Posts Tagged ‘Colonialism’

https://topdocumentaryfilms.com/escape-cult-materialism/

An exploration of our pervasive culture of consumption.

I noted the following well made points illustrated in this piece;

• The materialist dream is not practically possible for all humanity, therefore this will always necessitate leaving large parts of the world behind, keeping them poor and chasing an impossible reality. This level of inequality is inbuilt, and intentional. It is the modus operandi of consumerism

• Violence and warfare are integral aspects of this cult. In order to secure power, competitive advantage and gain access to markets for supply and demand components, an active military is fundamental

• When attempting to find linkage between different facts and truths in order to uncover the greater truths, one part of this documentary was particularly appealing. View from 34:16;

“Wasteful inefficiency, broken social system, toxic pollution, drug addiction, perpetual violence, misery….”

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Please find enclosed a copy of Benedikt Koehler’s text on the application of market based principles extensively throughout out the early and later eras of Islam.

I hope to write more about this enlightening piece in a later post, but meanwhile, please do download a copy and read all about the history you never knew

Early Islam and the Birth of Capitalism – Benedikt Koehler

Also view the following presentation delivered in the City of London at the Legatum Institute, which includes a Q&A

Consider this post in reference to the concept of derivatives.

I feel that if anyone wants to attempt any critique of the derivatives market in its entirety, one has to move past any continued emphasis on ‘casino capitalism’, as this is an oft repeated line which, whatever its merits or otherwise, has become an easy reply for those who favour such practices.

I believe one needs to concentrate on debunking the notion of risk management in order to effectively retort.

Many supporters of derivatives would rightly point to their use is not just to speculate with (as in Investment Banking), but as a valid means to manage risk, especially in Insurance, and it is this aspect which deserves further attention in my humble opinion

The above linked post brilliantly draws together the notion of colonising time as an integral commodity, matching any such physical asset, thereby shinning a much needed light on the important and neglected aspects of this discourse of, post colonialism and global racial financialisation.

It has been oft repeated that in our democratic, liberal societies, the few have greater power over the many

Is it the top 1% that owns a greater share of the capital and wealth than the remaining 99%? It is interesting to think of how many of these ‘many verses few’ statistics genuinely exist when analysing our reality

Given the freedom to own property and generate capital, which can indeed be a positive thing, to what extent is this so open to abuse that the rules of the game were never really meant to create fairness and a degree of equality? Is human nature, which is left unchecked, too prone to avarice that such freedoms will always result in a small elite hungry to capture ever more resources than required?

This is not another post looking to promote controlled economies,  however its purpose is to illustrate that, with the best of intensions, will some freedoms, when applied to a population shaped and conformed to behave in a certain manner, always result in a pyramidical structure taking shape where these conditions exist? Is this shape the overriding effect of all the freedoms at our disposal? Consider the following;

Top Asset Management firms by total value of assets under management

Think about what this data is actually telling us; when asset managers acquire equity, or interest in another business enterprise, they take a degree of ownership in that firm. Thereby, over time and because of the funds that flow to these giant institutions, the few in combination, have ended up in a position of ‘owning’ in part or in full, the many corporations that they have a share in – allowing them to ascend to the top of the pyramid; the few owning much greater proportion combined than the many. It also follows that this leads to a common source of control and influence across an economy/region given this limited pool of effective ownership.

Another perspective on this could be that much of this capital originates from the mass population who are the ultimate owners, through their long term savings and pension provisions invested with these providers. Therefore, is this an attempt to invert the structure, allowing the many to benefit? I would argue not, the masses, when considered individually, on average, do not financially benefit as much as the managers who take material cuts from the pool of funds at their disposal. Often their reward incentives are not adequately aligned with the retail investors at large, allowing the elite to become disproportionally better off than the investors who are searching for gains. The small investor is also not the party which excercises the controlling power.

In addition to this asset ownership, consider more generally, how much land the few own in comparison to the larger population, the size of GDP of the few regions compared to the many, the distribution of resources, the access to what is classed as the best quality of education, the trend continues and the structure that we can continually see forming is that of a top down, hierarchical pyramid – it should be clear from such insights what the ultimate power structure of the contemporary world is and what the fruits of everybody’s efforts are really delivering.

