From: RICHARD PITHOUSE <pithouse@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
Date: Mon, 14 Apr 1997 22:35:55 +0200 (SST)
This whole thread is fundamentally misconceived because one of the most
striking (note that violence is even built into our language) facts about
human culture is the extent to which it is based on killing. In the
relatively sanitized Western democracies not too many people have to do
the direct killing but you can still see it clearly in some national
anthems, in movies and video games, in the way national identity is
constituted, in some museusms (like the British museum) and even in
Cathedrals like Salisbury Cathedral where the flags of the regiments that
invented the concentration camp and shattered the Zulu nation still hang.
Very few humans kill out of a bloodlust and very few kill members of their
own clans (on whatever scale these may be constituted) but many humans are
happy to kill or to bennefit from killing aimed at winning or maintaining
profit and influence. The soils of Angola and Mozambique are filled with
landmines made in the West. There's not much of an outcry in the West is
there? When Western governments happily trade with murderous regimes like
those in Nigeria, Burma etc there is hardly a massive outcry? When trade
deals are enforced that will result in starvation and malnutrition in the
third world there isn't much of an outcry is there? When fashionable
consumer goods like Nike shoes are made by Pakistani children in sometimes
life threatning working conditions there isn't a groundswell of rage.
In some countries it is obvious that humans kills easily. In other
countries the exploited are far away and have don't have the cultural
power to become part of the mediascape and very few people give a damn.
Whether a structure like the pyramids are built directly on blood, when a
city like Johannesburg is built from the profits extracted by local blood
or whether the Cathedrals and Universites of some Western cities are built
on the blood spilt on distant lands makes no difference to those who
Trade policies kill just like wars and the bulk of the Western population
are quite happy to bennefit from that. If you're lucky enough to live in a
country where you don't have to deal with killing on a daily basis don't
be fooled into thinking that humans don't kill.
Sorry to be morbid but problems aren't solved when they're ignored and the
current insularity of western thinking has lead many people to think that
"real" politics is over. Global apartheid is reaching new heights and
politics has only just begun. I'm afraid that it's really ugly out there.
Landmines kill, milk formula kills, free trade kills, sometimes Hollywood
kills, exploitative extraction of raw materials kills, trade with
oppressive regimes kills.