You are wrong

Dear Editor,

Interesting views expressed by your letter writer PS Jeffrey about land and the people of Samoa.  

I was born and raised in a land that took everything from the first people and I have seen firsthand how the British system has destroyed the culture and lives of the Aboriginal people of North America which is why I am so vocal about the Samoan people not having to go down the same miserable path and becoming slaves in their own land too. 

Did you know that the First Nations people in Canada do not even own the land that they negotiated in treaty settlements? Some of it was negotiated away by short sighted or self interested Chiefs and some was just taken from them, but whatever the case they cannot even get a bank loan on the land that is supposedly theirs because it actually belongs to the government. 

They are the only people in Canada that cannot get a bank loan on their land. One set of rules for the colonizers and another set of rules for the original inhabitants of the land. 

You are correct that people of my generation benefited under British free market rules but this is no longer the case, my children are landless peasants in the country they were born in with no hope of buying land.

This system that you believe is so fabulous first steals the land from the first people, next it eliminates the middle class, which is why you see the likes of the new P.M of Canada getting elected on a platform of restoring hope for the middle class and why you see someone like Bernie Sanders trying to restore hope for the middle class in America in similar ways.

The truth is they are both actually powerless in their own countries to restore anything to the middle class because the British private property system has removed any real autonomy any country has over their own destiny. 

It’s too global, all the banks and institutions are operating under a free market, private property trumps everything paradigm and too much money has accumulated into too few people or groups for the masses to stop the machine now. 

Donald Trump is also tapping into the fears of the disenfranchised working and middle class with his foolish slogan “make America great again” but he is appealing to 30 percent of the really stupid white Americans by scapegoating Muslims, Chinese and Mexicans. 

He’s more like Hitler in his approach to restoring hope for the middle class than what some more rational people are doing to restore hope, but regardless he won’t be able to turn things around either, so he might just press the nuke button because he’s a psychopath. 

The current economic global system is swallowing up everybody and creating a world of absolute poor and obscenely rich. The rich are getting richer because of private property rules. It’s like a monopoly game. In the end there is one person who has all the property, money and wealth and everyone else has nothing. 

Right now where I live an old dilapidated house on a 33 ft lot is selling for a million and a half Canadian dollars and the minimum wage is 9.75 Canadian dollars. 

A woman with a 4 year university degree is making on average 25 dollars per hour, men as everywhere make more than women. No one born in Canada, making an average Canadian wage can afford to buy a home anymore in Canada at least not one with any land attached to it. In one year land prices have gone up by 24% where I live. 

So yes you are correct at one time the colonizers including my grandparents who came from Hungary for the offer of free land because after the British stole it from the First Nation people they wanted it settled with nice white people but now the system is taking from everyone just like it did from the natives in the beginning. 

That’s my point and that is why I continue to say that Samoa, for whatever reason, is one country where the people still have an opportunity to resist and keep their land and their autonomy and dignity. I’m not saying don’t diversify I think a diversified economy is the only economy to strive for but figure out how to do it without giving up your land.

That is why I always say be careful. I sadly know how colonizers think about private property. I was raised in this culture. 

I am married to a Samoan man and it wasn’t until I met him that I started to get my head around this customary way of land ownership that I realized that this was a better way to understand the value of land. White people can only see land for what it is worth not for land as the sustainer of life.

This is why white people accumulate and destroy land all the time extracting everything from it just to accumulate more wealth than they could ever need. Anyway that’s my idealistic rant on the evils of the ownership of private property. 

In the end no one benefits not even those who win in the end because there is too much destruction and too much poverty. I think everything you say to justify the loan for the airport is nonsense.

The people who can’t walk across the tarmac should lose weight so they don’t need to be wheeled over in wheelchairs. I go to Samoa too, it’s not old people being wheeled across the tarmac, it’s people my age and younger that are just too overweight to walk. People come to Samoa for the heat I like the sauna feeling when I get off the plane. I feel like I’m someplace exotic close to the equator and kids can pretty much handle anything. Kids are resilient. I see kids here walking around in shorts and sandals in minus 2 degree weather. Kids don’t let weather bother them. 

Extreme hot or extreme cold. 

Most importantly Samoa doesn’t need foreign labour or Chinese loans that puts the Samoan people at risk of losing their land. And yes I like what Maua has to say and I agree with him. 

My Samoan husband living in Samoa who I regularly visit speaks similarly about the same issues. I’ve also read the concerns of the Matai on the issue of losing customary lands and I read your views too. I just think they are right and that you are wrong. 

I think you are wrong to trust your government to do what’s best for the majority of the Samoan people, I think you are wrong to think the Chinese are not interested in land, I think you are wrong to think that Samoa would even be a player in the global economy that is all about competition, I think that you think, like I suspect the P.M thinks, that if Samoa cozies up to China, the probable next superpower, that Samoa will get some sort of preferential treatment. I not only think you are wrong on this but I think it’s too big a gamble to take with your land. 

I think I’d rather gamble on Maua’s ideas, the warnings of the Matai who wants to ensure Samoa doesn’t lose their land, and my wise Samoan husband. I also think you are wrong on the issue of whether a majority of the Samoan people are suffering right now under extreme poverty. 

All in all we are both able to exercise free speech and have these kinds of dialogues which is great. I hope I can still say this if China does become the next superpower. 

I respect your right to disagree with me. Take care PS Jeffrey.

Wendy Wonder

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