Overview

“We must find new lands from which we can easily obtain raw materials and at the same time exploit the cheap slave labour that is available from the natives of the colonies. The colonies would also provide a dumping ground for the surplus goods produced in our factories”  

Cecil Rhodes (PC, DCL)

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Colonization – The Real Agenda

The real agenda for colonization, succinctly stated here by Great Britain’s ‘golden son’ Cecil Rhodes,  is and always has been,  the acquisition of land and resources. Let’s be done with that ‘civilization’ lie that’s been bandied about for centuries. No explorer set forth from the comfort of their own lands to benevolently share their knowledge or benefit humankind. Their documented purpose was to acquire lands and resources. Should you the reader be in doubt about this, note, the statements of intent by the colonizers have been well documented. Like that ‘great Christian nation’ Great Britain;  Portugal, Italy, Germany, France, Belgium, Holland and Spain all had similar agendas, frequently also revealed in their writings. That much celebrated son Columbus set off, as his diaries, letters and reports clearly document, to encounter wealth for himself and his sponsors.
(Churchill W, Since Predator Came, p 15)  “One who has gold” he said, “does as he wills in the world, and it even sends souls to Paradise”. Hernan Cortes, conqueror of Mexico similarly confessed …“We Spanish suffer from a sickness of the heart for which gold is the only cure” Official figures reveal that at least 18,000 tons of silver and 200 tons of gold were transferred from America to Spain during the period 1521 – 1660, some estimates are  double that (Beaud M, A History of Capitalism 1500-1980, p19).

When the Batavia merchants of the Dutch East India Company were  sending out Abel Tasman what they recorded spells out quite clearly their expectations:

‘… the remaining unknown part of the terrestrial globe’ must needs … comprise well-populated districts in favourable climates and under propitious skies … so that it may be confidently expected that the expense and trouble that must be bestowed in the eventual discovery of so large a portion of the world will be rewarded with certain fruits of material profit and immortal fame’. Further … ‘If, unlikely as it may be,  you should happen to come to any country peopled by civilized men, you will give to them greater attention than to wild barbarians, endeavouring to come into contact and parley with its magistrates and subjects, letting them know that you have landed there for the sake of commerce, showing them specimens of the commodities which you have taken on board for the purpose . . . closely observing what things they set store by and are most inclined to;especially trying to find out what commodities their country yields, likewise inquiring after gold and silver, whether the latter are by them held in high esteem; making them believe that you are by no means eager for precious metals, so as to leave them ignorant of the value of the same; and if they should offer you gold or silver in exchange for your articles, you will pretend to hold the same in slight regard, showing them copper, pewter, or lead, and giving them an impression as if the minerals last mentioned were by us set greater value on.’ (http://nzetc.victoria.ac.nz/tm/scholarly/tei-BeaDisc-t1-body-d2.html)

No mention there of civilizing or benefiting the ‘natives’ in any way and much about enriching themselves in true capitalistic style, withholding such vital information that no informed decisions could be said to be made in any of their lop sided trading endeavours … with people who generally would have no concept of buying or selling.

'Armstrong 9-pounder gun', URL: http://www.nzhistory.net.nz/media/photo/armstrong-gun, (Ministry for Culture and Heritage), updated 19-Aug-2014
‘Armstrong 9-pounder gun’, URL: http://www.nzhistory.net.nz/media/photo/armstrong-gun, (Ministry for Culture and Heritage), updated 19-Aug-2014

The takers for all these lies are frequently now blamed for allowing all this. All their great losses were simply their own fault. Their own fault for trusting. Most indigenous peoples in fact were very hospitable to the newcomers and helped them to survive in the new terrain. (See the true Thanksgiving story). Until their numbers were great enough to turn the tables and display their true intent by which time it was too late to overthrow them. By that time the guests had imported their superior military ‘peace-keeping’ equipment such as cannons like the Armstrong pictured here that was used in the NZ Land Wars. Another weapon used to overpower the non compliant, non sellers was the Maxim, known by the rhyme used in the African colonies … “God bless the Hottentots, for we have the Maxim and they do not”.

