How Did the Polynesians Get So Huge?

Polar Bear: Polynesians fascinate me because they have Asian (SEA or Taiwan) roots and big builds. The Austronesian women they descend from must’ve been large and in charge.

Good theory but that’s not what happened. They went on long sea voyages to populate the Polynesian islands, but first, they came from Taiwan all the way to Papua New Guinea, which was also a very long voyage.

These were the Lapita people from Taiwan and later from coastal New Guinea and then on to Polynesia. The Lapitas were the greatest mariners who ever lived! And they were around a very long time ago. They are thought to have navigated by the stars.

I did a lot of work on another group of ancient Indo-European people speaking a now extinct language (Liburnian) on the Croatian islands. They were also thought to be amazing navigators. Some people think they even went to India! They also navigated by the stars. It’s pretty amazing that primitive people could figure something like that out so accurately.

Obviously the big problem at sea is fresh water. There are probably always plenty of fish to catch and eat and you can live off of those.

Scurvy was possibly not yet a problem for whatever reason and only turned up among British mariners later on. It’s amazing how they figured that one out too.

Sailors kept getting scurvy. It was Vitamin C deficiency because they were living off hard tack (a form of hard bread) and water, pretty much. Well, scurvy can make you pretty ill. I suppose some sailor at some point must have had some citrus with him on a ship, and when everyone else got scurvy, he avoided it.

And humans are intelligent enough to put two and two together when something like that happens. “Let’s see. What’s this guy doing that no one else is doing? How’s he not getting it? He’s eating citrus!”

Or they went back into port and those who ate citrus right away got better fastest. Who knows! All we know is back then people didn’t even understand about vitamins and minerals, much less deficiencies and yet somehow they figured out that you needed to bring citrus with you on ship voyages to keep from getting scurvy.

Incidentally this is where the word Limey for British person comes from. British were also the greatest mariners of their own time and at one time, the Union Jack ruled over all the High Seas. Spain was the previous power but the turning point came with the Defeat of the Spanish Armada by the British in the early 1500’s. British sailors had limes aboard their ship to eat to keep from getting scurvy, hence, the slang term.

Anyway somehow or other the Polynesians managed to have enough water with them for these long voyages.

How on Earth did they know that they would find islands out there somewhere? Many of those islands are a long way from anything else.  They could have kept sailing on and on and never found any island anywhere, at which point, they would all die.

Anyway they somehow had enough water and food to survive. But the theory is that things were very difficult on these long voyages, and only those who could best withstand famine and other harsh conditions survived. So by the end of the voyage, only the biggest and strongest were still alive – all the others were dead.

Well, it’s obviously a just-so story like so many evolutionary explanations, but at least it’s a theory. And I ask the detractors of this theory: Fine, do you have a better theory? Of course they never do.

 

Identity Politics or Tribalism Was Behind Many of the Most Horrific and Genocidal Crimes of the 20th Century

Zamfir: “Having a collective interest is not the same thing as a hard and fast identity like race, ethnic group, gender, sexual orientation, nationality, or even religion.”

Okay, I didn’t understand that “identity” for you has to do with only these kinds of characteristics. But then I’d put it this way: Any group of people that share collective interests can have good reasons to organize politically in defense of their interests. It doesn’t matter whether the reason has to do with their “identity” in your sense or instead something less “hard and fast” such as economic class.

Because people who organize around more banal everyday political issues are typically not as insane and flat out deranged, homicidal, paranoid, hypersensitive and even genocidal as IP types? I mean do you see Democrats running around screaming about the Republicans “They hate us! They hate us! They’re out to kill us! We need to fight back!” Do you see environmentalists or pro-abortion people saying that anti-environmentalists and anti-abortion people, “They hate us! They hate us! They oppress us and dominate us! They’re out to kill us!”

Ordinary politics is not tribal like IP is. Few people would say they are member of a tribe called Democrats, Social Democrats, Bolivarians, Sandinistas, environmentalists, gun control activists, anti-free trade types, anti- or pro-immigration activists, liberals, workers, or poor or low income people? Hell no.

And the people in the paragraph above don’t scream, carry on, act paranoid, have a huge chip on their shoulder and accuse everyone of hating them all the time.

Haven’t you noticed that IP people are all insane? They all say my group is completely innocent and good, and we are being persecuted, oppressed and dominated by this evil other group. They’re all hypersensitive to any slights, always accusing everyone of hating them. They hate us! They hate us! They hate us! They’re trying to kill us!
And there’s often genocidal language, sometimes towards the hated group and other times it’s, “They’re trying to kill of us!” Often it’s “they’re trying to kill all of us…we need to kill all of them!”Haven’t you noticed that IP people are all insane?
They all say my group is completely innocent and good and we are being persecuted, oppressed and dominated by this evil other group. They’re all hypersensitive to any slights, always accusing everyone of hating them. They hate us! They hate us! They hate us! They’re trying to kill us! And there’s often genocidal language, sometimes towards the hated group and other times it’s, “They’re trying to kill of us!” Often it’s “they’re trying to kill all of us…we need to kill all of them!”
Before the Tutus slaughtered 800,000 Tutsis, the radio played non-stop that the Tutsis had just murdered the Hutu president and were organizing a war to kill all the Hutus. The solution? Kill them first. Remember Hitler said the Jews are trying to kill us all? Solution? Kill them first. Notice how the Israelis are always screaming that their enemies are exterminationist Nazi type anti-Semites? They’re out to kill us all! Solution? Oppress them, dominate them, wage war on them, kill their soldiers and their politicians, assassinate their leaders.
Can’t you realize that almost all of the horrible things that are going on today are all based on IP to some degree or another. In the ME, they are slaughtering each other over religion or even factions of a religion or even factions of factions.
In Turkey, this is behind Turkey’s war on the Kurds and their conquest and annexation of Syrian land to expand the “Turkish nation.” The ethnic cleaning wars of the Balkans were all wrapped up in IP. The Islamist insurgencies in the Caucasus, Turkestan, Thailand, Sudan, East Timor, Papua New Guinea, the Philippines, Egypt, Nigeria, India and to some extent Syria and Iraq are Islamist jihads against the infidels; in the cases of Nigeria and Sudan, take exterminationist proportions.
The Hindu Buddhists wage an exterminationist jihad against the Hindu Tamils. The Myanmar Buddhists wage an exterminationist jihad against the Rohinga.
The Hindus oppress the Muslims of Kashmir and wage war on them. The Jews oppress the non-Jews of Palestine and wage war on them and conquer and annex their land. Muslims and Christians wage exterminationist wars against each other in the Congo. In Rwanda, Burundi and Zaire, Hutus, and Tutsis wage exterminationist wars against each other.
Saddam said the Persians were plotting to kill all the Arabs (and most Sunni Arabs still say that the Iranians are plotting to at least conquer all the Arabs). Solution? Kill the Iranians first. The Young Turks started their jihad against the Armenians by saying that the Armenians were plotting to kill all the Turks. Solution? Kill the Armenians. Similar things were said of Greeks and Assyrians. Solution? Kill 500,000 Greeks and Assyrians before they can kill us first.
Nazism was nothing but Aryan Germanic IP against non Aryans such as Gypsies, Jews and Slavs.
The war in Northern Ireland is a pure IP war.
Notice how all of these groups employ the IP extremism – “They’re trying to kill us all so we need to oppress/kill of them first!” Our tribe is 100% good, theirs is evil. We are defensive; they wage offensive war against us. They are haters and racists and we are not. They hate us!  They hate us! They hate us! You hate us! You hate us!
Notice how paranoid they all are and how hypersensitive they are to any slight and how they all immediately accuse you of hating them if you even look at them wrong? Notice the insane, “They hate us! They hate us!” all the while when the people screaming about people hating them are horrific haters themselves. But their hate and racism/bigotry is good and justified and the other people’s hate and bigotry is evil. We just want liberation and to be free! They want to oppress us and dominate us!
IP turns genocidal and exterminationist or at least slaughtering quite easily.

A Look at the Valman Language

Method and Conclusion. See here.
Results. A ratings system was designed in terms of how difficult it would be for an English-language speaker to learn the language. In the case of English, English was judged according to how hard it would be for a non-English speaker to learn the language. Speaking, reading and writing were all considered.
Ratings: Languages are rated 1-6, easiest to hardest. 1 = easiest, 2 = moderately easy to average, 3 = average to moderately difficult, 4 = very difficult, 5 = extremely difficult, 6 = most difficult of all. Ratings are impressionistic.
Time needed. Time needed for an English language speaker to learn the language “reasonably well”: Level 1 languages = 3 months-1 year. Level 2 languages = 6 months-1 year. Level 3 languages = 1-2 years. Level 4 languages = 2 years. Level 5 languages = 3-4 years, but some may take longer. Level 6 languages = more than 4 years.
This post will look at the Valman language in terms of how difficult it would be for an English speaker to learn it.

Torricelli

Wapei

Valman

Valman, spoken in Papua New Guinea, is a bizarre case where the word “and” that connects two nouns is actually a verb, of all things, and is marked with the first noun as subject and the second noun as object.
“’John’ (subject) and ‘Mary’ (object) went to the store.”
“John” is marked as subject for some reason and “Mary” is marked as object for some reason, and the “and” word shows subject agreement with “John” and object agreement with “Mary”.
Valman gets a 6 rating, hardest of all.

