european civilization

Something so few people seem to understand regarding the situation in Europe, is how they seem to think the inherent landscape of the place will not be irrecoverably changed by the current, uncontested ‘refugee’ migration. So often I hear ‘Oh well, we’ll disappear but our culture will survive’. Will it? Do you really think a culture heavily dominated by Islam wouldn’t gut the contents of the Louvre for being un-Islamic? Do you think Notre Dame wouldn’t be converted into a mosque? That its windows and sculptures, like that in every old church in Europe, wouldn’t be smashed as idolatry? That the pagan Parthenon wouldn’t be finished off, or that Stonehenge wouldn’t be pulled down? Can this be called impossible, when its already happened in areas controlled by ISIS, whom many of these ‘refugees’ support, or in places like Saudi Arabia where pre-Islamic sites are regularly destroyed? Our culture will not live on, cradled by a new, ‘adopted’ population. It will be wiped away, and replaced by the culture of a new people, and with it will go thousands of years of memory.

Did Europeans “civilize” the Americas? Actually, anthropologists tell us that “hunters and gatherers were relatively peaceful, compared to agriculturalists, and that modern societies were more warlike still. Thus violence increases with civilization.


[…] Textbooks cannot resist contrasting "primitive” Americans with modern Europeans.


[…] Europeans persuaded Natives to specialize in the fur and slave trades. Native Americans were better hunters and trappers than Europeans, and with the guns the Europeans sold them, they became better still. Other Native skills began to atrophy.


[…] because whites “demanded institutions reflective of their own with which to relate,” many Native groups strengthened their tribal governments… New confederations and nations developed.. The tribes also became more male- dominated, in imitation of Europeans.. [there was] an escalation of Indian warfare… [the slave trade helped] to deagriculturize Native Americans. To avoid being targets for capture, Indians abandoned their cornfields and their villages.


[…] "Europeans did not “civilize” or “settle” roaming Indians, but had the opposite impact.


[…] According to Benjamin Franklin, “All their government is by Counsel of the Sages. There is no Force; there are no Prisons, no officers to compel Obedience, or inflict Punishment.” Probably foremost, the lack of hierarchy in the Native socieites in the eastern United States attracted the admiration of European observers. Frontiersmen were taken with the extent to which Native Americans enjoyed freedom as individuals. Women were also accorded more status and power.. than in white societies of the time.


[…] "Indeed, Native American ideas may be partly responsible for our democratic institutions. We have seen how Native ideas of liberty, fraternity, and equality found their way to Europe to influence social philosophers such as Thomas More, Locke, Montaigne, Montesquieu, and Rousseau… Through 150 years of colonial contact, the Iroquois League stood before the colonies as an object lesson in how to govern a large domain democratically.


[…] John Mohawk has argued that American Indians are directly or indirectly responsible for the public-meeting tradition, free speech, democracy, and “all those things which got attached to the Bill of Rights.” Without the Native example, “do you really believe that all those ideas would have found birth among a people who had spent a millennium butchering other people because of intolerance of questions of religion?”


[…] Indian warfare absorbed 80 percent of the entire federal budget during George Washington’s administration and dogged his successors for a century as a major issue and expense… [in many cases] the settlers were Native American, the scalpers white.


[…] All the textbooks tell how Jefferson “doubled the size of the United States by buying Louisiana from France.” Not one points out that it was not France’s land to sell–it was Indian land… Indeed, France did not really sell Louisiana for $15,000,000. France merely sold its claim to the territory… Equally Eurocentric are the maps textbooks use to show the Lewis and Clark expedition. They make Native American invisible, implying that the United States bought vacant land from the French… [Textbooks imply that the Indians were naive about land ownership, but] the problem lay in whites’ not abiding by accepted concepts of land ownership.