Notably in NZ, when Maori had caught on to capitalist principles, Missionary Rev Thomas Grace (who asked frequently for a Christian lawyer to stop the land deals) records an occasion when the Ngati Tuwharetoa Iwi had wanted to subdivide and sell a block in smaller sections, the Government of the day refused them the option and insisted on buying the whole block … subsequently to subdivide and profit themselves. Their own fault? Grace commented that Maori were duped on every side, adding:

‘There will remain an amount of guilt on the hands of our own race for which God will surely visit us… (Rev T Grace)(Grace D, A Driven Man,  p 265)

See how the ongoing lie is perpetuated in the colonizers’ writings? The true histories are not to be found in our official educational history books, the ones we were taught from from five years old and upwards. We were specifically told of the ‘discoveries’ of great continents by the colonizing ‘explorers’. We were not specifically told of the presence of first peoples on those continents in terms of their rightful sovereignty and their ownership of the lands. Instead the historians carefully crafted a history that glorified the exploits of ‘kindly explorers’ who were seeking out peoples to civilize, Christianize and bless with all their advanced technology. A technology that today is waved in the faces of anybody who should dare to raise a voice of dissent about the whole affair. All of those ‘trinkets’, the televisions, power, automobiles and the like are considered compensation enough for the loss of sovereignty, lands, language and identity.

Columbus’s more dubious ‘accomplishments’ that we also seem to never find in print, included the genocide of the peoples he found living on those continents. As the American gold diminished, so too did their populations … in Mexico,  by 90 percent, in Peru, by 95 percent. In fact, from 1495-1503 three million people disappeared from from the so called ‘New World’.   This has always been passed off as the unfortunate result of new diseases, however it has been documented that smallpox-infected blankets were deliberately given out in pursuit of their genocidal policies. Disease was not the only means used, witness the carnage that Bartolomew de Las Casas observed in the Americas … outright, wholesale slaughter by the sword, accompanied by the most vicious cruelty and torture. After ten years of his policies of slavery and slaughter in Española, Columbus succeeded in reducing the Taino population from 8 million (1492) to less than 100,000. By 1514 there were barely 22,000 left and by 1542 only 200 (Churchill W, Since Predator Came, p28). And the powers that be insist that this man be honoured every year with a national day of celebration – ‘Columbus Day’.

Not confined to the Americas or Africa,  Australia’s first peoples were likewise hunted and killed like animals, captured in giant man traps similar to rabbit traps, taking two men to open them, roasted alive on fires, raped, shot from horseback and driven from their lands. These people also are subjected to a national day of ‘celebration’ … ‘Australia Day’. Everywhere, the colonizer ensured their ostensible purpose was cemented in concrete as it were, on the stone monuments, in the history books and the annual memorial days. Indigenous peoples have fought for years to get these ‘celebrations’ done away with, citing the genocide that it actually was for them. We too in Aotearoa (NZ), are also subject to ‘Waitangi Day’, the day of the signing of our becoming ‘one people’ with identical rights – with nary a mention in our history books that Maori did not get to vote until a good two decades after the signing (1867). You had to be an individual  owner of property to do that. And neither a mention of the real purpose of the wars (dubbed originally, ‘Maori Wars’).

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Signing the Treaty of Waitangi in NZ  (Alexander Turnbull Library Reference: G-821-2) Oil painting by Marcus King

In NZ the colonizers crafted a Treaty, as they did also in other countries. The Missionaries translated that Treaty (the aforementioned English version) without consultation with Maori who were present as to correct word meanings.  It is not emphasized today that there were in fact two versions of the Treaty – an English and a Maori version, that differ. Maori signed the one in their own language, however the one that is now recognized officially is the English one (see p 14 of this pdf).  At the signing the Reverend Henry Williams, addressing the Europeans present in English said: “People should recollect that were it not for the missionaries they would not be here this day, nor be in possession of a foot of land in New Zealand”. (Colenso 1890, pp.20-21, cited by Mead H, Landmarks, Visions and Bridges, p103).

Author Rusden cites a  Dr Pollen who was also there that day, who listened ‘attentively’ to the speeches and who spoke in the Upper House of  NZ’s Parliament in 1863 saying, “I heard Her Majesty’s representative arguing, explaining, promising to the natives, pledging the faith of the Queen and the British people to the due observance of it, giving upon the honour of an English gentleman … [yet] the ink was scarcely dry on the Treaty before the suspicions which had been temporarily allayed by the promises of the Governor were awakened with redoubled force, and I need scarcely remind the Council from that time (1840) to this, every action of ours affecting the natives had presented itself to their eyes, and had been capable of that interpretation, as showing that our object and business in this Colony was to obtain possession of the lands of the natives.”   (Rusden G, Aureretanga Groans of the Maoris, P147).

And so the lie continues. Like that expressed by Belgium’s King Leopold II, colonizer of the African Congo, the British Queen Victoria’s cousin, whose descendant Elizabeth II now owns one sixth of the entire planet (See Cahill K, Who Owns the World p 167). Leopold held a Geographical Conference to which he invited famous explorers, to discuss ending the East African slave trade and bringing civilization (note) to the continent …to open to civilization”, he said, “the only part of our globe which it has not yet penetrated, to pierce the darkness which hangs over entire peoples, is, I dare say, a crusade worthy of this century of progress”. 

