History

To replace that Wikipedia entry

But one proponent of deleting the page has stated on Wikipedia’s discussion page that “the view that the ideology of communism is somehow inherently violent is … anti-communist [point of view] pushing”.

Another supporter of deletion claims the entry on the deaths under Communism, estimated by some historians to be in the region of 100 million people, should not resort to “simplistic presuppositions that events are driven by any specific ideology”.

It has also been argued by one of the host of users who update and maintain Wikipedia that the page on mass killings under Communist regimes “is enabling a narrative and supports some fringe ideas about history”.

Replace the whole thing with a link to Robert Conquest, the link text being “I fucking told you so, you fucking fools”.

A useful addition to the agreed history

Alongside the financial reparations and apology, the settlement includes an agreed account of the Moriori history, a necessary step in correcting the myths and narratives the Crown disseminated over many generations.

Moriori had a pacifist philosophy which chief Nunuku-Whenua introduced to his people around the 16th century. The covenant of peace banned rank, violence and warfare. The imi lived undisturbed for many centuries until their first contact with European settlers in 1791, who arrived on the HMS Chatham, bringing with them diseases and the start of a new colonial era.

“In late 1835, about 900 people of two mainland Māori tribes sailed on a British ship to Rēkohu … the newcomers were welcomed and fed by Moriori in accordance with tikane Moriori (Moriori custom). Some Moriori wanted to resist the invaders, but the elders…urged the people to obey Nunuku’s law of peace … Upon returning to their villages they were attacked, and many were killed. Māori accounts put the number of Moriori killed in 1835–36 at about 300, or about one-sixth of the population. Those Moriori who survived the invasion were enslaved and forced to do manual labour,” the official account of Moriori history states.

Not that this should be all that much of a surprise. Barring that once and once only expansion into Terra Nullius history has been a series of one group invading and slaughtering another (true, often enough, just the men getting the chop, the women becoming the mothers of the new mixture).

The importance of this being that no one group – or at least, very rarely, as here – is the sole and original inhabitant who should be compensated for having been subject to that process. Because they’re just the latest example of second dog in that place, where once they – or their ancestors – were first dog and doin’ it to the then second.

True of Britain with neolithics and Celts and Angles and Saxons and Romans and Normans and on. True of all those varied First Nations and Native Americans, Incas, Aztecs, Olmecs and Mayans, true of Bantu and Maori and on and on.

“You bastards, you nicked our land!” might be an effective tactic these days but it’s hardly unusual as an occurence.

How could you, really, just……

Parliament building and police station burned down during protests in Solomon Islands

Showing us up like that. Yes, yes, I know frustrations with modern politics and all that. It’s also true that we tried and didn’t manage it. But do you have to show up Catholics as political failures quite so graphically?

Well, you know, sorta

We could live in societies of equals, this story goes, when we were few, our lives and needs simple. In this view, small means egalitarian, in balance with each other and with nature. Big means complex, which involves hierarchy, exploitation and the competitive extraction of the Earth’s resources. Now, as the human population approaches eight billion, we are left to draw the obvious dismal conclusions. There is no sense fighting the inevitable. Between entrenched neoliberalism and the pressures of our grow-or-die economy, what hope do we really have of making progress?

But as it turns out, nothing about this familiar conception of human history is actually true.

A society in which 80% of the women reproduced but only 40% of the men did – the usual estimation of those Edenic origins – is not exactly egalitarian in any useful sense now, is it?

George Monbiot’s claim of the $45 trillion theft from India.

George Monbiot has, a couple of times, referred to the manner in which Britain stole $45 trillion from India.

One estimate suggests that, over the course of 200 years, the British extracted from India, at current prices, $45tn. They used this money to fund industrialisation at home and the colonisation of other nations, whose wealth was then looted in turn.

The full paper showing that isn’t easy to find. I eventually contacted the publisher of the academic tome it appears in and asked for a copy – I’m not willing to spend hundreds of $ (hey, academic book prices) tracking something like this down so I wasn’t going to buy one. It’s likely they did but Portuguese customs is a little odd. They informed me that there was a package I had to do customs clearance for. OK. So, who is it from, what is it, can you let me have a copy of the shipping invoice? Nope – I must already know who has sent me what. So, if I don;t already have a copy of the invoice then I can’t have one nor the package. So, back to the US it went.

Sigh.

Then I got sent a .pdf of the specific paper. What follows is notes on me reading of it – I’ve not started reading yet, so this will be a little disjointed. But by the end we should be able to see how the $45 trillion was constructed. Even, whether it’s the piffle I am predisposed to think it is.