Does Multilingualism Equal Separatism?

Repost from the old site.

Sorry for the long post, readers, but I have been working on this piece off and on for months now. It’s not something I just banged out. For one thing, this is the only list that I know of on the Net that lists all of the countries of the world and shows how many languages are spoken there in an easy to access format. Not even Wikipedia has that (yet).

Whether or not states have the right to secede is an interesting question. The libertarian Volokh Conspiracy takes that on in this nice set of posts. We will not deal with that here; instead, we will take on the idea that linguistic diversity automatically leads to secession.

There is a notion floating around among fetishists of the state that there can be no linguistic diversity within the nation, as it will lead to inevitable separatism. In this post, I shall disprove that with empirical data. First, we will list the states in the world, along with how many languages are spoken in that state.

States with a significant separatist movement are noted with an asterisk. As you can see if you look down the list, there does not seem to be much of a link between multilingualism and separatism. There does seem to be a trend in that direction in Europe, though.

Afterward, I will discuss the nature of the separatist conflicts in many of these states to try to see if there is any language connection. In most cases, there is little or nothing there.

I fully expect the myth of multilingualism = separatism to persist after the publication of this post, unfortunately.

St Helena                        1
British Indian Ocean Territories 1
Pitcairn Island                  1
Estonia                          1
Maldives                         1
North Korea                      1
South Korea                      1
Cayman Islands                   1
Bermuda                          1
Belarus                          1
Martinique                       2
St Lucia                         2
St Vincent & the Grenadines      2
Barbados                         2
Virgin Islands                   2
British Virgin Islands           2
Gibraltar                        2
Antigua and Barbuda              2
Saint Kitts and Nevis            2
Montserrat                       2
Anguilla                         2
Marshall Islands                 2
Cuba                             2
Turks and Caicos                 2
Guam                             2
Tokelau                          2
Samoa                            2
American Samoa                   2
Niue                             2
Jamaica                          2
Cape Verde Islands               2
Icelandic                        2
Maltese                          2
Maltese                          2
Vatican State                    2
Haiti                            2
Kiribati                         2
Tuvalu                           2
Bahamas                          2
Puerto Rico                      2
Kyrgyzstan                       3
Rwanda                           3
Nauru                            3
Turkmenistan                     3
Luxembourg                       3
Monaco                           3
Burundi                          3
Seychelles                       3
Grenada                          3
Bahrain                          3
Tonga                            3
Qatar                            3
Kuwait                           3
Dominica                         3
Liechtenstein                    3
Andorra                          3
Reunion                          3
Dominican Republic               3
Netherlands Antilles             4
Northern Mariana Islands         4
Palestinian West Bank & Gaza     4
Palau                            4
Mayotte                          4
Cyprus*                          4
Bosnia and Herzegovina*          4
Slovenia and Herzegovina*        4
Swaziland                        4
Sao Tome and Principe            4
Guadalupe                        4
Saudi Arabia                     5
Cook Islands                     5
Latvia                           5
Lesotho                          5
Djibouti                         5
Ireland                          5
Moldova                          5
Armenia                          6
Mauritius                        6
Lebanon                          6
Mauritania                       6
Croatia                          6
Kazakhstan                       7
Kazakhstan                       7
Albania                          7
Portugal                         7
Uzbekistan                       7
Sri Lanka*                       7
United Arab Emirates             7
Comoros                          7
Belize                           8
Tunisia                          8
Denmark                          8
Yemen                            8
Morocco*                         9
Austria                          9
Jordan                           9
Macedonia                        9
Tajikistan                       9
French Polynesia                 9
Gambia                           9
Belgium                          9
Libya                            9
Fiji                             10
Slovakia                         10
Ukraine                          10
Egypt                            11
Bulgaria                         11
Norway                           11
Poland                           11
Serbia and Montenegro            11
Eritrea                          12
Georgia*                         12
Finland*                         12
Switzerland*                     12
Hungary*                         12
United Kingdom*                  12
Mongolia                         13
Spain                            13
Somalia*                         13
Oman                             13
Madagascar                       13
Malawi                           14
Equatorial Guinea                14
Mali                             14
Azerbaijan                       14
Japan                            15
Syria*                           15
Romania*                         15
Sweden*                          15
Netherlands*                     15
Greece                           16
Brunei                           17
Algeria                          18
Micronesia                       18
East Timor                       19
Zimbabwe                         19
Niger                            21
Singapore                        21
Cambodia                         21
Iraq*                            21
Guinea-Bissau                    21
Taiwan                           22
Bhutan                           24
Sierra Leone                     24
South Africa                     24
Germany                          28
Namibia                          28
Botswana                         28
France                           29
Liberia                          30
Israel                           33
Italy                            33
Guinea                           34
Turkey*                          34
Senegal                          36
Bangladesh                       39
New Caledonia                    39
Togo                             39
Angola*                          41
Gabon                            41
Zambia                           41
Mozambique                       43
Uganda                           43
Afghanistan                      47
Guatemala                        54
Benin                            54
Kenya                            61
Congo                            62
Burkina Faso                     68
Central African Republic         69
Solomon Islands                  70
Thailand*                        74
Iran*                            77
Cote D'Ivoire                    78
Ghana                            79
Laos                             82
Ethiopia*                        84
Canada*                          85
Russia*                          101
Vietnam                          102
Myanmar*                         108
Vanuatu                          109
Nepal                            126
Tanzania                         128
Chad                             132
Sudan*                           134
Malaysia                         140
United States*                   162
Philippines*                     171
Pakistan*                        171
Democratic Republic of Congo     214
Australia                        227
China*                           235
Cameroon*                        279
Mexico                           291
India*                           415
Nigeria                          510
Indonesia*                       737
Papua New Guinea*                820

*Starred states have a separatist problem, but most are not about language. Most date back to the very formation of an often-illegitimate state.

Canada definitely has a conflict that is rooted in language, but it is also rooted in differential histories as English and French colonies. The Quebec nightmare is always brought up by state fetishists, ethnic nationalists and other racists and nationalists who hate minorities as the inevitable result of any situation whereby a state has more than one language within its borders.

This post is designed to give the lie to this view.

Cyprus’ problem has to do with two nations, Greeks and Turks, who hate each other. The history for this lies in centuries of conflict between Christianity and Islam, culminating in the genocide of 350,000 Greeks in Turkey from 1916-1923.

Morocco’s conflict has nothing to do with language. Spanish Sahara was a Spanish colony in Africa. After the Spanish left in the early 1950’s, Morocco invaded the country and colonized it, claiming in some irredentist way that the land had always been a part of Morocco. The residents beg to differ and say that they are a separate state.

An idiotic conflict ensued in which Morocco the colonizer has been elevated to one of the most sanctioned nations of all by the UN. Yes, Israel is not the only one; there are other international scofflaws out there. In this conflict, as might be expected, US imperialism has supported Moroccan colonialism.

This Moroccan colonialism has now become settler-colonialism, as colonialism often does. You average Moroccan goes livid if you mention their colony. He hates Israel, but Morocco is nothing but an Arab Muslim Israel. If men had a dollar for every drop of hypocrisy, we would be a world of millionaires.

There are numerous separatist conflicts in Somalia. As Somalians have refused to perform their adult responsibilities and form a state, numerous parts of this exercise in anarchism in praxis (Why are the anarchists not cheering this on?) are walking away from the burning house. Who could blame them?

These splits seem to have little to do with language. One, Somaliland, was a former British colony and has a different culture than the rest of Somalia. Somaliland is now de facto independent, as Somalia, being a glorious exercise in anarchism, of course lacks an army to enforce its borders, or to do anything.

Jubaland has also split, but this has nothing to do with language. Instead, this may be rooted in a 36-year period in which it was a British colony. Soon after this period, they had their own postage stamps as an Italian colony.

There is at least one serious separatist conflict in Ethiopia in the Ogaden region, which is mostly populated by ethnic Somalis. Apparently this region used to be part of Somaliland, and Ethiopia probably has little claim to the region. This conflict has little do with language and more to do with conflicts rooted in colonialism and the illegitimate borders of states.

There is also a conflict in the Oromo region of Ethiopia that is not going very far lately. These people have been fighting colonialism since Ethiopia was a colony and since then have been fighting against independent Ethiopia, something they never went along with. Language has a role here, but the colonization of a people by various imperial states plays a larger one.

There was a war in Southern Sudan that has now ended with the possibility that the area may secede.

There is a genocidal conflict in Darfur that the world is ignoring because it involves Arabs killing Blacks as they have always done in this part of the world, and the world only gets upset when Jews kill Muslims, not when Muslims kill Muslims.

This conflict has to do with the Sudanese Arabs treating the Darfurians with utter contempt – they regard them as slaves, as they have always been to these racist Arabs.

The conflict in Southern Sudan involved a region in rebellion in which many languages were spoken. The South Sudanese are also niggers to the racist Arabs, plus they are Christian and animist infidels to be converted by the sword by Sudanese Arab Muslims. Every time a non-Muslim area has tried to split off from or acted uppity with a Muslim state they were part of, the Muslims have responded with a jihad against and genocide of the infidels.

This conflict has nothing to do with language; instead it is a war of Arab Muslim religious fanatics against Christian and animist infidels.

