Jane Austen and the Black Hole of British History

History ignored yields history repeated, and ignoring genocides and holocausts yields repetition of such atrocities. My book “Jane Austen and the Black Hole of British History. Colonial rapacity, holocaust denial and the crisis in biological sustainability” (1998, 2008, and 2023 editions) exposes 2 centuries of British-made and British-ignored famines in India, and argues that ignoring such atrocities and the worsening climate crisis will yield horrendous mass mortality in the 21st  century.

My eclectic, exhaustively-referenced and passionately humane 1998 first edition of the book covered a span from the sublime to the horrendous. My book initially dealt in great detail with the life, times and works of the brilliant, exquisitely truthful, and foundational English novelist Jane Austen. Notably, I detailed my literary discovery that Jane Austen’s most Indian novel, “Sense and Sensibility”, actually tells the story of  the adulterous seduction in India of Jane Austen’s Aunt Philadelphia by Warren Hastings (later the first Governor General of British-ruled India), the product of the union, Jane Austen’s lively cousin and later sister-in-law Eliza, being the model for the more lively female characters in Jane Austen’s exquisitely written novels [1].

This Indian Connection of Jane Austen’s family, connections and works, and Jane Austen’s ideal of  Kindness and Truth, segued on to a detailed account of the British conquest and occupation of India, and in particular to a succession of horrendous man-made famines in British-ruled India  from the 1769-1770 Great Bengal Famine (10 million victims) to the 1942-1945 World War 2 Bengali Holocaust (WW2 Indian Holocaust, WW2 Bengal Famine; 6-7 million Indians starved to death by the British with food-denying Australian complicity in Bengal, Bihar, Assam and Odisha) with hundreds of millions perishing from deprivation in between. In particular the book details the failure of Winston Churchill to supply food to starving India for strategic reasons (offering any Japanese invaders a largely food-less North East India), and the extraordinary deletion of the WW2 Bengali Holocaust from decades of British historiography (indeed no mention is made of this huge atrocity in Churchill’s  6-volume “The Second World War” ). The penultimate chapter of  the book deals with the worsening climate crisis, and  prediction of horrendous mass mortality in the 21st century in the absence of requisite action. The final chapter considered a flawed and look-the-other-way Australia, and what hope there is for the world if a rich and highly educated country like Australia fails to take action on deadly poverty and terracidally deadly climate change.

Unfortunately the neoliberal US Alliance Elites and their compliant Mainstream  journalist, editor, author, politician, academic and commentariat presstitutes were not  listening. While the fall of Russian Communism and the independence of  formerly Soviet-ruled Eastern European countries in circa 1990 raised the hope of “peace in our time” between the nuclear-armed superpowers, it was not to be. Just 15 years on from the end of the genocidal American Vietnam War in 1975, in 1990 the US and its allies commenced deadly sanctions and war on Iraq that would kill 0.2 million Iraqis in the Gulf War and cause a further 1.7 million Iraqi deaths from imposed deprivation in the Sanctions period of 1990-2003.  The US Coalition invasion and occupation of Iraq (2003-2011) was associated with 2.7 million deaths from violence and deprivation, and the invasion and occupation of Afghanistan was associated with 7 million deaths from violence and deprivation in 2001-2021 [2-8]. The climate crisis was worsening [9]. I accordingly published a carefully documented,  updated 2008 edition of “Jane Austen and the Black Hole of British History” to record this deadly war making, deadly ignoring and the worsening threat of climate change. However the Silence was still Deafening.

In 2022 I embarked on a further update of “Jane Austen and the Black Hole of British History” (published on  2 January 2023) as a grossly unresponsive  and reality-ignoring world found itself in an even worse mess from disease, deprivation, war in Europe, increased nuclear threat, huge coal, oil, gas, fertilizer and food price rises, famine in parts of the global South, and an ever-worsening climate crisis [9]. The key elements of this presently worsening situation  are summarized below:

(a). The post-9/11 US War on Muslims and the US War Industry. In 2015 it was estimated that 32 million Muslims had died from violence (5 million) and imposed deprivation  (27 million) in 20 countries invaded by the US Alliance since the US Government’s 9/11 false flag atrocity that had killed 3,000 people, mostly Americans [10, 11]. The Iraq War and the Afghanistan War alone ran up a long-term accrual cost of $6 trillion [5, 6]. About 1.5 million Americans die preventably from “life-style choice” and “political choice” reasons each year, and about 32 million have died thus since 9/11. Thus successive US Governments have committed this $6 trillion to  killing over 30 million Muslims abroad instead of trying to save the lives of over 30  million Americans at home [10, 12]. The annual US military budget for 2023 is about $1 trillion [13], and annual US arms sales abroad are presently worth about $300 billion [14]. The US has invaded about 72 countries, 52 since WW2 [3, 15-17]. However the Library of Congress recently reported that the US has been involved in 469 invasions of foreign countries since 1798 and 251 since 1991 [18, 19]. The US has about 800 military bases in over 70 countries [20]. The US provoked but nevertheless war criminal and appalling Russian invasion of Ukraine is a boon for the US and US Alliance war industries in addition to creating an invaluable weapons testing ground for the opposing powers.

(b). COVID-19 pandemic and Gerocide. Notwithstanding public health measures and brilliant molecular biology and vaccine science, the  COVID-19 pandemic had killed 6.7 million people by the end of 2022 [21]. According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics, in Australia 95.0% of COVID-19 deaths to date have been of people aged 60 years and older [22]. Similar statistics obtain for the US and the UK. However as of 12 January 2023, “COVID-19 deaths” totalled  1,123,047 (in the US), 201,028 (the UK), 17,380 (Australia) and 5,272 (China), and “COVID-19 deaths per million of population” were 3,354 (the US), 2,935 (the UK), 667 (Australia) and 4 (China) [21].  From this one can  conclude that the COVID-19 pandemic deaths in the US, the UK and Australia were over 99% avoidable (in comparison with those in China), with this constituting  a Gerocide – an intentional mass killing of the old [1, 3, 23, 24]. The “let-it-rip” policy of putting economic interests before human lives (mostly elderly lives) caused a huge burst of COVID-19 deaths in 2022 [21, 23, 24]. As mankind continues to invade and wreck what is left of wild nature, it is realistically expected that new deadly viral diseases impacting humans will emerge from these new wild animal-human interactions. The good news is that the rapid development of mRNA-based vaccines against COVID-19 promises a revolution in dealing with other deadly infectious diseases presently and prospectively impacting humanity, and indeed cancer [25].

 (c). Russian invasion of Ukraine, global price rises, recession, and avoidable deaths from deprivation. The US-provoked but nevertheless war criminal and horrible Russian invasion of Ukraine in February 2022 has devastated the country and killed tens of thousands of civilians, Ukrainian soldiers and Russian soldiers [26]. However the soaring coal, gas, oil, transport, power, fertilizer,  grain, and vegetable oil prices are threatening the welfare of billions of impoverished people in the global South. In 2020 about 7.4 million people died globally from deprivation (this estimate ignoring COVID-19 impacts), a huge improvement from 2003 when 16.0 million people died thus [3]. However only the next few years will accurately reveal  how many people have died from the mix of COVID-19 pandemic and Ukraine War impacts (global fuel, transport, fertilizer and food price rises, famine, and global economic recession).

(d). Nuclear war threat. Nuclear weapons represent a key existential threat to Humanity and the Biosphere that would be decimated in a post-nuclear holocaust nuclear winter [27]. The Ukraine War is between nuclear-armed Russia and  a Ukraine armed by the nuclear armed US and its allies. The possible use of tactical nuclear weapons in this conflict has greatly increased the danger of a nuclear war that would devastate the whole world. Obviously serious peace negotiations  are urgently required, and should have established permanent and locked-in peace between the sister countries of Ukraine and Russia years before the US-provoked but war criminal Russian invasion of Ukraine.

