Original quote until “the guns turn into flowers” from Rochita Loenen Ruiz, March 3 2013.
All hail the white heroes
Yeah, especially when they’re benevolent military people
They can do no wrong
Not even when they point a gun at your head
As their guns transform into flowers and gifts
And their harsh voices into the songs of angels
And the cracks of their shots into the cries and flights of birds
And the deaths into forgotten people
Buried in mass graves
Under the new hotels
That arise from their bones
Somehow I got triggered by this to re-visit “Monument“, a story by Lloyd Biggle. “Monument” is very troubled due to the “mighty whitey” thing.
The planet has a single continent, inhabited by humans with a Polynesian culture. The natives live contented lives, hunting a horrific sea-creature called the koluf, which constitutes almost their entire diet. Obrien uses his surviving technology to rid the area of several pests, and eventually marries. The natives come to call him the “Langri”, a title of deep respect.
Yeah… 1974. American writer, “Polynesian culture” (how the fuck did that get up there in space Lloyd Biggle? The magic Plot Device?), benevolent white savior kind of shit.
Here is why I liked it (bold):
The Navy eventually arrives, official negotiations ensue, and a treaty is signed recognizing the planet under the name Langri. The people of Langri fine the Federation for illegal landings. In due course, this (and Obrien’s retron crystals) allows the people of Langri to hire a law firm as specified in the Plan.
In accordance with the Plan, the people of Langri have been secretly learning to read. After having achieved the required high literacy rate, they successfully petition for membership in the Galactic Federation. The Plan then enters its endgame: the duly formed planetary government imposes a tax rate of 1000%. Since the natives have few personal assets, they can easily afford to pay, but such an exorbitant rate would bankrupt Wembling. The developer mounts a legal challenge, but there is precedent that a government can impose any tax it wishes, as long as it is applied equally to all. Obrien knew of this obscure precedent and made it the cornerstone of the Plan.
What I liked is how the “plan” focuses on development and using the law (instead of guns) to win a war against a stronger power.