Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Culture is Our Relationship to the Earth

Culture, in the modern context, often gets reduced to "arts" and literature and exoticized material production like clothing and spiritual items. This is limiting and dangerous as it allows those in the throes of modernity to sidestep equitable considerations of nature, land and people, allowing corporate control of lives and livelihoods, of land and commodified resources, making profane the sacred.

Culture is a dynamic of wholistic and integrated relationship between all things, between humans and their immediate environment, the land, nature and each other.  Modern industrial colonial society is anti-cultural and exploits and destroys the "naturo-spiritual (human) dynamic" that has defined human presence on Earth for over 3 million years. This is dangerous to all life as colonial capitalist control destroys earth and its ecosystems and organic human cultural relations.

Culture, to be progressive and positively transformative again, must be organic and based in right relationship to land, nature, peoples' basic and expanded human needs and All That Is.  Spirit is part of culture.  Animals and plants are part of culture. The Earth Her/Himself is part of culture. Any reduction, disintegration or dissolution of these interrrelationships is anti-culture, destructive and ultimately a negative expression of human potentiality.

Wednesday, August 3, 2016

Racism Is Not Prejudice + Hate

I was just pondering on the use of the word 'hate' with regard to racism. It always strikes me as incomplete as it refers to someone's feelings, not their ability to directly and negatively influence my life. Whether a person hates me is not the immediate issue.  Whether they can and do exert negative and destructive force and influence in my life, community and environment IS. 

Racism includes feelings in its vile mix, on the side of the oppressed and the oppressor, the marginalized and the privileged, the target(s) and the agent(s) of racism, but how we feel is not the primary element that affects the lives of people daily harmed by the effects and outcomes of  racism. 

Sitting in your house hating me is one thing. Sitting in your house while a group of police officers in militarized cars that you helped pay for out of the ongoing profit you extract from stolen land and resources looks for people who look like me (an African person) to harrass, detain and incarcerate is a whole other thing.

Racism IS a power dynamic, a control mechanism, a function of material and energetic exploitation that is de-energized when physical (police, military, technology) means of exerting power are pulled out of the mix, the complex of systems and structures that define this pathological and cancerous anti-social surreality...when European/white and male and other privileges and abuse are dismantled and consciously and exuberantly given up.

Racism IS prejudice plus power, not prejudice plus how someone feels about someone else.  Racism and sexism are structural, systemic, dependent on troubled and imbalanced people to actively (consciously or unconsciously) apply their life force to diminish the life force of others.

It may be ultimately appropriate to advocate for and promote the expansion of love in the world (also a work of systemic transformation, not just interpersonal romanticism ), but it is not directly helpful to continue to assert that we are in a battle with hate. We are in a struggle to observe, see, assess and transform interrelationships of power and control, of groups of people's ability and seemingly comfortable willingness to continue to exert destructive anti-cultural, inhuman "wetiko" (Jack Forbes) power and influence over other groups of peoples.

I was pondering that today.