(e). Climate Genocide. While all governments around the world claim to be variously “tackling climate change” the horrible reality is that things are getting worse. The 2015 Paris Climate Change Conference committed to ideally less than a plus 1.5 degree Centigrade (+1.5C) temperature rise, and to no more than a catastrophic +2C. The  2021 Glasgow Climate Change Conference (COP26) committed to “net zero emissions by 2050”. However presently there is still no decrease in record global greenhouse gas (GHG) pollution, tropical deforestation, gas, oil, and coal use, or cattle, cement, steel and iron ore production. The atmospheric levels of the greenhouse gases carbon dioxide (CO2), methane (CH4), and nitrous oxide (N2O) are at a record high and increasing at a record high rate, as are gas, oil, and coal use, and  cattle, cement, steel and iron ore production. “Tackling climate change” means decreasing these key parameters but it is simply not happening from an overall global perspective. We are surely doomed by this remorseless inaction [28]. The key existential threats to Humanity and the Biosphere are nuclear weapons and climate change [27]. One of humanity’s greatest  minds, eminent physicist Professor Stephen Hawking, has succinctly and critically stated: “We see great peril if governments and societies do not take action NOW [my emphasis] to render nuclear weapons obsolete and to prevent further climate change” [29].   However, as outlined above, Stephen Hawking’s expert prescription is still ignored by a greed-driven world committed to  remorseless climate inaction. The “no more than plus 1.5C” warming goal agreed to by world governments will be exceeded in the coming decade. A catastrophic plus 2C is now effectively unavoidable. Unless requisite action is taken 10 billion people will die this century in a worsening Climate Genocide en route to a sustainable human population in 2100 of only about 1 billion people [9].

The appalling  state of the world in 2022 and the worsening existential threats from nuclear weapons and climate change  necessitated a 3rd edition of “Jane Austen and the Black Hole of British History”, and indeed required a detailed, documented and new final chapter, Chapter 18, setting out this dire position and entitled “2022: neoliberal ignoring of reality now existentially threatens Humanity and the Biosphere” [1].

Winston Churchill was well aware of the consequences of imposed deprivation on Britain’s Indian subjects. Thus Churchill back in 1935 in a speech to the UK House of Commons made the following astonishing confession: “In the standard of life they [the Indians] have nothing to spare. The slightest fall from the present standard of life in India means slow starvation, and the actual squeezing out of life, not only of millions but of scores of millions of people, who have come into the world at your invitation and under the shield and protection of British power” [1]. The 1942-1945 WW2 Bengali Holocaust (6-7 million Indian deaths from imposed deprivation) commenced 7 years later under the imperial administration of Winston Churchill. From the quantitative perspective of avoidable deaths the 2 century, British-imposed Indian Holocaust involving 1.8 billion avoidable deaths from imposed deprivation has been the worst holocaust in human history [30, 31]. From a qualitative perspective the 1788 onwards Australian Aboriginal Genocide and Ethnocide was the worst in human history – of about 750 distinct Indigenous languages and dialects before the British invasion only about 120 survive today with all but 20 endangered. The horrendous, British-imposed, 2-century  Indian Holocaust (1,800 million avoidable deaths from imposed deprivation) has been largely white-washed from public perception, and the Australian Aboriginal Ethnocide continues [32, 33].

In the 3rd edition, section 18.2, “The “forgotten” 2-century Indian Holocaust in the context of a catalogue of mostly European-imposed genocides and holocausts”,  alphabetically catalogues over 60 holocausts and genocides, mostly of recent centuries and European-imposed. Some pertinent extracts: “Estimates of deaths in holocausts, genocides and famines and deriving from actual violence and from imposed deprivation are given in brackets as follows for the following alphabetically listed atrocities: 1978-1997 Afghan Genocide and Afghan Holocaust (6 million), 2001 onwards Afghan Genocide and Afghan Holocaust (7 million)… 1788 onwards Australian Aboriginal Genocide and Aboriginal Ethnocide (2 million), 1769-1770, Bengal Famine (10 million), 1942-1945 WW2 Bengali Holocaust, WW2 Bengal Famine and WW2 Indian Holocaust (6-7 million), 1971-1972 Bengali Holocaust and gendercide (3.0 million)… Post-1950 Global Avoidable Mortality Holocaust (1,500 million since 1950) … 1757-1947 Indian Holocaust from famine and deprivation (1,800 million)… 2003-2011 21st century Iraqi Genocide and Iraqi Holocaust (2.7 million), 1990-2011 Iraqi Genocide and Iraqi Holocaust (4.6 million), 1914-2011 Iraqi Genocide and Iraqi Holocaust (9 million)… 2000 onwards 21st century Muslim Genocide and Muslim Holocaust (32 million)… 1916 onwards Palestinian Genocide and Palestinian Holocaust (2.2 million)… 2019 onwards, SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus (Covid-19) Pandemic [6.7 million as of 12 January  2023])” [1].

