Bill Gatos and the Natives.
A long time ago there lived a man called Bill Gatos. He had newly arrived to the Americas on one of the ships manned by Amerigo Vespucci. Bill Gatos had made a name for himself in Europe and amassed several crates of silver, which part he used to fund his expensive voyage to the Americas.
When Bill Gatos got to the Americas, it became clear to him that the Natives of the land had pretty much surveyed all the lands for minimal public use. The Natives had preserved almost all their resources for their posterity. Private property was limited to the essentials of living. Privatization was frowned upon and outlawed. The Natives were clearly conservationists who believed that humans must leave as tiny a footprint on Nature as is only necessary for their Nourishment and their human survival. The Natives were highly civilized and their philosophy of living in Balance with Nature was their religion.
Bill Gatos quickly learned that all his wealth couldn’t buy him all the Native fertile lands he wanted in the Americas. All the silver he had primitively accumulated in Europe—by exploiting the masses of Europe without regard for human decency—couldn’t build him the great castles he had dreamt about. Bill Gatos became aware that he couldn’t convince the civilized Natives to give up their civilized ways and opt for European Feudalism, in which a few people would own everything and the rest will become essentially slaves.
And so, Bill Gatos became frustrated about his future and the legacy of his pampered children who were newly arriving in the Americas. He thought to himself, what are my children going to inherit if I cannot lay my hands on these Native lands? Bill Gatos thought to himself, confiding in his great comrade, Amerigo Vespucci, about how his children could remain pampered if he was unable to convince the Natives to give up their civilized ways and opt for the great economic principles of European Feudalism?
So Bill Gatos tried, and tried, and tried again and again to convince the Natives – who were hosting the newly arrived Europeans as civilized humans would host lost human strangers – to abandon their civilized ways and opt for the “enriching-for-the-few,” get-rich-quick, profiteering economic principles of European Feudalism. Again, and again, the Natives refused to accept Bill Gatos’ offer of primitive accumulation.
Bill Gatos decided that he would go and see the Supreme Chief of the Natives. Perhaps—he thought to himself—this Supreme Chief would be selfish, greedy, and naïve enough to accept my offer. Bill Gatos offered the Supreme Chief gifts in return for his cooperation. Gifts—assorted European alcohols, European clothing, European coins and bank notes, a trip to the great cities of Europe, a chance to educate the Chief’s children in the fine get-rich-quick, fuck-the-planet, economic schools of Europe, and a seat on the board of the Primitive Accumulators of Europe Inc.
The Supreme Chief of the Natives did what any sensible leader of a great civilized people would do; he yawned, scratched his belly and ambled over to the Native firestone to see if there were any left-overs from the previous night’s public banquet with the Natives. He may have even smiled wistfully to himself as he peered over what is left of the roasted wild boar, mumbling, “No, no, no, the civilized philosophy of the Natives is not negotiable.”
One could perhaps now imagine that Bill Gatos would pipe up and say, “Based on the evidence before me, dictating my terms to the Natives, in order to grab their resources for my primitive use doesn’t work; let me try the Native way of living in Balance with Nature; let me live in good faith as equals with the Natives; let me find me a new Native wife and forget about exploiting the Natives, forget about taking their lands and forget about making them into my bitches.” And the other newly arrived Europeans, including Amerigo Vespucci, would slap their cheeks with their palms and say, “Wow! That’s brilliant! Why didn’t we think of that?”
But no. The thing with Europeans newly arrived on the ship of Amerigo Vespucci is that their goals and their wet dreams of getting rich, privatizing everything in their names, and turning every land they see into the Feudal Lands of Europe was nonnegotiable. And so what happens instead is that Bill Gatos, and the rest of the Europeans, acted baffled, they regrouped and tried again to convince the Natives to opt for European Feudalism, making for quite an amusing spectacle.
But the Natives remained resolute: “No!” is “no.”
So Bill Gatos called his fellow Europeans to a meeting and he told them, “Seeing that the Natives stand in our way of transforming this land into European Feudal lands, we are left with no other choice but war—to kill off the Natives and take their lands, and women too!” Amerigo Vespucci raised his hand and asked Bill Gatos in the quintessential Amerigo exceptional attitude, “But Bill, we need some bills and some wild cats to do this fighting. The Natives are very brave. They will kill and die for their Mother, Earth!” To which Bill Gatos answered, “Relax Amerigo, the bills needed for the fight are my first name and the cats [gatos] are my last name! I will supply everything to win this war.” All the Europeans laughed. That evening they all looked forward to the day the Natives will be no more so that they can carry on with their feudal ways.
