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December 21, 2010

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Duncan

I'm disappointed Paul, never thought you'd succumb to Twitter.

Rasta

Bloody hell, you've got Ken Livingstone following you - watch your back!

Rasta

I don't tweet so I'm responding to your tweet about obese people and incapacity benefit on here.
(a) not all obesity is caused by over-eating/poor diets.
(b) I wouldn't heap blame on the individuals whose obesity is caused by that either. Who's educated them about a healthy diet? How expensive and available are healthy, low fat foods compared to unhealthy, high fat ones? It's like blaming alkies for being alkies - the system saturates the place with cheap alcohol, advertises and promotes it heavily, and makes you feel like a weirdo outcast if you choose not to drink alcohol - and then blames people for becoming alcoholics. (Generally the poor alcoholics who stumble about in open view, not the posh ones who stumble around their mansions or around the houses of lords and commons).
(c)I'm pretty sure the % of your tax that goes to support obese people on incapacity benefit is somewhere between tiny and miniscule. But maybe you know better.
It seems strange to me to hear these kind of tory-sounding whingings coming from an anarchist. If that's 'thinking outside the box' or 'reaching out of the anarchist ghetto' I'm quite happy in my box in my ghetto.

Paul Stott

Rasta - Firstly Anarchism is about personal responsibility. If someone is 30 stone, they have to take responsibility for that. Not the state. And the state as a body exists because of the involutnary taxation of - you and me.

Secondly Anarchists and those on the left make themselves look ridiculous by adopting positions simply in opposition to the Tories/New Labour etc etc. The argument that a Tory says it therefore we must condemn it is child like. And yes it keeps us in a ghetto of our own making.

If I get taxed £0.28 less next year because obese people and alcoholics are getting jobseekers allowance rather than incapacity benefit, then good, I'd rather that money was in my pocket than the shareholders of Wetherspoons or Greggs the bakers. Because that is what happens under the current system.

(Oh and I won't say too much on the many Anarchists I know who have been on state benefits for years pretending to have mental illnesses, agrophobia or addictions they do not have. Good luck to those who got away with it, but I am sure even they know that at some stage the system will tip the other way).

Rasta

I wouldn't disagree with a tory if he or she said that the sky is blue today.
The point is that for people to be personally repsonsible and make the right choices in life they have to know better than what they do, and the entire system is focused on keeping people ignorant and stupid. Blame the system not the individuals who are just products of it. BTW I dunno about the obese people, but half the alkies and junkies around here (Swansea is crawling with them) became addicted well before they were adults. Should people be blamed throughout their life because of bad choices they made, or rather were influenced to make, when they were children? There's something kind of innocent and childlike about a lot of the grown ups around here let alone the kids and teenagers. They don't know any better, cos nobody told them. BTW if Internat is reading he might want to know that in my opinion the population of the average rural village in my "backwards" country is considerably more "cutting edge" and "with the times" than the average person around here who really doesn't have half a clue about anything whatsoever (through no fault of their own).

Ray

Rasta makes a good point, but so do you Paul. How much are we responsible for each other. Certainly we want people to be responsible for themselves but we also want a collective responsibility don't we? Is that not partly what makes us anarcho-communists rather than mere anarcho-individualists. It's not easy. It's a bloody hard road to walk and one best travelled with as little ideological baggage as possible. We don't want to fall into the trap of knee jerk lefty response to everything or for that matter moving bitterly to the right because people don't behave in the way that seems sensible to us. So yes, people are responsible for themselves and yes we should judge ideas on their merits not on where they come from.
But we can't ignore the social dynamic (fuck me! I should never have done that Open University) Obesity used to be associated with wealth but is now a symptom of poverty. We would do well to ask why that is before condeming anyone. It could be because the poor are too thick and lazy to prepare good cheap food or it could be the addictive nature of junk food.
I think that the case of the American Indians is instructive (as well as heart breaking) because here are a people who have a terrible rate of alcoholism, obesity and long term unemployment. The recieved wisdom of western states right wingers is that Indians are lazy drunks who are happy to live on welfare. That may even be true to an extent but the question is how come a people who were so dynamic were reduced to this in a few generations.
This is important stuff and difficult to talk about withough falling into one of the traps that I mention above - but we have to try. We should be prepared to try and look at initiatives to get people off benefits with an open mind. Not that cheap cracks about Wethespoons and Greggs will help.

james walsh

To me most of this stuff about obseity etc is down to nature of our alienated society and so is the complete lack of work drive in many of us (myself included).

But being a fat bastard is not a good thing. And neither is my nicotine habbit.

I do believe 'Anarchism is about personal responsibility' and therefore about gaining control over ourselves and our social relationships (which is sort of the same thing as control as ourselves) and it's depressing when some use it as excuse to try and never relate their own problems and take responsability for themselves. The amount of social failurers I've met on the left who think they would be god like gurus except for being done down in some special way by some all seeing intelligence is way too many.

Rasta

If you want to end your nicotine addiction I recommend the book "The easy way to stop smoking" by Allen Carr. I was very dubious when my homegirl recommended it to me as I think self-help gurus are as much of a money-making scam as any Colorado mega-church, but Allen Carr was not your typical self-help guru and his method works like magic. I finished his book three years ago on my birthday and haven't touched tobacco since after 13 years of addiction. I never ever crave it and will never ever use it again. Give it a shot if you want to quit: you may be a cunt but not enough of a one for me to wish you death by lung cancer, it's not like you are a member of the ruling class.

Internationalist

>>> BTW if Internat is reading he might want to know that in my opinion the population of the average rural village in my "backwards" country is considerably more "cutting edge" and "with the times" than the average person around here who really doesn't have half a clue about anything whatsoever (through no fault of their own).

Your country sounds wonderful ... you might consider moving back.

Just mind you don't get trampled underfoot by people heading in the opposite direction. Guyana has a very high net rate of emigration (one of the highest worldwide, approx -14 per 1000 in 2010).

By contrast the UK and the EU generally are net immigrant countries.

Sorry to bore you with inconvenient facts again.


Rasta

Here's a suggestion, idiot - the next time you want to make a pointless irrelevant comment, telling people things that you know very well they know very well already (actually, that they know a helluva lot better than you, since they actually grew up in the fucking country, as opposed to having, or claiming to have, in-laws from there, or rather in-laws from Streatham whose parents came from there)... just SHUT THE FUCK UP.
BTW if you think my country "sounds wonderful" you obviously didn't read my comment on the other thread about cocaine cartels, mass murders, grinding poverty, Russian companies paying bauxite excavators slave wages and firing them when they go on strike, etc... not to mention police burning 14 year old kids' genitals with flammable liquids... but none of that has jack shit to do with the point I was making, namely that if you're going to call people "backwards" or "twenty years behind the times", then that would apply more to here, than to Guyana. Of course, you think we're 200 years behind the times as you compare us to Worcestershire in 1800.
BTW the above is not to say that there are not many wonderful things about my country, because there are. And I do intend to move back some day, when it is viable to do so. Right now I can't even afford to visit. I had a great time last time I was back there a few years back. I love Guyana (not in a micro-nationalist jingoist-patriotic sense, I mean I love the peoples, the cultures and the natural beauty).

Internationalist

Oh Rasta, my heart bleeds for you.

Let us know how much a one-way ticket to Guyana costs, so you can return from this Babylon/land of slave traders to "your" wonderful/not wonderful/backwards/advanced (choose any, depending on what helps Rasta's current argument) country.

I'm sure many people would chip in, just so long as you promise not to come back.

