The great Sam Cooke’s beautiful and visionary song ‘A Change Gonna Come’ epitomises the tipping point of a global transition we are now living through.
It seems astonishing that it cannot be understood that, as with individual’s power and influence, so too do nations rise and fall; from luck and opportunity -rarely from great leaders, and certainly never from the superiority of ‘race’.
It should be noted that the concept of human ‘races’ dates from deliberate misinterpretations of genetic theory.
The genetic variations between different human populations are so small that differing individual aptitudes of ‘intelligence’ -a quality entirely defined by culture and environments which either support or diminishes their mental and physical opportunities. Racial superiority is therefore a completely foolish myth used by those who wish to manipulate others for their own nefarious purposes.
A superb modern example of this cartoon-like myth of genetic superiority can be seen in this ‘white” ( more appropriately termed ‘pink’) supremacy painting circulated by one Carl Bildt – a former prime minister of Sweden and who one would have presumed to be an ‘intelligent’ man- alas not.
The painting depicts ‘racially superior’ Western Ukrainian Knights (descended from ‘Aryan’ Vikings in their myths) heroically destroying the evil Russian ‘orcs’ ( who are apparently ‘genetically inferior’ Asians , according to those same myths.)
The Russian invasion of Ukraine is to be condemned- as is any violence directed against another country or peoples, but likewise, so are the actions of the Kiev government army in Donbass , killing its own population since 2014. There is good evidence to suggest that Western European countries and the U.S. actively encouraged , financed and weaponised the Kiev government to fight the Russian speaking Donbass ‘separatists’ for 8 years, and ignore the Minsk agreements Kiev had signed up to- agreements that would have restored peace to Ukraine.
Perhaps Carl Bildt’s tweet is one clue to the West’s determination to ensure a war between Russia and Ukraine.
And we can see racial prejudice in the extreme brutality against the Korean people in the Korean war ( what can only be called genocide)– a war between Europeanised countries supporting a brutal dictatorship in South Korea against a nationalist Korean communist army in the North supported by the Chinese and Russians.
Or perhaps we can see it in the savagery Western armies fought against a Vietnamese army trying to restore their country’s independence. Or the obliteration by the U.S. of an almost defenceless Iraqi army and Iraqi civilian infrastructure ( a society battered to its knees by remorseless evil sanctions that killed half a million Iraqi children to the apparent delight of that much esteemed U.S. stateswoman Madeline Albright) prior to the Iraq war.
Or perhaps in Libya, where Libyan society was obliterated by Western powers in a mad grab for its oil. Or the well-documented use of jihadists in Syria by Western governments attempting to overthrow the Damascus government. Or the unconditional U.S. and U.K. support of Israeli European ‘settlers’ who have steadily continued to violently steal the lands of those ‘dirty Arabs’ in Palestine for the past 74 years.
And shall we remember the barbarous futility of the war in Afghanistan?- where the United States continues to believe it has the right to steal Afghan state bank money ( along with the theft of Venezuelan government and Russian state funds)
And we do not need to go back more than a century to know about the complete lack of morality of European and United States colonial troops or their proxies in Africa, India, South America or the Philippines.
In addition, the development of the Western controlled World Bank and International Monetary Fund, have provided a secondary opportunity for Western countries to exploit and defraud by ‘legal’means former colonies of their resources.
We are talking about centuries of barbaric ‘white ‘ conquest and exploitation of most of the globe by force. And now, the times they are a changing.
With Russia being forced to turn East because of Western sanctions, and China now a very much an ascendant super-power, previously ‘third-world’ countries are beginning to asset themselves in the face of Western blackmail, bribery and military coercion.
The June 2022 Los Angeles meeting of the Organisation of American States was characterised by the courage of the Argentinian president calling out the United State’s presumptuous decision to ban South American countries it did not like ( Cuba, Nicaragua and Venezuela). Bizarrely the former Empire of Spain has permanent observer status at OAS meetings.
A number of the South Pacific island nations, previously beholden to their former colonisers and exploiters, Australia and New Zealand, are now looking north-west for economic and security agreements with China; agreements which are signed from a position of equality, not colonial subjugation. Ironically Australia has recently sent their Malaysian born Chinese born foreign minister Penny Wong, to the island nations to try and recoup the ‘damage’ to the West, by displaying a more ‘non-white’ face to the Pacific, while New Zealand sends its Maori foreign minister, Nanaia Mahuta – but the island nations are not fooled by this subterfuge; they know their history by heart. All the while, the United States simply makes threats to the Chinese on the sidelines.
Pacific nations are well aware of the bizarre racist viciousness from the whole Australian political spectrum against refugees and migrants, or indeed the decades long exploitation of seasonal Pasifika workers who harvest crops in Queensland and New Zealand.
Western media portrays these agreements with China as threats to the ‘rule based order’: the United States’ unilateral and often erratic and nonsensical set of decisions to exploit other countries, (‘rules’ much quoted by New Zealand’s Jacinda Adern), on what other countries should do unless they want to be threatened militarily, rather than an extension of China’s mutual trade agreements to supplement her hugely ambitious Belt and Road commerce initiative across the globe.
As has been often noted, China has one foreign military base, while the United States has at last count, 800 overseas military bases; all designed to intimidate at least one other country, or to intimidate the very country in which the military base is itself located, to follow the ‘rules’.
China has never been a colonial power. However, let us not be fooled into thinking that just because a currently weaker or emerging country does not as yet display the barbarity of the current ascendant countries (like the U.S. and U.K.) that does not mean that those arising powers will not descend into the same myopic and racist stupidity of thinking that they are somehow the exceptional nation, somehow always bound for glory.
Racism is not the distinct province of ‘white’ people, as those who were brutalised by the Japanese in the Second World War well remember.
All nations, when they ‘ascend’ to a position of power and global influence, are wont to believe in the fantasy that they are somehow naturally superior to others.
But we are definitively all equal as human beings.
My hope is that some time in the not too distant future, we realise that all other species are our equals too. Different skills, different attributes, but equal. Without that realisation we humans will continue to exploit this world until the natural world collapses around us – perhaps at that point we may realise we are an intrinsic and inseparable part of that natural world and that we need to cooperate – not destroy.