France's president arrives in Sydney

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uche africanus
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Re: France's president arrives in Sydney

Post by uche africanus » Fri May 04, 2018 5:54 pm

The French empire continues in parts of Africa and in the Pacific. It is not really gone except in its presentation.

neverfail
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Re: France's president now arrives in Noumea

Post by neverfail » Fri May 04, 2018 8:08 pm

neverfail wrote:
Fri May 04, 2018 3:54 pm
https://www.smh.com.au/world/oceania/in ... 4zdd6.html

When I last visited the island in 1982 it was, visibly and palpably, a hot spot of social and political tensions. I thought that things had simmered down since but from this report (above) it seems that the same old discontents are still bubbling below the surface.

The root cause of the discontent was easy to see. The whites lived well in Mediterranean style villas - the native Kamaks dwelled in improvised tin and wood shanties.
cassowary wrote:
Fri May 04, 2018 5:35 pm
Reminds me of the Chinese in Indonesia. The disparity of wealth there between the Chinese and indigenous Indonesians caused the riot during the Asia crisis in the late 1990s and hundreds of Chinese were killed.
There is this difference Cass. The Chinese are not running Indonesia politically the way the French are running New Caledonia. So though I am reluctant to pass judgement on NC: I speculate that whilst the greater prosperity of the Chinese in Indonesia is likely the product of their own drive and ambition (they prosper despite their lack of political power); I suspect that in the case of New Caledonia "the playing field" might be somewhat 'tilted" to favour the French and their Caldoce progeny.

During my all too brief visit I explored the countryside outside Noumea (the regional capital) on a rented moped. I saw not a sign of native villages carrying on the traditional activities of subsistence farming and fishing. I saw fenced- in pastureland instead. I believe that a lot of the cleared land outside the city is used by Caldoce ranchers to graze cattle commercially. So even though the island imports a lot of its edible food from Australia, New Zealand and from France itself, it seems to be self-sufficient in beef production.
cassowary wrote:
Fri May 04, 2018 5:35 pm
My gut feeling is that it is not the whites' fault that the Kanaks are poor. They, like the indigenous Indonesians, lack the qualities necessary to succeed in a modern society. Culture matters.
That might even be true. Their fellow Melanesians in Papua-Niugini, the Solomons, Vanuatu and Fiji seem to be only marginally better off materially if at all. But bear in mind that whereas in these other (sovereign-independent) south west Pacific states a lot of them are still living their inherited, traditional village horticultural way of life (or a modified version of this thereof) : wherever a large population of resettled whites is in situ in a country like that they tend to drive the traditional native way of life (and with that their traditional subsistence forms of economic activities) to extinction.

An austere but leisurely lifestyle in a traditional village of palm thatched huts usually incorporates dignity for all of the participants; whereas the desperate life in a slum shack on the edge of a city for an individual or family too often strips human dignity away. That's the sad and sorry difference.

neverfail
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Re: France's president arrives in Sydney

Post by neverfail » Fri May 04, 2018 8:16 pm

uche africanus wrote:
Fri May 04, 2018 5:54 pm
The French empire continues in parts of Africa and in the Pacific. It is not really gone except in its presentation.
In the case of the French Pacific it is not even "gone" in presentation.

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cassowary
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Re: France's president arrives in Sydney

Post by cassowary » Sat May 05, 2018 1:52 am

uche africanus wrote:
Fri May 04, 2018 5:51 pm
Cass,
It is true that cultures matter and it is true also that cultures are changeable. Colonialism, though not a central reason, does cripple native economic independence. And the privilege enjoyed by colonialists and their wards approximates those of Roman Consuls.
Uche,

But that didn't happen in Singapore, Hong Kong and Malaysia. The Chinese prospered under British colonial rule. When the British got kicked out or when their lease ran out in the case of Hong Kong, the Chinese owned banks, plantations and factories. Not the Muslims in Malaysia, though.

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cassowary
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Re: France's president now arrives in Noumea

Post by cassowary » Sat May 05, 2018 2:05 am

neverfail wrote:
Fri May 04, 2018 8:08 pm

That might even be true. Their fellow Melanesians in Papua-Niugini, the Solomons, Vanuatu and Fiji seem to be only marginally better off materially if at all. But bear in mind that whereas in these other (sovereign-independent) south west Pacific states a lot of them are still living their inherited, traditional village horticultural way of life (or a modified version of this thereof) : wherever a large population of resettled whites is in situ in a country like that they tend to drive the traditional native way of life (and with that their traditional subsistence forms of economic activities) to extinction.

An austere but leisurely lifestyle in a traditional village of palm thatched huts usually incorporates dignity for all of the participants; whereas the desperate life in a slum shack on the edge of a city for an individual or family too often strips human dignity away. That's the sad and sorry difference.
I don't know anything about New Caledonia. But unless the French forcibly drove the natives out of their idyllic, traditional villages into the shanty towns, the migration to the cities must be voluntary. They may be attracted to the jobs available in a city to can give them the money for a better life than what they can get from their traditional lifestyle.