Rasta

Why doncha just say "go back to africa nigger" like you really want to?
I may use the "f" word you apparently find so offensive in my posts, but I think readers can see that they generally have substance in them other than pure insults and bile. Your post above has no substance at all. You have nothing left to say and no "points" left to make so you revert to your true character and take on the role of the drunken BNP type who randomly accosted me on the street the other month and told me "go back to your fucking country!" (I didn't knock his teeth out cos we were right near the police station with CCTV everywhere, and anyway the fact that I just laughed at him and kept walking seemed to piss him off more than missing teeth would've done).
I have a Guyanese passport and a British passport and every right to be in either or both places whenever the fuck I want to be.
Oh and BTW there are wonderful things about this backwards-ass place (South Wales) as well. Loads of people may be provincial-minded and way behind the times but loads of those same people are also really genuinely friendly, open, non-judgemental people who know how to enjoy themselves and have a good time with little money, even if they tend to over-do it and stay permanently pissed cos they don't know any better and that's the lifestyle they learned from childhood. Despite the presence of a few koran-burning idiots of the BNP/so called "welsh defence league" etc., most people here would never have time for that bullshit and the niqab-wearers and street drunks of St Helens Road live side by side in perfect harmony like the keys of an out-of-tune piano.
Are you capable of grasping that places and people can have both wonderful and horrible aspects? Weren't you the one trying to make this self-evident "point" to me on the thread about Frederick Douglass?
My argument has stayed the same. You are the one who constantly flips arguments and who says "the point is this" and then "the point is that" and then "the point is something else again" on the same threads whenever you're forced on the back foot.
And you are completely incapable of understanding nuance. Look at how you responded to my posting pointing out the fact that Zim land reform has not been the unmitigated disaster it was portrayed as in the western press. Suddenly I was "defending Mugabe" even though I had made it very clear time and time again that I do not like Mugabe or any other tyrant (whether "democratically elected" or not, and including the tyrants of this country). To say that, you really had to be either (a) a complete fucking dullard living in an entirely black/white- either/or comic book world of superheroes and supervillains, or (b) someone who uses dishonest tactics in a debate to try to smear his opponent, hoping that readers will not look through the whole thread to see the truth of the matter. I think it's (b).
As we would say in Guyana "haul yuh skunt" i.e. fuck right off.

Internationalist

>>> Why doncha just say "go back to africa nigger" like you really want to?

I had absolutely no intention of saying it. But as you have very clearly revealed, you were hoping that I would.

Sorry to disappoint. As I have pointed out elsewhere, I think everyone has the right to live where they want to. Including you.

But they do not have a right to bad-mouth the natives and their culture - something you do routinely (apparently we don't have half a clue, we're idiots, we're "crackas", we're drunken BNP supporters, and some of us even have plastic flowers in our living rooms ...) - without expecting the natives having something to say in return.

The fact is, you have made a free and rational choice to live in the UK in preference to Guyana. As have tens of thousands of others. The choice is your responsibility.

You have also made a free and rational choice to live in the UK in preference to Africa, despite all your pretentious bullshit about being part of the dispossessed "African diaspora".

I say the same to you as I say to bigoted English ex-pats here in Germany. Yes there are things that could be better but you've made a choice to live here as an immigrant so accept that the locals are the way they are and adapt.

Rasta

Fuck you you stupid cunt. What bullshit are you chatting about???? "I do not have the right to bad mouth the natives and their culture"??? I am a native. It says so on my fucking passport. I was born in Hackney Hospital. I am a free fucking person who has every right to criticise anybody and any culture, as do you. What - you don't have a "right" to criticise any aspect of German culture??? Anyway I get along very well with loads of white british (including english) working class people and the reason I don't get along well with you has nothing to do with you being white, english or (supposedly) working class, and everything to do with you being a complete idiot and a fucking asshole cunt to boot. I done talk, if you want to continue posting stupid irrelevant pointless bullshit on this thread it's your call. SUCK OUT YUH MUDDA SKUNT, you hear???

Internationalist

"Fuck you you stupid cunt."

Hmmm, not much nuance there, unless I'm missing something.

The bullshit I was referring to was you calling Africa "ours", which is pretentious beyond belief for a native of Hackney with Welsh and Guyanese parents. If you were born in Britain and live here why not accept that you are British instead of carrying on with this pose about being some dispossessed member of "the African diaspora"?

You have every right to criticise what you want and so do I. But you don't have a right to control how people react to your criticim.

For example:

Yes I have as much "right" to call my German neighbours Nazis (on the basis of what happened here 60 years ago) as you have to call white people "crackas" (on the basis that a tiny minority white people were slave drivers 200 years ago).

But I would not do it first because it isn't true or fair, second because it would be hurtful, and third because it would be wrong-headed, xenophobic, chauvinist, racist etc.

And you should consider this before using racial abuse towards English people (including me - if your friends are prepared to put up with it, that's their business).

Rasta

I repeat "fuck you, you stupid cunt." I can repeat that as many times as necessary. You fucking stupid cunt.
Did it entirely escape your attention that in this thread I was actually defending white british people who happen to be obese against their being judged for that? Do you read the fucking comments you respond to? Or just splutter out the first stupid cuntish comment that comes to mind regardless of that? You old warhorse you. LOL... and ROTFLMFAO at the appearance of "hurtful" again. Fuckin hell, better hope you don't ever step on a splinter if you're that easily hurt. YOU STUPID FUCKING CUNT.
Internationalist, you are a joke, and not even a funny one.

Rasta

BTW, fucking idiot, I am of African descent, hence a member of the African diaspora. If you don't believe me then look up the meaning of the word "diaspora", since you're so keen on definitions.
And yeah I know I said I wouldn't respond to you any more, well now you can call me a hypocrite, fine, whatever whatever.
Oh and BTW - fuck you. You stupid cunt.

Internationalist

I posted on this thread because, if you recall, you called me out on a specific point. Here are your words:

"BTW if Internat is reading he might want to know that in my opinion the population of the average rural village in my "backwards" country is considerably more "cutting edge" and "with the times" than the average person around here"

It now turns out - on closer investigation - that "your" ("backwards") country is England (you were born and live in Hackney and have a British passport).

I know perfectly well what the word "diaspora" means.

I am part of the great anglo-saxon diaspora, one of the world's largest. In fact, in my modest way I am helping to reclaim our ancestral lands in Germany, the lands we were driven out of by colonialist eastern tribes during the great Völkerwanderung; though until now I'd never thought of it that way.

Rasta

You cannot possibly be so fucking stupid that you do not understand the concept of dual nationality. What do you think you gain from pretending to be even stupider than you actually are?
BTW it didn't take any "closer investigation" to reveal that I was born in Hackney as I have mentioned it several times. I do not live in Hackney, which would be obvious to anyone who bothered to read the posts they are purporting to respond to, as I mention "Swansea" and "South Wales" several times in the course of this very thread we're on.
Oh and I don't consider Hackney "England" either :)
Oh and btw - you're a stupid fucking cunt. You fucking stupid cunt you. Bye bye now you old warhorse (endless barrels of laughs just from the juxtaposition of those two quotes of yours... readers, check the thread about the John Pilger war documentary to see the source of my amusement).

james walsh

I don't consider London as part of England, but some sort of modern Rome/Byzantine.

Internationalist

My children - also born in London - have dual nationality. I never claimed not to understand the concept.

What I dispute is when people dishonestly use nationalism or identity to score cheap political points. That applies to pan-Africanists as much as to Zionists, BNPers, third worlders, Irish republicans, Ulster Unionists etc etc. All of their ideologies are false and divisive.

I see what you are getting at James but I can assure you, the rest of the world considers London a part of England. Though I recall when I was a kid people sometimes still referred to it as the centre of an empire.

Rasta

You talking about I am "dishonest" and "scoring points"? Go fuck yourself asshole. I address you in that kind of language because you have well and truly proven time and time again that you do not deserve "reasonable" language. Cunt.

Internationalist

I was talking in general terms about the use of nationalism and identity politics.

I believe it gets in the way of rational and level-headed debate.

Rasta

OK whatever you say bwana. :)

Internationalist

QED.

Rasta

QED... LOL
It's obvious to anyone reading this thread that you were not "talking in general terms" about anything; you were grasping wildly for any and every unfounded accusation you could think of to fling at me and not even bothering to read the comments you were supposedly responding to.
Here is a link to one of my favourite people in the world, the great novelist Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, bringing up some of the same points I brought up in response to your comments about Africa and colonialism on this and other threads. I'm sure she hasn't read those threads but she might as well have - which just goes to show how common the type of arguments you make are and how much they need to be countered. All language is moderate and considered and there is no swearing: http://www.africaspeaks.com/reasoning/index.php?topic=7302.0

Internationalist

Sorry but as Paul pointed out, a link to a YouTube vid is not a trump card in an argument. Especially when it only presents one side of the argument.

