Archive for the ‘Mexico City’ Category

Worlds of Pharmakopeia IV: Tobacco, Euro-Colonialism Murders another Native Plant

Posted: November 10, 2014 in absurdity, addictions, advertising, Africa, African slaves, agriculture, American colonialism, American plantation killing centers, American slavery, anti-smoking legislation, anti-tobacco coalitions, aristocratic lords, Asia, ATF, Atlantic Ocean, Black Gold, botany, Bresil, burning, cancers, cannabis, capital, capitalism, Caribbean Sea, chemical adulteration, chemical-industrial surgery, chemicals, chewing, Christian anti-smoking groups, cigarette packs, cigars, climate, coffee, colonial markets, colonial monopolies, colonial penetration, colonialism, commodities, commodity fetishes, contrabandists, coolness, corporate health care costs, corporate patents, corporate taxes, coughs, credit, crops, Cuba, cultivation, cultural activities, cultural associations, cultural life, cultural links, culture, death, drink, drugs, elite consumption, elites, emphysema, empire, empires, Euro-american civilization, Europe, European aristocrats, European civlization, European colonialism, European empires, European imperialism, European invaders, European monarchies, export commodities, factories, factory work, fashion, flora diversity, food, freedom, fumes, fuming poisons, gardens, genocide, gentlemen, Glasgow, habit, hatred, health, history, Hollywood, human condition under civilization, imperialism, imprisonment, Industrial Capitalism, inhalation-exhalation, intoxication, investors, Jamaica, kidnapping, kiosks, labor, landed estates, laws, leaves, legal crime, legal criminality, legal theft, manufacture, mass murder, media manipulation, medical experts, Mercantile Capitalism, metropolitan markets, Mexico City, missionaries, mode, monopolies, murder, natives, new women, newspapers, nicotine, official medicine, ownership, papers, pastes, penal slavery, pipes, plantation slavery, planters, plants, playing cards, power, private property rights, processing, production, profit, public education school administrators, publicity, puffing, punk musicians, rebellion, refinement, rock musicians, royal companies, royal monopolies, self-proclaimed owners, sensuality, Sevilla, sexual fetishes, shaving, shipping, slave owners, slavery, slaves, smoke, smokers, smoking, smoking breaks, smoking jackets, smoking parlors, snuff, social parasites, soil, sugar, tea, the Americas, the body, the modern State, the modern world, the State, tobacco, tobacco industry, tobacco lords, tobacco shops, transporting, urban life, US government war against tobacco, Virginia Tidewater Plantation, war, war against working class smokers, weight, weight control, women models, work, work to death, workers, world history
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Natives with community pipetobacco-native-ceremonytobacco fields Columbus invades, tobacco crosses watersEuropeans inhale tobaccotobacco plantation workerscured and dried tobacco1670_virginia_tobacco_slavesmercantile capitalism - markets and slaveryGalleon_transport of slaves and commoditiestobacco-plantation-granger w_slavestobacco plantation with African slavesHollywood smoking Robert Mitchummodels smokingrush_limbaugh_cigarGNR Slash smoking and axeing

Only in our evil, modern world do native flora varieties arouse such enduring hatreds.

There still exist the sick hatreds against cannabis sativa, psilocybe semilanceata, erythroxylum coca, and there is one plant that receives the coveted prize in pure hate, nicotiana tabacum.

What is so strange about this hatred is that this same plant was integrally important for European colonialism and industrial capitalism in world history. European and Euro-American civilizations could not have progressed as they did without the native american gift of tobacco plantations, working slave labor to death, and then, the tobacco processing, factory work, building even larger ships, international marketing and sophisticated advertising.

How did such an enjoyable American plant associated with native community peace, and smoked through pastes, leaves, hand-made pipes and even chewed, transform into such a European commodity fetish under global capitalism?

Nicotiana tabacum was once a naturally growing, medicinal and spiritual plant for America’s native nations. European colonial invaders, investors, and murderers transformed the plant into an export drug of commodity for elite consumption under the inexhaustible profit-making schemes of capitalism.

