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 Reparations for Colonial Occupation - Italy pays Libya - Who Next?

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PostSubject: Reparations for Colonial Occupation - Italy pays Libya - Who Next?   Sat Aug 30, 2008 11:36 pm

Maybe oil has something to do with it, but Italy has agreed to pay Libya substantial compensation for damages done under colonial occupation.

http://www.breakingnews.ie/World/mhqlojgbkfoj/

What other governments should consider paying reparations ?
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PostSubject: Re: Reparations for Colonial Occupation - Italy pays Libya - Who Next?   Sat Aug 30, 2008 11:37 pm

Has America paid anything to Vietnam? Should it?
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PostSubject: Re: Reparations for Colonial Occupation - Italy pays Libya - Who Next?   Sat Aug 30, 2008 11:51 pm

I don't know. Germany was made to pay massive reparations after WW1. Lestat would be able to tell us about that. It pretty well bankrupted Germany and crudely could be said to have resulted in the rise of the Nazi party.

I'm all for the long arm of International Law provided its applied without fear or favour. The more disincentives to predatory war the better.

How about these?

Britain to Ireland ? China? India ? etc. etc.
US to Iraq?
Russia to Hungary?
Japan to China?
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PostSubject: Re: Reparations for Colonial Occupation - Italy pays Libya - Who Next?   Sun Aug 31, 2008 12:14 am

Germany was squeezed by the cojones after WWI which led to the Weimer Republic with its thousand percentages of inflation but then it all started to turn around didn't it? The Germans started to break a few little rules by producing war machines and even exported some to Spain. I'm convinced that WWII has big roots in the reparations imposition after WWI by the Allies. Wasn't one of the first things Hiter did when he got to France in his tank to burn the railway car in which the Allies signed the declaration to make Germany pay for WWI.

And would you blame him?

I'm sure that another lasting legacy of Hitler's war was that reparations after that would change format.

edit
of course it all depends on the victors doesn't it scratch


Last edited by Auditor #9 on Sun Aug 31, 2008 12:17 am; edited 1 time in total
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PostSubject: Re: Reparations for Colonial Occupation - Italy pays Libya - Who Next?   Sun Aug 31, 2008 12:17 am

Auditor #9 wrote:
Germany was squeezed by the cojones after WWI which led to the Weimer Republic with its thousand percentages of inflation but then it all started to turn around didn't it? The Germans started to break a few little rules by producing war machines and even exported some to Spain. I'm convinced that WWII has big roots in the reparations imposition after WWI by the Allies. Wasn't one of the first things Hiter did when he got to France in his tank to burn the railway car in which the Allies signed the declaration to make Germany pay for WWI.

And would you blame him?

I'm sure that another lasting legacy of Hitler's war was that reparations after that would change format.

More often the invading power, if successful gets the loot. The Romans robbed Carthage, the US is robbing Iraq. Even a long time afterwards, its good to see Italy pay something to North Africa. They were bastards there.
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PostSubject: Re: Reparations for Colonial Occupation - Italy pays Libya - Who Next?   Sun Aug 31, 2008 12:19 am

Oh yeah? Are you familiar with the history of Italy in Libya? They didn't have a very extensive colonial influence in the world at large the Italians did they?

When were they in Libya?
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PostSubject: Re: Reparations for Colonial Occupation - Italy pays Libya - Who Next?   Sun Aug 31, 2008 12:32 am

Auditor #9 wrote:
Oh yeah? Are you familiar with the history of Italy in Libya? They didn't have a very extensive colonial influence in the world at large the Italians did they?

When were they in Libya?
1920 -1947

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_Libya_as_Italian_Colony

The Italians invaded to "liberate" Libya from the Ottomans. Under Mussolini there was a "plantation" of people from Southern Italy to live in Libya.
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PostSubject: Re: Reparations for Colonial Occupation - Italy pays Libya - Who Next?   Wed Sep 03, 2008 4:02 am

I think the idea of delayed reparations is a very interesting one. In many cases, you are penalizing those who are, in reality, blameless. The Italy of today is not the Italy that invaded Libya all those years ago. Its people are different, its government is different and its soldiers are different. What this comes down to in essence, IMO, is the idea that a nation--not as a people or as a state, but as a concept--can carry guilt. And yet, it is not the nation as a concept that pays for this guilt--Italy is no less a nation conceptually than before--but the people and the State, through the economy.

