Chomsky on "Reserving the Right to Bomb N*****s": White Supremacy is truly hostis humani generis (an enemy of the human race)
(in video Geico commericial uses white supremacy icon Columbus to sell some insurance)
Europeans "fought to kill," and they had the means to satisfy their blood lust. In the American colonies, the natives were astonished by the savagery of the Spanish and British. "Meanwhile, on the other side of the world, the peoples of Indonesia were equally appalled by the all-destructive fury of European warfare," Parker adds. Europeans had put far behind them the days described by a 12th century Spanish pilgrim to Mecca, when "The warriors are engaged in their wars, while the people are at ease." The Europeans may have come to trade, but they stayed to conquer: "trade cannot be maintained without war, nor war without trade," one of the Dutch conquerors of the East Indies wrote in 1614. Only China and Japan were able to keep the West out at the time, because "they already knew the rules of the game." European domination of the world "relied critically upon the constant use of force," Parker writes: "It was thanks to their military superiority, rather than to any social, moral or natural advantage, that the white peoples of the world managed to create and control, however briefly, the first global hegemony in History."7 The temporal qualification is open to question.
"Twentieth-century historians can agree that it was usually the Europeans who broke violently into Asian trading systems that had been relatively peaceful before their arrival," James Tracy writes, summarizing the scholarly study of merchant empires that he edited. They brought state trading to a region of relatively free markets, "open to all who came in peace, under terms that were widely known and generally accepted." Their violent entry into this world brought a "combination, characteristically if not uniquely European, of state power and trading interest, whether in the form of an arm of the state that conducts trade, or a trading company that behaves like a state." "The principal feature that differentiates European enterprises from indigenous trade networks in various parts of the globe," he concludes, is that the Europeans "organized their major commercial ventures either as an extension of the state...or as autonomous trading companies...which were endowed with many of the characteristics of a state," and were backed by the centralized power of the home country.
Portugal paved the way by extracting a tribute from Asian trade, "first creating a threat of violence to Asian shipping," then selling protection from the threat they posed while providing no further service in return: "in modern terms," Pearson notes, "this was precisely a protection racket." Portugal's more powerful European adversaries took over, with more effective use of violence and more sophisticated measures of management and control. The Portuguese had not "radically altered the structure of [the] traditional system of trade," but it was "smashed to pieces" by the Dutch. The English and Dutch companies "used force in a much more selective, in fact rational way" than their Portuguese predecessors: "it was used only for commercial ends...the bottom line was always the balance sheet." The force at their command, and its domestic base, was far superior as well. The British, not succumbing to the "Dutch disease," largely displaced their major rivals. The leading role of state power and violence is a notable feature in the "essential" contribution of the colonies to "the state of Europe" that Adam Smith described, as in its internal development.8
Britain has been considered an exception to the crucial role of state power and violence in economic development; the British liberal tradition held this to be the secret of its success. The assumptions are challenged in a valuable reinterpretation of Britain's rise to power by John Brewer. Britain's emergence "as the military Wunderkind of the age" in the late 17th and early 18th centuries, exercising its authority "often brutally and barbarously" over subject peoples in distant lands, he concludes, coincided with an "astonishing transformation in British government, one which put muscle on the bones of the British body politic." Contrary to the liberal tradition, Britain in this period became a "strong state," "a fiscal-military state," thanks to "a radical increase in taxation" and "a sizable public administration devoted to organizing the fiscal and military activities of the state." The state became "the largest single actor in the economy," one of Europe's most powerful states "judged by the criteria of the ability to take pounds out of people's pockets and to put soldiers in the field and sailors on the high seas." "Lobbies, trade organizations, groups of merchants and financiers, fought or combined with one another to take advantage of the protection afforded by the greatest of economic creatures, the state."