I am often in Belgium and the fact that the Congo was once the private property of King Leopold is common knowledge.

But why are ordinary working class Belgians supposed to feel guilt for something that happened done by a megalomaniac in the century before last? What are they supposed to do about it? What can they do about it?

The African nationalists who whine on and on about the colonial era have other agendas. Part of it is ideology rooted in pure bigotry. Partly it is about how capitalist spoils are shared today, with African nationalists wanting a bigger share to go to local capitalists and ruling elites - who have proved every bit as rapacious as Europeans when it comes to exploiting people and resources.

By the way, much the same is of Britain and Ireland ... the (ever-dwindling) number of hardline Republicans aren't anti-British because of what happened in 1916.

They are anti-British because they are bigoted nationalists who want "native Irishmen" to get a bigger share of the spoils than filthy foreigners, especially the unspeakable British.

Most Irish people are sick of such bigoted nationalists ... they have moved on.

Nobody gains from such bigotry.

Internationalist

BTW rather than whingeing on about things that happened in the past that can't be undone, the great novelist Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie might ask a few questions about what is going on in Africa in the present, like:

- what's happened to the BILLIONS in tax revenues that have been paid - and continue to be paid - by oil companies to the Nigerian federal and state governments?

- and ditto for other resource-rich African countries

- how come the great freedom fighters of the ANC have become m/billionaires in post-apartheid S. Africa while all the people at the bottom of the heap are poorer than ever?

Rasta

You plainly have not watched the link or listened to one motherfucking word she said. (She addressed all the so-called 'points' you raise). Using Paul's comments policy as an excuse not to bother watching something and evaluating it for yourself is beyond pathetic.
As for the questions you raise, they are questions that are often raised in the work of Ms Adichie, which you have plainly never read.
Like I said - a beyond pathetic response.
BTW I have noticed in your posts that, apart from Paul Stott, it is only black people, irish etc. who are "racist" and "bigoted". You have used those words time and time again, ALWAYS to refer to black people, "third world" people etc., (the first conversation you had with me was accusing me of being "racist" cos you were too thick and literal-minded to realise when someone is making a joke) and NEVER to refer to white anglo saxon types (unless their name is Paul Stott). To judge from your posts, you would think WASPs were the oppressed minority of the planet, being victimised by "being made to feel guilty"... and you accuse others of "whinging"?

Rasta

BTW on second thought I suppose you must have watched (or at least started watching) the link, otherwise you wouldn't have known that it was about the Belgium and the Congo. That just makes it even more amazing that you can watch that, hear those words, and still chat the crap you're chatting. Incredible. I would've thought that even you would have realised the simple, plain truth of Ms Adichie's words (and if anything she understated the atrocities of Belgian rule in Congo, it gets a lot more detailed than just only limbs chopped off for not harvesting enough rubber... and whatever the level of knowledge about it is in Belgium, from talking to "Congolese" people, plainly it is not well known about in DRC)... but no, instead you are implying that she is a "bigot". You know what - comments policy or no comments policy, you are an unmitigated fucking asshole, and that's that.

Internationalist

I watched the first 20 seconds or so. That's as long as it took me to realize I was being patronized, so I switched off.

Obviously English people can be as bigoted and racist.

But in my experience we're certainly no worse than anyone else and England is just about the most tolerant country I know. A fact that absolutely enrages the anti sexism 'n' racism brigade, yourself included.

BTW I don't think you read that article on nationalism by the third rate unknown (white) novelist George Orwall, did you?

Unlike you, I base my view of exploitation on an analysis of capitalism, not on race, colour or religion. So no, I don't see "white anglo saxons" as the oppressed. Nor do I see them as the oppressors.

Internationalist

OK as a special favour to you I have listened to the whole speech now.

Sorry but it did not tell me anything I did not already know.

As the woman acknowledges at the start, most countries have fairly selective memories of their past and obviously that applies to the ex-colonial countries as well as others.

She made a couple of stupid points. Yes railways and roads were mainly built in Africa to enable the exploitation of resources. But capitalism ALWAYS invests in infrastructure - in Europe or the USA as much as Africa or anywhere else - for economic reasons. Odd that an intelligent woman should make such a dim-witted comment.

However the main argument I have with her point
of view is that it is stuck in the past. It offers absolutely no perspectives for the future of Africa, except one based on blaming everything on filthy Europeans.

Apart from that, I agree with her that charity for Africa is mostly motivated by selfish reasons, and that it does as much harm as good.

Internationalist

BTW I found a good definition of third-worldism:

"the idea, popular among Third World autocrats and many American and French leftists in the late 60s and 70s, that - contrary to orthodox Marxism’s view that the Western working class would deliver the world from the tyranny of capital - Third World elites were the privileged historical actor."

vic

hey rasta , that carr book is fkin awesome , that's how i stopped , smoking is shit , just think if that book had been around in Stalins time we could have had another ten years of socialism

Rasta

YOU!!! Compaining about being PATRONIZED!!! FUUUUUUUUUckin hell... anyway, ignoring the rest of your little spattering of crap above (although unlike you I did at least give you the courtesy of reading said crap before deciding whether or not to respond to it), I am curious about your original statement that Chimamanda's arguments, apart from being "dim witted" according to your genius self, were "one sided." She was talking about King Leopold's atrocities in the Congo. WTF is the "other side" of that argument??? Are you seriously suggesting that there is a need for a king leopold's advocate to make it a "balanced" argument? You utter... OK I'm trying to keep the comments policy in mind here.
Vic, if smoking had anything to do with the death of Stalin or any other mass murdering psychotic power-drunk cunt, then there is something to be said for it after all.

Rasta

PS to Internationalist: believe it or not, I have actually already heard of, and read, George Orwell.

vic

you must be talking about a different Stalin,im talking about the one who saved the world from the Nazis

Internationalist

Rasta, the other side of the argument has nothing to do with King Leopold. Nobody here is defending him. As I stated, he was a megalomaniac who was out of step even with the "norms" of nineteenth century imperialism. It was Britain that forced him to step down and abandon his dream of a personal empire (in 1908).

The otehr side of the argument has to do with the abysmal record of post-colonial Africa: the famines, the war, the atrocities, the poverty, the corruption, the mass rapes and all the other stuff that we hear about day in day out.

Adichie barely addressed this and insofar as she did, it was only by an allusion to Nigerians' defensiveness when foreigners mention that Nigeria has its own problems that cannot simply be blamed on Europeans.

She offered absolutely no perspectives for progress in Africa. Since she did not mention it I assume she rejects the possibility of revolution and a clean-out of the corrupt elites that are sucking Africa dry, in particular in her own country.

Maybe because she is part of that elite?

Internationalist

One thing that especially annoys me about African nationalists is that they ignore the fact that capitalism inflicts violence, death, misery and social upheaval on all societies where it takes root, including England.

If Ms Adichie (or you) had ever read, for example, Volume I of Das Kapital, or The Making of the English Working Class then she would know this. She would also know that the capitalist elite and aristocracy of England were as indifferent to the suffering of English poor as colonialists were to the African poor. She would know, for example, that much of the English peasantry were deprived of their land by the Enclosure laws, and then driven into poverty by the agricultural revolution of the 1800s - 1850s. This is precisely what caused many English people to flee to the Americas and the other colonies (to be followed by millions of Germans, Irish and Italians etc as their countries went through similar upheavals).

Of course there is one major difference ... the English and European working classes were (eventually) better placed to get organized and fight back, as they were herded into crowded towns and factories and thereby "proletarianized".

(Under another post I alluded to this history with reference to the experiences of my own ancestry, but of course as usual you (wilfully) misinterpreted this and responded with abuse.)

Internationalist

BTW I think it is also fair to point out that your novelist friend is a member of Nigeria's westernized elite and was the beneficiary of a priveleged education at several top fee-paying American universities (I lost count after five, including Yale and Johns Hopkins).

So I think it is reasonable to assume that she has not suffered too much under the jackboot of western colonial oppresion.

On the other hand I'll freely admit she is quite a babe.

