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633Re: Books That Have Changed My Life

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  • Jesse Gordon
    Mar 13, 2005
      --- In prezveepsenator@yahoogroups.com, "tonymaloley" <am7788zz@m...>
      wrote:
      > Did anyone else read Orwell's short story about shooting an
      > elephant? He once lived in India. I don't know if it had any big
      > symbolic value, it's just an interesting story.

      Symbolic value, a bit, but political value much more. It describes
      how imperial representatives are limited in their power by being
      hated by their imperial subjects. Orwell, as an imperial bureaucrat
      in a British colony, had to shoot an elephant even though he didn't
      want to, because the colonials expected him to do it. Orwell explains
      how the colonials hate their overseers, too.

      The relevance for today is to replace "Britain" with "America" and
      replace "imperial" with "military" (or something). America now rules
      the world like Britain did then, and is equally as hated by
      our "colonial subjects". The biggest difference is that we don't have
      any clearly defined empire, like Britain did. Our "colonies" mostly
      revolve around oil, and our unwilling subjects are those people who
      happen to live in areas that have the misfortune to supply oil.

      We use the pretext that "democracy is on the march" and blah blah
      blah, but that doesn't change that our colonial subjects hate us as
      much as Britain's subjects hated Orwell. (Britain DID democratize
      their colonies, and "improve" them in all sorts of other ways, so
      they could just as well have said that democracy was on the march).
      That hatred is the single most important basis for al Qaeda's
      existence, and hence the single largest cause of 9/11.
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