I have a mantra that I have repeated endlessly for 2 decades: “Peace is the only way but silence kills and silence is complicity”. Lying by omission is far, far worse than repugnant lying by commission because the latter at least permits refutation and public debate [34, 35].  Yet while the Western Mainstream media continue to ignore, lie, and prosper, the world’s most famous journalist, Julian Assange, has been imprisoned for 10 years and remains imprisoned for truth-telling about US Alliance war crimes. The 2023 updated 3rd  edition of “Jane Austen and the Black Hole of British History” concludes with the following pleas: “18.20. Speak out! History ignored yields history repeated. Genocide ignored yields genocide repeated. Holocaust ignored yields holocaust repeated. Peace is the only way but silence kills and silence is complicity. Zero tolerance for lying by commission and lying by omission. We cannot walk by on the other side. All people are created equal. Love thy neighbour as thyself. Do unto others as you would have them do unto you. All human rights for all. All species and ecosystems are priceless. We are responsible for what we do and for what we do not do. We are running out of time. There is no Planet B. Bear witness. Tell everyone you can. Make noise! Speak out! Speak out! Make Kindness and Truth prevail!”

References.

[1]. Gideon Polya, “Jane Austen and the Black Hole of British History. Colonial rapacity, holocaust denial and the crisis in biological sustainability”, 1998, 2008, and 2023 editions; 2023 edition, Korsgaard Publishing, Germany (for details see Amazon).

[2]. Gideon Polya, “US-imposed Post-9/11 Muslim Holocaust & Muslim Genocide”, Korsgaard Publishing, Germany, 2020.

[3]. Gideon Polya, “Body Count. Global avoidable mortality since 1950”, 2007 and 2021 editions; 2021 edition, Korsgaard Publishing, Germany, 2021.

[4]. Gideon Polya in Soren Korsgaard, editor, “The Most Dangerous Book Ever Published: Deadly Deception Exposed!”, Korsgaard Publishing, Germany, 2020.

[5]. “Iraqi Holocaust, Iraqi Genocide”: https://sites.google.com/site/iraqiholocaustiraqigenocide/ .

[6]. “Afghan Holocaust Afghan Genocide”: https://sites.google.com/site/afghanholocaustafghangenocide/ .

[7]. Gideon Polya, “Racist Mainstream ignores “US-Imposed Post-9/11 Muslim Holocaust & Muslim Genocide”, Countercurrents, 17 July 2020: https://countercurrents.org/2020/07/racist-mainstream-ignores-us-imposed-post-9-11-muslim-holocaust-muslim-genocide/ .

[8]. “Muslim Holocaust Muslim Genocide”: https://sites.google.com/site/muslimholocaustmuslimgenocide/ .

[9]. Gideon Polya, “Climate Crisis, Climate Genocide & Solutions”, Korsgaard Publishing, Germany, 2021.

[10]. Gideon Polya, “Paris Atrocity Context: 27 Million Muslim Avoidable Deaths From Imposed Deprivation In 20 Countries Violated By US Alliance Since 9-11”, Countercurrents, 22 November, 2015: http://www.countercurrents.org/polya221115.htm .

[11]. “Experts: US did 9/11”: https://sites.google.com/site/expertsusdid911/ .

[12]. Gideon Polya, “American Holocaust: 2 Million Americans Died Preventably In Trump’s Last Year As President”, Countercurrents, 5 January 2021:  https://countercurrents.org/2021/01/american-holocaust-2-million-americans-died-preventably-in-trumps-last-year-as-president/ .

[13]. Lawrence J. Korb and Kaveh Toofan, “A trillion-dollar defense budget?”,  American Progress, 12 July 2022: https://www.americanprogress.org/article/a-trillion-dollar-defense-budget/ .

[14]. Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI), “Arms sales of SIPRI Top 100 arms companies grow despite supply chain challenges”, 5 December 2022: https://www.sipri.org/media/press-release/2022/arms-sales-sipri-top-100-arms-companies-grow-despite-supply-chain-challenges .

[15]. “Stop state terrorism” : https://sites.google.com/site/stopstateterrorism/ .

[16]. Gideon Polya, “The US Has Invaded 70 Nations Since 1776 – Make 4 July Independence From America Day”, Countercurrents, 5 July, 2013: http://www.countercurrents.org/polya050713.htm  .

[17]. William Blum, “Rogue State: A guide to the world’s only superpower”, Common Courage Press, 2005.

[18].  Benjamin Norton, “US launched 251 military interventions since 1991, and 469 since 1798”, Multipolista, 13 September 2022: https://multipolarista.com/2022/09/13/us-251-military-interventions-1991/ .