Rasta

Perhaps a read of "Half of a Yellow Sun" might enlighten even a complete cunt like yourself a bit as far as what "suffering" means, whether it's under the jackboot of western colonial oppression or the jackboot of the nigerian state that inherited its mantle. Have you ever heard of Biafra? Or scholarships for that matter? "Babe" eh... "dis black woman and gunshot a fly through you/ and me nuh business who you" http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M3EHEgOCIws
PS LOL at England as the most tolerant place on the planet. Of course, as soon as you cross the Severn bridge or stroll into Monmouthshire you enter a land of bigotry, intolerance and unrestrained sheep-shagging...
PPS what on earth makes you think that Ms Adichie is unware of the things you mention? Is she also supposed to address, say, the history of the oppressed masses of Taiwan in her allocated ten minutes?
You are a joke, and a bad one.

Internationalist

"Of course, as soon as you cross the Severn bridge or stroll into Monmouthshire you enter a land of bigotry, intolerance and unrestrained sheep-shagging..."

You are behind the times. Things have been looking up in Wales for quite some time.

Since 1382 in fact.

Adichie is a highly privileged western educated and pampered member of the Nigerian elite. Putting on that silly ethnic hat ain't fooling nobody.

Internationalist

Correction. 1282. Battle or Orewin Bridge.

Rasta

Eastern Connecticut State University is an "elite" institution?
Being the daughter of a professor of statistics and a university registrar makes you part of "the elite"?
And I repeat: have you ever heard of Biafra? The place where Ms Adichie's "elite" family were bombed to bits and/or starved to death a few short decades ago? (at the hands of the actual nigerian elite, and with full backing from your precious, tolerant "england"?
"Silly ethnic hat"... try "kick in the fucking face". Which is what you will get chatting that kind of shit to my face, and that is not a joke at all.
Anyway, keep on revealing your true colours (not that we don't know them already). How about an idiotic post claiming that I am showing "contempt for welsh working class people" by mentioning sheep-shagging? You insufferable fucking idiot.

Rasta

Oh and by the way, long live Owain Glyndwr, and I wish he was still around to put your severed head on a pole.

Internationalist

Ms Adichie has benefited from a privileged education at five American universities including Yale and Johns Hopkins, which are indeed elite institutions. But this is a privilege not open to the vast majority of Europeans, whom she castigates in her speech without distinction between classes.

It is interesting that she focuses on Europeans. This would have been music to the ears of her American friends I am sure. The fact is though that the USA has been responsible for upheaval and misery in Africa in more recent times, mainly through its sponsorship of proxy wars during the Cold War.

Yes of course I have heard of Biafra. But I never take sides in secessionist wars, which I regard as an effort by one section of the ruling elite to grab a bigger shares of the spoils of exploitation for itself by erecting new borders. The losers are ordinary people. In the case of Biafra about a million people died from war and its effects. Horrible. Internationalists have a duty to condemn such secessionist wars.

Biafra has since been reabsorbed into the Nigerian Federation and its elite form part of that country's ruling class.

Although I have never read any of her books, I have no doubt that Ms Adichie is a good writer, because she won the Commoonwealth Writers Prize.

Though it is rather odd that a woman who makes such a big deal of her "anti-colonialism" should accept a prize that owes its very existence to British colonialism. A bit like a communist taking a place in the House of Lords.

Wales has benefited from its integration into the United Kingdom and dreams of secession are likewise reactionary, finding support in a rose-tinted view of the past.

Owain Glyndwr was an aristocratic member of the anglo-welsh ruling class of his time and he made a failed bid for absolute power in Wales, with French support. He failed. Why anyone should celebrate such a figure in 2011 bewilders me.

Enough said.

Internationalist

BTW while it is true that Britain supported the Nigerian government in the civil war of the sixties, you omitted to mention that the secessionist government of Biafra was supported by France and the USSR, both of which were trying to weaken anglo-american imperialism in the region while advancing their own.

Secessionist governments (and, conversely, anti-secessionist governments) are typically sponsored by competing imperialist interests which is another reason why we should stand above them and argue for working class unity.

But, class analysis is totally absent from Ms Adichie's speech.

Rasta

Talk to the middle finger, you fucking idiot.
Statistical analysis is also "totally absent" from Ms Adichie's speech, despite her dad being a statistician and hence apparently "the elite". Mention of the declining population of African elephants and the terrible poaching problem are also "totally absent" from her speech. So is the history of Taiwan, or of Wales for that matter. She is supposed to cover every fucking subject under the sun in 10 minutes? PS the fact that she talks about "Europeans" might be something to do with the fact that she was talking "in Europe" about "the history of European colonialism". And while I may have "ommitted to mention" that Biafra was suppported by the USSR (and hired white South African pilots too!), amongst the many other things I "ommitted to mention" in my post, like the Israel/Palestine conflict, the possibility of life on Mars, etc. etc., Ms Adichie does not "omit to mention" it in her book "Half of a Yellow Sun", which you really should read some time, if you can bear to drag yourself away from worshipping the immortal words of the prophet marx p.b.u.h.
As for Owain - I probably wouldn't have liked the actual guy, but I like the picture of him in front of that one pub in North Wales where he's holding the severed head of an english invader who I imagine as "internationalist."

Rasta

PS to enter an elite university in the USA as a post-graduate, take the following steps:
Score in the top one percentile in the GRE graduate exam;
Sit back and wait for the scholarship offers.
Not that some of the latter might not perhaps be motivated by a desire to make your campus seem not quite as lily-white as a fish's belly so you can look "progressive" and "non-racist" in your promotional literature... but would you turn down free money if it was offered to you?

Internationalist

I would not expect her to mention Taiwan in a speech about European colonialism in Africa.

However, I would expect her to acknowledge the economic, diplomatic and demographic forces behind Euuropean colonialism.

As it was, I learned nothing I did not already know from what she said, which was a generalised attack on "Europeans" based on a speech made by Nicolas Sarkozy.

It was just the usual hogwash of Europeans = evil wolves, Africans = innocent lambs. No class analysis whatsoever. No recognition that much of what happened when capitalism established itself in Africa (pushing people off the land, conversion of farmland from subsistence to cash crops etc) had already happened in European countries a century or two earlier.

And I am sorry, but scholarship or no, you cannot go and study in the USA at five different universities over a period of about nine years unless your daddy is exceedingly rich.

I don't begrudge her this opportunity, in fact I would have liked it myself but I was too busy earning a living.

But she should have the decency to acknowledge that she and her family owe their privileged status to the west. Privilege that very few Europeans can afford ...

As to Biafra ... it was a disaster for all concerned. Even though it becomes increasingly apparent to me that anarchism is a shallow ideology incapable of offering a position on wars of "national liberation" or secession, even you should be able to recognize that there was nothing remotely progressive about either side in the Nigerian civil war.

BTW there is nothing more comical than a Welsh or Scottish nationalist taking comfort in the knowledge that "their" country they won a battle or two several hundred years ago. Most people who call themselves Welsh are in any case descended from English settlers ... nationalism is an ideology for the sad losers.

Internationalist

>>> nationalism is an ideology for sad losers.

Not least because the wars between "England" and "Wales" were actually battles between robber barons like LLewllyn ap Gruffydd and Edward Plantagenet and the Marcher Lords, and their respective retainers.

Peasants like my ancestors, living in English border counties like Worcestershire or in the Welsh marches, didn't really gain from these wars, even though it was their labour that ultimately financed them.

Plus, DNA testing has proved conclusively that the difference between the (ordinary native) people of Wales and the people of western England is virtually nil.

Rasta

Well plainly we were not watching the same speech if it was a generalized attack on europeans as evil wolves and africans as innocent lambs. Plainly I ain't the only one on here in need of medication.
PS she did mention class, in passing, by mentioning that the average Belgian struggling to find a job is obviously not responsible for the colonial atrocities in Congo. But I guess to have "class analysis" in your world means that you have to be a slavish devotee of the prophet marx p.b.u.h., use words like "dialectic" and "proletariat", and insist that class is the ONLY relevant factor to be considered and that things like race and gender are utterly irrelevant.
I didn't bother reading the rest of your splutterings, but I'm going to make a bet to myself that when I do find the time and patience to do so, I'm going to see long-winded statements of the obvious presented as if I was disputing the obvious in the first place, some sarcastic comments that you think are "edgy" and "daringly politicall incorrect" but that actually just make you seem like the complete asshole you are, and further condemnations of "nationalism", whether "Welsh", "Nigerian" or "Biafran", without taking into account that I have never once said that I am a "nationalist", "third worldist" or whatever other pigeonhole your narrow-minded, stupid, unimagineative ass wants to fit me into.
On a completely different subject: R.I.P. Cherry Groce and Fuck the Police and Big Ups to any veterans of the Brixton uprisings who might be reading.