[…] The most important cause of the War of 1812.. was land– Indian land… The United States fought five of the seven major land battles of the War of 1812 primarily against Native Americans… [a] result of the War of 1812 was the loss of part of our history. A century of learning [from Native Americans] was coming to a close… until 1815 the word Americans had generally been used to refer to Native Americans; after 1815 it meant European Americans… Carleton Beals has written that “our acquiescence in Indian dispossession has molded the American character.” … destroyed our national idealism. From 1815 on, instead of spreading democracy, we exported the ideology of white supremacy. Gradually we sought American hegemony over Mexico, the Philippines, much of the Caribbean basin, and, indirectly, over other nations… We also have to admit that Adolf Hitler displayed more knowledge of how we treated Native Americans than American high schoolers who rely on their textbooks. Hitler admired our concentration camps for Indians in the west “and often praised to his inner circle the efficiency of America’s extermination–by starvation and uneven combat” as the model for his extermination of Jews and Gypsies.


[…] Yet we “still stereotype Native Americans as roaming primitive hunting folk, unfortunate victims of progress.

— 

Excerpts from  Lies My Teacher Told Me: Everything Your American History Textbook Got Wrong 

by James W. Loewen

Poland has not yet perished,
While we still live.
What foreign foe hath taken from us,
With sabre we will retrieve.

— The first verse of the National Anthem of Poland

Jeszcze Polska nie zginęła,
Kiedy my żyjemy.
Co nam obca przemoc wzięła,
Szablą odbierzemy.

— Pierwsza zwrotka “Mazurka Dąbrowskiego.”   

with whiteness, europe becomes this imaginary white state that must be protected from imaginary crusading monoliths of destruction, which are actually migrant workers, hungry people, refugees from war, and so on. and the united states becomes the white banker and warlord to european civilization with an american attitude. it’s all fucked and should be destroyed with extreme prejudice.

Researching Indigenous Cultures

thementalwayfarer said: Hello! I plan to include different mythological creatures in my story, but I’m stuck on including thunderbirds indirectly in my story. I can’t find a solid source of how they are viewed by the Oglala Lakota (religiously or otherwise; physical or intangible, etc.). Could someone give me a starting point? I ask this because I would like to have my Oglala Lakota character descended from one, but I don’t want to cause any sort of offense with both my character AND their forced inclusion. Thank you!

little-fuzzy-dude said: The main character for an apocalyptic novel I’m planning is Navajo. She comes from the Navajo Nation, and therefore would have a strong background in the traditions of the Navajo people. However, as a white teenager from the suburbs, I have little first hand knowledge of the Navajo, nor do I have the resources to be able to find out about the culture first-hand. I have been researching, but I’m not sure what sources to trust. Would it be possible for you to point me in the right direction?

Books-wise, look up ethnographies on the people you’re researching. These are very dense anthropological documents that took note of as many things as possible about the society, from the start of assimilation to modern times, and often detail absolutely everything about the culture, from spirituality to food to sacred objects; if they’re modern, they can also include how the population relates to the state, activism, internal politics, and what modern technology they’ve incorporated. You might need to look up several, seeing as not all were respectful of the culture or detailed enough, but when you’re looking to research a very specific people like that then there are usually books that exist. Large, well-known tribes have dozens. 

If you’re going historical, my personal preference is students of Franz Boas; he was a little preservation happy, but he genuinely loved the cultures he studied and was incredibly respectful, which he passed on to his (dozens of) students. Regardless of period, avoid historical revisionists or those who subscribe to the theory of cultural evolutionism like the plague I cannot stress this enough. They will be extremely disrespectful. Ways to spot them: using words like “savage”, trying to establish that Natives had less complex societies than “civilized” Europeans, and generally trying to set the Western world at the “top” of cultural refinement. 

The best ethnographies have Native authors or contributors listed somewhere, but watch that they’re actually still living in the tribe, especially if you’re going to historical sources; contributors should be bridges between the tribe and the anthropologist, them still identifying as part of their tribe but willing to help the outside world understand their culture. 

University libraries are your friends. You can walk in there without having an account at the library (most of the time), and many universities have their system searchable without a university card. The only thing you’re blocked from (in my old university anyway) is articles or the on-site computers. Just look up the system database where you have internet, write the code/name of the book down down, and go hunting. You can’t check it out without a student card, but you can read it in the library. If you don’t have a local university (or yours doesn’t have any ethnographies), you can look up one of the larger ones and see their collection, then try to find the books elsewhere.

