Aegis of reason and light

Liberté, égalité, fraternité
When are we going to be where we want to be? …

Britain abolished slavery in 1805 after several centuries making it a dirty word.

Originally slavery had been an humanitarian alternative to killing one's enemies on the battle field or for dealing with civil cases where miscreants needed correcting or losers, their debts paying.

Britain invented the capitalist regime based on working people to death for money.

When slavery was abolished in the fringes of the Empire, the Royal Navy took to the seas in order to stamp out other nations' rights to deny other people their rights.

But the Royal Navy relied on slavery to do so.

Officers had the rights normally accorded to human beings in those days but sailors below the rank of Midshipman were forced labourers with virtually no hope of ever leaving the ship they served on alive. This was a condition the first Margaret Thatcher had to develop after the threat from Spanish Armada forced the British economy to refuse to pay off its sailors afterward.

All we know about the age of reason and light is what we read about or watch on TV from the writers of the time:
Pride and Prejudice for example and shoot-em-ups about Napoleon.

What did Napoleon have going for his regime that inspired so many soldiers to join his armies from the countries he conquered?

Virtually the whole of Victorian England was an age of slavery for the class of people not related to Royalty or descended from gun runners, hooch sellers and slave traders.

Farm workers were tied to their masters, city dwellers were bound to 16+ hour days from youth to dotage and had the privilege of living in slums for their hard work. Our view from the back seat is coloured by either novels like Oliver Twist or Cider with Rosie.

I must suppose that despite the Irish Famine and the corn laws that turned almost every British citizen into a smuggler or a black marketeer once Napoleon was finally dealt with, it was possible to live a normal life.
People did.

It's surprising what you get used to. Look what people enjoyed under the communist regimes. A complete generation grew up with no idea of any alternative.

And that generation spanned all of northern Asia. Meanwhile the Victorian England we so proudly banished, is thriving in virtually all of Asia whilst western economies continue to migrate their companies to regions where people can still be worked to death quite legally.
And the xenophobia goes on.

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11 thoughts on “Aegis of reason and light

  1. I had just spent the weekend trawling through texts dealing with what we thought we knew in the late Victorian era. See what I wrote about the scientists of the era in a thread a couple of clicks earlier.It defeats me sometimes that we think "we" in the civilised west are so superior to the people who would run over a child and leave her to die on the street with nobody bothering to help.http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-202_162-20123555/chinese-toddler-left-bloody-in-hit-and-run-dies/Thousands of people would have healthy lives if their governments would spend on plumbing what they spend on guns'n ammo.Millions.Yet we continue to put our hands in our pockets whenever a volunteer asks us to solve a crisis in a far off land, knowing that the corruption between them and the people dying is going to subvert any penny we give.

  2. On December 15, 1931 Pope Pius XI declared Albert [Magnus] both a saint and a doctor of the Church. On the 16th of December 1941 Pope Pius XII declared Albert the patron saint of the natural sciences.http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/albert-great/A bishop in the dark ages and a preacher for the crusades.Man!One more and that's enough of this medicine:Originally posted by Telegraph:

    Welcome to Sipopo. This Orwellian complex, grafted on to the capital, Malabo, is the face Equatorial Guinea wishes to present to the world. Obiang, now the longest-serving ruler in Africa and a man accused of presiding over one of the world's most corrupt, kleptocratic and repressive governments, spent more than half a billion pounds creating it as part of his drive to rebrand his regime. It is small change for a man alleged to pocket £40m a day in energy revenues; his tiny country is sub-Saharan Africa's third-largest oil producer.It is like something out of The Truman Show, one of many illusions in a land of artifice. Sipopo cost four times the annual education budget in what is perhaps the planet's most unequal society, a country where per-capita wealth exceeds Britain but three-quarters of its 675,000 citizens live on less than a dollar a day. Infant mortality rates are among the worst in the world, but that spanking-new hospital, said one doctor, has no patients most of the time. Ordinary people, it turns out, are barred from the area.

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2011/oct/23/equatorial-guinea-africa-corruption-kleptocracy?newsfeed=true

  3. The comments on the CBS threat following the video http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-202_162-20123555/chinese-toddler-left-bloody-in-hit-and-run-dies/ are typical of people who are upset and powerless to do anything more than rant.Personally I am on a "downer" at the moment. I know I will get over it in a day or so, it's one of those things manic depressives suffer.But I also know that when I am "up" once more I will be so full of myself I will be completely able to ignore things like this.What make us what we are and do the things we do?