Rasta

I just read a bit more. What the fuck are you blithering?? My daddy and my mummy are not "extremely rich", in fact they are "poor". I got a scholarship to a university in the USA. I didn't pay a fucking penny. I got my fees paid, a stipend, plus a salary for being a teaching assistant to undergraduates. You don't know jack shit about how post graduate education works in the USA. The USA is more fucked up than the UK in many ways but one way it is actually better is in oppportunities for higher education, at least at the post-graduate level. Speak about what you know or else keep your fucking mouth shut.

Rasta

Just won my bet with myself... I owe myself a spliff now!

Internationalist

>>> she did mention class, in passing, by mentioning that the average Belgian struggling to find a job is obviously not responsible for the colonial atrocities in Congo.

Very nice of her.

No, the average Belgian is not responsible for colonialism in any way whatsoever and nor is the average Brit or Frenchman (or woman), now or in the past. Nor is the average American responsible for what happened in Vietnam, nor is the average Jew responsible for what Israel has done to the Palestinians, nor is the average German in any way responsible for what happened to 6 million Jews or 25 million Russians during World War 2. Nor are any white people in any way responsible for nineteenth century slavery. The white people that were responsible are all long since dead. Nor are English people responsible for Edward I's invasions of Wales and Scotland.

Has this penetrated your American-educated skull now?

So, no more lectures from African nationalists especially when they are the beneficiaries of a privileged upbringing and education beyond the means of most people in the countries where they are educated. The average poor American who wants an education cannot afford university so s/he probably joins the army instead. I know because I meet such working class Americans frequrently as there are scores of thousands of them based near where I live.

Adichie did NOT offer any class analysis whatsoever, nor did she offer any analysis of captialism or the driving forces behind imperialism. It was just a generalized attack on Europeans or "Europe" as a whole. She is of course free to insult us but we are free not to like it when she does.

>>> My daddy and my mummy are not "extremely rich"

I wasn't talking about your parents. I was talking about Ms Adichie's. Read any interview with her and you will soon discover that she comes from a rich and privileged background by Nigerian standards, more affluent than most European households. Again, good luck to her ... but she should not imagine that this is not going to affect the way people view her.

BTW one of the things I do not like about her is that she tells Europeans they aren't entitled to have a view on Africa, and yet freely insults and disrespects Europeans and Americans.

Still, in this respect she is not alone, is she?

BTW congratulations on your academic success in America - or Amerikkka as you have called it.

Internationalist

>>> things like race and gender are utterly irrelevant.

Race and gender are not utterly irrelevant.

However, they are utterly dangerous and divisive when they are brought to the fore in political discussion, as is almost invariably the case these days, especially on the so-called "left". This has been the case for decades, certainly since the sixties when the left abandoned the (western) working class and opted instead for identity politics and third worldism.

A radical, communist perspective must be "colour blind" i.e. it should regard people as equal, whatever their race, nationality or gender.

Failure to reject identity politics based on race/religion and nationality inevitably leads to racism and tribalism, whether it is anti-black, anti-white, islamophobic, antisemitic, man-hating ("all men are rapists" etc) or whatever.

I realized that when I read Rosa Luxemburg, many years ago, and discovered the true marxist tradition, including internationalism, before it was perverted from within by trotskyism and stalinism, and from without by everybody else, including anarchists.

Rosa was a Jew, a Pole and a woman living in Germany around the turn of the nineteenth century. A triple-whammy. If she had been unprincipled and egotistical, she could have milked her race, nationality and gender for personal advantage. But she absolutely did not. She rejected feminism, racism and nationalism as distractions from the struggle for freedom and socialism. She insisted that socialists must work within and across existing national borders.

BTW this is why I am 100% consistent in opposing the views of both Paul Stott, who is a fellow traveller of the Zionists, and you, who are - whatever you might say - a fellow-traveller of pan-African nationalists like Ms Adichie.

Rasta

So now Ms Adichie's views are parallel to those of people who cheered on Operation Cast Lead? And her speech is now an "insult"? Fucking cunt... I swear I'd smash your fucking face in if I ever met you. No lie... burn in hell you insufferable piece of shit. PS I have heard of Rosa Luxembourg before, you long-winded one-track-minded jackass.

Rasta

PS How the fuck was Rosa Luxembourg going to "milk her race, nationality and gender" in Germany around the turn of the 19th/20th century? Were they offering lots of scholarships to Jewish women immigrants in those days of rampant political correctness? Or did you mean that she could have shut down a debate by saying "no!you must agree with me, for a I am Jewish, a Pole and a woman! hear me roar!" Or do you mean that she could have found work as a prostitute? How stupid are you? Don't bother to answer.

james walsh

Rasta- your second post was far funnier- I was even laughing with you at that point.

'Fellow traveller' means Paul spoke to a Zionist about Islamic bombers. Up until then I was in moderate agreement though I don't now why I need to read about Rosa luxenburg to understand what your talking about- surly relating things to the modern condition would caste light quicker and better than having to waffle about pre world war one society. That's the one of the most signification problems about the politics Internationalist repressents- is that it is about mystification and not relating to experience but would rather elitistly refer to a history that can't be related to by normal people and they (people like Internationalist) can pick and chose what facts to take or make up.

Internationalist

>>> So now Ms Adichie's views are parallel to those of people who cheered on Operation Cast Lead?

Parallel is a good choice of word here. Yes they are parallel. That does not mean they are the same. All forms of nationalism run in eternally separate parallel lines, dividing people by race, religion, nationality etc. This is the purpose of African nationalism, to ensure that Africans feel they have no commonality of interests with European/white workers.

>>> How the fuck was Rosa Luxembourg going to "milk her race, nationality and gender"

I meant milking it for opportunistic ideological advantage, for example the way the Polish Socialist Party (PPS) exploited Polish nationality to get support; the Jewish Bund (the Algemene Yiddisher Arbeter Bund which was the largest socialist organization in the Russian Empire at the time of the foundation of the Russian Social Democratic Party, later the Mensheviks/Bolsheviks) exploited Jewish identity to build support; or Clara Zetkin exploited feminism to build a power base within the German Social Democratic Party.

In all cases this was opportunism and short-termism which undermined the fundamentals of social democracy (which at the time meant revolutionary marxism).

Rosa might well have become leader of the Jewish Bund but she never joined because she was basically opposed to identity politics (though it probably wasn't called that at the time).

She was one of the first people to understand that globalization of the capitalist economy meant that people had to find ways to unite, rather than allowing capitalism to divide people by nation, race, colour, gender etc.

We could do with more people like her today.

I trust this answers your question?

Internationalist

>>> Were they offering lots of scholarships to Jewish women immigrants in those days of rampant political correctness?

Thank goodness no, otherwise she would have perhaps done her PhD in some non-subject for the politically correct, such as "Gender/Women's Studies" or "Multicultural/Ethnic Studies", going on doubt to become "Chief Diversity Officer" in the SPD. She could than have checked that the right quota of ethnic minorities and women got an equal opportunity to be used as cannon fodder in World War I, instead of which she wasted her time opposing it.

But I guess in those days people weren't so right-on as they are now.

Instead she did her PhD in economics, focusing on industrialization in Poland, thinking for herself.

