"But I have thought some more, since then, and I have read carefully the treaty of Paris [which ended the Spanish-American War], and I have seen that we do not intend to free, but to subjugate the people of the Philippines. We have gone there to conquer, not to redeem.
It should, it seems to me, be our pleasure and duty to make those people free, and let them deal with their own domestic questions in their own way. And so I am an anti-imperialist. I am opposed to having the eagle put its talons on any other land. " - Mark Twain (1835-1910)
Among the completed manuscripts of the early part of 1902 was a North American Review article (published in April)—“Does the Race of Man Love a Lord?”—a most interesting treatise on snobbery as a universal weakness.
There were also some papers on the Philippine situation. In one of these Clemens wrote:
We have bought some islands from a party who did not own them; with real smartness and a good counterfeit of disinterested friendliness we coaxed a confiding weak nation into a trap and closed it upon them; we went back on an honored guest of the Stars and Stripes when we had no further use for him and chased him to the mountains; we are as indisputably in possession of a wide-spreading archipelago as if it were our property; '
We have pacified some thousands of the islanders and buried them; destroyed their fields; burned their villages, and turned their widows and orphans out-of-doors; furnished heartbreak by exile to some dozens of disagreeable patriots; subjugated the remaining ten millions by Benevolent Assimilation, which is the pious new name of the musket; we have acquired property in the three hundred concubines and other slaves of our business partner, the Sultan of Sulu, and hoisted our protecting flag over that swag.
And so, by these Providences of God—the phrase is the government’s, not mine—we are a World Power; and are glad and proud, and have a back seat in the family. With tacks in it. At least we are letting on to be glad and proud; it is the best way. Indeed, it is the only way. We must maintain our dignity, for people are looking. We are a World Power; we cannot get out of it now, and we must make the best of it.
And again he wrote:
I am not finding fault with this use of our flag, for in order not to seem eccentric I have swung around now and joined the nation in the conviction that nothing can sully a flag. I was not properly reared, and had the illusion that a flag was a thing which must be sacredly guarded against shameful uses and unclean contacts lest it suffer pollution; and so when it was sent out to the Philippines to float over a wanton war and a robbing expedition I supposed it was polluted, and in an ignorant moment I said so.
But I stand corrected. I concede and acknowledge that it was only the government that sent it on such an errand that was polluted. Let us compromise on that. I am glad to have it that way. For our flag could not well stand pollution, never having been used to it, but it is different with the administration.
But a much more conspicuous comment on the Philippine policy was the so-called “Defense of General Funston” for what Funston himself referred to as a “dirty Irish trick”; that is to say, deception in the capture of Aguinaldo.
Clemens, who found it hard enough to reconcile himself to any form of warfare, was especially bitter concerning this particular campaign. The article appeared in the North American Review for May, 1902, and stirred up a good deal of a storm. He wrote much more on the subject—very much more—but it is still unpublished.
I wanted the American eagle to go screaming into the Pacific ...Why not spread its wings over the Philippines, I asked myself? ... I said to myself, Here are a people who have suffered for three centuries. We can make them as free as ourselves, give them a government and country of their own, put a miniature of the American Constitution afloat in the Pacific, start a brand new republic to take its place among the free nations of the world. It seemed to me a great task to which we had addressed ourselves.
But I have thought some more, since then, and I have read carefully the Treaty of Paris [which ended the Spanish-American War], and I have seen that we do not intend to free, but to subjugate the people of the Philippines. We have gone there to conquer, not to redeem. It should, it seems to me, be our pleasure and duty to make those people free, and let them deal with their own domestic questions in their own way.
And so I am an anti-imperialist. I am opposed to having the eagle put its talons on any other land.[3
-Source: Mark Twain, A Biography by Albert Bigelow Paine (1912)
The Mark Twain they didn’t teach us about in school(2000)
From International Socialist Review 10, Winter 2000, pp.61-65.
There is a partial archive and index of the magazine at http://isreview.org/archive.shtml.
