Just a few centuries ago in the so-called West Indies, the British and French confronted each other to control the sea routes as well as the booming industries related to sugar cane.
The plantations of sugar cane were naturally worked by slaves.
To produce RUM, sugar cane was introduced first in grand presses of mills made to extract the juice of the sugar cane. It sometimes happened, however, that the arms of the slaves were trapped by the strong dams taking them away completely.
For such eventualities, the large landowners, with a naturally evident entrepreneurial spirit, assigned other slaves the mission of cutting off with a machete the arm that was trapped. This technique had nothing to do with the worry of the landowners for the health of their slaves.
The reason was more simple: an excess of blood in the sugar juice impoverished the quality of the product (making it less “competitive”, naturally).
Today however the grand financial and industrial oligarchies are more refined and in consequence they have sophisticated their tendencies: today they use Governments and Parliaments as a machete to cut the rights of the workers… because an excess in the rights of the juice of their rates of profit impoverishes the quality and competitiveness of their products… and above all in the accounts of their results.
Also today the council of human rights says that there are more than 12 million slaves in the world. For that (and for many other reasons) the Left needs to return to reconsider the essential questions to find again the adequate responses.
Arnaldo Otegi, from the Logroño prison.
On November 1st, 1775, a true social tragedy took place in Lisbon. A huge earthquake, followed by a tsunami and a fire levelled the Lisbon capital and caused its complete destruction and the deaths of tens of thousands of people. On this day the people of Lisbon devotedly fulfilled their religious obligations and this provoked in the middle of the desolation and paralysed by fear that in the great majority they turned their eyes towards the Church asking why such a brutal punishment.
Was this the price that those who devotedly completed the designs of the Holy Mother Church deserved? What God was capable of submitting them to such brutality? The only response they obtained was from the mouth of the Italian Jesuit Javier Malagrida; their sins were the origin of that misfortune, the only alternative continued to be prayer and submission to God and to the Church. Facing this thesis the Marques of Pombal, an ILLUSTRATED man, who took advantage of that crisis to rebuild Lisbon with the beauty that we still observe converting it into a cultured city, open to the citizens and closed to the intolerant and the intransigent.
Today I ask myself with a certain diligence if we are capable of taking advantage of the current crisis of civilization that we are living in (economic, ecological, energy-wise) to be able to ask ourselves, why? Maybe we are not good consumers? There are also those who point out to us the cause of our ills specifying that our modern sins have brought us here (“you’ve lived above your possibilities”, they tell us).
Facing them and like the Portuguese Marques, it is up to us however to return to rebuild a city and a State open to the citizens, to the culture, to tolerance, to equality… And closed to those who are only capable of sustaining their great economic benefits at the cost of causing economic earthquakes and tsunamis and devastating social fires. This is the work of the Left in general and of the Basque pro-independence left in particular.
Gora Maiatzeran lehena!
In 1986, the then President of the USSR, Mikhail Gorbachev presented an audacious proposal of disarmament that was made public on January 15th of that same year. That proposal broke with the logic of the Cold War and made enormously uncomfortable the dominant elites of the Capitalist states.
The German Chancellor Helmut Kohl, making himself the spokesperson of these sectors of the Western oligarchy, had the audacity in 1987 of defining the peace proposal of the Soviet president as nothing than a “Goebbelsian” campaign and in the USA in 1990 the National Security Advisor for George H. W. Bush declared the following: “Mr. Gorbachev is only interested in creating divisions in the Western Block and thinks that the best way to do it is through a peace offensive.”
Definitely, PEACE is not what the financial oligarchies want.
I mention this episode at the end of the decade of the 80’s because I am totally persuaded that the commitment to PEACE from ETA in our country has generated great discomfort in the financial-oligarchical sectors which was designed and led (and they continue doing so) the so-called Spanish Political Transition.
Because there is a problem in the Spanish centres of political power, but also in the media and economic: too many people think that with a low-intensity ETA and an Abertzale Left with limited rights is better than the end of ETA because while ETA exists the Basque Country will be captive, it won’t be able to move. The idea that underlies this thought is that it is better for there not to be an end to violence than a bad ending.
After so many years, “antiterrorism” is a political and economic business and there are people who fear its end. This is the reason for why the state refuses over and over again the hand extended to them… and they will continue doing so… let’s not be deceived.
Arnaldo Otegi, Basque Political Prisoner.
It’s well known that the auguries had a great transcendence in the social and political life of ancient Rome (for example they always consulted the augurs before beginning a battle or a war). For example, they say that the general Appius Claudio was pushed to not join battle against Carthage because the sacred chickens didn’t want to eat what constituted a very bad omen. Facing such auguries, the exalted general ordered the birds to be thrown into the sea “if they don’t want to eat, let them drink!”… Although the truth is that he was defeated in that battle that he so much wanted to engage.
Today the modern economic elites have been carrying out a ferocious battle (growing in this past five-year period) to destroy and disappear the rights conquered by the workers’ movement. For that there are times that they have to keep up appearances and they try to make us believe that their decisions need the authorization of the modern augurs: Governments and Parliaments. Then, following the example of CAESAR, who being a prudent man mixed worms with the wheat to assure himself that the sacred chickens would eat… He mixed his demands with worm-offerings (like a splendid economic future in some Board of Directors) so that their demands would be duly designated as “democratically” legitimate.
Of course, for those of us who don’t accept it, they follow the example of Appius Claudio and throw us into a sea grid work. But what they don’t know is that as he also ended up losing that battle, not just because for a long time now we have learned to swim but also because our political diet is incompatible with any other type of worms and maggot nests.
As the Church in the east chose Greek on the middle age, the Church in Rome chose Latin. On that context, Charlemagne’s contemporary monks, Cirilo and Metodio decided to spread the gospel on the native tongue of their region, Slavic.
That decisions angered Germanic clergymen… and they decide to brung their protest to the Pope, explaining thus their reasons: When Jesus was nailed to the cross there were only three languages on it, Greek, Latin and Hebraic, and therefore those were the only sacred languages. However the Pope (Juan VIII) approved the Slavic experience.
Those debates have little effect nowadays, at least in the Basque Country… as the last scientific researches have proven the Nazaret Prophet didn’t have as a role to inspire any gospel… but the Spanish and French Constitutions… and therefore here Spanish and French are the only sacred languages… because God ordered so.