Bill Gatos and his fellow Europeans sent for a full shipment of woolen blankets to give to the Natives. Bill Gatos paid for the whole trip and the whole shipment. Bill Gatos had reasoned that not enough animal skin went around to keep all the Natives warm in the next winter, for the Natives had given the newly arrived Europeans some of their animal skin blankets to use in the last winter and so the Natives did not have enough blankets for the next cold winter. Bill Gatos reasoned that this was the Natives’ Achilles Heel, their weak point in their philosophy of living in Balance with Nature.
Bill Gatos would exploit it.
The European woolen Blankets arrived, newly infested with European chicken pox plus other tough to treat European diseases. No European newly arrived in the Americas was supposed to touch or use these blankets. These blankets were blankets of war—they were meant to be used to exterminate the Natives by exploiting a loophole in the Natives’ own civilized philosophy of living in Balance with Nature. The Natives had been nice to give the Europeans some blankets to survive last winter. This winter, reasoned Bill Gatos, he was ready to pay the Natives in kind—kill them off with diseases using the Trojan Horse of acting kind and feigning being civilized in reciprocation.
Winter arrived. Bill Gatos and his fellow Europeans begun to distribute the woolen blankets (infested with European diseases) to the Natives to reciprocate the kind gesture of the Natives. A few intelligent Natives stood against the gesture. Although they were unaware that the blankets were infested with disease, they had only become aware that after a year of living with Europeans, they could not trust them. These intelligent ones proposed that the Europeans, because they could not be trusted, give back the old animal skin blankets which the Natives had given to them last winter so the Europeans can keep their own newly arrived European woolen blankets for themselves for the winter.
But no. Many of the Natives were enamored by the kind gesture reciprocated by Bill Gatos and his Europeans; indeed, they were enamored by the shiny woolen blankets; some of the Natives even went as far as castigating the intelligent Natives about their criticisms of Bill Gatos and his fellow Europeans, calling the intelligent Natives “rabid Native-centrists!” These silly Natives quickly ostracized the intelligent Natives claiming that at a time when blankets had become scarce in the Americas all Natives should be appreciative of the kindness of Bill Gatos and his fellow Europeans. They emphasized and repeated the meme given to them by Bill Gatos himself that Bill Gatos and the Europeans had come to the Americas only to share the rich benefits of European civilization and to save lives.
One highly intelligent elder of the Natives, called Amenuti Yeboah, unable to stand the charade of ostracizing intelligent Natives questioned the intentions of Bill Gatos: “Is it for so flimsy a gesture that you have left this fine and happy Europe? To share in the benefits of European civilization? Are these the same benefits we hear that you shared in India, across the Pacific, and almost everyone died?” Instead of heeding Amenuti Yeboah’s criticism of Bill Gatos, many of the Natives including the Supreme Native, deemed Amenuti Yeboah’s actions inappropriate, and so Amenuti Yeboah was also banished from the Native Land.
After many decades of a long sojourn in other Native lands, Amenuti Yeboah returned to his Native land with a few of his intelligent friends, who had also been banished. They saw no Native Peoples. Only Europeans. The looked and looked and looked, until finally when they were about to return to their newly found homes far, far away, they found a long lost Native friend who was a member of the many Natives who had supported Bill Gatos’ Trojan Horse masqueraded as a kind gesture. He was now herding cattle for Bill Gatos’ new company Gatos & Friends Inc. Amenuti Yeboah asked what happened to everyone. The man replied, “The blankets. It wiped out almost the entire Native population. Only a few of us are now left. Bill Gatos now owns everything! Anka mi nim aa—Had I known, is always too late. Leave quickly or you will be enslaved by Gatos & Friends Inc. Leave quickly before they see you. Leave this God-forsaken place. This land is cursed,” the man advised vehemently.
Amenuti Yeboah and his intelligent friends left, very quickly, never again to see their silly, stupid old friend.