14 Mar 2009

The Indigenous struggle for humanity

Marcher at Belem, World Social Forum, at protest against the destruction of the Amazon.

Well 'The Age of Stupid' is out tomorrow, for me there are plenty of very stupid things you can do if you are worried about climate change and ecological destruction...the global capitalist solution put forward by Brown, Obama, the environmental ngos is carbon trading....it is a form of fraud and will destroy us. We need real action on climate change, very pleased to have been mailed this by Hugo Blanco, the ecosocialist and indigenous leader from Peru...The indigenous struggle for the whole of humanity....green politics without reference to the indigenous is simply inadequate.

The Indigenous struggle for humanity


People search for 'progress', to have electric lights, telephones and mobiles, a car, tv, fridge, electricity for cooking, garage with an automatic door, lift etc

The problem is that millions of people want this is causing a great deterioration of nature because of global warming and many other attacks on the natural environment: Agrochemicals poison water and land, the extraction of minerals and hydrocarbons, perforation of the ozone layer, destruction of the forests, etc. All this will lead to the extermination of our species in less than a century.

The logic of capitalism

The world is governed by the great multinationals whose objective is to gain the most money in the shortest period of time possible, they have no interest in the deterioration nature or the suffering this creates for humanity. For example 'modern agriculture' is economically damaging, kills nature and is bad for human health: Monoculture is a grand extension, year by year of the same species, it requires the use of agrochemicals (fertilizers,insecticides, herbicides). It kills the soil but this is not important to the multinationals who can move to another country, on the same continent or even to a different continent.

The use of transgenic or 'terminator' seeds, that can be planted only once, leads to damage to humanity but benefits the corporations.

Something similar happens with meat produced for the market, with the "mass produced food", for the "health" of the market, etc..

This policy favors a small number of people and damages the whole of humanity.

They control the whole political and social apparatus: army, police, judicial system, education system, etc. and all them media and means of communication work for them.

The indigenous logic

I am speaking of the indigenous population of our continent but the problem is the same for other parts of the world. The indigenous population advocate a form of 'good living', which means to live well even without the "progress" of the modern world.

Naturally, they are under pressure from the other culture and more or less contaminated with it, but fortunately the culture of 'good living' still exists though weakened, there is resistance and struggle. Agriculture is their main activity. During thousands of years they have learned how to conserve the soil as a fundamental part of their system of life, they love nature and soil, water, sun, rain, mountains, hills, etc are integrated together. They respect the form of agriculture developed by their ancestors: defending against erosion, cultivating socially (by combining different species), using crop rotation (planting one species one year and another the next), leaving cultivated land as fallow and for grazing, taking great pride in the diversity of species, etc.

The indigenous defend the Amazon, the lungs of the world, from being crushed.

The Urban population
The vast majority of the urban population do not enjoy the logic of the system, but do not live in the areas which are deteriorating rapidly, and learns the values by "education" directed by the system and learns the important things happening in the world by the media in the hands of multinational corporations, are eroding nature and benefits of "progress". Their thinking is much more contaminated by the logic of capitalism than rural people, many of whom are illiterate and do not hear the language of colonialism.

The increasing damage to indigenous and rural people is sharpening the contradiction between big business and the mass of humanity both urban and rural.

The Only Way Out
In an indigenous community when an individual endangers others, the solution is collective, not individualistic.
If the action of a company harms the people, the people must act, not the 'authorities' or the company.
While capitalism does what it wants with money, regardless of the damage to nature, whether it is damaging to humanity or not, the extinction of our species will be certain, the environmental measures as a palliative will be negligible to the scale of the problem.

With the logic of the indigenous community, the human community at large rural and urban, indigenous and non-indigenous, must determine the behavior of mankind with nature and not big business. Decisions to build or to not build mines, factories, hydroelectric plants, airports, dams, should be decided by the community and not by companies.

Or with capitalist individualism the decision will destroy the whole of humanity including the capitalists.

Hugo Blanco, March 2009 (translated by Derek Wall, whose Spanish is a bit limited!)

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