Can a concept carry guilt on behalf of those who are tied by birth (as opposed to ideology or belief) to it? As a materialist, I don't think so. It just doesn't make sense that the Italians of today should pay for the mistakes of the Italians of yesterday.
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PostSubject: Re: Reparations for Colonial Occupation - Italy pays Libya - Who Next?   Wed Sep 03, 2008 5:11 am

evercloserunion wrote:
I think the idea of delayed reparations is a very interesting one. In many cases, you are penalizing those who are, in reality, blameless. The Italy of today is not the Italy that invaded Libya all those years ago. Its people are different, its government is different and its soldiers are different. What this comes down to in essence, IMO, is the idea that a nation--not as a people or as a state, but as a concept--can carry guilt. And yet, it is not the nation as a concept that pays for this guilt--Italy is no less a nation conceptually than before--but the people and the State, through the economy.

Can a concept carry guilt on behalf of those who are tied by birth (as opposed to ideology or belief) to it? As a materialist, I don't think so. It just doesn't make sense that the Italians of today should pay for the mistakes of the Italians of yesterday.

Let's ignore the prospect of guilt for a second. Can a the descendants of colonizers benefit financially from the actions of their ancestors?
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PostSubject: Re: Reparations for Colonial Occupation - Italy pays Libya - Who Next?   Wed Sep 03, 2008 6:02 am

Of course they can. But then a lot of people can benefit from one nation's downfall, and a lot of people can be damaged by one nation's success. I imagine if you tracked the financial gains received by Italy from the occupation of Libya properly, you would find them popping up all over the place as Italy opened up trade with other nations, as well as sending aid to other countries and contributing to the EU. Proximity is a sliding scale, and to draw the line along blood lines is just as arbitrary as any other method in my opinion.

As you can see it's late at the moment so that might not make as much sense as it should. We shall see when it gets responses I suppose. In other news, check out the cool sig! I thought they were disabled on this forum for some reason.
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PostSubject: Re: Reparations for Colonial Occupation - Italy pays Libya - Who Next?   Wed Sep 03, 2008 2:14 pm

cactus flower wrote:
I don't know. Germany was made to pay massive reparations after WW1. Lestat would be able to tell us about that. It pretty well bankrupted Germany and crudely could be said to have resulted in the rise of the Nazi party.
As well as that, it contributed to the appeasament of the Nazis in the thirties, as the Germans were thought to have suffered unfairly after the war.
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PostSubject: Re: Reparations for Colonial Occupation - Italy pays Libya - Who Next?   Wed Sep 03, 2008 2:36 pm

evercloserunion wrote:
Of course they can. But then a lot of people can benefit from one nation's downfall, and a lot of people can be damaged by one nation's success. I imagine if you tracked the financial gains received by Italy from the occupation of Libya properly, you would find them popping up all over the place as Italy opened up trade with other nations, as well as sending aid to other countries and contributing to the EU. Proximity is a sliding scale, and to draw the line along blood lines is just as arbitrary as any other method in my opinion.

I know it is my fault for mentioning blood lines, but that is not what is at issue here. The state itself, Italy, benefitted from its occupation of Libya. It took resources, cheap labour, and tremendous wealth from Libya and invested it into it's local infrastructure from which Italians, given their current infrastructure is based on the initial one, benefit to this day. However, an immoral act was committed, theft was committed and the wealth of Libya misappropriated for the benefit of Italy. Therefore, to correct that wrong, the state which committed the deed in the first place, whose infrastructure benefitted from such activity, is making reparations. It may seem like modern day italians are paying for the misdeeds of their ancestors, but the simple fact is they are still benefitting from an immoral act through the infrastructure they enjoy, whether they were responsible or not, and thus it is only fair that they pay for the balance to be restored. After all, had the occupation not occurred, the costs would have accrued to them.

