Sunday, 15 November 2015

Consequences

Vincent Cassells in La Haine - a great film about action and consequence

Despite the complexity of life, one thing is certain - there is one law which governs us all - the law of Action and Consequence. Call it fate, karma, all it destiny, call it coincidence, history, future shock, call it any damn thing you like under the skies, but it is clear - if you are standing where you are standing today, it was almost certainly a result of something you did in all the years, months, weeks, and days previously. Unless, of course you were abducted by aliens - which perhaps you had nothing to do with, unless you worked in SETI - in which case, you were asking for it. But yes - if you are where you are today, then it is almost certainly the result of something which happened in the past, as Winston Churchill said, Events, dear boy, events.

SO, on to Paris and what happened there. It is hardly surprising that in this day and age, with cheap flights, an arms market which is oversupplied, with money as the main lubricant of ethics and ethos, with the horrible war which has been taking place in the Middle East since the late 18th century, with the history of bullying and colonisation which has been visited by the West and its puppet regimes upon the hapless peoples of the Middle East, that sooner or later, this was bound to happen. Of course it is terrible, of course it is horrible, but it happens every single day, every day hour, in cities like Beirut and Damascus and Baghdad... every day now for several years the people here have lived in fear and anger. Their governments are worse than useless. And a special kind of hell has been saved just for the Palestinians. They made the big mistake of being in the Promised Land. With crazy neighbours.

So, since the let's say 17th century, Europeans have been going round the world - some more than others - off loading their rubbish on it, taking the best bits off it and then telling people that this is ok. They took Vikings raids to a whole new level. Oh this land looks great, i am taking it. What, you already live here? No matter. I am still taking it. Oh you don't like it, yeah, well, too bad. Sod off. Oh you are not going to sod off? Well, ok, i will kill you. Oh you didn't like that i killed you father? Well, i will also kill your mother and your sisters and your brothers. Oh no!!! You have burned my house down!!!! How could you? You are savages. We are just going to kill the whole lot of you.

Beautiful Tioman, no stranger to the European take it and leave it strategy
That has been more or less the European (and i include the US in this) model of negotiation for the last 300 years. Give or take. To be fair to the Europeans, they have also negotiated like this with each other. Europe has a glorious history of constantly fighting with whatever neighbour has drawn a line in the sand next to its beach or river. It is also true that the Chinese, Indians, Maoris, South East Asians, Africans and South Americans were also very good at fighting with each other but the Europeans were exceptional in that they managed to export their conflict. They had the Crusades and then went to China and India, then the Americas, Africa and then.... well you get the idea.

The genius in this exporting of their conflict was also the creating of the Other. The dichotomy - well this land is 'unproductive' therefore it is bad, this person does not wear the same clothes, therefore they are not human, this culture does not have large buildings, therefore it is primitive. Really, if the other peoples of the world had a fecking clue, they would be getting together and insisting that Europe make good, as Germany had to do in the Treaty of Versailles, for all the pain and misery it has inflicted on the world. But we know how that ended.

Instead, people are so forgiving and they say, oh let's get on with our lives. Leave them to it. Forget about their thieving, barbaric ways and let us just go about raising our families and fighting each other. And that would have been alright, except that governments in Europe will not leave well alone.

Having created this massive mess in the Middle East, and still having some kind of interest there because of oil, (even though we now can forget about oil,) and because of Israel, and of course because of the fear of being discovered for the assholes (aka war criminals) which they are (even though this is patently clear to the people who live there and in academic circles now for the past 200 years), instead of leaving well enough alone, they insist on still involving themselves in some way.

Previously it was the God Gold and Glory argument, now it is the Just Any Old Excuse To Make a Quick Buck argument. Capitalism has entered this strange perverted phase where to make this monster called the GDP grow, anything is allowed - so if planes and weapons and medical supplies are sold to regimes, this will constitute an addition to the GDP, and therefore this is a good thing. It is perfectly sick.

However, the most sickest part of all this is that they have not factored in the freedom of the human being. They believe that human beings in other countries will just take this lying down.

And there you have it - the Law of Action and Consequence.

If you sow the wind, you will reap the whirlwind.

Can we weave a different story?
The most FRUSTRATING part of this story is that we, as ordinary, loving people are TOTALLY HELPLESS in all this. Yesterday when i heard David Cameron bleat on and on about how THESE PEOPLE want to destroy everything that WE stand for, i thought what would that be David. Also what you stand for i do not stand for. I do not stand for the extrajudicial killing of people in other people's countries. I do not stand for the bombing of Syria. I do not stand for building jails in Saudi Arabia. I do not stand for having Saudi Arabia on the UN Council for Human Rights. I do not stand for the rape and pillage of the Earth, aka fracking. I do not stand for everything that you stand for.

You know, previously, i thought that politicians were just incompetent. Now i see that they are actually dangerous lunatics. For the time being i feel completely helpless. What can we all do about this? What can we all do to stop the madness, to create a new cycle, a good cycle, a virtuous cycle of action and consequence... where does it begin?

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