Continued from Evolution of Society
Even a stopped clock is right twice in twenty-four hours, so if my occasional predictions or assessments turn out correct even after a few years, it is not an occasion for hubris. What is more interesting is that every tissue in the human body has a common origin from a single cell zygote (a cell formed by the union of a sperm and ovum) and yet develops via its precursor stem cells into a differentiated cell with its unique character, but also a limited repertoire. Retinal capillaries proliferate when subjected to low levels of oxygen, irrespective of the reason, whether it is due to stoppage of high concentrations of oxygen therapy in premature infants or anoxia from diabetes causing changes in the basement membrane or capillaries. Such stereotypical reactions occur in the immune system on re-exposure to a previous antigen challenge. That is why they are called “Anemnestic” or not forgetful. That is why skin cells react to different injuries by pigmentation and scar formation. Liver cells respond by cirrhosis to alcohol or malnutrition as in the Indian childhood cirrhosis of vegans (more common in Jains in the past). That is why all wings evolved from the upper limbs.
Nations and their inhabitants also exhibit specific and often limited characteristic responses and reactions to adverse or challenging circumstances and events. The US and its leaders have had a tendency to blame immigrants or different looking natives or others for their own shortcomings. That is why Jefferson had the chutzpah to blame King George the third, for slavery until other less dishonest founding fathers excised those lies from the famous document –“When in the course of events it —“. Some blame was assigned to the native Indians and they were massacred during the War Of Independence (Iroquois Federation in New York Colony). Immigrants were blamed by John Adams and he passed the Aliens and Sedition Act, which his opponent Jefferson repealed when he won the election to become the third US president. The Confederacy blamed its defeat partially on the slaves for turning against it and fighting for the North. In the 1880s President Chester Arthur signed the Chinese exclusion act which forbade Chinese immigration, denied them citizenship and thus tolerated pogroms. Prior to that active discouragement of Irish Catholic immigration and the passage of Blaine amendments merely to deprive Catholic schools from public funding were used and these are the real basis of separation of church and state which does not occur in the Constitution and was never really emphasized prior to 1875.
Bogus elections are nothing new in the US. They began with the electoral college and the machinations of Aaron Burr. After the crooked election of John Quincy Adams and the keeping out of Andrew Jackson once, the skullduggery in smoke filled rooms a few decades later, led to the election of Rutherford Hayes and the compromise with the Southern States of the defeated Confederacy. Jim Crow laws were enacted in the South, a modified form of slavery was re-instituted (read “Slavery By Another Name” by Douglas Blackmon; “Inherently Unequal” by Lawrence Goldstone and “Reconstruction” by Eric Foner)
In 1907 the Expatriation Act legislated that an American woman marrying a foreign citizen would lose her citizenship. After 1924 this law applied only if she married an Asian. Between 1910 and 1920 two million Italian immigrants arrive in the US and Congress legislates a quota system for countries dependent on their percentage of immigrants in selected prior years with restriction on Southern European immigration by sleight of hand and orientals are barred. In 1919-20 abreacting to the Russian revolution, which Woodrow Wilson had tried to suppress by sending American troops to Russia, Attorney General Palmer carried out raids to catch, imprison and deport foreign born suspected communists. The Japanese internment was sanctioned by executive order by president Franklin Roosevelt and as usual the Supreme Court went along like in the Bush Gore election. No wonder even dictator Castro offered to send monitors to oversee US democracy and elections.
More recently the 1994 California Proposition 187 denying school education and emergency health care to illegal immigrants which the Courts wisely ruled unconstitutional for a change, crazy laws of Scranton township, Pa and the Arizona law vetoed by the current governor.
Another typical reaction of the US has been to use its military might for expansion and resource capture starting from Manifest Destiny to the second Iraq War and now Libya. The one constant is the stupidity and gullibility of the tea intoxicated American electorate, which is unusually susceptible to the media controlled by vested interests. They set the agenda as in the recent emphasis on where Obama was born, by the idiotic clown Donald Trump, which makes him the leading candidate for president for 2012.
The natural reaction of Europe has been xenophobia and racism but the recent economic debacle has led to a surprising swing to the right. Liberal Denmark and Sweden have rightist factions with immigrant bashing agendas gaining support. Their liberal asylum policies have flooded them with Muslim immigrants unwilling to assimilate, reform or become educated. Germany and Austria with liberal asylum policies are seeing increasing discrimination. To some extent the Muslim immigrants do not assimilate, shun education and marketable skills, but they are not hired for jobs either. Their increasing numbers, blocking traffic on public roads in France and Belgium for their five daily prayers has increased the popularity of Le Pen’s daughter and her party and she may even beat Sarkozy despite his Clintonian tail wagging the dog by starting a Libyan War, re-conquering Ivory Coast, banning veils and burkhas and deporting Romas, to divert public attention from his miserable failed policies. The murder od Theo Van Gogh in the Netherlands has led to the racist party of Geert Wilders to become the king maker in the minority ruled Netherlands government. Some including the UK are getting their just desserts for their past colonialism or their aggressive wars with resultant labor shortage in the fifties. The victory of the Conservative Party in Britain, The Swiss referendum to ban domed mosques and similar agitations in the states of New York and Tennessee in America, the strange referenda excluding Sharia which has never figured in the deliberations and verdicts of any American court are indications of the anamnestic but limited repertoire of European and American States.
