Posts Tagged ‘Las Casas’

American Uncivil War

July 8, 2016

People pass away, mentalities perdure.

The English were not the first colonizers of North America. However, when they finally got there, it was with the most effective ethics to enforce the objectives of ultimate greed. England had been too busy with recalcitrant Scotland and Ireland to join the early conquistadores (meanwhile, the French re-conquered much of the Mediterranean from the Muslims, and even the Canaries archipelago).

The English arrived nearly a century after the Spaniards and the French… and six centuries after the Vikings! With a very different sort of leaders. And with a very different mood, uncontrolled greed foremost.

The reason that the Vikings did not conquer North America was that the aboriginals strongly objected to the Scandinavian presence. When Jacques Cartier arrived in 1534 CE in Quebec, the story repeated itself. The French had firearms, but they were taken aback by the sophisticated discourses of the inhabitants, who explained to the French that there was no space for both the aborigines, and the French. And if the French insisted upon invading the place, there would be war. In due course, over many generations, the French government persuaded the Natives that they could learn to farm, too, and then there was space for everybody.

The Spaniards were not as kind. In 1529, Francisco Pizarro received royal approval to conquer the region and be its viceroy. The letter read: “In July 1529 the queen of Spain signed a charter allowing Pizarro to conquer the Incas. Pizarro was named governor and captain of all conquests in New Castile”. It is not just a question of race. The Spaniards also used Black Conquistadores, professional soldiers who had been captured in Africa, in African wars, and sold to the Spaniards. Then those African soldiers were freed to do what they did best again…in the Americas, with European weapons.

Colombus exploited, according to Satan, Las Casas revolted against Satan. The Spaniards taught their ferocity in the Canaries islands, once they took over from the French, massacring the tall, white blonde aborigines. Ferocity can procreate and multiply. The worse being that it works.

Colombus exploited, according to Satan, Las Casas revolted against Satan. The Spaniards taught their ferocity in the Canaries islands, once they took over from the French, massacring the tall, white blonde aborigines. Ferocity can procreate and multiply. The worse being that it works.

Las Casas took part in the conquest of Cuba, and was granted by the crown a huge land, an encomienda, complete with slaves. Then he moved to the continent. Finally, Bartolomé de las Casas had enough of the “unbelievable” holocaust he was a witness of, since its inception. Bartolomé went from adventurer to bishop, and tried to enforce the good side of God. Happily, the (French-born and educated) Spanish king and Roman emperor Charles V ordered an inquiry and trial on the Spanish induced Holocaust in the Americas. The ensuing Valladolid debate was conclusive enough to bring Charles V, the would-be conqueror of Europe blocked by France, into ordering the halt of the Conquista (here I differ from Wikipedia, because I know much more). More exactly, Charles V ordered the halt of completely new conquista, and then resigned (1551 CE, although said resignation was official and final only in 1558 CE).

So the Spaniards did not conquer most of North America…. which should have been a military walk in the park; Spanish exploratory raids had gone all the way to present day Washington DC, finding most of the country emptied by (European generated) epidemics.

The English colony, though, was not founded by a government, inasmuch as a mercantilist collusion of the “West Country Men” and the English government, famous for lining alleyways with skulls in Ireland. One of the investors was the king of England. The English colony was powered by slave labor, from inception. Whites, Indians, Blacks were enslaved. The whites often with the subtlety of “endured servants” contracts (if they ate a pig in the forest, they got another five years, if they escaped to the Indians, they got quartered alive, a disagreeable prospect to keep them in line obsequiously, etc.)

I have long described the “West Country Men” mentality. It is alive and well. What made the English colony profitable was tobacco exploitation, thanks to hundreds of thousands of slaves. Never mind that the king of England execrated tobacco smoking. It was good, very good money, and profits are the supreme value. Never mind the satanic aspects. That’s why it’s called plutocracy.

In the present day USA, governmental violence is a fact. First there is the political violence of “representatives” elected by money, as surely as in the Eighteenth Century England.

In the USA police violence, revolting by Western European standards, is a fact. It is not just after “blacks”. It is the violence of car chases (try 100 mph in a city). The violence which results when not putting the hands on the wheel, when stopped for bogus reasons.