There is a separatist movement in the South Cameroons in the nation of Cameroon in Africa. This conflict is rooted in colonialism. During the colonial era, South Cameroons was a de facto separate state. Many different languages are spoken here, as is the case in Cameroon itself. They may have a separate culture too, but this is just another case of separatism rooted in colonialism. The movement seems to be unarmed.

There is a separatist conflict in Angola in a region called Cabinda, which was always a separate Portuguese colony from Angola.

As this area holds 60% of Angola’s oil, it’s doubtful that Angola will let it go, although almost all of Angola’s oil wealth is being stolen anyway by US transnationals and a tiny elite while 90% of the country starves, has no medicine and lives unemployed amid shacks along former roads now barely passable.

The Cabindans do claim to have a separate culture, but language does not seem to be playing much role here – instead, oil and colonialism are.

Syria does have a Kurdish separatist movement, as does Iran, Iraq, and Turkey – every state that has a significant number of Kurds. This conflict goes back to the post-World War 1 breakup of the Ottoman Empire. The Kurds, with thousands of years of history as a people, nominally independent for much of that time, were denied a state and sold out.

The new fake state called Turkey carved up part of Kurdistan, another part was donated to the British colony in Iraq and another to the French colony in Syria, as the Allies carved up the remains of the Empire like hungry guests at a feast.

This conflict is more about colonialism and extreme discrimination than language, though the Kurds do speak their own tongue. There is also a Kurdish separatist conflict in Iran, but I don’t know much about the history of the Iranian Kurds.

There is also an Assyrian separatist movement in Iraq and possibly in Syria. The movement is unarmed. The Assyrians have been horribly persecuted by Arab nationalist racists in the region, in part because they are Christians. They have been targeted by Islamo-Nazis in Iraq during this Iraq War with a ferocity that can only be described as genocidal.

The Kurds have long persecuted the Assyrians in Iraqi Kurdistan. There have been regular homicides of Assyrians in the north, up around the Mosul region. This is just related to the general way that Muslims treat Christian minorities in many Muslim states – they persecute them and even kill them. There is also a lot of land theft going on.

While the Kurdish struggle is worthwhile, it is becoming infected with the usual nationalist evil that afflicts all ethnic nationalism. This results in everyone who is not a Kurdish Sunni Muslim being subjected to varying degrees of persecution, disenfranchisement and discrimination. It’s a nasty part of the world.

In Syria, the Assyrians live up near the Turkish and Iraqi borders. Arab nationalist racists have been stealing their land for decades now and relocating the Assyrians to model villages, where they languish in poverty. Assad’s regime is not so secular and progressive as one might suspect.

There is a separatist conflict in Bougainville in New Guinea. I am sure that many different tongues are spoken on that island, as there are 800 different tongues spoken in Papua New Guinea. The conflict is rooted in the fact that Bougainville is rich in copper, but almost all of this wealth is stolen by Papua New Guinea and US multinationals, so the Bougainville people see little of it. Language has little or nothing to do with it.

There are separatist movements in the Ahwaz and Balochistan regions of Iran, along with the aforementioned Kurdish movement. It is true that different languages are spoken in these regions, but that has little to do with the conflict.

Arabic is spoken in Khuzestan, the land of the Iranian Arabs. This land has been part of Persia for around 2,000 years as the former land of Elam. The Arabs complain that they are treated poorly by the Persians, and that they get little revenue to their region even though they are sitting on a vast puddle of oil and natural gas.

Iran should not be expected to part with this land, as it is the source of much of their oil and gas wealth. Many or most Iranians speak Arabic anyway, so there is not much of a language issue. Further, Arab culture is promoted by the Islamist regime even at the expense of Iranian culture, much to the chagrin of Iranian nationalists.

The Ahwaz have been and are being exploited by viciously racist Arab nationalists in Iraq, and also by US imperialism, and most particularly lately, British imperialism, as the British never seem to have given up the colonial habit. This conflict is not about language at all. Most Ahwaz don’t even want to separate anyway; they just want to be treated like humans by the Iranians.

Many of Iran’s 8% Sunni population lives in Balochistan. The region has maybe 2% of Iran’s population and is utterly neglected by Iran. Sunnis are treated with extreme racist contempt by the Shia Supremacists who run Iran. This conflict has to do with the fight between the Shia and Sunni wings of Islam and little or nothing to do with language.

There is a separatist movement in Iran to split off Iranian Azerbaijan and merge it with Azerbaijan proper. This movement probably has little to do with language and more to do with just irredentism. The movement is not going to go very far because most Iranian Azeris do not support it.

Iranian Azeris actually form a ruling class in Iran and occupy most of the positions of power in the government. They also control a lot of the business sector and seem to have a higher income than other Iranians. This movement has been co-opted by pan-Turkish fascists for opportunistic reasons, but it’s not really going anywhere. The CIA is now cynically trying to stir it up with little success. The movement is peaceful.

There is a Baloch insurgency in Pakistan, but language has little to do with it. These fiercely independent people sit on top of a very rich land which is ruthlessly exploited by Punjabis from the north. They get little or no return from this natural gas wealth. Further, this region never really consented to being included in the Pakistani state that was carved willy-nilly out of India in 1947.

It is true that there are regions in the Caucasus that are rebelling against Russia. Given the brutal and bloody history of Russian imperial colonization of this region and the near-continuous rebellious state of the Muslims resident there, one wants to say they are rebelling against Imperial Russia.

Chechnya is the worst case, but Ingushetia is not much better, and things are bad in Dagestan too. There is also fighting in Kabardino-Balkaria and Karachay-Cherkessia. These non-Chechen regions are getting increasingly radicalized as consequence of the Chechen War. There has also been a deliberate strategy on the part of the Chechens to expand the conflict over to the other parts of the Caucasus.

Past rebellions were often pan-Caucasian also. Although very different languages are spoken in these areas, different languages are still spoken all across Russia. Language has little to do with these conflicts, as they have more to do with Russian imperialism and colonization of these lands and the near 200-year violent resistance of these fierce Muslim mountain tribes to being colonized by Slavic infidels.

There is not much separatism in the rest of Russia.

Tuva reserves the right to split away, but this is rooted in their prior history as an independent state within the USSR (Tell me how that works?) for two decades until 1944, when Stalin reconquered it as a result of the conflict with the Nazis. The Tuvans accepted peacefully.

Yes, the Tuvans speak a different tongue, but so do all of the Siberian nations, and most of those are still with Russia. Language has little to do with the Tuvan matter.

There is also separatism in the Bashkir Republic and Adygea in Russia. These have not really gone anywhere. Only 21% of the residents of
Adygea speak Circassian, and they see themselves as overrun by Russian-speaking immigrants. This conflict may have something to do with language. The Adygean conflict is also peripherally related the pan-Caucasian struggle above.

In the Bashkir Republic, the problem is more one of a different religion – Islam, as most Bashkirs are Muslim. It is not known to what degree language has played in the struggle, but it may be a factor. The Bashkirs also see themselves as overrun by Russian-speaking immigrants. It is dubious that the Bashkirs will be able to split off, as the result will be a separate nation surrounded on all sides by Russia.

The Adygean, Tuvan and Bashkir struggles are all peaceful.

The conflict in Georgia is complex. A province called Abkhazia has split off and formed their own de facto state, which has been supported with extreme cynicism by up and coming imperialist Russia, the same clown state that just threatened to go to war to defend the territorial integrity of their genocidal Serbian buddies. South Ossetia has also split off and wants to join Russia.

Both of these reasonable acts prompted horrible and insane wars as Georgia sought to preserve its territorial integrity, though it has scarcely been a state since 1990, and neither territory ever consented to being part of Georgia.

The Ossetians and Abkhazians do speak separate languages, and I am not certain why they want to break away, but I do not think that language has much to do with it. All parties to these conflicts are majority Orthodox Christians.

Myanmar is a hotbed of nations in rebellion against the state. Burma was carved out of British East India in 1947. Part of Burma had actually been part of British India itself, while the rest was a separate colony called Burma. No sooner was the ink dry on the declaration of independence than most of these nations in rebellion announced that they were not part of the deal.

Bloody rebellions have gone on ever since, and language has little or nothing to do with any of them. They are situated instead on the illegitimacy of not only the borders of the Burmese state, but of the state itself.

Thailand does have a separatist movement, but it is Islamic. They had a separate state down there until the early 1800’s when they were apparently conquered by Thais. I believe they do speak a different language down there, but it is not much different from Thai, and I don’t think language has anything to do with this conflict.

There is a conflict in the Philippines that is much like the one in Thailand. Muslims in Mindanao have never accepted Christian rule from Manila and are in open arms against the state. Yes, they speak different languages down in Mindanao, but they also speak Tagalog, the language of the land.

This just a war of Muslims seceding because they refuse to be ruled by infidels. Besides, this region has a long history of independence, de facto and otherwise, from the state. The Moro insurgency has little to nothing to do with language.

There are separatist conflicts in Indonesia. The one in Aceh seems to have petered out. Aceh never agreed to join the fake state of Indonesia that was carved out of the Dutch East Indies when the Dutch left in 1949.

West Papua is a colony of Indonesia. It was invaded by Indonesia with the full support of US imperialism in 1965. The Indonesians then commenced to murder 100,000 Papuans over the next 40 years. There are many languages spoken in West Papua, but that has nothing to do with the conflict. West Papuans are a racially distinct people divided into vast numbers of tribes, each with a separate culture.

