Saturday, January 21, 2017

Harvest of Empire (movie review)

I joined a small group at the Stark Street meetinghouse this evening for a showing of Harvest of Empire, a fairly recent documentary looking at the fruits of recent social engineering.

We've all heard the term "Banana Republic", these days a chain of fashionable clothing stores, but originally having to do with literal bananas.

United Fruit, with large plantations in Central America (Guatemala especially) needed local governments to remain friendly to its resource acquisition and labor practices.

Indeed, many large multinationals would incubate in Latin America with help from local elites and the USG. The Dulles brothers, one a Secretary of State, the other heading the CIA, both came from the law firm representing United Fruit.

The USG gets elected on the basis of wanting to help the US economy, which translates into helping  its paying customers expand overseas. These companies then use the repatriated profits to finance the political ambitions of their candidates.

The USG in turn then helps its customers by providing military training for those serving in dictatorships.

Actual US troops also may become involved, as in the Dominican Republic. Assassinations and/or coups may also be undertaken.

Any populist leader, intent upon improving living standards for the indigenous majorities, would become an enemy of the established state. Social engineering moving in that direction, including clergy, get branded communist subversives.

Marine Corps veteran Smedley Butler wrote some thoughts about this dynamic late in life, after exposing the Business Plot to assassinate FDR. Many of these same patterns continue operating today.

The core thesis of this movie is that this practice of land-grabbing and forced labor, visited upon  indigenous Americans since the 1600s, has created a flood of economic refugees willing to risk great hardship and death to reach a state of greater freedom and opportunity.

Ordinary people tend to flee untenable situations wherever they occur, be that in El Salvador, Syria, Libya or Europe.

The first waves of immigration leading to the creating of the first thirteen United States were also a result of persecution and/or dead end economic circumstances.