The West European powers transferred economic surplus from
their colonies on a very large scale, and this substantially aided both
their domestic industrial transition from the eighteenth century and the
subse­quent diffusion of capitalism to the regions of recent European
settlement.

Well, that’s sorta arguable. In fact lots of folks do argue it. But leave it be. I’m much more interested in her calculation of the $45 trillion.

The literature on industrial transition in the core countries in the
eighteenth-nineteenth centuries ignores almost completely this existing
discussion on the drain of wealth, or transfers from the colonies.2 The
mainstream interpretation posits a purely internal dynamic for the rise of
capitalist industrialization, and some authors argue that the colonies were
a burden on the metropolis which would have been better off if they had
been ‘given away’.

Well, OK, as she herself says, the normal interpretation isn’t that the centre drained the wealth from the colonies at all. But that’s fine, if you’re going to offer a contrarian view you do have to be contrarian, after all.

The terms ‘drain from colonies’ and ‘transfers from colonies’ are used
synonymously.

Ah. That may or may not become a problem. A transfer from could be “we’ve just bought something so here’s the cash now where’s the thing?”. A drain presupposes that there is no thing in return. Saying that both are the same isn’t quite right, is it?

Let us consider the beginning of the transfer process. The East India
Company’s trade monopoly started from 1600; it had to pay for its import
surplus from Asia with silver, arousing the ire of the early mercantilists.
The Company acquired tax revenue-collecting rights in Bengal province
in 1765, and the substantive drain started precisely from that date. Some
form of drain was already taking place through underpayment for goods
by using coercion on petty producers, but this was nothing compared to
the bonanza after 1765, when free acquisition of export goods by using
local taxes started.

Ah. So, local taxes are raised. This is then used to buy goods for export. This is the drain. Hmm. We might run into accounting issues here as exports are usually accounted as an addition to gross domestic product, not a diminution of it.

But we’ve a further conceptual problem here. Which is the insistence that taxes not spent upon those they are collected from are a drain. Which gives us that bit of a problem. We’ve just had the suggestion that Bezos should pay $50 billion in tax and no, that would not be spent upon Bezos. Should we regard this as a drain? One that’s morally unacceptable that is? Or perhaps we might consider Mao’s taxation of Chinese farmers. The tax was in the form of actual food – in the middle of famine – and the food was then sent to, among others, East Germany. This a rain upon China?

Or perhaps today and now. Britons are taxed in order to provide foreign aid. Is this a drain upon Britons? The claim about India says that it is. So, all happy with agreeing that it is then?

Britain saw a steadily increasing and completely costless inflow of tax-financed commodities – textiles, rice, saltpetre, indigo, opium, raw cotton, jute – which far exceeded its own requirements, the excess being re-exported.

No, don;t think that’s really right. The consumers in Britain didn’t get their jute for free, nor did the Dundee factories get it for the cost of the freight only. Someone was still paying for these things. It’s possible that that money just went to John Company (except obviously not after 1856) but it seems unlikely.

Suppose that a peasant-cum-artisan producer in India paid Rs 100 tax to
the state, and sold 10 yards of cloth and 2 bags of rice worth in total Rs 50 to a
local trader. This sale would be a normal market transaction and not connected in
any way to his tax payment, since the trader would advance his own funds for the
purchase in the usual way, expecting to sell the cloth and rice, and recoup his
outlay with a profit. Now, suppose not a local trader but an agent of the Company
bought the 10 yards of cloth and 2 bags of rice for export from the
peasant-cum-artisan producer by ‘paying’ him Rs 50 of the same producer’s own
money, out of the Rs 100 tax taken from him.

This means that everyone who sells something to the UK government and is paid by UK taxation – say a nurse in the NHS – is not in fact being paid anything. This is not a valid view of the circle of taxation and state expenditure.

In effect he handed over these goods for export completely free to the Company, as the commodity
equivalent of Rs 50 tax, worth say £5 (at the current exchange rate of Rs 10 to £1).

Also, no. For John Company also provided governance to that part of India. Maybe not good governance – although compared to the immediately preceding Moghul probably rather good – but governance all the same. Famine relief public works and all the rest as well. Maybe not as much as was raised in taxation. Maybe it wasn’t a good deal. But the idea that government is free and that taxation is required to pay for it does seem more than a little extreme.

