May Nature be Free from Human Greed!

 

May Nature be Free from Human Greed!

We’ve been told an explaining STORY – the human mind has a creative ability. (institutionalized equivocation – scientific, technological, political, educational, etc, everything that is industrial soceity)
We have been given an explanation of how things came to be this way, and this stills the alarm of most people. This explanation covers everything, including the deterioration of the ozone layer, the pollution of the oceans, the destruction of the rainforest, why we must consume animal products and even human extinction – and this satisfies most. Or perhaps it would be more accurate to say that it pacifies most. You put your shoulders to the wheel during the day, stupefy with products, drugs*, marijuana*, alcohol* or television at night, (escapism) and try not to think too searchingly about the world that we’re leaving for our children to cope with. (The first taste of violence we give our children isn’t though movies or videogames, it’s on there dinner plate – animal products).

I was given the same explanation of how things came to be this way as everyone else—but it apparently doesn’t satisfy me, I have heard it from infancy but never managed to swallow it, I know that somethings have been left out, glossed over. I know we have been lied to and i know what its is—and that’s what I am doing here.

If the truth should be known i would much prefer to live like animals – Wild animals that is and not like the animals that humanity has domesticated, their conditions are mostly poor, cruel and unjustified.

Industrial soceity is making people sick with the food they produce for the masses, especially the animal agriculture industry and the sickness is that most consumers will deny this fact, without investigating the evidence that exists. It is our massive human society that is paving the way to destruction!

*drugs, marijuana and alcohol derived from the monoculture crop industry, which requires large amounts of land, that could otherwise be used for the free-living, such as animals, insects, and indigenous peoples.

DOMESTIC SERVITUDE

“war is peace, freedom is slavery, ignorance is strength” – George Orwell

THE DOMINANT CULTURES AND THE ULTRA RICH OF THE WORLD WANT YOU TO SERVE THEM.

I take offence to speak about industrial civilization as the end all to an evolutionary process, especially when the shark or certain other animals have not changed…a big snicker at the overgrown academics and there wannabes!

You are allowed to outgrow people and their institutions, to embrace Animality, free-living peoples and The Earth – Misanthropy, Antinatalism, Animal liberation and the philosophy and the practise of rewilding/horticulture – let your spirit run free with the possibility to enable all of us to be free!

The supposed progress that civilization made – LOOK at it, for what it really is, death and destruction, for the free living and the domestication of plants, animals and people, all sanctioned by science-technology, governing politics, organized religion and then we are educated and put to work, enforced by police and military, coerced by authority figures, intimidation tactics that are accepted as the norm by the working class.
A Barbarian invader culture with an advanced technology and science – governing politics to back, with millions of mindless police, soldiers and workers, has taken the planet hostage, and now we have to negotiate our rights with this unscrupulous group, when they have no interest in granting anyone the right to live free. I am not interested their version of freedom – a utopian society they see fit for thier purpose, their version is my dystopia, a version that is obviously unfit for the all animals and all people, of course there are the exception, those who are dependent on the state and willingly choose to be servant-slaves to the current capitalist system!

THERE IS NO PATH TO THE TRUTH, IT’S WITHIN YOU THE FREE-LIVING PRIMITIVIST, it’s the way we lived for most of our existence, up until a hundred years ago with the onset of the industrial revolution, when the indigenous peoples of north america were forced onto small reservation that were really prisoner of war camps. The destruction of a way of life that was hail as a victory, millions of bison were executed and millions of indigenous people subjected to the act of genocide.

NOW, SURVIVAL OF THE UNFITTEST – I am not pointing at one group or another, I am referring to everyone who depends on industrial society !

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The Utopian Society of the Little Eichmanns

Progress is a manipulative word that defines the death and destruction of Nature, Animals and Indigenous peoples, the people who support progress are leading almost every consumer to an inevadable end!

If I haven’t already been, I will be called an extremist.
Well I would agree with philosopher Tom Regan when he stated:
“I am an extremist when it comes to rape
I am against it all the time.
I am an extremist when it comes to child abuse
I am against it all the time.
I am an extremist when it comes to sexual discrimination, racial discrimination
I am against it all the time.
I am an extremist when it comes to abuse to the elderly
I am against it all the time”.

I am against progress and genocide.
I am an extremist when it comes to extermination.
The invader culture has violated every moral rule of conduct in the name of progress!

Taking on the role of an environmentalist requires certain sacrifices, to start acknowledging that the animal agriculture industry is one of the biggest violators for pollution and destruction, and adjusting one’s action accordingly, by not participating in the consumption of animal products!

As for me I am against the exploitation of animals – all the time -This is speciesism it’s the equivalent to racism and sexsim. It is the most extreme priority, animal agriculture is the leading cause of planetary degradation, and the people are feeding from this industry, this means they are supporting the progress – The progress of an evil industrial soceity means to support the ultra rich and thier utopian society, all these little Eichmanns with their support of progress will only succumb to their own demise!

 

overpop

These little Eichmanns will NOT destroy the Earth, they will only destroy thier ability to live with the Earth.

 

‘This Nation Was Founded on Genocide’: MSNBC’s Lawrence O’Donnell on Dakota Access

Read more athttp://indiancountrytodaymedianetwork.com/2016/08/26/nation-was-founded-genocide-msnbcs-lawrence-odonnell-dakota-access-165594
 
From the start of colonial intrusion, the free and original peoples of this hemisphere  “have been treated as enemies and dealt with more harshly than any other enemy in any other war.”

While this in itself is not news, the source of this statement is. This quote comes not from an activist, a historian or a researcher squirreled away in an obscure academic corner, but from a high-profile commentator speaking on MSNBC.

“After all our other wars we signed treaties and lived by those treaties,” noted Lawrence O’Donnell at the segment at the end of the August 25 edition of his nightly news showThe Last Word. “After World War 2 we then did everything we possibly could to help rebuild Germany.”

In other words, “no Native American tribe has ever been treated as well as we treated Germans after World War 2.”

O’Donnell issues this scathing indictment by way of explaining the peaceful protests against the Dakota Access oil pipeline. He talks of Republican Presidential nominee Donald Trump’s fear of foreign invaders “who want to change our way of life” and notes that it’s “a fear that Native Americans have lived with every day for over five hundred years.”

And he does not stop there.

“The original sin of this country is that we invaders shot and murdered our way across the land killing every Native American we could, and making treaties with the rest,” he says. “This country was founded on genocide before the word genocide was invented, before there was a war crimes tribunal in The Hague.”

Nor does he end there. He explains how “Every. Single. Treaty.” has been broken; how only a few generations have passed since the “business of killing Indians” has ceased. He cites the camps near Standing Rock as potent reminders of despicable acts most Americans would rather forget…and on and on. It’s a statement worth watching more than a few times, and he ends with a statement that resonates, a paying of respect to the resilience and strength of Natives: “The people who have always known what is truly sacred in this world.”

Source: Read more athttp://indiancountrytodaymedianetwork.com/2016/08/26/nation-was-founded-genocide-msnbcs-lawrence-odonnell-dakota-access-165594
 
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Autonomous

After the battle of the oppressor and the oppressed, they can go back to their homes and feast…Feast on the bodies of the innocent, maybe some of the processed remains that were left on the cold concrete floor, a slaughterhouse delicacy of the most oppressed group on the planet.

When it’s all over and the uniform-clowns have gone home to thier families, with thier over developed sense of self importance… when the pipe has been laid, when the degradation can parade at 919,000 per hour, imagine the pollution, imagine the oil ‘n’ gas needed to raise and to kill them, day in and night out the trucks roll by carrying the voiceless, remember it’s on the tip of your tongue, and you can’t quite say it….

Very few bat an eye at the thought of around 22 million animals slaughtered every single day!

The Sacred Feast of the Oppressor!

 

Those who understand this teaching, the power of a living entity – Earth.

As we see and realize the integrity of the people, to take action, however this may be, through science-technology, politics, law, monotheism or spirituality, protest and revolt  a sense of egocentrism maybe, or even to simply change how we relate to the earth by what we consume – what we put in our mouths that feed the body, projects and reflects how we relate to all sentient beings, including the earth. So my faith lies within the understanding of my ancestors teachings, but in the meantime my conscious influenced by my ancestors, have also told me not to feed my body the misery, torture, sadness and sickness of intensive animal agriculture – concentration camps for the domesticated animal, WHY, simply, because Earth has breathed life into my body – my spirit!
Some, maybe more than we like to think?
“Human beings” of this contemporary industrial society are inherently cruel; terminal sociopaths devoid of any sense of empathy, fairness or justice – most simply don’t care, and likely never will. Some of us however, consider ourselves to be reasonable, to actually care about the earth – animal sentient being.
A paradox; Although we may be troubled in the back of our minds – as habitual consumers of the flesh, skins and secretions of non-human animals, we conveniently disassociate ourselves from any meaningful emotional connection to the horrendous suffering so frequently inflicted upon them.
Why is this?
Are we hypocrites? Are we fools? Are we morally lazy? the bottom line is yes, tragically we are.
There is no way that most can proclaim themselves as lovers of animals while also condoning the systemic abuse of such vast numbers of slaughter, for merrily unnecessary purposes. There is no way we can consider ourselves to be noble advocates of social justice by championing the rights and welfare of humans while deliberately ignoring the desperate plight of so many non-humans. The very notion of being civilized is at stake here; there are no half-measures – we cannot be authentic environmentalists, humanist, philanthropists, feminists, pro-natalists, anarchists, socialists, communists or liberationists of any kind while simultaneously exploiting animals in the barbaric, unenlightened way that we do.
“The Earth animals and all other beings are sacred”!
(truly where is the integrity is this statement)

Industrial Society Destroys Mind and Environment

….
If Urban Society stops its supplies to Rural Society it will live forever.

If Rural Society stops its supplies to Urban Society it will die within a month.

That is the worth of Urban Jobs, Consumer Goods, Growth Rate, Economy Rate and GDP.
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The food of millions of other species does not come from money……….Human species is the only lunatic one whose food comes from money.

Industrial society has created a criminal system where food comes from money……..This has led to a tragic situation where the farmer who is producing food is starving to death because he doesn’t have money to buy food whereas the parasitic urban population which is not even producing food has grown obese from overeating because it has got tonnes of money to buy food.
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All urban jobs, professions and activities of industrial society are extra, unnecessary, destructive and worthless.

Urban jobs and professions have destroyed the planet.
The entire urban population of industrial society is criminal.
The crime goes unchecked because 50% of world population is now urban.
The crime goes unchecked because urban population is running the system.

Development = Destruction.
Development is the biggest crime on earth.

All the extra, unnecessary, destructive and worthless work of urban population has been called Progress, Growth, Development.

Growth Rate, Economy Rate, GDP………These are figures of Insanity, Abnormality and Criminality.
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Man has spent more than 99.9% of his time on earth in non-industrial societies.

Man lived in forests for hundreds of thousands of years……..Man lived in agrarian society for 10,000 years……..Man has lived in industrial society for just about 100 years during which he has destroyed the entire planet.

Millions of other species destroyed environment only for food.

Forest man destroyed environment only for food.

Agrarian man destroyed environment for food, clothing and shelter.

Industrial man has destroyed environment for food, clothing, shelter PLUS thousands of consumer goods and services.

Industrial man has destroyed Exponential Extra Environment.

EXPONENTIAL EXTRA ENVIRONMENT.

The collective work of human society must be limited to food, clothing and shelter……..Millions of other species only get food from earth.

More than 99% of collapse has already happened……..Only human collapse is yet to happen……..Millions of other species have already been decimated by industrial activity………Man is next on the list……..Human collapse will come with lightning speed now.

