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.

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A PIPELINE DIRECTLY TO YOU HEART

Most of us are disconnected from the food on our plates. This is what I see when YOU eat meat.

1. Those few slices of bacon forced an innocent pig to live a life behind bars.

2. A juicy burger came from a gentle cow who was severely abused.

3. Your breaded catfish came from a helpless animal who just wanted to live.

4. Those chicken nuggets were once an intelligent and kind being who wanted only love.

5. Your duck dinner came from an animal who knew nothing but cruelty.

6. The ham on the table was once a sweet baby who lived a tortured life.

7. The hot dog on the grill is made of the remains of several animals who suffered their entire lives.

8. Those lamb chops came from a gentle baby who just wanted to be with her mom.

9. That roasted chicken was a bird who never saw the sun or felt the grass beneath her feet.

10. Your Thanksgiving turkey was once a bird who simply wanted to be free.

11. Your veal chop came from a calf who was taken away from his mother moments after being born.

The meat on your plate was once a living, breathing animal who didn’t want to die. Make the connection. Have compassion.

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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Wabeno a Mystic or Shaman- both?

The wabeno is an ancient Mystic-shamanic personality that was formally found among several Algonquian groups. The wabeno shamanic art is performed singly or in a society composed of both men and women. The Ojibway wabeno is first described in Jesuit relations as healing by means of fire manipulations and erotic dances. Named by the French as “jugglers”, these wabeno handled live coals and then rubbed their heated hands over the patient while chanting their vision songs. Another wabeno specialty is divining, which they accomplish by gazing into glowing coals until inspiration moves them to respond to questions. In addition, the earlier wabeno held a healing ritual in which naked shaman danced around the ailing patient. These wabeno practices where at time condemned by European observers which often led to conflict between tribal shamans and European missionaries. By exhibiting his pyrotechnics, the wabeno evokes the hypnotic mystery of fire and the mood necessary to his passage into trance. Herbal preparations are used to protect wabeno from the coals that they handle. “By the use of plants, he is alleged to be enabled to take up and handle with impunity red hot stones and burning brands and without evincing the slightest discomfort it is said that he will bathe his hands in boiling water or even boiling maple syrup. These protective practices are openly known. The wabeno skills lies not merely in herbal preparations but also in the effect he or she creates on the patient to be healed, in his or her own movement into trance and in the dramatic spectacle that the audience witnesses.
cosmos.tiff
By means of sustained concentration on the glowing embers the wabeno evokes his manido patron. The patron who bestows the wabeno vocation is described as a fiery figure with radiant horns. The whole complex of the wabeno ceremony, including the fire handling, naked dance, drumming, rattling and chanting is devoted to the frenzied encounter with the horned manido. After summoning the manido and passing into an altered psychic state the wabeno conveys the manido presence by rubbing the patient with his heated hands. The fire’s juggling seems to demonstrate his authentic contact with the spirit world. Mastery over fire, insensibility to heat enhance the mystical heat that renders both extreme cold and the temperature of burning coals supportable is a magical virtue that translates in sensible terms the fact that he has passed beyond the human condition (and is already in spirit condition). Thus, the Ojibway wabeno passes into the other world by virtue of his pyrotechnics. His techniques using fire help to create a mood in which his vision can structure a healing rite.
Like fire manipulation, the wabeno erotic dance mediates the healings energies given him/her in dreams or vision. The psychic techniques of naked dancing practiced by the wabeno also harks back to the ithyphallic pictographs found throughout Ojibway territory. These rock paintings and carvings depict the Ojibway understanding of the manido force inherent in the male sex (opposite ?). More than mere graphic arts, these image render visible the hidden meanings in nature whose significance it has been the wabeno task to conjure up and capture on stone. Just as Ojibway visionaries conjured up their power dreams to execute this phallic art, so also the wabeno channels a vital healing force through his or her nacked ritual dance.
The major wabeno ceremonials are usually performed by a group of them. In many respect, the development of the wabeno shamanic groups paralleled the formation of the mide society responded to the tribal need by structuring ancient shamanic trance techniques into a community experience of the manido presence. Thus, the wabeno trance not only healed individual patients but also revitalized individual participants.
The wabeno cult did not gain a lasting position in the Ojibway tribe, partially because of its frenetic trance techniques. The cult did not have the wide appeal to the various Ojibway bands that the more mythologized midewiwin did. It also focused too exclusively on the trance as an end in itself. Spirit possession is not an acceptable technique among the Ojibway (wrong understanding/accusation).Such loss of control because of the spirit possession is comparable to the most deadly illness conceived by the Ojibway, namely : the Windigo.
Wabeno dancing2
The following contemporary account of a wabeno reflects the later, subdued practice of this cult. Although the practice of fire manipulation and frenzied dance are not mentioned, the trance experience via dream evocation is still evident. The name of this female wabeno is Eternal Man. The wabeno practice had become suspect among the Ojibway bands because they had developed into cultic-spirit possession performances by both men and women. Changes during the 19 and 20 centuries in the wabeno trance state reasserted both the norm of traditional “shamanic” activity and variations in accordance with the shift in Ojibway societal values.
This practice it still going on  in isolation, away from the contemporary norms of the assimilated indigenous society – those who have embraced industrial society and fashioned their spirituality after the influences of western cultural oppression.
wabno
Morningstar at the lodge of the Midewiwin Society

 

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.

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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?

» 12 Signs That Something Big Is Happening To The Earth’s Crust Under North And South America Alex Jones’ Infowars: There’s a war on for your mind!

» 12 Signs That Something Big Is Happening To The Earth’s Crust Under North And South America Alex Jones’ Infowars: There’s a war on for your mind!.

 

#1 The 5.1 earthquake that shook Los Angeles on Friday was the worst earthquake that the city had seen in many years.

#2 Following that earthquake, there were more than 100 aftershocks.

#3 A 4.1 earthquake shook Los Angeles on Saturday.  Scientists are hoping that this earthquake swarm in southern California will end soon.

#4 Earlier this month, a 4.4 earthquake rattled Los Angeles so badly that it caused news anchors to dive under their desks.