Rasta

Anybody at any time with access to some basic information and any fucking inkling of common sense would've understood that it's preferable for exploited people to unite with one another rather than remain divided. They didn't need Rosa Luxembourg to be "one of the first people to think that". Nat Turner understood that when he told his makeshift army to leave one white family alone because "they didn't think any better of themselves than they do of us." Dedan Kimathi of the Land and Freedom Army (which of course "exploited" Kikuyu identitiy to get support, according to idiot ideologues like you - or maybe they united as people with a common culture and language who were going through a common experience, viz. getting expelled from their fertile lands and left to literally starve to death in the midst of plenty) understood this when he appealed to ordinary british working class people to support them and mentioned the parallels between their experience and that of European peasants that you castigate Ms Adichie for not mentioning (maybe because she took it for granted that she was speaking to a reasonably aware and well-educated audience who would have known that anyway?).
You, Internationalist, do not want "unity". You want black people to shut the fuck up, kiss your ass, and agree with you 100% before you are willing to "unite" with us. (yes, I said "us", meaning "black people", have you got a fucking problem with that?)
If you had actually read Ms Adichie's books, as opposed to ogling her being interviewed and somehow being able to tell by looking at the "babe" that her daddy (but not mummy, I notice) must be fabulously wealthy, the owner of herds of gold-embroidered elephants that he got by embezzling tax money from oil companies (who may do some bad things, "but they re-invest"), you might have realized that she does not come across as being particularly "nationalist", whether for "Nigeria" or "Biafra", the history of which she does not romanticise in the least, despite her own family having suffered and died there at the hands of the Nigerian state with the full support of the U.K.
PS to clarify a previous point, I meant that free or cheap access to POST-GRADUATE education (MAs, Phd's etc) is easier to get in the USA than here as long as you score well on the standardised tests. I do not dispute that higher education in general is more expensive than in the UK, which is pretty common knowledge.

Internationalist

>>> Anybody [...] would've understood that it's preferable for exploited people to unite with one another rather than remain divided.

Well unfortunately that is not true or else millions would not have been slaughtered in two (mainly European) world wars ... and Africans would not be killing each other in countless and seemingly endless civil wars.

Dedan Kimathi is a pretty poor choice of hero. He and his Mau Mau murdered about 2,000 Kenyan civilians and he became a paranoid nutcase executing his own followers.

Maybe he was smoking the same gear as you, I don't know, but times have moved on. Though I believe the current Kenyan government have turned him into an icon for propaganda purposes.

I do not want black people to shut up and agree with me 100%, any more than I want white people to shut up and agree with me 100%. The fact is that nearly 100% of both black people and white people will disagree with me because common sense says capitalism is the natural order, and nothing is going to change that. Still, it is events and struggle that change people's minds, not ramblings on Paul Stott's blog.

But that does not mean I won't hold to my point of view just because it is out of sync with capitalism or indeed the contemporary political correctness that has become an orthodoxy in modern capitalism, and which has made calm rational discussion impossible - which ic precisely its purpose, to divide and rule.

I don't share Ms Adichie's viewpoint and do not feel compelled to agree with her just because she has a black skin. Sorry, but that just does not sway me one way or the other. Intelligent black people are just as capable of being wrong as intelligent white people. Still, I am sure Ms Adichie has a great future, living in America and selling her books until the time comes to return to Nigeria and become a politician.

If you benefited from postgraduate education in the United States of America then good luck to you.

But don't imagine that it was "free" or "cheap". Someone has to pay for it - ultimately the American working class.

I hope you made them feel that they got value for their money.

Internationalist

Correction

"and nothing is going to change that."

should be

"and nothing I say or you say here is going to change that."

Rasta

I said "with access to information and an inkling of common sense". Big caveat, especially as the whole system is designed to keep people as far away from information and common sense as possible, from the cradle to the grave.
Yes the so called "Mau Mau" (a meaningless name given to them by the british) killed many more "Kenyan" (mostly fellow Kikuyu: the term "Kenyan" would have been meaningless to them as no such country existed at the time) people than they did members of the happy valley set. This is a perennial problem for military/paramilitary resistance movements and certainly not limited to the Land and Freedom Army. The anti-apartheid movement was much the same, so were the movements in Ireland, and so are the various factions of the military Palestinian resistance movement. (a) the state will always infest you with infiltrators, spies and informers, and when they have all the power, money, access to sophisticated torture facilities etc., it's easy for them to do so. (b) Informers and infiltrators have to be dealt with or else... well, you're all going to be killed basically, and then what good are you to the movement? (c) in the thick of the struggle, it's unlikely that considerations like - this poor guy was probably threatened and tortured into being an informant - he looks like me and comes from the same village - let's have some mercy on him - are going to be at the forefront; especially when you yourself have been threatened and tortured but kept your mouth shut; and especially given point (b). (d) the simple fact of the matter is that informants and spies within your own ranks (whether real or imaginary) are a hell of a lot easier to get at than, say, the happy valley set, seeing as the latter were heavily protected by one the world's top military forces.
I'm surprised that you didn't also mention that one of the Land and Freedom Army's stated aims was the preservation of traditional Kikuyu culture, including... female genital mutilation, albeit of a less extreme kind that that practised in some cultures. C'mon Internat... if you're gonna try to throw your facts and figures at me in an attempt to discredit me, use the whole arsenal at your disposal, not just a couple of duds and a snide reference to "smoking gear" (presumably based on the fact that Rastas [many of whom don't smoke weed and some of whom don't use it at all in any form] and the "Mau Mau" warriors shared a hairstyle, and thus presumably shared other cultural aspects as well, according to your stupid little mind?)
PS I know precisely who paid for my education in the USA (an utterly crap education by the way - I came out of that MA course knowing less about the blasted subject than when I went in, if that's possible) and it wasn't "the american working class", many of whom are my friends, yes including some white ones and even some ones in the U.S. Army believe it or not, twat - it was the wealthy person who set up the scholarship fund in his name.
PS I am sure that Chimamanda has no intention of becoming a fucking politician. WHY DON'T YOU READ HER FUCKING BOOKS - SHE IS A WRITER FIRST, NOT A SPEECHMAKER, SO JUDGE HER BY WHAT SHE HAS WRITTEN IN HER BOOKS, NOT BY YOUR HALLUCINATORY KNEE-JERK SENSITIVE-ASS WHINING WHITEY INTERPRETATION OF WHAT SHE SAID ABOUT ONE PARTICULAR SUBJECT, IN THE SPACE OF ABOUT TEN MINUTES.
Rrrrrrrrewind and come again, Internationalist...

Internationalist

"with access to information and an inkling of common sense"

I believe most people have both but without an analysis of what drives society, and given the nature of the options that are posed in the absence of such analysis ("it's us or them", "it's a war of national survival" etc) it is hardly surprising people make what we would consider the wrong choices. In the case of the First World War, the German working class was the most educated and class conscious in the world, it's party the SPD led the Second International which had voted to oppose any imperialist war, yet when it came to the crunch, the ruling class could simply say that it was a war of national survival ... and it was nearly four years before people began to see the light on a mass scale, following the revolution in Russia.

Additional information won't change things. That is the problem (and here I agree with Paul Stott) with the conspiracy theorist approach. Usually, there is not a "smoking gun" which if revealed will transform everyone into a revolutionary. What you need is an analysis of the way the world works from a working class perspective, which I believe must lead to an internationalist perspective, that ordinary Germans have no quarrel with ordinary Engländer, and the same is true for ordinary Africans and Europeans. Once you start saying things like "ah, but European workers have benefited from colonialism" then all that breaks down and you are back to sectarianism and bigotry.

The things you mention about national liberation movements are true, but even if such movements never committed terrorist atrocities I would still not support them, because I don't believe "national liberation" is really meaningful in this day and age. National liberation is necessarily reactionary, even if the people they represent deserve our support (I am thinking here of the Palestinians ... the people deserve our solidarity but Hamas and the PLO don't).

BTW if national liberation movemens do terrible things like female genital mutilation then unlike (for example) the SWP I believe that I/we have EVERY RIGHT to take a view on this. And I assume you agree.

I am sorry that you had a bad experience with your education in the USA. Nevertheless it was a privilege that few enjoy.

You say that the money came from a wealthy individual. Where do you suppose his wealth came from if not by exploiting workers? All wealth has its origin in human labour - that was the point I was making.

I may one day read Ms Adichie's books, in my own time. If I read every single book that was recommended to me I'd have time for little else.

Meanwhile do you think it would be possible to tone down your language? It has become abusive and racist again.

Internationalist

Interesting article by Adichie here

http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2011/mar/16/nigerian-revolution-young-people-democracy

Probably over-optimistic though.

