Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Imperialism?

Anon said:
"For extra credit - and here’s where the fun begins - here are 2 more questions for those who care:
4. Was U.S. control of these 4 (Puerto Rico, Guam, Virgin Islands, Mariana Islands.) gained through acts of imperialism?
5. Whether yes or no, has U.S. jurisdiction been beneficial to the inhabitants of these territories?"



Wow anon, you know how to pop open a can of worms. At one time there was some thinking in America that we had to build the “Great American Empire” much as the Brits had done in the world, and Spain before them, and the Turks before them and China and others fading back into history.

Most countries in history felt that they needed to control the world's political influence, for power and gain, in a grow or die scenario. “Manifest destiny”, where we forced ourselves on the West, was part of that thinking. Some would argue that it was colonialism because we were building ourselves a place to live. But, was it really? Why did the phrase “go West young man” pop up? It had to have been partly for political power and to stop Spain from creeping deeper into the Continental Americas and taking over political influence.

Originally “outposts” like Hawaii, Guam, Puerto Rico and others were strategic for shipping and economic gain. The Philippines were a tasty tid-bit in the Pacific. We wanted the Philippines badly back in the late 1800’s. For some reason we had chosen Spain as our great enemy at that time, and Spain owned the Philippines, We seemed to be anxious to engage Spain in any way that we could, for any reason. We wanted anything and everything that Spain possessed. Some people in America opposed the expansion of American territory for political purposes. Among them Mark Twain, "I have read carefully the treaty of Paris, and I have seen that we do not intend to free, but to subjugate the people of the Philippines. We have gone there to conquer, not to redeem. It should, it seems to me, be our pleasure and duty to make those people free, and let them deal with their own domestic questions in their own way. And so I am an anti-imperialist. I am opposed to having the eagle put its talons on any other land."

So, to say that America took over other countries for pure political gain and influence is not entirely true. As is true today, some of us want badly to gain political influence in other countries, and some of us want nothing to do with it.

But, the question that you asked was, “Was U.S. Control over these four gained through acts of imperialism?”

I guess that you would say that is true, because we gained them when we kicked Spanish butt in the Spanish American war in 1898, and they became ours in the “Treaty of Paris”. But in the particular case of Guam we lost the Island to the Japanese, December 8th 1941, who felt it was strategic to controlling the Pacific.

“During the occupation, the people of Guam suffered terrible atrocities, including torture, beheadings, and rape, and were forced to adopt the Japanese culture.”(Wikipedia)

America took it back July 21st 1944 because it was strategic to controlling the Pacific.

Your second question was: ”“has U.S. jurisdiction been beneficial to the inhabitants of these territories?”

Well, if our control of Guam is better than being raped and beheaded, I guess they are better off.

As you might have guessed by now, I'm no tower of wisdom when it comes to world politics. I'm more of an expert when it come to the foibles of the common man. If you want great detail on “foibles” I can expound in detail and accuracy. I will say, for the most part, America has been a positive influence in the world for people that yearn to be free.

One other thought in closing; it was once said that “if you control the land, you control the people”, and world dominion was achieved through controlling land and territories. In the new world, we live in cyberspace, and the new control and “Impirialism” is wealth. It might be said nowadays “if you control the wealth, you control the people”

While we were clinging fiercely to our guns and territory, with the attitude that “By God, they'd better not mess with me our my ground”, they quietly slipped our wealth and control away from us. The shipped our jobs, and our means to provide for ourselves to other lands. So, here we are clinging to our guns with nothing but ideology to shoot at. We live in a world where corporations are declared to have the same rights as people. We are fighting a war for survival, that us rabble really haven't caught onto yet, and it already may have been lost. But, as I said, world politics aren't my bag.

I was raised in a physical world where you made your living with your hands, and your job provided something real and tangible, “that you could hit with a hammer”. Now you make your living by out-smarting the other guy in the stock market. I was raised in a world where arguments were settled by a poke in the nose. Now we hire lawyers to do our fighting, in a world of made up of hot-air. Our control of our lives has been stripped away from us by, not taking our wealth, but by eliminating our chance of gaining it in the first place. How can you defend, with your gun, the things that were taking before you even got them. We are playing a shell game, thinking that we might win, when there is nothing for us under any of the shells.

Other counties own our very soul at this point. I don't have the power to change things, none of us rabble do. Our politicians have sold us out, lock-stock-and-barrel. The people that control the wealth, control our political puppet politicians. Nobody can get elected without the backing of the wealthy. We put all of our hopes in Obama, and we can see how all of that turned out.

My hope just like Lincoln's was at the end of his Gettysberg address: “that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom -- and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth.”

Now,after having exposed myself as a crazy ranting old man. I need to go to work.

5 comments:

Anonymous said...

Well, Ernie's awake this morning. Gees, what kind of coffee do you drink?? Myself, I have to do my daily exercises first thing in the morning before my brain figures out what I'm doing.

Anonymous said...

I never completely wake up. I wish I could remember all this information but I don't drink coffee so doomed to having to look info up when I need it.

Oregon

Joe Blow said...

Ernie, you and I “mostly” think alike since we grew up in the same world. I will put it to you in my 60+ years working in an environment where you hit first and talked later, no one ever hit me in anger. Not that a few Bigfoot bullies didn't try. We both believe in the right to self-defense, property rights and family values, among other things. I am sure you can tell I am a rather cerebral kind of guy. So can you tell me why guys twice my size, combat hardened, reputed bullies, thought to beat the crap out of me, but when they got close enough to see my eyes, backed off and never tried to assault me again?

If you say you don't have the power to change anything, then you certainly do not. But, then how can you when you continue to support the very thing you want or need to change? How is it that you “hope” in a “free nation” while you think and believe like a slave? You wouldn't know what to do with a “free nation.”

suzy blah blah said...

can you tell me why guys twice my size, combat hardened, reputed bullies, thought to beat the crap out of me, but when they got close enough to see my eyes, backed off and never tried to assault me again?

sounds like Joe has this

Anonymous said...

Dang Joe, sounds like you might be in big trouble.

Oregon