[19]. Congressional Research Service, “Instances of use of United States armed forces abroad, 1798-2022”, 22 March 2022: https://crsreports.congress.gov/product/pdf/R/R42738 .

[20]. David Vine, “Where in the world is the U.S. military?”, Politico, July/August 2015: https://www.politico.com/magazine/story/2015/06/us-military-bases-around-the-world-119321/ .

[21]. Worldometer, “COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic”:, 4 January 2023: https://www.worldometers.info/coronavirus/#countries .

[22]. ABS, “COVID-19 Mortality in Australia: Deaths registered until 31 October 2022”: https://www.abs.gov.au/articles/covid-19-mortality-australia-deaths-registered-until-31-october-2022 .

[23]. Gideon Polya, “Covid-19 Pandemic, Climate & Australia: Risky Ignoring Of Science-based Advice”, Countercurrents, 28 July 2020: https://countercurrents.org/2020/07/covid-19-pandemic-climate-australia-risky-ignoring-of-science-based-advice/ .

[24]. Gideon Polya, “US Alliance Covid-19 Gerocide – Intentional Mass Killing Of Elderly By US Alliance Countries”, Countercurrents, 21 October 2021: https://countercurrents.org/2020/10/us-alliance-covid-19-gerocide-intentional-mass-killing-of-elderly-by-us-alliance-countries/ .

[25]. Norbert Pardi1, Michael J. Hogan, Frederick W. Porter and Drew Weissman, “mRNA vaccines – a new era of vaccinology”, Nature Reviews Drug Discovery, 17 (4), January 2018: https://www.researchgate.net/publication/322435780_mRNA_vaccines_-_a_new_era_in_vaccinology .

[26]. “Casualties of the Russo-Ukrainian War”, Wikipedia: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Casualties_of_the_Russo-Ukrainian_War .

[27]. “Nuclear weapons ban, end poverty & reverse climate change”, 300.org: https://sites.google.com/site/300orgsite/nuclear-weapons-ban .

[28]. Gideon Polya, “Planet Doomed: No Decrease In Record GHGs & Gas, Oil, Coal, Cattle, Cement & Steel Production”, Countercurrents, 16 October 2022: https://countercurrents.org/2022/10/planet-doomed-no-decrease-in-record-ghgs-gas-oil-coal-cattle-cement-steel-production/ .

[29]. Stephen Hawking, “Brief Answers to the Big Questions”, John Murray, 2018.

[30]. Gideon Polya, “Economist Mahima Khanna,   Cambridge Stevenson Prize And Dire Indian Poverty”,  Countercurrents, 20 November, 2011: https://countercurrents.org/polya201111.htm .

[31]. Gideon Polya, “Britain Robbed India Of $45 Trillion & Thence 1.8 Billion Indians Died From Deprivation”, Counterurrents, 18 December 2018: https://countercurrents.org/2018/12/britain-robbed-india-of-45-trillion-thence-1-8-billion-indians-died-from-deprivation/ .

[32]. “Aboriginal Genocide”: https://sites.google.com/site/aboriginalgenocide/ .

[33]. Gideon Polya, “Apartheid Israel’s Palestinian Genocide & Australia’s  Aboriginal Genocide Compared”, Countercurrents, 20 February 2018: https://countercurrents.org/2018/02/apartheid-israels-palestinian-genocide-australias-aboriginal-genocide-compared/ .

[34], “Mainstream media censorship”: https://sites.google.com/site/mainstreammediacensorship/home .

[35]. “Mainstream media lying”: https://sites.google.com/site/mainstreammedialying/ .

Dr Gideon Polya taught science students at La Trobe University, Melbourne, Australia over 4 decades. He published some 130 works in a 5 decade scientific career, notably a huge pharmacological reference text “Biochemical Targets of Plant Bioactive Compounds”. He has also published “Body Count. Global avoidable mortality since 1950” (2007, 2022) and “Jane Austen and the Black Hole of British History” (1998, 2008). He has recently published “US-imposed Post-9-11 Muslim Holocaust & Muslim Genocide” (2020), and “Climate Crisis, Climate Genocide & Solutions” (2020). For images of Gideon Polya’s huge paintings for the Planet, Peace, Mother and Child see: http://sites.google.com/site/artforpeaceplanetmotherchild/  .


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