Monday, July 3, 2017

War = Capitalism + Nationalism x Racism (United States' Empire)

More from A People's History of the United States by Howard Zinn:

American factories are making more than the American people can use; American soil is producing more than they can consume, which is why expansion to other countries and trade for the surplus of American goods would help the American Empire profit. One argument made by a journal wrote that an increase in wages at home would solve the problem of surplus by creating more purchasing power in the country. Conquest/war with the goal of expansion was to appear like an act of generosity--helping a rebellious group overthrow foreign rule--as in Cuba where by 1898, Cuban rebels had been fighting Spanish conquerors to win independence.
War brought more employment and higher wages, but also higher prices. Foner says "Not only was there a startling increase in the cost of living, but, in the absence of an income tax, the poor found through increased levies on sugar, molasses, tobacco, and other taxes..." (p. 308)
"Americans began taking over railroad, mine, and sugar properties when the war ended. In a few yeras, $30 million of American capital was invested. United Fruit moved into the Cuban sugar industry. It bought 1,900,000 acres of land for about 20 cents an acre. The American Tobacco Company arrived. By the end of the occupation, in 1901, Foner estimates that at least 80% of the export of Cuba's minerals were in American hands, mostly Bethlehem Steel." (p. 310.)

Theodore Roosevelt said that lynching was a good thing and war was ideal for the conditions of human society to present manliness and heroism. Winston Churchill didn't want a black Republic of Cuba (against Spain) like Haiti, whose revolution against France in 1803 had led to the first nation run by blacks in the 'New World.' After the Spanish-American war, Puerto Rico was taken over by U.S. military forces. The Hawaiian Islands had already been penetrated by American missionaries and pineapple plantation owners. For a payment of $20 million in December 1898, the U.S. took over Guam, and the Philippines as well. McKinley said he prayed to God to find answers in occupying the Philippines, and said that he was told that we could not give them back to Span, nor turn them over to France or Germany, that these countries were unfit for self-government and they would have anarchy, we needed to educate Filipinos by 'Christianizing' them.

Emma Goldman commented that "the cause of the Spanish-American war was the price of sugar...that the lives, blood, and money of the American people were used to protect the interests of the American capitalists." Mark Twain said about the Philippine war: "We have pacified some thousands of the islanders and buried them; destroyed their fields; burned their villages, and turned their widows and orphans out-of-doors; furnished heartbreak by exile to some dozens of disagreeable patriots; subjugated the remaining ten millions by Benevolent Assimilation, which is the pious new name of the musket; we have acquired property in the 300 concubines and other slaves of our business partner, the Sultan of Sulu, and hoisted our protecting flag over that swag...we are a World Power."

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