Living in industrial society is not even an option………Everything that is happening in industrial society is wrong…….Every single thing………All urban jobs, professions and activities of industrial society are extra, unnecessary, destructive and worthless……..Industrial society is unsustainable…….Industrial society must be eradicated, abolished, dismantled immediately.
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Industrial society is destroying food and water……….There will be severe shortage of food and water in the coming years……..Industrial society is destroying agriculture by destroying fertile soil and by changing global weather with industrial activity…….Billions of acres of agricultural soil has been destroyed by industry……..Food is going to vanish from earth in the coming years………Agriculture requires regularity of weather……..It requires heat, cold and rain at the right time and in the right measure.

Global weather is regulated by Forest Cover, Ice Cover, Ocean Temperature and Atmospheric Temperature……..Industrial activity has decimated Forest Cover………Industrial activity has decimated Ice Cover / Glaciers……..Oceans and the Atmosphere have been made warmer………These changes have made the weather extreme, irregular and unpredictable……..This has led to drastic increase in the intensity and frequency of Droughts, Floods, Storms, Cyclones, hurricanes and Tornadoes……..Agricultural production has already been affected by these changes……..Agriculture is going to collapse completely in the near future.

There will be no food for man to eat……..Man has already decimated fish in the oceans with industrial fishing.

The land and the sea are the only two sources of food on earth………Industrial man has destroyed both.

Industrial activity is melting glaciers that give birth to rivers in this world……..Most rivers will cease to exist very soon…….Industrial society has already destroyed millions of ponds and lakes with construction industry and many other industries……..Groundwater reserves have already been depleted by diesel and electric pumps.

No Food………No Water.

End of man on earth.

– Sushil Yadav
To continue reading

Oral Cultures

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Art by Atjecoutay
Oral culture differs very much from literate culture which is in possession of alphabets, writing, print and electronic media. In a tribal culture which is primarily an ‘oral’ culture, the knowledge needs to be organized in such a way that it is easy to recall. In a tribal culture, which is deeply embedded in an oral intellectual structure, sound, speech and memory play a fundamental role. Thus, knowledge is stored and retrieved in and through memory. Things have to be committed to memory and then recalled.
Unlike literate cultures, given the interpersonal immediacy that is required in orality, oral/tribal cultures show a remarkable tendency towards conformity to the group and adherence to tradition. In oral cultures people tend to solve problems by common consensus and in the tradition of the tribe. Oral cultures also institutionalize public pressure on individuals to ensure conformity to tribal modes of behavior. Orality tends to encourage personality structures which manifest strong kinship patterns. Given the close-knit tribal kinship pattern, conformity to the tribe is seen as an important value.
Orality, which organizes its complete supply of knowledge around memory, speech and personal immediacy, entails certain characteristic features. Oral cultures prefer a descriptive approach in their interpretation of reality. This interpretation tends to reflect their proximity to the life-world with which they are most familiar. Further, given the interpersonal immediacy that is required in orality, oral cultures tend to have a strong ‘communitarian’ dimension. Instead of abstractions and analytical categories we find in oral cultures a basic orientation towards descriptive approach to reality in the form of myths, stories, and songs. Vast amount of descriptions arranged according to formulations of memory skills are possible in oral cultures. Thus, oral cultures show predominantly descriptive tendency, which is close to the life-world.
In the above context, Plato’s lamentation over the disappearance of orality and the use of script is highly significant: “The discovery of alphabet will create forgetfulness in the learners’ souls, because they will not use their memories; they will trust external written characters and not remember of themselves… You give your disciples not truth but only the semblance of truth; they will be heroes of many things, and will have learned nothing; they will appear to be omniscient and will gradually know nothing” (McLuhan et al. 1967: 113). Oral world of Plato is a lively world full of epics, verbal contests, debates, rhetoric, and dialogues – all spoken words. Written and printed word is inert, it is tucked away in manuscripts and books. It does not have the same dynamism of the spoken word.
Tribal myths, which embody a significant portion of tribal worldview, follow the same patterns exhibited by the predominance of oral-aural culture. The same is true of epics, which are prime examples of oral structures. Originally they were either sung or recited by specialists who did not ‘memorize’ verbatim, they rather assimilated the narrative in terms of themes and formula. They used striking visual symbols in their narratives. If the poets did not engage in the activity of repetition, saying things again and again, then, much of the knowledge in an oral-aural culture would disintegrate. The mystery of the universe and the wonder of the world are what speak to us through all myths and rites.
Literally when a worldview is established in written form, most will take this as the ultimate truth. Thought out written history we find that it is usually the oppressor who writes the stories for the ones who have been oppressed, we can find the evidence of this manipulation of the written word, in the Aryan invasion of india or the bering strait theory, these are examples of the inconsistency in the literate cultures, that have no truth in the oral history of tribal peoples of the world !
Tribal-oral cultures have coexisted with the natural world for millions of years, whereas the literate cultures in comparison have only existed for a very short period of time, and in doing so have managed to destroy most of the natural world, in its effort to dominate, subjugate and to tame the wild, though this domestication of people, animals and land, we have the current dysfunctional condition of our species, who will eventually destroy its ability to live with the earth, in other words most of us have been coerced through the written word to cooperate and then to collaborate with this destruction.
Though our eating habits – monoculture plants, animal agriculture where the deforestation happens to accomodate these industries, ocean fishing industry, gas and oil and other products that need the natural resources to feed an industrial society, who depends on them for survival. All this effort have written policies in government that make the destruction legal and acceptable.

I can see the future and it is sickening.

2AtoemElemWhSkilEmMe(ChiefEagle)aNativeAmericanmanontheFlatheadIndianReservationinwesternMontana-EdwardHBoos-1906

A sickness has spread over the entire planet, it affects our spiritual state of being, as well as our physical and psychological capabilities, traces of the disease can be found in the food that corporations and government offer and to think we are paying for this, the corporations and governments have thier fingers in almost every aspect of our lives, it’s no wonder that most people are sick, if not physically but mentally and spiritually as well… we directly ingest this maladie by consuming the meat products from the animal agirculture industry.

The planet is being poisoned

John Trudell Speaks 

NOTHING COULD BE FURTHER FROM REALITY.

We are taught to visualize the scientist as a cheerful fellow clad in white smock, working in a spotless lab, and asking the insightful question that will eventually reach us at the super-market in the form of improved vitamins, new kinds of digital-recorders, and labor-saving devices. On reaching the end of his experiment, which has featured a set of daring questions that he is forcing Mother Nature to surrender, our scientist publishes his results.His peers give serious critical attention to his theory and check his lab results and interpretation, and science moves another step forward into the unknown.
Eventually, we are told, the results of he research, combined with many other reports, are digested by intellects of the highest order and the paradigm of scientific explanation moves steadily forward reducing the number of secrets that Mother Nature has left. Finally, popular science writers – Stephen Jay Gould, Carl Sagan, Jared Diamond, Robert Ardrey, and Jacob Bronowski – and others take this mass of technical scientific wisdom and distill it for us poor ignorant lay people so we can understand in general terms the great wisdom that science has created…

YES “CREATED” ?

The actual situation is much different, Academics, and they include everyone we think of as a scientists except people who work in commercial labs, are incredibly timid people. Many of them are intent primarily on maintaining their status within their universities and profession and consequently they resemble nothing so much as servants who are eager to please their masters, the master in this case being the vaguely defined academic profession. Scholars, and again I include scientists, are generally specialists in their field and are often wholly ignorant of developments outside their field. Thus, a person can become an international expert on butterflies and not know a single thing about frogs other then that they are disappearing – a fact more often picked up in the sunday newspaper science section then from reading a scientific journal. Scientist and scholars are notoriously obedient to the consensus opinions of the scholars of their profession, which usually means they pay homage to the opinions of scholars and scientists who occupy the prestige chairs at the Ivy Leagues and large research universities or even dead personalities of the past.
Scientists do work hard in maintaining themselves within their niche in their respective disciplines. This task is accomplished by publishing articles in the journals of their profession.A glance at the index of any journal will reveal that the articles are written for the express purpose generating mystique and appear to be carefully edited to eliminate any possibility of a clear thought. Editors of journals and editorial boards are notoriously conservative and reject anything that would resemble a breath of fresh air.

Any idea that appears to challenge orthodoxy and is publish is usually accompanied by copious responses from the names in the profession who are given the opportunity to quash and heretical conclusion that the article might suggest. Many subjects, no matter how interesting are simply prohibited because they call in to question long standing beliefs. Prestigious personalities can determine what is published and what is not. Journals do not reflect science or human knowledge; they represent the subjects that are not prohibited in polite discussion by a few established personalities in the larger intellectual world.
We often read newspaper accounts of new scientific theories. Too offend we have been trained to believe that the new discoveries are proven fact rather then speculative supposition within a field that is already dominated by orthodox doctrines. Quite frequently the newspaper account will contain the phrases “MOST SCIENTISTS AGREE,” implying to the lay person that hundreds of scientists have sincerely and prayerfully considered the issue, reached a consensus, and believe that the theory is reliable.

NOTHING COULD BE FURTHER FROM REALITY.

In all probability a handful of people have read or heard of the article and, because it is written by a “responsible scholar” have feared to criticizes it. But who is the responsible scholar responsible to who? Not to the public, not to science, or history, or anthropology, but to a small group of similarly situated people who will make recommendations on behalf of his or her scholarship, award the prizes which each discipline holds dear, and write letters advocating his or her advancement. Unless a “scientist” is speaking specifically about his or her field. the chances are great that he or she does not know any more about the subject then your average well-read layperson.

Since it is possible for a prestigious personality to dominate a field populated with fearful little people trying to protect their status, some areas of “science” have not progressed in decades and some scientific doctrines actually have no roots except their traditional place in the intellectual structure of the discipline. For more then a century scientists have labeled unknown animal behavior as “instinct” which simply indicated that they did not know the processes of response. and instinct was passed off as a responsible scientific answer to an important question.

“EVOLUTION” IS USED TO COVER UP A MULTITUDE OF ACADEMIC SINS!

Now this is just one aspect of the civilized world, can we even begin to fathom the sins of all the other institutions?

END CIV Resist Or Die (Full)

END:CIV examines our culture’s addiction to systematic violence and environmental exploitation, and probes the resulting epidemic of poisoned landscapes and shell-shocked nations.

Based in part on Endgame, the best-selling book by Derrick Jensen, END:CIV asks: “If your homeland was invaded by aliens who cut down the forests, poisoned the water and air, and contaminated the food supply, would you resist?”

Directors: Franklin Lopez
Language English
Studio: Mvd Visual
Release Date: 25 Jan 2011
Run Time: 75 minutes

“What Is Civilization?” by Aric McBay

 

If some people hear that people want to “end civilization” they automatically respond in various negative ways because of their positive associations with the word “civilization.” This piece is an attempt to clarify, define and describe what I (and many others) mean by “civilization..”

The source: http://www.sodahead.com/living/what-is-civilization-by-aric-mcbay/blog-282673/

If I look in the dictionary to find out what the commonly used definition of civilization is, here’s what it says:

civilization

1: a society in an advanced state of social development (e.g.,
with complex legal and political and religious organizations); “the
people slowly progressed from barbarism to civilization” [syn:
civilisation]

2: the social process whereby societies achieve civilization [syn: civilization]

3: a particular society at a particular time and place; “early Mayan civilization” [syn: culture, civilization]

4: the quality of excellence in thought and manners and taste;
“a man of intellectual refinement”; “he is remembered for his
generosity and civilization” [syn: refinement, civilisation] [i]

The synonyms include “advancement, breeding, civility, cultivation,
culture, development, edification, education, elevation, enlightenment,
illumination, polish, progress” and “refinement..”

