Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Pen Meets Paper Jan.11'10

Opinion by Helge Nome
Colonialism is an interesting subject for many of us living in former colonies, like Canada, the US and Australia, as well as New Zealand.
There are several ways of creating a colony. You can just push the locals aside and pour in your own people, as was done in North America and Australia, and less so in New Zealand where the natives were not exactly a pushover.
Or you can approach the locals with “respect” and gifts and sniff out the lie of the land before deciding on a course of action to gain control over their territory along with its inhabitants.
The vikings used this latter approach, but they were not very civilized so they simply attacked the locals in the early hours of the morning and murdered and plundered as hard as they could and got out of there before a sizable counter attack could be mounted by the local chieftains.
The English were a lot more clever in achieving dominance and building their empire
“upon which the sun never sets”. They carried out the usual preliminary scouting but that’s where the similarity with the vikings ends. The English identified the various political factions that invariably exists in every human population.
They then chummed up with the second most powerful group, tipping the balance of power in its favor against the one in charge at the time.
And, with newly won friends in charge, the English could proceed at their leisure to “help” them with the administration of their region and bestow numerous favors upon them and their offspring.
So what was in it for the Brits? Natural resources badly needed were suddenly available at incredibly low cost and a new market was found for British goods and services.
A win-win for everybody it would seem, except for some 98% of the people of the colonized region. The remaining 2% local elite colluded with the colonizer and used them to extract the raw materials Britain was hungry for.
In New Zealand, North America and Australia, immigrants were used for the same purpose.
Now, fast forward a couple of centuries and here we are. In Canada we used to be a British colony. Then the US became a world power and turned us into their colony.
Now they and Britain both are going down the chute, and guess who’s coming to dinner?
Some folks with big smiles whose forebears used to work for Genghis Kahn are now paying us with our own money for raw materials to feed their massive productive machine. We have slipped into the habit of letting them produce everything we consume and now they are coming in with the money earned in return for this and turning us into colonials all over again.
And before you know it the yoke will be around our necks, and we will be pulling the plough, instead of them.
That is, if we don’t wake up from our blissful self indulgent habits before it is too late.

Our main problem here in Canada is the mindset: A colonial is always looking for a master to tell him what to do.
Just to attest to the sorry state of affairs here, Canada does not even have its own Constitution. It has the “Constitution Act of 1867” which is just a renamed version of the “British North America Act, 1867”. And the ultimate authority over Canada still resides in Windsor Castle!

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