Capital moves through the world as if it were a living thing. A thing which in consumed by only a single passion: to devour. Its capacity to seek out new opportunities implies within its nature the perpetual emptiness of its soul. That like a hungry ghost, it is on the search for its next meal. And while the men who ride capital might hold themselves as the finest gentlemen of their time and communities they ride upon a rapacious beast whose sole interest is to gouge upon ever greater material and labor wealth. Through the past several centuries the great roiling beast of capitalism has pulled itself out from Europe to seek out its next meal somewhere else, and in the process engorge itself and grow as a mighty, fat wolf; that in partnership with the sly fox seeks to raid the soul.
The will of Capital, thus in its historical process chases, the people of the world through the march of modern history as the chariots of the nobility pulled history at the influence of the divine spirit. Which inspired feudal nobility to grasp for bold enrichment of its kings and emperors. And like those times, a cut of wealth taken and the workers of the world is appropriated to feed the wolf. Since freeing itself from the bondage of monarchy, Europe speedily rose through the force of the new consuming monster and on its back developed an industry to feed it, for on the refuse it leaves in its wake the bourgeoisie take its shit as gold, as wealth. Never mind the destruction of the people it leaves behind in its wake, and the unabashed overturning of the liberties these very same bourgeoisie heralded so proudly in the course of their revolutions.
This wolf of capital, ferocious and ravaging, can be understood as a historical force, even multiple forces. That as a part of its process we can be lead to put into perspective the fate and conditions of China and of elsewhere in the world that came to be table mates to the great cannibal wolf. That in the exploitation of China in the 19th century, the race to colonize Africa in the same century and on into the present, and to the circumstances and the rationale for the Great War, we may see the presence of the wolf, and the reason for its stalking, gnarling, and circling.
For at the end of the day, wealth is not a dispersed thing. It is a concentrating force. The wolf that is capital is hardly a singular beast, but a wild beasts blinded by its own self interest, that in its own ferocity, would soon eat itself. The world and the entire population of the Earth are their unwitting victims. As a statement of mercy even, it might be pointed out that even the bourgeoisie who claim to own the wolves are the wolves own victims because, as they turn it upon the world in search of capital and production for the sake there of they destroy themselves bit by bit. The effect of capital as a whole can not be viewed even as a system by which the sum of all people who control it make themselves universally better, but that those who control it are occasionally cast off from its back and their own wealth taken up by the beast. The competitive spirit of the self interested wolf does not end at taking from those who would be slaves under different historical circumstances but from others beyond that. Whether the form of this taking comes from contractual exchange or bomb, it matters little.
The latest war in particular is not an isolated occasion. The patterns of history which is cut into the fabric of the human experience by the wolf of capital is so often repeated. In the way that America was divided up and congealed initially into an ever shrinking number of colonial parties, so too was this performed in China and in Africa at the behest of European colonial administrators and land owners. So they did, as they did to one another in the Great War to acquire another's profits, and to stake claim. To make annexations for the purpose of finance capital and its spheres of influence. That in this we can find the war's own class characteristic.
It is through an analysis of the global network of capital, in the political partitioning of the world, or the railroads built, that we can understand the super structure of the bourgeoisie-democratic state. That in this relationship, complicated with simple things, the pattern can emerge from the shadows, Becoming illuminated among its context in private property, free competition, and bourgeoisie democracy. From America, to Europe, to Japan, and how they sought to draw the world to their own desires.
It is in hope, that in so far as this can reach, that a realization is had among the tens and hundreds of millions lives lost, ruined, and oppressed people who have fallen under bloodied boots at the expenses incurred upon their own society that the bourgeoisie and aristocracy designed with their barely written and unforgivable treaties, that like the people of France this entire condition can be seen for the farce that it is. That in knowing this, we may look ahead and see at the end the final hunt of the wolf of capitalism.
The Wolf of Capital, preface
Hou Tsai Tang, Wen Chu Ming, 1933
Gently holding the bird in his hands, he took it out of its cage. It chirped contended as it was gentle placed on the top of the cage where it hopped between the bars. Its feet striking notes on the wire bars as it hoped around in the open space outside of the cage. After a moment, it took to the air and lit to a nearby tree where it hopped between the branches and chirped contentedly among the turning leaves. There was a chill wind blowing from the sea, but Hou Tsai Tang paid it little heed as he turned to his garden.
Laying out a straw mat he went to his work cleaning out the flowers. The pedals had long fallen off and the seed long scattered. Now the dying stems of many of the old flowers were a dry gray shriveled husk that needed to be clipped. With a steady hand and a clear mind he went to work as he listened to the distant humming of the cold gray sea. Behind him from the house a radio was on, playing some classical music, something from the new Chinese style; orchestrated in half a western way but with Chinese instruments. It sounded like an old tune, some long ago ballet dance song or something of the folk variety. The long high strings rose the old peasant's song from rural simplicity to a state of rich complexity.