Scanned and marked up by Einde O’Callaghan
I am said to be a revolutionist in my sympathies, by birth, by breeding and by principle. I am always on the side of the revolutionists, because there never was a revolution unless there were some oppressive and intolerable conditions against which to revolute. 
Meanwhile, Clemens underwent a miserable apprenticeship as a riverboat pilot. In Life on the Mississippi, he describes the development of a dosed-shop union and the benefits reaped by all riverboat workers. This chapter was reprinted and read in union halls throughout the 1880s and 1890s. 
Identification with the oppressed
Twain’s response to his critics tells us more about the person he was becoming. By 1889, Twain was identifying with “the mighty mass of the uncultivated” and “not with the thin top crust of humanity.” 
When all the bricklayers, and all the machinists, and all the miners, and blacksmiths, and printers, and hod-carriers, and stevedores, and house-painters, and brakemen, and engineers, and conductors, and factory hands, and horse-car drivers, and all the shop-girls, and all the sewing-women, and all the telegraph operators; in a word all the myriads of toilers in whom is slumbering the reality of that thing which you call Power ... when these rise, call the vast spectacle by any deluding name that will please your ear, but the fact remains a Nation has risen. 
As U.S. industry expanded at a dizzying pace at the end of the nineteenth century America was using its growing might to challenge its European rivals and conquer markets and territory abroad. In the process, it violated other peoples’ rights to independence and self-determination – the very values enshrined in the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution.
The country’s first efforts to build empire focused on wresting Cuba, Puerto Rico and the Philippines from Spanish control in the Spanish-American War of 1898. The war was portrayed as one to free subject peoples from Spanish tyranny, and this initially confused Twain. But he quickly came around.
For Twain, and many others at the time, Americas imperialist expansion violated the expectation that America would be different from the colonial powers of Europe. Twain explained in 1900 how he went from praising to condemning the “American Eagle":
I (used to be) a red-hot imperialist. I wanted the American eagle to go screaming into the Pacific ...Why not spread its wings over the Philippines, I asked myself? ... I said to myself, Here are a people who have suffered for three centuries. We can make them as free as ourselves, give them a government and country of their own, put a miniature of the American Constitution afloat in the Pacific, start a brand new republic to take its place among the free nations of the world. It seemed to me a great task to which we had addressed ourselves.
But I have thought some more, since then, and I have read carefully the treaty of Paris [which ended the Spanish-American War], and I have seen that we do not intend to free, but to subjugate the people of the Philippines. We have gone there to conquer, not to redeem.
It should, it seems to me, be our pleasure and duty to make those people free, and let them deal with their own domestic questions in their own way. And so I am an anti-imperialist. I am opposed to having the eagle put its talons on any other land. 
A later report revealed that the death toll was even higher, and Twain continued:The enemy numbered 600 – including women and children – and we abolished them utterly, leaving not even a baby alive to cry for its dead mother. This is incomparably the greatest victory that was ever achieved by the Christian soldiers of the United States. 
Headline: Death list is now 900. I was never so enthusiastically proud of the flag till now. 
Some of Twain’s most sardonic invective was reserved for Belgium’s King Leopold III. As sole ruler of the “Congo Free State” – a giant tract of land he acquired by pretending to pursue a humanitarian mission to abolish slavery in Africa – King Leopold used systematic murder, mutilation and starvation to force the local population to bring in ivory and rubber, which was then sold at a massive profit. It has been estimated that some six to ten million Africans perished at the hands of Leopold’s henchmen in the Congo.He raids and robs and slays and enslaves ... and gets worlds of charter-Christian applause for it. I admire him, I frankly confess it. And when his time comes I shall buy a piece of the rope for a keepsake. 