It goes without saying that the writers of dictionaries are “civilized”
people – it certainly helps explain why they define themselves in such
glowing terms. As Derrick Jensen asks, “can you imagine writers of
dictionaries willingly classifying themselves as members of ‘a low,
undeveloped, or backward state of human society’?” [1]

In contrast, the antonyms of “civilization” include: “barbarism,
savagery, wilderness, wildness.” These are the words that civilized
people use to refer to those they view as being outside of civilization
– in particular, indigenous peoples. “Barbarous”, as in “barbarian”,
comes from a Greek word, meaning “non-Greek, foreign.” The word
“savage” comes from the Latin “silvaticus” meaning “of the woods.” The
origins seem harmless enough, but it’s very instructive to see how
civilized people have used these words:

barbarity

1: the quality of being shockingly cruel and inhumane [syn: atrocity, atrociousness, barbarousness, heinousness]

2: a brutal barbarous savage act [syn: brutality, barbarism, savagery] [ii]

savagery

1. The quality or condition of being savage.

2. An act of violent cruelty.

3. Savage behavior or nature; barbarity.. [iii]

These associations of cruelty with the uncivilized are, however, in
glaring opposition to the historical record of interactions between
civilized and indigenous peoples..

For example, let us take one of the most famous examples of “contact”
between civilized and indigenous peoples. When Christopher Columbus
first arrived in the “Americas” he noted that he was impressed by the
indigenous peoples, writing in his journal that they had a “naked
innocence. … They are very gentle without knowing what evil is,
without killing, without stealing..”

And so he decided “they will make excellent servants..”

In 1493, with the permission of the Spanish Crown, he appointed himself
“viceroy and governor” of the Caribbean and the Americas. He installed
himself on the island now divided between Haiti and the Dominican
republic and began to systematically enslave and exterminate the
indigenous population. (The Taino population of the island was not
civilized, in contrast to the civilized Inca who the conquistadors also
invaded in Central America.) Within three years he had managed to
reduce the indigenous population from 8 million to 3 million. By 1514
only 22,000 of the indigenous population remained, and after 1542 they
were considered extinct.. [2]

The tribute system, instituted by [Columbus] sometime in 1495, was a
simple and brutal way of fulfilling the Spanish lust for gold while
acknowledging the Spanish distaste for labor. Every Taino over the age
of fourteen had to supply the rulers with a hawk’s bell of gold every
three months (or, in gold-deficient areas, twenty-five pounds of spun
cotton; those who did were given a token to wear around their necks as
proof that they had made their payment; those did not were . “punished”
– by having their hands cut off . and [being] left to bleed to death.. [3]

More than 10,000 people were killed this way during Columbus’ time as
governor. On countless occasions, these civilized invaders engaged in
torture, rape, and massacres. The Spaniards made bets as to who would slit a man in two, or cut off his head at one blow; or they opened up his bowels. They tore the babes from their mother’s breast by their feet and dashed their heads against the rocks . . . They spitted the bodies of other babes, together with their mothers and all who were before them, on their swords.. [4]

On another occasion:

A Spaniard . . . suddenly drew his sword. Then the whole hundred
drew theirs and began to rip open the bellies, to cut and kill – men,
women, children and old folk, all of whom were seated off guard and
frightened . . . And within two credos, not a man of them there remains
alive. The Spaniards enter the large house nearby, for this was
happening at its door, and in the same way, with cuts and stabs, began
to kill as many as were found there, so that a stream of blood was
running, as if a number of cows had perished.. [5]

This pattern of one-way, unprovoked, inexcusable cruelty and
viciousness occurred in countless interactions between civilized and
indigenous people through history..

This phenomena is well-documented in excellent books including Ward Churchill’s A Little Matter of Genocide: Holocaust and Denial in the Americas, 1492 to the Present, Kirkpatrick Sale’s The Conquest of Paradise: Christopher Columbus and the Columbian Legacy, and Dee Brown’s Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee: An Indian History of the American West. Farley Mowat’s books, especially Walking on the Land, The Deer People, and The Desperate People
document this as well with an emphasis on the northern and arctic
regions of North America. There is also good information in Howard
Zinn’s A People’s History of the United States: 1492-Present and Voices of a People’s History of the United States. Eduardo Galeando’s incredible Memory of Fire
trilogy covers this topic as well, with an emphasis on Latin America
(this epic trilogy as reviews numerous related injustices and revolts).
Jack D. Forbes’ book Columbus and Other Cannibals: The Wétiko Disease of Exploitation, Imperialism and Terrorism is highly recommended. You can also find information in Jared Diamond’s Guns, Germs and Steel: The Fates of Human Societies, although I often disagree with the author’s premises and approach..

The same kind of attacks civilized people committed against indigenous
peoples were also consistently perpetrated against non-human animal and
plant species, who were wiped out (often deliberately) even when
civilized people didn’t need them for food; simply as blood-sport. For
futher readings on this, check out great books like Farley Mowat’s
extensive and crushing Sea of Slaughter, or Clive Ponting’s A Green History of the World: The Environment and the Collapse of Great Civilizations (which also examines precivilized history and European colonialism)..

With this history of atrocity in mind, we should (if we haven’t
already) cease using the propaganda definitions of civilized as “good”
and uncivilized as “bad” and seek a more accurate and useful
definition. Anthropologists and other thinkers have come up with a
number of somewhat less biased definitions of civilization..

Nineteenth century English anthropologist E.B. Tylor defined
civilization as life in cities that is organized by government and
facilitated by scribes (which means the use of writing). In these
societies, he noted, there is a resource “surplus”, which can be traded
or taken (though war or exploitation) which allows for specialization
in the cities..

The wonderful contemporary writer and activist Derrick Jensen, having
recognized the serious flaws in the popular, dictionary definition of
civilization, writes:

“I would define a civilization much
more precisely, and I believe more usefully, as a culture-that is, a
complex of stories, institutions, and artifacts-that both leads to and
emerges from the growth of cities (civilization, see civil: from civis,
meaning citizen, from latin civitatis, meaning state or city), with
cities being defined-so as to distinguish them from camps, villages,
and so on-as people living more or less permanently in one place in
densities high enough to require the routine importation of food and
other necessities of life..” [6]

Jensen also observes that because cities need to import these
necessities of life and to grow, they must also create systems for the
perpetual centralization of resources, yielding “an increasing region
of unsustainability surrounded by an increasingly exploited
countryside..”

Contemporary anthropologist John H. Bodley writes: “The principle
function of civilization is to organize overlapping social networks of
ideological, political, economic, and military power that
differentially benefit privileged households..” [7] In other words, in
civilization institutions like churches, corporations and militaries
exist and are used to funnel resources and power to the rulers and the
elite..

The twentieth century historian and sociologist Lewis Mumford wrote one
of my favourite and most cutting and succinct definitions of
civilization. He uses the term civilization

.to denote the group of institutions
that first took form under kingship. Its chief features, constant in
varying proportions throughout history, are the centralization of
political power, the separation of classes, the lifetime division of
labor, the mechanization of production, the magnification of military
power, the economic exploitation of the weak, and the universal
introduction of slavery and forced labor for both industrial and
military purposes.. [8]

Taking various anthropological and historical definitions into account,
we can come up with some common properties of civilizations (as opposed
to indigenous groups)..

* People live in permanent settlements, and a significant number of them in cities..

* The society depends on large-scale agriculture (which is needed to support dense, non-food-growing urban populations)..

* The society has rulers and some form of “aristocracy” with
centralized political, economic, and military power, who exist by
exploiting the mass of people..

* The elite (and possibly others) use writing and numbers to keep track of commodities, the spoils of war, and so on..

* There is slavery and forced labour either by the direct use of
physical violence, or by economic coercion and violence (through which
people are systematically deprived of choices outside the wage
economy)..

* There are large armies and institutionalized warfare..

* Production is mechanized, either through physical machines or the use
of humans as though they were machines (this point will be expanded on
in other writings here soon)..

* Large, complex institutions exist to mediate and control the
behaviour of people, through as their learning and worldview (schools
and churches), as well as their relationships with each other, with the
unknown, and with the nature world (churches and organized religion)..

Anthropologist Stanley Diamond recognized the common thread in all of
these attributes when he wrote; “Civilization originates in conquest
abroad and repression at home..” [9]

This common thread is control. Civilization is a culture of control. In
civilizations, a small group of people controls a large group of people
through the institutions of civilization. If they are beyond the
frontier of that civilization, then that control will come in the form
of armies and missionaries (be they religious or technical
specialists). If the people to be controlled are inside of the cities,
inside of civilization, then the control may come through domestic
militaries (i.e., police). However, it is likely cheaper and less
overtly violent to condition of certain types of behaviour through
religion, schools or media, and related means, than through the use of
outright force (which requires a substantial investment in weapons,
surveillance and labour)..

That works very effectively in combination with economic and
agricultural control. If you control the supply of food and other
essentials of life, people have to do what you say or they die. People
inside of cities inherently depend on food systems controlled by the
rulers to survive, since the (commonly accepted) definition of a city
is that the population dense enough to require the importation of food..

For a higher degree of control, rulers have combined control of food
and agriculture with conditioning that reinforces their supremacy. In
the dominant, capitalist society, the rich control the supply of food
and essentials, and the content of the media and the schools. The
schools and workplaces act as a selection process: those who
demonstrate their ability to cooperate with those in power by behaving
properly and doing what they’re told at work and school have access to
higher paying jobs involving less labour. Those who cannot or will not
do what they’re told are excluded from easy access to food and
essentials (by having access only to menial jobs), and must work very
hard to survive, or become poor and/or homeless. People higher on this
hierarchy are mostly spared the economic and physical violence imposed
on those lower on the hierarchy. A highly rationalized system of
exploitation like this helps to increase the efficiency of the system
by reducing the chance of resistance or outright rebellion of the
populace..

The media’s propaganda systems have most people convinced that this
system is somehow “natural” or “necessary” – but of course, it is both
completely artificial and a direct result of the actions of those in
power (and the inactions of those who believe that they benefit from
it, or are prevented from acting through violence or the threat of
violence)..

In contradiction to the idea that the dominant culture’s way of living
is “natural”, human beings lived as small, ecological, participatory,
equitable groups for more than 99% of human history. There are a number
of excellent books and articles comparing indigenous societies to
civilization:

Chellis Glendinning’s My name is Chellis and I’m in recovery from western civilization
is an amazing and readable book, and it’s one of my favourites. You can
also read an excerpt of the chapter “A Lesson in Earth Civics” online.
See http://www. eco-action. org/dt/civics. html. She has also written several related books, including When Technology Wounds: The Human Consequences of Progress..

John Zerzan’s Against Civilization: Readings and Reflections composed of excerpts from the works of a wide range of authors..

The Culture of Make Believe by Derrick Jensen chronicles the
violent hatreds that have been overwhelming our planet, tracing them
back through their sources in imperialism, slavery, the rise of global
capitalism, and the ideologies of possessiveness and consumerism..

Marshall Sahlin’s Stone Age Economics is a detailed classic in
that same vein. You can read his essay “The Original Affluent Society”
online at numerous places, including: http://www. primitivism. com/original-affluent. htm

Anthropologist Stanley Diamond’s book In Search of the Primitive: A Critique of Civilization

Richard Heinberg’s essay “The Primitivist Critique of Civilization” is
also highly readable, and available online in many places including http://www. eco-action. org/dt/critique. html. Other good reading is at http://www.primitivism.com and http://eco-action.org/

What these sources show is there were healthy, equitable and ecological communities in the past, and that they were the norm for countless generations. It is civilization that is monstrous and aberrant..