Think of it in the context of Swiss Bankers. Is it right that those modern bankers should withold Jewish gold from its true owners' descendents on the grounds that the current bankers did not take it, and therefore can not said to carry any guilt over its illegal acquisition? Would it be fair to say that even though they benefit from the gold being in their accounts that they should not return it as was not they who stole it, and that Jewish families should still suffer because of this?
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PostSubject: Re: Reparations for Colonial Occupation - Italy pays Libya - Who Next?   Thu Sep 04, 2008 12:27 am

The problem with your Jewish analogy is that gold, especially "Jewish" gold (ie gold which exists and once existed as the tangible property of Jews) is much easier to define and track. The Germans took it from the Jews, they gave it to the Swiss, the Swiss kept it, they still have it and a quick search of Swiss vaults will confirm that. Both the Germans and the Swiss undertook a lot of different financial transactions at the same time as they were looting Jewish gold but these transactions do not matter because they did not involve what we can easily discern as Jewish gold.

What was taken from Libya by the Italians, however, was not gold, a defined, tangible object, but abstract value. And while the Jewish gold remains untouched in Swiss vaults, that abstract value extracted from Libya has been invested, traded, aided and of course invested into the EU. How much of what was taken from Libya is still benefitting Italians? Probably most of it, but is it not very likely that a good portion of it is now benefitting other countries as well as, or instead of, Italy? With the creation of the single European market, can it not be said that we are all benefitting from it? Furthermore, should the Italians repay what they took, or the net result of the investments they made with what they took?

Should everyone who benefits from an immoral act repay the victim of that act? If you ran against another man for president, and just when it was looking like he was going to win I murdered him and you were elected in his stead, should you pay reparations to the man's family?

Regarding your point about the Italian state, well that just comes back to my point about a nation being capable of guilt. You said we should forget about guilt but now you seem to be bringing it back up.

Personally I have no problem with international aid, but it should be distributed on the basis of need, not national guilt.
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PostSubject: Re: Reparations for Colonial Occupation - Italy pays Libya - Who Next?   Thu Sep 04, 2008 12:57 am

evercloserunion wrote:
The problem with your Jewish analogy is that gold, especially "Jewish" gold (ie gold which exists and once existed as the tangible property of Jews) is much easier to define and track. The Germans took it from the Jews, they gave it to the Swiss, the Swiss kept it, they still have it and a quick search of Swiss vaults will confirm that. Both the Germans and the Swiss undertook a lot of different financial transactions at the same time as they were looting Jewish gold but these transactions do not matter because they did not involve what we can easily discern as Jewish gold.

What was taken from Libya by the Italians, however, was not gold, a defined, tangible object, but abstract value. And while the Jewish gold remains untouched in Swiss vaults, that abstract value extracted from Libya has been invested, traded, aided and of course invested into the EU. How much of what was taken from Libya is still benefitting Italians? Probably most of it, but is it not very likely that a good portion of it is now benefitting other countries as well as, or instead of, Italy? With the creation of the single European market, can it not be said that we are all benefitting from it? Furthermore, should the Italians repay what they took, or the net result of the investments they made with what they took?

Some could say that the wealth extracted from libya during the occupation does indeed have a monetary value. Tax revenues for that period would be quantifiable and Libyan resources itemised. We know money went directly to the Italian state, as a result of its activities, therefore the italian state must repair it. Now other individuals may have benefitted, but only at the instigation, acquiesence, and facilitation of the Italian government, and with tax revenue the Italian state still benefitted. There are no muddy lines here, Italy took what did not belong to it and furthered itself on the revenue, therefore Italy feels it should return it. Neither do we need to track it back any further than the Italian state itself. If I stole money, and distributed it to my associates for my own financial benefit, morally it is not their responsibility to return the value, it's mine.

Quote :

Should everyone who benefits from an immoral act repay the victim of that act? If you ran against another man for president, and just when it was looking like he was going to win I murdered him and you were elected in his stead, should you pay reparations to the man's family?

Regarding your point about the Italian state, well that just comes back to my point about a nation being capable of guilt. You said we should forget about guilt but now you seem to be bringing it back up.

Personally I have no problem with international aid, but it should be distributed on the basis of need, not national guilt.

It is not about individual guilt at all. We are talking about states, not individuals. The Italian state committed a crime, therefore it is its responsibility to make reparation. I'm not saying each Italian individual is responsible or guilty in some respect, and I did not once mention the Italian nation. I am talking about the state as an institution and a legal entity, which when it commits a crime should bear responsibility for it. In this case, it is compensating the libyan state and people for the wealth it illegally acquired under occupation. If the Italian state wishes to recoup this amount through normal taxation, then that is its decision and concern, and given its actions caused a reduction in taxation in the first place, perfectly understandable.
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