Police officers, armed to the hilt, with a mentality which shoots first and ask question later, are very well paid. The total compensation of a police officer at the University of California, Berkeley, is 200,000 dollars. More than three times the US median family income. That is gigantic, even by American standards. It is also how the 1% buy the army which protects them (so drive a BMW, or a Tesla Model S, to be left alone by police: class solidarity operates…)

Violence in the service of plutocracy is also judicial violence, not just police and political violence. In California, that America of America, full of silicon, and engineers from all over the world, keen to make a fortune, American born citizens were condemned to life in prison, without possibility of parole. For… stealing a slice of pizza.

Why? It insures the peace. The upper middle class will think twice before launching a revolution. If eating pizza can get you killed, imagine what having to eat your own words get you.

Remember Victor Hugo? He wrote, among many other great works, “The Miserables”. The main protagonist, Jean Valjean, early in the Nineteenth Century, is condemned to twenty years prison for stealing a bread. That was was viewed as a horrible injustice, and, at some point the french Republic passed a law saying one cannot be condemned for stealing food.

Just as one cannot be condemned in France, just for fleeing (fleeing being viewed as a fundamental right; although not obeying police is a crime: subtleties, subtleties…)

Now compare again with California, where eating a slice of pizza can get you to the slammer forever… In the 2000’s (the law was amended slightly since: gulping American pizza does not qualify as a major crime anymore, although, of course, it is, for other reasons…).

This was just an example. Possession of “crack cocaine” is punished at twenty times the rate of “cocaine powder” (blacks use rock cocaine, Wall Street uses cocaine powder).

And so on. Meanwhile Federal Magistrates are nominated, and serve a couple of years earning a measly 180,000 dollars, while being extremely partial to Silicon Valley oligopolies, from their judges’ benches. Then they resign, and are employed by the usual suspects, said Silicon Valley oligopolies, earning many millions (I have seen cases, close and personal). “Free market”, anyone?

The educational system is by the wealthiest, for the wealthiest. And ever more so. Educational violence: preventing the lower class to access quality education.

Of course the Whiter House, white as the driven snow, after spending an inordinate amount of time and money plotting with Silicon Valley, knows all of this. It’s Mercantilism on steroids. It does not matter. Obama is gathering plutocrats to pay for his hyper expensive “library” to the greater glory of Uncle Barry’s sedate reign 

And all this violence, direct or indirect, works. Watch the rigged presidential elections, with thoroughly corrupt plutocrats running against each other, in a parody of representative democracy.

As long as We The People don’t shoot back. That it does not happen more often, and that militant Islam does not get more recruits, is rather surprising. But times may change. Any day. What will the plutocratic establishment do? Load bigger guns, with more ammunition, and more science fiction weapons. In this particular case of 12 police officers shot, wounded, and killed in Dallas, the gunman, 25, had been trained, apparently very well, as an exterminator in Afghanistan. He was killed by… a robot. Times they are changing, even if plutocracy only grows. What plutocracy needs, is even more spying on the Internet (the gunman had a Facebook account where he expressed his displeasure for the white man…)  Inequality can be an expensive call.

The Spanish and English colonies were founded as wars against the Peoples, to satisfy the god of greed, and domination, and the attending mentalities endure.

Patrice Ayme’

 

ENSLAVED, BUT SAVED?

May 12, 2015

The short of it: Regions of Africa in the Eighteenth Century produced more human beings than they could afford (something reminiscent of what is happening today, nearly everywhere…) The solution was traditional: deliberate mass death. However, slave traders made selling more profitable than killing… Nothing too shocking, I reckon… but quite enough to melt a million snowflakes.

***

An ex-African child brings to you a NEW, SHATTERING PERSPECTIVE ON THE TRANSATLANTIC SLAVE TRADE: it saved lives! (A friend from India told me to remove this essay, it would endanger my reputation permanently, she insisted… But really new truths often hurt, so here it is…)

No philosophy is new, if all it does, is to tenderly stroke the minds of the past, their pet theories, and the errors of their deepest, most obscurantist emotions. Really new wisdom breaks old minds, and it hurts, yes: in spiritual matters, no pain, no real gain.

