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FATTENING WALL STREET — Mike Whitney reports on the rapid metamorphosis of new Fed Chair Janet Yallin into a lackey for the bankers, bond traders and brokers. The New Religious Wars Over the Environment: Joyce Nelson charts the looming confrontation between the Catholic Church and fundamentalists over climate change, extinction and GMOs; A People’s History of Mexican Constitutions: Andrew Smolski on the 200 year-long struggle of Mexico’s peasants, indigenous people and workers to secure legal rights and liberties; Spying on Black Writers: Ron Jacobs uncovers the FBI’s 50 year-long obsession with black poets, novelists and essayists; O Elephant! JoAnn Wypijewski on the grim history of circus elephants; PLUS: Jeffrey St. Clair on birds and climate change; Chris Floyd on the US as nuclear bully; Seth Sandronsky on Van Jones’s blind spot; Lee Ballinger on musicians and the State Department; and Kim Nicolini on the films of JC Chandor.
"The bourgeoisie, by the rapid improvement of all instruments of production, by the immensely facilitated means of communication, draws all, even the most barbarian, nations into civilization." K. Marx and F. Engels From get go, this system was built On carnage. Once capital connected With power, there was no turning Back. The galleons set sail, […]

The Civilizing Mission

by M. SHAHID ALAM

"The bourgeoisie, by the rapid improvement of all instruments of production, by the immensely facilitated means of communication, draws all, even the most barbarian, nations into civilization."

K. Marx and F. Engels

From get go, this system was built On carnage. Once capital connected

With power, there was no turning Back. The galleons set sail, guns

Blazing at the ports, disembarking Death on the shores of America,

Barging into Mocha and Malacca, And making the return journey,

Decks piled with gold and silver, Hulls hoarding cloves and calicoes.

The ships went out again, winged Predators, to the ports of Africa

Harvesting her flesh and bones, African bodies to work a continent

Drained, depleted of native fauna. The ships still make the round, wide-

Bodied, steel-hulled, through air And water, carrying a new cargo

From ruined continents whose Human detritus live off body parts.

M. SHAHID ALAM teaches economics at Northeastern University. His recent book, Poverty from the Wealth of Nations, was published by Palgrave (2000). He may be reached at m.alam@neu.edu