#5 A 6.9 earthquake just off the coast of northern California in early March was the largest earthquake to hit the west coast of the United States since 2010.

#6 Up in Oregon, Mt. Hood recently experienced more than 100 earthquakes over the course of just a few days.

#7 During the past month, there have also been some other very unusual geologic events that have been happening up in Oregon

  • Two large landslides – one in the Columbia River Gorge dumped about 2,000 cubic yards of rock and debris on highway I84 just 3 miles west of the Hood River, and another blocked US30 near Portland.
  • Loud booms and ground shaking reported by people from Lincoln to Tillamook Counties; some reported hearing a rumble, as well (No earthquakes recorded by the USGS in the area at the time.)
  • A 20 ft. deep sinkhole swallowed a woman and her dog in her Portland backyard.

#8 A 4.8 earthquake rattled Yellowstone National Park on Sunday, and there have been at least 25 earthquakes at Yellowstone since Thursday.

#9 Scientists recently discovered that the Yellowstone supervolcano is now releasing far more helium gas than they had anticipated.

#10 Over the past month, there have been more than 130 earthquakes in the state of Oklahoma.  This is highly unusual.

#11 There have been several dozen earthquakes in Peru over the past month, including a 6.3 earthquake that made headlines all over the globe.

#12 Earlier this month, the northern coast of Chile was hit by more than 300 earthquakes in a seven day stretch.  41 of those earthquakes were stronger than magnitude 4.5.

Fortunately, the quake that hit Los Angeles on Friday did not cause too much lasting injury.  But it sure did shake people up.  The following is how the Los Angeles Times described the damage…

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.

Participating in the disaster…

The Earth will save her self, To believe that a consumer or a group of… can save an entity more powerful then the motives of a political movement is egocentric, it is evident that the superior and highly evolved civilizations are responsible for the disaster, abducting and then coercing the natural peoples, who are now assisting in the disaster, how can the Occidental-consumer save the earth when it is them who are the disaster.

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.

 

 

Farm to Fridge

Environmental Veganism-Vegetarianism

is the practice of vegetarianism or veganism based on the indications that animal production, particularly by intensive agriculture, is environmentally unsustainable. The primary environmental concerns with animal products are pollution and the use of resources such as fossil fuels, water, and land.

Environmental vegetarianism: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Environmental_vegetarianism

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The education system is look at as the problem, by some groups who notice that there are many issues that all beings face here on earth, if it where set-up to create coherent thinking graduates then we would not be forced into solving the current problem of global degradation, of which needs immediate attention , there are not many in the education system who come in to the working world willing to support the many causes that are now in operation, these individuals will become to busy, working and to busy running to pay their debt created by higher education and feeding their addiction for “material object”. What is over looked is their individual ability, to begin  changing this situation, by not consuming certain product, for example Factory Farmed Animal Flesh, It is one of the largest contributors to pollution disease’s and social degradation all over the global, and one insight is truly misunderstood, that in this day and age we do not need animal protein to live, it is merrily a desired taste, and don’t confuse your self with animals and tribal peoples who are still living free, they are self-reliant and coexist with nature, as we are not, we are depended and domesticated just like the animals that are consumed.

Most of the time people who choose to become vegan are frowned upon because the miseducated consumer is obviously ignorant to the reasons why, for me to become vegan is addressing my deep concern for the Animals, Indigenous people and of course the earth, and this is considered extreme – you would think, that the consumer who insist on eating animal flesh is extreme? and if not then that person is not thinking coherently, considering the facts that have been presented!

Environmental impact of meat production: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Environmental_vegetarianism

Main article: Environmental impact of meat production

The predictable increase in animal product proportions on the plates of people living in developing countries will bring new challenges to global agriculture.

Interior of a hog confinement barn or piggery
Industrial monoculture is harvesting large quantities of a single food species, such as maize, or cattle. Monoculture is commonly practiced in industrial agriculture, which is more environmentally damaging than sustainable farming practices such as organic farming, permaculture, arable, pastoral, and rain-fed agriculture.

According to a 2006 Food and Agriculture Organization report, industrialized agriculture contributes on a “massive scale” to climate change, air pollution, land degradation, energy use, deforestation, and biodiversity decline. The FAO report estimates that the livestock (including poultry) sector (which provides draft animal power, leather, wool, milk, eggs, fertilizer, pharmaceuticals, etc., in addition to meat) contributes about 18 percent of global GHG (greenhouse gas) emissions expressed as 100-year CO2 equivalents. This estimate was based on life cycle analysis, including feed production, land use changes, etc., and used GWP (global warming potential) of 23 for methane and 296 for nitrous oxide, to convert emissions of these gases to 100-year CO2 equivalents. Some sources disagree with some of the figures used in arriving at the FAO estimate of 18 percent. For example, the FAO report estimates that 37 percent of global anthropogenic methane emissions are attributable to the livestock sector, and a US NASA summary indicates about 30 percent.[5] Because of the GWP multiplier used, such a difference between estimates will have a large effect on an estimate of GHG CO2 equivalents contributed by the livestock sector. Livestock sources (including enteric fermentation and manure) account for about 3.1 percent of US anthropogenic GHG emissions expressed as CO2 equivalents. This estimate is based on methodologies agreed to by the Conference of Parties of the UN FCCC.[6] Data of a USDA study indicate that about 0.9 percent of energy use in the United States is accounted for by raising food-producing livestock and poultry. In this context, energy use includes energy from fossil, nuclear, hydroelectric, biomass, geothermal, technological solar, and wind sources. The estimated energy use in agricultural production includes embodied energy in purchased inputs.

Another agricultural effect is on land degradation. Much of the world’s crops is used to feed animals.[8] With 30 percent of the earth’s land devoted to raising livestock, a major cutback is needed to keep up with growing population. A 2010 UN report explained that Western dietary preferences for meat would be unsustainable as the world population rose to the forecasted 9.1 billion by 2050.[8] Demand for meat is expected to double by this date; meat consumption is steadily rising in countries such as China that once followed more sustainable, vegetable-based diets. Cattle are a known cause for soil erosion through trampling of the ground and overgrazing.