Columbus and his invading men did not just murder, imprison and sell native slaves on the island of Cuba during the 1490s. They also spotted some, ‘naked’ Carib natives smoking a herb placed in some leaves. The scent was quite intoxicating and the natives seemed to enjoy the community based smoke. They did not inhale, yet the effect of the plant was calming after they had eaten some fresh, delicious food, and the herb even had a sensual effect on the smokers. The European imperial-colonial invaders found another gift.

They stole the native plants from the Caribbean islands and transported them to Europe. The Europeans took a peculiar liking to them. In the 1500s, the Portuguese colonial invaders in the Americas, called Bresil, began to cultivate the native crop. It seemed to grow well in sub-tropical and tropical climates. When introduced into European aristocratic, social-parasite gardens inside of the great landed estates, tobacco plants sprouted quite well. Tobacco could also grow in mild, temperate, oceanic climates. The European elites were on to something.

During the seventeenth-century, some monarchs, political thugs and tyrants began to hate the plant. King James Stuart of England, Sultan Ammurath IV of Ottoman Turkey, and Czar Mikhail Romanov of Russia, represented some of the anti-tobacco elite crowd, while Pope Urban VIII actually had a papal bull written against the plant in the 1640s.

Yet the European colonial empires of Britain, France, Spain, the Netherlands and Portugal had succumbed to the gods of capital. Each empire set up their own royal monopolies for the plant. The annoying question was where to grab the labor in order to work long hours in the hot sun: picking, drying, curing and transporting the leaves. The Europeans had made themselves the self-proclaimed owners of nicotine tabacum, so at first, they used local penal labor to work them to death in order to enrich the tobacco lords or planters. Where could one find a continual supply of slave labor?

An even greater economic windfall emerged through such an American cultivation – the theft of human chattel, or the kidnapping, murder, transporting and working to death of African slaves.

The Portuguese had first established their monopoly of the Blackened Brown Gold during the late sixteenth-century and early seventeenth-century, (about 1560-1660). Due to the importance of such American export plantation crops, such as tobacco, the English, Dutch, (the Netherlands), and the French established their own ‘African’ slave monopolies. A plant associated with community peace and enjoyment, took on the ominous tones of legal crime, kidnapping, imprisonment, mass murder, genocide and working people to death. Tobacco actually helped birth mercantile capitalism.

Mercantile Capitalism implied royal European controls of an export commodity, such as tobacco, sugar, coffee, tea, chocolate, salt and kidnapped African slaves, while it established permanent credit to slave plantation owners in order for them to purchase a continual supply of Africans and other penal slaves, (the European looking, or white ones). The American plantation-slave owners and European tobacco traders-ship investors made their profits through inflated price sales in the home or European metropolitan markets.

Meanwhile, European navies and missionaries tried to open greater markets for the American products in the Asian continents. Slowly, nicotine snuff and tobacco smoking had spread into the Islamic world culture, then Persia-Iran, the Indian sub-continent, Central Asia and ultimately into the Far East, China and even Japan.

In the eighteenth-century, the European tobacco manufacturers developed the smaller ‘cigarette’ varieties, and for those that preferred to chew, snuff boxes. All of this cigarette finery was for elite European consumption.

Elaborate, silver inlaid snuff boxes entered the world of fashion conscious, French aristocratic-parasite bums. In Britain, gentlemen established new cultural activities, fashions and spaces besides fencing, hunting, dances, card games, tea and reading – the smoking parlor with the smoking jacket.

A good tobacco smoke was always perfect after a good meal, with some intoxicating liquor or with some fine coffee. European grifters-Latin lovers, such as the Venetian, Giacomo Casanova, also took up the habit, and so tobacco grabbed some important cultural associations within European culture: sensuality, refinement, power and a coolness under pressure.

Most importantly, King Tobacco had changed the colonial-metropolitan relationships. The Scottish Tobacco Lords transformed the city of Glasgow into the premier tobacco import-export port. These same ‘lords’ would build their mini castles along Jamaica and Virginia Streets.

Those same streets had the infamous names of the most infernal, African slave killing centers in world history.

