(NEO – Joseph Thomas) – Ancient Roman historian Tacitus (c. AD 56 – after 117) would adeptly describe the systematic manner in which Rome pacified foreign peoples and the manner in which it would extend its sociocultural and institutional influence over conquered lands
|(Modern day “chief’s sons (and now daughters) being recruited by the empire, indoctrinated in their ways, and sent back home to culturally colonise their homelands, just as Tacitus described nearly 2,000 years ago.)|
Far from simple military conquest, the Romans engaged in sophisticated cultural colonisation.
His object was to accustom them to a life of peace and quiet by the provision of amenities. He therefore gave official assistance to the building of temples, public squares and good houses. He educated the sons of the chiefs in the liberal arts, and expressed a preference for British ability as compared to the trained skills of the Gauls. The result was that instead of loathing the Latin language they became eager to speak it effectively. In the same way, our national dress came into favour and the toga was everywhere to be seen. And so the population was gradually led into the demoralizing temptation of arcades, baths and sumptuous banquets. The unsuspecting Britons spoke of such novelties as ‘civilization’, when in fact they were only a feature of their enslavement.
Compare what Tacitus wrote nearly 2,000 years ago with the United States’ Young Southeast Asian Leaders Initiative (YSEALI). Upon the YSEALI website, a description of the programme reads:
Launched in 2013, the Young Southeast Asian Leaders Initiative (YSEALI) is U.S. government’s signature program to strengthen leadership development and networking in Southeast Asia. Through a variety of programs and engagements, including U.S. educational and cultural exchanges, regional exchanges, and seed funding, YSEALI seeks to build the leadership capabilities of youth in the region, strengthen ties between the United States and Southeast Asia, and nurture an ASEAN community. YSEALI focuses on critical topics identified by youth in the region: civic engagement, environment and natural resources management, and entrepreneurship and economic development.
At face value, the notion of the United States “training” the “leaders” of Asia makes little sense, considering such training would be endowing such leaders with American values serving American interests, not Asia’s. Thus, their role as “leaders” is questionable. Their role as “facilitators” or “collaborators” seems like a much more accurate description.
The programme includes academic and professional fellowships to the United States.
The Academic Fellows Program is described as:
The YSEALI Academic Fellows Program brings undergraduates or recently graduated students between the ages of 18 and 25 to the United States for a five-week institute held on the campus of a U.S. college or university.
These five week institutes, held on the campus of a U.S. university or college, will include an academic residency, leadership development, an educational study tour, local community service activities, and opportunities to engage with American peers. The program will conclude in Washington, D.C., to allow for engagement with policymakers, governmental representatives, businesses, and think tanks.
This, quite literally, is the modern day version of what Tacitus described in his writings nearly 2,000 years ago, where the US is educating the youth of Southeast Asian states in the liberal arts, indoctrinating them into networks built to establish, maintain and expand American hegemony, encouraging an expressed preference for American culture, values and institutions while placing those of their homelands as subordinate.
It is interesting to note that “think tanks” are mentioned as part of the YSEALI experience. Those familiar with the board of directors and corporate sponsors of these think tanks will understand that it is within their halls, unelected policymakers representing immense corporate and financial interests, create foreign and domestic policy that is implemented regardless of who the American people vote into office and regardless of whether the American people agree with such policies or not, saying nothing of whether such policies even benefit the American people.
Those partaking in the YSEALI will likely believe they are at the cutting edge of “democracy,” while in fact, they are instead becoming extra weight behind the bludgeoner of dictatorial corporate special interests.