The following is the email response by Douglas Jack to my posting Why Ecosocialism: For a Red-Green Future | Michael Löwy & Roundtable debate on ecosocialism: Do Red and Green Mix? | THE GREAT TRANSITION INITIATIVE on the Science for Peace discussion group, that is worthy of sharing for wider reflection. He has kindly given me permission to share and I hope his contribution will help open our minds, hearts, souls and spirits in order to re-claim our long-forsaken indigenous senses and sensibilities.
Building Livelihood for Stronger Communities / Les vivres pour des communautés plus saines
‘Indigene’ (Latin = ‘self-generating’) + ‘Community’ (Latin ‘com’ = ‘together’ + ‘munus’ = ‘gift or service’)
‘Indigène’ (Latine = ‘généré du soi’) + ‘Communauté’ (Latine ‘com’ = ‘ensemble’ + ‘munus’ = ‘cadeau ou service’)
Indigene Community www.indigenecommunity.info Communauté Indigène
Chaptre of the Sustainable Development Association / Association du développement durable
‘Akwe:kon’ Mohawk = ‘All of us’ ‘Nous tous’, She:kon (Say-go), ‘Do you still carry the Great-good-way-of-kindness’ (Iroquois ‘Kaianerekowa’ aka ‘Great Law of Peace’),
Dear Bichara et al,
Much appreciation for: Michael Lowy’s thesis on Eco-socialism, & subsequent remarks (summarized below). I wish to offer the perspective of all humanity’s worldwide indigenous ancestry on every continent & island, which is missing in all their understandings. I’ve read the Mike McNamee & Douglas Wright email responses up to this time. This response includes most of the issues raised but forms a deeper review of human practice & analysis between ancient humanity’s worldwide indigenous & our present exogenous legacy. I’m 66 years old & have 55 years of solidarity cultural involvement, living, working & studying with 1stNations & indigenous peoples about my own & humanity’s worldwide ‘indigenous’ (Latin ‘self-generating’) heritage. Please note that; with modern perversion of the meanings of words often into their opposite, etymologies are often used to trace original syllabic meanings & hence the original intention of words.
I would like to propose a range of missing ‘INDIGENOUS’ PRACTICES & PRINCIPLES from the Eco-Socialist goals of these authors. I agree humanity needs an Eco-Socialism, but deepened in understanding all humanity’s ancient ‘indigenous’ (Latin ‘self-generating’) heritage practices over 100s of 1000s of years. It is in these worldwide systematic indigenous practices that eco-socialist theory can find the tested practices, patterns, results & roots for implementation in our precarious times. Humanity through 7000 years of ‘metal-coin-money’ oligarch-led financed colonial invasion & destruction of indigenous practices & heritage, live in a profound AMNESIA, ignorance & alienation against our ancestral once worldwide indigenous eco-socialism. This ancient recall brings us to an integration, needed for implementing successful social practice in human societies, involving complex human equations. The intensions of these authors are honourable but their proposals need to be based in practice & deep reflection on ancestral systems & the economic drivers within.
RE: Michael Lowy, “we must chart a new path forward, one that links with the myriad movements around the globe that share the conviction that a better world is not only possible, but also necessary.” First we need to address certain basic practices of ‘social’ (L. ‘socius’ = ‘friend’) approach. Each of us should be able to join with the local people, which we live & work among to create welcome & inclusion.
& in his Author’s Response, “Peruvian indigenous leader Hugo Blanco used to say, ‘We have been practicing ecosocialism for the last 5 centuries.’” For the last 500 years, First Nations have been refugees from the Zombie Apocalypse of European foreign invasion & destruction. Europeans need to understand how their own Celtic, Slavic & other indigenous ancestral heritage was crushed & destroyed by some 3000 years of oligarch-led colonial invasion starting with Assyrian, Greek, Roman & following invasions. We are basically not aware of our own deep injury & loss. All colonialists were ecological-economic refugees exported by multinational-based oligarchs for the purpose of occupation, divide, conquer, command & control. The abused became abusers, all the way back 7000 years ago to Babylon.