Not too surprising are the showings of the True Finns party in last week’s Finland elections and the loss of Merkel’s party in German state election strongholds. These reflect populations of fiscally sound and conservative northern European countries tiring of bankrolling the profligate irresponsible fiscal policies of Portugal, Ireland, Italy, Greece and Spain (PIIGS). Really surprising are the new movements in Muslim countries to throw off the kleptocratic puppets of America, which backs regime change in Libya, Syria, Tunisia, Gaza, Lebanon, Sudan and Iran, but not in Bahrain, Jordan, Saudi Arabia, Gulf States, Algeria and Morocco and keeps changing its mind about Egypt, Yemen. It has generously tried to buy a democracy which will do its bidding in all countries, especially Pakistan and India, which has a fake pilot operating the government as a fake prime minister under a fake president. Canada which used to be racist in excluding Asians even with British passports, when it was a British Dominion (still has the picture of the British “Nagarvadhu” on its currency) seems to have become more open and multi-cultural. Norway seems OK and I thought these countries are cold and thus have less heat of anger but Russia has increased xenophobia due to terrorism by Muslim Chechens and loss of economic and military power.
Below is my article from Asia Times under Speaking Freely for which I have the copyright.
Hobbesian hell in the making
There is surely a serious problem brewing in the world's need for an affordable and reliable supply of energy. Ever since Winston Churchill and Gertrude Bell drew a map of the current Iraq, supposedly on a breakfast napkin, to Franklin D Roosevelt's historic meeting and agreement with King Ibn Saud on an American ship, the policies of the British and their successor hegemon, America, have been based on ensuring reliable access to cheap oil to fuel economic progress.
The failed American policy of making the Shah of Iran the US's linchpin and the withdrawal from Saudi Arabia, due to Osama bin Laden's jihad, led to the foolish misadventure of the conquest and occupation of Iraq and the ongoing disaster. The occupation is an unmitigated catastrophe destined for a withdrawal, with cutting of losses due to the fickle attention span and intolerance for casualties by the American public. They lack the intellectual capacity or insight to understand any complexity.
A recent article by Naomi Klein in reference to the Abu Ghraib atrocities evaluated in parallel to the French experience in Algiers, illuminates the problem. The French general taxed with the atrocities of the Battle of Algiers by a group of reporters put the quintessential question to them, whether they believed, like he, and the then-government did, that they wished to continue the occupation and exploitation of Algeria. If they did, then the end would justify the means and the moral quibbling was idle rhetoric because in real life the old adage stood on its head and the end always justified the means.
An honest and pragmatic book by Central Intelligence Agency analyst "Anonymous" applauds bin Laden's genius and lays out a ruthless plan of combating it. The grievances of Muslims are genuine, despite their unacceptable and dastardly means to redress them. The American support of tyrannical and corrupt kleptocracies in the Muslim world and America's connivance and tacit support of Israeli tyranny and occupation of Palestinian lands is a raging fire that cannot be extinguished, or even contained, by public relations disinformation or President George W Bush inviting Muslim clerics for a post-Id Iftar (breaking of the fast) dinner and proclaiming Islam a religion of peace.
Islam has never been a religion of peace. Mohammed, unlike any other prior prophet or future one, resorted to arms as a means to spread his doctrine. His massacre of dissenting innocent Jews and his deathbed statement that there should be no other religion in Arabia contrasts sharply with Christ's statement that "there are many paths to my father's mansion". Not that Christianity, as practiced by the West, has been a benign force. It was used to justify slavery and colonial exploitation without mercy, even for fellow Christians, in the murderous mayhem of the Crusaders toward fellow Christians who were Orthodox in the Byzantine, and president William McKinley toward Filipinos.
The truth is that the battle lines have been drawn between the two follies, Christianity and Islam, both with their falsely arrogant certitudes about a single god who doesn't exist. Unlike the Crusades and then-prevalent blind faith that led gullible and ignorant masses to death by false promise of the rewards of an eternal heaven, for a pecuniary benefit by a corrupt Pope, the current battle is for the survival and supremacy of the West.
For Islam, devoid of a reformation and renaissance, the reasons for this Armageddon are the same. It is a backward-looking religion with a nostalgia for old glory, just like current-day Britain. It is incapable of reform or democracy, because the true believers, unlike the present-day Jews, Christians and Hindus (except for a minority), who understand that there never was and never will be a red telephone by which God conveys a direct voiced message to human beings, still fervently believe that their scriptures are the word of God and thus incontestable and immune to modification or multiple interpretations.
