( Old Soldiers Do Die and Fade Away)
Had a fantastic discussion today with students about the former Occupational Authority under then American General Douglas MacArthur. We talked about such things like the family nucleus and at how directives under SCAP affected millions of households in Japan during and after the Occupation.
We also discussed topics about religion and white worship and about Democracy and how Japanese people have changed over the years from generation to generation. Questions like, what were MacArthur’s real motives and was he genuinely interested in rehabilitating the Japanese people, or was there a much more sinister plot, one that saw Japan as one massive experiment in radioactive fallout, or a Milgram’s style social psychology experiment….? I could probably name a few more plausible conspiracy theories out there, too.
Some students did acknowledge an inherent white worship, while others were in denial. Some knew absolutely nothing about the breakdown of the family as most have grown up in households where there was either very little communication or none at all, for them this is considered normal.
Prior to the Occupation, it was quite common for multi-generations of family members to live together under one roof. The family nucleus was much stronger back then than it is today. Families did things like share meals, bathed, watched television, and listened to radio together. The support network back then amongst family members was strong prior to MacArthur. Now, it's quite rare to see this bond between family members and neighbors, especially in the cities, and amongst the older generation.
Under SCAP directives the family nucleus was broken and disrupted in order to weaken the strong bond shared by family. Young men were directed to start families of their own and to live in their own homes away from parents and grandparents. In actuality, this directive, by MacArthur, was derived from Christian principles, whereby a man is supposed to leave his mother and father's home and take a wife unto himself and the two ‘shall become one flesh, idea,which is wholly inconsistent with Asian culture in general where the children are supposed to take care of their parents regardless of marital status.
Of course there are certain considerations that need to be taken into account, too, but we now know that through blamestorming the initial cause for the breakdown in the family nucleus had it's early beginnings due to the poison of Christianity and MacArthur(ism). Other things that may have also contributed later on would be decadence and conspicuous consumption after prosperity finally came to the country, and then subsequently over-westernization and the sissy(phication)[herbivore men] of the Japanese man .
Prior to MacArthur, a Japanese mother could choose her own mid-wife and deliver her own baby in the comfort and safety of her own home with family. . Directives under SCAP forbade mothers from doing this and forced them to deliver their babies in hospitals; not even breastfeeding was permitted. As a result, babies were forced to go on formula further weakening the bond between mother and child through artificial feeding. Everything, from child rearing to education was institutionalized by SCAP, even the most sacred of all institutions including the Shinto faith had to undergo a complete overhaul, not even the dead could be interred properly according to centuries of tradition.
On the surface, this sounds like a reasonable thing to do from a medical and occupational stand point of view, but culturally, these policies have only proven to be purely divisive and destructive.
Under MacArthur, all vestiges of Japan’s military past had to be tragically uprooted for the sole purpose of, according to MacArthur, the implementing of Democratic principles. For Japan to have a Democratic form of government would mean better representation for the people and voter rights and universal suffrage for women. This may all sound and look good on paper, but in practice hardly any Japanese , save a few hundred or a thousand protesters, push for change in their own government Democratically. Most would rather complain about how corrupt the government is while doing very little to affect change in these institutions. 90% of the Japanese live as if the Meiji era constitution is still in place as evident in society where following the status quo is the norm under a top down system of government where strong leaders get the vote.
In other words, if former prime minister Mr. Koizumi in his official status were to say ‘ I’m going to visit Yasukuni on the 15th of August then Japanese would scream bloody murder because he violated the separation of church and State clause in the current constitution. These same Japanese people would also claim that Mr. Koizumi was being insensitive to his Asian neighbors and in defiance to international rules and norms. And yet, even with his annual visits to the Shrine and his insensitivity to his neighbors, Koizumi enjoyed and still enjoys the highest approval ratings of any Prime Minister in Japanese history. Even now, years later after leaving office he is still considered the most popular of all prime ministers in Japanese political history. So you see, it has nothing to do with Democracy, Japanese follow the strong man like they followed Emperor Meiji and his directives.
