U.S.Crusade | RaceandHistory | RastaTimes | HowComYouCom | News Links | Trini Soca | Africa Speaks
Trinicenter.com Trinicenter.com Trinidad and Tobago News
Online Forums
Create an AccountHome | Account | World News  

International Watch
  • Home
  • AvantGo
  • Feedback
  • Search
  • Stories Archive
  • Submit News

  • Categories
  • Africa Focus
  • Arab Spring
  • Audio & Video
  • Book Review
  • Caribbean
  • Inside U.S.A.
  • Invasion of Iraq
  • Israel-Palestine
  • Latin America
  • Medical
  • Pakistan
  • Pandora's Box
  • Racism Watch
  • Satire
  • US War on Iran
  • War and Terror
  • War on Russia
  • War on Syria
  • World Focus
  • Zimbabwe

  • Old Articles
    Sunday, November 13
    · George Soros Financed Anti-Trump Protests
    · Clinton Is the Most Dangerous Person Alive
    Sunday, October 09
    · Always remember
    Tuesday, September 27
    · He Who Hesitates Is Lost And Russia Hesitated
    Thursday, August 18
    · US Impunity under threat: Turkey may disintegrate NATO
    Monday, July 11
    · Made Man in a Blue Vest: Deray McKesson
    Saturday, June 25
    · Why the British said no to Europe
    Saturday, June 18
    · U.S. Sets Stage for Libya-Like Regime Change in Eritrea, “Africa’s Cuba”
    Monday, June 06
    · Muhammad Ali: My Name, Not Yours
    Friday, June 03
    · There Has Been A Coup In Brazil
    Saturday, May 28
    · Silencing America as It Prepares for War
    Friday, May 27
    · The Looting Stage of Capitalism: Germany’s Assault on the IMF
    Wednesday, May 25
    · Get Real: Petrodollars, not corruption is the reason for Brazilian coup
    · Russia Denounces External Forces for Crisis in Venezuela
    Tuesday, May 24
    · Call It a 'Coup': How Elite Orchestrated Overthrow in Brazil
    Thursday, May 19
    · Hillary Clinton’s Race Problem
    · Roots of the Conflict: Palestine’s Nakba in the Larger Arab ‘Catastrophe’
    Monday, April 25
    · Black Lives Don’t Matter, Black Votes Do
    Friday, December 11
    · San Bernardino Incident Has the Earmarks of a False Flag
    Wednesday, December 09
    · The Religious Element of Terrorism

    Older Articles

    Features

    Sudan''s Crisis

    Zimbabwe: Land Reform and Mugabe

    U.S Coup in Haiti

    Venezuela and Chavez


      
    World Focus: Columbus Day, a "Hoax"? A Few Points Against Franz J.T. Lee
    Saturday, October 09 @ 09:09:29 UTC
    SocialismBy RossWolfe
    October 09, 2010


    Around this time last year, Franz J.T. Lee went on a now somewhat commonplace tirade against the "racist" holiday, Christopher Columbus Day.  While it might have acquired racist overtones in some perverse contexts, I hardly think that the celebration of the holiday is racist in itself.  Also, to talk about the "discovery" of America (by Europe) is not outrageous.  Certainly there were people living in the geographic territories we now call North and South America, and Columbus' finding out about the existence of these continents was not a discovery for humanity as such.  Still, it was a significant discovery for the European powers, and a major world-historical event.  Moreover, this laid the foundation for the possibility of global emancipation, even though it had disastrous consequences for the native populations of America.

    For someone who claims to be so up on Marx and Marxism, Lee seems to forget that Marx and Engels themselves commonly spoke this way about Columbus.  Engels even gave a lecture in 1847 called "The Discovery of America," in which he stated:

    Citizens! When Christopher Columbus discovered America 350 years ago, he certainly did not think that not only would the then existing society in Europe together with its institutions be done away with through his discovery, but that the foundation would be laid for the complete liberation of all nations; and yet, it becomes more and more clear that this is indeed the case. Through the discovery of America a new route by sea to the East Indies was found, whereby the European business traffic of the time was completely transformed; the consequence was that Italian and German commerce were totally ruined and other countries came to the fore; commerce came into the hands of the western countries, and England thus came to the fore of the movement. Before the discovery of America the countries even in Europe were still very much separated from one another and trade was on the whole slight. Only after the new route to the East Indies had been found and an extensive field had been opened in America for exploitation by the Europeans engaged in commerce, did. England begin more and more to concentrate trade and to take possession of it, whereby the other European countries were more and more compelled to join together. From all this, big commerce originated, and the so-called world market was opened. The enormous treasures which the Europeans brought from America, and the gains which trade in general yielded, had as a consequence the ruin of the old aristocracy, and so the bourgeoisie came into being. The discovery of America was connected with the advent of machinery, and with that the struggle became necessary which we are conducting today, the struggle of the propertyless against the property owners.

    This was not just a careless piece of juvenilia, either.  He used the same exact language in his 1883 Dialectics of Nature, where he wrote:

    When the Arabs learned to distill alcohol, it never entered their heads that by so doing they were creating one of the chief weapons for the annihilation of the original inhabitants of the still undiscovered American continent. And when afterwards Columbus discovered America, he did not know that by doing so he was giving new life to slavery, which in Europe had long ago been done away with, and laying the basis for the Negro slave traffic. The men who in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries labored to create the steam engine had no idea that they were preparing the instrument which more than any other was to revolutionize social conditions throughout the world.

    As Engels points out, Columbus had no idea of the significance of his discovery (and yes, it was a major discovery for Europe).  He had no idea it would result in the creation of the slave trade in Africa, or in the widespread destruction of indigenous populations.  As a person he really can't be praised or blamed on either of these consequences.  The holiday should probably not be viewed so much as the celebration of one man, for as Joseph Dietzgen (one of Marx's close friends, whom Lenin praised as a theoretician) put it, "had not Columbus made use of the accumulated means, ideas and aspirations to undertake the discovery of America, some other sailor would have done it; the talent and courage requisite for such a voyage are by no means rare among sailors generally."

    Instead, Columbus Day should be understood as the celebration of an event of world-historical importance.

     
    Related Links
    · More about Socialism
    · News by admin


    Most read story about Socialism:
    Columbus Day, a "Hoax"? A Few Points Against Franz J.T. Lee


    Article Rating
    Average Score: 0
    Votes: 0

    Please take a second and vote for this article:

    Excellent
    Very Good
    Good
    Regular
    Bad


    Options

     Printer Friendly Printer Friendly



    Homepage | Trinidad News | Africa Speaks | U.S.Crusade | Fair Use Notice


    Copyright © 2002-2014 Trinicenter.com
    Trinicenter.com is a 100% non-profit Website
    You can syndicate our news using the file backend.php or ultramode.txt
    All logos, trademarks, articles and comments are property of their respective owners.
    PHP-Nuke Copyright © 2004 by Francisco Burzi. This is free software, and you may redistribute it under the GPL.
    PHP-Nuke comes with absolutely no warranty, for details, see the license.
    Page Generation: 0.28 Seconds