Living inside of the controlling environment of civilization is an inherently traumatic experience, although the degree of trauma varies with personal circumstance and the amounts of privilege different people have in society. Derrick Jensen makes this point very well in his incredible book A Language Older than Words, and Chellis Glendinning covers it as well in My name is Chellis..

The inherent ecological unsustainability of civilization is another

important point. That issue will be expanded on in writings here, in
particular in the writings on the city and industry..

Related: See Ran Prieur’s Critique

of Civilization FAQ for related information and critiques.

[1] Jensen, Derrick, Unpublished manuscript..

[2] I owe many of the sources in this section to the research of Ward

Churchill. The figure of 8 million is from chapter 6 of Essays in
Population History, Vol.I by Sherburn F. Cook and Woodrow Borah
(Berkeley: University of California Press, 1971). The figure of 3
million is from is from a survey at the time by Bartolomé de Las Casas
covered in J.B. Thatcher, Christopher Columbus, 2 vols. (New York:
Putnam’s, 1903-1904) Vol. 2, p. 384ff. They were considered extinct by
the Spanish census at the time, which is summarized in Lewis Hanke’s
The Spanish Struggle for Justice in the Conquest of America
(Philapelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 1947) p. 200ff.

[3] Sale, Kirkpatrick. The Conquest of Paradise: Christopher Columbus

and the Columbian Legacy (New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1990) p. 155.

[4] de Las Casas, Bartolomé. The Spanish Colonie: Brevísima revacíon (New York: University Microfilms Reprint, 1966).

[5] de Las Casas, Bartolomé. Historia de las Indias, Vol. 3, (Mexico City: Fondo Cultura Económica, 1951) chapter 29.

[6] Jensen, Derrick, Unpublished manuscript.

[7] Bodley, John H., Cultural Anthropology: Tribes, States and the Global System. Mayfield, Mountain View, California, 2000.

[8] Mumford, Lewis. Technics and Human Development, Harcourt Brace Jovanovich, New York, 1966. p. 186.

[9] Diamond, Stanley, In Search of the Primitive: A Critique of

Civilization, Transaction Publishers, New Brunswick, 1993. p. 1.

[i] WordNet ® 2.0, 2003, Princeton University

[ii] The American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition, 2000, Houghton Mifflin Company.

[iii] Ibid.

Indicators of Cultural Crisis | Deep Green Resistance

Government Corruption

There were 237 millionaires in the US Congress as of late 2009 – that is 44% of the body. Seven lawmakers each have over $100 million in assets. President Barack Obama has a net worth of roughly $4 million. Overall, 1% of Americans and 0.001% of people worldwide are millionaires.1

Last year, corporations, unions, and other organizations spent $3.5 billion lobbying member of Congress and federal agencies in the United States. There are over 10,000 lobbyists in Washington DC.2

Government officials often leave their posts and go to work for the corporations which they regulated or oversaw in their official duties. This is called a “revolving door,” and is one of the primary ways that power circulates between the government and corporations.3

The United States began as a colonial operation for resource extraction and profit making. The original 13 colonies were each “crown-chartered corporations.” Since the early 1800’s, corporations have gained rights and protections under the US constitution. These laws have allowed corporations to dominate political, economic, and social spheres, to a greater or lesser degree, for nearly 200 years. An example of corporate power: Regulatory law, meant to restrict corporate practices and protect people, non-humans, and the environment, is often written by the corporations that are being regulated.4

The US military maintains a network of over 1000 military bases and outposts worldwide.5

via Indicators of Cultural Crisis | Deep Green Resistance.

We, who take ourselves to be the most intelligent form of life…

The Earth is now the seemingly helpless victim of a feeding frenzy motivated by the greed and arrogant stupidity of one species, the civilized man. We, who take ourselves to be the most intelligent form of life so we beLIEve? are in fact committing acts of spiciesism and multiple genocide against those who are no threat whatsoever to our undeniably obscene and perverse  strength. Often this killing is the thoughtless by-product of a multiplicity of actions that we see as being in our best interest, or providing us with what we want and which we regard as ours by right.

 

 

American Holocaust: When It’s All Over I’ll Still Be Indian

Three Sisters: Corn, Beans and Squash

According to Iroquois legend, corn, beans, and squash are three inseparable sisters who only grow and thrive together. This tradition of interplanting corn, beans and squash in the same mounds, widespread among Native American farming societies, is a sophisticated, sustainable system that provided long-term soil fertility and a healthy diet to generations. Growing a Three Sisters garden is a wonderful way to feel more connected to the history of this land.

Corn, beans and squash were among the first important crops domesticated by ancient Mesoamerican societies. Corn was the primary crop, providing more calories or energy  than any other. According to Three Sisters legends corn must grow in community with other crops rather than on its own – it needs the beneficial company and aide of its companions.

Three sisters garden corn

The Iroquois believe corn, beans and squash are precious gifts from the Earth Mother, each watched over by one of three sisters spirits, called the De-o-ha-ko, or Our Sustainers”. The planting season is marked by ceremonies to honor them, and a festival commemorates the first harvest of green corn on the cob. By retelling the stories and performing annual rituals, Tribal peoples passed down the knowledge of growing, using and preserving the Three Sisters through generations.

Corn provides a natural pole for bean vines to climb. Beans fix nitrogen on their roots, improving the overall fertility of the plot by providing nitrogen to the following years corn. Bean vines also help stabilize the corn plants, making them less vulnerable to blowing over in the wind. Shallow-rooted squash vines become a living mulch, shading emerging weeds and preventing soil moisture from evaporating, thereby improving the overall crops chances of survival in dry years. Spiny squash plants also help discourage predators from approaching the corn and beans. The large amount of crop residue from this planting combination can be incorporated back into the soil at the end of the season, to build up the organic matter and improve its structure.

 

three sisters garden squasgh

Corn, beans and squash also complement each other nutritionally. Corn provides carbohydrates, the dried beans are rich in protein, balancing the lack of necessary amino acids found in corn. Finally, squash yields both vitamins from the fruit and healthful, delicious oil from the seeds.

Indigenous peoples kept this system in practice for centuries without the modern conceptual vocabulary we use today, i.e. soil nitrogen, vitamins, etc. They often look for signs in their environment that indicate the right soil temperature and weather for planting corn, i.e. when the Canada geese return or the dogwood leaves reach the size of a squirrels ear. You may wish to record such signs as you observe in your garden and neighborhood so that, depending on how well you judged the timing, you can watch for them again next season!

Early European settlers would certainly never have survived without the gift of the Three Sisters from the Tribal peoples.

Success with a Three Sisters garden involves careful attention to timing, seed spacing, and varieties. In many areas, if you simply plant all three in the same hole at the same time, the result will be a snarl of vines in which the corn gets overwhelmed!

Instructions for Planting Your Own Three Sisters Garden in a 10 x 10 square

When to plant:
Sow seeds any time after spring night temperatures are in the 50 degree range, up through June.

What to plant:
Corn must be planted in several rows rather than one long row to ensure adequate pollination. Choose pole beans or runner beans and a squash or pumpkin variety with trailing vines, rather than a compact bush. At Renee’s Garden, we have created our Three Sisters Garden Bonus Pack, which contains three inner packets of multi-colored Indian Corn, Rattlesnake Beans to twine up the corn stalks and Sugar Pie Pumpkins to cover the ground.

Note: A 10 x 10 foot square of space for your Three Sisters garden is the minimum area needed to ensure good corn pollination. If you have a small garden, you can plant fewer mounds, but be aware that you may not get good full corn ears as a result.

How to plant:
Please refer to the diagrams below and to individual seed packets for additional growing information.

1. Choose a site in full sun (minimum 6-8 hours/day of direct sunlight throughout the growing season). Amend the soil with plenty of compost or aged manure, since corn is a heavy feeder and the nitrogen from your beans will not be available to the corn during the first year. With string, mark off three ten-foot rows, five feet apart.

2. In each row, make your corn/bean mounds. The center of each mound should be 5 feet apart from the center of the next. Each mound should be 18 across with flattened tops. The mounds should be staggered in adjacent rows. See Diagram #1

Note: The Iroquois and others planted the three sisters in raised mounds about 4 inches high, in order to improve drainage and soil warmth; to help conserve water, you can make a small crater at the top of your mounds so the water doesn’t drain off the plants quickly. Raised mounds were not built in dry, sandy areas where soil moisture conservation was a priority, for example in parts of the southwest. There, the three sisters were planted in beds with soil raised around the edges, so that water would collect in the beds (See reference 2 below for more information). In other words, adjust the design of your bed according to your climate and soil type.

3. Plant 4 corn seeds in each mound in a 6 in square. See Diagram #2

4. When the corn is 4 inches tall, its time to plant the beans and squash. First, weed the entire patch. Then plant 4 bean seeds in each corn mound. They should be 3 in apart from the corn plants, completing the square as shown in Diagram #3.

5. Build your squash mounds in each row between each corn/bean mound. Make them the same size as the corn/bean mounds. Plant 3 squash seeds, 4 in. apart in a triangle in the middle of each mound as shown in Diagram #4.

6. When the squash seedlings emerge, thin them to 2 plants per mound. You may have to weed the area several times until the squash take over and shade new weeds.

Diagram showing Three Sisters Garden spacing

 

Links to Legends about the Three Sisters:

1. Bird Clan of E. Central Alabama: The Three Sisters
http://www.birdclan.org/threesisters.htm

2. Cornell University Garden Based Learning: Three Sisters Garden- A Legend
http://blogs.cornell.edu/garden/get-activities/signature-projects/the-three-sisters-exploring-an-iroquois-garden/a-legend/

3.Three Sisters (agriculture) From Wikipedia, the free encyclopediaReferences and Further Reading;  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Three_Sisters_(agriculture)1. Creasy, Rosalind, “Cooking from the Garden”, Sierra Club Books, San Francisco, 1988

2. Dodson, Mardi, “An Appendix to Companion Planting: Basic Concepts & Resources – Ancient Companions. ATTRA: National Center for Appropriate Technology, 2002. Available at http://www.attra.org/attra-pub/complant.html#appCultivation.
3. Eames-Sheavly, Marcia, “The Three Sisters, Exploring an Iroquois Garden”, Cornell Cooperative Extension, Cornell U., 1993
4. Hays, Wilma and R. Vernon, “Foods the Indians Gave Us”, Ives Washburn, Inc. NY, 1973

The dark (disgusting) side of Brazil: Congressman receives Survival’s ‘Racist of the year’ award – Survival International

Deputy Luis Carlos Heinze made racist comments about Brazilian Indians, homosexuals and black people.

The dark side of Brazil: Congressman receives Survival’s ‘Racist of the year’ award 20 March 2014

Continue reading “The dark (disgusting) side of Brazil: Congressman receives Survival’s ‘Racist of the year’ award – Survival International”

Dishonest Identity

Dishonest Identity.

