulate a pension fat enough to protect him or her from the devastation that can happen when a single child anywhere is treated as expendable. Karma is not an esoteric concept. Karma is what happens when our own lack of love for others comes back to bite us on the ass.

If you think you can have economic security while ignoring the plight of women and children, you are delusional. But don't feel too bad. You are only parroting what your corporate masters have told you. Get your own slice of the pie, first. After you are set for life, then you can begin to do something for the_____

Welcome to hell. Enjoy your stay. Count your money. Pay no attention to that nagging little itch at the back of your mind. That's just your conscience speaking to you. No one ever suffered for not listening to their conscience.





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Reply The Heaven and Hell of Colonialism or the Dangers of Economy First, Women and Children Last (Original post)
McCamy Taylor Mar 2015 OP
Mnemosyne Mar 2015 #1
ND-Dem Mar 2015 #2

Response to McCamy Taylor (Original post)

Mon Mar 2, 2015, 12:34 AM

1. Excellent OP, MT! K&R for truth! nt

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Response to McCamy Taylor (Original post)

Mon Mar 2, 2015, 01:06 AM

2. The US has a higher per capital GDP than ever before in history, but its people are

 

poorer. It's not the average American getting rich; it's the 1%. So address your remarks about karma to them.

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