The younger generation is more in tune with Democratic values, but lack interest in the political process as a whole and could probably care less about what direction the country goes in. This “ I can do nothing about it” mentality also stems from MacArthur’s extensive social policies which are now proving to be the worst cultural disaster for the country. Some blame it on technology or Westernization, I hold MacArthur to blame for trying to force Christian values on an Asian culture.
In America, if we were to compare, we took prayer out of the schools in order to draw a clear line between god and society, now to what affect it has had on society is left up to speculation, but for sure it hasn’t enhanced American society. Young Japanese are starting to refuse singing of the national anthem of Japan citing constitutional reasons, which is really bullshit because so many have no real reason to refuse singing their own national anthem in the first place, other than what their lefty teachers tell them. Most probably have no idea what’s in their current constitution, so why would they refuse singing it based off some weak assumption that “ it violates my freedom of thought” if there’s no thought to begin with? How would they know if they have no concern and knowledge whatsoever about their own society and country?
In North America, Democracy has never served the interest and the needs of the poor, then and now. The disenfranchised working poor might have the right to vote, but their votes rarely ever count as evident through-out history, and in many more instances in North American history where minorities were taxed without representation. Instead, Government subsidized education, welfare, and medicine is not representation – just a bandage and a temporary fix to a long term problem.
On the religious front, because we have to have both Christian and Democratic ideals meshed together in order to proceed, according MacArthur, who invited U.S. Christian missionaries to Japan in the hopes that Christianity could make major inroads against the traditional Japanese religions of Shinto and Buddhism. It failed.
If we were to use Haiti for example, not North America because despite this being the de facto Democracy of the world, it is still largely controlled by the wealthy regardless of who’s in power. In Haiti’s case under former politician John Bertrand Aristide who was the nation’s first Democratically elected president, and who was also a Roman Catholic priest, who made Democracy his major platform, we can get a pretty good understanding of where Japan would’ve been had it went down the traditional route paved by its former captures through Western religion and Democracy. Only in Haiti's case, religion didn't encourage the wealthy to raise minimum wage so that Haitians could rise out of their poverty.
Mr. Aristide had all the trappings of an ideal leader for the West. He was educated, he embraced Western religions, he stood for Democratic principles, he enjoyed warm relations with the United States under former president Bill Clinton. Haiti had a thriving Democracy and the people loved him for it. The U.S. loved him for it too, until he started pushing for better economic conditions for his own people; until he started demanding reparations from France, the country’s former colonizer. Haiti is such a small island with no leverage economically at all against the bulwark of American economic hegemony all across the Carribean and the Atlantic. America was no longer happy with its little experiment in Democracy with Aristide, but not because he was unDemocratic, he was too Democratic. He was becoming too popular and difficult to control. He was removed from power on baseless corruption charges.
There’s never a shortage of Christianity and Catholicism in poor and needy countries that have lost wars that were either initiated or instigated by the West. In every expansionist policy initiated by the West since the 14th century, the spread of Christianity has preceded it. Missionaries would come baring gifts and god in one hand, and in the other a dagger of deceit, making them more spy than saint. Funny how the Atheist prosper...?
Author and journalist John Gunther wrote that MacArthur and the Pope were the two most important people affecting religion in the world at mid-century. MacArthur later remarked that he wanted to be remembered by history not for the many battles he fought, but for, in his view, "the solace and hope and faith of Christian morals" he gave Japan.
And all the while, as countries through-out Asia were being carved and doled out by the West, Japan kept a watchful eye as millions of Chinese and Southeast Asians willfully sat back and allowed Western nations to take control of their precious resources. We remember both Arrow Affairs. We also remember how the missionaries came, like when they initially came to the African continent bearing gifts and smiles and promises of a better way of life through their gods and their language, while all the while they were merely plotting the downfall for generations of Asians and Africans through the guise of charity and a free meal, like today. Yet, Asians and Africans have to be grateful and show gratitude to our former colonizers, and we are not supposed to be bitter and resentful because of the prosperity some of us have received while the vast majority of us have still not found our place in the world.
