Migrants, refugees and modern-day slavery

Are refugees and migrants examples of modern-day slaves?

When slavery first started, disunity was caused between free people to destabilise countries and make people vulnerable to be captured as slaves.

Today, arguably many nations are destabilised by foreign powers. People then are drawn into want and need because of a dysfunctional society. In its worst form, people are forced to flee their native lands to seek a better life elsewhere, and to cultivate that basic human need, to stay alive and live in safety.

Refugees and migrants, like slaves struggle to have their status recognised by their adopted society, they engage in hard and/or low paid work, they are often hated, abused and victimized.

I see the growing refugee crisis and movement of migrants across the world are symbolic of the rejuvenation of the power, or spiritual principality of slavery, manifest in a new form.

It is no surprise to me that The United States of America is chief of those nations causing instability in other nations. When people are refugees the children caught up in this are destined to suffer, not only upheval but the loss of their education, and therefore poor education and all that entails in terms of the potential limits on opporunities open to these children when they grow up, just further deepens the cycle of disruption, exploitation and pseudo-slavery.

It’s a cruel game those with power play, to lurk behind the scenes, carrying out their work, so they think, in darkness, devouring the resources of other lands, underpaying people in those lands for their labour to feed the capitalist system of exploitation where the profits on these resources are mostly earned abroad, thus creating poverty in those countries which have been exploited. Wars, destabilization, currency manipulation and extortionate lending all feed into this vicious cycle of devaluing people and lands as a tool to keep people suppressed, lacking the elements to truly define themselves, because they live under the definition of their oppressors.

When migrants and refugees take flight, many in power will complain about their influx, draft policies to “control” and help with integration, while knowing, but not wanting to admit, that the influx of these people into other countries is a natural consequence of capitalism and is needed to reinforce the notion that wealth, value and security are to be found in the lands of the oppressors. The sad fact it that a person who is less valued by the oppressor, can only have wealth, value and security in the doled out portions that the systemic, implicit mechanisms of control will naturally allow, even attempts to branch out beyond this predetermined way of life are likely to fall into stereotypes – the migrant footballer or sportsperson, black market trade, drugs; truly integration is the illusion of inclusion. To integrate fully is to deny oneself ones ability to truly define oneself, because the definition of integration is set by a people who, because of their pride, devalue and oppress other people to preserve “their own”.

4  “Look at the proud: he is inwardly not upright;
but the righteous will attain life through trusting faithfulness.
5  Truly, wine is treacherous;
the arrogant will not live at peace
but keeps expanding his desires like Sh’ol;
like death, he can never be satisfied;
he keeps collecting all the nations for himself,
rallying to himself all the peoples.
6  Won’t all these take up taunting him
and say about him, in mocking riddles,
‘Woe to him who amasses other people’s wealth!—
how long must it go on?—
and to him who adds to himself the weight
of goods taken in pledge!
7  Won’t your own creditors suddenly stand,
won’t those who make you tremble wake up?
You will become their spoil.
8  Because you plundered many nations,
all the rest of the peoples will plunder you;
because of the bloodshed and violence done
to the land, the city and all who live there.

9  “ ‘Woe to him who seeks unjust gain for his household,
putting his nest on the heights,
in order to be safe from the reach of harm.
10  By scheming to destroy many peoples,
you have brought shame to your house
and forfeited your life.
11  For the very stones will cry out from the wall,
and a beam in the framework will answer them. (Hab 2:4–11 CJB).

Iran, Iraq, Afghanistan & Syria

Iran, Iraq, Afghanistan & Syria. What do they all have in common? predominantly they are Muslim countries, all in the Middle East, and they all have natural wealth and resources. However, there is something tragic and unjust that all these countries share, that is that they are in the middle of the power games between The Western Word and Russia and China, two sides of a conflict that has to manufacture discord and disunity in order to maintain the existence of those societies, their values, their economies and their sense of who they are.