If you’re lucky, the ethnography in question is available online for free or in google books with the right keywords. If you’re not, you might have to wrangle things but it should be possible. You could ask anthropology professors to look up data for you— many are happy to spread knowledge in their spare time, even if you’re not a student at their university (Although, as always, watch out for historical revisionists/those who dismiss your desire to learn about Natives on their own terms). Professors (and some students) are often very willing to help you out, especially if they have ties to the Native community. 

Unfortunately, ethnographies are often made by university presses, aren’t printed often, and are expensive, so I wouldn’t encourage buying one unless you were really planning on relying on it for a long period of time. As I alluded to above, many are available for free (I have been lucky enough to find full text with no paywall, but I was looking for very old books).

The best option is finding out if you can contact the tribe, somehow, and ask them about themselves. Many tribes/nations have websites, which could have contact information and what types of queries they accept. There is always a chance they will not respond (as a general rule, ask if you can ask before you actually ask unless they explicitly say “this is okay to ask” somewhere, and proceed to ask how/who you should ask if you get a “yes you can ask”), but it would be getting the information directly from the source without traveling.

There might be some local Aboriginal centres that could help you, as well; resources centres are often a little more open to educating others depending on their purpose (check if they’re community only or open to the public, first!) and they usually have resources on a fair number of tribes in one location. Of course, if you live pretty far away from the tribe in question they might not have information right there, but they could either help you get it or you might find a different tribe to use.

Only approach a tribe on their terms, which means going into spaces they’ve opened to the public and asking there. Do not try to break into a closed off tribe; they’re closed off for a reason. Speak with activists/public figures but respect their time.

I would honestly start with ethnographies (and browsing tribal sites) first, just so you can get a sense of the culture and not make a large blunder at first reach out. Once you’ve gotten a general feel for the culture before asking the tribe, you’re less likely to come across as somebody fetishizing or trying to appropriate. It really helps when you can speak of specifics at least a little.

Hope this helps! If any Lakota or Navajo followers have any input, feel free to chime in.

~Mod Lesya

Thomas Levenson is a filmmaker who produces documentary films for public television. He has a sharp eye for the dramatic events and personal details that bring history to life. His book Einstein in Berlin is a social history of Germany covering the twenty years from 1914 to 1933, the years when Albert Einstein lived in Berlin. The picture of the city’s troubles comes into a clearer focus when it is viewed through Einstein’s eyes. 

Einstein was a good witness, observing the life of the city in which he played an active role but remained always emotionally detached. He wrote frequent letters to his old friends in Switzerland and his new friends in Germany, recording events as they happened and describing his hopes and fears. His daily life and activities come intermittently into the narrative but are not the main theme. The main theme is the tragedy of World War I, a tragedy that began in 1914 but did not end in 1918. This tragedy continued to torment the citizens of Berlin through the years from 1918 to 1933 and led them finally to put their fate in the hands of Hitler. Hitler was able to gain his power over them because he promised to erase the tragedy and bring them back to the happy days of the empire when Germany was prosperous and united. 

Every aspect of Einstein’s life, the personal, the political, the scientific, and the philosophical, has been described in detail and analyzed in depth by his various biographers. The world does not need another Einstein biography. Fortunately, Levenson’s book is not a biography. He has borrowed everything he needs from the published correspondence and the existing biographies of Einstein, with full acknowledgements and an excellent bibliography. The new and original aspect of this book is the context in which Einstein is placed. The context is a study in depth of the social pathology that gripped Berlin from the day Einstein arrived there in 1914 to the day he left in 1932. 

The tragedy is a play in two acts, the first act being the years of war and the second act the years of the Weimar Republic. The most remarkable feature of the first act was the general belief among Einstein’s friends in Berlin that the war was winnable. The war was widely welcomed as an opportunity for Germany to achieve its proper status as a great power. Einstein observed that his academic friends and colleagues were even more deluded with patriotic dreams of grandeur than the ordinary citizens that he met in the street. In a conversation with his Swiss friend Romain Rolland in 1915, he described how Berlin had gone to war. “The masses were immensely submissive, domesticated,” he said. “The elites were worse. They were hungry, driven by their urge for power, their love of force, and the dream of conquest.” As late as the summer of 1918, after the failure of the final German offensive on the western front, many of the leading German academics were still confident of victory.