 

Dishonest Identity

DSC00279

The Occidental created the allegory of Indians, and whatever tall tales they want to tell in their childern are their business. But–concealed behind the illusion of Indians is the archetype of modern ethnic cleansing: the near extinction of more than forty percent of the world’s peoples; and these heinous crimes obscured by the nearly complete extirpation of the Aboriginal Indigenous peoples from the annals of Western civilization. We are consigned to the terra incognita of their linguistic maps: there is not a single word in the English language which means “the Aboriginal Indigenous peoples of this Continent or any continent .” Neither the Euro-Americans know who the Aboriginal Indigenous people really are, and they will not say our real names. The Indians know that they have a dishonest identity, and that they are trying to steal what belongs to the Aboriginal Indigenous people. Inescapable evidence of our very real past and present existence is masked by the Indian mythology, reinterpreted to fit the Indian stereotype, distorted, destroyed, and denied. The Indians serve the convenience of Western Civilization: by deliberately confusing the Ahnishinahbæótjibway and other Aboriginal Indigenous people with their figment of Indians, the Euro-Americans hope to fill the void of exterminated peoples, deny the genocide of many millions of Aboriginal Indigenous peoples, evade the responsibili­ty for the rape and plunder of our Continents, and justify their theft of the land.

 

COLUMBUS, THE INDIANS, AND HUMAN PROGRESS

Arawak men and women, naked, tawny, and full of wonder, emerged from their villages onto the island’s beaches and swam out to get a closer look at the strange big boat. When Columbus and his sailors came ashore, carrying swords, speaking oddly, the Arawaks ran to greet them, brought them food, water, gifts. He later wrote of this in his log:

They … brought us parrots and balls of cotton and spears and many other things, which they exchanged for the glass beads and hawks’ bells. They willingly traded everything they owned… . They were well-built, with good bodies and handsome features…. They do not bear arms, and do not know them, for I showed them a sword, they took it by the edge and cut themselves out of ignorance. They have no iron. Their spears are made of cane… . They would make fine servants…. With fifty men we could subjugate them all and make them do whatever we want.

These Arawaks of the Bahama Islands were much like Indians on the mainland, who were remarkable (European observers were to say again and again) for their hospitality, their belief in sharing. These traits did not stand out in the Europe of the Renaissance, dominated as it was by the religion of popes, the government of kings, the frenzy for money that marked Western civilization and its first messenger to the Americas, Christopher Columbus.

Columbus wrote:

As soon as I arrived in the Indies, on the first Island which I found, I took some of the natives by force in order that they might learn and might give me information of whatever there is in these parts.

The information that Columbus wanted most was: Where is the gold? He had persuaded the king and queen of Spain to finance an expedition to the lands, the wealth, he expected would be on the other side of the Atlantic-the Indies and Asia, gold and spices. For, like other informed people of his time, he knew the world was round and he could sail west in order to get to the Far East.

Spain was recently unified, one of the new modern nation-states, like France, England, and Portugal. Its population, mostly poor peasants, worked for the nobility, who were 2 percent of the population and owned 95 percent of the land. Spain had tied itself to the Catholic Church, expelled all the Jews, driven out the Moors. Like other states of the modern world, Spain sought gold, which was becoming the new mark of wealth, more useful than land because it could buy anything.

There was gold in Asia, it was thought, and certainly silks and spices, for Marco Polo and others had brought back marvelous things from their overland expeditions centuries before. Now that the Turks had conquered Constantinople and the eastern Mediterranean, and controlled the land routes to Asia, a sea route was needed. Portuguese sailors were working their way around the southern tip of Africa. Spain decided to gamble on a long sail across an unknown ocean.

In return for bringing back gold and spices, they promised Columbus 10 percent of the profits, governorship over new-found lands, and the fame that would go with a new title: Admiral of the Ocean Sea. He was a merchant’s clerk from the Italian city of Genoa, part-time weaver (the son of a skilled weaver), and expert sailor. He set out with three sailing ships, the largest of which was the Santa Maria, perhaps 100 feet long, and thirty-nine crew members.

Columbus would never have made it to Asia, which was thousands of miles farther away than he had calculated, imagining a smaller world. He would have been doomed by that great expanse of sea. But he was lucky. One-fourth of the way there he came upon an unknown, uncharted land that lay between Europe and Asia-the Americas. It was early October 1492, and thirty-three days since he and his crew had left the Canary Islands, off the Atlantic coast of Africa. Now they saw branches and sticks floating in the water. They saw flocks of birds.

These were signs of land. Then, on October 12, a sailor called Rodrigo saw the early morning moon shining on white sands, and cried out. It was an island in the Bahamas, the Caribbean sea. The first man to sight land was supposed to get a yearly pension of 10,000 maravedis for life, but Rodrigo never got it. Columbus claimed he had seen a light the evening before. He got the reward.

So, approaching land, they were met by the Arawak Indians, who swam out to greet them. The Arawaks lived in village communes, had a developed agriculture of corn, yams, cassava. They could spin and weave, but they had no horses or work animals. They had no iron, but they wore tiny gold ornaments in their ears.

This was to have enormous consequences: it led Columbus to take some of them aboard ship as prisoners because he insisted that they guide him to the source of the gold. He then sailed to what is now Cuba, then to Hispaniola (the island which today consists of Haiti and the Dominican Republic). There, bits of visible gold in the rivers, and a gold mask presented to Columbus by a local Indian chief, led to wild visions of gold fields.

On Hispaniola, out of timbers from the Santa Maria, which had run aground, Columbus built a fort, the first European military base in the Western Hemisphere. He called it Navidad (Christmas) and left thirty-nine crewmembers there, with instructions to find and store the gold. He took more Indian prisoners and put them aboard his two remaining ships. At one part of the island he got into a fight with Indians who refused to trade as many bows and arrows as he and his men wanted. Two were run through with swords and bled to death. Then the Nina and the Pinta set sail for the Azores and Spain. When the weather turned cold, the Indian prisoners began to die.

Columbus’s report to the Court in Madrid was extravagant. He insisted he had reached Asia (it was Cuba) and an island off the coast of China (Hispaniola). His descriptions were part fact, part fiction:

Hispaniola is a miracle. Mountains and hills, plains and pastures, are both fertile and beautiful … the harbors are unbelievably good and there are many wide rivers of which the majority contain gold. . . . There are many spices, and great mines of gold and other metals….

The Indians, Columbus reported, “are so naive and so free with their possessions that no one who has not witnessed them would believe it. When you ask for something they have, they never say no. To the contrary, they offer to share with anyone….” He concluded his report by asking for a little help from their Majesties, and in return he would bring them from his next voyage “as much gold as they need … and as many slaves as they ask.” He was full of religious talk: “Thus the eternal God, our Lord, gives victory to those who follow His way over apparent impossibilities.”

Because of Columbus’s exaggerated report and promises, his second expedition was given seventeen ships and more than twelve hundred men. The aim was clear: slaves and gold. They went from island to island in the Caribbean, taking Indians as captives. But as word spread of the Europeans’ intent they found more and more empty villages. On Haiti, they found that the sailors left behind at Fort Navidad had been killed in a battle with the Indians, after they had roamed the island in gangs looking for gold, taking women and children as slaves for sex and labor.

Now, from his base on Haiti, Columbus sent expedition after expedition into the interior. They found no gold fields, but had to fill up the ships returning to Spain with some kind of dividend. In the year 1495, they went on a great slave raid, rounded up fifteen hundred Arawak men, women, and children, put them in pens guarded by Spaniards and dogs, then picked the five hundred best specimens to load onto ships. Of those five hundred, two hundred died en route. The rest arrived alive in Spain and were put up for sale by the archdeacon of the town, who reported that, although the slaves were “naked as the day they were born,” they showed “no more embarrassment than animals.” Columbus later wrote: “Let us in the name of the Holy Trinity go on sending all the slaves that can be sold.”

But too many of the slaves died in captivity. And so Columbus, desperate to pay back dividends to those who had invested, had to make good his promise to fill the ships with gold. In the province of Cicao on Haiti, where he and his men imagined huge gold fields to exist, they ordered all persons fourteen years or older to collect a certain quantity of gold every three months. When they brought it, they were given copper tokens to hang around their necks. Indians found without a copper token had their hands cut off and bled to death.

The Indians had been given an impossible task. The only gold around was bits of dust garnered from the streams. So they fled, were hunted down with dogs, and were killed.

Trying to put together an army of resistance, the Arawaks faced Spaniards who had armor, muskets, swords, horses. When the Spaniards took prisoners they hanged them or burned them to death. Among the Arawaks, mass suicides began, with cassava poison. Infants were killed to save them from the Spaniards. In two years, through murder, mutilation, or suicide, half of the 250,000 Indians on Haiti were dead.

When it became clear that there was no gold left, the Indians were taken as slave labor on huge estates, known later as encomiendas. They were worked at a ferocious pace, and died by the thousands. By the year 1515, there were perhaps fifty thousand Indians left. By 1550, there were five hundred. A report of the year 1650 shows none of the original Arawaks or their descendants left on the island.

The chief source-and, on many matters the only source-of information about what happened on the islands after Columbus came is Bartolome de las Casas, who, as a young priest, participated in the conquest of Cuba. For a time he owned a plantation on which Indian slaves worked, but he gave that up and became a vehement critic of Spanish cruelty. Las Casas transcribed Columbus’s journal and, in his fifties, began a multivolume History of the Indies. In it, he describes the Indians. They are agile, he says, and can swim long distances, especially the women. They are not completely peaceful, because they do battle from time to time with other tribes, but their casualties seem small, and they fight when they are individually moved to do so because of some grievance, not on the orders of captains or kings.

Women in Indian society were treated so well as to startle the Spaniards. Las Casas describes sex relations:

Marriage laws are non-existent men and women alike choose their mates and leave them as they please, without offense, jealousy or anger. They multiply in great abundance; pregnant women work to the last minute and give birth almost painlessly; up the next day, they bathe in the river and are as clean and healthy as before giving birth. If they tire of their men, they give themselves abortions with herbs that force stillbirths, covering their shameful parts with leaves or cotton cloth; although on the whole, Indian men and women look upon total nakedness with as much casualness as we look upon a man’s head or at his hands.

The Indians, Las Casas says, have no religion, at least no temples. They live in

large communal bell-shaped buildings, housing up to 600 people at one time … made of very strong wood and roofed with palm leaves…. They prize bird feathers of various colors, beads made of fishbones, and green and white stones with which they adorn their ears and lips, but they put no value on gold and other precious things. They lack all manner of commerce, neither buying nor selling, and rely exclusively on their natural environment for maintenance. They are extremely generous with their possessions and by the same token covet the possessions of their friends and expect the same degree of liberality. …

In Book Two of his History of the Indies, Las Casas (who at first urged replacing Indians by black slaves, thinking they were stronger and would survive, but later relented when he saw the effects on blacks) tells about the treatment of the Indians by the Spaniards. It is a unique account and deserves to be quoted at length:

Endless testimonies . .. prove the mild and pacific temperament of the natives…. But our work was to exasperate, ravage, kill, mangle and destroy; small wonder, then, if they tried to kill one of us now and then…. The admiral, it is true, was blind as those who came after him, and he was so anxious to please the King that he committed irreparable crimes against the Indians….

Las Casas tells how the Spaniards “grew more conceited every day” and after a while refused to walk any distance. They “rode the backs of Indians if they were in a hurry” or were carried on hammocks by Indians running in relays. “In this case they also had Indians carry large leaves to shade them from the sun and others to fan them with goose wings.”

Total control led to total cruelty. The Spaniards “thought nothing of knifing Indians by tens and twenties and of cutting slices off them to test the sharpness of their blades.” Las Casas tells how “two of these so-called Christians met two Indian boys one day, each carrying a parrot; they took the parrots and for fun beheaded the boys.”

