Where once it was fashionable to justify the ways of slave masters by saying it was what God had ordained, it is now more fashionable to say that modern, scientific, advanced thought justifies the iron tread of "progress." Where once priests in holy vestments sanctified the atrocities of an earlier age, now calm, reasonable, paternalistic men in white lab coats assure us that the atrocities are scientifically correct.
Evolution is used to justify doctrines of racial purity, saying one race is more "advanced", or more evolved than another. Where the true theory of evolution showed that all life forms on Earth are one family, a new ladder of hierarchy has been created. Actual science shows that larger, more diverse gene pools are healthier, and improve a species' long term chances of survival. The continuing programs of racist genocide have had the effect of causing our collective gene pool to shrink even as our population grows alarmingly, a recipe for disaster.
Some would say that our strength as a species is in cultural rather than physical evolution. If this is true, we are indeed headed for evolutionary disaster. Our cultural "gene pool" is being destroyed even faster than the physical one. Those who survive genocide are often forcibly indoctrinated into the culture of the conquerors. The presupposition that one culture is more advanced or highly evolved than the rest has led to a massive stamping out of cultural diversity. Entire belief systems, mythic lore, art styles, and cultural heritage are being eradicated or homogenized in the name of the more advanced way of life. That the more "advanced" way is one of servitude to the perpetrators of cultural destruction is, of course, just a coincidence.
We are also told that clearcutting is the most advanced form of forestry, that pesticides lead to more advanced agriculture, and that mass production is more advanced than craftsmanship. Economists point to charts and graphs laden with incomprehensible glyphs, and mumble invocations about economic indicators, debt ratios, and economic development to obscure the simple fact of industrial slavery and degradation in the third world and increasingly, in the first as well.
Western civilization has not ended slavery as its myths purport, but has simply exported it across borders and set up puppet governments to act as plantation bosses. The colonisation and enslavement of the third world has ended in name only. Whenever a civilized westerner points out this slavery, the fictitious "independence" of the western sponsored overseers is invoked, and the culture of the victims is blamed. We are assured that it is a necessary stage in the "developing" world, and that once these unfortunates adopt our more advanced ways, then surely they too can have a house in the suburbs, two cars, and a swimming pool, an utterly absurd proposition. It is already wrecking the biosphere just to provide this grotesquely wasteful, spiritually empty lifestyle to the small percentage of humans who live it now.
Overt slavery is corrosive to a society's morals and morale, leading to constant social friction. Pushing slavery out to a distance and denying its existence bypasses this problem. With modern transportation and communications, slavery can be hidden at ever greater distances from the privileged classes, becoming a dirty little secret.
The further slavery is exported, the less chance of disgruntled slaves harming the core of the empire. In the modern global economy, when a slave uprising occurs, it is only the henchmen and goons who are in trouble. The real decision makers are protected by huge armies and spared the consequences of their deeds.
Those involved in the decisions that produce slavery indulge in a cult of denial of personal responsibility, claiming that "sound financial management considerations" dictate what they do where once it would have been said, "I was only following orders." It is codified in law that the corporations, imaginary beasts that they are, are responsible for all the atrocities of slavery and exploitation.
The pious, smug hypocrisy of the Yankee slave trader living a life of righteous purity in New England is no longer needed. Today's Yankee slave trader lives among "nice", "reasonable" people in genteel society, and denies, even to himself, what his true profession is.
These self appointed tinpot aristocrats have fancied themselves "the elect of God", "the Righteous who must guide the Sinners", "the Strong who must rule the Weak", "the fit who must deal with the unfit", "the most highly evolved", "those who best create their own reality", or whatever other self justifying philosophical twaddle happens to be in vogue at the time.