The environmental impacts of animal production vary[clarification needed] with the method of production. A grazing-based production can limit soil erosion and also allow farmers to control pest problems with less pesticides through rotating crops with grass. In arid areas, however, it may catalyze a desertification process.[citation needed] The ability of soil to absorb water by infiltration is important for minimizing runoff and soil erosion. Researchers in Iowa reported that a soil under perennial pasture grasses grazed by livestock was able to absorb far more water than the same kind of soil under two annual crops: corn and soybeans. Corn and soybean crops commonly provide food for human consumption, biofuels, livestock feed, or some combination of these.

The FAO initiative concluded that “the livestock sector emerges as one of the top two or three most significant contributors to the most serious environmental problems, at every scale from local to global.”

Treating Water in a Survival Situation

WATER

Your body is 75% water by weight. This water is needed for circulation and other bodily processes including respiration and converting food to energy. Your body loses water through sweating, urinating. defecating and breathing. The fluid your body loses must be replaced for you to function properly. So, one of your first objectives is to obtain an adequate supply of water in a survival situation. You can’t live long without it, especially in hot areas where you lose so much through sweating. Even in cold areas, you need a sufficient amount of water a day to maintain efficiency. People can survive without food for weeks or even a month, but go without water for even just one day and it will decrease your ability in doing even the simplest task. A lack of water causes dehydration, which may result in lethargy, headaches, dizziness and confusion. Insufficient water will also increase your susceptibility to severe shock if you get injured. You will easily be vulnerable to the effects of cold or heat. Morale will drop and a host of other problems ensue.

Thirst is no indication of how much water you need. Even when you are not thirsty, drink small amounts of water regularly to prevent dehydration. Dark yellow or brown urine is a diagnostic indicator of dehydration. If you are exerting a lot of energy or are under severe conditions, increase your water intake. You should be drinking 2 to 3 quarts of water daily or 1.90 to 2.83 liters .

If water rations are insufficient, then movement should be reduced to the cool times of the day or night. Stay in the shade as much as possible. This will reduce the water lost by excessive sweating. Move slowly to conserve energy. In very hot areas, it is better to take smaller quantities of water more frequently. To maximize your water intake, drink slowly and in sips. Don’t eat anything if you don’t have water to drink with it. By consuming food you’ll burn up your body’s supply of the vital fluid all the quicker. Do not remove your clothing, even in the sun. Loose layers of clothing help to control sweating by keeping the humidity near the skin to maximize the cooling effect.

The best place to keep water is in your stomach. When you get to a water source, start treating your water. Keep hydrated and drink as much water as needed. Fill your water containers and drink your fill of water before departing.

Basic filtering is the first step in removing particulate matter in the water. Three sticks can be lashed together near the end of the sticks to form a tripod. Tie a piece of cloth or your T-shirt under the lashed area of the sticks. If you have four corners on your cloth, bind two of the corners together. You will now have three corners. Tie each corner to one of the three sticks. The cloth should not slide downwards on the stick. Use cordage if necessary to secure the cloth to the sticks. Water from a stream, pond or any water source is poured into the cloth to filter out any debris or mud in the water. Additional pieces of cloth can be tied under the first cloth to create a multi-layered filter. A container is placed under the last cloth layer to catch the dripping water.

A plastic water or soda bottle can be made into another filter system. Cut off the upper top portion of the plastic bottle. Perforate the bottom of the plastic bottle with small holes. Place a layer of grass in the bottom, followed by a layer of sand, layered with many pieces of very small charcoal, another layer of sand and a final layer of grass on top. The five separate layers should fill up your plastic bottle. Water is poured into the plastic bottle filter and allowed to drain out of the small holes at the bottom of the plastic bottle into a water container. Take the water from the container and filter the water as many times through the plastic bottle until it comes out clear.

Filtering water doesn’t purify it, but it reduce particles, sediment and makes the water taste better.

Consider water from any source as contaminated with pathogens, like Giardia lamblia or Escherichia coli, that can cause an upset stomach, dysentery or even worst. The danger from these disease causing organisms is fluid loss due to diarrhea and vomiting. To be on the safe side, boil your water or use purification tablets before drinking.

Two methods for boiling water:
1. If you have an Army canteen metal cup or a soup can, you can use it to boil water and cook your food over a fire. The metal container is light and has more than one use.

2. In a wilderness situation, hot rocks can be used to boil water in a container. A plastic tarp can line a deep depression in the ground to provide a container for boiling water with heated rocks. Place some unheated stones in the bottom of the plastic container to keep the hot rock from touching the plastic surface. The water will quickly heat up as the hot rock transfers its heat to the water. When the hot stone begins to cool off, take it out with green sticks and replace the stone with another hot rock. Continue the process until the water is at a rolling boil.

You can also create a wooden bowl with a knife and coals for a container. Peck out a sandstone cup with a small, harder rock. Heated pebbles can be placed in the rock cup to boil water. Hollowing out a wooden bowl or sandstone cup takes a lot of your energy and time to make the container. Take this into consideration and your immediate situation when thinking of ways to boil your water.

Water temperatures above 160° F (70° C) will kill all pathogens within 30 minutes and above 185° F (85° C) within a few minutes. So, in the time it takes for the water to reach the boiling point (212° F or 100° C) from 160° F (70° C), all pathogens will be killed. Let the water boil rapidly for one minute at higher altitudes, since water boils at a lower temperature. At sea level, the boiling point of water is 212° F. For every 500 feet increase in elevation, the boiling point drops one degree. For example, if your campsite is 5,000 feet above sea level, then water boils at 202° F. The only reason you typically get water up to the boiling point is you probably do not have a thermometer handy to measure the water temperature. When the water is boiling, you know it is hot enough and the disease causing organisms in your water were killed quite some time earlier. When the water has reached a full rolling boil, you do not have to boil it any further. Water temperature cannot get any higher than its boiling point no matter how much heat is applied. You will gain nothing by boiling the water longer. You’ll be wasting fuel and evaporate more water. After you remove the water from the heat source, it will take another period of time for the water to cool down enough for you to be able to drink it, during which it continues to remain hot enough to eliminate pathogens.