The state of mind of the mandarins in Berlin was very different from the state of mind of their enemies in Paris and London. In Paris the war was seen as a desperate struggle for survival. The guns on the western front were close enough so that everyone in Paris could hear them. In Britain the war was seen as a tragedy that had done irreparable harm to Britain and to European civilization, no matter who won it. When the war came to an end in November 1918, the British public looked back on it as an unspeakable horror that should never under any circumstances be allowed to happen again. But a large part of the German public looked back on it differently, as a test of strength that they could have won if they had not been stabbed in the back by traitors at home. This book explains how that fatal German sense of betrayal came into being.

The second act of the tragedy is the story of the slow collapse of the Weimar Republic and the rapid rise of Hitler. Einstein was a firm supporter of the republic, but he saw which was the wind was blowing. One episode in the tragedy epitomizes the whole story. Erich Remarque’s book Im Westen Nichts Neues was published in 1929 and immediately became an international best seller. It is the finest of all fictional accounts of World War I, seen through the eyes of a group of young Germans who die pointlessly in the carnage of the western front. In 1930 it was made into a Hollywood film, All Quiet on the Western Front. The film was shown all over the world, except in Germany. When the distributors of the film tried to show it in Berlin, Hitler’s friend Joseph Goebbels organized a riot in the theater. Further Nazi demonstrations and violent protests against the film followed. And then the Weimar government banned the film throughout Germany. The Weimar authorities did not allow the German public to see the film because the Nazis considered it unpatriotic. This episode explained a mystery in my own family. One of my relatives is a lady, now ninety-four years old, who lived in Germany all her life and grew up in the Weimar years. Many years ago, I gave her Remarque’s book to read and she found it very moving. “This book is wonderful,” she said. “Why didn’t they let us read it when it was published? That was before the Hitler time, but we were told that it was disgusting and shameful and respectable people should not read it.” So the respectable Germans of her generation, even those who were not Nazis, did not read Remarque. I always wondered why, and now I know.

Freeman Dyson 

The Scientist As Rebel

Chapter 6: Witness To A Tragedy

Why do people act like Somalis aren’t liberators? Why do they choose to ignore our work in liberation and decolonizing our lands and minds? We were one of the first African Nations to not only be liberated, but to wage open War with Britain. We went to war with Italy, and Britain. And won.
We fought for our liberation, won, and turned around and fought for the liberation of other Africans.
We helped liberate Kenya, don’t act that didn’t happen without Somalis. We were one of the few nations vocal from the beginning of the liberation of South Africa, sad to know they still have their colonizers on their lands.
We fought for the liberation of Nigeria, and Algeria.
Even during the European slave trade we fought them on enslaving and shipping Africans off our port. We put our bodies and lives on the line for African liberation fronts.
We help protect our neighbors from European Colonizers.
During the Civil Rights movement and Liberation movements in American we were vocal about Black Americans Liberation. In fact we sent Somalis to America to learn and help Black Americans on their Liberation fronts. Somali Women held rallies and protest and did ground work on the campaign of freeing Angela Davis.
We also helped Liberate djibouti from France. We campaigned for them. Once they were liberated, we didn’t force them to rejoin Somalia, but let them chose their own fate for independence.

But majority of them are ethnically Somali tho…. Ayyy.

We were for heritage and culture preservations. We even Fought African Imperialists like Ethiopia. Fought for our peoples Liberation in Ogadenia. We have been vocal about the Liberation of Ogadenia and Oromiya.

We were one of the first African, and one First Nations to have Women Fighter pilots in the 70s. We had women in the military. We made equatable laws for women’s civil rights. We had equal pay for all genders. This is Somalia in the 70s, and 80s.