 

 

By following the money trail it is possible to  discover how intertwined British Imperialism was with its emergence as an economic power and the prosperity created for the nation.

Please read the following eight short pieces by James Walvin, on the monuments and show pieces across Britain and the people behind them, all connected to various trades directly linked to Slavery.

I will continue to explore this topic in a number of posts in future under a similar title

Nothing is as plain and straight forward as it appears

I could conceivably accept that if all nations were free to trade with each other, equitably, then this would indeed be a great solution to enable prosperity and cooperation across diverse cultures and lands. But this notion assumes every participant actually has any real freedom at all, and that they have all necessary resources available to them.

Freedom has a price, and business of creating and distributing freedom is a lucrative one

I put it you readers, that the prevailing global trade infrastructure is a manipulated construct as a result of an imperialist design.

Putting imperialism into context is foremost before any discourse on the merits or otherwise of neo-capitalism can take place. It is in this vein that I would like to share this remarkably well written piece by Pankaj Mishra…

https://www.theguardian.com/news/audio/2017/nov/20/how-colonial-violence-came-home-the-ugly-truth-of-the-first-world-war-podcast

The author also writes for Bloomberg, consider some of these pieces too….

https://www.bloomberg.com/opinion/articles/2018-09-18/steve-bannon-may-understand-liberalism-better-than-liberals

https://www.theguardian.com/books/2017/jan/25/age-of-anger-history-of-the-present-pankaj-mishra-review

 

One of the most decorated US military officers, Smedley Butler famously wrote in his book ‘War is a Racket’;

I spent 33 years and four months in active military service and during that period I spent most of my time as a high class muscle man for Big Business, for Wall Street and the bankers. In short, I was a racketeer, a gangster for capitalism. I helped make Mexico and especially Tampico safe for American oil interests in 1914. I helped make Haiti and Cuba a decent place for the National City Bank boys to collect revenues in. I helped in the raping of half a dozen Central American republics for the benefit of Wall Street. I helped purify Nicaragua for the International Banking House of Brown Brothers in 1902-1912. I brought light to the Dominican Republic for the American sugar interests in 1916. I helped make Honduras right for the American fruit companies in 1903. In China in 1927 I helped see to it that Standard Oil went on its way unmolested. Looking back on it, I might have given Al Capone a few hints. The best he could do was to operate his racket in three districts. I operated on three continents.

His comments were in part reference to the ‘Banana Wars’ – a perfect example of how the gun, and not the market, dictates so-called free-trade.

My recent posts have centred on exploring the link between European imperialism and the establishment of global trade and capitalism. However, the Banana Wars illustrate a poignant example of US imperialism – although of course, this nation is of European origin itself.

In place of British concerns regarding the Suez Canal and its lucrative connections of trade routes, we find US concerns of the Panama Canal and the ‘neighbourhood’ of the Americas which needed to be dominated and controlled. In place of the East India Corporation and its exploits, we find the United Fruit Company, and its overriding financial interests in the various plantations and crops of the Latin Americas. The motives are similar, however these wars took a slightly unusual turn in 1990’s when the slave masters took on each other for almost complete control of a key market

The former US colonies in South America which yielded Bananas had some competition from former European colonies in the Caribbean and Africa which were large exporters to the Euro area. I say some competition, because the large US corporations already dominated the European market, holding approximately three-quarters of the export market. Despite the relatively tiny share the Caribbean and African markets had, their sales were given preferential treatment due to various tariffs and quotas given to them by their European masters. This of course, was unfair.

Unfair Trade. It needed to be stamped out, so thought the large US corporates, and they began an unprecedented legal battle with the EU over the Banana trade. After 20 years, one of the longest running trade wars to date,  the WTO ruled in favour of US interests, which has resulted in cheaper prices for the consumer, greater profits for the US multinationals, and further misery for the plantation nations of the Caribbean and Africa that depend so heavily on these trade revenues.

In a nutshell, here you have another insight into imperialism, its link to modern trade, to modern poverty and the under development and neo-enslavement of the third world across recent centuries, all in the name of freedom….

Some argue that the dispute threatens the whole future of free trade. “Free trade” has always been a delicate state of affairs negotiated between nations. It has often been an exercise in trading concessions – one nation opens up this market in return for another opening up that market.