15805Re: [gaiapc] Fwd: the Future is Indigenous...
- 18 Dec, 2017Ruben,I agree with you, except for your unwarranted charge of my anachronistic thinking. I do not believe communal people had similar thought processes to ours at all. In fact, we can do better than believe otherwise. We know they did not.That's an important point: we Moderns don't have to fantasize or presuppose how pre-civilized people lived because we observed very such societies and even studied some of them in some depth before they were extinguished or co-opted. I'm not philosophizing or rhapsodizing about such people, but am drawing comparisons and conclusions based upon Modern, sometimes scientific, empiricism.Do you think I apostrophized the term "social contract" in my previous message for no reason? I did so because I believe the term, as famously laid down by the likes of Thomas Hobbes and John Locke, is absolute bunk. To give credit to the existence of such a "social contract" would require a person to believe that a majority of the population voted to allow others to rule over their life and death according to whim. I'd like to count the ballots in that election, but nobody seems able to produce them.Additionally, I do not "see" pre-modern people "as uncivilized." They were absolutely uncivilized because they literally had no "civilization," which is historically defined as a society than has developed cities. ("Civilization" is derived from the Latin "civitas" meaning "city.") In this light for example, North American Indians were not only uncivilized (having no cities), but were also prehistoric (having no written history) and also Stone Age people (having no metallurgy). These are just facts, not value judgments.JadaOn Monday, December 18, 2017 2:02 PM, "'Ruben Nelson' RubenNelson@... [gaiapc]" <gaiapc@...> wrote:Jada,I write because your post exemplifies how easily we in the Modern world apply concepts to pre-modern peoples as if their mental worlds were essentially like ours, when clearly, they were not.This is not just a picky point. It suggests the we moderns have a tendency to systematically misconstrue our experience of pre-modern folks, especially pre-settled folks – whom we see as uncivilized. The broader question it raises, is this: If we are comfortable, as we appear to be, with our deep ignorance of the subtle ways that we who are “modern” construe the world, what confidence should we have that our readings of the present have much validity, let alone our readings of the past or our anticipations of the future?Specifically, you speak of the “social contract” of pre-settled peoples. I suggest that this is an anachronistic category mistake. I know of no evidence that pre-settled peoples thought in terms of a social contracts. Rather, they thought in terms of themselves as “the people” with no concept analogous to our Modern individual. Without the concept of persons as primordial individuals – a very recent concept even in the “West” – one cannot have a social contract. Among pre-settled peoples there are no “individual” persons who would make the contract.RubenRuben NelsonExecutive DirectorForesight CanadaHello again Jack. I don't think your views and mine are incompatible.Your assumption that all communal societies would have eventually evolved into civilized (hierarchical) societies may well be valid. But, at the time of their extinction, they had not yet done so -- although they had existed for about 300,000 years. My point is that hierarchical societies, which have existed for about 3% of our species' lifespan, destroyed the much longer-lived communal societies, thus precluding their further evolution. Whether or not their further social evolution would have occurred, and why, is a matter of conjecture.The fact appears to be that human societies have demonstrated a proclivity to evolve toward less survival forms than those from which the originated. As you say, this self-destructive may be genetically determined, but I cannot imagine how such a genetic determinant could have evolved, given current consensus on the function of natural selection.That said, I believe your point about humans now needing "a new social contract with additional constraints on normal personal behavior" is exactly right. But why should we expect a species that has for 10,000 years demonstrated its proclivity to "evolve toward extinction" to do any such thing -- and over a time frame of decades, no less?The "social contract" of communalism was that the survival of the (usually consanguine) group took precedence over individual liberty This was necessary accomplished voluntarily, because no legitimate coercive power existed. The "social contract" of hierarchy is that the survival of the leadership (royalty, the state, corporations) takes precedence over individual liberty. This in every case has required the use of coercive power over he follower-ship.So it seems to me that, while we both agree on the need for "additional constraints on normal personal behavior," the question of whose behavior we are talking about is of paramount importance. In the present world, where just eight men have the same economic power as approximately the poorest 3.3 billion humans, the answer to the question seems pretty obvious to me. But should we expect those in power to abdicate it for the good of the whole? Not on your life -- literally.JadaJada and Richard (Two people I greatly respect)I am aways afraid to jump into these conversations.1) the indigenous never had a stable society.Given another one or two thousand yearswith no intervention from the outside world each tribe worldwould have ended in our present condition.Why, because they are the same genetic stock with just slightlydifferent path through their physical world.What should be made clear in this conversation is thatwe in our present condition have enough cognitive processto know we are not going to make it on our present course.For the result of 7.6 billion sets of behavior to directa course toward a sustainablewe need a new social contract with additionalconstraints on normal personal behavior.Normal behavior won’t cut it and we know it.the ball is in our court…...for my solution.I would be glad to read anyone’s else'’s.comments welcome.jackRichard, thanks for sending..Although I fully empathize with Blanco's views, I don't think the near-term future will be "indigenous" for the mass of humanity. But the past certainly was. As obvious as it is, this fact is rarely conceded by current "environmentalists" or anybody else.How pathetic it is for Moderns to cast about, frantically seeking "models of sustainability," when it was we Moderns who intentionally annihilated the last sustainable societies on Earth! Agri-business/industrialism -- and all its vaunted accomplishments, cultural, scientific, and technological -- has indeed produced innumerable artifacts that might have been convenientfor humans living in "indigenous" sustainable societies 12,000 years ago. But it has never produced a single thing necessary for the survival of those societies. Quite the opposite.Considering this self-evident fact, it appears that human "progress" since the advent of civilization has been only a series of vain attempts to solve the problems it has caused. Moreover, civilization -- not being satisfied with even that astronomical level of futility -- has now "progressed" to inventing even more problematic solutions for problems that do not even exist: choose your favorite lethal pharmaceutical or addictive smartphone as examples.So, yeah, Blanco is on to something big. But like Marx, I'm afraid he is looking through the wrong end of the telescope: global society in general is not reverting inexorably toward "indigenous" communalism, but "progressing" catastrophically away from it.JadaBegin forwarded message:From: Norberto Rodriguez <norbertorvega@...>Date: December 17, 2017 8:02:28 AM PSTTo: undisclosed-recipients:;Subject: the Future is Indigenous...Hugo Blanco is one the greatest indigenous leaders from Latin America. We all could learn a little bit from his visions. Here are couple of interviews with him:norberto rodriguez
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