They have no connection racially or culturally with the rest of Indonesia and do not wish to be part of the state. They were not a part of the state when it was declared in 1949 and were only incorporated after an Indonesian invasion of their land in 1965. Subsequently, Indonesia has planted lots of settler-colonists in West Papua.

There is also a conflict in the South Moluccas , but it has more to do with religion than anything else, since there is a large number of Christians in this area. The South Moluccans were always reluctant to become a part of the new fake Indonesian state that emerged after independence anyway, and I believe there was some fighting for a while there. The South Moluccan struggle has generally been peaceful ever since.

Indonesia is the Israel of Southeast Asia, a settler-colonial state. The only difference is that the Indonesians are vastly more murderous and cruel than the Israelis.

There are conflicts in Tibet and East Turkestan in China. In the case of Tibet, this is a colony of China that China has no jurisdiction over. The East Turkestan fight is another case of Muslims rebelling against infidel rule. Yes, different languages are spoken here, but this is the case all over China.

Language is involved in the East Turkestan conflict in that Chinese have seriously repressed the Uighur language, but I don’t think it plays much role in Tibet.

There is also a separatist movement in Inner Mongolia in China. I do not think that language has much to do with this, and I believe that China’s claim to Inner Mongolia may be somewhat dubious. This movement is unarmed and not very organized.

There are conflicts all over India, but they don’t have much to do with language.

The Kashmir conflict is not about language but instead is rooted in the nature of the partition of India after the British left in 1947. 90% of Kashmiris wanted to go to Pakistan, but the ruler of Kashmir was a Hindu, and he demanded to stay in India.

The UN quickly ruled that Kashmir had to be granted a vote in its future, but this vote was never allowed by India. As such, India is another world-leading rogue and scofflaw state on a par with Israel and Indonesia. Now the Kashmir mess has been complicated by the larger conflict between India and Pakistan, and until that is all sorted out, there will be no resolution to this mess.

Obviously India has no right whatsoever to rule this area, and the Kashmir cause ought to be taken up by all progressives the same way that the Palestinian one is.

There are many conflicts in the northeast, where most of the people are Asians who are racially, often religiously and certainly culturally distinct from the rest of Indians.

None of these regions agreed to join India when India, the biggest fake state that has ever existed, was carved out of 5,000 separate princely states in 1947. Each of these states had the right to decide its own future to be a part of India or not. As it turned out, India just annexed the vast majority of them and quickly invaded the few that said no.

“Bharat India”, as Indian nationalist fools call it, as a state, is one of the silliest concepts around. India has no jurisdiction over any of those parts of India in separatist rebellion, if you ask me. Language has little to do with these conflicts.

Over 800 languages are spoken in India anyway, each state has its own language, and most regions are not in rebellion over this. Multilingualism with English and Hindi to cement it together has worked just fine in most of India.

Sri Lanka’s conflict does involve language, but more importantly it involves centuries of extreme discrimination by ruling Buddhist Sinhalese against minority Hindu Tamils. Don’t treat your minorities like crap, and maybe they will not take up arms against you.

The rebellion in the Basque country of Spain and France is about language, as is Catalonian nationalism.

IRA Irish nationalism and the Scottish and Welsh independence movements have nothing to do with language, as most of these languages are not in good shape anyway.

The Corsicans are in rebellion against France, and language may play a role. There is an independence movement in Brittany in France also, and language seems to play a role here, or at least the desire to revive the language, which seems to be dying.

There is a possibility that Belgium may split into Flanders and Wallonia, and language does play a huge role in this conflict. One group speaks French and the other Dutch.

There is a movement in Scania, a part of Sweden, to split away from Sweden. Language seems to have nothing to do with it.

There is a Hungarian separatist movement, or actually, a national reunification or pan-Hungarian movement, in Romania. It isn’t going anywhere, and it unlikely to succeed. Hungarians in Romania have not been treated well and are a large segment of the population. This fact probably drives the separatism more than language.

There are many other small conflicts in Europe that I chose not to go into due to limitations on time and the fact that I am getting tired of writing this post! Perhaps I can deal with them at a later time. Language definitely plays a role in almost all of these conflicts. None of them are violent though.

To say that there are separatists in French Polynesia is not correct. This is an anti-colonial movement that deserves the support of anti-colonial activists the world over. The entire world, evidenced by the UN itself, has rejected colonialism. Only France, the UK and the US retain colonies. That right there is notable, as all three are clearly imperialist countries. In this modern age, the value of retaining colonies is dubious.

These days, colonizers pour more money into colonies than they get out of them. France probably keeps Polynesia due to colonial pride and also as a place to test nuclear weapons and maintain military bases. As the era of French imperialism on a grand scale has clearly passed, France needs to renounce its fantasies of being a glorious imperial power along with its anachronistic colonies.

Yes, there is a Mapuche separatist movement in Chile, but it is not going anywhere soon, or ever.

It has little to do with language. The Mapudungan language is not even in very good shape, and the leaders of this movement are a bunch of morons. Microsoft recently unveiled a Mapudungan language version of Microsoft Windows. You would think that the Mapuche would be ecstatic. Not so! They were furious. Why? Oh, I forget. Some Identity Politics madness.

This movement has everything to do with the history of Chile. Like Argentina and Uruguay, Chile was one of the Spanish colonies that was settled en masse late. For centuries, a small colonial bastion battled the brave Mapuche warriors, but were held at bay by this skilled and militaristic tribe.

Finally, in the late 1800’s, a fanatical and genocidal war was waged on the Mapuche in one of those wonderful “national reunification” missions so popular in the 1800’s (recall Italy’s wars of national reunification around this same time). By the 1870’s, the Mapuche were defeated and suffered a devastating loss of life.

Yet all those centuries of only a few Spanish colonists and lots of Indians had made their mark, and at least 70% of Chileans are mestizos, though they are mostly White (about 80% White on average). The Mapuche subsequently made a comeback and today number about 9% of the population.

Because they held out so long and so many of them survived, they are one of the most militant Amerindian groups in the Americas. They are an interesting people, light-skinned and attractive, though a left-wing Chilean I knew used to chortle about how hideously ugly they were.

Hawaiian separatism is another movement that has a lot to do with colonialism and imperialism and little to do with language. The Hawaiian language, despite some notable recent successes, is not in very good shape. The Hawaiian independence movement offers nothing to non-Hawaiians (I guess only native Hawaiians get to be citizens!) and is doomed to fail.

Hawaiians are about 22% of the population, and they are the only ones that support the independence movement. No one else supports it. It’s not going anywhere. The movers and shakers on the island (Non-Hawaiians for the most part!) all think it’s ridiculous.

There are separatists in the Chittagong Hill Tracts of Bangladesh, but I doubt that language has much to do with it. Like the myriad other separatist struggles in the NE of India, these people are ethnically Asians and as such are not the same ethnicity as the Caucasians who make up the vast majority of the population of this wreck of a state.

This is another conflict that is rooted in a newly independent fake state. The Chittagong Hill Tracts were incorporated into Bangladesh after its independence from Pakistan in 1971. As a fake new state, the peoples of Bangladesh had a right to be consulted on whether or not they wished to be a part of it. The CHT peoples immediately said that they wanted no part of this new state.

At partition, the population was 98.5% Asian. They were Buddhists, Hindus and animists. Since then, the fascist Bangladesh state has sent Bengali Muslim settler-colonists to the region. The conflict is shot through with racism and religious bigotry, as Muslim Bengalis have rampaged through the region, killing people randomly and destroying stuff as they see fit. Language does not seem to have much to do with this conflict.

I don’t know much about the separatist struggle of the Moi in Vietnam, but I think it is more a movement for autonomy than anything else. The Moi are Montagnards and have probably suffered discrimination at the hands of the state along with the rest of the Montagnards.

Zanzibar separatism in Tanzania seems to have nothing whatsoever to do with language, but has a lot more to do with geography. Zanzibar is a nice island off the coast of Tanzania which probably wants nothing to do with the mess of a Tanzanian state.

The conflict also has a lot to do with race. Most residents of Zanzibar are either Arabs or descendants of unions between Arabs and Africans. In particular, they deny that they are Black Africans. I bet that is the root of the conflict right there.

There were some Talysh separatists in Azerbaijan a while back, but the movement seems to be over. I am not sure what was driving them, but language doesn’t seem to have been a big part of it. Just another case of new members of a fake new state refusing to go along for the ride.

There were some Gagauz separatists in Moldova a while back, but the movement appears to have died down. Language does seem to have played a role here, as the Gagauz speak a Turkic tongue totally unrelated to the Romance-speaking Moldovans.

Realistically, it’s just another case of a fake new state emerging and some members of the new state saying they don’t want to be a part of it, and the leaders of the fake new state suddenly invoking inviolability of borders in a state with no history!

In summary, as we saw above, once we get into Europe, language does play a greater role in separatist conflict, but most of these European conflicts are not violent. In the rest of the world, language plays little to no role in the vast majority of separatist conflicts.

The paranoid and frankly fascist notion voiced by rightwing nationalists the world over that any linguistic diversity in the world within states must be crushed as it will inevitably lead to separatism at best or armed separatism at worst is not supported by the facts.

Making Sense of Kosovo

Repost from the old site.