The large majority of Muslims believes that the Koran is the word of God. Only ignorant America comes close to the Muslims in this inane stupidity, proven by the growing numbers of evangelists and the exploitation of the American tax code by rich fanatics to establish think-tanks to propagate their unholy agenda to the detriment of the nation. These are not real think-tanks to promote intelligent debate for the public good, but Trojan Horses and tax-sheltered propaganda machines to subvert public good and legislate biased laws to promote the vested interests of rich and powerful minorities and a funding resource to brainwash the naive youth.
Thus, the very concept of secular laws and the will of the majority is an unacceptable heresy to believing Muslims, and a mere loophole to be bypassed by Christian fanatics and rich minorities. What is worse is that dissident intellectuals or humanists become branded as apostates, who can be justifiably terminated by blessed sanction of zealot mullahs and their blind, equally zealous, followers in Muslim countries and pariah liberals in the evangelistic American state.
This is not a milieu for the flourishing of a democratic culture. The European Union, though more benignly inclined toward its indigenous population, has revolted against its prior folly of liberal asylum and immigration policies, which had resulted in large North African, Turkish and South Asian Muslim minorities, unable to assimilate and unwilling to acquire marketable skills, like the Chinese or Hindu Indians.
There is unquestioned racism there, as opposed to America, which has been more inclusive by concentrating its adverse prejudice selectively toward blacks. Nevertheless, the falling birthrates and the coming demographic meltdown dictate the need for immigration, contrary to the new racist attitudes in even formerly liberal countries like the Netherlands and Denmark. The recent rejection of the EU constitution in France and the Netherlands was dictated by the unjustified fear of uncontrolled alien Muslim immigration from Turkey and the justified fears of an economic race to the bottom, that the neo-liberal, capitalistic American policies of globalization destine, contrary to the prescient analysis of the great German economist Friedrich List.
China, with a nationalistic agenda, has profited handsomely from cheap wages and the forced necessity of providing employment to its migrating masses, blind to their exploitation. It is in character with a long history of civilization of the Mandarins, by the Mandarins and for the Mandarins, just like much of the history of India with regard to the Brahmins.
Politics has always been and will always remain a fertile field for the intellectually inept and morally bankrupt manipulators of the blindness, ignorance and mercurial proclivities of the foolish masses. Governments ranging from so-called democratic America and Europe to the so-called communist China are no different. The newest trend is supplanting democracy by oligarchy and Francis Fukuyama's end of history is a folly of blind mis-perception. The much-maligned misuse of power by Russia's Vladimir Putin, though for the evil purpose of consolidating his illegitimate power, is more beneficial in the long run to the state and the common man, because it is contrary to the currently fashionable false obsessive fetish of unregulated free enterprise and markets, which even the father of capitalism, Adam Smith, warned against as a conspiracy to defraud the general public.
It is only a matter of brief time before the profligate mismanagement of the beholden-to-vested-interests American leaders' disastrous policies leads to a substantial downsizing of the American dream and future, and in response for an incensed American public to acquiesce in and even applaud aggressive and exploitative policies to use the country's unrivaled and devastating military might to sustain their extravagant lifestyle. Thus the quest for weapons of mass destruction by Israel, India, Iran, North Korea and even Pakistan are not paranoid aberrations, but necessities based on reality. Within the next decade, when push comes to shove and the high price of oil and natural gas threatens the economic security of powerful nations, there will be no resistance to and general acceptance of the use of overwhelming force to dictate to the weaker idiot nations the terms of selling their essential resources.
The unfortunate truth is that energy resources are primarily in lands with Muslim majorities and rule. Contrary to Samuel P Huntington's misconception of the clash of civilizations, it is the crucial necessity for survival and the need for cheap and reliable energy resources that sets up a scenario for a protracted devastating war between Christian developed nations and the resource-rich Islamic ones.
China, cursed and blessed by a thoroughly self-enriching leadership, not devoid of foresight, and redeemed by a vision of a future to reclaim its nostalgic dream of its glorious past, and Russia with its rich resources and landmass, with a history of sacrifice, are best equipped to weather the storm in the long run.
The future for India with its self-serving leaders and even more ignorant and illiterate masses is obscure. As for America and Europe, it is uncertain, because times have changed from the old colonial days and a resurgent Russia and China are unlikely to be fooled again, as they were in 1990 and the 19th century respectively.
For the world as a whole it is a reversion to the law of the jungle and the merciless and amoral battle for survival, which evolution has waged over eons for individuals and species, bringing all humanity to the Hobbesian hell, where life is nasty, brutish and short. The tragedy is that the brief history of a relatively civilized era of human history is coming to an end, and we are all destined to revert to survival in the evolutionary jungle, where power and survival are dependent on the barrel of one's gun.