We fought American Imperialism in 90s while were going through a Civil War. And won. Think about that. We were fighting each other, going through a ravaging war, stopped to turn around and deal with America. Beat their ass, recorded it for the media to play around the world so these American Imperialists couldn’t pretend like it didn’t happen and went about our way without breaking a sweat. We did that it days, not weeks or months. But in days. Americans love to make us out to be savage Africans. But they were on our sovereign lands, and we had every right to treat them like an unwelcome enemy. Were we Brutal, sure. But brutality is served when brutality is received. Especially with an enemy that has no morals. They went home cry because they met a real adversary, and they weren’t gonna do us like they did to Iran, and later Iraq, Libya, Syria and Yemen.

We are ruthless with our enemies. Especially with western imperialists, and every time y'all are surprised by that.

Captain Phillips was bullshit. These so called, “Somali Pirates” fought against Imperialism, and against Capitalism. Those fisherman were fighting for their communities.
Westerns, Asian, and Arab nations were stealing from our Ocean, then dumping toxic materials into it, using our Ocean for military positions etc. All without our permission. They stole from our fishermen, and communities whose only sources of food was coming from the Somali sea. They starved those communities. Several towns Economy was tied to that Sea. When they dumped toxins and waste into our sea, our people got sick. People were being Poisoned, similar to what is STILL happening in Flint, Michigan. Many Somalis got cancer because of the toxins dumped in our sea. No one was doing anything about this.

So we took up arms against our enemies who refused our calls to cease what they were doing. They mad because we “pirated ships”, aka we took what was ours. They were making billions from our ocean, and we weren’t seeing any of that money. Of course, Western countries got mad as if we weren’t doing the same to them thieving Arabs and Asians. Like how dare we fight for ourselves.

That’s the thing about us we are willing to die for our people and lands. If we are defeated, a thousand more Somalis will take our place. We just about that life.

We’ve been saying Black Lives Matter for centuries. So y'all need to stop sleeping on Somalis, and many of y'all like to erase our blackness.

Learn the History in Africa, and the diaspora, then asks yourself this,
Where would African Liberation Movements be without Somalia in the 20s, 30s, 40s, 50s, 60s, 70s, 80s?
A lot of the movements in ending institutional racism in Europe, Canada, and Australia is done by a majority Somali community. Think on that.

However, we are also not free from anti blackness and colorism. For example the treatment and abuse Somali Bantus have endured for centuries is a cloud over Somalia’s history in fighting anti blackness.
Sadly, aside from white supremacy, a far greater supremacy affects us the most. Arab Supremacy, which is the root of modern Somalis anti blackness, and internalized racism.

Our Moto is:
We Somali first
African/Black second
Somali again
And then Muslim

Wanda Maximoff thought she was doing the right thing.

Wanda Maximoff was orphaned from age ten in an impoverished, third world country.

Wanda Maximoff was a patriot, who protested the civil war in her country and dedicated her life to the cause.

Wanda Maximoff volunteered for dangerous experimentation in which she was one of only two survivors because she felt she had to protect her country.

Wanda Maximoff was kept in deplorable conditions and likely underwent extreme torture.

Wanda Maximoff believed Tony Stark, Stark Industries and the rest of the Avengers to be manifestations of fascism.

Wanda Maximoff lived in a developing, Eastern European country, ravaged by civil war and likely communist, and would have been brainwashed into the ideology of America and capitalism being ‘bad,’ and this would have been emphasised by HYDRA.

Wanda Maximoff used her powers to manipulate the Avengers’ mental states because it is her version of a weapon, the way Cap uses his shield and Tony uses his suit. She believed she was fighting evil people. She could not have known - or cared, seeing as she thought she was doing the right thing - that she was provoking their mental health issues.

Wanda Maximoff decided to help Ultron under the impression that he would be making the world a better place. When she saw this error in judgement, she joined in the fight to amend her mistake.

Wanda Maximoff’s accident in Lagos prevented the explosion occurring on ground and thus she ended up preventing the death of countless more.

Wanda Maximoff was held hostage, belittled and diminished before being sent to a high security prison wearing a shock collar like an animal when she was trying to stand up for what she believed in and fight for the freedom she has always sought.

Wanda Maximoff has always fought for the common good, for humanity, for her country, for freedom. 

Stop vilifying Wanda Maximoff, and stop ignoring her suffering.