The Indians’ attempts to defend themselves failed. And when they ran off into the hills they were found and killed. So, Las Casas reports, “they suffered and died in the mines and other labors in desperate silence, knowing not a soul in the world to whom they could turn for help.” He describes their work in the mines:

… mountains are stripped from top to bottom and bottom to top a thousand times; they dig, split rocks, move stones, and carry dirt on their backs to wash it in the rivers, while those who wash gold stay in the water all the time with their backs bent so constantly it breaks them; and when water invades the mines, the most arduous task of all is to dry the mines by scooping up pansful of water and throwing it up outside….

After each six or eight months’ work in the mines, which was the time required of each crew to dig enough gold for melting, up to a third of the men died.

While the men were sent many miles away to the mines, the wives remained to work the soil, forced into the excruciating job of digging and making thousands of hills for cassava plants.

Thus husbands and wives were together only once every eight or ten months and when they met they were so exhausted and depressed on both sides … they ceased to procreate. As for the newly born, they died early because their mothers, overworked and famished, had no milk to nurse them, and for this reason, while I was in Cuba, 7000 children died in three months. Some mothers even drowned their babies from sheer desperation…. in this way, husbands died in the mines, wives died at work, and children died from lack of milk . .. and in a short time this land which was so great, so powerful and fertile … was depopulated. … My eyes have seen these acts so foreign to human nature, and now I tremble as I write. …

When he arrived on Hispaniola in 1508, Las Casas says, “there were 60,000 people living on this island, including the Indians; so that from 1494 to 1508, over three million people had perished from war, slavery, and the mines. Who in future generations will believe this? I myself writing it as a knowledgeable eyewitness can hardly believe it….”

Thus began the history, five hundred years ago, of the European invasion of the Indian settlements in the Americas. That beginning, when you read Las Casas-even if his figures are exaggerations (were there 3 million Indians to begin with, as he says, or less than a million, as some historians have calculated, or 8 million as others now believe?)-is conquest, slavery, death. When we read the history books given to children in the United States, it all starts with heroic adventure-there is no bloodshed-and Columbus Day is a celebration.

Past the elementary and high schools, there are only occasional hints of something else. Samuel Eliot Morison, the Harvard historian, was the most distinguished writer on Columbus, the author of a multivolume biography, and was himself a sailor who retraced Columbus’s route across the Atlantic. In his popular book Christopher Columbus, Mariner, written in 1954, he tells about the enslavement and the killing: “The cruel policy initiated by Columbus and pursued by his successors resulted in complete genocide.”

That is on one page, buried halfway into the telling of a grand romance. In the book’s last paragraph, Morison sums up his view of Columbus:

He had his faults and his defects, but they were largely the defects of the qualities that made him great-his indomitable will, his superb faith in God and in his own mission as the Christ-bearer to lands beyond the seas, his stubborn persistence despite neglect, poverty and discouragement. But there was no flaw, no dark side to the most outstanding and essential of all his qualities-his seamanship.

One can lie outright about the past. Or one can omit facts which might lead to unacceptable conclusions. Morison does neither. He refuses to lie about Columbus. He does not omit the story of mass murder; indeed he describes it with the harshest word one can use: genocide.

But he does something else-he mentions the truth quickly and goes on to other things more important to him. Outright lying or quiet omission takes the risk of discovery which, when made, might arouse the reader to rebel against the writer. To state the facts, however, and then to bury them in a mass of other information is to say to the reader with a certain infectious calm: yes, mass murder took place, but it’s not that important-it should weigh very little in our final judgments; it should affect very little what we do in the world.

It is not that the historian can avoid emphasis of some facts and not of others. This is as natural to him as to the mapmaker, who, in order to produce a usable drawing for practical purposes, must first flatten and distort the shape of the earth, then choose out of the bewildering mass of geographic information those things needed for the purpose of this or that particular map.

My argument cannot be against selection, simplification, emphasis, which are inevitable for both cartographers and historians. But the map-maker’s distortion is a technical necessity for a common purpose shared by all people who need maps. The historian’s distortion is more than technical, it is ideological; it is released into a world of contending interests, where any chosen emphasis supports (whether the historian means to or not) some kind of interest, whether economic or political or racial or national or sexual.

Furthermore, this ideological interest is not openly expressed in the way a mapmaker’s technical interest is obvious (“This is a Mercator projection for long-range navigation-for short-range, you’d better use a different projection”). No, it is presented as if all readers of history had a common interest which historians serve to the best of their ability. This is not intentional deception; the historian has been trained in a society in which education and knowledge are put forward as technical problems of excellence and not as tools for contending social classes, races, nations.

To emphasize the heroism of Columbus and his successors as navigators and discoverers, and to de-emphasize their genocide, is not a technical necessity but an ideological choice. It serves- unwittingly-to justify what was done. My point is not that we must, in telling history, accuse, judge, condemn Columbus in absentia. It is too late for that; it would be a useless scholarly exercise in morality. But the easy acceptance of atrocities as a deplorable but necessary price to pay for progress (Hiroshima and Vietnam, to save Western civilization; Kronstadt and Hungary, to save socialism; nuclear proliferation, to save us all)-that is still with us. One reason these atrocities are still with us is that we have learned to bury them in a mass of other facts, as radioactive wastes are buried in containers in the earth. We have learned to give them exactly the same proportion of attention that teachers and writers often give them in the most respectable of classrooms and textbooks. This learned sense of moral proportion, coming from the apparent objectivity of the scholar, is accepted more easily than when it comes from politicians at press conferences. It is therefore more deadly.

The treatment of heroes (Columbus) and their victims (the Arawaks)-the quiet acceptance of conquest and murder in the name of progress-is only one aspect of a certain approach to history, in which the past is told from the point of view of governments, conquerors, diplomats, leaders. It is as if they, like Columbus, deserve universal acceptance, as if they-the Founding Fathers, Jackson, Lincoln, Wilson, Roosevelt, Kennedy, the leading members of Congress, the famous Justices of the Supreme Court-represent the nation as a whole. The pretense is that there really is such a thing as “the United States,” subject to occasional conflicts and quarrels, but fundamentally a community of people with common interests. It is as if there really is a “national interest” represented in the Constitution, in territorial expansion, in the laws passed by Congress, the decisions of the courts, the development of capitalism, the culture of education and the mass media.

“History is the memory of states,” wrote Henry Kissinger in his first book, A World Restored, in which he proceeded to tell the history of nineteenth-century Europe from the viewpoint of the leaders of Austria and England, ignoring the millions who suffered from those statesmen’s policies. From his standpoint, the “peace” that Europe had before the French Revolution was “restored” by the diplomacy of a few national leaders. But for factory workers in England, farmers in France, colored people in Asia and Africa, women and children everywhere except in the upper classes, it was a world of conquest, violence, hunger, exploitation-a world not restored but disintegrated.

My viewpoint, in telling the history of the United States, is different: that we must not accept the memory of states as our own. Nations are not communities and never have been, The history of any country, presented as the history of a family, conceals fierce conflicts of interest (sometimes exploding, most often repressed) between conquerors and conquered, masters and slaves, capitalists and workers, dominators and dominated in race and sex. And in such a world of conflict, a world of victims and executioners, it is the job of thinking people, as Albert Camus suggested, not to be on the side of the executioners.

Thus, in that inevitable taking of sides which comes from selection and emphasis in history, I prefer to try to tell the story of the discovery of America from the viewpoint of the Arawaks, of the Constitution from the standpoint of the slaves, of Andrew Jackson as seen by the Cherokees, of the Civil War as seen by the New York Irish, of the Mexican war as seen by the deserting soldiers of Scott’s army, of the rise of industrialism as seen by the young women in the Lowell textile mills, of the Spanish-American war as seen by the Cubans, the conquest of the Philippines as seen by black soldiers on Luzon, the Gilded Age as seen by southern farmers, the First World War as seen by socialists, the Second World War as seen by pacifists, the New Deal as seen by blacks in Harlem, the postwar American empire as seen by peons in Latin America. And so on, to the limited extent that any one person, however he or she strains, can “see” history from the standpoint of others.

My point is not to grieve for the victims and denounce the executioners. Those tears, that anger, cast into the past, deplete our moral energy for the present. And the lines are not always clear. In the long run, the oppressor is also a victim. In the short run (and so far, human history has consisted only of short runs), the victims, themselves desperate and tainted with the culture that oppresses them, turn on other victims.

Still, understanding the complexities, this book will be skeptical of governments and their attempts, through politics and culture, to ensnare ordinary people in a giant web of nationhood pretending to a common interest. I will try not to overlook the cruelties that victims inflict on one another as they are jammed together in the boxcars of the system. I don’t want to romanticize them. But I do remember (in rough paraphrase) a statement I once read: “The cry of the poor is not always just, but if you don’t listen to it, you will never know what justice is.”

I don’t want to invent victories for people’s movements. But to think that history-writing must aim simply to recapitulate the failures that dominate the past is to make historians collaborators in an endless cycle of defeat. If history is to be creative, to anticipate a possible future without denying the past, it should, I believe, emphasize new possibilities by disclosing those hidden episodes of the past when, even if in brief flashes, people showed their ability to resist, to join together, occasionally to win. I am supposing, or perhaps only hoping, that our future may be found in the past’s fugitive moments of compassion rather than in its solid centuries of warfare.

That, being as blunt as I can, is my approach to the history of the United States. The reader may as well know that before going on.

What Columbus did to the Arawaks of the Bahamas, Cortes did to the Aztecs of Mexico, Pizarro to the Incas of Peru, and the English settlers of Virginia and Massachusetts to the Powhatans and the Pequots.

The Aztec civilization of Mexico came out of the heritage of Mayan, Zapotec, and Toltec cultures. It built enormous constructions from stone tools and human labor, developed a writing system and a priesthood. It also engaged in (let us not overlook this) the ritual killing of thousands of people as sacrifices to the gods. The cruelty of the Aztecs, however, did not erase a certain innocence, and when a Spanish armada appeared at Vera Cruz, and a bearded white man came ashore, with strange beasts (horses), clad in iron, it was thought that he was the legendary Aztec man-god who had died three hundred years before, with the promise to return-the mysterious Quetzalcoatl. And so they welcomed him, with munificent hospitality.

That was Hernando Cortes, come from Spain with an expedition financed by merchants and landowners and blessed by the deputies of God, with one obsessive goal: to find gold. In the mind of Montezuma, the king of the Aztecs, there must have been a certain doubt about whether Cortes was indeed Quetzalcoatl, because he sent a hundred runners to Cortes, bearing enormous treasures, gold and silver wrought into objects of fantastic beauty, but at the same time begging him to go back. (The painter Durer a few years later described what he saw just arrived in Spain from that expedition-a sun of gold, a moon of silver, worth a fortune.)

Cortes then began his march of death from town to town, using deception, turning Aztec against Aztec, killing with the kind of deliberateness that accompanies a strategy-to paralyze the will of the population by a sudden frightful deed. And so, in Cholulu, he invited the headmen of the Cholula nation to the square. And when they came, with thousands of unarmed retainers, Cortes’s small army of Spaniards, posted around the square with cannon, armed with crossbows, mounted on horses, massacred them, down to the last man. Then they looted the city and moved on. When their cavalcade of murder was over they were in Mexico City, Montezuma was dead, and the Aztec civilization, shattered, was in the hands of the Spaniards.

All this is told in the Spaniards’ own accounts.

In Peru, that other Spanish conquistador Pizarro, used the same tactics, and for the same reasons- the frenzy in the early capitalist states of Europe for gold, for slaves, for products of the soil, to pay the bondholders and stockholders of the expeditions, to finance the monarchical bureaucracies rising in Western Europe, to spur the growth of the new money economy rising out of feudalism, to participate in what Karl Marx would later call “the primitive accumulation of capital.” These were the violent beginnings of an intricate system of technology, business, politics, and culture that would dominate the world for the next five centuries.

