Things that are not said by the paid sycophants
Today it is obvious the twentieth century was one of horror, killings, injustice, chicanery, robbery and lies of which capitalism-imperialism is guilty. The evil hidden forces controlling our society impose fallacious ideas upon ordinary mortals.
Things that are not said by the paid sycophants
Fernando García izquierdo
A set of lies.
The first duty we owe to history is to rewrite it. On the one hand, in a system of society where there are two irreconcilable antagonistic classes, labour and capital, and where one of them (capital) dominates, the professionals employed by capitalists to write their books are clearly serving the latter: that is what they are being paid for; and consequently they cannot be expected to produce anything but propaganda.
On the other hand, these writers generally belong to the dominating class; their minds in any case have been formed at schools, churches and universities which try mainly to keep things as they are, the ‘status quo’: the preservation of the sacred right of property is THE THING.
An army of propagandists that produce not only history, but all kinds of books, films, television, other programmes, etc. all ways and means trying to turn rational beings into sheep.
Sixty-five years ago I heard Pete Sieger singing to a public in a full stadium in Sydney, and I now remember he infused enthusiasm in my heart, put in half a dozen words what I know is going to cost me several thousands. Question was, what is the purpose of all This? Answer, “to make us swallow the lie.”
About studying history.
I would certainly like to communicate to the reader my feelings about what I have called hereinabove the capitalist propaganda, which has infected my life as a citizen of the Free World. I think I should start by saying that about ninety percent of what has been written, and I have read, is directed to defend, preserve and strengthen the sacred right of private property. That is the kind of propaganda I refer to.
As a boy, in Madrid, I was taught by my teachers (reverentially) that Pope Leon XIII defended private property, that he had written that humans are the only species allowed by God, not only to consume “los frutos de la tierra, sino la tierra misma.” In other words, Man can utilise for his own profit not only the fruits of the earth but also the earth itself.
Or putting it somewhat more mildly, which I think is the way the encyclical was taught to me, Humans are inherently made to possess, to be the private proprietors of THINGS, including land. That was what the Church taught. Moreover, Man took possession of the earth to improve it, to become superman in order to serve God more fully. This is absolute rubbish and unless we of the human race abandon those theories we shall all perish, rather sooner than later.
According to the materialistic interpretation of history (Marxian thought), humankind ‘in toto’ is just a living organism, a component part of the planet earth, like other living or non-living matter. It is time we start to think entirely differently from what may have thought the mentioned nineteenth century pope or (when you come to it) entirely differently from what may think the present president of the United States of America.
Thinking of writing about contemporary history.
From the very first moment when my fortune made me set foot on England, as a student, at least a few cells of my brain have been directed with fury against the bandits who employ the written word to go on dominating and exploiting their fellow humans.
When I addressed myself above to the readers of these lines, I hoped (and I still hope) that they may see what is in fact a vision (my vision) about the twentieth century, and the Free World which I have come to know, I think, fairly well.
It seems to me that the tragedy which is now being unfolded (nearly everywhere) before our eyes is worse than anything observed before.
Reading history I have seen that the same category of tragedy has traversed the centuries. Murder, wars, carnage, havoc, destruction, ruin it has always been the same. Or not always. Humans may have been treading the earth for millions of years, and I believe it has sufficiently been established that during the long period called ‘prehistory’ we ‘homo sapiens’ lived together (call it “primitive communists” or call it “hordes”); only in these three or four thousand years has “private property” (of which Leon XIII wrote) been accepted as the universal norm.
So, where should we start?
It seems to me, as I start this writing, that something should be said about the Berlin Conferences of 1892, and then pass on to our contemporary history with all the twentieth century.
European powers have been fighting one another since time immemorial, the Romans and the Vikings invaded one way or another almost everybody-else’s land, the Spaniards and the French killed one another for centuries, the English murdered and robbed as much as they could while the French and others invaded for centuries central and eastern Europe. The Germanic people mainly had to withstand invasions by others. The records contain references of “Hundred Years War”, “Thirty Years War” and so on and so forth. ‘Voilà l’Europe civilisée!’
There was no country or region where the the slaughtering thousands per month, destruction, ruin and total havoc was not the order of the day. Everywhere!! As an anecdote I will relate that when I lived in Jersey C.I. (one of the Channel Islands), a friend explained to me that there had been civil wars in that little island of a thousand people (fewer when the conflict occurred.)
Until 1870 France continually beat the Germans in the fights between the two nations. Then things changed, and one day unified Germany became the strongest power in Europe.
The English, a maritime power, finding (like the Portuguese and the Spaniards before them) in overseas expansion new ways and means, became the domineering race, called themselves “a race” AND THEY WERE NOT. Among other things they were: Iberians, Britons (Celt or Celts), Anglo-Saxons, Normans… (even in the Middle Ages.)