Boiling only kills living contaminants like parasites, bacteria and viruses. Chemical contaminants (e.g. heavy metals, toxins produced by rotting material, sewage, etc.) will not be affected. If possible, it’s better to spend a little bit of time finding a clean water source (running water) than trying to purify a dirty one (stagnant water).

Three techniques for obtaining water (if a creek, river, lake or any major water source is not available):
1. A solar still can be constructed with a plastic tarp. This is a system to extract water from the soil. A hole is dug where there might be moisture in the soil. A water collecting container is placed in the middle of the pit. The plastic tarp covers the hole and is lined with heavy rocks to seal the perimeter of the pit. A small stone is placed in the center of the tarp over the container in the hole to create a funnel. Create an angle of about 45-degrees from the edge of the hole to the center on the tarp. Water condenses into droplets on the underside of the tarp and gradually drips into the container. Crushed herbaceous plants can also be placed in the pit to increase the still’s output. Be careful to use only edible plants as many poisons will evaporate from toxic plants and drip down into your water container. You can also pour impure or filtered water into the solar still pit and allow it to evaporate and condense into your container.
2. A branch with foliage or a small shrub enclosed in a plastic bag can be used to obtain water. Plants loose water vapor into the atmosphere through a process called transpiration. The water vapor will condense on the inner surface of the bag and slowly flow towards the lowest part of the bag. Angle the bottom of the bag to capture the water droplets. This installation should work for a few days as long as the plant is not too exposed to the sun. Avoid killing the plant from overheating in the bag. Never use plants that may be poisonous. It takes a long time to collect liquid from a plant. This method is best used to stay the pains of thirst or to obtain temporary, “quick relief” emergency water.

3. Water can be collected from early morning dew. Also, a depression in a rock or the nook of a tree or a stump may contain water. Soak up the water from the catch with a piece of cloth or some dried grasses, wring it into a container, then filter and boil the fluid.

A Large oven bag  purchased from the grocery store makes an ideal plastic bag for boiling water with hot rocks, for enclosing plants using the transpiration/condensation method and making a small solar still. The oven bags are made to withstand heat (not to exceed 400° Fahrenheit). Store an oven bag in your emergency kit.

Source of knowledge come from Primitive Ways and my own experience of spending time in the bush.

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

Genocide and those who play the part

Many people do not understand the legal definition of genocide, nor are they aware of how genocide is considered internationally. Many are of the misunderstanding that genocide is the mass murder of millions of people all in one shot — something akin to the holocaust. In fact, genocide is defined in the United Nations Convention on Genocide as follows:
In the present Convention, genocide means any of the following acts committed with intent to destroy, in whole or in part, a national, ethnical, racial or religious group, as such:

(a) Killing members of the group;
(b) Causing serious bodily or mental harm to members of the group;
(c) Deliberately inflicting on the group conditions of life calculated to bring about its physical destruction in whole or in part;
(d) Imposing measures intended to prevent births within the group;
(e) Forcibly transferring children of the group to another group.

That is the definition. In Canada and the United States, settler governments have committed genocide against Indigenous peoples, not under just one category, but under every single category noted above. We all know it, but the reality stands in such stark contrast to the mythology created by government about what Canada stands for, that many people resort to denial. Indigenous peoples who have raised the subject have been referred to as “nutbars”, “whackos”, “conspiracy theorists”, “radicals” and “terrorists”.
The issue of genocide is radical — not because it is not true, but because it stands so far outside the realm of humanity and human rights that the tendency is to save the term for only the most obvious, horrific, well-known instances of genocide committed in places far away from Canada.
The term genocide is usually saved for instances where the victims are considered to be humans — and Indigenous peoples have long been characterized as non-humans for centuries. Aside from the historical depictions of Indigenous peoples as “savages”, “heathens” or “pagans”, they have also been treated by governments as “dangerous and sub-human.” The myth of Indigenous peoples being sub-human allowed governments to steal Indigenous lands under the legal fiction of “terra nullius” (lands belonging to no one). They knew better of course, but it allowed them to justify not only the theft of lands from Indigenous peoples, but the brutal acts of genocide which were committed upon them.

As of now all peoples that live within the confines of civilization are contributing directly or indirectly to this status including the descendants of tribal peoples who are indigenous to particular lands and who benefit and sustain off of foods and other so called natural resources coming from third wold countries of south america, Africa and other lands,
who´s indigenous peoples are experiencing a conflict with the encroachment of corporate-government who are exploiting there resources to feed the people in the First Worlds like canada United State European union and Switzerland, poor and rich alike.

THE CORPORATE GOVERNMENTS OF CIVILIZATION WILL NOT HALT TILL ALL THE LANDS HAVE BEEN ACQUIRED AND ALL THE PEOPLE INCLUDING THE ANIMALS WILL HAVE BECOME THE SERVANT SLAVES TO THE UPPER ECHELONS OF CIVILIZED SOCIETY.

One of the most simplest and effective ways to resist and to hinder this civilizing progress is to not buy their products that keep them in political and economic power, and there are four major commodities not to mention gasoline and oil.

Refined tobacco – that is offered up the spirits

Alcohol – including your fine wine

Pharmaceutical drugs – that keeps the people sedated and dependent, including marijuana

and

Factory Farmed Meat – of which is cruel and extremely unhealthy for the earth, people and the animals, the eating of this flesh go’s against all spirituality’s that identifies the earth as their mother and the animals that are the guiding sprits to the metaphysical world of the Manitous, that have kept the natural balance of the world in check for tens of thousands years since before the invention of lineal time .

These four product and not to mention the many that are consumed every signal day require the animals and indigenous peoples lands to harvest, grow and to make a profit so that some can have a job to feed their families and the greed that the ultra rich are addicted to.

As of now we are all contributing to the current condition of the world, of which
is extremely POOR

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.