In the current time America, that nation which countries in The Western World seems to follow like blind sheep, could have come to an agreement with Russia at the UN to let chemical weapons inspectors into Syria to assess the source of chemical weapons. In like manner, Russia could have agreed to the Americans demands to achieve the same end. But unfortunately the main issue for these nations isn’t the death of innocent people, or the use of chemical weapons, especially when you consider the utter hypocrisy of nations who in their warmongering have slain many thousands of people as “collateral damage” on many occasions, by dropping bombs, even nuclear bombs which killed many more people in an instant. No, their main concern is their own pride, and their pride creates a bridge between them which will never join in the middle, and because of this, they can will never work together on issues like this, and there always will be a stand-off with one side blaming the other. As a result of this the truth will never be known until it is too late, just like Iraq, just like the many other times these when the ineffective diplomats fail in their discussions and the unverified and untested suspicions pushed out by these nations via the media become as good as fact. It will only be after many more innocent people are killed in futile strikes aimed at people who are rarely caught by them, and at chemical or nuclear resources that are often simply rebuilt, after more families are made homeless, and more refugees are created, that we will find that those very same nations that held up the investigations ALL played their parts in supplying and training people in that region to be their puppets in their power games.

On and on it goes, and each time it seems like it’s the first time. “Lessons will be learned”, and they always say, we will put in place measures to see this can never happen again. Yet the damage these nations do every time, destroys people lives, and not only that, shows contempt for life, as we vdebate about whether we allow entry to our nations those very same refugees that we cause to become refugees by our reckless “foreign policy”, greed and warmongering, pampering our self-interest under the guise of world security.

It utterly disgusts me that nations who can put people on the moon, orbit space with amazing technology for communication, create new land and hold back the sea, formulate infinitely complex agreements for making money, and even at the level of the everyday person on the street, achieve so much both individually and collectively; can achieve so little when it comes to creating peace, and seem so powerless when it comes to saving people’s lives, and ensuring justice.

In a world where our leaders have given up – if they even truly cared in the first place – and feel it is easier to see people die meaningless and senseless deaths, than to stand up for their rights, life itself has no worth. If we are entrusting the governance of our societies to people who act with such contempt, perhaps this situation is what we all deserve.

Globalism comes home to roost?

I find it truly amazing, the conceited, hypocritical babblings of nationalists and “anti-globalists”. They seem to have lost the ability to reason, lost the ability to see the world from anything other than a distorted perspective. We can see them in many European countries, France, Germany and Greece to name a few, and then there is the USA. What these mentally deficient people don’t realise is that globalism didn’t start in the year 2000, 2010 or 2018, but in fact a long time before that with colonialism giving birth to global capitalism and the systems of interconnectedness of trade and communications that once were stacked so heavily in favour of colonisers that they were far enough removed from the ill effects of their dominance over other countries, they just reaped the rewards in an endless and rather one way stream ox exploitation.

In this system people are capital, people are tradable and indeed people sell their skills for the best price they can to assure a future for themselves and their families. It has been this way for a long time. America has vibrant communities of Hispanic and Irish settlers, England has many black settlers from the West Indies that migrated to England after WW2, and many other countries have established communities of migrant workers.

What seems to be happening now, is that with freedom of movement, the intake of new communities into many countries is accelerated. For some people this is alarming, for some people it is an opportunity on both sides of the equation, and it can be relished and celebrated, IF people treat each other with respect.

However, what these fascist “anti-globalists” don’t realise, and I really wish I could kick them right up the arse and make them understand, is, they are cherry picking what they are “anti-globalist” about. They are blind to the hundreds if not thousands of years of globalisation that has left large chunks or other countries infrastructure and business in the hands of their very own countrymen, destabilising the nations in their grip – and causing the very influx of migrants they want to stop, as people in countries under the yoke of globalism want to escape to live; they need to escape political and religious persecution, civil unrest, conflict, economic distress, hunger and disease.

The privileges that we enjoy, from reasonably priced food (lots of stuff we can’t grow in our countries, or can’t grow enough of), to fuels, the raw materials that go into components for electronics, right the way through to gemstones and precious metals. Globalism secures them for us, all too often at the expense of the countries that we exploit to get them. But it seems now, that because the effects of what we do in our exploitation of other countries is all to visible, we not hate it and claim to be victims of the very system we control. Indeed, has globalism come home to roost!

