Tuesday, August 10, 2010

colonization from without and from within

howtosavetheworld | 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:

1. External colonization — where people from one land move into and colonize another land (e.g. various recent invasions of Afghanistan; NAFTA)
2. 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)
3. Self-colonization — where a group of people undermines and exterminates diversity within their own culture (e.g. McCarthyism, groupthink and hazing)
4. Personal colonization — where an individual molds her/himself to better fit in with her/his group and/or culture. Fist tap Dale.

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