 

How the Conquest of Indigenous Peoples Parallels the Conquest of Nature

By John Mohawk : John Mohawk is a Professor of American Studies at SUNY Buffalo. His books include: Exiled in the Land of the Free (written with Oren Lyons), A Basic Call to Consciousness, and The Red Buffalo
For some twenty years I’ve been doing a range of writing, including journalism, as a hobby. As a writer I have brought people a lot of bad news. Describing the fortunes of this hemisphere’s and to some degree other hemispheres’ indigenous peoples provides an endless sequence of bad news. At one time I was the editor of the largest American Indian publication in the Americas, Akwesasne Notes, which dealt with ideas that at the time were definitely not mainstream. I remember putting out issues in which we raised questions about the nature of the relationship of the human spirit to the natural world, and we broached the idea that human-created societies are inappropriately distanced from the physical realities of the world. We talked about areas of philosophical thought that have not been explored to their depths in the English language, although I imagine they’ve been explored at some depth in other languages.
Lately, though, my thinking has been shaped by my official career. I teach social history, a subject not usually associated with ecology, although I think it’s high time to make that connection. But first let me mention some of the issues I find myself grappling with in social history, which deals broadly with people’s everyday lived experiences in different cultural contexts and also with how people come to think and feel the way they do about what they encounter in the world.
I became interested in social history when I was in college, a small and conservative and Eurocentric college. In those days undergraduates were required to take a course in philosophy; in the course I signed up for I learned that there was really only one genre of philosophers, who occupied a narrow niche in the world of thought: they were all Western European, they were all male, they were all from what we would describe as the elite privileged classes, and as a whole they stayed within a set of boundaries they defined for themselves. They belonged to a club, as it were. Each one was required to know what was said by the preceding one, and each one was required to build on that. If a student asked the professor, for example, Were there any philosophers in China or Africa?, the more or less curt reply was, Not that I know of, and stick to the book.
Having been exposed since then to the ideas of people of many different cultures, I ask myself why these ideas are not part of the overall survey of philosophy even though the profession has loosened its collar a little bit in the thirty years since I was a student. After all, there certainly can’t have been only one stream of knowledge in all of history. I think we need to study Western civilization in order to understand when certain narrow and limited ways of thinking first appeared and where we went wrong. Therefore, I dutifully went back and started reading about the foundations of Western thought, trying to understand it in the light of other cultures.
As I studied Greek philosophy, I asked myself, Who were these Greeks, who gave us what we think of as the foundation of our thought, of our culture, and gave us our ideas about nature and society? I soon made a distinction between what the Greeks said and what they did. My philosophy professor had described a group of men sitting under a tree philosophizing; I saw them as an arrogant bunch who thought they had a new and better way to think about the world. But what were the Greeks actually doing? They were the creators of the most astonishing military organization in the world, building on centuries, even millennia, of military experience. Some clever people with good administrative and organizational skills put together armies that were able to march across the world and defeat everybody in their path relatively easily.
Classical Greece is taken as the starting point of European history, but actually Greece was old by the time of the classical Greeks. Over thousands of years the populations of the Mediterranean had been conquered numerous times before the formation of the Greek city-states we associate with classical Greek culture. By the time we get to the Romans, all of the peoples had been Hellenized. It is difficult to find anything resembling the remains of an indigenous Mediterranean culture.
This lack of indigenous culture leads me to William McNeill’s observations in The Rise of the West. He points out that the utopian religions which appeared in the two centuries before and after Christ arose out of rootless urban populations who had no consciousness of place. Successive waves of conquest destroyed any continuity of culture. This tied in with my reading of Isaiah Berlin’s The Crooked Timber of Humanity, in which he points out that episodes of horrific human slaughter and devastation throughout history often are the product of utopian ideologies.
Utopian ideology in the context I’m using the term means that people have an idea, they have a plan, and according to their plan a utopian society is at the end of their path. All of humankind’s problems are going to be solved by reaching this goal. But usually while they’re pursuing their goal, they discover that there are other people who are standing in their way or at least occupying ground needed for them to carry it out. You can’t have a utopian society unless you’re willing to crack a few eggs, as it were, and it’s almost always necessary to crack other people’s eggs to get there.
Understanding the nature of utopian ideology helps us find answers to certain troubling historical questions. In Hitler’s Willing Executioners Daniel Goldhagen asks, How could average everyday ordinary churchgoing Germans, who we all know were fully acculturated twentieth-century Western civilization people, get up in the morning, walk outside, shoot women and children in cold blood, and then come back in the evening and have supper as though they were doing nothing more than making widgets? How could people act in such a cold-blooded manner? Well, all we have to do is follow the real story of Western civilization and we’ll see that there has been episode after episode after episode of people getting up in the morning, going out, and murdering people. I think it started in what we call the modern era at that moment when Western Europe exploded out of Europe and expanded all over the world, beginning in the 1450s when the level of intolerance in European societies rose enormously. Pogroms were started against the Jews, and then in 1492 the Jews were expelled from Spain. What we have is a pattern of behavior of utterly unbelievable cruelty in a society that claims to be civilized.
Another example of the consequences of utopian ideology is the campaign against magic during the three hundred years starting around 1450. Individuals who had a spiritual relationship with plants or animals were considered to be practicing magic. In the 1600s it was believed that these people had renounced Christ and were in league with the devil, who promised them the powers of nature in return, and they then used these powers against their enemies. This same belief that people making use of the powers of nature must be getting their magic from the devil prevailed in New England: when John Mason or Cotton Mather railed against the practices of the Indians, they were really railing against nature as an evil power, an evil power that must be controlled, overcome, and stamped out.
