Wednesday, November 7, 2007

Lest We Forget

Sunday, November 11th, is ‘Remembrance Day’ in Canada. Just this morning I saw a banner posted which showed the crosses of our war dead emblazoned with the words ‘Lest We Forget’. In keeping with the spirit of the occasion I though I would do my bit to make sure that we remember those two world wars, ‘lest we forget’, for it seems to me that on Remembrance Day we do forget one hell of a lot, and given how that seems to be the customary practice every damned year, perhaps the real motto of ‘Remembrance Day’ should be changed to ‘Lest We Remember’ for it would seem that this holiday is a celebration of hypocrisy more than a solemn remembrance of ‘our war dead’. For this reason perhaps the true motto of ‘Remembrance Day’ should be ‘Lest we Remember’ for we only have ‘Remembrance Day’ so that we will be trained, once a year, to forget one hell of lot, and so perhaps this yearly celebration of the Military Industrial Complex should be renamed ‘Forgetfulness Day’ rather than ‘Remembrance Day’ given that no one remembers a damn thing on November 11th. Given how much effort is expended to make damn sure that no one remembers a damn thing for the entire remainder of the year it seems pretty clear to me that forgetting and not remembering is the true purpose of this annual plunge into naked hypocrisy.

Sunday, November 11th,, is ‘Remembrance Day’ in Canada, and in various other countries around the world which were once part of the empire conquered by Britain in times past when it was Britain rather than the United States which was the planetary top dog. At the height of her powers Britain had invaded and conquered one quarter of the globe, and she only lost her empire because she found herself involved in two very costly feuds with Germany, a country with no imperialist colonies. Germany, like Britain, was a capitalist country and given that both Germany and Japan were resource poor nations it was essential that both these nations follow the example of all the other major capitalist countries of the world and perform a hostile takeover so that they could grab greater market share by lowering their input costs so as to increase their profits, doing so by grabbing some of those cheap resources that became available when a spot on the planet was invaded and conquered and then plundered for peanuts.

Thus was created the so called ‘third world’ for the countries which were looted and sacked were looted and sacked in order to maintain that competitive edge, for if even one competitive capitalist country were to lower their input costs by employing slave driving methods to extract those resources in the colonies this would require slave driving and deep poverty to become the norm in every other imperialist country lest they lose their competitive edge by having their costs increased because they were not miserable sons of bitches out in the colonies and thus paid a decent wage.

It is for this reason that I refer to the capitalist economic system as a game of ‘follow the dirty pig’ since the history of capitalism demonstrates that everyone, sooner or later, winds up competing with the greediest pig on the planet, this greedy pig having lowered the bar and in this way forcing everyone else to do that limbo rock where they attempt to sink low enough to slide under that bar even if it is now inches off the ground.

You can see the same principle at work today now that some really greedy pigs went to China and started paying 35 cents an hour in wages, which then started both a stampede to China, as everyone else was forced to compete and match that pig, as well as a downward plunge in wages and benefits all over the world as the entire planet is now sliding back into really brutal 19th century robber baron capitalism. This then explains why you see auto workers now giving up their pensions, which will no longer be given to anybody. It turns out that pensions and health care were anomalous developments in capitalism, available to only a couple of generations, and now finally the dirtiest greediest capitalist pigs have come up with a strategy to get rid of those things once and for all. In France Sarkozy has just come to power and you can hear the sound of that French chain saw starting up, as pensions and benefits will now be chain sawed in France so that France can remain competitive with Germany, a country that started up the chain saw several years ago (the so called ‘Hartz reforms’ which have been gutting pensions and benefits in Germany for years, thus giving Germany a competitive edge over France).

Both Germany and Japan shared a common history, in that both countries were backwards and remained bogged down in feudalism until late in the 19th century. This ended in Germany when Bismarck launched wars to conquer all the petty German speaking feudal fiefdoms and united them into one country which today we now know as Germany. In Japan the end of feudalism came about when the European imperialist powers conquered all the nations of south east Asia, and then gun boats sailed into Japanese waters. Japan escaped immediate invasion given that the Island is resource poor and hardly worth the bother of looting, but the shock induced by the appearance of those gun boats sailing in and out of Japanese coastal waters shattered the feudal order in Japan. In just a matter of a few short decades Japan underwent a rapid transformation and became an industrialized capitalist nation, and then began building those giant aircraft carriers and destroyers that would later be found bombing Pearl Harbor.

By the time that Germany and Japan emerged from feudalism and became modern nation states the party was over and the entire planet had been plundered and sacked. There were no countries in Asia remaining for Japan to invade and conquer and thus gain access to the cheap plundered resources required if Japan’s new capitalist economy was to remain competitive on the international market. For this reason Japan was forced to mount a hostile takeover of a really big country like China, and so grab market share by grabbing China’s resources. Wisely the capitalist imperialist powers left China alone, that country being to damned big to attempt to conquer, and thus Japan was left with a very difficult chew as over the course of a decade Japan struggled to choke down the plate of leftovers in China. Similarly it was inevitable that Germany would be drawn eastward to attack Russia and attempt to make Russia an imperialist colony for Germany since, once again, no other country had taken the risk of attacking a big country like Russia since they were easy pickings to be found and weak countries waiting to be attacked all over the planet. It was this common history and the common problem confronted by both Germany and Japan which would lead these two countries to became allies in the Second World War.

If you read the actual unedited texts of Hitler’s speeches in various beer halls and taverns, you will find that one of the recurring themes is Hitler’s bitter complaint that the entire planet had been divided up like a giant pie by America and the European imperialist powers, and now there wasn’t even so much as one country left over that he could invade and conquer. They took every single one, and now Germany did not have even one imperialist colony. It was all so unfair and very unjust, and for this reason Hitler’s speeches returned again and again to theme of international justice between ‘the Great Powers,’ for you see, the crusade of Hitler was a noble search for justice and equality between the really big capitalist powers of the world, which meant that Germany now had the inalienable right to attack Russia and make Russia into an imperialist colony to balance out that unfair situation that existed at that time.. The entire planet had been invaded and plundered and sacked. The Dutch controlled the Dutch East Indies. The French controlled French Indo-China. They speak Portuguese in Brazil and Spanish in Latin America. America had proclaimed the Monroe doctrine, warred with Spain and taken over Latin America, invaded the Philippines and plundered big chunks of territory taken from Mexico, and marines landed repeatedly in Nicaragua and other Latin American countries. At the height of her global conquest, Britain had invaded and conquered one quarter of the entire planet.

Now all Hitler wanted was to invade and conquer Russia. However he faced an obstacle. He would have to convince the British imperialist to go along with the plan. Britain however did not rise to global domination without a good reason why this had happened. For centuries Britain had deliberately crushed any other European power that looked like it might rise to a dominant position. Nelson had sunk the Spanish fleet and Wellington had brought an end to the rise of France by destroying Napoleon at Waterloo. British policy had been consistent for centuries. She would invade Europe and crush any other power that might rise on the continent, thus assuring the global domination of the British Empire for centuries to come. She was not about to change her policy when it came to the rise to greater power of Germany, for if Germany did plunder Russia and gained access to all the rich raw resources found on Russian soil then Britain would face an equal in Europe.

It was for this reason that Churchill was determined to stop Hitler, for the policy of Winston Churchill was just the continuation of the old British policy of previous centuries. Churchill was determined to keep what Britain had won and was not about to have British domination of the world threatened in any way by some upstart like that Hitler.

However, both British and German capitalist imperialists faced an intractable contradiction. During the first feud with Germany over the right to imperialist colonies, which we refer to as the ‘First World War’, the British Empire had gone heavily into debt, since it was not possible to pay the military expenses involved in global domination while at the same time being forced by a jealous German imperialism to pay the costs for war on the continent, and the Germans were determined to make Britain pay the price. As Hitler warned Churchill time and time again, if the British tried to stop Germany even one more time, the result would be the bankruptcy and destruction of the British Empire. The Germans also faced a contradiction in that in order to get imperialist colonies for German capitalism and ensure the competitive advantage of German capitalism in future generations, they would have to involve themselves in yet another World War against all the big imperialist powers. As history showed, this was a very risky gamble and quite unlikely to succeed, since Germany did not yet have the raw resources to fight a long war. Hitler’s solution to this problem was Blitzkrieg, so called lightening war. First Hitler would quickly knock out the other European countries in a swift lightening attack, and then he would turn eastward and have a free hand to devote Germany’s limited military capabilities to launching a similar lightening war against Russia. This would have to be a short quick war since Germany did not have any imperialist colonies and was a resource poor nation, but if this gamble succeeded then Germany would have all the raw resources of Russia at her disposal and would be able to build up her military power to such an extent that even another world war with all those other imperialist powers would not be able to threaten German imperialism ever again. Germany would get her ‘justice’ by getting some imperialist colonies and no one would stop her. This was Hitler’s plan.

Hitler was gambling that the Brits, who had been almost bankrupted by Germany the first time around, would not risk losing everything by having one more go at Germany, but Churchill was caught in a strategic dilemma in that if Britain did nothing, she would keep her empire, but over time she would lose the spot as top dog since Germany would rise up to become more powerful than Britain, the reason for this being the rich resources to be plundered by Germany in Russia. So therefore if Britain maintained her previous policy, she would go bankrupt and lose her empire, but if Britain did nothing, eventually she would lose her powerful position to Germany. For this reason Churchill decided to roll the dice, and then after the war the British attempted to hang onto to the British Empire but eventually unable to do so, because the cost of doing so was ruinous. German policy had been to open the way to the future rise of Germany by deliberately bankrupting Britain, the one country that had stood in the way of other European powers for centuries, and in this the German imperialists were eventually successful.

