DHS has issued an all points bulletin for Johannes Gutenberg for causing history to happen. Authorities say that Gutenberg, a German national, who turned 613 years old this year, remains an unindicted co-conspirator for the proliferation of a technology that led to history taking place. Authorities recently have begun the process of reversing the damage done to the wealthy and powerful, which for centuries has become increasingly abused, led to new and revolutionary technologies, and began encroaching upon the narrative hegemony once enjoyed by industrialists, kings, royalty and wealthy white land owners. DHS officials warn that Gutenberg should be considered clever, informed and therefore extremely dangerous to the status quo.
The dilemma of true history is that is that the immensely complex, the vast avalanche of human experience, success and toil is simplified to a shadow of its true self for the digestion of our limited intellects. It is much akin to a movie, a great book or a digital photograph, behind which whole worlds exist, though we only acknowledge the merest impression of those worlds. But here is the key, remove any part of that background, no matter how miniscule, and the image becomes less true.
The anthropological and archaeological records before written history make minor distinctions for royalty and wealth. The narrative on the advent of farming-which gave humanity beer-is on the farmer, not his or her sovereign. Neolithic villages are described by their social structure and construction. That changed with the advent of writing. When we ponder the flowering of Egyptian culture it is the dynasties, the royalty that comes to mind first. Only recently have we learned details about the daily lives of those laborers and artisans that built the temples and pyramids of Egypt.
Religion-organized, state promoted and enforced religion- it can be argued was a tactic for control of the population, and a vehicle for extending power through warfare. Knowledge and information previously were enjoyed as the privilege of royalty and aristocrats. But technology is too often not shared, shall we say, liberally and freely. It is a failure of our species that new and critically empowering technologies are reluctant to be shared at all levels of society. Their proliferation is slowed by local politics, stuttered by commercialization, and preempted by completion between nations, races and religions.
The lack of voice and its accompanying agency might well be the key to many ills afflicting the planet, from the war to terrorism, racial and religious antagonism and poverty. But those voices are imperative to an accurate accounting of mankind. Imagine the battle of the Bulge told only by Eisenhower, Hitler or Montgomery none of whom were anywhere near the battle. Lost would be the toils and tears of the Great depression, the words of Anne Frank, the horrors of September 11th, the trial and triumph of the handicapped or the lesson of the addict. But it is all those voices which joins the palette to paint the most accurate mural of history.
History is not written by the victor, it is written by the empowered. History is the subject of the bold, the oppressed and the impassioned.
The assault by corporations and governments is not by accident. It is not a naïve reaction to real or vague security threats. There is a duality to the effort. On one hand there is an effort to stem or anticipate terror threats. On the other hand is an insidious effort to control and disrupt public, constitutionally guaranteed dissent and protest. The infiltration, monitoring and technologies applied by government against, not terrorists, but disquieted and concerned citizens of all political stripes is sinister. It is about control. It is a separation of the government from its people in favor of a Kafka-like self preservation of hegemony and power. It illustrates that the government has become its own separate nation, and all of us are perceived by that new nation as interlopers and a threat.
This year, lost among the impressive and historic protests in Turkey, another protest took place in Sarajevo. At one point, 250 foreign bankers and more than 100 others found themselves trapped and surrounded by thousands of angry and outraged Bosnian citizens. It took the better part of 14 hours for the police to reopen the building and allow those inside the Bosnian parliament building to leave. At one point mothers blockaded a street with strollers. The bankers were attending a conference on investment in Bosnia, plagued by massive unemployment, crumbling infrastructure and rampant corruption following the civil war during the 1990s.
The cause of the outrage was over the expiration of laws in February of 2013 that had previously assigned identity numbers to citizens at birth, akin to a Social Security number in the United States. The result was that since the expiration of the law no new-born children have been able to get ID numbers, depriving them of a long list of benefits, such as passports, medical care and more. In reality, it makes these children non-entities, or non persons in their own country. The spark for the outrage came after a 3 month old child was unable to travel to Germany for a stem cell transplant. Attention compelled the Bosnian government to issue travel documents for the child, but the fate of thousands of other children remains in limbo.
