The fasces was the axe bound in a bundle of rods that the two lictors of ancient Rome had carried before them. The bundle signified their power either to chastise or to execute anyone they found guilty of having injured the people of Rome, for the lictors represented the population.
The Roman legions carried on their standards the letters SPQR, which stood for, not “small profits, quick returns” as might be supposed, but Senatu populoque Romano, by the Senate and people of Rome. Senate just comes from the word senex, an old man, and so the legions represented the people of Rome under the guidance of their wise tribal elders, as is the case in most communities. The lictors, however, who had the fasces carried before them were specifically the representatives of the people, the general population.
Benito Mussolini, the ruler of Italy during the second world war, adopted the fasces as the emblem, the symbol, the flag, of his political system, which he called “Fascismo,” signifying the power of that system to chastise or execute anyone it chose to. And implying, of course, some kind of link to the glorious days of ancient Rome.
Mussolini’s political system was a partnership between the government and the powerful industrial corporations, in which each supported the aims of the other. It is a system of immense destructive power.
The aim of the corporations is increased and ever increasing profit and profitability. They have absolutely no concern with the population, the environment, or even the continuing existence of the state or even of the earth itself. Although usually associated with extreme nationalism, that is merely Public Relations; their aim is the reduction of labor costs, and all other costs, with the subsequent reduction in living standards of the population that this creates. If possible, the corporations always wish to get as close as possible to the ideal of a human population living their entire lives in much the same conditions as cows, pigs, and chickens in their wire cages, piped in nutritious sludge keeping them alive for the optimum period.
The aim of any government is increasing and finally absolute power, in pursuit of which visible and demonstrated brutality is a great advantage, and the control of the military, the judicial system, and the media is a necessary foundation. The aim is no different from that of the war lords who have traditionally controlled human existence, forbidding the carrying of weapons – a helpless population is highly desirable – and having Buddhist monks create all the martial arts there are in response.
These are the aims of globalism, broadened to cover the entire earth. The ability of humans to survive like rats and cockroaches in the many open spaces on the planet is their defense, the culture of resistance and endurance.
If you go south through the Suez Canal, as the American convoy and one Israeli vessel recently did, and travel many, many miles through the Red Sea, leaving Yanbu and Mecca and Medina on your left, and passing the coasts of Egypt, Sudan, Ethiopia, and Eritrea on your right, you will come to the narrow gate where the Red Sea opens into the Indian Ocean. It is called Bab el Mandeb, the “Gate of Tears,” and as you come out onto the horn of Africa, with Somalia on your right and southern Yemen on your left, with the Empty Quarter stretching north of it, you may understand why.
The UN sponsored government of Somalia controls a couple of streets and a few blocks in the capital Mogadishu. All the rest is in the hands of Eshabab, ‘the young guys,’ the ones who capture oil tankers and ransom them. We get our word chap, from the Arabic shab meaning a young feller. The last US attempt to enter Somalia had a sorry end, you may remember, though a fine video taped beginning, and what the US Marines can not subdue the US corporations can not profit from. Eshabab are in no mood to take nonsense from any one, and have recently warned any African Union peace keepers thinking of entering to stay out or get mown down, and all the world’s navies have so far failed to provide protection in the endless Indian Ocean. Gate of tears all right.