I wouldn't write off the possibility of her becoming a politician.

In fact, I think it is very much on the cards.

Rasta

The article may be over-optimistic and Ms Adichie may not be as "revolutionary"-minded as I or you would like her to be (although bear in mind that that might have something to do with her family's experience of attempted revolution in Biafra - and before you tell me about the futility of nationalism and blah de blah, please bear in mind that many people fighting on the side of Biafra were not fighting for the ruling-class-in-waiting of any future state, they were fighting for the simple reason that they were figthing back against being annihilated) but I do not see any evidence in that article that she has political ambitions (or that she is fabulously wealthy, as opposed to just being "middle class", which is actually what "having more than the average person in Nigeria has" means - I am "middle class" in Guyana no matter how poor I am here, when I send £100 to GT that is $36,000 GT).
As for your request to tone down my language - I find it hilarious how you veer from outright hostility and snide, ever-so-slightly-"concealed" abuse, including racial abuse mr. "funny ethnic hat", to passive-aggressive pretending-to-be-all-innocent pleas for civility. GO FUCK YOURSELF - HARD.

Internationalist

Well Rasta, unlike you I was alive at the time of the Biafran war. And whatever the British government was doing to support the Nigerian state to stop it disintegrating into armed tribal factions, and whatever the reasons (we know that oil was one of the motivations, and stopping rival imperialisms from moving in was another), I can tell you that ordinary English people were sympathetic to all the suffering caused by the Biafran war.

I know because I can remember all the appeals for financial aid, I remember doing daft things like collecting milk bottle tops for chariy, collecting newspapers for recycling with the Boy Scouts and so on.

I also remember how Biafra was used to discipline kids. If you left a single scrap of food on your plate during school dinner time, you'd be told that you should be ashamed of yourself because kids were starving in Biafra; if you behaved you should think yourself lucky you weren't in Biafra etc etc. Of course, some of this was well-intentioned but I still don't understand why I was in any responsible for Biafra or how eating the final scrap of food on my plate would make any difference to any kid in Biafra.

It was all well intentioned I am sure but it was basically a guilt trip.

Now you are running the same guilt trip on me that my authoritarian teachers did then. Funny how these things come back to haunt you.

Anyhow, don't imagine that we weren't aware of it, or that the English people are the same thing as the British government. For months Biafra was on everyone's minds.

We know what the outcome of the Biafran war was and it was far worse than "futile". It left one or maybe two million dead, and whatever the people engaged in the fighting might have thought at the time, the outcome at best would have been another African statelet, maybe richer than its neighbours because it would have control of the oil, probably a part of the Soviet bloc and almost certainly the scene of many more battles and much more suffering and another national ruling class pursuing its own interest.

Ms Adichie comes from a family that is very affluent by Nigerian standards, where the average per capita income is $1400. Nothing wrong with her family being affluent but I don't see anything in what she writes that offers any perspective for ordinary Nigerians. Just a soggy and sentimental kind of pan-African nationalism.

Regarding your language: If you have been educated to postgraduate degree, I would have thought that you would be capable of discussion - including the occasional swipe at your opponent or joke at someone else's expense - without recourse to foul and abusive language and outright racism (whitey, cracka ...).

Still, you did admit that your education had failed you and was a waste of money (money that is earned by people creating wealth, including the oil workers in the Niger Delta, who produce the stuff that enables you to jet off to the United States for a useless education, or to take a vacation in Guyana/the Caribbean).

Let me ask a question. Do you agree that human labour is the source of all wealth and value?

Rasta

Didn't bother to read the whole of that. FYI Internat: I am not running a "guilt trip" on you. I couldn't care less whether or not you have irrational feelings of "guilt" about things that you have no control over. Tell that to a shrink. What I was telling you to do was simple: GO FUCK YOURSELF. What part of GO FUCK YOURSELF do you not understand?

Rasta

One more thing: you said "I don't see anything in what she writes that offers any perspective for ordinary Nigerians."
(1) Loads of "ordinary Nigerians" would disagree;
(2) You haven't read anything she's written, by your own admission, (apart from a brief newspaper column - she is a novelist, not a columnist) SO WHAT THE FUCK ARE YOU CHATTING ABOUT???!!!???

Internationalist

I was referring to her political writing, not her novels. She is an occasional political commentator on African issues in various media outlets such as Comment is Free, and I don't see anything very radical in what she argues, let alone revolutionary. It is just the usual liberal tripe about our hopes resting with a future generation and a plea that the rest of the world should take a different view of Africa.

The point is that I feel absolutely NO guilt whatsoever about what happened in Africa in the distant past. Why should I?

This refusal to jump on the PC guilt trip is, I think, what winds you up into such an irrational fury that you can only express yourself with abusive language.

Rasta

No, the fact that you're such a mule-brained, two-faced, dishonest cunt of wind-up merchant is what drives me to entirely rational fury. For the seventy-fifth time: I {slaps Internat} do not give two fucks {back-handed slap} about whether {slap} or not {slap} you feel "guilty" about anything.
PS In answer to your stupid question: no, human labour is not the source of all wealth and value. Animal labour is also the source of some of it.

Rasta

Oh, and to Paul ; as they say in america, "have a blessed day" LOL

Internationalist

>>> PS In answer to your stupid question: no, human labour is not the source of all wealth and value. Animal labour is also the source of some of it.

Only a complete fool could regard the source of value as stupid question. It is a question that is fundamental to religion, economics and philosophy.

Animals are incapable of producing value.

As Karl Marx put it:

"It is true that animals also produce. They build nests and dwellings, like the bee, the beaver, the ant, etc. But they produce only their own immediate needs or those of their young; they produce only when immediate physical need compels them to do so, while man produces even when he is free from physical need and truly produces only in freedom from such need; they produce only themselves, while man reproduces the whole of nature; their products belong immediately to their physical bodies, while man freely confronts his own product. Animals produce only according to the standards and needs of the species to which they belong, while man is capable of producing according to the standards of every species and of applying to each object its inherent standard; hence, man also produces in accordance with the laws of beauty."

Economic and Philosophical Manuscripts, 1844

Rasta

It's a "stupid question" because it was not a question posed because you wanted an answer to it. It was a question posed so that you would have the opportunity to try to make someone (me, in this case) look "stupid" by not having "the right answer" to it, and to launch another fundamentalist marxist spiel, as you have done.
If you weren't a "complete fool" - actually that's being kind as I don't think you are, I think you are a dishonest, deliberately disingenuous wind-up merchant, as I said before - you would have realised that I meant that animal labour also produces some human wealth. Have you never seen a donkey pulling a cart or an ox ploughing a field?
Or a muppet entertaining people with its idiotic antics?

Internationalist

>>> Have you never seen a donkey pulling a cart or an ox ploughing a field?

Only when harnessed and driven by a human being. I have yet to see a donkey or an ox plough a field of its own volition, or a dog go out and pen a flock of sheep without years of training and centuries of breeding by humans.

Therefore a donkey is no more a producer of human wealth than a tractor.

If I was only here to wind you up I would have left ages ago. It is far too easy.

Rasta

Nonetheless, some of the wealth is produced by animal labour, innit? I've never seen a worker go down a mine shaft knowing they might die without a boss forcing em to do it, whether directly or through economic pressure, but it's still the worker doing the actual mining, innit?

Internationalist

>>> I've never seen a worker go down a mine shaft knowing they might die without a boss forcing em to do it

Human beings are the only species that work with a future (productive) purpose in mind, which is the definition of labour. A donkey "works" but only in the same way it would "work" to find food or to pull itself out of a ditch.

Hence my earlier post quoting Marx.

There is a big difference between economic pressure to sell your labour and being forced to work.

It is economic necessity that pressures workers to sell their labour and if there are better e.g. higher paid alternatives the workers go elsewhere. A donkey works but it does not "sell" its labour and it does not freely decide to go and work for a farmer who will feed it more carrots.

This btw is far more efficient than forcing a slave to go down a pit - which is one of the main reasons why wage labour (capitalist labour) replaced slavery and why capitalist states (Britain, the northern states of the USA) prevailed against states that retained slavery (including those on the western coast of Africa).

>>> Nonetheless, some of the wealth is produced by animal labour, innit?

