Monday, 17 November 2008

966 - On Hunter-Gatherers and Us

Another quote from Hugh Brody. Long one. Important. On colonial education:
The residential school was part of a process of ethnocide. The plan that shaped these schools, and the attitudes that informed their daily regimens, emerged from the agriculturalists' need to get rid of hunter-gatherers. These schools represent a dedicated and ruthless attempt to transform the personalities and circumstances of "native people" into ... well, what? Farmworkers and industrial labourers? Domestic servants and housewives? All of these, and yet the project is easier to understand as a negative rather than as a positive undertaking. The intention was to stop people being who they were - to ensure that they could no longer live and think and occupy the land as hunter-gatherers. The new and modern nation-states make no room for hunter-gatherers.

The Other Side of Eden, p.189

No room for hunter-gatherers. No room for the mindset where survival depends on knowing rather than changing a landscape. Not surprising then, perhaps, that people in our society who adopt this mindset - and there are such people; it is a tool of mind the capacity for which we all possess - should find themselves outside and against the systems within which the rest of us are happy to fit.

But it sounds like a challenge - a gauntlet thrown down. No room? then let's make room. If, for a while, we've had enough of changing our environment, if we are losing our faith in the enduring value of doing so, then it wouldn't be surprising to find more of us choosing to change our worldview in order to know our environment more fully.

I'm convinced this is happening. People I meet, books I read, trends I see around me, here in Whitley and all over, tell this story again and again. Therefore the need to accommodate such people within our accepted understanding of society becomes more and more imperative.

No comments: