Saturday, June 16, 2007
In "Indians at home – Indians in Cornwall, Indians in Wales, Indians in Ireland," I talked about how the roots of Western colonialism are very old and how the techniques of colonialism were perfected centuries ago in Europe against Celtic people. Since I wrote that post last August, while going through my files, I found two noteworthy articles on the subject from Race & Class (Vol. 34 No. 4; 1993). They are "The training ground: Ireland, conquest and decolonisation" by Bill Rolston (pp. 13-24) and "Columbus in Ireland" by Milan Rai (pp. 25-34).
Rolston argues that as a consequence of Columbus' landfall in the Caribbean in 1492, Ireland experienced a "new era of imperialism with its expropriation of territory, racism and genocide" ("new" as in different from that of the last era). He says the "terrorist methods, derived and perfected in the conquest of Ireland, were then transported to the American colonies" along with "the ideology to justify confiscation and genocide." Even "the same personnel were involved in the conquest of Ireland and America." The second section of the article deals with the fate and role of Irish slaves shipped to the Caribbean. Rai covers much of the same ground but focuses more on tactics and outcomes in sections headed: "War by starvation," "Population decline," and "Settlement, dispossession and 'total war'."
Also, in my earlier post, in the "See also" section, I had a link on Choctaw aid in 1847 to Irish famine victims. I should say the mere word "famine" does not do justice in describing the deliberate "policy of extermination"--to quote the Lord Lieutenant of Ireland, the Earl of Clarendon--pursued by the British. Any way, after talking with Peter L. yesterday about this subject, I learned from him that the Choctaw-Irish relationship is ongoing. Below are some links to articles on the subject.
- "Louisburgh welcomes Native American artists to lead Famine Walk." Mayo Advertiser (Ireland). 6/15/2007.
- "Remember the Famine? Gaelscoil pupils learn of Choctaw generosity." Independent (Ireland). 5/30/2007.
- Links to three other articles from the 1990s on the same subject here.
Wednesday, June 13, 2007
The Iraqi resistance is fighting on the frontlines of the battle against Empire. And therefore that battle is our battle.
Like most resistance movements, it combines a motley range of assorted factions. Former Baathists, liberals, Islamists, fed-up collaborationists, communists, etc. Of course, it is riddled with opportunism, local rivalry, demagoguery, and criminality. But if we are only going to support pristine movements, then no resistance will be worthy of our purity.
A whole industry of development experts, academics, and consultants have built an industry on the back of global social movements in which they are not direct participants. Many of these "experts," who earn their livings studying the struggles of the world's poor, are funded by groups like the Ford Foundation, the World Bank, and wealthy universities such Harvard, Stanford, and Cornell. From a safe distance, they offer us their insightful critiques. But the same people who tell us that we can reform the World Bank from within, that we change the IMF by working inside it, would not themselves seek to reform a resistance movement by working within it.
This is not to say that we shouldn't ever criticize resistance movements. Many of them suffer from a lack of democracy, from the iconization of their "leaders," a lack of transparency, a lack of vision and direction. But most of all they suffer from vilification, repression, and lack of resources.
Before we prescribe how a pristine Iraqi resistance must conduct their secular, feminist, democratic, nonviolent battle, we should shore up our end of the resistance by forcing the U.S. and its allies government to withdraw from Iraq.
Saturday, June 09, 2007
Emerson was concerned with the tendency to conformity to old ways of thinking (and doing)--the fear of and resistance to change. He was challenging his readers not to be part of the "I've/we've never done it that way before" and the "What will people think?" crowds. While not reckless, doubtless Emerson's "great souls" would reject cheap appeals to pragmatism and conventional thought or so-called common sense.
Wednesday, June 06, 2007
" 'Freedom Is About Authority': Excerpts From Giuliani
Speech on Crime." New York Times. March 20, 1994.
Freedom must be under law or it is not freedom.
Quoted in American Fascists: The Christian Right
and the War On America by Chris Hedges.
Friday, June 01, 2007
Please write, call or email Michael Lumpkin and Matt Westendorf and let them know you disagree with their decision. Michael Lumpkin & Matt Westendorf, Frameline, 145 Ninth Street, #300, San Francisco, CA 94103, 415-703-8650, email firstname.lastname@example.org .See also: "San Francisco Queers Say No Pride in Apartheid" in Electronic Intifada (May 29, 2007)