On Indigenious Uprisings & Resistance

On the same theme of indigenous uprisings just blogged, here is another story:

On November 7 more than ten thousand Santhal men and women converged in the Indian state of West Bengal to demand the end to state oppression and the constant dispossession of their lands.

It is an historic moment for the tribal peoples in the region “” and one so unprecedented that authorities are not even sure what to do about it.

“Even the political parties and civil society are at a loss trying to come to terms with what is happening,” says Partho Sarathi Ray, in one of several reports on Sanhati.com. “Nothing like this has been witnessed in West Bengal in living memory.”

Police brutality and oppression and dispossession of their land finally triggered an explosive reaction by the citizenry, who apparently leaderless, fought back. A good review of the history of this event is found here.

I would suggest that the natives immediately and permanently replace the positions of the former “authorities” to prevent their reoccupation by their oppressors, or abolish them altogether.

But I’ve no doubt that any group that resists by whatever means, including peaceful means, will be left unharmed. That doesn’t even happen here in the United States, even peaceful groups are widely attacked, assaulted, arrested and jailed on trumped up charges.

In effect, it really makes no difference if you choose “non-resistance but protest” as your means of expression, you wind up targeted anyway. This system, like all systems, is a rigged affair too, in favor of the corporate plantation owners and their legal staff, the just(us) system that enables this and supports this and of course, fails to stop this.

On the other hand, if you choose total non-resistance (pacifist) of all forms, then you’ll simply be exterminated, it’s just a matter of time before the land it stolen away or the resources are stripped off and a wasteland is all that remains.

In other words, you’re damned-if-do, and damned-if-you-don’t.

A long time ago, I had long conversations with a friend on these subjects. What we finally came to understand was this:

Passive resistance is no different then simple acceptance of the facts, circumstances and events. You are acquiescing in other words to the situation and its direction. You are led to believe that this is a “democratic form” of political expression, which of course, isn’t true. It’s simply a way to convince the populace to lay down their arms and meekly accept what is happening.

True democratic forms of political expression actually include active resistance, including violence where necessary. If you do not believe this is true, then examine the democratic response of government declaring and waging war upon each other, killing hundreds of millions in the name of democracy, “freedom” and justice. The fact is, war itself is the action of a democratic decision, we either participate in this by voting or voicing our opinions, or we democratically permit it to take place (this includes silence and passive resistance by the way, the “silent acceptance” tactic that permit actions and events to take place). In either case, we are still actually involved in this process whether we admit it or not (inaction is still involvement in this case, because the responsibility for action hasn’t left the room).

We tend to shun this responsibility as our own, preferring instead to place this onerous burden upon someone else, the politician, the president, the soldier, but it is actually us who is behind this bloodshed either by our support or by our inaction.

We then cloak this activity with words of righteousness and justification, declaring that “liberty” is being safeguarded and ensured as the killing continues. But the truth is we have democratically ruled to murder in cold blood (the indiscriminate killing of civilians proves this case easily).

Now compare this to the decisions reached by an indigenous tribe to defend their way of life outside of our normal system of courts and laws and “justice”, where they cannot possibly hope to receive a defense. There is absolutely nothing different about what they have done, and what we have done. They are identical, except that they have endured the bloodshed and the destruction of their people and the rape of their lands for generations.

You should of course, take this even farther, because this concept is not only applicable to indigenous groups and tribes, but actually all people on the entire Earth, including Westerners (Americans to be specific).

To wit: governments rule by force and nothing else. In America, this force translates into a gun pointed at your head. If you fail to comply to any law, rule, fiat, prohibition or requirement, ultimately this means that a gun WILL be pointed at your head. The sheriff will come or S.W.A.T. will surround your house or you will be arrested at some future point and tried for your “crime” in one of their courts. But it is all enforced by coercion and actual, real force. Your life and your liberty are directly threatened by your non-compliance (please note I have said nothing about actual resistance yet).

Now this is true of all nations of the world, i.e., all government rule by force by pointing a gun at your head. It makes no difference where you might live, your compliance is required. Even passivity (pacifist) “do nothing”, “offer no resistance” (often seen in street blockades for example) is overruled by force. You’re simply handcuffed and hauled off to jail like the sack of unwashed potatoes that you are, and accomplishing absolutely nothing at all except your own incarceration.

