|WHAT IS THE ONKWEHONWE DEMOCRATIC AGENDA?MNN. Feb. 25, 2007. We’ve been complaining about the top-down bureaucratic agenda of the colonizers. Do we have something to replace it? Yes we do. It’s called the Kaianerehkowa/Great Law of Peace. Our philosophy can build a society based on a better understanding of peace, power and righteousness. These words have meanings that are deeply rooted in our culture and completely different from the kinds of expectations they raise among the colonized. Our understanding of these concepts has nothing in common with the command and obedience model of predatory capitalism that exploits the ordinary people for the power and profit of a few. The new (colonial) world order is incompatible with a way of life based on the principles of fully informed consent and consensus in all our relationships.
For more than a thousand years we have had a participatory democracy. In an article by Stephen Lendman, in CounterCurrent.org entitled “Hugo Chavez’s Social Democratic Agenda”, he describes how Chavez has “constructed socialism from below”, built “from the base” in the communities”. He has found a way “to carry out the battle of ideas for the socialist project to rebuild Venezuelan society. He wants a coalition of smaller parties whose power comes from the communities.
Chavez wants to build 21st century socialism using state revenues to benefit people in new and innovative ways. He wants to give more power to the people at the grass roots level which he thinks is the way democracy should work.
There are presently 16,000 regional federations of Communal Councils organized across the country dealing with local issues. Each has 200 to 400 families. That number is expected to grow to 21,000 councils by year end 2007. “They are the key to people’s power”. This looks like the embryo of a new state, driven by the same basic philosophy of egalitarian human respect that underlies the Kaianerehkowa.
An intergovernmental fund for decentralization will distribute billions to these Councils in 2007. This is more than triple the amount allocated in 2006. If the people so chose, billions can be put into a “National Development Fund” for industrial development. Yellow journalism has been attacking this thinking. They put fear into people’s minds, calling it “nationalization”, which is a dirty word to capitalist colonial economies. Capitalism is really a one way road for the privileged few. Hostile rhetoric and outright attacks can be expected when true grass roots orthodoxies are ignored. Development of democratic programs look threatening to those who have violently struggled their way to the top of the old hierarchal heap.
As we assert our sovereignty, we have lots to think about. What can we Onkwehonwe do with all our land and resources and all the squatters who are here? The land still belongs to the Indigenous people and always will. All the resource revenues can be used to compensate the colonists fairly. The rest can be put towards rebuilding a safe and healthy environment.
U.S. and Canada will, of course, become irrelevant. The old hierarchies will cling to their delusional powers. They will keep their guns pointed at us and try to invent more lethal weapons. We’ll have to bring out the feathers and start tickling them so they get real. If they don’t, we might have to ask them to leave. They have legal obligations. They are violating the Geneva Accords. Their hysterical megalomania is getting them involved in serious violations. They risk being declared persona non grata worldwide.
With all the money from our land and resources, we could buy out the big corporations so that we have the major shares, say 40%, as Chavez is doing. The rest can be joint ventures with us. In other words, we want all these companies under the control of the people. The colonists can have shares after we take everything out of private control.
The money should be put back into our hands where it belongs, out of the hands of private for-profit bankers. We would invest it into worthwhile projects that meet our priorities and that will restore and protect the land so that the coming generations can be healthy, happy and prosperous. The days of genocide and exploitation are over. We must benefit most from our resource revenues and other businesses that provide essential services like public utilities. Clean drinking water and fresh air to breathe would be one of our top priority.
Private businesses will have to be transparent and abide by new standards of fairness. This will be a big adjustment for those who are used to having their way.
We will redefine and restructure our relationships. It goes without saying that Indian Affairs has to go. Communal power at the grass roots will be the order of the day. This is the basis of the post-colonial model. Kaianerehkowa can make this happen and can be the start of a real egalitarian and humanistic society.
All social structures will have to be reorganized. Selections of local officials, the economy, finance, banking, transportation, security, public safety and policies related to energy are part of this. There is no need for a top heavy governmental structure when everyone takes responsibility at all levels.
