The Power-Shift to the South
EDITORIAL, 3 August 2009
#73 | Johan Galtung
The South is coming, with or–hopefully without–a vengeance.
Look at the basic facts in the power distribution.
The abrahamic Occident expanded three times: islam 622-1492 from Iberia to the Philippines; christianity from 1492 on all five continents; and judaism in its zionist form from 1948 in the Middle East. They left and leave behind enormous clashes of civilizations in their wake, many extinguished.
One form was pure conquest. Another was colonialism, often starting culturally with missionaries enacting Matt. 28:18-20; continuing economically with the extraction of resources in return for little or nothing; continuing militarily–often paid by the economic interests–to protect the gains against insurgents; concluding politically with the flag and the governor’s palace and a local elite, under remote control, bribed to police locally. Imperialism was without the flag and an embassy as palace.
Enters decolonization in the opposite order: a textile change and a takeover of the palace finding new ways of bribing the local elites; sending the garrisons packing but keeping some to train their own; keeping the economic trade pattern of resources against pearls and toys for the elites; and keeping the occidental culture on top of local world views and idioms. How is the balance?
Not that bad for the formerly colonized south.
Culturally, South has an incredible linguistic and religious diversity–world religions like islam, hinduism and buddhism and philosophies like daoism and confucianism and an immense variety of others. On top of this comes their mastery of the languages and religions of the empires (including the dark and the red tsars): the three christianities, judaism, and their offspring secularism. North, guided by racism and cultural arrogance learnt nothing, storing what they might have learnt in museums and a few academics.
Economically, South has an enormous diversity of resources, and by far most of the labor. Yes, North has capital accumulated by half a millennium exploitation, by the UK generally and Jewish bankers centered in London–like the House of Rothschild–in particular, and by the USA generally and Jewish bankers in Wall Street in particular with the Anglo-American-Jewish Free Masons as a major articulation. Right now they are in a financial mess entirely of their own making.
Yes, North has the technology, the means of production accumulated through half a millennium monopoly on the challenges of processing the resources, of cooking the raw. And North has management acquired by half a millennium of global administration of their empires, the stolen land and peoples.
The TNC is built around those three. And the ODA, Official Development Assistance, is the offspring of an imperial father and a Christian samaritan mother with bad conscience corrupting the new civil servant elites, with assistance money (see the German Ambassador Seitz on total failure of 50 years ODA in Africa in Der Spiegel, 31/2009).
Militarily, North has the basic means of destruction and a comparative advantage honed through half a millennium crushing of “insurgencies” in South: an unbelievable brutality, like millions killed by US-UK state terrorism against the terrorist needle pricks.
And politically, North is in command with the Anglo-American UN dominance, fit also to protect the home of the Jews, Israel, with the same unbelievable brutality backed by a divine mandate, ignoring 69 UN resolutions, protected from 29 more by US veto.
South has an economic-cultural infrastructure and North a political-military super-structure. South has only the leftovers of NAM (Non-Aligned Movement), now resurging, and the Group of 77. An unstable equilibrium. Something will happen, and soon. Like a United Nations of the South, and a South Joint Military Command, against intervention.
And South-South trade. Latin America is blazing the trail, even with a trade pattern in goods an services meeting basic needs of those most in need, like Cuba delivering health services to Argentina that delivers meat to Venezuela that delivers oil to Cuba (ALBA). And on the other side of the globe there is Southeast Asian trade around the trail-blazing giants, Japan and China; using Japanese economic theory (Kaname Akamatsu) rather than Western.
Why is Africa so far behind? Because, starting with slavery, colonialism lasted the longest and decolonization was most recent – two centuries ago for Latin America, only half a century for Africa. Internal cultural decolonization has come much further in LA than in Africa. And now they are selling vast areas of cultivable land to a giant organization investing in land for biofuels and beef, to feed cars and rich people. In 1950 2,5 billion people on earth had 5600m2 arable land per capita, in 2000 6,1 billion had 2300m2, and in 2050 9,1 billion may have only 1500m2 (Der Spiegel, 31/2009).
This cannot pass. South has to learn from Latin America: organize, come together, have your own bank, TV (Al Jazeera is an excellent beginning), do not learn from stupid western economics, learn from your own experience, do not import Western technology that destroys nature, humans, structures and cultures, make your own; build on your incredible rich history and wisdom like Bolivia’s Morales is now doing. Do not become like India, growth without distribution, learn more from China that combines the two but do not become dependent.
And above all: look at your South-South infrastructure; communication not too bad, only make your own www.; but transportation of people and goods is terribly expensive and owned by the North. Make your own. Let your students study South-South and learn from each other, critically, constructively. Not picking up the kind of thinking in the North–that caused your troubles.
This article originally appeared on Transcend Media Service (TMS) on 3 August 2009.
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