The transfer or drain consisted in the fact that export surplus was the
product equivalent of taxes paid in by colonized producers, so its external sale value
did not come back to these producers. The high pro­pensity of foreign consumers to
consume tropical goods, which appeared as a merchandise import surplus, namely,
a trade deficit of Britain vis-a.­vis India (up to the 1840s), did not create any external
payment liability for Britain, as its trade deficit with a sovereign partner, like say
France, did. Britain’s perpetual trade deficit with France had to be settled in the
normal way through outflow of specie (precious metals), or borrowing, or a
combination of the two, and this was true of its deficits with all other sovereign
regions. It was also true of its trade with India up to 1765 which involved silver
outflow. After that date, when local tax collection began, the situation changed
completely.
On Britain’s external account the cloth and rice import from India now
created zero payment liability since Indian producers had been ‘paid’ already out of
their own tax contribution – namely, not paid at all. This clever system of getting
goods free as the commodity equivalent of eco­nomic surplus, extracted as taxes,
was the essence of the drain, of transfer.

And that’s the mechanism posited. Which does, rather, miss the point that the governance provided did in fact cost something.

In fact, we can check that. From Hansard, just before the Mutiny:

INDIAN FINANCE— 1851–52.
I. BENGAL:
Revenue £7,584,435
Local Charges 1,936,362
Local Surplus … … £5,648,073
NORTH-WESTERN PROVINCES:
Revenue 5,670,715
Local Charges 1,402,238
Local Surplus … … 4,268,477
Military Charges of Bengal and North-Western Provinces 5,442,230
Net Revenue of Bengal and North-Western Provinces … … … … £13,255,150
Charges of Bengal and North-Western Provinces … … … … 8,770,330
Surplus available for General Purposes of India … … …… … … £4,484,820
II. MADRAS:
Revenue … … … … 3,704,048
Charges … … … … 3,204,273
Surplus available for General Purposes of India … … … … … … 499,775
III. BOMBAY:
Revenue … … … … 2,868,298
Charges … … … … 2,847,392
Surplus available for General Purposes of India … … …… … … 20,906
Total Revenues of the several Presidencies … … …… 19,827,496
Total Charges of the several Presidencies … … … … 14,822,495
Total Surplus of ditto … … … … …… 5,005,001
Interest on Indian Debt … … … … 1,967,359
Charges defrayed in England … … … … 2,506,377
Total Charges on Indian Revenues … … … … … … 4,473,736
Surplus of Income over Expenditure … … … … … … … … £531,265

We can reject that idea of “free” rather easily. There were costs associated with running the place, costs which came out of that local taxation. Sure, there’s a profit there and we could quibble that that’s what is meant. But in no manner can we claim that the tax revenue had no costs associated with it. Therefore the revenue wasn’t free and nor could the goods possibly be so.

This isn’t good economics I’m afraid:

This very important material reality of
asymmetric production capacities, that actually explains the historic drive by
European countries to coloni­ally subjugate more productive tropical areas, was
not only ignored by David Ricardo, but this real reason was explicitly assumed
away by him.
Ricardo assumed in his two-country, two-goods model that ‘both
countries produce both goods’ – indeed his assumption was that ‘all countries
produce all goods’ – while arguing that specialization and exchange according
to comparative cost advantage led to mutual benefit.

The material fact was ignored that unit cost of production could not be de-fined for
tropical goods imported by cold temperate European countries, where the output of
such goods was, and always will be, zero. What is the ‘cost of production’ per
unit of coffee in Germany, or of cane sugar in England? Where a good cannot
even be produced, no cost of produc­tion exists. ‘Comparative cost’, to be
comparable at all, requires that we know for each trading country, the number of
units of good B producible by redirecting to it the labour released by reducing the
output of good A by one unit. Thus it is essential for the theory to hold that both
goods can actually be produced in both countries, but this was, and continues to
be, impossible for temperate countries with regard to tropical products.

As Adam Smith pointed out we can make wine in Scotland. Insane to do so but we can. And then three’s that bad economics, substitution. Cane sugar? What do you think sugar beet is but a temperate world substitute for a tropical world product? So that’s a bad fail there.

Since the
assumption that ‘both countries produce both goods’ is not true, the inference of
mutual benefit does not follow.
24 On the contrary, historical evidence shows that
the less powerful country obliged, .for non-economic reasons, to specialize in
export crops loses out through area diversion leading to falling domestic
foodgrains output, and as it is kept compulso­rily open to imports of
manufactures, sees domestic deindustrialization. Modern economics textbooks
continue to carry Ricardo’s argument for free trade, ignoring the glaring fallacy
that makes the theory incorrect.