Pulling in a scripture that captures this perfectly “The righteous care about justice for the poor, but the wicked have no such concern.” (Proverbs 29:7 NIV) Knowing God means caring for other people, and even if you are not religious surely caring for other people is an integral part of what makes us human, and all citizens of a planet that we have to care for and manage for the benefit of us all.

Far-right in the USA

Did you know what lies beneath the rise of the racist far right movements in the USA? Read up on “British Israelism” and “Christian Identity”. These movements want to assert that Anglo Saxons, the British, Scottish, German and Nordic peoples are the rightful heirs of the promises god gave to Israel, they focus on tenuous etymological links between words and twist biblical scriptures out of context in order to give them the reason to purge native peoples from their homelands and make people slaves. The Christian Identity movement in particular is extreme, it views people who are non-white as having no soul, not being human, a different species only fit to be slaves. The literature of these movements such as “The Turner Diaries” gave rise to the tactics and lifestyle of the Oklahoma bomber Timothy McVeigh and they underpin the views and lifestlyes of racist groups like the Ku Klux Klan.

It’s important to know that The Turner Diaries also depict a race war and nuclear war.

So when I see someone like Donald Trump, whom I would term a crafty snake, employ people in his cabinet like Steve Bannon Chief Executive of Breitbart News a far right website as his Chief Strategist (although he has now been sacked), Jim Sessions (Attorney General) with a murky right wing sympathising past, and even with actions like pardoning Joe Arpaio who publicly said he felt honoured to be compared to the Ku Klux Klan back in 2007; it seems clear racism in America is coming out into the open, and right from the top.

It seems to me people have to go through more character checks for a job in a supermarket, than for a job in the Whitehouse.

Brexit, polarisation and sleepwalking into disaster

I watched some of BBC Parliament recently, by chance, and the MP’s were speaking about the Brexit impact assessment, redacted findings, the autonomy of the Select Committee and the danger of leaks. BBC News has a good summary of the current debate here.

I find it fascinating, that with probably the most important political event that will happen in my lifetime, and the lifetimes of many MP’s involved, that instead of working together, the political parties are engaged in the same old polarised debates; “I’m right, you’re wrong” – “This side of the house, that side of the house”. It’s like watching some kind of opinion tennis spectacle. These people are paid a lot of money, but they don’t seem to realise that they are wasting time and destroying the path to collaborative progress. Maybe the real work just doesn’t go on in The House of Commons.

The Queen should step in and bang these people’s heads together, as they apparently act on her behalf. Or maybe she is just content to remain a figurehead bringing in revenues to the country, however, whether you consider those revenues to be 2bn or 5bn, you have to weigh that up with the cost of a potential lost opportunity for The Queen to step in and stop Parliament from aimlessly arguing about this issue, defending their political pride, perhaps bolstering a woefully weak Prime Minister, so that we don’t find ourselves doing too little, too late.

Mugabe – the lesser of two evils?

Beware of false choices! People sometimes will offer you a choice which isn’t really a choice but a direction, or a choice based on a faulty premise.

A woman/man of good character or a woman/man who is attractive.
A car with good performance, or one that is economical.
A government that encourages big business or one that listens to the people.
Strong enforcement of law and order or the respect of the rights of citizens and individuals.

What I am getting at is, one can have them both, it doesn’t have to be a choice of one or the other, in many cases it is better to have both.

Robert Mugabe freedom fighter or despot? One can’t help notice the part Robert Mugabe pricing the hands of white rule off of Rhodesia, latterly known as Zimbabwe. However, at the same time on cannot but see the years of oppression, mismanagement, brutality, cronyism that have crushed a country that was once termed the bread-basket of Africa.

Some of Mugabe’s quotes whether they have some element of truth or not, are polarizing and reactionary:

“The only white man you can trust is a dead white man.”
“Our party must continue to strike fear in the heart of the white man, our real enemy!”
“Was it not enough punishment and suffering in history that we were uprooted and made helpless slaves not only in new colonial outposts but also domestically.”

