articles

A lot happens in five years by IKB

A lot has happened since the last time I actually blogged. I am no longer in Ireland. And after four years back in the United States (first in Ohio and then New York), I found myself relocating to yet another island. However, this time I would travel to a place more than halfway across the world: New Zealand. But it wasn’t enough to move to one of the most remote places on earth: I had to settle in one of its far-flung outposts.

But before pulling up stakes and going to Aotearoa, we had to drive across the United States with our two border terriers and cat, from New York to California with an unexpected prolonged stay in Ohio as the processing of our visas ran into some difficulties. If you ever find yourself in central Ohio, make sure to visit the thought-provoking Malabar Farm. Apart from a flat tire somewhere in the outskirts of Indianapolis, Indiana, the cross-country road trip proved to be a rather uneventful affair.

Lazy Mexicans by IKB

Between 1836 and 1848, Mexico would lose 55 per cent of its territory to the United States. According to Engels, the entrepreneurial Yankee had struck a blow for civilization and human progress against the “lazy Mexicans.”1 The wealth of California would be developed and the Pacific would finally be opened up to mankind.

While California was liberated by plucky Americans, the remaining 45 per cent of Mexican territory, left under the control of lazy Mexicans, would not enjoy the benefits of progress. However, a decade and a half later, undeterred and eager American “expats” with a “kind of do-it-yourself spirit” are bringing the blessings enjoyed by California to the rest of Mexico.2

1 Engels, “Neue Rheinische Zeitung No. 222,” http://www.marxists.org/archive/marx/works/1849/02/15.htm.

2 Rocky Casale, New York Times, “Wanderlust: The Crowds Swell on Mexico’s Pacific Coast,” http://tmagazine.blogs.nytimes.com/2013/12/04/wanderlust-the-crowds-swell-on-mexicos-pacific-coast.

On the bearers of civilization of the Hellenistic world by IKB

The conquests of Alexander the Great opened the nations of the ancient east to the Greeks, however, these Greeks were no Platos, Herodotus or Sophocles. They were your garden variety Greeks.

In their footsteps came a mixed company from every corner of Greece: mercenaries, peasants, traders and undefined persons without fixed occupations, sometimes also adventurers who hoped to find wealth and an easy livelihood in the lands of the Orient. Without stating that these people stood absolutely at the lowest cultural level, or that there were not among them some educated men — the example of Alexandria proves that there were — we must admit that the overwhelming majority of them were clearly neither the creators of culture nor its patrons, and it is doubtful if they were capable of shouldering the great task of diffusing Hellenism among the eastern nations.1

1 Victor Tcherikover, Hellenistic Civilization and the Jews, p 32. #

The Industrial Military Complex by IKB

At the conclusion of World War II, the economist John K. Galbraith was appointed director of USBUS — United States Strategic Bombing Survey — which was tasked with assessing the effects of Allied aerial bombing on German industry and military. He summarizes the board’s findings:

In Germany the strategic bombing, that of industry, transportation and cities, was gravely disappointing. The war was not shortened. Attacks on factories that made such seemingly crucial components as ball bearings and eventually on aircraft plants were sadly useless. With plant and machinery relocation and better, more determined management, fighter aircraft production actually increased in early 1944 after major bombing. In the cities the random cruelty and death inflicted from the sky had no appreciable effect on war production or the war.1

Not only did the Allied command with the rest of the military establishment deny these findings, they persecuted Galbraith with the help of their allies in academia.

1 John, K. Galbraith, The Economics of Innocent Fraud, 54. #