The force here is clear and can be witnessed in everything. Your compliance however, is more subtle and is encouraged by multiple factors, including education, indoctrination, the media (brainwashing) and even peer pressure (who are also themselves brainwashed). The concept of questioning “authority” or active resistance is instantly suppressed by nearly everyone as being illegal, wrong, immoral or unacceptable behavior. Yet the examination of democracy by force is exactly these things itself, it is the illegal, immoral and unacceptable coercion of forced behavior exercised against billions of people.

To a inquisitive mind, these things are self-evident. Consider: neither you nor I “requested” that we live in this society. It is something that is actually forced upon us. Neither did we sign and agree to for example, to the Constitution of the United States and in point of fact, we are actually not bound by it for this reason alone (see “Consent Of The Governed” and “No Treason, The Constitution Of No Authority” and for further background on this particular essay, “Row, Row, Row Your Boat and See If It Floats“.

We’re expected to simply accept the “rules of the road” so to speak on how we are to live our lives. Yet even this concept must be seriously questioned. What if the rules of the road are ultimately self-destructive? What if the rules of the road state to destroy the very planet that you live on with a total disregard for the long and even the short-term consequences?

If we are in fact, supposed to accept the rules of the road, then we should know where this road is actually going, who is in charge (of the road and of our lives) and who gave them that authority to decide for us what is right and what is wrong?

These issues encompass all the moral and ethical boundaries and behaviors that we were taught by our parents and in school. These agents in turn, actively supported whatever the larger society demanded, being themselves indoctrinated and therefore, also require examination themselves. While I am not seeking to undermine anyones personal convictions, I am seeking to uproot the fabricated reality of what we call acceptable and unacceptable and how it directly relates to our lives, our future and our planet.

As already laid out many times in previous writings, the System as I call it, is irretrievably broken beyond all possible hope of repair. Believe it or not, this is a side issue and always was. Why? Because the real issue is you. People. Us. Me. Everyone. We are not the system and never were. The system was meant to serve us, but not enslave us. And it was never meant as far as we were concerned, to destroy us.

But we have a very hard time separating ourselves from the System. We remain admittedly, highly dependent upon it, even though we recognize its ill-effects and long term damage to our lives, our freedom and even our planet. The truth is, the System is simply unable to be ethical and responsible anymore. It’s very existence is not towards our service, but actually the opposite, we are here to serve it. If you do not serve it or submit to its demands, you are simply removed.

This is true throughout the entire world nowadays. Governments (both promoters and co-designers of the system) are singularly interested in protecting the system they have built. That should give you serious pause. Think about it. Why aren’t they interested in replacing it with something better? Or something more fair? Or more humane? Why do we constantly and forever struggle with this perception that the system owns us and we are poorer and poorer served by it? Instead of making new laws for tiny example, why doesn’t Congress start unmaking laws? Why do they continue to heap more and more burdens upon our already tired shoulders?

I could go on and on with this theme, but what I’m really trying to point out here is that the system now exists to serve itself. It does not matter if we are talking about “government”, politics, industry, economics or any other aspect of the total system now in place, it is become a perpetual motion machine, dedicated to self-survival at any and all cost. This includes destroying the planet that we all live on or removing any “obstacle” (tribe, government, resource) that is in the way or wanted.

This is why we fail, when working within the system to effectively stop the destruction, or the injustice. Our tiny and short-lived victories (and there have been many) are inadequate to stop the onward march of “progress”, even though there are mountains of evidence that this so-called progress will actually wind up destroying us all.

Admittedly, we are all the beneficiaries of the system, the just-in-time delivery system, the tivo and the new toys, the gasoline at the fuel station and the stocked shelves at the supermarket. But the hidden costs for all of these things is horrendous, one which we absolutely refuse to properly account. The staggering ecological and human deficit this “living” has cost us all and all possible future generations to come cannot even be accurately calculated. I dare say it is an impossible figure to determine.

