»Friday, August 28, 2009 »
I would like to discuss an interesting communiqué from the French Anarchist Federation (FAF) (June 2009) which values »… practices based on the Amerindian habits and customs and tradition of direct democracy [which] not are not only developped into the « original » (native) peoples communities, but also expading outside those communities. » Because « These values are joining some anarchist proposals : autonomy from the state and political parties, collective decisions, federalism. »
Anarchists realize that people in the Amazon rainforest are implementing principles that are dear to them, fine ! Although, contrary to what an unrepentant Westerno-centrism makes them write, it is not the Native Americans who « join us » but we who are getting our bearings : after all, their practices pre-exist a few centuries before the creation of the FAF (and of the CNT-AIT of course) !
The notion of « habits and customs / traditions » remains to be discussed. Presented as it is, it gives the impression that all this is respectable! But seniority does not make quality, and in the Americas, as in Europe, there is obviously a sort to be done in all the traditions ! Finally, the notion of « original (native) peoples » seems to me to be racialist (if not racist).
First of all, what is the meaning of the word « people » ?
People can be used with the mean of « population » (which is our case when we sometimes use it) or it can be use with the nationalist sense, that of a closed community, historically built on a territory which belongs to it, with its past and its future, a community which determines to such a point the individual that the latter can only act and react specifically to this community and its tradition ? The confusion between the two meanings is pernicious.
Because for an anarchist, to escape the determination induced by the place / tradition where he was born, where he lives, is at the very base of his personal revolution; and this revolution is possible only because, contrary to obscurantist ideologies, the « French », « Gaulish », « Catalan », « Parisian » or « Native American » peoples are sociological constructs (which appear and disappear in time) and have no other reality.
NO ONE IS MORE « NATIVE » THAN ANOTHER!
Finally, the notion of « original » (native) is purely ridiculous. Is it necessary to remember that there is only one human specie (and not races!) And that the human specie has one and the same single common origin. Nobody is more « original » – or native – than another ! No pseudo-race has any right over another, neither because of its supposed place of birth (as « race », « people »), nor of its cultural beliefs (or of its tradition, mission , its » civilization « …), nor of its technological development.
If it is necessary to support the fight of the populations of Amazonia, it is not for their « habits and customs / traditions » and even less their « origins » On the exact opposite, we support them because, their autonomous struggle against the economical exploitation (of which the destruction of the planet is a part) and against the state’s oppression is universal and an example for all of humanity
»Papy Nou »