In the North American English colonies, the pattern was set early, as Columbus had set it in the islands of the Bahamas. In 1585, before there was any permanent English settlement in Virginia, Richard Grenville landed there with seven ships. The Indians he met were hospitable, but when one of them stole a small silver cup, Grenville sacked and burned the whole Indian village.

Jamestown itself was set up inside the territory of an Indian confederacy, led by the chief, Powhatan. Powhatan watched the English settle on his people’s land, but did not attack, maintaining a posture of coolness. When the English were going through their “starving time” in the winter of 1610, some of them ran off to join the Indians, where they would at least be fed. When the summer came, the governor of the colony sent a messenger to ask Powhatan to return the runaways, whereupon Powhatan, according to the English account, replied with “noe other than prowde and disdaynefull Answers.” Some soldiers were therefore sent out “to take Revenge.” They fell upon an Indian settlement, killed fifteen or sixteen Indians, burned the houses, cut down the corn growing around the village, took the queen of the tribe and her children into boats, then ended up throwing the children overboard “and shoteinge owit their Braynes in the water.” The queen was later taken off and stabbed to death.

Twelve years later, the Indians, alarmed as the English settlements kept growing in numbers, apparently decided to try to wipe them out for good. They went on a rampage and massacred 347 men, women, and children. From then on it was total war.

Not able to enslave the Indians, and not able to live with them, the English decided to exterminate them. Edmund Morgan writes, in his history of early Virginia, American Slavery, American Freedom:

Since the Indians were better woodsmen than the English and virtually impossible to track down, the method was to feign peaceful intentions, let them settle down and plant their com wherever they chose, and then, just before harvest, fall upon them, killing as many as possible and burning the corn… . Within two or three years of the massacre the English had avenged the deaths of that day many times over.

In that first year of the white man in Virginia, 1607, Powhatan had addressed a plea to John Smith that turned out prophetic. How authentic it is may be in doubt, but it is so much like so many Indian statements that it may be taken as, if not the rough letter of that first plea, the exact spirit of it:

I have seen two generations of my people die…. I know the difference between peace and war better than any man in my country. I am now grown old, and must die soon; my authority must descend to my brothers, Opitehapan, Opechancanough and Catatough-then to my two sisters, and then to my two daughters-I wish them to know as much as I do, and that your love to them may be like mine to you. Why will you take by force what you may have quietly by love? Why will you destroy us who supply you with food? What can you get by war? We can hide our provisions and run into the woods; then you will starve for wronging your friends. Why are you jealous of us? We are unarmed, and willing to give you what you ask, if you come in a friendly manner, and not so simple as not to know that it is much better to eat good meat, sleep comfortably, live quietly with my wives and children, laugh and be merry with the English, and trade for their copper and hatchets, than to run away from them, and to lie cold in the woods, feed on acorns, roots and such trash, and be so hunted that I can neither eat nor sleep. In these wars, my men must sit up watching, and if a twig break, they all cry out “Here comes Captain Smith!” So I must end my miserable life. Take away your guns and swords, the cause of all our jealousy, or you may all die in the same manner.

When the Pilgrims came to New England they too were coming not to vacant land but to territory inhabited by tribes of Indians. The governor of the Massachusetts Bay Colony, John Winthrop, created the excuse to take Indian land by declaring the area legally a “vacuum.” The Indians, he said, had not “subdued” the land, and therefore had only a “natural” right to it, but not a “civil right.” A “natural right” did not have legal standing.

The Puritans also appealed to the Bible, Psalms 2:8: “Ask of me, and I shall give thee, the heathen for thine inheritance, and the uttermost parts of the earth for thy possession.” And to justify their use of force to take the land, they cited Romans 13:2: “Whosoever therefore resisteth the power, resisteth the ordinance of God: and they that resist shall receive to themselves damnation.”

The Puritans lived in uneasy truce with the Pequot Indians, who occupied what is now southern Connecticut and Rhode Island. But they wanted them out of the way; they wanted their land. And they seemed to want also to establish their rule firmly over Connecticut settlers in that area. The murder of a white trader, Indian-kidnaper, and troublemaker became an excuse to make war on the Pequots in 1636.

A punitive expedition left Boston to attack the Narraganset Indians on Block Island, who were lumped with the Pequots. As Governor Winthrop wrote:

They had commission to put to death the men of Block Island, but to spare the women and children, and to bring them away, and to take possession of the island; and from thence to go to the Pequods to demand the murderers of Captain Stone and other English, and one thousand fathom of wampum for damages, etc. and some of their children as hostages, which if they should refuse, they were to obtain it by force.

The English landed and killed some Indians, but the rest hid in the thick forests of the island and the English went from one deserted village to the next, destroying crops. Then they sailed back to the mainland and raided Pequot villages along the coast, destroying crops again. One of the officers of that expedition, in his account, gives some insight into the Pequots they encountered: “The Indians spying of us came running in multitudes along the water side, crying, What cheer, Englishmen, what cheer, what do you come for? They not thinking we intended war, went on cheerfully… -”

So, the war with the Pequots began. Massacres took place on both sides. The English developed a tactic of warfare used earlier by Cortes and later, in the twentieth century, even more systematically: deliberate attacks on noncombatants for the purpose of terrorizing the enemy. This is ethno historian Francis Jennings’s interpretation of Captain John Mason’s attack on a Pequot village on the Mystic River near Long Island Sound: “Mason proposed to avoid attacking Pequot warriors, which would have overtaxed his unseasoned, unreliable troops. Battle, as such, was not his purpose. Battle is only one of the ways to destroy an enemy’s will to fight. Massacre can accomplish the same end with less risk, and Mason had determined that massacre would be his objective.”

So the English set fire to the wigwams of the village. By their own account: “The Captain also said, We must Burn Them; and immediately stepping into the Wigwam … brought out a Fire Brand, and putting it into the Matts with which they were covered, set the Wigwams on Fire.” William Bradford, in his History of the Plymouth Plantation written at the time, describes John Mason’s raid on the Pequot village:

Those that scaped the fire were slaine with the sword; some hewed to peeces, others rune throw with their rapiers, so as they were quickly dispatchte, and very few escaped. It was conceived they thus destroyed about 400 at this time. It was a fearful sight to see them thus frying in the fyer, and the streams of blood quenching the same, and horrible was the stincke and sente there of, but the victory seemed a sweete sacrifice, and they gave the prayers thereof to God, who had wrought so wonderfully for them, thus to inclose their enemise in their hands, and give them so speedy a victory over so proud and insulting an enimie.

As Dr. Cotton Mather, Puritan theologian, put it: “It was supposed that no less than 600 Pequot souls were brought down to hell that day.”

The war continued. Indian tribes were used against one another, and never seemed able to join together in fighting the English. Jennings sums up:

The terror was very real among the Indians, but in time they came to meditate upon its foundations. They drew three lessons from the Pequot War: (1) that the Englishmen’s most solemn pledge would be broken whenever obligation conflicted with advantage; (2) that the English way of war had no limit of scruple or mercy; and (3) that weapons of Indian making were almost useless against weapons of European manufacture. These lessons the Indians took to heart.

A footnote in Virgil Vogel’s book This Land Was Ours (1972) says: “The official figure on the number of Pequots now in Connecticut is twenty-one persons.”

Forty years after the Pequot War, Puritans and Indians fought again. This time it was the Wampanoags, occupying the south shore of Massachusetts Bay, who were in the way and also beginning to trade some of their land to people outside the Massachusetts Bay Colony. Their chief, Massasoit, was dead. His son Wamsutta had been killed by Englishmen, and Wamsuttas brother Metacom (later to be called King Philip by the English) became chief. The English found their excuse, a murder which they attributed to Metacom, and they began a war of conquest against the Wampanoags, a war to take their land. They were clearly the aggressors, but claimed they attacked for preventive purposes. As Roger Williams, more friendly to the Indians than most, put it: “All men of conscience or prudence ply to windward, to maintain their wars to be defensive.”

Jennings says the elite of the Puritans wanted the war; the ordinary white Englishman did not want it and often refused to fight. The Indians certainly did not want war, but they matched atrocity with atrocity. When it was over, in 1676, the English had won, but their resources were drained; they had lost six hundred men. Three thousand Indians were dead, including Metacom himself. Yet the Indian raids did not stop.

For a while, the English tried softer tactics. But ultimately, it was back to annihilation. The Indian population of 10 million that lived north of Mexico when Columbus came would ultimately be reduced to less than a million. Huge numbers of Indians would die from diseases introduced by the whites. A Dutch traveler in New Netherland wrote in 1656 that “the Indians … affirm, that before the arrival of the Christians, and before the smallpox broke out amongst them, they were ten times as numerous as they now are, and that their population had been melted down by this disease, whereof nine-tenths of them have died.” When the English first settled Martha’s Vineyard in 1642, the Wampanoags there numbered perhaps three thousand. There were no wars on that island, but by 1764, only 313 Indians were left there. Similarly, Block Island Indians numbered perhaps 1,200 to 1,500 in 1662, and by 1774 were reduced to fifty-one.

Behind the English invasion of North America, behind their massacre of Indians, their deception, their brutality, was that special powerful drive born in civilizations based on private property. It was a morally ambiguous drive; the need for space, for land, was a real human need. But in conditions of scarcity, in a barbarous epoch of history ruled by competition, this human need was transformed into the murder of whole peoples. Roger Williams said it was

a depraved appetite after the great vanities, dreams and shadows of this vanishing life, great portions of land, land in this wilderness, as if men were in as great necessity and danger for want of great portions of land, as poor, hungry, thirsty seamen have, after a sick and stormy, a long and starving passage. This is one of the gods of New England, which the living and most high Eternal will destroy and famish.

Was all this bloodshed and deceit-from Columbus to Cortes, Pizarro, the Puritans-a necessity for the human race to progress from savagery to civilization? Was Morison right in burying the story of genocide inside a more important story of human progress? Perhaps a persuasive argument can be made-as it was made by Stalin when he killed peasants for industrial progress in the Soviet Union, as it was made by Churchill explaining the bombings of Dresden and Hamburg, and Truman explaining Hiroshima. But how can the judgment be made if the benefits and losses cannot be balanced because the losses are either unmentioned or mentioned quickly?

That quick disposal might be acceptable (“Unfortunate, yes, but it had to be done”) to the middle and upper classes of the conquering and “advanced” countries. But is it acceptable to the poor of Asia, Africa, Latin America, or to the prisoners in Soviet labor camps, or the blacks in urban ghettos, or the Indians on reservations-to the victims of that progress which benefits a privileged minority in the world? Was it acceptable (or just inescapable?) to the miners and railroaders of America, the factory hands, the men and women who died by the hundreds of thousands from accidents or sickness, where they worked or where they lived-casualties of progress? And even the privileged minority-must it not reconsider, with that practicality which even privilege cannot abolish, the value of its privileges, when they become threatened by the anger of the sacrificed, whether in organized rebellion, unorganized riot, or simply those brutal individual acts of desperation labeled crimes by law and the state?

If there are necessary sacrifices to be made for human progress, is it not essential to hold to the principle that those to be sacrificed must make the decision themselves? We can all decide to give up something of ours, but do we have the right to throw into the pyre the children of others, or even our own children, for a progress which is not nearly as clear or present as sickness or health, life or death?