John Bellamy-Foster, “I find myself at odds with the approach of those among Löwy’s critics who promote an eco-localism” & “we are living in an age of planetary emergency and a Great Transition has to address the logic of capitalism itself.” The working logic of capitalism is found, as with other words, within its etymology, ‘cap’ = ‘head’ = ‘collective-intelligence’ based in the contribution, experience, expertise & decision-making-acumen of every contributing individual.
Karryn Higgs, “I place any hope I have in unstoppable public demand from a critical mass of people. In response to our inaction on climate, many of the children of Australia walked out of school in the end of November, despite rebukes from the Prime Minister, and they spoke with compelling passion.” The mass of the population, out-of-work & without resources are tending to join the monetary-capitalist class in resenting ‘demonstrations’ as for privileged people not contributing to solutions.
Mary Mellor, “Socialism must be not only green but also feminist—and that requires recognizing the importance of care work.” Which brings us back to indigenous balanced matriarch-patriarch systems expressed through the Economic Democracy of the Production-Society-Guild & time-based equivalency accounting for all Domestic-Industrial & Commercial contributions by female, male, young & old.
Giorgos Kallis, “Given that climate change is a global collective action problem, this hints to democratic ecological planning at a global scale.” We need to think ‘fractally’ ie in indigenous multipliers, building-blocks where the part-contains-the-whole. Hence the worldwide indigenous system of: 1) ~100 person Multihome-Dwelling-Complexes (eg. Longhouse-apartment, Pueblo-townhouse & Kanata-village), 2) String-shell time-based equivalency accounting (eg. Wampum, Quipu & Cowrie), 3) specialized Production-Society-Guild universal progressive-ownership, 4) Continental Graphic Character Writing-&-Sign-Language Systems, which enabled communication among many 100s of language groups on each continent, 5) Council-Process for research & dispute resolution, 6) Circle-Process meeting & decision-making etc.
Alex Khasnabish, “the one point where I am left wondering with respect to Löwy’s paper is the seeming presumption that the nation-state will remain the unit of organization and transition beyond our apocalyptic capitalist present.” Indigenous systems through the String-Shell & Production-Societies empowered an Economic-Democracy which transcended state (Bio-regions). The string-shell were sharing systems which transcended ‘national’ (‘naitre’ = ‘place where one is born’) state boundaries.
Ashish Kothari, “Ecosocialism must be rooted in a form of democracy that is direct and radical to protect against the predations of hierarchy.” Being founded in the primary economy of the ~100 person Multihome-Dwelling-Complex, each person was born into the equivalence of a multi-million dollar corporation with all the specialties needed to facilitate economic empowerment at all levels of human existence from family, multihome, village, city, region, nation, confederacy, continentally & hemispherically. Socialists need to understand indigenous cultural fractal economic mathematics.
Fred Magdoff, “Moreover, the people making the decisions, workers and people living in communities surrounding workplaces, will have to live with the results of their decisions.” Really we are all connected at every level of human existence spanning the planet, so thinking ‘culturally’ & ‘fractally’ outside the oligarch-run ‘metal-coin-money’ box in terms of the universal human common denominator of time is essential.
Simon Mair, “I am taken with the idea of a life-centered economy that we find in feminist-socialist works like Charlotte Perkins Gilman’s Herland and, more recently, Kathi Weeks’s The Problem with Work.” Yes see the worldwide constitutional framework of indigenous economy based on ‘human-kindness’.
Vishwas Satgar, “an ecosocialism fit for our times needs to self-critically reflect on the pitfalls of the socialist past”. Few are aware of the German financier Warburg who financed Lenin or the New-York-Stock-Exchange Schiff who financed Trotsky in turning Russia’s long cultivated community movement into a violent power-grabbing putsch, which was eventually mostly abandoned. (documentation gladly provided upon request).