  4. Britain's tax office recently announced some citizens were going to get a cash back apology for miscalculations.Some are going to get stiffed. This morning, I got mine. They want £126 back. I've got 12 months to pay up.I was thinking I bet not many merchant bankers will getting any of those. Not that with their multi million pound (annual) bonuses, they would care a toss.Here are the companies they work for:The top 50 of the 147 superconnected companies.1. Barclays plc2. Capital Group Companies Inc3. FMR Corporation4. AXA5. State Street Corporation6. JP Morgan Chase & Co 7. Legal & General Group plc 8. Vanguard Group Inc9. UBS AG10. Merrill Lynch & Co Inc 11. Wellington Management Co LLP12. Deutsche Bank AG13. Franklin Resources Inc14. Credit Suisse Group15. Walton Enterprises LLC16. Bank of New York Mellon Corp17. Natixis18. Goldman Sachs Group Inc19. T Rowe Price Group Inc20. Legg Mason Inc21. Morgan Stanley22. Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group Inc23. Northern Trust Corporation24. Société Générale25. Bank of America Corporation26. Lloyds TSB Group plc 27. Invesco plc28. Allianz SE 29. TIAA 30. Old Mutual Public Limited Company31. Aviva plc 32. Schroders plc33. Dodge & Cox34. Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc*35. Sun Life Financial Inc36. Standard Life plc37. CNCE38. Nomura Holdings Inc39. The Depository Trust Company 40. Massachusetts Mutual Life Insurance 41. ING Groep NV 42. Brandes Investment Partners LP 43. Unicredito Italiano SPA 44. Deposit Insurance Corporation of Japan 45. Vereniging Aegon 46. BNP Paribas 47. Affiliated Managers Group Inc 48. Resona Holdings Inc 49. Capital Group International Inc 50. China Petrochemical Group Company* Lehman still existed in the 2007 dataset used

  5. I was thinking about that list yesterday. Just because some people are stinking rich doesn't mean they are evil.There are people dying for want of a drink of water. And a pipeline to the village of most African towns and villages would cost very little.But there are so many of them and as aways there is a crooked system in the way. So what can the rich do?Once you are rich you are stuck with the reiteration of riches:A house costs only so much, you only need so many cars or airplanes. Most of your wives will settle for a reasonable prenuptau##aul agreement, holidays, parties, friends and family cost so much and the rest of the running costs are tax deductible.On the other hand the filthy rich control the charities such as the Nobel and Booker Prizes. They got rich slaving and gun running and before that running fleets of pirate ships.After all how many pirates have you ever heard of who got caught by the Royal Navy.Blackbeard only got caught when hwe ran aground. I don't recall many others, Wm. Teach thought he was working for the Crown and was surprised to find himself under attack.As for the rest they run banks, d#food depots and all the rest of it. They tell the farmers what they are going to get paid years in advance.And they control the ups and downs of industry. And they sometimes make mistakes.Ak I right?The whole Vesty family used to own most of the butchers shops in Britain, all of the London Docks before container ships. The Duke of Westminster owns most of the West end of LondonDoes that make them evil?Influential maybe…It's not for me to say.I would like to hear on the news that Tony Blair went missing for several days where someone took him to a dismal ugly place and tortured him to death.But I suppose if push came to shove, I could feel guilty about such thoughts if I got lucky. But people like them go to their graves adored by society. Look at what reverence they paid that fat drunk who gave Stalin half of Europe.

  6. I just hope for fair, I dont deny anyone there dues due to drive and hard work, but the thieves…who know better and already have enough, need to be called out.

  7. WE've just celebrated Guy Fawkes night aka Bonfire Night.In celebration of the brutal torture and painful death of a would be regicide.What gives kings the right to torture people?What constitutes a just war?And why do we insist on enobling the foulest wretches in history?Think about it, what nation doesn't celebrate some sort of appalling act? We used to have Trafalgar day, Empire day and still have stuff that if you analyse it covers over vast injustices. Memorial day for instance.You never heard of a rich man's family coming out of a war broke.Me too neither.I just added another Friend, not because we have anything in common or even because I understand and admire his site but because he seems very artistic.I remember an article in a national paper from when I was a child. (16 or 17 IIRC.)A North Vietnam soldier was shot and killed. When his pocketts were searched they found a picture of his girl and some poems.How many poets died as soldiers and why?So that rich bastards could get even richer?It seems like it.Maybe I am wrong. But it does seem that way.Or maybe it is because I am poor and I want to feel better about myself.I blow like the wind.Signifying nothing.

  8. You are rich beyond what you know WL. Somedays it does not seem like it. But its true. I dont think violence ever helps. Solidarities are forming, it is a interesting time to be a live.

  9. 11th of the 11th of the 11thAnd all those poor sods blown to oblivion are still dead, even their descendants are being forgotten.I usually write a poem for this Armistice day thing, Remembrance.Today I forgotI forgot to remember it is Remembrance DayI forgot to keep silentI aught to keep silentI aught to keep silent as a mark of respectRespect for the dead.Because all those people who should not have kept silentWhen it would have done some goodKept silentAs a mark of respectReally

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