To subdue the enemy without fighting is the supreme excellence. - Sun Tzu

Thursday, June 30, 2005

A Tangential Rant/Manifesto... 'Rantifesto'

The problem with Africa is not that we're not giving them enough money- it's that we've given them too much money. And this money is used on all the wrong things, and for all the wrong reasons. It's not exactly cause and effect, but it is a big, steaming mess.

First, some history.

1800's- Europe carves up Africa. Colonial regimes are installed after the African resistance (consisting of countless thousands of spearmen... vs. guns...) is crushed. The Europeans come for the gold, and stay for the plantation labor ("Africa- Come for the gold, stay for the plantation labor!")

So about a hundred years or so goes by. The European mother countries have withdrawn their formal militaries, but the colonial population is large enough (although still a small % of the total population) to keep the natives in line, thanks to their overwhelming wealth (their profit came from the plantations and mines), which allowed them to buy European weapons, such as tanks and air forces. In contrast, the natives had numbers and... uh, spirit?

Eventually, the natives decided they had enough of being second-class-citizens on their own land, and put their feet to the behinds of the Whites. It took a while, and literally millions died across the continent, but eventually Europe had to admit that her profitable colonies were lost. Of course, they made sure to destroy the economic viability of the place (by not training the new owners) before they left.

One of the most successful European tactics that really bought them a lot of times was the time-tested Divide Your Enemies. Before Europeans arrived, Africa was rather cosmopolitan, racially. There wasn't nearly as much tribal or religious rivalry as you might thing. The Europeans used propaganda to turn tribes against other tribes, so they'd waste time fighting each other instead of fighting the Europeans who were their true enemy. So that's the souce of most of Africa's tribal rivalries.

After the Whites generally lost power, thanks to genuine democracy (and do you think the Blacks elected Black representatives or Whites? I'll make it easy: Two guesses, and if you say "whites" it doesn't count), not a whole lot changed for the average African, because it turns out that Black Africans like money just as much as Whites. Educated Africans betrayed their countrymen by selling out to foreign, European corporations in exchange for fat salaries and the illusion of being treated with respect.

What I mean is this: European (by which I also mean American) corporations, bankers, and politicans looked at all the poverty and destruction in Africa and thought, "There's a lot of idle laborers who can be exploited for profit". So they proposed to the generally-well-meaning African politicians massive aid loans. These would either be in the form of lump sums (to spend on European goods, of course, since only Europe has the industrial capacity) or utilities projects (such as dams). On paper, they seemed like brilliant plans- The Africans get lifted up into the First World, where they produce enough to pay off the loans, with interest.

Unfortunately, the projections were always skewed optimistic. So, for many countries, these loans became traps they could never escape, because they could never make enough to pay off the loans and the interest. They had no choice but to default. So these loan organizations- such as the IMF and World Bank- exercised their contractual rights to go into these countries and "fix" their economies so they'd be more profitable. In other cases, the economic control came before the loans!

And this is the point of the most recent betrayal. You see, "reorganizing" their economies meant reorganizing them to be export economies. The idea was that these countries would prioritize things that European economies want and sell them for, hopefully, enough to pay off the loans- Thus, for example, the most fertile area of starving India is producing tulips! South Africa's constitution guarantees clean water for all of its citizens, yet the IMF/World Bank arbitrarily suggested a water rate hike which will put it beyond the reach of millions! Ecuador spends half of its taxes on paying interest on its national debt- and that money, for the most part, goes into the pockets of our corporations.

Do you want to know why Aristide got thrown out of Haiti? He dared resist, so our government and corporations financed and armed his opponents (Didn't you wonder why there were so many American flags in Haiti?).
Haiti is a textbook example of what happens to countries after they follow IMF/WTO/FTAA/World Bank guidelines. Example: Grain. Haiti had tariffs to protect its large farmer population. But the FTAA mandated that they be taken down, 'To encourage trade'. Cheap American grain flowed in, and the farmers were ruined. The economists said that Haiti should switch from the Creole pig to more efficient Iowa pigs. But in fact, the real reason they wanted this was to destroy a swine flu, and to sell millions of dollars worth of pigs! They did not remotely have the best interests of the Haitians in mind. To make matters worse, the Iowa pigs quickly died in the comparatively-brutal Haitian climate. So now, the Haitians, for the most part, have nothing.

Now these same globalizing corporate motherfarkers are in charge of this country today. They told us we had to invade Iraq, for example, for many reasons, one of which was to control the economic resources and virtually enslave the working class. Research Bremer's 100 Orders, the incredibly illegal changes to Iraq's laws (that's banned under the Geneva conventions) which effectively gave multinational corporations and banks control of Iraq's economy. For example, non-Iraqi banks can now own up to 50% of Iraqi banks' stock. Even worse, Iraqi farmers are not allowed to save seed from year to year, meaning they must buy it. This was a totally arbitrary and utterly evil rule to impose. And because there are no seed salesmen in Iraq (why would there be? farmers saved their own seed), there is only one source: Corporations like Monsanto, who stand to make a killing.

And these evil bastards control both parties- Clinton signed FTAA, remember, because they told us it would "create jobs". Bullshiat! Our jobs have gone overseas because the labor is cheaper, because they're not being paid enough (so corporations can make more profit). You think Bangladesh has a minimum wage, or OSHA? China? Our workers are more expensive because they're treated like human beings.

Pick a point on the globe,
and the picture's the same:
There's a bank, there's a church, a myth and a hearse,
A mall and a loan, a child dead at birth.

The only solution is to stop all of our trade with any country that does not have a livable minimum wage, adequate labor regulation, and free public education.

For more information:
Read "Confessions of an Economic Hit Man"
Watch "The Fourth World War"
Google "Creole Pigs", Ecuador, Bolivia, FTAA (not the official website, obviously)


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