Archive for the ‘Timbuktu’ Category

Mali EmpireMansa_MusaWest African Empires

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A Fine Benin Bronze Plaque In High Relief With A Warrior Chief, Full Length, In Elaborate Battle Dress With Shield And Lance. Circa 1600.

MusaReturnsMax Weber on the Statebrigantaggio forced National LiberationCasalduni Risorgimento massacresFreedom for Italy

Some truths brand themselves within the inner sanctum of the human condition. Yet these same truths also have their deniers. We would like to deny those particular truths because they are the recurring nightmares of history. The truth is real, yet we some how hope… Are there not exceptions to the everyday, sacred laws of existence?

One such historical truth concerns the evils of the State and Political-Economy. In Ancient History, there were some exceptions to that Historical Rule of Barbarity – but within our Modern-Contemporary world, the exceptions have all but disappeared. The cruel actuality of our existence has exposed this Truth’s putrid venom.

At one time in the Sahel of West Africa, whipped the brush, and scented-blinding winds of imperial glory – which also included tribute taxations, violent conquests, extensive householder slavery, and a wealth in bullion where the prosperous Islamic merchants of Baghdad would bow their knees in glory.

The decade was the 1230’s AD. The great Pagan Empire of Ghana was losing its power to the glorious Muslim armies of the Almoravid Empire, which had already reconquered Spain, Andalus, for the Dar-Al Islam. A vision came upon the political leaders of the Malinke Nation concerning a new imperial creation. The leader of destiny was Sundiata Keita.

He established a disciplined army of strong Malinke soldiers, allied with other tribute nation warriors, who marched onward to war. Through his tactics and discipline, he won both the battles – and the final war. Malinke then established an even greater Empire in the Sahel, or the semi-deserts, all the way to the tropical forests of West Africa, called Mali. Many Empires have decayed after their first conquests, since the ancient warrior-leaders often neglected their original successions and recent conquests. But not this Empire – as the years passed, the Mali Empire seemed to expand and increase into even greater distinction.

The Empire ruled over the river commodity exchanges of the Niger and the Wangara. The Mali Kingdom received massive tributes in gold, human slaves, tributary soldiers and salt. It understood that a successful ancient empire must tax human migrations, labor, armies, hard currency and spice-foodstuffs, all in order to control the surrounding cultures. This empire controlled so much land that only the Mongols in the northeast had conquered more territories. Soon, Europe, Africa and Asia heard of the fantastic stories concerning its wealth and massive army.

The emperors, or Mansas, like the Mongols later in history, converted to the religion of Islam. But this was not a strict regimen. A type of syncretic religious system developed where West African rituals and native myths mixed with Islamic world culture, all of which fused into a new cosmopolitan civilization, headquartered in the magical city of Timbuktu. This city of Timbuktu soon possessed a massive university system for Islamic scholars and intellectuals.

A hundred years later, the great Mansa Musa took the throne, and he decided to perform a great pilgrimage to Mecca. He would travel with his elite soldiers, harem entourage, slaves, exquisite food – and his gold, through the Sahel and the Sahara. This pilgrimage of power and piety had become Historical Legend.

All the senses exploded upon urban Islamic civilization. Mansa Musa ate sumptuous meals flavored with the exotic herbs and spices of West Africa. His servant slaves were armed and had powers too. They acted more like family then humiliated peons. All of his entourage, including his slaves, wore fine clothes of leisure and sensuality. Their deep colors represented the magical Earth of orange-blue African sky, and the dry Sahel yellow ochre-green savannahs salad mixed with tropical green-brown, pasta strewn forests. Their weapons of war seemed like works of art – even though they could maim and kill with gentle ease. But it was the overall, carefree existence of that royal entourage, in truly holding such wealth, yet not boasting of it, nor showing it off.

Musa gave generously to all religious institutions, while the merchants of the great Islamic cities stood in the awe at the generosity and nobility of such an emperor. Mansa transformed into a type of mystical Sun King bursting upon the Earth from the Heavenly Golden Palace. At that same time in history, the Europeans were suffering from the horrible effects of the Bubonic Plague, which had already killed a third of its population. They failed to see their own dirtiness and hypocrisy, and so they looked in askance. The dirty Europeans would return to Africa with a vengeance however.

But like always in sordid human history, the cusp of imperial greatness also leads to the slow and painful decline and fall – to eventual extinction. Another one hundred and thirty years later, one of Mali’s tributary states had successfully revolted and conquered Timbuktu. This empire was the Islamic West African Kingdom of Songhai. The Songhai supported the intellectual life of the university at Timbuktu however, while they had succeeded in capturing the tributary taxes of the previous Malian rulers.

Unfortunately, the Malians tried to enlist the devious Europeans in their desire for continued power and glory. They chose the Portuguese maritime seafarers in order to further their reconquest. This became a terrible omen, for it was the Portuguese maritime empire that first established the mass murder system of the African Slave Trade in the mid 1400s. Meanwhile, other African nations wanted their own kingdoms, such as the Wolof, the Hausa, the Benin and Ashanti Kingdoms. To the east, existed the Muslim African Empire of Kanem-Bornu. The Europeans discreetly understood the devious applications of Divide and Conquer.