Bosnia has long had a history of political squabbling and backstabbing. The cobbled-together parliament is separated by parties representing ethnic Serbs, Muslims and Croats, who were at war with one another until a NATO intervention in 1996 compelled the so-called Dayton Peace accords. The parties have been antagonistic towards one another since the formation of that unified Bosnian parliament. In the current flap, the Serbs are demanding that that identity numbers show what part of the country someone comes from, in effect ethnic identifiers, while the majority Bosnian Muslims, Independents and Croats want those numbers assigned to children randomly.
But behind those lines is something far more dangerous. After two decades travelling and studying the Balkans, nothing is ever quite what it seems on the surface. The Balkans have long been the testing and proving grounds for all sorts of nefarious schemes by internationalists and governments. For example, while not a direct cause, part of the catalyst for the war was a manufactured crisis against the Yugoslav Dinar. The war helped Germany move through reunification easier, and protected the Deutsch Mark, which preceded the Euro and was the Dollar’s anchor currency in Europe.
Not that Yugoslavia did not suffer significant stumbling blocks of its own making, but as Germany reunified and a new Europe, post Cold War, grew on the horizon, Yugoslavia was poised to become a significant player on the European and world stage. Its geopolitical position was enviable, with prime overland access for oil from Central Asia and into the heart of Europe, and with some of the largest, untouched mineral deposits in the region. Before the smoke had cleared during the 1999 NATO war in Kosovo Halliburton had already secured contracts for an overland oil pipeline from the Black sea across the war torn and impoverished region.
That story is important to understand the duplicitous nature of what happens in the Balkans, and how it resonates, even informs strategy and agendas around the planet. Standing on the frontline during the siege of Sarajevo, I had a sense of past and future history colliding, and in the balance stood humanity at a crossroads. There were echoes of the Ottoman invasions of the Fourteenth and Fifteenth centuries, of Austro-Hungarian hubris, the blood lusts of the Second World War and the short-sighted angst of the old Communist order. Poised opposite that past was the crumbling chaos of the old Cold War order, the world dividing and sub-dividing itself among arbitrary tribal assemblages. There would be strife and greed and a disregard for the true challenges awaiting the planet. Amid the destruction and despair of that tragic city that was all crystal clear. Bosnia was a lesson. The world refused to hear that lesson.
So now there is a new lesson, or perhaps a new scheme. Time will bear both out. But here is the alarming part, the disturbing conclusions that can be drawn from this is fairly obvious. The evidence is found plainly in our past and in our present. It is key to the erasure of history. Here’s what I mean.
At the start of the industrial age, the rich and powerful pitted working class people organizing into Unions against the poor, immigrants or disavowed racial minorities, such as poor blacks in the united States as a bulwark against labor organizing. These groups were often camped by company and factory owners at the gates as a warning to would-be organizers. When that failed outright violence was all too ready an option, often with the support of the government, the Columbine Colorado Mine Massacre in 1927 in which police fired into a crowd of mine workers killing six and wounding dozens is but one example.
There are ample examples of state backed anti-union violence, too numerous to list here. Those poor and disaffected minorities were tools, they were essentially non persons for the manipulation of the powerful.
Scrutiny has been growing upon the abuse of third world labor. More than a thousand were killed and nearly 3000 injured in April of 2013 in a Bangladesh factory collapse supplying Western European and American retail outlets with garments. But third world labor has become a mainstay for companies fixated fully on bottom-line profitability. That successive catastrophes has not compelled a moratorium or an outlawing of such labor practices, and has not driven a real conversation on an international minimum wage and a convention on global labor practices only underscores the hypocrisy of American fictions on freedom and morality.
There is a new necessity by the modern industrialists to secure the labor paradigm they are accustomed to. The Bosnian experiment is a signpost of things to come globally. We shall see more of this, as populations are erased from citizenry and relegated to non-person status. In such a world they will have no rights, no agency and no voice. And when the common person loses their voice only the wealthy and powerful will remain to paint the mosaic of humanity. It will be incomplete, and that will mark the end of history.
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