The Third German Empire sought to ethnically cleanse its homeland, rule its neighbours through vassal governments and plunder the world to enrich its Nazi elite. Why? Because it was God’s will for His chosen people? No, that was propaganda to recruit an army and justify genocide. The real reasons were avarice and vanity – the Nazi elite were not satisfied with what they already had, like a cancer in the body of humanity. And they were not alone. Of course, some empires are more ethical than others and exterminating alien peoples can be substituted with racial apartheid or merely discrimination.
Dominant empirical elites can only be defeated from without by a coalition of rival empires or from within by popular revolt. Historically, the former leads to a new dominant empire and the latter to a new ruling elite. With the advent of nuclear weapons, a club of empires which possessed them was established to prevent a global holocaust. The first agreement was to only engage in proxy wars on the territories of non-aligned states not in possession of a nuclear deterrent. Ensuring non-proliferation was the second.
The Chagossians are just one more indigenous people, on a very long list, who have been the innocent victims of expansionary empires. However, they are exceptional for the ecological value of the islands they once occupied and the matriarchal society that arose there. Both need to be preserved in their own right and to prevent the ecological and cultural impoverishment of future generations. If the Chagossians were to return en masse, both would be doomed. So what’s the answer? Surely not UNESCO?
The United Nations was modelled on the United Kingdom – only the names were changed. While the General Assembly (Parliament) occupies the attention of the masses, the all-powerful Security Council (Privy Council) takes the decisions of empire. Both councils are unelected, unaccountable and exercise their authority in service of their elites and not the people. Impotent UNESCO, in recognising the state of Palestine by popular vote, demonstrated that it is the opposite. Little wonder the US Empire immediately stopped funding it.
Is now not the hour for non-aligned states to collectively turn their backs on the General Assembly and invest their time and wealth to re-invent UNESCO as a global democracy of interdependent nation states for the benefit of each and every people, ecosystem and future generation, where all nations are equal and none are more equal than others? Its mandate would be to educate countries in cultural and environmental protection, carry out audits and inspections, and intervene in emergencies. What more does a global government need to do? Ideally, oversee the peaceful break-up of current empires into self-determining states, ensure the safe disposal of all nuclear weapons, co-ordinate humanity’s exploration of the ocean depths and outer space…
In a selfish, competitive and fundamentally patriarchal world is this merely a utopian dream? Perhaps, but the Chagossians demonstrated that there is another way. With a benevolent employer who did not exploit their labour and provided food, shelter, necessary healthcare and education, the masculine role of provider and protector was largely redundant. So was money. What if our enterprises genuinely pursued corporate social and environmental responsibility and our governments focussed on the long term and nurtured us all to achieve our diverse potentials? Surely we could meet everyone’s basic needs, eliminating fear for survival and its corollary: greed? Like the Chagossians, might we not learn to be content with less and enjoy the beauty of Nature, restoring that which we have thoughtlessly destroyed?
Our marine ecosystems depend on coral reefs. However, human activities cause severe stress, lowering their immunity to disease and tolerance of climate change; the result is bleaching and mortality. The parallels with people are obvious. The corals of the unoccupied Chagos Islands are like marine Gardens of Eden, that can naturally reseed the whole region in the event of coral extinction near human habitation. Likewise, perhaps, Chagossian culture can sow the seeds of a new global civilization.
Mauritius must simultaneously submit the whole archipelago and a new Chagossian eco-village (formerly known as Jin Fei) as World Heritage Sites. Acceptance would confirm Mauritian sovereignty of the islands, ensure that Chagossians participate in their management, maintain Chagossian cultural integrity and atone for the sins of our fathers. Instead of a shameful embarrassment, the Chagossians would become an attraction for anthropologists and tourists, could learn sustainable agriculture and contribute to Mauritius’ food security. Acceptance would also make the military use of Diego Garcia a violation of the Law of War.
Of course, the stumbling block is the dark side of humanity’s Jekyll and Hyde nature, perfectly expressed by the 1% at the apex of society. However, the 99% are waking up and the vanguard is experiencing the brutality that the US Empire normally reserves for non-Americans – natives excepted. The elite’s demise is inevitable, but they will fight to the bitter end and, with a philosophy of mutually assured destruction, this might mean the end of us all. However, a Global Democratic Republic could bankrupt the US Empire by ending the dollar’s dominance in international trade and facilitate a peaceful dissolution of the Union. This would be just the start…
“We, the people, are liberating our lands and our lives from the empirical elite. Occupy Wall St! Occupy Washington DC! De-occupy Diego Garcia! Occupy the UN! Liberty, equality, community! Long live the Republic! Long live UNESCO 2.0!”
The Last, Best Hope.