No love, it’s your argumentation that’s bad, not Ricardo.

Note this lovely reverse ferret:

By 1833 the East India Company’s already eroded trade monopoly finally ended
owing to demands from English manufacturers who, hav­ing displaced Indian
textiles from European markets, wanted free access to the Indian market. India’s
exports to Britain declined, imports grew fast, and, by about the late 1840s,
India’s trade with Britain showed a deficit as deindustrializing imports, mainly of
yarn and cloth, poured in. But Indian exports to the world continued to rise
and exceed the new deficit with Britain, so that an overall rising global export
surplus was always maintained (see Table 1 and Figure 1). The current value
annual merchandise export surplus rose from Rs 3.4 crore during 1833-35 to
Rs 87.2 crore by 1917-19, at a compound growth rate of 3.94 per cent. Owing
to rupee depreciation from the 1870s, in terms of sterling· the growth rate is
lower at 3.5 per cent. From 1833 onwards, British India’s exports to the world
were no longer routed exclusively through Britain’s ports but increasingly were
sent directly to foreign destinations, the most important being the European
Continent, China (the opium trade), later the Americas, and Japan.
The drain increased as internal revenue collections rose, but it was
now effected in a more roundabout manner than the earlier direct unrequited
merchandise export surplus to Britain, since the latter no longer existed as
English manufactures were dumped on India.

When Britain was sending stuff back to India in return this was still exploitation. Because the British manufactures, ripped untimely from the hands of their producers, were “dumped”. This is cakeism.

And here’s another lovely misunderstanding:

The solution that was worked out was, in principle, both simple and
effective: the Secretary of State for India in Council, based in London, would issue
rupee bills of exchange to foreign importers of Indian goods, against deposits
with him of gold, sterling and their own currencies

Yes, that’s how bills of exchange work. Hawala banking still does. We’re netting off flows of money by circulating the stuff in one place to pay bills in that one place, the same at the other end in the respective currencies. Only the net flow has to travel, not the gross. This is how dollar or euro clearing in London works today as well. It’s hardly a plot.

Because the entire net
earnings of gold and forex of Indian producers were appropriated by Britain, and
even their rupee equivalent was not paid to the producers in the normal way but
out of their own taxes, it was perfectly logical and entirely correct for Naoroji and
Dutt to call it ‘unrequited’ export surplus.3

This is also the way the entirety of British industry worked under post WWII exchange controls. And?

India’s Export Surplus earnings from the world were precisely what
Britain appropriated in toto, while the earners of this gold and forex continued
to be defrauded of their earnings by being reimbursed out of their own rupee
tax contributions … Table 2 shows the remarkable long­term near-equality
oflndia’s total export surplus (£617.6 million) and the sterling expenditures in
England on account of the sum of ‘drain’ items (£621 million) over the 65
years.

Or, to read it another way, the cost of running India was the same as the profit to be made by running India.

The drain for the entire period comes to £9,184.41 billion, on a
highly underestimated basis since the interest rate applied is much lower
than the market rate

So it’s not $45 trillion at all but £9 billion in pre-1945 money. And that’s an overestimate as they’ve used a real interest rate of 5% when actually it was 2.6%. Real, not nominal, rates.

But here’s the basic trick being employed. The goods export surplus is the sign of the drain. No allowance whatsoever is made for any of the invisibles imports being of benefit to the Indian economy. So, all invisibles are accounted as merely being the rip off applied.

And that just ain’t true now, is it?

Judging the past by the standards of today

Imperial College London has been told to remove a bust of slavery abolitionist Thomas Henry Huxley because he “might now be called racist”, following a review into colonial links.

An independent history group for the Russell Group university has recommended that a bust of the renowned 19th century biologist, dubbed “Darwin’s bulldog”, be taken down and the Huxley Building on campus renamed.

All slightly weird. For the mantra of today is that there is no truth, everything is relative, a product of the surrounding society.

So the bloke’s a product of the society that surrounded him. How can he be held to some set of eternal verities if eternal verities don’t exist?

The true history of the slave trade

The Guardian lets us in on it.

All of modernity stems from that kidnapping of West Africans. Of course it does.

With, ahem, no mention at all of the first regular buyers of slaves from The Portuguese – Akans. That first trade (after the collection of some Berbers to be sold in Lagos) was actually from the oil coast (roughly, now Nigeria) to the gold fields in now Ghana.