In any case, we are now only bit players, partakers to something entirely artificial and far larger then ourselves that is singularly interested in its own self-promotion. Deep down, we actually recognize this fact and have wrapped our entire lives, dreams and ambitions around this truth. This is where our “careers” and “futures” are made and destroyed, playing out bit parts in this unfolding drama of human civilization and planetary ecocide, bit by bit, unable to stop the merry-go-round with no place at all to get off. The conductor is either dead and gone or the switch got stuck on “fast”.

But this isn’t amusing anymore, not at all. We might be living in a theme park designed to entertain, enthrall and delight our carnal senses, but our minds know that something is deeply wrong. This is the “where” and the “what” I’m daring to uncover here. The wrong is actually in us. It’s easy to point to the system or any aspect of it and point the blame, but doing so fails to identify the root of the problem.

I often wonder how many people actually realize just how serious this really is. They are embedded within a system that they dare not question or challenge effectively, hopelessly dependent upon its survival for their survival, but at a cost that is going to continue to destroy everything else, and ultimately, them. That about sums it up I’m afraid.

Exiting the system is the only answer there is. But even this isn’t actually enough. Permitting it to go on surviving is just as wrong as is doing nothing at all, it is still acquiesence and “democracy by force” and ultimately, extermination. The trade-off here is you get to go hide in a corner somewhere pretending that your life matters and live out your days. But this is really time (and opportunity) stolen from everyone else now living and those yet to be born. It is this generation who will be responsible for what was left undone. We can’t go on blaming the last generation forever, or even expect to lay it on the shoulders of the next one, especially when we’re still here.

Those that refuse are really saying “let the sacrifice be upon someone else“, knowing this sacrifice is still to come (how could they not know by now?), but preferably upon an entirely different generation (certainly not “their kids!“). And that is exactly what is going to happen too.

How can this be better? To inflict this upon your children’s children? The logic behind this kind of short-sighted and selfish thinking is appalling. But we don’t find this in native tribes, who are the only ones I have found that really ARE thinking about their children. This proves the modern world and its inhabitants to be clinically insane. Not only are we guilty of ecocide, we’re guilty of parricide, filicide, and fratricide. Ultimately, it is the homicide of humankind resting on our shoulders.

This is one reason why I don’t support the bailout in any form or fashion. This aspect of the system needs to be allowed to die an overdue death. There is little point in stealing money from the people to give to corporations, they’ve already stolen quite enough. Those fiscally irresponsible do not deserve to survive either. Those whining and crying for a handout do not get my sympathy at all.

Taking this further, I feel exactly the same way about the rest of the country. Those that want to perpetuate this destructive fraud of civilization upon the next generation of people are insane and guilty of murder. Just because they hide it behind glitter and chrome and their 401(k) doesn’t make it any less so.

The real murderers are really all of us. We’re the guilty ones, the present inheritors (robber-barons more like it) of this world, stealing from all the generations to come so that we might have lives of comfort and ease (and power, profit and prestige). Because of our apathy and indifference, we’re ensuring that our children and their children have nothing at all like we have had. And that doesn’t bother us. Certainly not enough to actually do something about it.

It’s bad enough that they won’t have the same opportunities that we have had, but it is actually much, much worse then that. They are going to suffer mightily because of what we’ve done. That’s the long and the short of it. It’s not like we’re going to hand them off to a world teeming with fish and animals the means to survive where they could learn to exist, oh no, it won’t be anything like that at all. We’re going to give them a desert wasteland lacking in food and soil and muddy tepid water to drink. This will be their inheritance from this generation. And to think that we still think that we are neither responsible, or that we need to do nothing about it.

Most people still seem to think the system will “self-correct”. But history has a way of demonstrating that this is a false belief. First of all, it would or certainly should have done so by now. Because it hasn’t (and can’t), this should be sufficient evidence of this fallacy. Second, it still shows no sign of a correction. Not from within it doesn’t. There are tiny hints of a exiting of the system, designated as the “survivors exodus” (by me) underway, but this is no guarantee of anything remaining after the system either collapses or consumes everything left (or both, which is probably the likely outcome).

The self-correction fallacy simply isn’t true. Only an external force will create a correction. Peak oil for example is one such force. So is a rebellion or revolution. Correction requires constant pressure on something so large as this. The Million Mom march didn’t accomplish that and never could. Nor would even voting in a new Congress, because they were all too beholden to the survival of the present system.