20th & 21st CENTURY CONTRADICTIONS & CONFUSIONS ABOUT ECO-SOCIALISM
As someone involved for 55 years in involvement with (since my 11th year) & implementing Eco-socialism, I would like to point out a core hierarchal contradiction aka confusion, which I read into Michael Lowy’s paper on the Great-Transformation-Initiative & the responses. Lowy is repeating a pattern, which most socialist & even ecological thinkers unconsciously fall into entirely from institutional conditioning which they are not aware of. Colonial institutionalized Eco-Socialists are falling into the ‘exogenous’ (Latin ‘other-generated’) top-down trap of, “How would we design this system, if we were in power?”.
The real question, which we have before us is, “What do average individuals, corporations & societies do with the resources which we have at hand from the bottom-up in order to implement do-able solutions” Humanity needs to relearn about its suppressed ‘indigenous’ (Latin ‘self-generating’) ‘economic’ (Greek ‘oikos’ = ‘home’ + ‘namein’ = ‘care-&-nurture’) heritage, which colonialism has for the greater part institutionally erase from our memory. The problem arises from how colonized & colonizing people are thinking top-down vertically from the processes of hierarchal indoctrination found within our religious, educational, employment & political ‘exogenous’ (Latin ‘other-generated’) system. As such most don’t easily comprehend the once worldwide ‘indigenous’ lateral horizontal ‘fractal’ (‘multiplier, building-block where the-part-contains-the-whole’) system. As institutionalized peoples, we aren’t aware of our own enormous personal resources for transforming finance, economy, accounting, livelihood etc.
FRACTAL CULTURAL SYSTEMS (What we don’t know that; we know.)
At issue is a problem of oligarch-induced institutional amnesia for our ancient 100s of 1000s of years indigenous cultural heritage, as well as the perverted ways of ‘exogenous’ thinking we have been indoctrinated, taught, behaviour-modified, bullied & forced into. Many 19th century ‘community’ (L ‘com’ = ‘together’ + ‘munus’ = ‘gift-or-service’) researchers & authors such as Frederick Engels, Karl Marx & Petr Kropotkin actually understood much of the problem of cultural conditioning. Engels, Marx & Kropotkin wrote accurate descriptions of indigenous economy practices in such as ‘Origin of the Family, Private-Property & the State’ in the Light of the Researches of Lewis H. Morgan is an 1884 historical materialist treatise by Friedrich Engels. It is partially based on notes by Karl Marx to Lewis H. Morgan’s book Ancient Society. Ancient Society is based on Morgan’s many decades of living among the six nation ‘Haudenosaunee’ (Iroquois ‘People of the extended rafter / welcome’) First Nations of upstate New-York. Petr Kropotkin as a Russian geographer does an excellent description of indigenous economy in ‘Mutual-Aid, a factor of evolution’ (circa 1905).
When we study indigenous economy, we find do-able ‘bottom-up’ practices which lead to worldwide systematic comprehensive cultural ‘fractal’ economy at all levels of human association from the family, ~100 person multihome dwelling complex, village, city, region, nation, confederacy to continental & hemispheric councils.
These & several other 19th Century authors understood the exogenous problem of our institutional amnesia, as well as indigenous cultural solutions, but had trouble transmitting these cultural learnings in a climate of deepening European colonial institutionalization to a wider understanding. As the Canadian Marshall McLuhan clearly understood, ‘The Medium is the Message’ to say, ‘How-we-learn-determines-what-we-learn’. One can also say, ‘How we get there is where we get to’ or ‘The means determines the end’.
PUBLIC PROTESTS which Kerryn Higgs are confusing to the public because demonstrations aren’t public economic ‘manifestations’, for ‘becoming the change, which we want to see in the world’. Its not what we demand of governments but more about how each of us in our own lives lays the foundations for these changes at all levels through our kind, considerate inclusion & welcome of each other in our local economies. Indigenous Examples: Around the world indigenous peoples implemented practices such as the Iroquois ‘Kaianere:kowa’ (‘Great-good-way-of-kindness’ aka ‘Great-law-of-peace’ aka ‘Constitution’). In southern Africa the Nguni peoples call this ‘Ubuntu’ (‘Human-kindness’). India achieved independence or ‘Swaraj’ (Hindi ‘swa’ = ‘self’ + ‘raj’ = ‘rule’) through ‘Swadeshi’ (‘indigenous’ aka ‘self-sufficiency’). All over the world humanity’s indigenous practice cultivated the ~100 person multihome-dwelling-complex (eg. Longhouse-apartment, Pueblo-townhouse & Kanata-village) intergenerational, female-male, interdisciplinary critical-mass, economies-of-scale. The public has been quite confused because institutionalized socialists aren’t ‘walking-the-talk’, hence our message is not clear. We are not manifesting our message in our actions.