Witches weren’t going to admit to using magic, so a certain amount of coercive force was required, and the Inquisition was invented in order to drag people into dungeons and twist their limbs until they confessed and even named their neighbors, who were then brought in and treated similarly. That was the beginning of the witchcraft trials—for the most part involving women, by the way. According to some accounts, millions of people over three centuries were accused, tortured, and burned at the stake. What were they guilty of? They were herbalists; they were herb doctors who believed that the powers of nature could heal the human body. This belief was a direct threat to the power of the Church, which proclaimed that when Christ ascended to heaven, God the Father and the Holy Spirit went with Christ. Until they returned to earth, the Church was the only possible intermediary between humans and supernatural powers. The success of herbalists in curing their patients contradicted this faith in the sole power of the Church.
The war on magic was a psychological war on nature. It wasn’t waged by individuals but by the major institutions in Western culture, by the Church and the state in collusion with each other. They were not only making war on nature, they were also cracking eggs along the way. People accused of being witches were frequently selected because they had property that was desired by the local authorities, so quite often doing away with a witch proved profitable for the coffers of both town and Church. They took the property, including the land. Multiplied by hundreds of thousands or even millions of people over centuries, the plunder must have amounted to a great deal. You might say that the witches provided the early capitalization for the formation of European nation states.
Classical Greek philosophy also rejected nature-based religion. Let’s turn to Socrates by way of example. What did Socrates say about the people who were in the temples interpreting dreams and making forecasts and telling fortunes? He said it was all nonsense that should be replaced by rational thought. Socrates argued that the world must be based on reason, not on dreams and myths and the like. As far as I am concerned, one of the great fountainheads of Western civilization’s understanding of the human spirit is actually the old Greek myths that Socrates disparaged. They are among the most interesting artistic forms ever produced by the West.
I gradually came to believe that it’s not enough to study the history of philosophy, because what the philosophers are saying is entirely different from what is happening. Socrates lived at a time when the major form of social organization could best be described as either military oligarchy or military dictatorship. That is what the Greek city states really were. As I kept delving deeper, I found that in the history of philosophy the part that deals clearly with what’s really going on is something we don’t ordinarily read in social history, and that is military history. Military historians don’t shrink back from talking about political agendas. A military historian comes right out and says, The agenda here was to plunder; the plan was to use so many cannons, so many of this and that. When military historians study human behavior, they come to the conclusion that the purpose of organized armed aggression is to plunder. Now, that’s something which should be inscribed on the library wall at Columbia: the purpose of organized armed aggression is plunder!
I believe that philosophy was used by Western civilization to obscure the act of plunder by cloaking it in fancier terms. Aristotle could have said, We’re evil exploiters, and we’re going to conquer these people; we have the arms to do it, and we’re going to do it without any bad conscience whatsoever because we have the power and we can get away with it.
He could have said that, but he didn’t. Instead, he developed a rationale for one culture ruling another. What he said was, We’re a community of very bright people, and we need someone to do all the drudgery. We’ll make these other folks do it because if they don’t, we real bright people won’t have any time to sit under a tree and think about how smart we are. We’d have to be hoeing the garden, washing the dishes, and all the rest. But we need time to think, and if we think long and hard enough, we’ll come up with all the answers. In fact, the future of the world lies in the governance of the intelligent people of the world, and the project we will set for ourselves is to define civilization. It’s a project of organized thought that will lead us to solve all of humankind’s problems in science, in engineering, in art, in every arena.
Columbus Day was observed recently. For me Columbus Day is a reminder of the Spaniards’ behavior in the Caribbean between 1492 and 1516. Apologists for the Spanish say the decline in the Indian population was not great because there weren’t that many Indians there. However many Indians there were, by 1516 they were almost all dead. Whether there were 800 thousand or 800 million, let’s not lose track of the point here: there was a catastrophic decline in the Indian population on the major islands the Spanish were occupying. Another point needs to be made: one of the books I read said that the Indians were killed off by diseases. No they weren’t. They were not killed off by diseases. The viral diseases the Spanish had that devastated Mexico didn’t reach the Caribbean islands until 1518 or 1519.
What happened during that generation-long occupation of Hispaniola, Cuba, Puerto Rico? In his book The Conquest of America, Stzvetan Todorov raises the question of how the Spanish could be so callously indifferent to the lives of the Indians on the Caribbean islands. The same question applies to the Spanish on the mainland of Central America and South America and to the English and then the Dutch in North America. How could they? How can there be greater indifference to human life than was exhibited in the African slave trade? Western civilization is filled with such episodes.
Let’s consider the Caribbean islands. What do the major works (excluding Kirk Sale’s book, The Conquest of Paradise) say about the Caribbean islands? Samuel Morison says in Admiral of the Ocean Sea that it was unfortunate the Indian population declined at that time; the Spanish didn’t want the Indians to disappear, it just happened. Or take Lewis Hanke’s book, Aristotle and the American Indians. Hanke reports the existence of torture factories on the Caribbean islands. The purpose of such cruelty was not merely to extract wealth, although wealth was certainly one of the prospects; it went way beyond that. There were torture manuals that recommended using green wood instead of dry wood to prolong the time it takes to burn somebody to death.
In the late sixteenth-century the Dutch artist Theodor De Bry did a series of illustrations based on the reports of Bartholomé de Las Casas, a priest who was offended by the torture. Las Casas wrote thirty pages describing what was happening on the islands. I have to tell you it’s gut-wrenching stuff. Read his descriptions; then read the chapters in Daniel Goldhagen’s Hitler’s Willing Executioners and tell me there is a difference between the psychology of those Germans and those Spaniards. The same thing is going on, only the Spanish are a little more artistic. The Germans tended to torture people more at arm’s length, whereas the Spanish were up close and personal about it. And it went on and on for twenty-five years, but it’s essentially an unknown story. You won’t find it in any American history textbook.
The King of Spain was embarrassed by all the reports about the cruelty of the conquistadors. He wasn’t happy that they were getting out of hand and escaping the crown’s control over them, so in 1550 he called for a debate. Juan Gines de Sepulveda and Bartolomé de Las Casas, two priests who were also lawyers, stepped forward to make the arguments. Sepulveda took the point of view of the conquerors. He’s called the father of modern racism because of that. He concocted every excuse he could think of to explain why it was all right for the Spanish to do what they were doing to the Indians, and of course he started off with what the Indians were not—they were not Christian and they were not civilized; therefore, the Spanish were justified in treating them as they did.