Blaming the white man and being bitter about the past is understandable, but useless in and of itself unless one has a direction to ones anger that can actually improve the situation of yourself and the people around you. Not a strict translation in context, but applicable:

“Where there is no vision, the people perish; but he that keepeth the law, happy is he.” – Proverbs 29:18.

Have you seen children fighting over a toy, one has seen the other playing with it and wants it for himself, so they squabble over it. When the child who didn’t have the toy in the first place gets the toy, he grows bored of it after 5 minutes, or the other child who had the toy originally may soon grow bored with it too. Watch what happens when either of the children lose interest in the toy, and the other child goes to get it, there is squabbling again!

It’s almost the same situation with Zimbabwe, and rulers treating this country of many fine people who deserve a future, like a toy. Mugabe, perhaps rightfully gained possession of it, but he soon grew bored and stopped paying it the interest, care and attention it deserved. He had no vision of what he wanted to do with the country in the future, how he would truly empower the people, but his only vision was of hatred for white people, and the need to take back from them something he believed he should have. Because of this lack of vision his rule deteriorated in to a foul blot on the African continent, and a sorry story of what might have been.

Tyranny, exploitation and white rule often go hand in hand in Africa, but the sad thing is, when black rulers take over – the people often see more of the same. I guess my point is, people don’t want the lesser of two evils, they want no evil at all. They don’t want a black ruler who expresses his misrule simply in a different way to a white ruler. THey want someone who has vision to improve the country they live in. A black ruler, with integrity, with a heart for the people, consistent to the end.

Morgan Tsvangirai said this of Mugabe and I tend to agree – “Do we portray him as the great liberator or do we portray him as someone who betrayed the liberation he fought for? I think the latter will prevail, because I think his ending, does not confirm, the legacy he built in the earlier years of his political life…”

It’s high time in Africa, and across the world that rulers and authorities act with integrity, wisdom and justice. It is in my prayers, and has been for a long time that this will happen. If Africa can not stand with integrity, and stand with some form of togetherness, it will be continually exploited by foreign powers while its people cry our for change. Africa needs to grow and have self-determination and independence in order to free herself from exploitation and the trap of low self-worth.

Jimmy Carter vs Donald Trump

I think Donald Trump should take some advice from one of his learned predecessors. Here are some quotes from Jimmy Carter:

“We become not a melting pot but a beautiful mosaic. Different people, different beliefs, different yearnings, different hopes, different dreams.”

“We will not learn how to live together in peace by killing each other’s children.”

“We must adjust to changing times and still hold to unchanging principles.”

With specific reference to The Panama Canal, but with implications for any situation where two countries have competing interests: “the commitment of the United States to the belief that fairness, not force, should lie at the heart of our dealings with the nations of the world. If any agreement is to last, it must serve the best interests of both nations.”

Trump hasn’t reached the end of his presidency yet, but most quotes I find made by him are don’t have anywhere near the grace and insight of Jimmy Carter. Trump does generally come across as an insensitive, argumentative, crass, brute.

Oppressors never see their oppression – they just see a status quo

Some white supremacists sometimes feel that their rights as often indigenous citizens are being impinged on by an influx of people who don’t belong among them.

America see’s that one nation that develops a nuclear weapon, even though it has many times more nuclear weapons, is a threat to regional or even world stability.

Some Islamic countries see Christianity as a threat and try to suppress it, even though in “Christian” countries, Islam is allowed to be practiced freely.

African countries, from of old have had their rulers killed, humiliated emasculated and corrupted – some corrupt themselves, but it seems that whenever Africa want to asset itself as a continent, build itself up, to lose the image of being needy, that other powers in the world, simply don’t want to see that happen.

Insightful as always, Al Jazeera’s Shadow War in Sahara sheds light on the shady tactics and misinformation promoted by “the usual players” to keep African nations separate, in need, while they divide and exploit as has become their usual modus operandi.

Video courtesy Al Jazeera.

Scripturally, this comes to mind:

The Lord’s Answer

5) “Look at the nations and watch—
and be utterly amazed.
For I am going to do something in your days
that you would not believe,
even if you were told.