Hitler warned Churchill that the end result of one more of those British feuds on the continent would be that Russia would control half of Europe and America would then rise up to take Britain’s place as dominant world power, after which would follow a global struggle between America and Russia. He was correct, but even though he was talking common sense, he was unable to deter Churchill, for like Hitler, Churchill had decided to solve his strategic dilemma by means of rolling the dice and gambling.

At the same time, on the other side of the world, Japanese imperialist had resolved on a gamble similar to that taken by Hitler in Germany. The Japanese would also launch a lightening war. First they would bomb the American fleet in Pearl Harbor. Over the course of the next year, the Japanese booted the American Imperialists out of the Philippines, after which Douglas Macarthur stepped onto a boat speaking the famous words, ‘I shall return’, as he vowed to come back at Japan and reclaim that imperialist colony for America. The Japanese then threw the French out of IndoChina and kicked the British and the Dutch out of their imperialist colonies in a swift lightning war which took advantage of the fact that those European powers were locked into a struggle with Hitler in Europe and did not have the forces available at the time to stop Japan. After grabbing all those imperialist colonies for Japan the problem then became for the Tojo to hang onto his prize over the long term, which was going to prove to be a problem. However, the future of Japanese capitalism was at stake and Japan required cheap resources to lower her input costs and maintain her competitive position in the market, and since China was a very tough chew and the expense was hardly worth the effort, Japan decided to gamble on lightning war and grab some of those easier and more profitable imperialist colonies that were at the time being looted by America and the European capitalist powers.

Hitler’s beer hall speeches at the time were masterpieces in ironic sarcasm. Churchill was a bald faced hypocritical liar which made him an easy target. Churchill would attempt to stir everyone up for war by speaking darkly about Hitler’s bully boys and their maniacal plan for world domination. In response Hitler would feign mock modesty and remind everyone that he did not have any imperialist colonies. My world, Hitler said, is a small world, and involves only my daily concern with just the German people. There are others whose thoughts daily must turn to global domination, such as Churchill, who had to maintain British domination over one quarter of the conquered planet. To such as these men, said Hitler, belong thoughts of global world domination. For him his thoughts everyday were about Germans, and only Germans, since he did not have any imperialist colonies to occupy his thoughts with plans for getting and then keeping world domination.

According to Hitler, Churchill was one of the worst war mongers on the planet. As Hitler kept telling the German people in those speeches of his, time and time again he had offered peace to Churchill. He greatly admired the British Empire and didn’t have a problem with Britain invading and conquering one quarter of the known world, just so long as Churchill would be reasonable and let Hitler invade just one country, like Russia. It would be such a pity if Churchill was to lose the British Empire by attempting to stop Hitler from invading Russia, and no one would be sadder than Hitler to see British Imperialism collapse into ruins, for this was never his intention. No, Hitler admired countries that invaded the whole world and did not want anything bad to happen to them, and if only the British people would not listen to that war mongering liar like Churchill perhaps they could come to a peaceful agreement. Hitler would invade Russia, getting a German colony and ending Marxism as a favor for the rest of the world, and then Hitelr would guarantee the British Empire for generations as a show of gratitude. If Britain was a little short of cash and some colony was in revolt, Hitler would supply troops to help the cash strapped Brits keep that colony under control.

Now that Remembrance day has once again come along, it is once again that time of the year when we forget all these things. Yes it is time for that annual celebration of the Military Industrial Complex, the time for everyone to gather in solemn assembly and reflect gratefully upon the great sacrifices made by that Military Industrial Complex so that we could all enjoy such things as free speech and democracy, for are not all these things the gift generously bestowed upon us in the spirit of nobles oblige by that Military Industrial Complex, for no other reason that that they just love us so much. Yes, whenever there is a threat to free speech or democratic rights or constitutional law the Military Industrial Complex stands ever at the ready, on guard for our freedoms. This is why we pay trillions of dollars to keep that thing going, to protect these things. Except for the past few years, when for some puzzling reason various constitutions are being threatened by rising states of fascism and the Military Industrial Complex hasn’t said much about it, much less done anything about it. Perhaps this a break with tradition given their past history of plunging even entire planets into bloody ruin when the smallest threat to free speech and constitutional rights appeared.

Those with an historical memory might recall that ‘free speech’ and ‘constitutions’ are things gained by means of what was known as, in just one example, ‘the American Revolution’, during which the Revolutionary armies gunned down the oppressive military industrial complex of the day, finally pumping that thing so full of bullets that the oppressive military power was unable to prevent the rise of free speech and democracy. It certainly wasn’t a gift. But then this is ‘Remembrance Day’ once again, and I would suppose that this is yet one more thing we should be made to forget on this the most forgetful day of the year.