If you believe that then our entire critique of capitalism falls to pieces, because you could equally argue that wealth is produced by steam engines, computers, tractors etc. That would mean the capitalists are only taking what is owed to them and there is no exploitation.

The reality is that machines and animals only produce value when they are set in motion/operated by human beings. Labour in the sense of human physical and mental efforts to produce commodities (goods, services) is the only source of wealth.

Rasta

I never said "your", by which I take it you mean "fundamentalist Marxists" critique of capitalism fell apart because of a remark I made, half in jest, about human and animal labour. I agree with much of the marxist critique of capitalism. Just like I agree with much of what I've read in the Koran. However I do not agree with ALL of what I've read in the Koran, despite the best efforts of my Muslim friends to convince me, which is why I am not a Muslim. Similarly, I do not agree with ALL of the marxist critique of capitalism, which is why I am not a marxist. Are you capable of grasping this?
PS Human beings as the only species to work with a future purpose in mind is quite arguable. More and more of the things that are supposedly "unique" to human beings are now being shown not to be, from language to tool-making to recognizing yourself in the mirror to being "altruistic" to being capable of lies and deceit, etc. etc. But then again you think that homo sapiens replaced neanderthals because homo sapiens learned to farm and neanderthals didn't, so you're obviously not up to speed on the current scientific literature. Nothing wrong with reading Marx, but it doesn't hurt to read something else sometimes as well... maybe even some Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie!

jameswalsh

Does the #sexualisation of children include putting girls of 7,8 and 9 in #hijab to 'preserve' their modesty?

That gave me a smile. Keep asking the awkward questions.

Internationalist

>>> But then again you think that homo sapiens replaced neanderthals because homo sapiens learned to farm and neanderthals didn't, so you're obviously not up to speed on the current scientific literature

First, you forgot to mention that recent studies also indicate considerable doubt as to whether neanderthal man can be considered a separate species to homo sapiens.

Second, the research to which you are referring indicates that neanderthals ate some vegetables as well as meat NOT that they had developed farming to any degree. Neanderthals were overwhelmingly carnivorous hunter gatherers.

Farming developed between 40,000 and 10,000 BC depending on how elastic you want to make your definition, but in any case around the time neanderthal man was dying out.

Modern agriculture developed when tribes moved into the fertile crescent and established the first complex human societies, from which European civilization emerged.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_agriculture

>>> Nothing wrong with reading Marx, but it doesn't hurt to read something else sometimes as well

I haven't read Marx for some time and I read plenty of other stuff, especially when it is recommended to me by people whose opinion I respect.

jameswalsh

Wasn't Neanderthal out of the picture almost by 40000 BC? I think you may be able to take them down to 35,ooo years ago but weren’t they almost completely merged back into the regular genetic diversity of human kind by then.

Human kind had been in the fertile crescent for plenty of time before the start of farming. European society didn't emerge from the fertile crescent but where clearly influenced by them, particularly in gaining a more hierarchy social order.

Internationalist

>>> Human kind had been in the fertile crescent for plenty of time before the start of farming.

True but it was the influx of people in large numbers that forced society to change from hunter-gatherer based to agricultural.

>>> European society didn't emerge from the fertile crescent but where clearly influenced by them, particularly in gaining a more hierarchy social order.

I did not say European society I said European civilization. Though perhaps it would have been better to have said "the civilizations of the Mediterranean basin" or something since the region in question also included the Middle East and the northern coast of Africa.

At any rate farming as we know it emerged here and with it the first complex i.e. class-based societies, with the basics of civilization like an organized state, written records etc.

That is why the fertile crescent is known as "The Cradle of Civilization."

Rasta

@James Walsh re your "awkward questions" comment about Internat's comment: if by "awkward questions" you mean "irrelevant non-sequiturs that have zilch to do with the discussion at hand but that I occasionally pull out of my hat to show what a daring non-politically correct questioner of the PC Berkely orthodoxy I am" then I am in agreement.
But of course when it's a bit of invective against your pet hate, Islam, even people you normally dis get a big up isn't it.
I have quite a few Muslim friends who wear hijabs, I will have to ask them if they felt they were being "sexualized" when they started wearing them. I know I deeply resented being sexualized by being forced to cover my knees with long pants when I entered the fourth form back home. I'm still traumatized by the experience:)
I really, really don't want to say another word to this internationalist twat so I'll leave it at that.

jameswalsh

I wouldn't disagree at all with 'At any rate farming as we know it emerged here and with it the first complex i.e. class-based societies, with the basics of civilization like an organized state, written records etc.'

There was a far bit on the Indus maybe as well, that could have being playing apart in that loop. Also similar happening on the Yellow River, but that's a different loop.

"the civilizations of the Mediterranean basin" is pushing things a tad as these area wasn't colonized by the fertile crescent, but I do agree the origins of state do arise in the fertile crescent for all of Europe. It's a major part of why they generally share the same basic religious structure inherited from the region and why the religions build around a role and a relationship with the state.

As to Rasta's comment- i thought the point of this page was to comment on Paul's tweets not your ramblings.

Rasta

@Walsh - well since there are about 2 comments out of 200 on here that have anything to do with Paul's tweets, I think I could be forgiven for assuming you were referring to something Internat said. I couldn't be bothered to read his latest lectures about the cradle of civilization etc., I can go to the library and read books about that written by better-informed people.
I'm assuming Paul's tweet was a sardonic comment related to Cameron's pledge to crack down on sexualised clothing for children etc. I can't be arsed to look all through his tweet page to find it, but from your description it sounds like another cheap shot at Muslims, who are already receiving way more than their fair share of cheap shots from all angles, not least from the likes of David Cameron talking about people needing to hold "british values" like "equal rights for women". Since when was that a particularly "british value"? What a load of utter horse shit. The suffragettes never got arrested then is it. It wasn't perfectly legal to rape your wife until the mid-1990s then wasn't it. Lads' mags promote equality and respect between the sexes is it. GTFOH

Internationalist

The fertile crescent didn't colonize anything, James, it is a geographical term.

I think the earliest agricultural societies emerged in the eastern Mediterranean.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Natufian_culture

Indus Valley and early Chinese bronze age civilizations emerged later.

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And you are completely incapable of understanding nuance. Look at how you responded to my posting pointing out the fact that Zim land reform has not been the unmitigated disaster it was portrayed as in the western press. Suddenly I was "defending Mugabe" even though I had made it very clear time and time again that I do not like Mugabe or any other tyrant (whether "democratically elected" or not, and including the tyrants of this country). To say that, you really had to be either (a) a complete fucking dullard living in an entirely black/white- either/or comic book world of superheroes and supervillains, or (b) someone who uses dishonest tactics in a debate to try to smear his opponent, hoping that readers will not look through the whole thread to see the truth of the matter. I think it's (b).

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Let us know how much a one-way ticket to Guyana costs, so you can return from this Babylon/land of slave traders to "your" wonderful/not wonderful/backwards/advanced (choose any, depending on what helps Rasta's current argument) country.

I'm sure many people would chip in, just so long as you promise not to come back.

Rasta

I don't know why I even occasionally glance at this site, I must be addicted to high blood pressure. Did I seriously just read someone calling himself an "anarchist" defend Ed Millipede by saying that he is a "social democrat, thus likely to be closer to israel than to middle east dictatorships" and complain about 'nonsense' being talked about his "declaration" (why the quotes?) that he is a zionist? (A) for all the flaws of 'social democracy', can you point to the part in 'social democratic' theory that says it's OK to massacre and expel indigenous populations and build a 'social democratic' society for settler colonists on the ruins of their destroyed villages? Or the part that says it's OK to shoot unarmed children in the head, or to drop weapons of mass torture on them [unarmed children, that is], or to spray raw sewage on peoples' houses as punishment for them taking part in unarmed protests over the ongoing theft of their land? And why is "declaration" in quotes? Millipede did say he is a zionist, so it was a declaration. He also said that any attempt to so-called "de-legitimize" israel (a country which only people who are either completely ignorant of history, and/or who have a white racist colonial mindset could possibly think was "legitimate" in the first place) is "anti semitism." So, fuck Ed Millipede, and fuck you.

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