Monday, April 23, 2012

Empire Incorporated

The Chaco War (1932–1935) was fought betweeBolivia and Paraguay over control of the northern part of the Gran Chaco region (known as Chaco Boreal) of South America. The discovery of oil in the Andean foothills sparked speculation that the Chaco itself might be a rich source of petroleum. Foreign oil companies became involved in the war, Standard Oil backing Bolivia and Shell Oil backing Paraguay. According to Wikipedia, "The [Chaco] war was the bloodiest military conflict fought in South America during the 20th century." In the end the war resulted in a stalemate and speculation of oil was proved mostly incorrect.

Standard Oil Co. was written in 1940 by Pablo Neruda, translated from Spanish by Jack Schmitt and recited by Allen Dwight Callahan. A classic Neruda poem with tragic relevance to our own predicament. 

Darfur is a country currently living in war because of foreign interests. Here is a VICE video that talks about Darfur.
At around 13:00 it starts talking about oil in Darfur. 

and part 1 of more or less the same things happening in the Congo.

It seems clear to me that this is the result of selfishness and unrestricted capitalism, which makes me wonder why  do so many people defend Empire and think that Libertarian ideals will result in anything other than the oppression of the lower classes? I hope the protests and revolutions that have happened over the last few years mean that larger groups of people are starting to realize the problems in the way we systematically exploit others to live comfortably.