It is a given, among the self-glorifying Politically Correct, and the fashionably liberal, that the Transatlantic Slave Trade was a gigantic black eye for Western Civilization, an irremediable error we should all attune for the rest of times, and all times to come, even when our ancestors had nothing to do with it, or even when some of our own ancestors were slaves, and other ancestors, masters. (For example is Michelle Obama, a descendant of both master and slave, stained with mastery, or slavery? I say, neither, and this essay explains why…)

Does that received truth, that the Transatlantic Slave Trade was abominable, hold under global, thorough, hyper-critical relativistic, fully informed scrutiny? No. It’s not that simple. Granted that slavery was an atrocity, the US leadership was one with it, and this is having a huge, nefarious influence on the USA, to this day. However, just transporting Africans out of Africa was another matter: it saved lives. A few remarks:

1) It’s a subset of plutocrats who organized the slave trade, not “Western Civilization”. The average European knew nothing about slavery, and didn’t profit from it (although some towns did, indirectly). Indeed, slavery had been unlawful in (what the Franks called) “Europe” for a millennium, thanks to Queen Bathilde around 655 CE. Plutocrats organize a lot of lucrative horrors nowadays, far from prying eyes.

Bottom Line: Slavery Was Unlawful Inside Europe Since 660 CE

Bottom Line: Slavery Was Unlawful In Europe Since 660 CE. In Africa, as in all distant history, slavery flourished, and, much worse, so did mass human sacrifices. Yest, confronted to that choice, people would prefer slavery to summary execution.

2) It is better to (let) drown Africans by the thousands as they try to reach Europe, as is practiced nowadays? (Some days, hundreds drown in the Mediterranean, because conditions are so bad in Africa, and so good in Europe, they prefer to risk death than to continue with horror in today’s Africa…)

Is it worse to be put in chains, laying on one’s back like sardines, exercised one hour a day, as during the Transatlantic Slave Trade, rather than drowning in the Med, as endured by at least 50,000 in the last few years? And on this latter point, drowning in the Mediterranean because Africa has become such a terrible place, one can’t live there, we can’t say we never heard about it (whereas most of the European population had never heard of slavery during the colonization of the Americas, as slavery was unlawful in Europe: slaves were immediately liberated… except for those of (future) US president Jefferson (who, protected by diplomatic immunity, moreover lied to his slaves and French Ancient Regime authorities).

3) At least, indeed, differently from today across the Mediterranean, slave traders were keen not to drown their expensively purchased slaves (as they wanted to sell them, and in the best conditions).

4) Coach passengers in today’s airlines are in worse cardiovascular stress positions than slaves were (the latter could lay flat). Right, that should be unlawful (and many passengers die).

Let’s dig in the slave logic.

The claim is generally made that 11 million Africans were transported in slave ships, from Africa to the Americas. Once arrived there, they were used as living robots. They were moreover generally submitted to racism, the idea that they were not quite human. Accordingly they were treated inhumanly.

Between 650 CE and 1920 CE, 18 million Africans were transported to Muslim countries. Many were castrated, and suffered high death rates, so the slave population did not increase much. Islamist jurisprudence frowned upon enslaving born Muslims (and initially Jews and Christians, except if captured in war; however, that was rescinded soon).

The transatlantic slave trade was organized by pretty satanic individuals, right.

However, differently from slaves in Muslim countries, American slaves were not castrated, and however inhumanly treated, not only suffered much lower death rates than in Muslim countries, but grew and multiplied.

African slaves in the Americas were never treated so badly that they engaged in as a large scale rebellion such as the Zanj (= East African Great Lakes Bantus). 500,000 African slaves captured the large port of Basra in Iraq, and fought for 15 years. (The largest North American slave rebellion involved barely more than one plantation, and killed a few dozen people… Who all knew each other.)

The slave population in the Americas augmented rapidly… From doing what comes naturally, namely copulation, when conditions are not so bad.

But let’s reconsider the basic point. How did Euro-American plutocrats get their slaves? By buying them. (Europeans hunting Africans down was tried a bit by the Portuguese early on, but proved way too expensive and dangerous, past the first element of surprise.)

African states and empires were well armed (with native steel arrowheads). Starting in 1300 CE, in the empire of Senegambia and Mali, one third of the population was enslaved. Slavery does not have to do with riches: the emperor of Mali went to Mecca and blinded all the Arabs with his incredible wealth (Mali was full of gold and slaves to extract it). He was probably the Earth’s richest person.