Updated March 25, 2008:

Via Joachim Martillo, we have Backgrounder on Kosovo/Kosova.

This is one of Martillo’s pieces that I am going to support in full.

Almost the entire Western Left, and part of the libertarian Right, seems to be opposed to independence for Kosovo. This is a most sorry state of affairs and has a rather shameless history. I am very happy that Martillo has come out in favor in independence for Kosovo, no matter how problematic it may be. I am afraid he did so only because he is a Muslim, but no matter.

A background in the Balkan Wars of the 1990’s is helpful, if not essential, in understanding the declaration of independence by Kosovo.

It is also important to understand where the Workers’ World Party, of which Sarah Flounders is a member, is coming from. I don’t know a lot about them, but this Wikipedia article is a good primer.

WWP is a Trotskyite split dating from 1958. They split from the Socialist Workers Party, a standard Trotskyite group.

Their reasons were: the candidacy of Henry Wallace for President in 1948, support for Mao’s revolution in China and defense of the Soviet invasion of Hungary in 1956.

The SWP opposed all of these.

Mao is opposed by all Trotskyites, mostly on human rights grounds but also on the usual ultra-Left basis of not being socialist enough. Wallace’s candidacy, a revolutionary candidacy in the US in that an explicitly socialist candidate actually ran for office and got lots of votes, was probably opposed on ultra-Left reasons that he was not a Communist.

The invasion of Hungary would have been opposed on the basis that the USSR was “Stalinist”.

Trotskyites have always had a reputation of not being very pragmatic. In some ways, they are the ultimate splitters.

The WWP retains some Trotskyite leanings in that they are highly critical of Stalin. However, after Stalin died, they supported the USSR. Many Communist parties chose sides after the Soviet-China split, but the WWP continued to call for a union of all socialist countries, no matter what their ideology. In this sense, they are somewhat unique.

They also started supporting all states that were seen as resisting US imperialism. This led to difficult stances such as supporting Saddam Hussein’s Iraq.

It is in this context that they opposed the breakup of Milosevic’s Communist Yugoslavia in the early 1990’s and thereafter supported Milosevic on the basis that he was a Communist. In this they reflected the views of most Communists and Leftists the world over – they supported the fascist Milosevic just because he was a Communist.

WWP is also behind International ANSWER Coalition, which led many antiwar marches. Ramsey Clark has unfortunately been associated with this group. I do not think much of the WWP.

Fascism is a nasty virus, and like many viruses, it can grow in most any human being and certainly can unfold in any society. This is what makes it such a dangerous and deadly enemy. In many ways, Russia is now a fascist state. Even Communist Vietnam has fascist tendencies of various types. It can even be argued that Stalin pursued a fascist policy in his Russification campaign against many ethnic groups.

To this day, almost all Leftist and Communist groups continue to support the rump Serbian state, which still has a horrible fascist problem. At the same time, they care nothing about the equally fascist Croatia or Macedonia. Contempt is showered on the Kosovars and they are labeled fascist. But as Martillo makes clear, Kosova has a right to independence.

Whatever the Serbs did in Kosova, this was in the context of the horrible Serb crimes in Bosnia – Srebrenica, Vuckovar, Sarajevo. With that kind of history, the Serbs were clearly not the good guys. And they did commit plenty of atrocities in Kosovo.

Incredibly, the Left continued to throw its full weight behind Milosevic and his semi-fascist successors, solely because he was a Communist, even in the midst of all of the horrible crimes above. The real problem here is not the leaders of Serbia, but the Serbian people themselves, who are having a love affair with fascism.

Another factor was that the US and NATO joined in on the side of Bosnia and Kosovo. Anything the US supports, right, wrong or indifferent, is opposed by the US Left. The US simply cannot do anything right according to these folks.

Flounders makes some interesting points about the US and NATO’s colonialism of Kosovo and US and NATO’s imperialist goals regarding Yugoslavia in the early 1990’s. This is lamentable, but Kosovo could cease to be a colony anytime its wants to, and if Serbians would act like adults instead of a nation of juvenile delinquents, this colonization would never have been necessary.

This blog takes the perfectly principled position that we support separatism in most cases on the basis of the right to self-determination.

In some cases, it should be opposed. Some Ahwaz wish to break away from Iran and take most of Iran’s oil wealth with them. Iran should not be expected to put up with that. A similar situation exists in Angola with Cabinda.

Some movements are being exploited by the most cynical beast romping the planet, US imperialism, and should not be supported. These include the Ahwaz, the Iranian and Pakistani Balochs, the Kurds of Iran and Syria and the Azeris of Iran.

Yet many movements should still be supported. The separatist movements of the Basque Country, Catalonia, Corsica, Brittany, Wales, Scotland, the IRA, and the Turkish Kurds in Europe all deserve support on this basis.

The Sudanese and Burmese governments have lowered themselves below the level of not only humans but also any non-human animal and hence deserve to be smashed into as many pieces as the separatists wish.

Somalia, a nation of terminal adolescents, has shown itself incapable of even forming a government to support the existence of its human residents and hence has no right to exist either.

My argument, in case you didn’t guess it, is that Sudan (separatists here and here), Burma (separatists here , here, here, here , here , here, here, here and here) and Somalia (separatists here, here, here and here) have all forfeited their right to exist.

Indonesia has no right to its colony in West Papua nor to its rule over Aceh, and its criminal performance in suppressing these rebellions cements those negations.

India never had any right to rule Kashmir and certainly does not now. Palestine at least ought to declare Kosovo-style independence. This blog has always supported the struggle of the Sahrawis in Spanish Sahara. The island of Bougainville deserves support for its separatism from Papua New Guinea.

In Russia, the republics of the Caucasus deserve support in their drive for independence. This includes the Chechens, the Ingush, the Dagestanis, Karachevo-Cherkessia and Kabardino-Balkaria. The Tuvans seem to deserve the right to secede also.

The situation of the Mari, Chuvash , Bashkirs , Udmurts and Tatarstan are much more difficult because none of these republics exist on Russia’s borders. States should not be forced to carve out enclaves inside their own borders. All secessionists need to cleave off lands on the borders of existing states or even split existing states. The notion of independent islands wholly surrounded by a single state is preposterous.

In India, the nations of the northeast were never part of India and their secessionist movements should be supported. Nor can India ever be said to have existed at all until 1949, as under the British it was merely a collection of 5,000 separate princely states with ever-shifting borders.

In China, the cause of Taiwan and Tibet is clearly moral and East Turkestan also seems to have a valid cause. Abkhazia and South Ossetia should be allowed to cleave off from Georgia, and they already have anyway, de facto, though Russia is supporting these movements for only the most cynical reasons. The Tamils of Sri Lanka deserve support, despite their terrible tactics.

I have much more of a problem in supporting Islamist separatists in the Philippines and in Thailand. First, their tactics are horrible. In both cases, Islamists, as they always do in wars, are simply massacring non-Muslim civilians in countless numbers.

The Koran provides justification for mass murder of non-Muslims in wartime, so this is typical behavior of most Muslims when they go to war with non-Muslims. The historical antecedents are too painful and numerous to count. Furthermore, the war against the non-Muslims often takes near-genocidal proportions.

There are examples in this century from Indonesia (Muslims massacred animists in West Papua and Christians in East Timor), Bangladesh (Pakistan massacred Hindus), Iraq (Muslims slaughtered Assyrian Christians in the 1930’s) and Turkey (Muslims mass murdered Christian Assyrians, Armenians and Greeks), and Sudan (Muslims massacred South Sudanese Christians and animists).

Earlier, there were examples in Lebanon (Muslims slaughtering Christians in the 1840’s-1860’s) and Iraq (more mass murders of Assyrians in Iraq in the mid-1800’s) and the worst of all in India around 500 years ago, when Muslim invaders murdered up to and possibly more than 50 million Hindus in the worst genocide that the world has ever seen. Quoting Will Durant:

The Islamic conquest of India is probably the bloodiest story in history. It is a discouraging tale, for its evident moral is that civilization is a precious good, whose delicate complex of order and freedom, culture and peace, can at any moment be overthrown by barbarians invading from without or multiplying within.

This continues a tradition set in the early days of Islam, when invading Muslims often committed massacres of non-Muslims in various places they conquered. Notable examples occurred in Palestine and in Iran. The only conclusion is that when Muslims fight wars with non-Muslims, they are frequently genocidal conflicts, and this genocidalism is sadly sanctioned by language in the Koran itself.

As such, it is difficult to support a bunch of Islamist murderers in the Pattani region of Thailand and in Mindanao in the Philippines. In Mindanao, Muslims are only 25% of the population anyway. How exactly are they going to break away? I guess the plan is to murder enough Christian “colonists” so the rest of them take off back to other islands.

Hawaii deserves to go free, but the movement has no support except among Hawaiians, about 22% of the population. All colonies and pseudo-colonies, or as many as possible, of the US, France, Netherlands and the UK, should immediately be set free or incorporated into the state.

In most cases, like baby birds from the nest, these colonies need to be tossed out on their own. Most are welfare cases anyway that take in far more from the Western state they are umbilically attached to than they donate in services. In other words, to the colonizer, they are a gigantic money drain.

This begs the question then of why these colonies even exist, since the logic of colonialism, which is all about the loot, demands that money-losing colonies be cut adrift. In some cases, there are imperial reasons, in others, there is simply the logic of colonialism. Once a nation becomes a colonist, the power rush is as addicting as crack. It’s a tough habit to break.

