On the Concept of Indigenous Assent: A Rejoinder

Following the posting of my quite well received article Decolonization is Not a Metaphor: The Basics of a Genuine Anti-Colonial Positionwhich was shared by anarchist communists, maoists, anarcha-feminists and many others i would not normally expect to see digging into the kind  of material i produce—there were a slew of not even sort of surprising, much less interesting, responses from certain sectors of the north amerikan settler left. Some anarchists and left-communists responded with the tired, eurocentric claim that “national liberation = hierarchy + statism.” Others reacted with an inability to progress beyond past my statement that settler workers are an embourgeoisified, pseudo-proletarian, labour aristocracy because their minds are so addled with political economy from over a century ago. Still, others were unable to get beyond my application of certain “revolutionary spellings” (such as spelling North America as “north amerika”), practices which have decades old roots in the Indigenous Liberation and New Afrikan Independence Movements.

None of these are really worth wasting time responding to. Others have already done an excellent job shredding these positions, and in much greater depth than i am realistically able to do on an informal blog. However, i do want to quickly write a rejoinder to one particular line of response to my writings that emerged from certain old hat marxist-leninists: the idea that instead of returning land to Onkwehón:we (including a right of return for exiled nations), We would be granted some kind of power of assent. In other words, they would give us a veto power, over all laws and proposals in a hypothetical future multi-national (remember my point about what “multi-national” is invariably code for on this continent?) federative soviet-style “workers’ state” of north amerika.

It has a certain nice ring to it on paper, doesn’t it? That the post-revolutionary “workers’ state” will be kind enough to ask Onkwehón:we “please?” every time they want/need permission to do something, in recognition of the fact that, like the current colonial-capitalist state, it will continue to straddle our A’nó:wara Kawè:note? At least they’ll ask nicely, compared to the last 500 years of Onkwehón:we-European relations, which have been a decidedly unidirectional give-and-take relationship (We give, they take). At least these folks will do it in the name of the worker and the other popular classes, right?

But would that kind of arrangement work out? I personally do not think it can, at least not in the way that these marxist-leninists think it can. It cannot, without them having to concede certain other points that are rooted in our, often quite radically different, Onkwehón:we philosophies. These differences put us at significant odds on a number of cardinal questions. Of course since these types of nominally radical forces generally cannot see beyond their own narrow, eurocentric myopia, it is safe to assume that they foresee an inevitable acquiescence of Onkwehón:we Liberation forces and our Peoples to the supposedly universal thought of soviet-style marxism-leninism.

Because really, when you think about, if, in a future Federal Socialist Republic of North America (or whatever they would call their new centrally planned settler colony), how would they react when We, the Original People, of this continent begin using the veto power that they propose to grant us in such a way as to effectively run interference on them? I don’t mean to say this because the Onkwehón:we Liberation Movement is pro-capitalist. It is not—the ILM is profoundly, foundationally anti-capitalist. Rather i mean that there are, as i said above, certain significant differences between Indigenism and the kind of profoundly eurocentric “communism” that is the ideology of the overwhelming bulk of marxist-leninists on A’nó:wara Kawè:note.

Our liberation movement in general rejects the kind of domesticated or pacified natural world that is the vision of most marxist-leninists. We seek to not just defend, but to actively expand wilderness. We seek to restore, and revitalize, our deep connections with all of our relations: the soil, plants, birds, animals, fish, sun and the wind. Our alternative society is one based around ideas of deurbanization, industrial decentralization, alternative and soft-path technologies, permaculture & our traditional sciences of agronomy, all within a context of limits to growth where the ultimate goal is the cultivation of balance and harmony between human society and natural web in we are but a part. This vision is radically opposed to the kind of developmentalist, ardently industrialist, “socialist” society that these marxist-leninists, with a philosophy birthed in the heart of the Old World, have never (save for a few) been able to ideologically escape. Their vision is of a techo-industrial apocalypse, and We will fight against this with all of our spirit, with every fibre in our bodies.

So what will these marxist-leninists do once they have given us the right of assent, and we start blocking coal mining? Start blocking uranium, iron, bauxite, gold and diamond mining? Start blocking oil and natural gas extraction? Start blocking rare earth mineral projects? What will they say when we demand an end to further urbanization? What will be their response when we disallow proposals for more power plants? What is their plan for when we say no to more clear-cutting? What will they do when we say they cannot build more dams? Even more so, what will they say if we demand that the damning of northern quebec be undone, a project with no goal other than to feed the parasitic urban centres of the francophone settlers in the south. A project that came at the cost of drowning the eastern Nēhilawē out of their ancient homelands, a vast territorial region where they stand as the majority population. What will these colonizers do when We stamp down our feet because We not allow our lands to become zones of national sacrifice in the name of their vision?

I think anyone who reads this site in an even remotely open minded fashion knows the answer.

They make nice now, but when the walls of their cities begin to constrict, when they need more land and soil for their crops, when their lights begin to twinkle out, when their whole world begins to collapse, swallowed by the land and ocean, that is when will we see their true intent. Then they will show us the true shallowness of their kind words. They will, if they can, stick an IV right into our necks to drain us of every last ounce of our Land and Peoples’ vital essence, all in order to fuel, vampire-like, their parasitic, pathological Wetiko culture. They cannot continue their path without it.

We will never surrender. We will stand tirelessly in defense of our Peoples, our Lands, and our Sacred Earth Mother, and for all of our relations. If they want what they they need to feed their living-dead society, they will have to come and take it. We are Earth’s Army. We will be ready, and We will be waiting.

Image credit to the Native Youth Movement.

5 thoughts on “On the Concept of Indigenous Assent: A Rejoinder

  1. Reblogged this on Unsettling America and commented:
    “We will never surrender. We will stand tirelessly in defense of our Peoples, our Lands, and our Sacred Earth Mother, and for all of our relations. If they want what they they need to feed their living-dead society, they will have to come and take it. We are Earth’s Army. We will be ready, and We will be waiting.”

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