Virginia, once a colonial outpost of disease and hardship, had become the British Empire’s premier, tobacco plantation colony on the Tidewater during the 1700s. Is it any wonder that most of America’s revolutionary founders came from this proud plantation region made rich through the marvelous drug of tobacco?

During the same eighteenth-century, the Spanish colonial authorities had established the first urban factory for cigar-cigarette paper rolling and export packaging in Mexico City. Earlier, the Spanish had established the city of Seville as the premier processing center for cigars. For over a century in colonial Spanish America, and well before Metropolitan Europe, both men and women had been openly smoking tobacco cigarettes on the public streets. American fashion and prominence had come to Europe – mainly through the marvelous and medicinal herb of nicotiana tabacum.

Throughout the nineteenth-century, the 1800s, tobacco manufacturers had developed better technology in curing and rolling for three particular products: cigars, cigarettes, (blond and black versions), and chewable snuff.

The first tobacco companies consolidated themselves, while they competed with each other for the monopoly share of the smokers and chewers’ markets. This modern tobacco industry also encouraged the adulteration of tobacco through chemical engineering in order to hold their monopolies. Tobacco products even had molasses, rum, opium or honey mixed into the final product.

Tobacco eventually became part of modern, European and Euro-American cultural life. Royalty, lazy aristos, middle class-respectable clerks, and working class dock workers took up the smoking habit. The problem was that many of the men inhaled the nicotine fumes. Certain political-economic elites, Women Christian Temperance clubs and health workers noticed the persistent coughs of regular smokers. The modern anti-smoking movement had begun.

Meanwhile, tobacco shops and kiosks became one of the standard sights found on most city streets around the world, and where they also featured other items for sale, such as newspapers, books, shaving kits, pipes, rolling papers, pen knives, board games and playing cards.

In the twentieth-century, the 1900s, the tobacco industry transformed the world of advertising and mass marketing. A few tobacco monopolies had controlled the sale of ‘cigarette packs” and they made fortunes on the drug.

Smoking found associations with soldiers during World War I and for most wars afterwards. In the 1920s, cigarette companies targeted their advertising to the ‘new woman,’ thanks to the propaganda genius of the Austrian-American, Edward Bernays. Hollywood’s golden age featured most of their stars regularly smoking the sacred plant. Can anyone forget the famous pictures of Humphrey Bogart and James Dean without cigarettes dangling from their mouths?

While tobacco use seemed to sell exponentially – and especially in Asia, the anti-smoking forces mercilessly attacked the drug. Medical experts exposed the correlations between nicotine use and cancer, emphysema and other incurable maladies.

An anti-smoking coalition emerged. This motley prohibitionist group included family survivors of smokers who had died bad deaths, medical professionals, public education school administrators, and Christian religious groups,. Political-economic elites also joined their ranks, since they wanted better workers not taking so many smoking breaks, inclusive of less corporate health care costs.

Tobacco prohibitionists began to push for greater anti-smoking legislation. By the 1980s, they had succeeded in seizing the State.

In some urban cities in the United States, smoking is highly expensive, heavily taxed, and there are petty, minute federal, state and municipal laws that dictate where a person can or cannot smoke in public. Any street vendor trying to sell cheap cigarettes from another state, now has the felon tag of a ‘contrabandist,’ and can end up in prison or even have the cops murder him. The US government has a well-armed regulatory agency against tobacco, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms, or the ATF, and so the US government has declared another war – this time against tobacco.

Yet, millions of young women, and especially models, smoke tobacco in order to help them not gain weight. Rock artists, punk musicians and other fringe artists regularly flaunt the burning cigarette in the mouth while they play their guitars brutally. Even some right-wing political activists have proudly taken the puff. The cigarette has its own sexual fetishes, and due to the US government’s war against it, now has associations with rebellion and freedom.

The history of nicotiana tabacum shows us once again, the absurdity of the human condition under civilization. A plant that once helped natives in the Americas ensure community peace and unions through the spiritual worlds, has undergone a terrible and irreversible chemical-medical-industrial-state regulated surgery.

European colonial elites had imposed this condition. They did this without the consent of the native victims of their genocides. The addictive desires for naked profits enabled another genocide against kidnapped Africans.

Most assiduously, certain corporations have claimed their own patents or imposed ‘ownership,’ on this natural plant, while they have mixed harmful chemicals into the industrial melting pot, creating a type of fuming poison. Finally, the contemporary State, ruled and administered by shameless sociopaths, constantly devises sinister means in punishing the working class smokers of the drug.

Tobacco was never the original enemy to stamp out. The sinister legacies of our European colonial settler states, once again, carry all the historical blame.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Latin America: Hangs the Ghost of the Colonial Casta

Posted: June 3, 2014 in advertising, Afro-Argentines, Amerikan embassy, Argentina, Auracanians, barbaros, begging, boticas, Brazil, brutality, Buenos Aires, campesinos, cargo ships, cash crop plantations, castas, catastrophes, Chaco, Chile, cinema, Colombia, colonial violence, colonialism, colonies, corruption, criminality, cruelty, destruction, dictatorial government, Dirty War against subversives, disappearances, diseases, Dominican Republic, economic elites, elites, epidemics, eugenics, European immigration, Europeans, export crops, extermination, extremes of wealth, forced work schemes, General Roca, golpes de estado, Guatemala, indigenous, indios, institutional murders, jefes, kidnapped Africans, latifundias, Latin America, Latinization, Laws of the Indies, legal precedents, Lima, Mapuches, mass graves, mass murder, megalopolis, mestizos, Mexico, Mexico City, military forces, mines, misery, murder, narcos, native farmers, Native nations, nineteenth-century, obrajes, outbreaks, Pampa, Paraguay, paramilitaries, parasites, Patagonia, police forces, political bosses, political-economic system, poor populations, Portuguese, poverty, prisons, publicity, race, racial apartheid, racialism, republican period, self-hatred, selling off natural resources, skin lightening creams, slave system, slavery, slow genocide, social class, Spanish, state crime, street crime, subjects, tango, telenovelas, the land, urbanization, Uruguay, vendepatrias, Venezuela, War of the Desert, War of the Triple Alliance, whitening
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castapainting mestizocolonial casta paintingPorfirio Diaz pre skin lighteningDictador porfirio-diaz post skin lighteninggenocidios de nativosGeneral Julio RocaPresidente Juan Manuel SantosFOX

I remember arriving as a doctoral student researcher while visiting one of Latin America’s megalopolis capitals. This particular time it was Mexico City, or el DF, as they called it in Mexico. This gran metropolis also had a more notorious name, el ‘Monstruo,’ the Monster. It was, and definitely still is, a Monster, both in actual size and in population count.

Seeing the octopus urbanization from the plane, while landing onto the airport strip, was a shocking sight. The aerial vision portrayed brown-yellow vomit chunks from an ancient Aztec God. The whole mess represented a massive urban polis filled with hodgepodges of grey-black conglomerations, connected by various mini megalopolises of construction sites and twisting roads. The traffic never seemed to stop.

Squatters had previously built ramshackle houses of concrete cinder blocks and alloy metal roofs along the mountains and hills, and surrounding those harsh pits of humanity were a few ominous brown volcanoes in the far distance.

Only three hundred years ago, this city of 150,000 people had a massive blue lake around it. The city possessed as many canals as streets. Residents proudly called Mexico City the Venice of the Americas. But now, Lake Texcoco is almost completely dried up. Throughout the centuries, the city’s colonial ‘authorities’ murdered the surrounding lake beds and canals due to the incessant flooding during the rainy seasons. The dirty grey and black water floods still come in the late summer however. They will never leave.

Latin America’s melancholic past has included some horrifying stories and incidents. The long list comprises state sponsored genocides, impregnable state corruption, military-executioner honchos, killer narcos, paramilitary murderers on the prowl, murderous destruction of natural resources for easy gain, ‘vendepatrias,’ or politicians that sell out their people to the Amerikan Embassy, prison infernos, mass murders of ‘campesinos,’ or farmers.