This imperial history of West Africa perfectly explains the nature of the Ancient State. West African Kingdoms sought their power bases through family dynasties, tribute taxations, a political economy of patron slavery, and a warfare-conquest spoils system. Most of the subject people were farmers and artisans. The wars rarely touched them. One Empire came, and then another dynastic authority took its place. And such was the bittersweet cycle of life. The new King shone bright, only to die unto History’s dust.

The Ancient state and political-economic systems of tribute tax-paternalism were not necessarily brutal. Even Alexander the Great did not willfully murder whole populations of cities, nor did he target entire ethnic-religious groups for mass extermination. The Judeo-Christian Monotheists, i.e. the Israelites of Numbers, Deuteronomy and Joshua, and the Medieval Christian Crusaders were the first ancient mass murderers or paleo-Nazis.

Yet, the ancient stories of the West African Empires fully explain the modus operandi of the State and its political-economy, always based on the power of one group over another.

Power is simply the legal rights to use violent methods for whatever reasons, which includes intellectual and economic forms, over subject population bases. As the modern intellectual Max Weber wrote, the State always holds the final means for a total monopoly of violence. Or as we Anarchists proclaim: the most dangerous, violent criminals are State actors and their economic elites.

Yet the modern state has transformed into a wholly different, and much deadlier, rabid animal-monster. When Capitalism and its brutal profit motives invaded the daily life of most of the world’s humanity, during the 19th century; something in the State Sadist changed drastically – and for the worse.

A perfect historical example that exposes the criminality of the modern State is the so-called Risorgimento, or the forced unification of the Italian States during the 1860s.

The 1860s represented another violent decade across the human globe. In Japan the Emperor Meiji successfully destroyed the Tokugawa Shogunates of Daimyo gangs ruling over the Japanese populace. The Second German Reich birthed through continual wars against its weaker neighbors: Denmark, Austria and France. The British Empire invaded and subdued the Bhutanese in South Asia. The Russian Emperor eliminated the Serfdom system, while the American Empire invaded, subdued and committed atrocities against the white South, or the Confederacy, while liberating the African-American slaves – yet gave them nothing to live on! The French Empire invaded and subdued Mexico, while three Latin American countries: Brazil, Argentina and Uruguay joined together in a War of Extermination against the Paraguay Nation.

But there was one invasion that most historians completely forgot during that same historical period. A royal-aristocratic gang of social parasites, using a bunch of Liberals as the public face of the movement, invaded another royal-aristo stronghold, and then murdered a part of the rural population who refused to give allegiance to the new bosses.

The royal house of Savoy, who spoke better French than Italian, allied with another local aristo, named Count Cavour, all of whom were located in a region of northern Italy, called Piemonte-Saboya. Those crooks came up with an ingenious plan to continue their corrupt political rule. They surfed on the Euro-Nationalist wave, and later transformed their juntas of soldier-thugs into the Italian National Army.

Those men were not stupid. In order to give a noble veneer to their wicked deeds, they publicly used Italian Nationalist-Liberals for the public face of the movement. They chose two notable Liberals: Giuseppe Mazzini who represented the political wing, and Giuseppe Garibaldi who represented the military wing.

No war is complete without a violent invasion, and so this ugly cabal from the north of Italy attacked another degenerate royal-aristo base in the southern part of the country, ruled by the Spanish Bourbon parasites, called the Kingdom of the Two Sicilies.

This was not just a fight between two different Euro-parasites for the control of a new country. The Piedmont-National Army also conducted mass murder across the rural country of southern Italy in order to fully subdue any resistance to the new kings. This Northern Army murdered around 100,000 southern Italians. This early counterinsurgency program worked quite splendidly, and so, the new National government in Rome annexed the southern peninsula. But war always leaves its scars of loss, anger, hunger and poverty.

Whole regions in the South lost valuable men and the almost self-sufficient farmers lost portions of their lands. The National Government allied with the local Southern aristos, carpetbagger politicians-elites from the north, and the Camorra-Mafia gangs to control the wealth of the region. The Great Italian Emigration began from the South to the North of the country, to northern Europe, and across the globe, mostly to the Rio de Plata of South America and to the United States, in order to look for work. Still to this day, in Modern Italy, the North and Rome accuse the Southerners of weakening Italy’s greatness.

This is what the modern state and its economic elites do to modern peoples. Unlike the ancient states, they don’t just invade, amass two armies for battle, scale the walls, and then retake the palace, they also commit mass murder exterminations against civilian populations.

Why do they do this? Because our Modern Lives have lots of non-State media sources: printed publications, theaters and public spectacles. The Modern State demands that all subjects not just respect it, like a good gang leader – but also fear its criminal power of destruction. Fear works even better for the total social control of subject populations.

The Modern State with its full monopoly of violence and legal crime always demands the center stage, the center of national attention. The National Official History is the history of its own appropriated, great leaders, National Culture is its own appropriated lies and state propaganda babble, often relayed through boring, school-university textbooks.

Do any of us still believe that a mass murderer-serial rapist will somehow transform himself or herself, and suddenly become a nice and respectful person? So then why do we continue to believe such criminal institutions, the State and their economic elite enablers, will all of a sudden reform themselves and reject their monopolies of violence. Let all attentive subjects beware.