Two essential rights are at stake here.

First is the right to self-determination. This has even been ratified by the UN.

The other is a totally phony “right of a state to be secure within its borders”, which was dreamed up by states after World War 2 in their paranoia over national secessionism. This principle has no standing, as state borders have been shifting forever, and many states have only the most dubious standing for drawing their borders wherever they did.

It’s clear that the only progressive stand worth taking is in favor of self-determination. However, we should make exceptions in certain cases as above, and only real nations should have the right to secede. The right to secede should not be granted on economic or purely political grounds (such as the rightwing state of Zulia in Venezuela the rightwing Santa Cruz region in Bolivia threatening secession).

Imperialism of all types has always been sleazy, dirty and vile about separatism, as it is about most everything, trying to break up its enemies under the rubric of self-determination while arming its allies to fight horrific wars and invoking the right of nations to be secure in their borders. This kind of hypocritical crap is the sort of depravity that the right loves, as the Right has always championed hypocrisy.

We should be better than that.

Sarah Flounders’ article below entitled Washington Gets a New Colony in the Balkans is fairly typical of the criticism of the Kosovo declaration of independence.

While the USA does a lot of evil in the world, the breakup of Yugoslavia may at least initially have been a project of the German government, which for historical reasons was much more interested in an independent Slovenia than the USA was.

Neocons like Joshua Muravchik fairly quickly saw a possible opportunity to cultivate a pro-Israel Muslim population (either Slavic or Albanian) in a divided Yugoslavia. Finding such a Muslim population has been a holy grail of Zionism since Herzl created the character of Reshid Bey in Old New Land (Altneuland).

Sorting out the various claims about Kosovo requires awareness of the changing boundaries of the region. Here are two maps of the Ottoman Vilayet of Kosovo:

The first map of the Ottoman vilayet (province) of Kosovo, from 1875-1878. Kosovo is now much reduced in size from this vilayet.

The second map of the vilayet of Kosovo, from 1881-1912, shows shifting boundaries once again. Kosovo today is much smaller than this vilayet.

Claiming that Kosovo is the historical center of Serb culture is somewhat tendentious. The Ottoman Vilayet of Kosovo was larger than present-day Kosovo, and its borders shifted during the 19th and early 20th century.

Territory that had been Ottoman Kosovo is today divided among Serbia, Montenegro, Macedonia, Bulgaria and Greece. Kosovo regions that were in some sense the historically important Serb centers have for the most part been incorporated into Serbia, Montenegro or Macedonia. Here is a current map of Kosovo:

A current map of Kosovo, much shrunken from its former vilayet. When Serbs scream about Kosovo, you really need to ask which one they are talking about.

Ethnic Albanian Kosovars could probably legitimately argue that they rebelled from the Ottoman Empire during the Balkan Wars of 1912-1913 in order to achieve independence or union with Albania, whose independence European Great Powers endorsed in 1913, but the Serbian government opportunistically used to rebellion to expand Serbia at their expense.

The Serb obsession with controlling all of Kosovo results from the development of a nationalist mythology that focuses on the Battle of Kosovo (Косовски бој, Kosova Savasi, Bitka na Kosovu, Beteja e Kosovës, or Schlacht auf dem Amselfeld).

The mythology has little connection to the facts. Lazar’s army (the “Serb” side) included Croats, ethnic Albanians (who were mostly Orthodox at that time period) and probably Bosnians. Murad’s army (the “Turkish” side) included a large contingent of Serbs.

The population composition of Kosovo/Kosova in the 14th century and later is disputed. It was not unusual for a close relative of someone with a Serb name to bear an Albanian name. Later Serb literature refers to Albanized Serb populations, but the description is dubious. Bilingualism was simply common, and the ethnic boundaries that exist today really only came into existence in the 19th century.

The following paragraphs are propagandistic:

Yugoslavia was born with a heritage of antagonisms that had been endlessly exploited by the Ottoman Turks, the Austro-Hungarian Empire, and interference by British and French imperialism, followed by Nazi German and Italian Fascist occupation in World War II.

The Jewish and Serbian peoples suffered the greatest losses in that war. A powerful communist-led resistance movement made up of all the nationalities, which had suffered in different ways, was forged against Nazi occupation and all outside intervention. After the liberation, all the nationalities cooperated and compromised in building the new socialist federation.

There simply is not much evidence of Ottoman exploitation of ethnic or religious antagonism either from Ottoman or non-Ottoman sources. The Ottoman rulers generally tried to discourage local Balkan hostilities because they were administratively costly and interfered with tax collection.

The omission of any mention of Czarist Russian imperial interference shows bias.

Terminology like Jewish and Serbian peoples is questionable. Yugoslavia contained Jewish populations of Ashkenazi ethnicity and of Ibero-Berber refugee ethnicity. The term “Jewish people” comes from Zionist propaganda. While there is a Serb ethnicity, there is no Serbian ethnicity because people of many different ethnicities live within the territory of Serbia.

The implicit attempt to connect Jewish and Serb losses during WW2 is misleading. Serb politics in the lead-up to WW2 had clear fascist and Nazi currents.

While many Serb political leaders wanted to work with Germany, the German government rebuffed them because too many Germans and Austrians blamed Serbs for WW1 and the subsequent dismantlement of the pre-WW1 German and Austrian Empires.

German and Austrian hostility toward Serbs increased during WW2 and probably influenced German policy toward Serbia during the 1990s.

The situation of Kosovo before NATO intervention was a mess. It has remained a mess, and there is no particular reason to believe that independence will lead to improvement.

Kosovo’s ‘independence’
Washington gets a new colony in the Balkans

By Sara Flounders
Published Feb 21, 2008 8:13 PM

In evaluating the recent “declaration of independence” by Kosovo, a province of Serbia, and its immediate recognition as a state by the U.S., Germany, Britain and France, it is important to know three things.

First, Kosovo is not gaining independence or even minimal self-government. It will be run by an appointed High Representative and bodies appointed by the U.S., European Union and NATO. An old-style colonial viceroy and imperialist administrators will have control over foreign and domestic policy. U.S. imperialism has merely consolidated its direct control of a totally dependent colony in the heart of the Balkans.

Second, Washington’s immediate recognition of Kosovo confirms once again that U.S. imperialism will break any and every treaty or international agreement it has ever signed, including agreements it drafted and imposed by force and violence on others.

The recognition of Kosovo is in direct violation of such laws – specifically U.N. Security Council Resolution 1244, which the leaders of Yugoslavia were forced to sign to end the 78 days of NATO bombing of their country in 1999. Even this imposed agreement affirmed the “commitment of all Member States to the sovereignty and territorial integrity” of Serbia, a republic of Yugoslavia.

This week’s illegal recognition of Kosovo was condemned by Serbia, Russia, China and Spain.

Thirdly, U.S. imperialist domination does not benefit the occupied people. Kosovo after nine years of direct NATO military occupation has a staggering 60 percent unemployment rate. It has become a center of the international drug trade and of prostitution rings in Europe.

The once humming mines, mills, smelters, refining centers and railroads of this small resource-rich industrial area all sit silent. The resources of Kosovo under NATO occupation were forcibly privatized and sold to giant Western multinational corporations. Now almost the only employment is working for the U.S./NATO army of occupation or U.N. agencies.

The only major construction in Kosovo is of Camp Bondsteel, the largest U.S. base built in Europe in a generation.Halliburton, of course, got the contract. Camp Bondsteel guards the strategic oil and transportation lines of the entire region.

Over 250,000 Serbian, Romani and other nationalities have been driven out of this Serbian province since it came under U.S./NATO control. Almost a quarter of the Albanian population has been forced to leave in order to find work.

Establishing a colonial administration

Consider the plan under which Kosovo’s “independence” is to happen. Not only does it violate U.N. resolutions but it is also a total colonial structure. It is similar to the absolute power held by L. Paul Bremer in the first two years of the U.S. occupation of Iraq.

How did this colonial plan come about? It was proposed by the same forces responsible for the breakup of Yugoslavia and the NATO bombing and occupation of Kosovo.

In June of 2005, U.N. Secretary General Kofi Annan appointed former Finnish President Marti Ahtisaari as his special envoy to lead the negotiations on Kosovo’s final status. Ahtisaari is hardly a neutral arbitrator when it comes to U.S. intervention in Kosovo.

He is chairman emeritus of the International Crisis Group (ICG), an organization funded by multibillionaire George Soros that promotes NATO expansion and intervention along with open markets for U.S. and E.U. investment.

The board of the ICG includes two key U.S. officials responsible for the bombing of Kosovo: Gen. Wesley Clark and Zbigniew Brzezinski. In March 2007, Ahtisaari gave his Comprehensive Proposal for Kosovo Status Settlement to the new U.N. Secretary General, Ban Ki-moon.

The documents setting out the new government for Kosovo are available here. A summary is available on the U.S. State Department’s Web site. An International Civilian Representative (ICR) will be appointed by U.S. and E.U. officials to oversee Kosovo.

This appointed official can overrule any measures, annul any laws and remove anyone from office in Kosovo. The ICR will have full and final control over the departments of Customs, Taxation, Treasury and Banking.