For decades now, the IMF and World Bank along with their corporate cohorts have been the driving force in the subjugation of the third world. Poor nations are extended easy credit on terms designed to lead to difficulty in repayment. Kleptocrat dictators are brought into power by first world interests and encouraged to pocket the loan money in return for signing these debt agreements, and commodity markets are manipulated by the same financiers who extended these loans to further assure the impossibility of on schedule repayment. Then these poor nations are declared insolvent, and the first world media clucks about how backward and improvident these presumably inferior peoples must have been. Any future government of such a debtor nation is told it must "honor" this dishonorable loan sharking and racketeering, and is forced into "austerity measures" which amount to forcing larger amounts of labor from their people for absurdly small wages that might as well be overt enslavement.
This condition of slavery and exploitation is being increased by the so-called globalization of the economy, where what little token sovereignity was granted to the overseer governments of the third world is being eroded away. The social and economic conditions that have typically led to massive revolt and upheaval are now being created on a global scale with little regard for long term consequences. Any local attempts to rein in the behaviour of the imperial slavemasters with environmental or labor laws are deemed "unfair trade practices" and quashed under the new, presumably more advanced global trade agreements.
This whole international debt and global trade scheme is ridiculously unfair and rigged in favor of a few insiders. The only thing that keeps this cheesy game from being denounced roundly and put to an end is the immense military power of the first world nations. This military power is at the back and call of corporate interests. Those who dare to buck the IMF and World Bank will discover the currency of cold steel that backs their paper money. The real reason for the massive military buildups in the first world and weapons "aid" to the third world has been to keep the impoverished cheap labor pool down, not rivalry between competing slavemasters.
Now the Iron Curtain has fallen, and the IMF has its foot on Russia's throat. The Russian people are for some odd reason just not impressed by the benefits of capitalism. They are learning the hard way the the Cold War was never between a free market and a command economy, but only over who would get to do the commanding. The legacy of Bretton Woods (where the IMF and World Bank were started) has been one of genocide, misery, enslavement, and ecocide. The much touted "economic freedom" of the "free market" has been the freedom of the rich and well connected to lie, cheat, steal, and murder in order to have their way right now without accountability or consequences.
In the western first world, now that the threat of the Other Evil Empire is gone, the boosters of militarism and enslavement are pointing to the threat of "terrorism". Indeed, there are those who have been driven to madness and desperation by the degradation, genocide, and enslavement of their people, and lash out violently against the reign of terror that holds them down. A better solution might be to end the exploitation and allow freedom and dignity to rise among these peoples, but most first world people haven't even noticed that the problem exists. Clueless privileged westerners reading about these evil terrorists just can't imagine why they don't just calm down, buy a house in a nice neighborhood, and sip cappucino in shopping malls in their spare time. Why that seems so much more reasonable after all. As some racist relatives I had would sneer as we drove through a poor black neighborhood, "Those people, they just don't know how to live right."
Every empire in history has grabbed for too much, overexploited its resources, pulled the rug out from under itself, and collapsed among hunger and violence. There is no sign that the current aglomeration of industrial nations will be any exception. Already, the entire planet's ecology and resource base are staggering under the weight of the imperial infrastrucure. Slavery is again creeping back closer to home, and the islands of privilege are eroding. The cry goes up, not to end the system of privilege and oppression, but to better fortify these islands of privilege. This too, is nothing new. Decaying, insecure empires are dangerous beasts, and have often committed their worst atrocities when their fate was already sealed.
Of course, the reappearance of slavery within our borders is not named as such in the corporate media. It is disguised as illegal immigrant workers or prison labor. We are assured that it only happens to unworthy, inferior people. If one of the privileged class fall into the growing pit of slavery and desperation, that person becomes unmentionable and forgotten. The rest of the herd shuffles on as if nothing had happened. The few voices that dare to denounce this state of affairs are ignored whenever possible, and written off as extremist crazies if they cannot be ignored.
Slavery in America is no contradiction, and it must be dragged out into the light and called by name if we wish to see it end.
Think I'm making any of this up? Check out these links...|
Democracy Enhancement by Noam Chomsky
Haiti: Selling Out Democracy by John Cahnam-Clyne
The Real Scandal: Indonesia
Hard work builds character among banana workers
WDM - campaigning against the root causes of world poverty