Oh, and of course, absolutely nothing about the trans-Saharan trade.

Nope, all wipipo from Europe. Tsk, aren’t we the naughty ones.

These people are insane

You what?

In July, Sierra Leone became the 23rd African country to abolish the death penalty. Although its use across the continent has dwindled – thanks to concerted efforts from human rights organisations and governments – the death penalty remains on many more countries’ statute books due to its strong colonial legacy.

During the colonial period, punishments that were being abandoned in Europe found fertile ground in Africa. Among them was the death penalty, which was deployed as a key element in the mechanism of colonial repression.

While imprisonment became the most common response to crimes in colonial Africa, the death penalty was at the heart of the colonial project, its practice deeply woven into the fabric of state formation and citizenship building.

African political entities did not use the death penalty before colonialism? What nonsense is this?

What might usefully distinguish said colonial period is the infrequency with which it was applied as compared to earlier…..

Strangely, not so Ms. Malik

We’re all terribly surprised that Nesrine Malik has got the wrong end of the stick here, aren’t we?

Since its beginning, the primary purpose of Anglo-European policing was to exert control and quell uprisings by those demanding rights – be they sovereign, racial or economic – and protect those with land, property and wealth. The world may have changed since the days of British “bobbies” suppressing Irish republicanism, and escaped-slave-hunting militias in the US, but the mentality and structure of those institutions endures.

The entire foundation of Anglo-European policing, that idea of Peelers and Bobbies, was exactly the opposite of that. Sure, we can argue about how well those principles are still adhered to but to that’s another matter.

The entire damn point was not to be an army of occupation suppressing the proles – we had an army that did that already. It was to protect those rights of the proles just as much as those of anyone else. The police did, after all, investigate – even if without solution – the Jack the Ripper murders and which system of oppression bothers to do that for a few tarts?

That’s the thing about the Anglo part of that policing at least. The innovation was that it wasn’t to merely entrench extant privilege.

Don’t you just love this from an Arab Sudanese?

Ms. Malik:

In messages leaked last week, Conservative MP and equalities minister Kemi Badenoch made these points, familiar to anyone who comes from a former colony. “I don’t care about colonialism,” she wrote. “They came in and just made a different bunch of winners and losers. There was never any concept of ‘rights’, so [the] people who lost out were old elites not everyday people.”

Idle nostalgia about empire, or indifference to it, can rarely be separated from the sort of worldview that established the empire itself: that there is some inherent natural order to the process of colonisation; might is right. If the British had the more evolved means – both in terms of technology and finance – to dominate a people and commandeer their natural resources, then they also had the right to do so.

This criticism coming from an Arab Sudanese. You know, the folks who were still slaving among those blacker than they to the south and west ooooh, what was it, a decade back? Who fought a substantial war for decades to maintain their hold on the colony which became South Sudan?

Hmm.

The propaganda that then sustained empire, which imbued the “might” with the “right”, was the lie that empire was in fact really a civilising mission – a burden on the white man who brought not only Christianity to the heathen but also the order and hierarchy of his more sophisticated society.

The suppression of both animists and Christians in favour of Islam?

In my native Sudan, colonialism was a relatively gentle and short-lived experience (Sudan’s resources were not easily extractable and most of its lands inaccessible).

Colonialism by Sudanese lasted quite a long time actually.

Well, yes, there’s black and there’s black

Story of forgotten black Medici ruler is told in new short film
Daphne Di Cinto’s period drama Il Moro focuses on the son of a servant who became the Duke of Florence

Il Moro” rather gives the game away there. Medieval Europeans were well aware of the difference between North and sub-Saharan Africa as a source of people and genetics. They were still pretty hazy on much of the geography of course, but that racial difference was well known. To the extent that one group were called Moors, the other Aethiopes and the like. Not that Aethiopes are in fact racially to be grouped with sub-Saharans etc but still.

Today “black” means those sub-Saharans.

Now, it is possible that the servant mother of this illegitimate child – who then inherited – was an Aethiope but that’s certainly not the way to bet. But then that wouldn’t suit the story being told here, would it?

History matters

Err, no:

Job-linked benefits like health insurance rose during World War II, when inflation made employers reluctant to raise wages — so they added benefits instead. “Perks” like health care were also a way to keep workers happy so they wouldn’t leave.

The wage controls designed to curb the inflation (Hah!) meant that wages couldn’t be raised but perks could be.

