Thursday, May 24, 2007

Genocide Tourism

Does anyone marshal facts in an argument better than Lenin of Lenin's Tomb? In this short post from this morning, he describes the plot of the new Rambo movie (in which our hero finds himself kicking ass in Myanmar) in one paragraph, and then offers this:
Incidentally, it is odd that they should pick Myanmar for their genocide tourism, because reports last year suggested that the mortality rate for males aged 15-25 is close to that achieved in Cambodia under Pol Pot. This is not because the repressive government - which provides British capital with a flood of low-price commodities - engages in arbitrary or group-based murder (although it does those things too - about 2% of the population experiences a family member being shot at, beaten or stabbed by government forces). It is because it is a capitalist dictatorship, based on forced labour (up to a third of the population experiences this), with nothing that could be called a social security system. Malnourishment, starvation and treatable or preventable malaria cause the bulk of deaths as a consequence. That is to say, this grim tale is simply part of the reality of global capitalism, partaking of some of its worst ills. Obviously, the UK government repays the regime's services to capital with a steady supply of armaments. So, if Rocky does want to fuck with the Burmese,
he has to go through the British first.
But then in the comment section, someone naturally takes issue with his post, and he takes the poor guy to school, clearly and coherently explaining the history of the British Empire as it relates to Burma (Myanmar), India, and China, and the logic of capital accumulation, etc. Read the whole thing (at least through the first 18 comments, which is how many there are as I write). This is why Lenin's Tomb is probably the best political blog out there.

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