Sepulveda would have used pretty much the same language and the same reasoning to explain why the Spanish were justified in doing what they did to the parrots, to the trees, to the fish, to every living organism on those islands: they were all biologically inferior beings lacking the consciousness and culture of Spaniards. They didn’t have any rights and therefore could be enslaved and subjected to whatever the Spanish felt like subjecting them to—and the Spanish didn’t need to have a bad conscience.
I think we look at this kind of racism from the wrong perspective in our culture. The real issue here is not Spanish racism toward the Indians. It’s the Spanish claim to superiority over every group, whether human or nonhuman.Once you believe that one group is better than all the rest, murder is justified, genocide is justified; in fact, any act against nature is justified. The only thing that matters is the aggrandizement of Spanish culture.
In all of the literature about what’s happening to indigenous peoples Victims of Progress, John Bodley’s book on the conquest of indigenous peoples in South America today, seems to spend the most amount of time looking at how people rationalize to themselves their right to seize land, to move other people out of the way, to move plants and animals out of the way—all in order to meet the development needs of modern industrial society. They can do this because of their belief system that says what they are doing is not only not wrong, it has to be done in order to create a world which will be able to solve all of humankind’s problems in the future.
What will the payoff be? One view is that through science we will someday conquer the major diseases of the world, and we’ll be able to live forever. How you get from that idea, by the way, to the idea that it’s all right to bulldoze huge areas in the name of curing cancer is a tremendous leap. Curing cancer has nothing to do with plundering. There’s not a single thing in the way of plundering the earth or destroying peoples that is necessary in order for scientists to be doing research on cancer. The two aren’t connected at all, although when you talk to people, right away they say, Well, we have to do this because we have to cure cancer. What? You have to be two hundred miles from the nearest road killing trees in order to cure cancer?
Think about the Germans in World War Two and the fact that not only were they willing to kill people but they were completely without conscience about it. Most of us look back at that period with horror and ask, How could they have done that? And we say, Well, they were just a little clique of criminals at the top of an aberrant order who had this crazy idea for a while. I encourage people who believe this to read Goldhagen’s book, which claims they weren’t a little clique of criminals at all. According to him, the whole of German society was in on it because they had so valued themselves and so devalued everyone else, not just the Jews. Given that pervasive mentality long enough, most of us would be affected by it too.
The core of Hitler’s message was that Germans as the privileged few deserved to have the fruits of the earth. All the others were in the way, taking up space and resources that should be Germany’s rightful inheritance. So this was not only about race; it was one of the largest projects of armed plundering in world history. But people can’t get up in the morning and say, Oh, we’re pirates and thieves and murderers, and we’re out to plunder. You can’t say that, and the Germans couldn’t either. The Germans said, We’re the master race, we’re the perfect example of humanity, and we’re going to solve all the world’s problems. The same thing the Spanish said.
Those Germans never stopped to reflect about what they were doing, never asked themselves if what they were doing might be wrong. Those Spaniards never stopped to reflect, either. All through history, groups who plundered—like the American miners in California and the American military in the northern Great Plains—never reflected. They built up utopian ideologies that protected them from their conscience. This raises the question in my mind, What about us? Are we like that? Are we blind? Do we have no conscience? Are we so sure we’re on the right path, the right and necessary path, that we have no choice but to follow it and sometimes crack a few eggs? Do we share that attitude?
Every day about forty thousand children die worldwide from preventable causes. You have to look hard to find the literature about it, but there are publications like the United Nations report The Fate of the Earth’s Children and Frances Moore Lappé’s Hunger: Twelve Myths. Some of these children die from diarrhea, which can be caused by bad water, but usually it’s assumed that the major cause is the lack of enough food in the world to sustain the poorest people. Lappé says that’s not true. There is enough food, but poor people don’t have the money to buy it. It’s a question of distribution.
What should we do? We should find a way to get food to poor people, shouldn’t we? But that’s not happening. What is in fact happening is that the major financial institutions in the world are imposing something called Structural Adjustment Programs on governments in poor countries. These programs are designed to create hunger. They specifically forbid countries that have a lot of poor people from subsidizing food, and they demand that measures be taken to drive down wages in those countries. The point is to make the poorest people in the world subsidize the richest people in the world by keeping labor at the lowest possible cost. We know that for every percentage point of deprivation they suffer, a number of people will die.
We know this, but we’re willing to live with it. We’re willing to be consciously ignorant. Beyond the fact of hunger is the fact that the engine driving it is the same engine—the same thinking, the same structured institutions—that is driving the destruction of forests and the extinction of animal species, that is at this very moment driving the extinction of the great fishes of the sea, of whole species of plants and animals in many parts of the world. But this is happening far from our vision. Here in New England reforestation is actually taking place. We’re not cutting our trees because we’re cutting somebody else’s. We don’t notice that our newspapers still come from trees, because they don’t come from trees here. For a long time I believed the problem was that people don’t have enough of a connection with nature, and that’s why they’re able to do the things that they do. I don’t believe that anymore.
I publish Daybreak, a magazine in which you’ll find stories about indigenous people trying to think through the issues of free trade and globalization, trying to figure out where they stand, what action they should be taking. Essentially, the purpose of the politics of the intellectual movement of the American Indians in the hemisphere as a whole and certainly in the southern hemisphere is to encourage biological diversity and encourage local food production for local consumption—the kinds of things Schumacher talked about.
Indians understand that self-sufficiency is the antithesis of the global economy. And I think we need to understand that the global economy is playing a major role in the destruction of our natural resources and of species and is rationalizing that destruction in terms of John Locke’s definition of what is rational. According to John Locke, rational thought leads you to do that which produces the maximum amount of money for you. This means even down to the last tree, down to the last fish. As a result of rational thought you try to transform nature into money. Locke argues that it’s a wonderful thing to have money because it transforms our wealth derived from nature into something solid and concrete. Of course, money is not solid and concrete anymore; it’s not even plastic anymore. It’s electronic money we’re dealing with now.
