Dave Pollard writing at how to save the world:
Colonization is a loaded word, depending on whether you are the colonizer or the colonized. Throughout the history of our civilization, colonizers (imperialists, conquistadors, missionaries and, most recently, globalization corporatists) have asserted that colonized people were “savages” who needed external rule imposed on them “for their own good”. It matters little whether such assertions were honest, well-intentioned and misguided, or blatant excuses for theft, murder and oppression. The whole world is now substantially a single homogeneous colony, a single culture imposed and enforced by political and media propaganda, economic coercion, and of course, brute force.
The world “colonize” is from the Latin (whose speakers were accomplished at it) meaning “to inhabit, settle, farm and cultivate”. This definition carries no pretense of doing anything for the benefit of the “colonized” peoples. It just means taking over the land and resources, with or without violence and displacement. The words “culture” and “cultivate” also referred strictly to farming activities until, a mere two centuries ago, their meaning was expanded to include the intellectual, political, economic and social activities of civilization.
Such is the malleability of the human mind and conscience, that colonization occurs, to a greater or lesser extent, at four different levels, and the fact that the more interior forms of colonization are less obvious and often sub-conscious merely makes them, and their effect, more insidious. The four levels, depicted in the chart above, are, reading from the outside-in:
- External colonization — where people from one land move into and colonize another land (e.g. various recent invasions of Afghanistan; NAFTA)
- Internal colonization — where a dominant culture undermines and exterminates another culture within the same area (e.g. the ongoing brutality that the dominant European culture subjects indigenous peoples to, worldwide)
- Self-colonization — where a group of people undermines and exterminates diversity within their own culture (e.g. McCarthyism, groupthink and hazing)
- Personal colonization — where an individual molds her/himself to better fit in with her/his group and/or culture
External colonization historically occurred when there was insufficient land to sustain a group. Boundaries were tested, and, in Darwinian fashion, the conflict was resolved in favour of the “fittest” — not the strongest, necessarily, but the group that could best “fit” themselves to the types of food and the carrying capacity of the disputed land. Most such conflicts were won by the incumbents, since they “knew” the land better, and since an easier solution for the invading group would be to manage their own numbers to adapt to the carrying capacity of the land they already were familiar with. The same is true for most wild species — it is in the best interests of all-life-on-Earth to avoid massive conflicts and instability, while introducing new variations that, in some cases, will improve “fitness” and resilience, even though they may create a temporary disequilibrium. Resilience is optimized by diversity, which is why, in the absence of catastrophe, evolution tends towards greater complexity and variety of life forms and “cultures”.
Sometimes, however, there are major natural catastrophes that produce sudden changes and extinctions, that may take a long time to find equilibrium again. The fifth great extinction, 65 million years ago, was the result of a massive meteor collision with Earth, which extinguished most of the life-forms on our planet and made possible the emergence of our weak and ill-equipped (relative to the dinosaurs) species. Then, some other unknown event about a million or so years ago knocked the Earth slightly off its axis and precipitated the Ice Ages. Our species’ (brilliant) response to this catastrophe was to invent hunting tools (the invention of the arrowhead and spear marked the dawn of the sixth great extinction), agriculture and civilization. And with these inventions came explosive population growth and the need for colonization. This colonization was assisted (and made more violent) by the discovery that our hunting tools could also be used as weapons against our own species. As our numbers continued to explode beyond sustainable limits, violent land conflicts accelerated. And as our inventions allowed us to move much faster much more easily and learn about life elsewhere, we discovered the need for “preemptive” colonization to prevent the peoples who might resent our invasion of them, or covet our wealth, from attempting to attack us. We also learned that we could colonize without physically occupying the land of the colonized — we could colonize economically or (with nukes or drones) militarily.
With the growth of civilization, colonization became the major economic activity of our species, and it has remained so ever since. But now that we’ve run out of new places to colonize (and space will, despite the dreams of the technophiles, never be colonized by our species, though the bacteria are likely to succeed at it). And, while we continue to recolonize areas that refuse to accept the dominant culture, we are now struggling with the challenge of dealing with the colonized survivors who cannot or will not “fit” into our culture. A popular solution to this challenge has been to exterminate them, and the number of languages disappearing every year on our planet attests to our success at this solution. Physically non-violent attempts at internal colonization, however, have been less successful. As convenient as it may be to blame indigenous peoples for the high rates of suicide, substance addiction, violent crime and unemployment in many of their internal communities and in our cities, these are all artifacts of internal colonization, the failed attempt to force people to adapt to a culture that is not, and can never be, theirs.
The way in which our civilization culture maintains internal order is through the exploitation of self-colonization. With the advent of language, and hence the ability to propagandize through control of the education systems and media, we can effectively allow groups to colonize themselves, to force their members to conform or be socially, politically, legally and/or economically ostracized. At this level it is no longer land that is the battleground of colonization, it is the real estate of the mind.
Read more here.