The E.U. will establish a European Security and Defense Policy Mission (ESDP) and NATO will establish an International Military Presence. Both these appointed bodies will have control over foreign policy, security, police, judiciary, all courts and prisons. They are guaranteed immediate and complete access to any activity, proceeding or document in Kosovo.

These bodies and the ICR will have final say over what crimes can be prosecuted and against whom; they can reverse or annul any decision made. The largest prison in Kosovo is at the U.S. base, Camp Bondsteel, where prisoners are held without charges, judicial overview or representation.

The recognition of Kosovo’s “independence” is just the latest step in a U.S. war of reconquest that has been relentlessly pursued for decades.

Divide and rule

The Balkans has been a vibrant patchwork of many oppressed nationalities, cultures and religions. The Socialist Federation of Yugoslavia, formed after World War II, contained six republics, none of which had a majority.

Yugoslavia was born with a heritage of antagonisms that had been endlessly exploited by the Ottoman Turks, the Austro-Hungarian Empire, and interference by British and French imperialism, followed by Nazi German and Italian Fascist occupation in World War II.

The Jewish and Serbian peoples suffered the greatest losses in that war. A powerful communist-led resistance movement made up of all the nationalities, which had suffered in different ways, was forged against Nazi occupation and all outside intervention. After the liberation, all the nationalities cooperated and compromised in building the new socialist federation.

In 45 years the Socialist Federation of Yugoslavia developed from an impoverished, underdeveloped, feuding region into a stable country with an industrial base, full literacy and health care for the whole population.

With the collapse of the Soviet Union in the early 1990s, the Pentagon immediately laid plans for the aggressive expansion of NATO into the East. Divide and rule became U.S. policy throughout the entire region. Everywhere right-wing, pro-capitalist forces were financed and encouraged.

As the Soviet Union was broken up into separate, weakened, unstable and feuding republics, the Socialist Federation of Yugoslavia tried to resist this reactionary wave.

In 1991, while world attention was focused on the devastating U.S. bombing of Iraq, Washington encouraged, financed and armed right-wing separatist movements in the Croatian, Slovenian and Bosnian republics of the Yugoslav Federation. In violation of international agreements Germany and the U.S. gave quick recognition to these secessionist movements and approved the creation of several capitalist mini-states.

At the same time U.S. finance capital imposed severe economic sanctions on Yugoslavia to bankrupt its economy. Washington then promoted NATO as the only force able to bring stability to the region.

The arming and financing of the right-wing UCK movement in the Serbian province of Kosovo began in this same period. Kosovo was not a distinct republic within the Yugoslav Federation but a province in the Serbian Republic. Historically, it had been a center of Serbian national identity, but with a growing Albanian population.

Washington initiated a wild propaganda campaign claiming that Serbia was carrying out a campaign of massive genocide against the Albanian majority in Kosovo. The Western media was full of stories of mass graves and brutal rapes. U.S. officials claimed that from 100,000 up to 500,000 Albanians had been massacred.

U.S./NATO officials under the Clinton administration issued an outrageous ultimatum that Serbia immediately accept military occupation and surrender all sovereignty or face NATO bombardment of its cities, towns and infrastructure. When, at a negotiation session in Rambouillet, France, the Serbian Parliament voted to refuse NATO’s demands, the bombing began.

In 78 days the Pentagon dropped 35,000 cluster bombs, used thousands of rounds of radioactive depleted-uranium rounds, along with bunker busters and cruise missiles.

The bombing destroyed more than 480 schools, 33 hospitals, numerous health clinics, 60 bridges, along with industrial, chemical and heating plants, and the electrical grid. Kosovo, the region that Washington was supposedly determined to liberate, received the greatest destruction.

Finally on June 3, 1999, Yugoslavia was forced to agree to a ceasefire and the occupation of Kosovo.

Expecting to find bodies everywhere, forensic teams from 17 NATO countries organized by the Hague Tribunal on War Crimes searched occupied Kosovo all summer of 1999 but found a total of only 2,108 bodies, of all nationalities.

Some had been killed by NATO bombing and some in the war between the UCK and the Serbian police and military. They found not one mass grave and could produce no evidence of massacres or of “genocide.”

This stunning rebuttal of the imperialist propaganda comes from a report released by the chief prosecutor for the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia, Carla Del Ponte. It was covered, but without fanfare, in the New York Times of Nov. 11, 1999.

The wild propaganda of genocide and tales of mass graves were as false as the later claims that Iraq had and was preparing to use “weapons of mass destruction.”

Through war, assassinations, coups and economic strangulation, Washington has succeeded for now in imposing neoliberal economic policies on all of the six former Yugoslav republics and breaking them into unstable and impoverished mini-states.

The very instability and wrenching poverty that imperialism has brought to the region will in the long run be the seeds of its undoing. The history of the achievements made when Yugoslavia enjoyed real independence and sovereignty through unity and socialist development will assert itself in the future.

Sara Flounders, co-director of the International Action Center, traveled to Yugoslavia during the 1999 U.S. bombing and reported on the extent of the U.S. attacks on civilian targets. She is a co-author and editor of the books: Hidden Agenda:U.S./NATO Takeover of Yugoslavia and NATO in the Balkans.

Articles copyright 1995-2007 Workers World. Verbatim copying and distribution of this entire article is permitted in any medium without royalty provided this notice is preserved.

References

Durant, Will. 1972. Story of Civilization, Vol.1, Our Oriental Heritage, p.459. New York.

16-23 and 33-39

Repost from the old site.
Those are two figures for the ages at which something peaks in each of the sexes in human beings. Males peak at 16-23 and females peak at 33-39. After the male peak, there is a long slow decline down to some pretty low levels. For females, there is a decline, but not much of one, and the female level remains fairly high even into very old age, and I mean the 80’s.
We are talking sex, sex drive to be precise. Actually, they called it sexual responsiveness, and I am not sure what that means. It’s interesting that we think that elderly women are pretty much asexual beings, when their sex drive, or responsiveness, whatever that is, is only somewhat lower than it was at their peak.
People have whispered about this for some time, and if you have ever dated a ready and willing 35-40 year old woman, I think you know what I mean. They’re like the Eveready Bunny, once you wind them up and get them started, they want to go on all night, 7 AM rush hour be damned.
I am wondering what the evolutionary meaning of all of this is. Men are going to die young, so have the drive peak early, then if the guys dies, so what, maybe the woman can raise the kid on her own?
For the woman, in her prime child-bearing years, you don’t want the drive too high, or she will wander off with every guy who comes along. Later, as her looks decline into her 30’s, the male partner is tempted to wander in search of younger pastures.
Hence the female drive kicks into overdrive to dig the claws and squeeze him tight to home. She needs him around as a provider. Kids are grown and raised pretty much, but she still wants a man? What gives? And why does the female drive stay so high through life even into old age? What’s the advantage? Does an old cave woman have a hard time making it on her own, while an older cave guy can has more of a chance?
Higamous hogamous, women are monogamous. Higamous pigamous, men are polygamous. Neat little saying, but isn’t it more or less true across all cultures, all races and through all times? The woman must be coded to monogamy, for if she runs off with every Cave Man Dreamboat who strolls past the cave, the kids never get raised and they will die.
Males who sowed their oats far and wide impregnated more females than the “one woman man” types. The Lotharios couldn’t raise all those kids, and probably a lot of the kids died, but enough of them survived that his Casanova genes get passed on.
Or maybe many primitive societies like the typical village in New Guinea. One guy, the chief, has lots of wives. A lot of guys are losers in the New Guinea singles game and aren’t getting any at all. The Satyr-in-Chief is coded for promiscuity, and those are the randy genes he is handing down. After a while most of the guys are really horny all the time, even those who are striking out.
A lot of these Chief types are probably pretty sociopathic too, as are the guys who are just running around boffing every cavewoman in sight. Maybe after a while, the clan just gets together and kills the philandering bastard. But he’s already impregnated a number of females.
Hence, sociopathy, which doesn’t seem that adaptive, is passed on genetically and survives even today in the form of gansta rap, corporate executives and reptilian creatures called lawyers.
Much ink has been spilled about how humans are naturally monogamous, mostly by romantic types and women. But I doubt it, and I think this is an exercise in wishful thinking. Women tend towards serial monogamy at the very least. In a tribal situation, keeping the man around may not be so important if food is gathered and eaten communally.
Daddy goes out and hunts and kills animals with the guys, throws the meat in the pot and everyone eats. So he’s not with his baby-momma anymore, so what?
The kid is with Mom and there’s food for both, and that’s all that counts.
As an example of a swinging-style Paleolithics, let us look at the Ache, a tribe in Paraguay that was living in a pre-contact style until 1972 (Hill and Hurtado 1976). By age 30, your average Ache female had been married ten times, usually for about a year or so. A lot of the kids die.
The Ache were often not even really sure who the baby Daddy was. Whichever noble savage the Ache woman had been sleeping with the most in the month prior to her periods stopping was considered to be the Primary Father by the rule of probability.
Other randy tribesman she had slept with in the entire year prior to giving birth, including during pregnancy (!), are called Secondary Fathers. There might be a number of these guys. To the growing kid, all these guys are just known as dear old Dad. The Primary Father is likely to play a greater role in raising the child.
The reason for the two types of fathers is that the Ache, unfortunately, had not completely figured out the laws of impregnation. They were clear that the Primary Father played a necessary and sufficient role, known as “putting it (the baby) in her”. However, the other guys she had sex with, including during pregnancy, were thought to have somehow contributed some of their essence to the fetus. At least they didn’t believe in storks.
The tribe had also codified infanticide. Suppose Mommy had a 3 year old child. Then she has another kid. Well, maybe food is short, so she tells the 3 year old, “Hey look, we only have enough food for you and not enough for your baby brother you are so deathly jealous of. So I’m sure you will happy to know that I am going to take baby brother out tomorrow and kill him.”
Kid grows up knowing Mom killed his brother, but it doesn’t bother him much. It’s just life in the jungle, hey. There are worse threats. Nowadays, mental health professionals are convinced that having your Mom kill your baby brother when you were 3 years old would be a sufficient trauma to cause lasting psychological scars and would require extensive therapy. This is an empirical fact just how now?
Primitive people often have developed an excellent sense of memorizing distant visual objects. Bushmen, with otherwise very low IQ’s (57 IQ)1, are the world’s best at this. Then comes another very low IQ group (65 IQ)2, the Aborigines. Eskimos, with a much higher IQ of 94 – near the world average – have a similar advantage.
Looking at Ache life, we can see why. A major cause of mortality is the very thing Mom warned you about as a boy: not making it home before dark. For the Ache, if you are out in the jungle and you don’t make it back to the village by night, you may just die, as temperatures often plunge very low in the evenings.
Plus, sleeping out in the bush, you stand a good chance of being midnight snack for some jaguar. From which felinophobia may have developed?
The saga of the Ache inform us that the pathologies of the urban Underclass that so horrify middle-class Americans – feral males running around like dogs screwing and impregnating females far and wide and then not bothering to support any of them, women having several kids all by different fathers, and last and most incomprehensibly, mothers who murder their own children – may not be so alien and animalistic after all.
People who do these things are told to, “Quit acting like animals and start acting like humans!”. The terrifying thought being, “acting like humans” may be precisely what the Underclass is doing.
These behaviors may simply be genetically coded leftovers from our tribal past. Those of us who don’t stoop so low are just not giving in to our basest tribal urges. Those who do may be just “acting like normal Homo Sapiens”, discouraging as it seems.
On the streets of Detroit and in the jungles of Paraguay, life can be a short, nasty and brutish affair. In our folly, we look down at the Paleolithics. The cultured metrosexual Western man is merely the rudest tribesman in a mirror, and little less.