Droll

Carter has been interested in monks and their digestion since visiting Kirkstall Abbey on the outskirts of Leeds and seeing the surviving latrines. “I remember being fascinated by the idea of it being a 900-year-old monastic toilet block,” he said.

Was he an odd child? “There wasn’t an awful lot to do on Sunday afternoons in the 1970s.”

That’s one answer to the long dark teatime of the soul.

Hmm, well, yes

Magna Carta isn’t actually the law of England (and Wales):

A group of about 20 protesters entered Edinburgh Castle on Tuesday evening, claiming to have “seized” the landmark under article 61 of Magna Carta.

Members of the public were evacuated as the demonstrators entered the grounds of the castle without a ticket. Police Scotland said that officers were dealing with the protest.

Reports emerged at about 5.45pm of an incident close to the entrance to the Museum of The Royal Regiment for Scotland.

The protesters filmed their protest on Facebook Live. In a 13-minute video, a woman says the castle “belongs to the people” and that they are “taking our power back”. She adds the Scottish people have been “lied to all our lives” and that the “building belongs to us, we have taken the castle back” in an effort to “restore the rule of law”.

Further, Scotland has its own legal system. And it wasn’t the same country as England and Wales when Magna Carta was signed. Sure, it isn’t now but it definitely wasn’t then.

So I think we’ll put this legal gambit down as a hiding to nothing, shall we?

How weird

Madam Butterfly will be re-examined through the lens of and slavery and colonialism, with ticketholders to a new production offered accompanying lectures on the opera’s “imperialist” themes.

Welsh National Opera (WNO) will run a series of lectures on Puccini’s 1904 work about an American naval officer marrying 15-year-old geisha Cio-Cio-San, saying the story raises issues of “imperialism and colonialism”.

Despite Puccini’s Japanese setting – and the opera being reimagined in a dystopian future by WNO – the company will host a talk on “the long arm of imperialism” discussing “how the UK is still shaped by its past”.

Japan being one of those few places which never was occupied by western imperialism. Or perhaps they’re going to talk about Japanese imperialism, of which there was quite a lot?

Because this has been happening for a couple of centuries now

While there’s British interference, there’s going to be action’: why a hardcore of dissident Irish republicans are not giving up

It’s been happening since Wolfe Tone and Young Ireland and all the rest. Probably before that back to the Vikings in Dublin.

Get up enough head of steam to revolt against the oppressors and carry enough of the population with you. So, concessions are made. Repeal the Anti-Catholic Laws, or legalise Erse, or partition, or whichever of those concessions over time you want to think about.

This peels off some large portion of the rebellious who go back to some sort of acceptance of this new status quo. And leaves the radical fringe still shouting. Who then gain, grain by grain, support for their more radical demands and we get to a large enough portion of the population that another set of concessions are made.

Thus the IRA, The Official IRA, the Provisional IRA, the INLA, the Continuity IRA, the 32 County lads and on and on.

Been happening for centuries. It’ll also continue if as and when there’s the one state on the island of Ireland, there will be those out there with the Armalites shooting for a properly socialist state, or for the Pol Pot solution, or invading England in search of reparations. Because there are always those sufficiently disatisfied enough with the society around them to take up arms. This not being a specifically Irish problem, you can round up a few nutters in any society.

South Africa

A group of armed locals did manage to defend a nearby gun and ammunition shop, and may well have saved lives by doing so.

But the town’s police force were completely overwhelmed. By Monday evening they had exhausted their supply of rubber bullets and were running low on live rounds, relying on donations from local civilians for ammunition.

A century and a bit back when the British rozzers were chasing some anarchists (Lithuanian, Latvian?) through London they borrowed pistols off the passing crowd….

An evil truth

So, this infamy of colonialisation, massacre of the native peoples:

Moreover, callous disrespect for native culture cannot be equated with the deliberate genocidal events that mar the pasts of many countries. In world-historical terms, Canada’s record is among the best.

A truth, however evil it is, is that the less effective the genocide the greater the current furore about it.

No, not saying that First Nations in Canada were well and wondrously treated. But the genocide of the Patagonian Indians was in fact effective. Which is why there’s no shouting about it now – there’re none left to be shouting. The same could be said of Cape Hottentots.

Or even, given that there’s near no identifiably of sub-Saharan origin population in the Arab world there’s not the same focus upon the slave trade as there is where some 13% of the population are so descended – like in the US. Despite the numbers enslaved and moved being roughly similar. One enslaved population propagated, the other didn’t, which explains the difference in current consideration.

It’s an evil observation but it’s also true.