MacArthur and his minions bombed Hiroshima and Nagasaki, they bombed Tokyo which was made up of a much larger swath of land then than what you see today. After the smoke settled the Japanese rebuilt Tokyo from the ground up with American blood money, which eventually ushered in a new era of prosperity for the Japanese. The Japanese in turn are supposed to be grateful to the Americans for this, and they are supposed to forgive the Americans for killing millions of innocent Japanese people, and the firebombings as well….. Japanese have simply moved on, forgive, no. How can you forgive the unforgivable. It would be unthinkable.
In contrast, in North America, the American negro is supposed to be grateful for having a half American negro half white president because he was elected as the first non-Anglo president, American negro are supposed to be forgiving of the negro Holocaust perpetuated at home and abroad by men who came in the cloth. The American negro is supposed to forgive and forget, which is another Christian principle that serves to weaken the minds of good and sensible peoples. All of Asia and Africa is supposed to be forgiving of Western atrocities because of so-called Christian values and show gratitude for receiving a Democracy and an English education and some prosperity, how arrogant.
On a side note, Just because I was born in America as a free man doesn't mean I have to be in cahoots with its foreign policy, then and now. We had negro soldiers during WW2 who weren't as fortunate. They were born free but without rights, and equality without quality education and representation as they had to attend segregated schools. It wasn't until 1941 that Roosevelt signed executive order 8802 into law prohibiting racial discrimination in the national defense industry - we now know that this had nothing to do with the human dignity of the American negro, but more to do with the legitimized murder of misguided negro; just more bodies for the war machine, more bodies for the meat grinder, in the Pacific Theater.
Moreover, racial segregation in the American armed forced continued on up until 1948, which is ironic to me because according to Japan's new constitution under SCAP racism was completely eliminated in Japan before it was eliminated in America, yet there were still negro soldiers fighting for America in the Pacific in limited capacity; cooks and dishwashers. Desegregation of the armed services ended in the fifties, contrary to what Harry Truman signed into law by 1948.
According to the VOA, African-American soldiers played a significant role in World War II. More than half a million served in Europe. Despite the numbers they faced racial discrimination: prior to the war the military maintained a racially segregated force. In studies by the military, blacks were often classified as unfit for combat and were not allowed on the front lines. They were mostly given support duties, and were not allowed in units with white soldiers
Back on topic,
The reason I presented this element into my essay is because it highlights a pattern among many former colonies through out Asia and Africa, and negro in the Diaspora. When Western expansionist policies become firmly supplanted into a society where sacred institutions such as the indigenous religion of the people become subjugated, the victim nation looses sight of his/her moral compass and starts to fight for the victor in wars that have absolutely nothing to do with the original victims of the War that made them victims in the first place.
The American negro fought to prove that he could be a competent slave all over again, but this time with a gun, and for some respect through the killing of innocent people abroad. He had to prove that he could fight alongside his former slave owners descendants in order to be considered worthy to be called American, the four hundred years of free slave labor their ancestors faced wasn’t enough for their descendants even be called an American, they had to kill for Uncle Sam instead. This is despicable at best and a shameful legacy of the negro race. The negro could've stood up like Mohammad Ali. But I guess that falls beyond the scope of pure reasoning; my enemy's enemy is my enemy logic, because my enemy told me that if I fight his enemy, then my enemy will consider me his friend and give me a cookie. Way to go Bubba Gump.
In Japan’s case, The Japanese didn't have to stoop so low as to take up arms for its enemy for international recognition on the war front. But I suspect had Christianity took root in Japan, and had the Emperor converted to Christianity like MacArthur had contemplated, then Japan as we know it today wouldn't even exist in the same way that has charmed those of us who live and work here, and for the rest of the millions of others who admire and love Japanese culture and traditions. Chances are this country would've been sectarian, remained dirt poor, and dependent on Western powers, much like Afro-Caribbean countries, had the Catholics and Protestants had their way here! We should bring back Nero, this way the Christian problem would be completely eliminated from the whole world! Christianity brings oppression and economic dependency to non-Western and non-Anglo aligning nations that only serve the rich and influential at the expense of the poor and indigent.