Notes

1. Over three separate studies.
2. Over 17 separate studies.

References

Hill, K. and M. Hurtado (1996) Ache Life History: The Ecology and Demography of a Foraging People . Aldine: Hawthorne, NY.

Race, Crime, Genes, Culture, Capitalism, Urbanization: Some Puzzles

A commenter notes that genes provide a range of behaviors, and culture may not be able to move group performance much outside of that range. The suggestion by that commenter was that genes will predispose some populations to relatively high crime, and culture can only make it lower or higher, but it’s never going to be all that low.
Allow me to differ on that for a moment.
Check out my post on the Moriori.
In a nutshell, the Polynesians are widely regarded as extremely violent people. They were violent as Hell on contact, and their oral histories indicated a culture of extreme violence dating back as far as we can tell. They seem to have been some of the most violent folks on Earth.
The Maori were some of the most violent of all of the Polynesians. To this day, they have very high rates of general instability, drug abuse, domestic violence, and all sorts of crime, including violent crime. They are are regarded as having hair trigger tempers and for being highly aggressive. They have all of the social pathologies of US Blacks, though their IQ’s seem to be higher. (IQ = 91).
The Moriori were a Maori subgroup that colonized the Chatham Islands in the 1600’s. They started out being typically maniacal Maoris, but after a while of that, it become clear that they were going to massacre each other.
A leader came unto them and saw God. He became a religious leader, and all of the people followed him. He ordered them to renounce all violence. For the next 300 years, they were possibly one of the least violent people on Earth. Homicide was basically unheard of, and so was rape. Conflict was settled by a twig as wide as your index finger. At the first blood it was over and done with, and the conflict was buried.
Around the 1830’s, the Maori came to the Chatham Islands. They attacked the Moriori and the Moriori were so pacifist they would not even fight back. They were quickly massacred, enslaved and cannibalized. Few survived.
Now, how does the most violent tribe on Earth become the most pacifist tribe on Earth?
It’s clear to me that Polynesians are genetically primed for violence and aggression, but it’s also clear that a strong culture can completely overcome that.
Genes provide the clay, culture is the sculptor.
Now, the question is, how can these profound gene-warping cultures work? Sadly, I think they work best in small tribes and villages. In large cities and big societies, I don’t think these super-cultures can take hold. They just get washed out by the genes. So in large cities and with huge populations, genes will predominate, and maybe culture has limited effects. In very small populations, culture can be a super-warper.
There is also the possibility that some races are more “plastic” than other races. Polynesians may be a “plastic race” that is highly susceptible to cultural effects. Amerindians may be another one. There are Amazonian tribes right near the “most violent people on Earth”, the Yanomamo, that, like the Moriori, are some of the pacifist people on Earth.
A problem with Blacks is that they seem to commit lots of crime just about everywhere. I am willing to entertain the possibility that Blacks may not be as “plastic” or as effected by super-culture, as, say, Polynesians and Amerindians are.
The Dyula are an exception, and they are Blacker than people say they are. They are also subject to the profound gene-warping effects of a super-culture called Islam. In North Africa and the Arab World, Blacks and part-Blacks often have crime rates that are quite low, live in orderly and stable societies, are often employed, have fairly stable families, etc. I conclude that Islam is good for Blacks. The Dyula homicide rate is about the same as Japan’s. American Blacks have a homicide rate about 28 times higher than the Dyula.
In socialist societies, Blacks have low crime rates. Cuba is 37% Black, and Havana is probably the safest city in Latin America in terms of violent crime, but there is a lot of petty theft nowadays.
In Mozambique under Samora Machel’s Communist regime, anyone, male or female, could walk at 3 AM from one end of the 95% Black capital Maputo to the other with no problems.
Dominica, with an 89% Black population (the rest mixed race Black-White) has a homicide rate 68% that of the US, which has a 13% Black population. American Blacks have a homicide rate about 8 times higher than Dominican Blacks.
I conclude that socialism and relatively equitable societies are good for Blacks, and highly unequal societies seem to spur huge amounts of Black crime.
The reasons will be painful for Blacks but will make sense in a race realist sense. As we have noted on this blog, the US Black IQ is 89.8. That is 13.2 points lower than the US White IQ of 103. The Black IQ has skyrocketed by 22 points in 75 years, but it continue to lag behind the White IQ.
This blog takes no position on what is causing the deficit (Whether it is culture or genes or both, that is, but I will say that I do not think the gap is caused by racism.), and perhaps in the future, Blacks will close the gap partly or fully. But presently, the gap exists and is real; that’s all we need to know.
Blacks may also as a group have higher rates of genetic variables that make it more difficult to succeed in an advanced capitalist society.
Such a society rewards “nerdiness”, showing up on time, delaying gratification (often massive delay of gratification), ability to control one’s emotions in heated office environments, long attention span, etc. There seems to be evidence that Blacks on average have a more extroverted personality that finds these introverted type traits to be frustrating at best and idiotic at worst.
With an IQ deficit like that, Blacks will tend to lag behind no matter what.
Extremely competitive US capitalist culture (much more competitive than, say, European culture) continually blasts you with messages that you must be in at least the top 20% income bracket to be considered a “winner” in US society.
That means 80% of the population are “losers” at any given time. Many will be “losers” for life. US society foments extreme hatred and contempt for the 80% “losers” (particularly the males) and it reminds them of that every single day.
For people who already are handicapped in competition in such a society due to extroversion and lower IQ, who have a lesser ability to delay gratification, to have it hammered into their heads every day that they are failures and they need to be rich to be successful right now may be too much to bear.
If the standard way of getting rich doesn’t pan out, many will just say fuck it and turn to the easy cash of crime. This is my explanation for high Black crime rates in modern capitalist societies.
I suspect that this same dynamic may also effect other groups whose IQ’s, though not especially low, still put them at disadvantage against the higher groups.
Polynesians (IQ = 89), Amerindians (IQ = 90), Hispanics (IQ = 92, Arabs in Europe (IQ = 92), Inuit (IQ = 94) may be some examples. None of these IQ’s is especially low in global terms and neither is US Black IQ (IQ = 89.8).
The average human on Earth has an IQ of 89. I think it’s ridiculous to say that the average human is a moron, so I won’t say that. All of these groups, including US Blacks, have IQ’s near the global average. Melanesians (IQ = 89) in urban New Guinea have a similar IQ and reportedly have horrific crime rates.
In Europe, we have the Roma (IQ = 84), who have outrageous crime and social pathology rates.
Obviously, very low IQ groups like the poor Aborigines (IQ = 65), Black Africans (IQ = 70) and Caribbean Blacks (IQ = 74) are often going to be completely creamed in many highly competitive modern urban societies.
Indeed, Aborigines have off the charts social pathologies and presently nearly need to be taken care of like children for their own good by a paternalistic state. A near-70 IQ worked fine in African villages, but many African urban areas are sheer disaster zones. Urban areas in the Caribbean have some of the world’s highest violent crime rates.