When examining what corrections are needed and possible, it must be realized that only an external force will work on problems of this magnitude, one not constrained by the rules and regulations and requirements. Understanding that these restrictions are designed to continue the perpetuation of the system itself is important too, and knowing that the real moral choice isn’t as hard as you might think. If we are already guilty of murder and planetary ecocide, how is it that we balk at the idea of simply refusing to comply?

When examining the wrong within us, we have to put into the proper context the framework in which we are operating under. It is this framework that actually defines us and our actions and because of this, the framework must be examined itself. Understanding what democracy really is for example, is one part of this framework. Knowing what it really is vitally important.

We do have to live under some sort of rule and authority, although anarchy (the absence of government) would work just as well or better too. But we don’t have to live under what no longer serves us or is in our best interests. It does not take a Constitution or a Bill Of Rights to point this out either (another document you did not sign). Human rights, whether ours or an indigenous tribes rights, are identical. Documents ‘explaining these things’ simply codify into law what already existed.

But not all laws are worthy laws. In point of fact, most laws are not meant at all to serve the people, but are meant to restrict the people. Obedience to those laws are the expectations of those concerned with perpetuating the system. Non-compliance to those laws are the expectations of those refusing to perpetuate the system. It’s actually pretty simple.

Indigenous resistance is on the rise, as critical homeland is torn up, burned down, polluted and stolen from tribes around the world. They wisely recognize that their very existence is at stake. We should pay particular attention to this fact, because this is the argument I have been trying to make here. Our very existence is now at stake if we continue on this same path of planetary destruction and domination of all things.

Demand destruction, the contraction of globalism due to energy shortages or climate change will not be enough to stop this. We will simply turn inward and destroy our own lands with greater abandon then before.

Here’s a hint: don’t put up with it. Learn something from what is now happening in tribes around the world. Your modern way of life is already over, so realize that and embrace it. But don’t let the rest of the planet, including where you live continue to be destroyed. You have a choice and a responsibility to see to it that it doesn’t become a wasteland for your children, one day they may thank you for it, or they might spit in your face because you did nothing when you could have at least did something.

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2 thoughts on “On Indigenious Uprisings & Resistance

  • November 20, 2008 at 4:56 pm
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    I question only one precept,”You have a choice and a responsibility to see to it that it doesnâ’t become a wasteland for your children”. Our time of choice has passed and the world has become a wasteland with few exceptions. I define “wasteland” in the limited context of human survival and where we can live without some means of artificial support brought in from other places. Deserts, the artic, oceans, swamps and tall mountains fit this definition, so does all of civilization. The bountiful land that can support humanity or the crops necessary for our survival has been leveraged to unsustainable levels and been outpaced by population growth. As we are learning to live with less we should be teaching our children to live with even less. We have already spent their inheritance. Right or wrong I have chosen to live out my days in the frozen wastelands of the Arctic. I have lived in Alaska all my life and am old enough to have learned the olds ways before the encroachment of civilization. Even so I cannot expect Alaska to provide for me as it always has. Wildlife management and preditor control has become necessary for the survival of wildlife. Fish hatcheries support the wild fish stocks. Fire breaks, back burning and selective logging are now needed to conteract beetle killed spruce that would otherwise lead to forrest fires that burn it all down. Intervention by man is now necessary to offset the damage done by global warming, pollution, habitat destruction and over harvesting. This last summer has made me a believer in global dimming that seriously reduced the amount of food produced by my garden. Preparation is an annual consideration to see us through the winters here but I have lost faith that the next summer will provide the abundance to see mee through the next winter with any reliability. It is hard to judge just how long I can live off the supplies I have stockpiled, but I may have exceeded my expected life span. Future generations? I do believe some life forms will thrive but unless we learn to eat jelly fish, cockroaches and each other we will not be one of those species.

  • November 21, 2008 at 9:31 am
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    Our time of choice has not passed. We’re still here and so is what still remains.

    Just imagine what will be left in 20 years as we stand around doing absolutely nothing. By then, the very youngest of our children will be full fledged adults. And they will rightfully spit in our faces when they realize we did nothing at all.

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