With the industrial revolution and the so-called “Freedom of the Seas”, so many coasts all around and a large extraordinarily smart set of lawyers, what we call the British went marauding everywhere and came to base their prosperity on colonial wars and conquest. But I note I am straying out of my subject.
As the nineteenth century came to its end, the brave German or Germanic people became the most powerful. In the east Österreich was partly Slavonic, and in the west and south they had been ‘Romanised’; all were in fact a collection of people who spoke the same language (unified by Goethe.)
In 1870 they began to beat the French, previously “les plus grands”. As far as overseas colonies were concerned, Germany was being left behind. Portuguese, Spanish, Belgians, Dutch, and specially the French. And (for those that today ask themselves how a nation of sixty or seventy million can live without working) colonialism is what made them wealthy.
But about Germany fighting France.
When the Germans became a (unified) nation that turned out to be the strongest country in the continent, it was clear that the preceding Great Powers had to compromise (the Berlin Conferences of 1892.) Not much has been said in our history books about these Conferences. The vision is one of many solemn meetings, where each representative of a capitalist country was standing around a large mahogany table, ready to obtain for his country some parts or others of the African continent and perhaps of other continents.
“¡Mío, mío, mío!” or in English, “This for me, this for you, and so on and so forth” for days, bending over big maps, all the European countries concerned apportioning for themselves different chunks of Africa (or wherever), cutting in effect immense territories (“l’Afrique Equatoriale Française”, “British East Africa”, “Africa portuguesa,” “Marrueco español,” etc., etc.) without sense, following their whims, greed, ambition. No relation to established nations, the geography of the place, the kind of population, local laws, local customs, nothing. It was the desire to get mines, raw materials for industry, and at times tons of gold or other metals, diamonds and other precious stones. To secure great profits that is what incited our politicians, diplomats, industrialists, etc. In fact that is what moved, activated our (European) history from the moment Hernan Cortés and his hidalgos conquered Mexico for the King of Spain. And do not let us forget that a great part of Europe’s wealth is due to that primitive accumulation..
When I was a schoolboy Europe treated the Africans (and others) in a most dishonourable way and almost always moved exclusively by greed. This is now being universally recognised. What I now insist on is the greed. The capitalist-imperialist greed persists.
There are,of course, what Marx called the native “comprador-aristocrats”, and these are of the dirtiest human “stuff”; but let us stop utilising this as a pretext. The evil, the guilt lies squarely on capitalism-imperialism.
In their books, the imperialists were claiming that Europe was bringing civilisation to savages. Even in literature, say in Thackeray’s books we see how massively and for how long the City of London benefited from the “Indian’’ Empire in the hands of the British. Benefits are still accruing. The United Kingdom possessed an “Empire Where the Sun Never Sets” and “Britannia Rules the Waves”.
Let me add now, in passing, that British Finance and Banking was already planning to take colonial possession of the greatest part of the territories then belonging to the evil, decadent Ottoman Empire.
Approaching the first world war.
The various colonial powers, that for a time seemed to understand one another, would not take long to ignite a fire (Sarajevo) that would start a war where they all would devour one another, moved by greed. Whoever can doubt that the first world war (1914-1919) was a war among capitalist powers caused mainly by ambition, the desire to accumulate “¡más y más y más!
However, there were two prior conflicts which we must not forget. Before the first devastating Great Capitalistic War there was the Russo-Japanese war (1904-1905) and the first Russian Revolution of January 1905, which I should like to mention now.
The Russian Empire had always tried to extend its domination over Asia, until it entered into conflict with Japan over the islands of the north Pacific coast; and for the first time in history a European country was defeated by a non-European one.
Almost simultaneously, the first Russian communist revolution took place. The revolutionaries’ were defeated, but the struggle, their organisation following the teachings of Historical Materialism expressed by Marx and others, their determination to fight surprised the entire world, witnessing things to come.
I believe Marx, who with Engels considered the situation of the working class in England (where they lived), had expected Britain, France or Germany would be the first communist countries in history.
The Russian people had only a few decades earlier come out of slavery. For centuries the farmhands, the greater part of the population, had been mere serfs; and when an imperial edict (1860), supposed to liberate them, ordered the landowners to set them free, this freedom soon was shown to be only a safeconduct to death. The roads of the vast tzarist empire were converted into open cemeteries for the destitute Russian peasants. It turned out that the powerful landowners had taken the opportunity of the imperial edict to get rid of their farmhands and utilise machinery instead, or other means of production. Greed, profit: accumulation.
Announcing things to come.
The end of the first world war left almost all Europe devastated, including the two main contending countries, France and Germany. Britain itself had not had to suffer (during the years of actual conflict) as much as France did under German occupation. For the British Isles were not invaded and did not experience the death and havoc that came over continental Europe.