What did people in Spain get out of all that death and brutality visited on the Indians of the Americas? For a brief period in history, there was the glory of a Spanish Empire in the Western Hemisphere. As Hans Koning sums it up in his book Columbus: His Enterprise:

For all the gold and silver stolen and shipped to Spain did not make the Spanish people richer. It gave their kings an edge in the balance of power for a time, a chance to hire more mercenary soldiers for their wars. They ended up losing those wars anyway, and all that was left was a deadly inflation, a starving population, the rich richer, the poor poorer, and a ruined peasant class.

Beyond all that, how certain are we that what was destroyed was inferior? Who were these people who came out on the beach and swam to bring presents to Columbus and his crew, who watched Cortes and Pizarro ride through their countryside, who peered out of the forests at the first white settlers of Virginia and Massachusetts?

Columbus called them Indians, because he miscalculated the size of the earth. In this book we too call them Indians, with some reluctance, because it happens too often that people are saddled with names given them by their conquerors.

And yet, there is some reason to call them Indians, because they did come, perhaps 25,000 years ago, from Asia, across the land bridge of the Bering Straits (later to disappear under water) to Alaska. Then they moved southward, seeking warmth and land, in a trek lasting thousands of years that took them into North America, then Central and South America. In Nicaragua, Brazil, and Ecuador their petrified footprints can still be seen, along with the print of bison, who disappeared about five thousand years ago, so they must have reached South America at least that far back

Widely dispersed over the great land mass of the Americas, they numbered approximately 75 million people by the time Columbus came, perhaps 25 million in North America. Responding to the different environments of soil and climate, they developed hundreds of different tribal cultures, perhaps two thousand different languages. They perfected the art of agriculture, and figured out how to grow maize (corn), which cannot grow by itself and must be planted, cultivated, fertilized, harvested, husked, shelled. They ingeniously developed a variety of other vegetables and fruits, as well as peanuts and chocolate and tobacco and rubber.

On their own, the Indians were engaged in the great agricultural revolution that other peoples in Asia, Europe, Africa were going through about the same time.

While many of the tribes remained nomadic hunters and food gatherers in wandering, egalitarian communes, others began to live in more settled communities where there was more food, larger populations, more divisions of labor among men and women, more surplus to feed chiefs and priests, more leisure time for artistic and social work, for building houses. About a thousand years before Christ, while comparable constructions were going on in Egypt and Mesopotamia, the Zuni and Hopi Indians of what is now New Mexico had begun to build villages consisting of large terraced buildings, nestled in among cliffs and mountains for protection from enemies, with hundreds of rooms in each village. Before the arrival of the European explorers, they were using irrigation canals, dams, were doing ceramics, weaving baskets, making cloth out of cotton.

By the time of Christ and Julius Caesar, there had developed in the Ohio River Valley a culture of so-called Moundbuilders, Indians who constructed thousands of enormous sculptures out of earth, sometimes in the shapes of huge humans, birds, or serpents, sometimes as burial sites, sometimes as fortifications. One of them was 3 1/2 miles long, enclosing 100 acres. These Moundbuilders seem to have been part of a complex trading system of ornaments and weapons from as far off as the Great Lakes, the Far West, and the Gulf of Mexico.

About A.D. 500, as this Moundbuilder culture of the Ohio Valley was beginning to decline, another culture was developing westward, in the valley of the Mississippi, centered on what is now St. Louis. It had an advanced agriculture, included thousands of villages, and also built huge earthen mounds as burial and ceremonial places near a vast Indian metropolis that may have had thirty thousand people. The largest mound was 100 feet high, with a rectangular base larger than that of the Great Pyramid of Egypt. In the city, known as Cahokia, were toolmakers, hide dressers, potters, jewelry makers, weavers, salt makers, copper engravers, and magnificent ceramists. One funeral blanket was made of twelve thousand shell beads.

From the Adirondacks to the Great Lakes, in what is now Pennsylvania and upper New York, lived the most powerful of the northeastern tribes, the League of the Iroquois, which included the Mohawks (People of the Flint), Oneidas (People of the Stone), Onondagas (People of the Mountain), Cayugas (People at the Landing), and Senecas (Great Hill People), thousands of people bound together by a common Iroquois language.

In the vision of the Mohawk chief Iliawatha, the legendary Dekaniwidah spoke to the Iroquois: “We bind ourselves together by taking hold of each other’s hands so firmly and forming a circle so strong that if a tree should fall upon it, it could not shake nor break it, so that our people and grandchildren shall remain in the circle in security, peace and happiness.”

In the villages of the Iroquois, land was owned in common and worked in common. Hunting was done together, and the catch was divided among the members of the village. Houses were considered common property and were shared by several families. The concept of private ownership of land and homes was foreign to the Iroquois. A French Jesuit priest who encountered them in the 1650s wrote: “No poorhouses are needed among them, because they are neither mendicants nor paupers.. . . Their kindness, humanity and courtesy not only makes them liberal with what they have, but causes them to possess hardly anything except in common.”

Women were important and respected in Iroquois society. Families were matrilineal. That is, the family line went down through the female members, whose husbands joined the family, while sons who married then joined their wives’ families. Each extended family lived in a “long house.” When a woman wanted a divorce, she set her husband’s things outside the door.

Families were grouped in clans, and a dozen or more clans might make up a village. The senior women in the village named the men who represented the clans at village and tribal councils. They also named the forty-nine chiefs who were the ruling council for the Five Nation confederacy of the Iroquois. The women attended clan meetings, stood behind the circle of men who spoke and voted, and removed the men from office if they strayed too far from the wishes of the women.

The women tended the crops and took general charge of village affairs while the men were always hunting or fishing. And since they supplied the moccasins and food for warring expeditions, they had some control over military matters. As Gary B. Nash notes in his fascinating study of early America, Red, White, and Black: “Thus power was shared between the sexes and the European idea of male dominancy and female subordination in all things was conspicuously absent in Iroquois society.”

Children in Iroquois society, while taught the cultural heritage of their people and solidarity with the tribe, were also taught to be independent, not to submit to overbearing authority. They were taught equality in status and the sharing of possessions. The Iroquois did not use harsh punishment on children; they did not insist on early weaning or early toilet training, but gradually allowed the child to learn self-care.

All of this was in sharp contrast to European values as brought over by the first colonists, a society of rich and poor, controlled by priests, by governors, by male heads of families. For example, the pastor of the Pilgrim colony, John Robinson, thus advised his parishioners how to deal with their children: “And surely there is in all children … a stubbornness, and stoutness of mind arising from natural pride, which must, in the first place, be broken and beaten down; that so the foundation of their education being laid in humility and tractableness, other virtues may, in their time, be built thereon.”

Gary Nash describes Iroquois culture:

No laws and ordinances, sheriffs and constables, judges and juries, or courts or jails-the apparatus of authority in European societies-were to be found in the northeast woodlands prior to European arrival. Yet boundaries of acceptable behavior were firmly set. Though priding themselves on the autonomous individual, the Iroquois maintained a strict sense of right and wrong…. He who stole another’s food or acted invalourously in war was “shamed” by his people and ostracized from their company until he had atoned for his actions and demonstrated to their satisfaction that he had morally purified himself.

Not only the Iroquois but other Indian tribes behaved the same way. In 1635, Maryland Indians responded to the governor’s demand that if any of them killed an Englishman, the guilty one should be delivered up for punishment according to English law. The Indians said:

It is the manner amongst us Indians, that if any such accident happen, wee doe redeeme the life of a man that is so slaine, with a 100 armes length of Beades and since that you are heere strangers, and come into our Countrey, you should rather conform yourselves to the Customes of our Countrey, than impose yours upon us….

So, Columbus and his successors were not coming into an empty wilderness, but into a world which in some places was as densely populated as Europe itself, where the culture was complex, where human relations were more egalitarian than in Europe, and where the relations among men, women, children, and nature were more beautifully worked out than perhaps any place in the world.

They were people without a written language, but with their own laws, their poetry, their history kept in memory and passed on, in an oral vocabulary more complex than Europe’s, accompanied by song, dance, and ceremonial drama. They paid careful attention to the development of personality, intensity of will, independence and flexibility, passion and potency, to their partnership with one another and with nature.

John Collier, an American scholar who lived among Indians in the 1920s and 1930s in the American Southwest, said of their spirit: “Could we make it our own, there would be an eternally inexhaustible earth and a forever lasting peace.”

Perhaps there is some romantic mythology in that. But the evidence from European travelers in the sixteenth, seventeenth, and eighteenth centuries, put together recently by an American specialist on Indian life, William Brandon, is overwhelmingly supportive of much of that “myth.” Even allowing for the imperfection of myths, it is enough to make us question, for that time and ours, the excuse of progress in the annihilation of races, and the telling of history from the standpoint of the conquerors and leaders of Western civilization.

Chocolate Genocide, The visual imagery of AKAtjecoutay

Snake Dog

SNAKE DOG

SNAKE DOG
 The sacred food prepared by the Hohnuhka society to feed  the mayiun consists of 3 plants symbolically representing all wild fruits. Dog is invited because the underwater serpent cannot be found.

http://kredart.tumblr.com/

Humbly awaiting!

The attack of propaganda has been nothing less than tactical. The deceit is so thick – you need a chainsaw  to cut through it. The corruption and greed so deep you need a miracle to stay above it and a skindiving suit to wade through the defecation of the corporate-governments. An alluring tapestry of luminous lies, interwoven with finely textured deception and silk-like corruption – as smooth and seductive as an Armani suit freshly dry-cleaned . The pursuit of man’s mind by way of domination has been the greatest and most successful experiment that has resulted in a massive erosion of empathy, allowing status quo “business as usual” to continue uninterrupted with little resistance. Corporate -government, education, science-technology and mono-atheism  effectively bred a contempt for our Earth that multiplied like a virus. The pollution of mind mutated into narcissism with inflicted self-hatred to form a suicidal insanity denying his own mine-freedom stating technology will save him! Those who have succumbed now hold hands in a circle and taunt the very planet that gives us life. The ugly side of humanity continues to violently pierce our  Mother with drills and piss on  her beautiful skin with acid rain. Yet, when she lashes back, it will be with an massive and destructive deathblow against which our own actions will resemble childish prattle. And perhaps not until this time will consumer society finally recognize that our shared purpose was not to compete with one another and claim dominance and superiority over each other and our Mother – but rather our role was to protect, defend and nurture. The animal family – under the arm of the cooperate-government and the consumer RACE  – will have finally succeeded in conquering our shared planet, only to find that we have destroyed ourselves.

ANARCHO-PRIMITIVISM, Re-wilding and reconnection

By Unknown

For most primitivist anarchists, rewilding and reconnecting with the earth is a life project. They state that it should not be limited to intellectual comprehension or the practice of primitive skills, but, instead, that it is a deep understanding of the pervasive ways in which we are domesticated, fractured, and dislocated from ourselves, each other, and the world. Rewilding is understood as having a physical component which involves reclaiming skills and developing methods for a sustainable co-existence, including how to feed, shelter, and heal ourselves with the plants, animals, and materials occurring naturally in our bioregions. It is also said to include the dismantling of the physical manifestations, apparatus, and infrastructure of civilization.

Rewilding is also described as having an emotional component, which involves healing ourselves and each other from what are perceived as 10,000-year-old wounds, learning how to live together in non-hierarchical and non-oppressive communities, and de-constructing the domesticating mindset in our social patterns. To the primitivist, “rewilding includes prioritizing direct experience and passion over mediation and alienation, re-thinking every dynamic and aspect of reality, connecting with our feral fury to defend our lives and to fight for a liberated existence, developing more trust in our intuition and being more connected to our instincts, and regaining the balance that has been virtually destroyed after thousands of years of patriarchal control and domestication. Rewilding is the process of becoming uncivilized.”