Saturday, March 19, 2011

A Sacred Undertaking

The failure of the modern state to meet our needs is structural--an inherent design flaw that renders essential reform of this structure impossible. Having relegated local and regional participation in setting social policy meaningless, the plenary powers of state-centric institutions are an open invitation to tyranny. Indeed, the voluntary confederation that respected regional autonomy at the outset of the American governance experiment was abolished by a tyranny of the majority of colonies, which set the stage for a tyranny of the minority composed of the inherently wealthy and their sycophants.

As societies rooted in ancient territorial homelands, First Nations are locally and regionally oriented, and as such are ecologically conscious and economically generous. As a practice, indigenous culture is inclusive, conserving community resources and sharing the wealth. Bolstering their cultures through cooperation with their non-indigenous neighbors is only logical.

With the breakdown of modern states as tools of the powerful and corrupt, Fourth World peoples and their civil society friends have begun to unite around local and regional autonomy, thereby starting the shift from dominant hierarchies to power-sharing democracies. Part of that shift includes finding ways to prevent looting of communal wealth -- whether from state treasuries or local landscapes -- by the private equity tyrannies which have usurped governance of most modern states.

Weathering the hardships ahead in a post-tyranny environment will challenge us to the core of our being, but that challenge is an inclusive one. In order to take back what is rightfully ours, we will have to work together or be hopelessly lost.

Whatever the outcome of our united efforts, the coming together itself will restore some of the human dignity sacrificed by tyrants on their altar of greed. Indeed, the process of working together -- meitheal in Irish -- is a sacred undertaking.

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