Sunday, August 9, 2009

Fortune: Thy Daily Bread

The usual briefing one gets on the area of operations to be usually includes some percentages of this kind of economic activity or how much it’s worth. When it comes to determining how a people fight, what their priorities are, and their capacity, that sort of numerology isn’t worth dick,

A better question is “how do they get their daily bread”, bread also meaning dough. If we are talking about loggers from Washington state or copper miners from Arizona, or fishermen from Alaska, we are talking about some tough people who don’t take to fancy airs, or PowerPoint. It doesn’t matter whether it is logs, rocks, or fish. A man’s Face is in his fists. Yours too, if he thinks you are looking down, when you should be looking up.

Refugees from the Rust Belt sound like their counterparts in China, or India where the search for cheaper labor keeps moving along. Thiers is a sense of outrage, outrage which is political gasoline for political machines. Displaced farmers crowd into cities where exploitation is better than starvation. They take with them the traditions of former walks of life.

That’s why we have Country and Western music, decades after the country in the west was left for the lights, and paychecks of the city. And people like to hang with their people. Chicago is full of ethnic neighborhoods, once very tight. Cities in Africa and Asia are the same. Tribes hang together in the teeming cities. And the habits developed in the fields, forests, mountains, rivers and oceans carry forward intact or are adapted for life in barrios, favelas, or slums in Mumbai.

A smart warrior would be wise to find out the MOS structure of the economy and of the economic past that carries forward. MOS is Military Occupational Specialty, but rather than invent some goofy acronym to replace it, we can still use the idea/ Likewise branch, service, and rank are important to know.

There are “officer corps” in societies. Sociologists call them caste or class. Works out the same way. The butchery of years past in the Rift Valley of Ruanda, Burundi, Uganda, and Kenya are deeply rooted in an economic past of herdsmen versus farmers in which one tribe dominated another. Thus the tall Tutsi consider themselves the warrior class to whom the shorter Hutu (Bantu) owe obedience. The Hutu have more than once made the tall shorter, with machetes.

Then there is Golden Rule. Those who get the gold get to rule. One the other hand, Mao once said that power grows out of the barrel of a gun. Taken together it becomes a synergistic circle: guns to gold to rule OR guns to rule to gold Or … there are nine possible synergisms.

Central to survival is a sense of self, of self pride in providing, protecting, and presenting one’s self, and one’s family. It’s not uncommon that the rich can be bought off, but the poor won’t put up with it.

Such is the case in Mexico. Invaded by us, and by the French, it was the peon that wouldn’t suck up like the aristocrats of Ciudad Mexico. They still don’t like Gringos. But the cheap housing and cost of living between the Sabine and San Diego is built by the hard working peon, illegal or not. Their skill sets came from building their own villages and homes in Mexico.

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