6) I am raising up the Babylonians,
that ruthless and impetuous people,
who sweep across the whole earth
to seize dwellings not their own.

7) They are a feared and dreaded people;
they are a law to themselves
and promote their own honor.

8) Their horses are swifter than leopards,
fiercer than wolves at dusk.
Their cavalry gallops headlong;
their horsemen come from afar.
They fly like an eagle swooping to devour;
9) they all come intent on violence.
Their hordes advance like a desert wind
and gather prisoners like sand.

10) They mock kings
and scoff at rulers.
They laugh at all fortified cities;
by building earthen ramps they capture them.
11) Then they sweep past like the wind and go on—
guilty people, whose own strength is their god.”

Habukkuk Chapter 1, verses 1-11.

Well this is written in the language that described the terrors of millenia ago, yet it refers to today also, although the means of advance or transport may have changed, although America and the West may not be technically Babylonians in terms of their geographic location, their actions embody the spirit of the Babylonians written about in the scripture above. Which empire was the biggest empire ever to span the earth? Don’t people refer to the current day activities of The West as neo-colonialism? Hasn’t The West mocked, murdered and deposed rulers and taken over their lands, and to this day holds exploitative control over them?

Bob Marley said, who the cap fits, let them wear it.

The trick that The West plays is that it can never admit to the past and its devouring nature that has made it what it is today, and as an entity, it lives in a state of denial, where at the same time it is very aware if the need to deflect, mask, alter, and hide the past to justify its position and status in the present, maintaining a perpetual hegemony.

The American Dream, or the American Illusion?

The American Dream is a construct which many people the world over believe is true. Refugees flee to America in search of a better life, and, given some of the countries where refugees come from, America can offer a vastly improved way of life, but not a dream. The reality is that a lot of American people never find that dream, and end up falling into the dissonance created by the reality of the construction of American society, a society built on exploitation, imperialism, and arguably injustice. People feel short-changed by the society they felt would be a new world for them, and this breeds its own malaise that feeds into the tensions already present in American Society.

Al Jazeera has a great overview of The American Dream in the 20th Century, video excerpt courtesy Al Jazeera.

Hidden under a facade of change

So the AfD, the far right Alternative for Germany has broken into mainstream politics in Germany taking third place behind the German equivalent of New Labour and Merkel’s CDU. Some people are asserting that Angela Merkel’s policies have created the conditions under which the AfD gain legitimacy. However, what we have to remember, is that people with these far right views have existed all the time. The majority of Germans may have moved on from the brutality and insanity of Nazi Germany, but there is still a significant minority of people who fear the influx of non-German culture and cling to those ideals at least in part.

For me this doesn’t show some kind of mistake in Merkel’s policy, but rather this shows that the dark past in every society is still there, lurking, waiting for the opportunity to break out and expose itself, just like the mould you though you had banished that comes back to blight your possessions.

I don’t think Germany’s links with Nazism can be forgotten, let alone broken. I’ve seen the USA and the UK tripping over themselves to present this image of a new tolerant nation, which is probably largely true, but given time the mask will slip fully, and it is already slipping. Who can cure this sickness? Surely God alone.

Put money where it really matters

Well, I wonder if this USA example is still true today, and how many other nations follow suit:

Health v Millitary Spending

Health v Millitary Spending

The USA could save many more lives by focusing on the human needs of its polulace, than over-spending on security. The imbalance reflects the paranoia of those that rule the country, perhaps also the need for them to set in motion and keep running a social contract that keeps people enslaved to fear.

UPDATE 23/09/17

Interestingly, I read on BBC News this morning, that Moody’s, one of the credit ratings agencies, those organisations that give a countries currency reputation, has downgraded the British Pound in status to Aa2 from Aa1, Standard and Poor’s and Fitch both did a similar thing in 2016. Moody’s said the UK Government had “yielded to pressure and raised spending in several areas including health and social care.” so the exptra spending would lead to greater debt.

Seems like the world is truly run by those who care about balance sheets more than people for sure.