In the Soliloquy Leopold whines that though he has spent millions to suppress any revelation of his atrocities, meddlesome missionaries, reporters and activists continue to expose him:
They have told how for twenty years I have ruled the Congo state ... seizing and holding the State as my personal property; the whole of its vast revenues as my private ‘swag’ – mine, solely mine – claiming and holding its millions of people as my private property; my serfs, my slaves; their labor mine, with or without wage; the food they raise not their property but mine; the rubber, the ivory and all the other riches of the land mine – mine solely – and gathered for me by the men, the women, and the little children under compulsion of lash and bullet, fire, starvation, mutilation and halter.
These pests! – it is as I say, they have kept back nothing! 
It is yet another Civilized Power, with its banner of peace in one hand and its loot basket and its butcher knife in the other. Is there no salvation for us but to adopt civilization and lift ourselves down to its level? One of Twain’s most powerful pieces against the brutality of imperialist war is The War Prayer. The setting is a pro-war rally in a church to pray for the success of American troops. A messenger comes down from God and insists on putting into words the unspoken parts of these prayers:
In the 1960s, The War Prayer was reprinted in pamphlet form by activists against the Vietnam War.Oh Lord, our God, help us to tear their soldiers to bloody shreds with our shells; help us to cover their smiling fields with the pale forms of their patriot dead; help us to drown the thunder of the guns with the shrieks of their wounded...help us to wring the hearts of their unoffending widows with unavailing grief; help us to turn them out roofless with their little children to wander unfriended the waste of their desolated land in rags and hunger and thirst ... 
Mark Twain’s revolutionary sympathies
My privilege to write these sanguinary sentences in soft security was bought for me by rivers of blood poured upon many fields, in many lands, but I possess not one single little paltry right or privilege that came to me as a result of persuasion, agitation for reform, or any kindred method of procedure. 
[T]o subtract them would ... leave behind some dregs, some refuse in the shape of a King, nobility and gentry; idle, unproductive, acquainted mainly with the art of wasting and destroying, and of no sort of use or value in any rationally constructed world. 
When I finished Carlyle’s French Revolution in 1871, I was a Girondin; every time I have read it since, I have read it differently – being influenced and changed, little by little, by life and environment ... and now I lay the book down once more, and recognize that I am a Sansculotte! – And not a pale, characterless Sansculotte, but a Marat. 
Russia was on the high road to emancipation from an insane and intolerable slavery; I was hoping there would be no peace until Russian liberty was safe ... One more battle would have abolished the waiting chains of billions upon billions of unborn Russians, and I wish it could have been fought ... 
What is the Czar of Russia but a house afire in the midst of a city of eighty millions of inhabitants? Yet instead of extinguishing him, together with his nest and system, the liberation parties are all anxious to merely cool him down a little and keep him.
It seems to me that this is illogical – idiotic, in fact. Suppose you had this granite-hearted, bloody-jawed maniac of Russia loose in your house, chasing the helpless women and little children – your own. What would you do with him, supposing you had a shotgun? Well, he is loose in your house – Russia. And with your shotgun in your hand, you stand trying to think up ways to ‘modify’ him.
When we consider that not even the most responsible English monarch ever yielded back a stolen public right until it was wrenched from them by bloody violence, is it rational to suppose that gender methods can win privileges in Russia? 
Who are the oppressors? The few: the King, the capitalist, and a handful of other overseers and superintendents. Who are the oppressed? The many: the nations of the earth; the valuable personages; the workers; they that make the bread that the soft-handed and idle eat. 
.2. Philip S. Foner, Mark Twain: Social Critic (New York: International Publishers, 1958), p.13.
3. Quoted in Foner, p.98.
7. Justin Kaplan, Mr. Clemens and Mark Twain: A Biography (New York: Simon and Schuster, 1966), p.269.
23. Anderson, p.11.
The below link will show a short list of my past posts (out of 540 posts so far) which I consider as basic topics about us native (indio)/ Malay Filipinos. This link/listing, which may later expand, will always be presented at the bottom of each future post. Just point-and-click at each listed item to open and read.
PLEASE POINT & CLICK THIS LINK:http://www.thefilipinomind.
com/2013/08/primary- postsreadings-for-my-fellow. html