Such historical accounts can never forget the institutional murders, or disappearances, against journalists and activists, with the terrible poverty, extremes of wealth between the mostly poor population and the few rich people. All across Latin America grows incessant misery, aggressive begging, common criminality, police state cruelty, and street riots with dead bodies lying around – with those infamous ‘golpes de estados,’ or coup d’états. Why has Latin America continually suffered from such diseases and terrible outbreaks? Even the revolutionary Simon Bolivar predicted such catastrophes for the Americas.

The reason for all of this daily terrorism and institutional violence has been due to three hundred years of Iberian colonialism. The worst forms of this colonialist violence moved in three stages: political-economic, legal, and racial. The most heinous actions of its colonial crimes represented its racial codes, or as they stated some three hundred years ago, ‘castas,’ or racial castes.

The Latin colonial systems, representing mostly the Spanish and the Portuguese, managed their ‘colonies’ as privileged economic districts for investment. They had maintained a massive slave worker-forced laborer system on export crop plantations, such as sugar. Slaves also worked inside linen factories, called ‘obrajes’ in Spanish, and in gold and silver mines.

During the colonial period, most native farmers did not fall into these slave systems – but other unfortunates did. This was especially true for many Africans, first kidnapped from their home continent, next brought over on cargo ships, later worked to death as slaves in the Americas.

The colonial powers taxed and heavily legislated against all of their subjects, whether Europeans, natives or African-Americans. These colonial codes had the names of the Laws of the Indies. The colonial authorities even legislated the style of clothes and jewelry wearing depending on social class status. Most colonial subjects ignored those laws, but the system had already set a bad legal precedent.

This violent colonial system tried to keep separated laws, dress codes, neighborhoods, religious confraternities, or brotherhoods, guilds and churches depending on social class and racial status. The Latin colonial authorities of the Americas had created the classical, racist Apartheid system. By the 1600s, the Spanish referred to it as, ‘mandamientos a las castas,’ or rules relegating the racial castes.

During the eighteenth-century, the 1700s, the only legal outlet for a casta person was to become ‘Latinized,’ speaking the language well, dressing well and having a good economic social position. The racial caste person could then receive an officially, royally stamped ‘certificate of whiteness.’

Three hundred years of this racial apartheid still infects the minds of millions of Latin Americans. It was not as bad as the actual US institutional racism-prison industrial complex against African-Americans; but like all forms of racialism, it was mentally and institutionally brutal nonetheless.

This particular colonial caste system created a terminal germ of self-hatred that still eats out the brains of many Latin American people, and especially the political-economic elites. Latin America can never achieve its long desired freedom and dignity as long as the bacillus parasites of self-hating ‘politicos,’ or politicians, gorges the insides of Latin America’s soul.

After spending some months living and researching in Mexico City, I began to notice daily and common annoyances concerning the adverts on the subway platforms, inside the metro cars, and on the billboards around the city. I also spotted similar issues on the ‘telenovelas,’ or Latin American soap operas, and on the stupid gossip and slapstick shows so ubiquitous to Latin American bad television.

Most of the presenters, actors, faces, images were of European looking people. It was impossible to find an indigenous face on any public program or advert. I found this especially strange inside particularly large national capitals, such as Mexico City and Lima. A majority of the people who live in such capitals are mestizo, a colonial caste denomination representing a mixture of an indigenous native and a European. Were there any actual mestizo faces on advertising and television?

I also noticed this problem in the cinema. It was still hard to find mestizo and indigenous faces on the screens. Visiting the many ‘boticas,’ or pharmacies in the cities, I perceived that one of the greatest scam businesses in the continent has represented the selling of skin lightening creams.

Dictator-murderers in Latin American history, such as Porfirio Diaz and Rafael Trujillo were regular users of such salves. Other Latin American corrupt bosses and dictators also seemed to have dipped into the magical Euro face ointments, such as Juan Manual Santos of Columbia and Vicente Fox of Mexico.