Hence Lowy & others make such as the following statements:
RE: “Democratic Ecological Planning, The core of ecosocialism is the concept of democratic ecological planning, wherein the population itself, not “the market” or a Politburo, make the main decisions about the economy.” Then “Ultimately, such a vision is irreconcilable with private control of the means of production and of the planning process.” & “Although ecosocialism is a fairly recent phenomenon, its intellectual roots can be traced back to Marx and Engels.”
Hence Lowry & most other authors have not understood Karl Marx’s ‘Das Kapital’, which is not a tome against Capitalism, but actually for the indigenous origins of ‘capital’ (L ‘cap’ = ‘head’ = ‘collective-intelligence’) based in the string-shell time-based equivalency accounting systems of all humanity’s indigenous ancestors. What Marx is against is the unjustified privilege of monetary-Capital, whereby the money-wealthy buy their way into governance. Those who have read Das Kapital will notice the length, which Marx goes into in order to describe capital’s origins from labour as calculated in time (life) functions of contribution. Participatory industries today employ Multistakeholder participatory time-based equivalency market-based accounting across Founder, Worker, Supplier & Consumer contributions. Each stakeholder group are organized in Associations represented on the Board of Directors, voting in terms of their contributions. When stakeholders contribute to for-profit Shares or non-profit MEM contribution & voting units, these are not taxed but considered as such as Employee Stock-Ownership-Savings-Plans or Registered-Retirement-Savings Plans.
RIGHT-VERSUS-LEFT COMPARED TO RIGHT-WITH-LEFT
The problem arises of understanding humanity’s institutional human amnesia & socialist ongoing reactions against ‘capitalism’, left versus right. The right is just as reactionary against what they don’t understand about the left. It takes both left & right wings to fly, yet both right & left insist on flapping about with one wing, complaining about the dysfunction of the other wing. Both are trying to capture ultimate power through government, because both don’t understand about how to “Become the change, we want to see in the world”. Both right & left are two dysfunctional exogenous colonial fragments of a once integrated indigenous whole. Mohandas Gandhi in this “Become the change” statement was describing India’s ‘Swadeshi’ (Hindi ‘indigenous’ aka ‘self-sufficiency’) movement to which he as an ‘activist’ lawyer, became an indigenous ‘animist’ citizen of transformation. Both right & left ‘socialism’ (L ‘socius’ = ‘friend’) carry essential factors to economic implementation, but are deficient unto themselves.
Both right & left are but the two incomplete but complementary sides of oligarch-owned ‘Metal-coin-money’. ‘Money’ (Greek ‘mnemosis’ = ‘memory’) from its origin as part of the integrated ‘String-shell’ (eg. Wampum, Quipu & Cowrie) time-based equivalency accounting value system joined all human economic values of: Capital, Currency, ‘Condolence’ (‘social-security’), Collegial mentored-apprentice educational Credit, time-math Communication, professional Costume & more. By working with an integrated accounting system of human recognition starting with Domestic contributions to the ~100 person multihome-dwelling-complex as well as economic sub-units of Industrial & Commercial contributions. All contributions were recognized-accounted-for, empowered & compensated-for. Mohandas Gandhi expresses this partly in a letter to a British governor, “Regard human-labour as more even than money, & you have an untapped & inexhaustible source of income, which ever increases with use.”
