Happy St. Patrick’s Day

11:20 am in Uncategorized by cmaukonen

NO….this diary is not about the celebration….

And it’s not about those stereotypes that are often pictured even now of leprechauns or shamrocks on people or Irishmen smoking funky pipes [often upside down] or the beat cops in Boston or NYC. It’s about the real history of why this day should be special. Not just for the Irish but for all of those used and abused and slaughtered-in-the-name-of-capitalism that history or rather Bourgeoisie Capitalist history sweeps under the carpet or justifies.

The real story of the Irish is how 400,000+ Irish peasants starved the first year of the famine even as millions of pounds sterling worth of food was produced in Ireland and exported.

Thomas Gallagher points out in Paddy’s Lament, that during the first winter of famine, 1846-47, as perhaps 400,000 Irish peasants starved, landlords exported 17 million pounds sterling worth of grain, cattle, pigs, flour, eggs, and poultry—food that could have prevented those deaths. Throughout the famine, as Gallagher notes, there was an abundance of food produced in Ireland, yet the landlords exported it to markets abroad.

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Patel’s book sets out to account for “the rot at the core of the modern food system.” This is a curricular journey that our students should also be on — reflecting on patterns of poverty, power, and inequality that stretch from 19th century Ireland to 21st century Africa, India, Appalachia, and Oakland; that explore what happens when food and land are regarded purely as commodities in a global system of profit.The Real Irish American Story Not Taught in Schools

It’s about how those doing the labor are still treated horribly as Michelle Chen shows in her report. That how these same Bourgeoisie Capitalists will raise a fuss about how some other country is treating their people, crying aloud about freedom and liberty – mainly for other Bourgeoisie Capitalists. But then are resolutely silent about the way they support the same behavior at home by the police and government and business. Indeed one of the top-rated TV shows is about police brutality being a good thing.

Crime dramas that embellish the lives of police officers are not new. Criminologist Yvonne Jewkes says crime drama is “the most enduring of all cinematic genres,” and television holds to the same rule.1 What sets “Chicago PD” apart from others in the genre is that police violence isn’t just presented as an exciting feature of the job; rather, its producers have made it the primary point of appeal to its growing audience of 8 million.

What does it mean that a TV show so sympathetic to police abuse has become the most popular evening program among NBC’s 18-49 demographic?

We can get a glimpse into this mindset historically as Richard J. Evans summarizes here in this review of a book by Götz Aly – Hitler’s Beneficiaries.

In this startling and absorbing new book, which created a considerable storm in Germany when it was published in 2005, Götz Aly advances another explanation. It was, he says, material factors that persuaded the great mass of Germans to support Hitler and the Nazis almost to the very end. The Nazi leadership, he claims in Hitler’s Beneficiaries, made the Germans into “well-fed parasites. Vast numbers of Germans fell prey to the euphoria of a gold rush…. As the state was transformed into a gigantic apparatus for plundering others, average Germans became unscrupulous profiteers and passive recipients of bribes.”

 Already by the late 1930s, Aly argues, even former Social Democrats had become reconciled to the regime because it replaced the mass unemployment and economic misery of the Depression with full employment, generated not least by rapid rearmament, prosperity and consumer satisfaction. During the war, he continues, “the cascade of riches and personal advantage–all derived from crimes against humanity…led the majority of the populace to feel that the regime had their best interests at heart.”

Indeed that if the average citizen sees their own situation improve and becomes fat and happy, how this is accomplished is of tertiary importance. TIME magazine even made Hitler man of the year. We can see this throughout history. That especially if you keep the Bourgeoisie Capitalists well-fed, they will follow anyone. From Franco in Spain to Augusto Pinochet in Chile. The riots in Venezuela are mostly white-collar upper-crusters who were making out like bandits with currency scams. The whole business in the Ukraineis how the capitalists want to make hay for themselves out of the country’s poor. Another country to plunder. But what happened here was OK according to a GOP congressional candidate.

Bourgeoisie Capitalists can justify any ghoulish, bizarre and cruel behavior as long as they can get rich off it.

So think about that this St. Patrick’s Day when you get falling down drunk celebrating it. Sláinte!