Cutting the old dead shoots and dropping them into a nearby basket he went about the work, as the small canary sang in the trees, taking in the crisp air. Somewhere passed the roofed pergola that surrounded the garden he heard the sound of a car driving up to the house. He did not stop to look up, and kept at work.
He was still kneeling when he heard footsteps approach. He looked up when he heard the familiar tap of dress shoes on stone tile to see a demure look bureaucrat standing in the shade of the pergola, his thin mousy hair combed in a part down the middle of his head. Nervously, the impish man bowed, holding tight a briefcase and correct his rimless glasses as he rose.
“Comrade.” he began, “Do you need- ah, help?”
Tsai Tang looked up at him, and brushing off his hands shook his head, “I'm fine.” he said. He leaned back, and taking a pose like that of the Buddhist monks adjusted himself, “You here to talk about Ethiopia?”
“I am.” the bureaucrat said, walking forward to one of the tables. He paused as he passed the bird cage and looked over at the open door. “It would seem your bird has... escaped.” he pointed out hesitantly. His words moved carefully, tight with nervous contention.
“It didn't, I just let it out. It's in the tree.” Hou pointed to the tree as he rose. Bright flashes of yellow feathers and chirping bird song sang from the rusty boughs of the tree at the heart of the garden.
The man however was visibly unsure what to make of it, and mumbling quietly to himself put the briefcase down on the table and took a seat. He looked back as Hou was rising, moaning uncomfortably from his stiff joints. The bureaucrat found himself fighting back the urge to ask if he was alright, if the grand secretary of the party and the helmsman of the politburo should be working like this. But he held his tongue.
“Your date to meet with the embassy – for Ethiopia - for formal policy talks is in place. And with the opening of relations with the Empire of Ethiopia, and the presence of the imperial prince Yaqob of Ethiopia,” the man decided to began timidly as Hou walked over, “We've been discussing, us and members of Congress – us as in the Foreign Department - what course of relationship our revolution is to have with the monarchy.”
“Shou Shan has said as much.” Hou said, stopping over the table, “I agree, while this is a positive direction we're at a political cross roads. Even if we don't say so directly, our normalization with the government of Sahle Yohannes represents a question of ideological intent. Concerns have been brought up to me by various members of congress after the fact, I've been kept appraised that there's discontentment with the move, or questions regarding Politburo intent for Ethiopia. They want to know what we may pass along before Congress as legislation surrounding Ethiopian relationships.” It felt like old sock to the chairman. But it was something he felt needed to be aired as he squared the bureaucrat in his gaze.
“And that's why I'm here.” the bureaucrat answered with a thin smile. He showed uneven teeth, “Though I realize this is your house, why don't you ah- sit, I feel... a little uncomfortable like this.”
“I've been sitting most of the day reading letters from Beijing and across the country.” said Hou, making his excuse, “So what do I need to know ahead of time?”
“That first of all, Emperor Sahle is a womanizer and decadent hedonist? That seems to be the general character about him in the back channels. The ambassador will up front say he's a gentle and kind character and I won't disbelieve that personally. But his unofficial activities say he's far more than that. His ministers in turn seem to be more in control of the country than he is. Any sort of future partnerships with Ethiopia should in turn be directed first and foremost towards the key ministers to deal with before anything is passed along to Sahle, I doubt he would care for any details. There's no doubt ceremony involved.” turning his attention from Hou to his notes, the man from the Foreign Department's demeanor became less nervous and more dry, as if reciting a school presentation.
“Recently however there had been a, ah- a murder among the foreign delegations in the capital, at the Rhodesian embassy I believe; a couple months ago. This may have frosted relationships with them. With Rhodesia, I mean. To the emperor's capacity he took interest, but for all that we've been made aware of that sort of interest was short lived.”
“What happened with the murder?” Hou asked, “Is the case closed?”
“No idea.” answered the bureaucrat. “It might stand to reason perhaps Yaqob has been kept appraised. He is the prince, after all. Prince Yaqob.”
“I know.” Hou responded to him dryly, walking slowly about the table, “But I don't think this would be nearly as important as one might think. It'll be a boost to embassy security if anything. Though... how many people would be so bold as to kill an ambassador?”
“In their own embassy.” the bureaucrat stated.
“What else, what other news of Ethiopia?”
“Well, the past summer the Philippine embassy announced a deal between them and the Emperor for economic aid, or assistance, or something. It's been described as a sale or a negotiated deal for the export of coffee cuttings and animal stock. It's perhaps even less important in light of all other things the Philippines have been implicated in. The trade in agricultural stock is hardly going to be effective in their endeavors in Vietnam, their war there; you know.”
“Maybe. But has there been any announcements on their intent to sell? It might be funding.”