I propose to you that we live in an age of utopian excess that is driving us away from doing what would be sustainable and survivable and is diverting us into participating, in ways we’re not even conscious of, in activities that are destructive in the long term. A good example of this is the electronic information revolution. This revolution will sweep most of us along, whether we want to go or not—in the same way that my ancestors were dragged kicking and screaming into the print revolution. We’ll have to join it because it’s a way of communicating. Some people think the electronic information revolution is going to solve all our problems—the same kind of utopian stuff I’ve been talking about.
Read Wired magazine. It reads as though people have lost their minds. It asks questions like, Is the world growing a brain? No! But our brains are going dead! People who think in the wired mode see a marvelous world of opportunity, without asking themselves, opportunity for whom and opportunity to do what? The information age is concentrating wealth in the hands of the few who have access to and control of resources. The American middle class is being dismantled and it’s even cooperating; it’s going quietly to its death!
The plan is to make everyone part of a worldwide web, a worldwide marketplace. Internet users have the same capability to communicate with people in another part of the world as with people right in their home town. This means, for example, that you’re not going to need accountants from North America anymore. You can buy accountants for six dollars a day in Calcutta. You’re not going to need engineers from North America any more because you’ll be able to get all the engineering skills you need on the other side of the world. The idea is to have fewer people doing more things more cheaply, and the cheapest labor of all is on the other side of the world from us. That’s the long-term prospect. But in fact cheap labor does not solve our problems. The things that really matter in human society are not in computers, and they’re not in any utopian vision about solving all the world’s problems.
We are not going to make it to that place called Utopia, folks. It’s not going to happen. The reality is that for all of our ego, which seems to me colossally large, our life span and the space we occupy are incredibly small, and the distance between here and Utopia is insurmountable.
Human cultures have an enormous capacity to reframe things. Part of our problem in Western culture has to do with how we reframed nature. Cultures that are nature based have reframed nature in ways that have given it life and color and energy and excitement. I went to visit a particular group of Indians living on what you might call a gravel pit. No trees, no grass. Why don’t they plant some grass? The place is a desert as far as the eye can see. You’d look at that landscape and think to yourself, My God, this is one of the most depressing places I’ve ever been; it never rains, it’s always so dry. Then you talk with the Indians, and they bring that place to life for you. The place is full of things you can’t see. Live with the Hopis for a little while; their world is full of spirits that come in from the sky, from the ground. Almost every few days the Hopis perform a ritual of one kind or another to acknowledge the spirits of their place. And what a wonderful world they have.
Once I visited a tribe on the northern Great Plains. I was just sitting there with members of the tribe. I looked around and thought, No trees. But they have something else: a culture, built by the creative internal aspects of human society, that establishes a beneficial relationship between the society and nature. Not between the individual and nature. An individual can’t practice Lakota culture or Hopi culture. You need a whole group of people for that. When that culture exists, it has a sort of magic. You can find people who are part of it and who don’t have very much money, but they are living more happily than the people living in California’s affluent Marin County. Of course, the people in Marin County are trying to find that happiness; they’re trying to find that connectedness, that essence which makes your lived human experience truly lived and human. It exists among Buddhist communities throughout the world, it exists among the Australian aborigines, it exists among Indians in the deep rainforest. These are happy, adjusted people who are not destroying their environment, who are in fact celebrating their environment because they aren’t engaged in utopian thinking. They’re reliving a cycle instead.
To have a utopian vision you must believe that time is linear, that someday life will be better than it is here and now, and you have to sacrifice others in order to make it happen. I think this has been, if I may say so, the history of the West, a series of competing ideas about how we are going to get there. When we get there, we’ll all be happy. And where is there? It may be heaven, for example, or it may be a machine paradise.
The actual trend over the centuries has been toward a politics of conquest and plundering. And we have rationalized our behavior in the context of that conquest and plunder. Most of us don’t ask ourselves, when we make choices about what we’re going to buy, How does this purchase implicate me in the plunder? Most of us don’t talk to people who are from Indonesia before we go and buy our Reeboks. Instead, we listen to Michael Jordan saying, I wear these shoes, and he’s a great basketball player, so they must be good. Most of us don’t ask ourselves, What’s behind my purchase? Could there be military dictatorship behind it, exploitation of people, destruction of towns and villages, pollution?
In choice after choice that people make, they tend to buy things that come from places which create social orders they’d prefer not to support, but in fact they do choose those products because they can claim innocence of the underlying conditions. So people commonly will buy things in the grocery store that were grown 3000 or 4000 miles away. Most people I know can’t tell me where the clothes they wear were manufactured, who manufactured them, or what the conditions were under which they were manufactured. We’re all like the television star Kathie Lee Gifford, who started her own line of clothing, which is produced in the Third World; we don’t know anything about it.
I think this kind of information is part of social history. Social history has to do with where the things in your life come from and what the conditions are that produced them and how the conditions that produced them contribute to the life you’re living. It also has to do with what expectations you have concerning the kind of life you might live, with what options you have for choosing the quality of life you want. This kind of information is not offered to people in college. Where do you find courses on values? Show me a course about choosing your options. You can say, Well, of course, it’s not there because if the college offered a course like that, its funding would be jeopardized.
I began by saying I wanted to emphasize the connection between ecology and social history. Once we recognize this connection, we are led to obvious choices. I don’t believe it’s necessary to cut down the rain forests to satisfy consumer demand for cheap lumber. I don’t believe it’s necessary to create conditions that kill 40,000 children every day in order to maintain the world market economy, which in my opinion shouldn’t be retained in its current form. If you believe that’s necessary, then you can support the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund. But I personally don’t believe we have to take steps to starve people in the Third World in order to drive down the price of labor. I don’t believe it was necessary to murder all those Indians in the Caribbean. We should step back and ask ourselves some serious questions: Just how much of that world market economy do we really need? What costs are we paying for what we get?
Thank you for your kind attention.

John Mohawk is a Professor of American Studies at SUNY Buffalo. His books include: Exiled in the Land of the Free (written with Oren Lyons), A Basic Call to Consciousness, and The Red Buffalo