Finnian O Domhnaill discussed imperialism. Finnian O Domhnaill is a political writer from Donegal, currently living in Derry. He is the creator of the political page No Bones About It.
I sit and I catch a glimpse of what’s on the TV that illuminates over my laptop in the evening’s last twilight. A program on BBC called ‘’Fake or Fortune’’. Fiona Bruce goes to grandiose palaces that are lavished in acres of pruned gardens to seek out if a painting of Renoir is a mere copy or the real deal. The theme of the episode doesn’t agitate me nor the ‘’shnobby’’ accents but those palaces, those gardens and it hits me again. Imperialism is alive and kicking today more than it ever was.
I don’t have to look far or to dig that deep to know full well that imperialism is still around. I cross the border from Donegal to Derry on a regular basis. I watched the news and seen the blatant DUP £1 billion bribe happen while the NHS continues to cripple under the weight of the Tories lip licking hunger for power by any means. I’ve read about Catalonia wanting and demanding a referendum for independence from Spain which may fall on the well opened ears of the Spanish Imperialists.
Tony Benn said:
I don't think people realise how the establishment became established. It simply stole the land and property of the poor surrounded themselves with weak minded sycophants for protection, gave themselves titles and have been wielding power ever since.
What Benn is saying is that Imperialism is now and has always been the establishment, the government, the butcher, the baker, ‘’civilised society’’ maker. When he says people don’t realise this, he means it. Maybe not so much of the readers of this site (TPQ) but those who are asleep but ask themselves why they feel this world is an unfair one and baffled as to why it can't be a little more fair and equal.
Of course, Imperialism doesn’t need us all. It certainly doesn’t need the thinker, the challenger, the ones who see the goalposts being moved. It needs the dumb and the fearful and it needs to keep them that way by manufacturing fear and dumbing down methods which comes in the shape of foreign entities threatening your way of life, cultural erosion, socialism and communism in any way or form, talentless bimbos being paraded through the main stream media as role models for women and young girls, army advertisements that glorify war and death, coincidentally shown in poor working class areas. "I was born in Carlisle but I was brainwashed in the navy’."
Of course imperialism keeps their slaves fighting among themselves through the infamous class system. It worked well with the simple upper, middle and working class but now it has been chopped up again with working class upper working class, lower class, underclass, upper/lower middle class, I cant believe its not class and so on - leaving the powers that be to lap it up. It seems that divide & conquer tactics are working well in today’s master/slave world as much as it did in America, Roman times and for the Greeks "democracy."
There is only one thing that matters to imperialism: power and power alone. Because with power comes wealth and with wealth comes control. It is imperative that power is retained and make no mistake, they still want power today just as much as they wanted it centuries ago. Compromise and only a slight bending of their way of living can be made but never dismantled or diminished. It doesn’t matter to imperialists if the masses are not pleased with them but as long as the circle the elites run around in are pleased, they don’t care about us. Would a slave owner in 1800’s America care what his slaves thought of him?
Imperialists too get scared just like the rest of us (human after all ya know?) and every so often Imperialism is shook. This is evident in the Russian revolution of 1917. The Tsar’s cousin must of been trembling in his royal boots when he heard the news. We seen this with the Cuban revolution when the people rose up against Batista’s American Imperialist sponsored regime in Cuba and we seen it in the present with Bolivia showing the IMF the door. Small blips in the scale of master and slave that has gone on through millennia, you could argue.
We have heard all of this before obviously. We have heard about the ‘’man’’ trying to put us down, workers of the world unite and the cries of Tiocaidh Ar la!! But has anything changed really? Does power still not reside within the realm of imperialism? Yes we have some better days now with a higher standard of living than centuries ago but so too has the elites and the royals. As we grow to think that the scale of justice and humanity is being leveled, just think how much the ‘’haves’’ are getting. There are those who still remain sleeping in a dream that all is well in the world. This dream that is constructed by the very same entity that suppresses them and leaves them blind to the fact that imperialism lives on today. The greatest trick the devil ever performed was to convince people he doesn’t exist.
Perhaps it’s time now to go back to basics. Back to where this mess began and start informing those sleeping masses, those who are sent to kill mercilessly in the name of ‘’freedom’’, the ones who follow the money but lead us in the demise of humanity, those who are oppressed in their communities but wave a little union flag outside Buckingham palace for hours in the rain just to catch a glimpse of Liz. Maybe then we could get some sort of sense of the havoc we are in and get some proper shows on telly too.
No offence, Fiona.
How will imperialism be questioned when those in power control the media? And for that matter, did you pay the BBC tv licence fee Finn? LolReplyDelete
Good read Finn. I was reading couple of articles in counterpunch that are on the same lines one https://www.counterpunch.org/2017/10/09/christopher-columbus-is-no-hero/ and the other https://www.counterpunch.org/2017/10/10/the-tragic-failure-of-ken-burnss-the-vietnam-war/. A paragraph that struck me was from the critique of Ken Burn's The Vietnam war.ReplyDelete
"Last week on NPR an American general in Afghanistan announced that we are not trying to occupy territory in Afghanistan, we are simply trying to kill terrorists. Here, again, is the same rationale of the body count that led to disaster in Vietnam. We are reliving the Vietnam War because no one was ever really held responsible for its horrors."