You can see the similar thing happening in other countries such as Brazil and the Philippines where migration from villages to the cities led to the development of the favelas and barrios.

The problem is discontentment. People like to compare. In the case of Papua New Guinea, there is not a class of rich foreigners to compare with and so invite resentment.

neverfail
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Re: France's president now arrives in Noumea

Post by neverfail » Sat May 05, 2018 3:16 am

cassowary wrote:
Sat May 05, 2018 2:05 am


I don't know anything about New Caledonia. But unless the French forcibly drove the natives out of their idyllic, traditional villages into the shanty towns, the migration to the cities must be voluntary.
https://www.croixdusud.info/hist_eng/hist_1878_eng.php

(quote) In 1858 the colonial authority changed its policy and allowed settlers to colonise areas away from Noumea. The settlements then developed northward to La Foa and up to Poya. It resulted in a land conflict which triggered the 1878 rebellion and spoiled the relationship between European and Melanesian people until today. From 1862 to 1870, under governor Guillain, the land taken over by the European colonisers grew from 27 000 to 78 000 ha. In 1877, under governor La Richerie who made this land grab easier, the European land reached 150 000 ha. By mistakenly classifying crop rotation lands put to rest as unused lands, which were then seized, the colony destabilized the economy and food supply of the Melanesian people. Their remaining territory was too small and too scattered. The Kanak were pushed in the high valleys of the mountains on soils of lower quality. The settlers cattle roaming without fence strayed on Melanesian crops destroying taros, yams fields and other staples foods.

...........................................................................................................

Ironically, New Caledonia (the name means New Scotland) should have been British. Apparently, the legendary Captain James Cook discovered it in 1770 and claimed it for his sovereign, King George. For the next 80 years it was internationally recognised as part of Britain's imperial sovereignty: but Britain did nothing with it. Then in 1853 Britain transferred sovereignty to France as a "thank you" gift to france for having done Britain a favour down around the Mediterranean - where France has a stronger military presence than the UK.

As there was a French Catholic missionary outpost at Noumea established by then, I believe that France was able to press the UK for the sovereignty transfer on the basis that "French people are living there already"

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cassowary
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Re: France's president now arrives in Noumea

Post by cassowary » Sat May 05, 2018 4:07 am

neverfail wrote:
Sat May 05, 2018 3:16 am
cassowary wrote:
Sat May 05, 2018 2:05 am


I don't know anything about New Caledonia. But unless the French forcibly drove the natives out of their idyllic, traditional villages into the shanty towns, the migration to the cities must be voluntary.
https://www.croixdusud.info/hist_eng/hist_1878_eng.php

(quote) In 1858 the colonial authority changed its policy and allowed settlers to colonise areas away from Noumea. The settlements then developed northward to La Foa and up to Poya. It resulted in a land conflict which triggered the 1878 rebellion and spoiled the relationship between European and Melanesian people until today. From 1862 to 1870, under governor Guillain, the land taken over by the European colonisers grew from 27 000 to 78 000 ha. In 1877, under governor La Richerie who made this land grab easier, the European land reached 150 000 ha. By mistakenly classifying crop rotation lands put to rest as unused lands, which were then seized, the colony destabilized the economy and food supply of the Melanesian people. Their remaining territory was too small and too scattered. The Kanak were pushed in the high valleys of the mountains on soils of lower quality. The settlers cattle roaming without fence strayed on Melanesian crops destroying taros, yams fields and other staples foods.

...........................................................................................................

Ironically, New Caledonia (the name means New Scotland) should have been British. Apparently, the legendary Captain James Cook discovered it in 1770 and claimed it for his sovereign, King George. For the next 80 years it was internationally recognised as part of Britain's imperial sovereignty: but Britain did nothing with it. Then in 1853 Britain transferred sovereignty to France as a "thank you" gift to france for having done Britain a favour down around the Mediterranean - where France has a stronger military presence than the UK.

As there was a French Catholic missionary outpost at Noumea established by then, I believe that France was able to press the UK for the sovereignty transfer on the basis that "French people are living there already"
The dastardly French. I can understand the resentment the Kanaks feel. Their lands were stolen from them by the settlers. I will be going to French Polynesia in a few weeks but won't be visiting New Caledonia. I will be in Tahiti, Easter Island, and Pitcairn Island. I will post some photos when I get back.

Jim the Moron
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Re: France's president arrives in Sydney

Post by Jim the Moron » Sat May 05, 2018 9:51 am

cass - have you ever read "The Heritage of the Bounty" (Harry Shapiro)? Recommended, if you have time for it. We're looking forward to your photos.

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cassowary
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Re: France's president arrives in Sydney

Post by cassowary » Sat May 05, 2018 10:47 am

Jim the Moron wrote:
Sat May 05, 2018 9:51 am
cass - have you ever read "The Heritage of the Bounty" (Harry Shapiro)? Recommended, if you have time for it. We're looking forward to your photos.
No I have not read the book.

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