The bureaucrat shook his head, “No, comrade. It was a very brief public statement made by the Philippine embassy and that was that. They'd be purchasing several cuttings or seeds from coffee trees from the plantations close to the imperial seat. It could just be for their own use, as far as I know western capitalist markets may be trying to predate them out of existence still so this may be a desperate bid to keep their coffee plantations growing. Perhaps they're not getting the same options elsewhere?”
Hou didn't care. “So, what else. I know Ethiopia was over the summer a supporter for Rhodesia's bid for joining the broader African Congress. How did that fare?”
“Not well at all. I'd hazard the emperor lost a little esteem with the rest of Africa by being the guardian for a colonial state to join their larger political body. Sahle, it might be said is no enemy to colonialism.”
How thought on this. Sahle's likelihood of being a colonial sponsor may give the Chinese leverage against him if they were to play the game, a coup or revolution supported by diplomatic Chinese resources on the grounds of building an anti-colonial coalition? “How is Sahle's support?” he asked.
“It's hit rough winds.”
“In what way?” inquired Hou.
“In Ethiopian backed Swahililand Anarchist militants have recently risen up against the local People's Republic. Jame Lutalo, the chairman of the-”
“Yes, I remember Lutalo.” Hou said brusquely.
“Well, after laying waste to Mombassa he's attracted ire from Communists in the jungle. There's news and stories coming out of Swahililand as well of a Christian militant group, lead by a former American. But details are scarce. It's hard to know what's going in most of Africa. It's a land of darkness... Like, like it's people.” he tried to make a joke. Hou wasn't buying it.
“In any case, Sahle we imagine isn't capable of dealing with the problem either because his court hasn't been made aware of it, or he's tied up with other issues. As of recently the Emperor has run afoul of his vassal in Somalia as the story goes. The Emir of Somalia, Hassan al-Himyari has just recently opened a civil war against the Emperor and they've gone into open battle near to the city of Jijiga in the border area between... Somalia and Ethiopia.
“This is also not overlooking the smaller rebellions that have bloomed elsewhere in Ethiopia and were shut down. But the believe among the Department is that Sahle's control of Ethiopia is tenuous at best.”
“What do we know about the Anarchists?”
The Beaurecrat sat silenced, stunned and in a shaky voice read from his small portfolio on them: “Their party is called Watu wa Uhuru, the Free People. They're localized somewhere in the far, far south. In and around the jungles of I guess some town named Kampala, which is near a lake called Victoria. Sometime over the passed summer the Free People were notable for having rid through the cities on horses and bombed the city.”
“Bombed it? With what?”
Like Europe of old. “So do we know their demands?”
“For Lutalo to leave?” we don't know because I doubt anyone in the Ethiopian diplomatic corp or papers knows anything. For what it's worth, the Addis Ababa print is critical.”
“Well, we'll have to do with what we have is best. Do you off hand know if there's anyways to launch our own mission into the area?”
“Diplomatic? I think they'd be seen as trespassing.”
“Doesn't have to formal.”
The man shrugged, “Ask Yaqob.”
“So back to their fighting with Somalia, who's Hassan?”
“Hassan's the son of Hassan al-Himyari, a Somalian freedom fighter that fought with the Ethiopians on the side of the Germans. For his credit in fighting the Italians in Somalia he and his family were given title to the Somali lands. He's credited for a great many battles and lead from a very young age. Legendary even today as a dervish warrior.
“His son, today's Hassan hasn't had the test of any major war as far as we can find out. This is perhaps his first major command, though he hasn't been far from the warrior life. Perhaps a member of modern Somalia's Dervish societies, he's considered a strong man and a capable warrior. If perhaps seen standing.
“He beat Ethiopian squarely in their first battle, but that was the first battle of many and there's an entire war ahead of him. We have yet to see if the Ethiopian military will hold and put up a challenge to him. But for now, they just mobilized and may not be fully organized to deal with it.”
“So why are they fighting?” Hou asked.
“Some personal conflict. Probably an insult.”
Hou nodded, stopping by the drying up remains of some orchid as it slowly turned to give way to the coming winter. Its broad leaves were still green, but they were losing their luster to a temperate gray and the flowers had long fell away. Feeling a rumble in his stomach Hou realized he had not eaten in several hours and thought, it's time for lunch, or almost time for dinner. Perhaps dim sum, something.
“Have you had anything to eat?” he asked the man.
“No, I have not.”
“Do you have dinner plans?” he asked.
“No, I haven't made any.”
“Then step inside. I'll see if the wife will prepare some dumplings and we'll go over details. I have some things I need to talk about to, see what you know and pass along some messages for me about Russia and Vietnam.”
“Wh- oh, ah- why thank you for the invite.” the bureaucrat said rather stunned, disarmed at the thought. “But I couldn't, I'd be imposing.”
“Please, do. I need to eat and I can't stand the thought of a guest not eating too.”
“I can't, I really can't.” the man said out of politeness.
“Fine, I suppose I'll stay for a few cups of tea and a bowl of rice.”