INDIGENOUS WELCOME & ECONOMIC INCLUSION
All humanity’s indigenous ancestors thus prided themselves on their welcome of the foreigner & stranger because they could say to the stranger, ‘Who are you? What are your talents, goods, services, resources & dreams?’ The stranger could be intimately & confidently integrated into the ~100 person multihome. This is the origin of the Iroquois ‘Haudenosaunee’ (‘People of the extended-rafters’ aka ‘welcome’) The stranger’s community gifts could thus be collectively assessed & integrated to enhance local intergenerational, female-male, critical-mass, interdisciplinary economies-of-scale.
LOCAL DOABLE PRACTICES TO ACHIEVE ECO-SOCIALISM
Our Indigene Community cohousing focus is on helping folks in existing urban neighbourhoods or rural villages, especially those in Multihome-Dwelling-Complexes to be able to work collaboratively. Multihomes are the missing ‘fractal’ of implementation needed for all of us to be able to engage. Indigene Community neighbourhood-economy software ‘Do-we-know-who-we-are-?’ is web-based, open-source, open-data, is about bringing ‘economy’ (Greek ‘oikos’ = ‘home’ + ‘namein’ = ‘care-&-nurture’) back to its intergenerational-interdisciplinary, female-male, critical-mass economies-of-scale roots in collective multihome. As our generation is retired, we might be considering integrated systems of community mutual-aid instead of disappearing segregated into an old-folks institution. Humanity’s worldwide universal long 100s of 1000s of years of multihome economic practice can be of great help to us. ‘Do-we-know-?’ reflects indigenous human resource traditions, in developing software for neighbourhoods to create websites with online Human Resource Catalogues HRC, Resource-mapping & accounting in Community, Contribution, Investment & Exchange Systems CCIES.
BOTH-SIDES-NOW, EQUAL-TIME, RECORDED & PUBLISHED DIALOGUE
Finally humanity needs its ancient indigenous Council-Processes or Dialectic Rights in order to be able to fairly arrive at Eco-Socialism. We need to admit how there is great censorship & suppression of popular thought from both the mainstream-media & internal functioning of most groups. In order to engage all society’s collective wisdom in collaborative research as well as the inevitable conflict resolution, we need processes among us at every level to formally dialogue with each other.
IGNORANT AGGRESSION BASED IN DELIBERATE MISINFORMATION. Whenever there’s conflict both at home & worldwide, we’ve two main choices to: 1) believe the finance-media-education-military-industrial-legislative-complex, demonize the other, armour ourselves against our perceived enemies, launch pre-emptive war & create hell, 2) engage the other in formal equal-time recorded & published dialogues. Mohandas Gandhi developed ‘Satyagraha’ (Hindi ‘truth-search’) based upon simultaneous inquiry with both parties in dispute or re-search asking “What are your best intentions & how can we help you fulfill these?”. Gandhi, “I can imagine a fully armed man to be at heart a coward. Possession of arms implies an element of fear, if not cowardice. But true non-violence is an impossibility without the possession of unadulterated fearlessness.” We need transparency in all levels of human interaction including military, government, education, business listening to both sides.
DIALECTIC RIGHTS We need to openly engage our own & other societies in dialectic solutions at home, school, media, business for all stakeholders. As Socrates proposed, dialectics (both-sided inquiry) should be the foundation of social & economic literacy. The west plays ‘Right-to-Protect’ game for 100s of colonial years keeping citizens in the dark staging many 100s of False Flag events, colonial invasion & genocide.
NO-WAR until we hear Both-Sides present in Equal-Time, Recorded & Published Debate. Most issues & events in our colonially manipulated & consumptive world aren’t as they appear.
Ona Gwe Waki (Mohawk, ‘Until next we meet’),
Douglas Jack, coordonnateur, Indigene Community, (Sustainable Development Association) Comité d’entraide Jardins-LaSalle-Gardens Mutual Aid Committee, Maison de / Home of Dialogue, 9662 Jean-Milot, LaSalle-Montreal (Kahnawake-north), Quebec H8R 1X9, Canada 514-365-9594 firstname.lastname@example.org Skype: douglas.jack4