The Prime Minister at the time was Mr Balfour. He was for continuing the war in favour of the French. It was necessary to bring the young and powerful American Republic into the war.
But the war had been extended into what was then called the Near East. Austria and Germany (Prussia) found an ally in Turkey, and with that the war spread to the eastern Mediterranean (Palestine, Arabia, etc, countries under the Ottoman Empire, which Britain eagerly desired to colonise.
Prime Minister Balfour, in conference with the powerful banker Rothschild, who had very important friends in New York, sent a mission to both New York and Washington asking the United States to enter the war (Britain would eventually give part of Palestine to Europeans of the Hebrew religion.)
America joined the first world word and Germany was utterly defeated.
The Treaty of Versailles.
However this may be, the fact is that in 1919 peace was proclaimed. Germany came out of the war wholly devastated; and the French wanting to revenge themselves on the Germans, asked for reparations. All this unleashed such a calamity in central Europe, such poverty, no industry, unemployment, hunger and ruin; so that there was born in the German soul a determination to fight once again. The history of the so-called Weimar Repulic is there, in the books.
Until the German nation freely and enthusiatically chose nazism in the general elections. In brief, in 1933 Hitler, Goebbles and others came to power in Germany, the hardest fascism that had existed in history, including the holocaust (as it was planned) of the entire Jewish nation and extermination of Gypsies and communists.
Communist Soviet Union.
When the first world war ended, Imperial Russia was already a federal union of socialist republics. COMMUNISM. The wealthy and dominating classes in the whole world at once saw in the Soviet Union “l’ennemi à abattre”, the new system against which everything should be done, including total destruction of the planet if necessary.
However, let us leave this for the time being. What is interesting to note, at this stage, is that after the working class captured power in 1917, the government led by Lenin initiated a programme of socialist construction. The capitalists (beginning with Britain) immediately encircled the Soviet Union and helped the White Russians. They kept the civil war going until 1934.
After Lenin’s death, in 1924, the communist government, under Stalin, achieved one victory after another in industry and in general socialist reconstruction.
The Great Depression.
It is well known that the capitalist system collapsed in October 1929 (the fall of Wall Street took place one week precisely before I was born, let it be said for the record.) The collapse of the whole system would have been total and forevermore, had not the second world war begun, which gave the capitalists the opportunity to make piles of money with their war-industries and therefore to revive employment in American industries, weapon-manufacture, etc. It is always the same, they end up seeing profits everywhere, getting drunk with blood and general havoc. The capitalists get benefits from everything. Ruin signifies for them subsequent growth.
But reverting to the collapse of the system in 1929, 1930, 1931…, allow me to express a personal feeling, though in the end I am only guessing. It seems to me that America was (and is) a nation which had (has) been entirely in the hands of capitalism. At the end of the first world war when Europe, as we have said, was devastated, there was among us much demand: in Germany and in France, all over, and not much production.
As America had not suffered during the war, industry was in full activity. Full employment followed, production, progress, growth, high benefits, high salaries and wages. These are things now forgotten (in the twenty-first century there is ultra-exploitation and unemployment, but in the twenties of the twentieth century all went well for a while.
Wealth, much quickly-earned wealth, wealth even among the workers. That was America, our much beloved New York. And then suddenly and unexpectedly, it collapsed … in one day, one week or so. DEPRESSION! How come?
A share means a chunk of private property.
In a word the Ordinary American was a private proprietor of a very tiny bit in a sublime chunk of industry. At the end of the first world war the whole country had become the most important powerful, richest country in the whole wide world. To possess some shares in the stock-exchange! To be proprietor of a paper which signified that you too were a capitalist, that you owned a chunk (however insignificant) of a U.S. corporation was a divination. Blessed Mother of Jesus!! what happiness! For American industry was already the best in the world, the one that produced more commodities and services, etc. In a free world where everything was offered for sale, bought, sold and again into the market-place changing hands: mine and thine: everybody capitalist, a piece of paper. With it into the marketplace, at once another change of hands, constantly adding value to it and another pirouette... Hey! Hey! Another one! Once more!
The Rich country, never beaten at wars, coming out of them a richer one, richer than Britain, and richer still, imperial. Where others (many) have been ruined, we have made PROFITS.
“Entrepreneurs!” But entrepreneurs who now didn’t need to know about manufacturing, labour no longer needed. Why waste time? Under capitalism the important thing is profit, and this comes by means of a valuable piece of paper.
The entrepreneur in the years from the end of the first world war to the Great Depression thought he only needed to issue new amounts of Capital to start gambling again at a higher level. People thought that letting shares go from hand to hand indefinitely would bring him profits, a real fortune.
Everybody was sure that those shares would be more expensive the next day. A paroxism of imbecility, madness. Normal people in appearance having lost all reason, all sense of proportion. More dollars constantly raining out of the blue. In the main streets of all the wealthy cities, entering and going out of banks. Much literature has been written about this.
The famous politician-economist Keynes, spending sometime in New York at the beginning of October 1929, and going to pay his taxi-driver, the latter (apparently a celebrated personality in the capitalist world, this Lord Keynes) got on his knees and implored to be advised on what shares were going to go up that day.
The second world conflict was coming.
It was going to be a war of the sane people of the world against fascism. World War II is, therefore, a conflict of an entirely different nature from the Great War of 1914-1919.
The aim, the cry of the forces of destruction called Imperial Capitalism is to keep the human race classified, divided into sections, social classes, rich and poor.
As a result of the impoverishment of the working classes in all Europe, there was conflict everywhere and great hardship, side by side with wealth in certain pockets. Fascism became a European Power. In Germany, Italy, Spain and other places the general depression caused, among other evils, mass unemployment. In Germany there were attacks on banks and public buildings, which were maliciouusky attributed to the German communist party. However this might be. The German fascists (Hitler’s nazis) came to power through a general election. At once the nazis had the support of the powefrful German industry barons, banks, etc. Hitler constituted the government.
Fascism had been gaining strength in Italy, where Mussolini and his condottieri organised their famous March on Rome and formed the government, but respected the king as a figure-head.
The English aristocracy, royalty included, and financiers were almost instinctively for Hitler and nazism. Or putting it in a somewhat milder way, some of them saw fascism as perhaps the only force capable to do away with communism. I repeat Communism was the Number One Enemy of the RICH, there is no other force that they have so constantly continually attacked. All his life Sir Wiston Churchill boasted that no other person had fought against communism as much as he had.
The very king of the United Kingdom, Edward VIII, in the early thirties visited the Nazis in Berlin. Once or twice he was photographed in the press, accompanied by his divorced lover Mrs. Simpson, a fascist. They were seen with Hitler and Goebbles, who it was rumoured had been the latter’s lover.
The history of the aristocratic manipulation of international relations, its attempts at joining Germany against the Soviet Union, are a small part of the bleak acting of British capitalism-imperialism during the period since the start of the war, when Nazi Germany conquered France (1939), and the battle of Stalingrad (1942-1943).
The war of Spain, 1936-1939.
Spain had been a dictatorial monarchy until 1931, when the people dethroned the king Alfonso XIII and proclaimed the democratic republic. Three years later the Spaniards had chosen socialism-communism. And this was not accepted by the capitalist-imperialist powers of Europe and America. There was a conspiracy in the country tending to overthrow the legitimate government several times chosen by the people in general elections, the last one in April 1936. The military, the oligarchy, the church and othe reactionary forces planned a putch, and from outside the forces of reaction intervened, beginning with Great Britain which helped the conspirators to carry out their plans. A British aeroplane transferred General Franco, the youngest of the generals and the one who was going to last longer, from the Canary Island where he was interned by the republican government, to Morocco (which was part of a Spanish Protectorate and where the main body of the Spanish armed forces were located. Mussolini immediately sent the Italian aviation, which landed in the north of Morocco, and in a few hours transferred the gross of the rebel Spanish forces to mainland Spain.
But the Spanish workers resisted and they defeated the insurgents except in a couple of cities and in the villages, where the population was intimidated by their priests.
Germany quickly sent its armed forces to bomb Madrid, Barcelona and other Spanish cities, (almost as much as the British would later on call “carpet-bombing” Dresden, Berlin and other places. And yet the Spanish people did not give way to fascism, under the cry NO PASARAN. They preferred to die defending communism rather that live under the boot of fascism.
As an example of the great resistance of the Spanish workers during the War of Spain, let me mention that the conflict lasted three years. During those three years the fascists could not enter in either of the two cities mentioned in the preceding paragraph (there were others, Valencia, Castellon, etc.) I went with my family to live in Madrid in 1940, a capital almost completely destroyed by the Germans. The Madrileños resisted, with scarce food, without fuel, etc.
A few months after that Nazi Germany conquered France… and invaded Denmark, Sweden, Norway, Holland, Belgium, just in a few hours in at least one of the cases. And Germany was prepared for the second world war.
But do not let us anticipate.
For readers of course know that the rich would rather see the planet blow up than have their domination diminished. Between the end of the War of Spain and the conquest by the Germans of France, etc., there was a period of a few months called the Phoney War. Only in 1943, when the Russians thoroughly defeated the Germans at Stalingrad, did Roosevelt and Churchill learn that there was no other remedy for the United Kingdom and the United States but to ally themselves totally with the Soviet Union, if they did not want to let fascism help capitalism, seventy-five years before Mrs May and Mr Trump.
(to be continued.)