What struck me was if no one is held accountable the atrocities will keep on recurring over and over.
In Ireland's case who was held reponsible?
I've a lot of agreement with the condemnations of imperialism - but I wonder where we can find a state not run in the interests of the elite? Yes, I'm sure many democracies have restrained the gross excesses of their elites to such an extent we can be reasonably happy with our lot.ReplyDelete
The idea that the 1917 revolution, or the Cuban revolution, brought a significant improvement to the liberties and enjoyments of the masses is obviously not credible. But the imperial elites certainly did get an unpleasant surprise, as did the elites of Russia and Cuba. All the masses got were new elites.
I don't think I'm being cynical when I say nation-states are run most of the time by elites mainly interested in feathering their own nests, even in those happier times when they also seek to do good to the masses. Often they are money-worshippers, power-worshippers, sexual perverts, in various degrees and combinations.
I thank God for any who discharge their duties (to care for the nation) faithfully. And I thank Him for so often restraining the madness in the hearts of the rest. I'm with Finn in looking for the best for our people, but I'm not surprised it's a hard road to travel.
"The idea that the 1917 revolution, or the Cuban revolution, brought a significant improvement to the liberties and enjoyments of the masses is obviously not credible"
Oh really? I suggest you look at literacy rates, infant mortality, and the socialised healthcare system compared in Cuba compared to the US to get a better appreciation of what constitutes a significant improvement for the masses. Socialism is a far better starting point than Imperialism by any benchmark you choose to look at.
I'm with Wolfie on this one. We can all see the failings and inequality that comes with global capitalism and what happens to those who threaten the neo-liberal club consensus, but citing the Soviet Union and Cuba as good examples of sticking it to them is ridiculous. Those regimes were much worse for their societies. What are you advocating? Revolution or "the third way"?ReplyDelete
Thanks for the comments guys.ReplyDelete
Wolfbane, Its normal to have an impoverished nation of people after a revolution such as russia and cuba. Normal again to have a long lasting impoverished nation as I suspect the imperialist will work very hard to make sure a communist or socialist state would survive and thrive.
No your not being cynical at all. elites run this world and place puppets in power to do their bidding.
Yes it will be a long road of course and many will fall by the waistside. I think it will never work unless their is a shift in the collective conscience of people and not manufactured or implanted into the mind of the masses.
By what yardstick are you measuring? Would you prefer to be poor in Cuba with it's socialised healthcare and free education or in the bastion of Imperialism, the US, with it's palpable contempt for those without money or social standing, and who would ignore the sick and dying after performing a wallet biopsy before treatment?
The Cuban people are far better off now than they were under the dictatorships of those before Castro. Neither rule is perfect but I'd take living under Castro over living under Batista every single day. I have friends who visit Cuba every single year. What they describe is 90% happy people with good living conditions but who lack some commodities due to the US blockade.
None of the older generation would go back to the way it was before however. They all remember the wanton corruption and terrorist tactics of Batista, on behest of the US.
The Keynesian Third Way is the one that has proven to work. Neoliberalism has clearly failed and birthed casino capitalism, while further entrenching the military-industrial complex. As intimated above, the communist inclination towards assuming dictatorial power, in order to advance revolutionary change, ends with its imposition on freedom. Small changes can be seen in the thinking of global economic institutions such as the IMF, who are beginning to realise what a disaster ‘Friedmanism’ has ended up. Space is opening up for change but I doubt if any citizenry would today countenance a return to the type of Marxist regimes we have seen in the 20th Century. A return to Keynsianism, however, and policies akin to the ‘New Deal’ is another matter. We need our own New Deal, fit for purpose for the world we live in today. The type of politics Corbyn espouses in Britain are the perfect example. Read Joseph Stieglitz and his ‘The Price of Inequality’ for a much better perspective on this than what I’ve been able to give.ReplyDelete
If capitalism is the problem, communism is not the solution. Why are there poor in Cuba? Is it not a society of equals? Turns out like all equal societies some are more equal than others. I've met quite a few Cubans in my time, none were complimentary of the regime. One doctor told me that he arrived at his hospital one morning to be told he was no longer a doctor he was now a bus driver and to report to the bus station. He's now a doc in Madrid and his tales of corruption and nepotism are pretty stark. An other told me of the widespread state homophobia and beating of gays by the police, and even some being sent to labour camps for "subversion". Why do so many risk their lives to leave the place? Choosing between Cuba and the USA is not much of a choice, there is a third way.
I wasn't advocating communism as I don't believe that works either, but harsh as life was for your doctor friend at least they gave him another job!! Seriously though, what is your third way?