During the late nineteenth-century and early twentieth-century, eugenics became the rage of European and North American political-economic elites. Latin America also had its eugenics supporters during the same period. Why do the southern cone countries of southern Brazil, Argentina, Uruguay and Chile have so many European looking citizens walking around its loud and dirty streets?

During the late nineteenth-century, the dictatorial governments of those countries had opened up ‘their lands’ to a massive European immigration scheme. They desperately wanted to whiten their countries from the shame of their indigenous and Afro-Latino communities. These ‘jefes,’ or state bosses, had hoped that a legion of Nordic Vikings and Germanic rune masters would settle ‘their continent’ and save the lazy, racially putrid Latin America from itself. Argentina received the bulk of this desired group.

Unfortunately for the Latino Euro-fakers, the majority of the immigrants were more from the Southern and Eastern European varieties, and there were also Arabs, Asians, and even Ashkenazi Jews that mixed into the newer white crowd. The Argentine generals would finish off some of the more dangerous elements of this mixed group during their genocide of the 1970s, called the Dirty War against Subversives.

Argentina, the whitest country in Latin America, (actually Uruguay and Chile together), has had its recent, ‘republican’ history replete with genocides. The corrupt kingpins in power first moved their racial genocide against the large Afro-Argentine community. At one time, they were about 30% of the population like Venezuela today. The Argentine Buenos Aires junta, which ran the ‘National Army,’ (under President Mitre), forced all Afro-Argentines to fight in the numerous wars of Argentina.

The most brutal war in Modern Latin American history was the War of the Triple Alliance in the middle part of the 1800s: Argentina, Imperial Brazil and Uruguay against Paraguay. Thousands of Afro-Argentinian men lost their lives for such a bogus war, and the general thugs simply buried the Afro-soldiers in mass graves located around central Buenos Aires. The historical grave sites don’t exist anymore.

The whitest countries of Latin American had almost exterminated the entire male population of the great Guarani-Mestizo Republic of Paraguay. Paraguay has still not recovered to this present day. This system of slow genocide continued well into the infamous War of the Desert in the latter part of the nineteenth-century.

The Afro-Argentine survivors would also die from recurrent outbreaks of cholera and yellow fever epidemics in their rat infested neighborhoods. The governments did nothing to help such poor people. The politicians felt good about the results. Now, only a few Afro-Argentines have survived, and their only cultural expressions live in the tango dance culture, and in Uruguayan Carnival.

The most heinous Argentinian genocide was the War of the Desert. General Julio Roca with a large Afro-Argentine and mestizo gaucho, or cowboy army, marched on the warpath to finally exterminate the recalcitrant barbarian ‘indios,’ or natives, in the Patagonia south, the Pampa central region, and the Gran Chaco north. In the south he tried to exterminate the great warrior nation of the Araucanians, or the Mapuches. The Mapuches have been continually fighting against colonialism and neocolonialism until this very day – mostly against the white Chilean crooks in Santiago.

Unfortunately, these state thugs had Winchester rifles, which worked marvelously in exterminating men, women and children. They successfully murdered tens of thousands of natives. There were also those European transplanted epidemics, which had already decimated the native nations. The actual killing figure is still unknown. General Roca had his name immortalized with pigeon shit statues around the country and his ugly mug on almost worthless bank notes.

As long as this sordid history retains the covers of pathetic lies and deadly omissions, then Latin America will continue to suffer the farce and absurdity of the bad life and the bad death. Argentina is not the only Latin American nation guilty of racialism and genocide. For example, Guatemala tried to do a similar racial liquidation program against the Mayan nation during the 1980s, further supported by the US government. Mexico, the Dominican Republic, Chile, Uruguay, Brazil, Colombia and Venezuela also tried their hands at such evil, racially incited, murderous practices.

Latin America will probably never be able to redeem its mind and soul from such an abusive history. But the true roots and holy souls of Latin America do not exist in London, Paris, Berlin or even in Miami, they continue to breathe inside the sacred earth, the medicinal plants, the powerful legends, the ancient gods, and those sacred native languages. Only in tortured Paraguay is the native language of Guarani one of its national tongues. And only a return to these sacrosanct cultures can ultimately transform the continent.