In Madagascar, half of the population was enslaved. In Zanzibar, 90%. Slavery was all over Africa, and it had nothing to do with evil white men.

And the natural question is this: had these slaves not been sold, would they have lived?

Africa was crisscrossed by wars. Ever since the Carthaginians, white men had been unable to conquer it, because Africans were expert at war, and mastered steel technology. It’s only after 1850 CE that Europeans achieved military technology so advanced that they made local, African soldiers into conquering armies (or, at least, that’s the way the French did it; the British used their own soldiers and suffered two tremendous defeats, one in West Africa, the other at the hands of the Zulus).

So would have these prisoners of war and other criminals live, but for the slave trade?

The observation is the perennial one, the great enforcer of the Dark Side in the human species: the first thing humanity always had to kill, was overpopulation.

Bartolome’ de las Casas stopped all by himself the Conquista of the Americas by Spain (he did not like the genocide and persuaded Charles V). He also condemned the African slave trade, pointing out that it “incited Africans to sell their own children”.

A fine, very humanitarian, cute and cuddly argument, but is it really true? Could one cut and paste European ethical logic onto Black Africa?

In truth we know that mass human sacrifices as happened during the Grand Customs” in Dahomey were stopped, because the captives got sold as slaves instead of being chopped into bits. Instead of killing up to 10,000 captives, it was found smarter to sell them to white slave traders (Dahomey provided up to 20% of the transatlantic slave trade). The fact is, there were too many Africans to go around, considering the state of farming then.

Hence the wars, slavery, mayhems, to control the population in many African countries (and not just African): One can’t have a population without an ecology, but one can’t have an ecology with too much of a population. That old quandary of the genus Homo evolved all of us into all too many bits and pieces of Doctor Jekyll, and Mr. Hyde.

Dahomey was not bad intrinsically: it was just organized, considering its capabilities. After the French (and Senegalese) conquered it, more advanced farming was introduced, while slavery and human sacrifices were outlawed.

It is no accident that, shortly before its civil war, Rwanda was the most densely populated country in Africa. 20% of the population was killed. In three months. (And the story is more complicated, and troubling, than usually told, as some observe that a majority of the people killed were Hutu, not Tutsi, as supported by the evidence that the “genocide” happened during the invasion of Rwanda by the Tutsi “Rwanda Patriotic Front”.)

Morocco closed its last slave market in 1920. It helped that Morocco was then under French supervision. Saudi Arabia made slavery unlawful in the 1960s. (Islam, by giving a precise legal framework to slavery, allowed it to fester forever.) Mauritania, a country of ineffable charm, which I have resided in, criminalized slavery in 2007. 600,000 people, 20% of the population, are currently enslaved there (the French had abolished slavery in Mauritania in 1920, but the country became independent in the 1960s, allowing to re-establish slavery).

A well-known reason brandished to justify the invasion and occupation of Africa by European powers was the presence of slavery in Africa (the source of the Transatlantic Slave Trade). That argument failed in Christian Ethiopia, which, although attacked by Italy, was never conquered… But also was never part of the slave trade.

Amusingly, as “passengers” are packed like cattle in planes nowadays, getting strokes by the thousands, as a result, nobody points out that slaves at least enjoyed flat beds. (I had still another friend who died, yesterday, from a stroke within days of flying; not a subject airlines and their sponsors are keen to examine.)

Once transported to the Americas, slaves were branded, and treated worse than 3,500 years prior in Mesopotamia. Well, that was a problem with the inhuman character of the laws in the Americas. And yes, it is unforgivable.

However, as far as the slaves were concerned, enslaving them may have saved their lives. I am not saying that this is sure, obvious, and proven.

Just, that it seems very likely. Reality is harder than fiction.

Think, but verify.

Nowadays, slaves can be discreetly purchased in several African countries for a few hundred dollars. Meanwhile, please consider the possibility that the situation with thousands drowning in the Mediterranean, as they try to flee to Europe, is actually worse than the Transatlantic Slave Trade.

For most people, in most circumstances, it is better to be chained than to be dead. The atrocious, uncivilized slavery organized in the Americas by European immigrants and their descendants may, paradoxically, have saved lives. And it surely enabled Africa to partly colonized the Americas in much greater numbers than it would have done otherwise, and thus contribute to civilization in more ways than simply music.

Patrice Ayme’