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Under Belgium’s King Leopold II’s reign of terror, even young children’s hands were amputated in the dictator’s lust for wealth

Yet Leopold’s reign quickly exposed his lie, and like Columbus’s, was a reign characterized by horrific plunder and terror of the worst kind for the Congolese peoples. In his insatiable lust for wealth, Leopold secured the free labour Rhodes describes,  with a reign of terror that saw both outright wanton slaughter, and the amputation of the hands of men, women and children who did not bring the daily quota of rubber demanded by the regime. (This was a method used similarly by the Spanish when their ‘subjects’ did not bring the required daily quota of gold).  A Congolese missionary would write that he was repeatedly asked by the African people if the Saviour he told them of had any power against the rubber trouble?  Whilst ostensibly ‘civilizing’ the Congolese peoples, Leopold was plundering their rubber and ivory, and exacting from them an horrific and brutal cost of starvation, rape, mutilation, enslavement, disease and the violent and merciless sacrifice of 10 million innocent lives.  Leopold’s civilization rhetoric had served merely to disguise his desire to have a colony like all of the other powers of his day and the Congo was his last ditch attempt. One historian described him as a modern Atila,  and at his burial parade he was farewelled with boos of derision.  Just like Rhodes and Columbus, Leopold succinctly expressed his real motive thus:

“I do not want to miss a good chance of getting us a slice of this magnificent African cake ”     King Leopold II, Belgium

You can learn about the rape and pillage of the Congo in the following documentary.

These were not the only genocides committed in those days. There were many many more, all  just as craftily concealed by the writers of the histories, under a veneer of philanthropic zeal written on lily white pages. A myriad of bloodstained histories that are equally as horrific as those from the Americas and Africa. Australia, India, South America, the Philippines, New Zealand and more;  all have their uniquely different stories of how they were systematically relieved of their lands and resources and marginalized in their own countries to lives of landlessness, serfdom and poverty.

Kevin Cahill reveals in his book – Who Owns the World: the Surprising Truth About Every Piece of Land on the Planet, that of the world’s 6,602,000,000 citizens only about 15% of the population lay claim to owning any of its 36,933,896,500 acres of land.  That an excess of land ownership in too few hands is the single greatest cause for poverty in the world. You can also hear Kevin Cahill on Youtube.

The Rape and Pillage Continues

So colonization was never about civilization  or sharing the benefits thereof for the vast majority at least. This is  just the justification we’ve been fed for centuries. The late US author James Baldwin more aptly describes ‘civilization’ here:

The civilized have created the wretched, quite coldly and deliberately, and do not intend to change the status quo; are responsible for their slaughter and enslavement; rain down bombs on defenseless children whenever and wherever they decide that their “vital interests” are menaced, and think nothing of torturing a man to death: these people are not to be taken seriously when they speak of the “sanctity” of human life, or the “conscience” of the civilized world (Baldwin J, Collected Essays, p15)

Today this rape and pillage is termed ‘development’  and ‘progress’ the new cover words for corporate profiteering. These people know well how to re brand their activities and they spend top dollar doing it. It is also carried out equally as shamelessly. See what has happened in Australia last century.  More recently, giant corporations are moving indigenous people along with different justifications as has happened historically in Australia. Currently, the first Australians are being forcibly relocated under other pretexts, and in reality their lands are being coveted for mining. 

Vulnerable populations, already denied the basic services most Australians take for granted, are on notice of dispossession without consultation, and eviction at gunpoint. Aboriginal leaders have warned of “a new generation of displaced people” and “cultural genocide” John Pilger

Neither the colonizer nor the developer comes to benefit the owners of the lands, and if this were the case,  the logical question to ask would be, why are the recipients of this ‘benevolence’ at the bottom of the pile today so to speak? See the statistics for Australia’s First Peoples here. In 2001 a male life expectancy of an Indigenous Australian person was just 59.4 years!  It is currently estimated to be 67.2 compared to 78.7 for non indigenous. In every country the colonizer has set foot we see for the first peoples, shorter per capita lifespans, the highest rates for  unemployment, imprisonment, health problems and poverty, all for which these people are blamed. The owners of the media (and the people who wrote our history books)  have successfully convinced the general public that these people are ‘lazy’, ‘lacking initiative’ or ‘have too many children’. The ones who chronicled their own histories, have exposed their guilt in the omission of, and/or fudging of statistics around, the important detail of the annihilation of whole populations and cultures with both their superior weaponry, and their lesser known and more underhand innovations like the gifting of disease infected blankets, the poisoning of food, or simply their policies of assimilation, as has been attempted in New Zealand and Australia.

The header image is the signing of the Treaty of Waitangi in Aotearoa (NZ)

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The land of our ancestors is stolen away from us …