The current colonial bureaucracy will have to be dismantled. Some of it could be adjusted to the new reality. Corruption is a major problem and has to be eliminated. Social justice and economic independence will be based on equitable distribution of national wealth spent on health care, education and social security. Education is of utmost importance. Racism must be eliminated from all school curricula. Science and technology has to benefit all of the people. So must education, health, the environment, biodiversity, industry, quality of life and security. Financial sectors, including banking and insurance, will have to conform to the Kaianerehkowa. Responsibility has to be returned to the people so we can take charge of our own welfare.
Public health, rehabilitation, identification and migration regulations are all matters that we can deal with ourselves using the Kaianherehkowa methodology. We will not need a judiciary. We will be able to solve everything through consensus.
The people must control the energy sector including oil production. Private investors can still play a role. But it will be based on equitable joint ventures that include the people as decision makers, not just consumers.
Local, community and territorial organizations will be set up. The principles of the Kaianerekowa will inform all our relationships. As long as representatives are carrying out the will and the wishes of the people, they may remain in their positions. All procedures and decision making must be public and the work of all administrative officials will be subject to constant review. They can be removed from office if they do not follow the people’s directions or heed our warnings. All must be given the experience of being a representative so that we can all learn how to help the people. It is important for us to learn how difficult it is to serve.
We cannot give anyone power to harm civil or human rights of our people or even of our opponents.
We will conduct all relations with other countries. Colonial states squatting on our land do not represent us.
We will not expropriate private property. Right of occupancy can be given to people. The land continues to belong as it always has to the Onkwehonwe.
The last days of the colonial system are at hand. Democracy and colonialism cannot coexist. Colonialism is a military or civilian “dictatorship” derived from a combination of isolation, overarching greed and an attempt to pull local and global forces together to control all the people and the resources of the world.
Savage capitalism is fighting to stay alive. It is putting colonial nations on the tipping edge of fascism. It combines elements of corporatism, patriotism, nationalism and the delusion of an Almighty-directed mission while pursuing an iron-fisted militarist agenda, with thugs like “Homeland Security” enforcers that are illegally spying on everyone. In this system everything is for sale to the few who can pay.
Under our system things will be distributed fairly. No one will become desperate enough to want to sell their soul to the devil.
Colonialism is out of date, illegal and so yesterday. No longer will the armies oppress and kill for the key resources, markets and cheap labor where “might makes right” and any difference of opinion will not be tolerated. We will challenge them even though we place ourselves in jeopardy such as being made public enemy number one marked for elimination.
Our youth are precious to us. The Los Angeles Times did a story about “A wildly successful Venezuelan program that makes musical instruments and training available, free of charge, to all children”. This gives the children something constructive to do, in contrast to the U.S. model which struggles to keep guns out of the hands of kids. Chavez created a musical education program called “El Sisterna” which serves 500,000 children from all strata of society getting training at more than 120 centers around the country. From it more than 200 youth orchestras have been created. Training in music is a known way to develop math skills in the young to prepare them later for professional training.
Suddenly crime control isn’t even a problem on the horizon. It is less expensive than the multi-billion dollars state-sponsored iron-fisted prison system and militarist Homeland Security “thuggery”. Instead of punishing youth, they are inspired. As the author, Paul Cummins, put it, “We reap what we sow, and we don’t harvest what we don’t plant”.
We have always been free. No one can take our freedom from us. Many of those who come from repressive societies are unable to see a bottom-up model of relationships. We have shown that we cannot be oppressed. We have always resisted enslavement.
Another issue is homelessness. We will offer street people communal housing, drug treatment and a modest income. We cannot allow a single child or a single beggar to live on the street. We must guide our homeless to shelters and rehabilitation centers that provide medical and psychological care. They can do community service work. We have to stop planned public neglect that favors private sector gain and disinterest in educating poor inner-city children who are discarded like debris by an uncaring colonial state.
Homelessness highlights the savage effects of capitalism. It is the result of one-way wealth distribution that siphons everything upwards except for a few crumbs that are handed to the middle class while nothing goes to the millions on the bottom though they are the most in need. They all hope we will just go away. We won’t. Neither will our needs. We come from a participatory tradition which can eliminate the greedy fantasies of colonialism.
Free expression is part of an open democratic society. No more secrecy or lies. No more corporate media support for capitalists and colonial states. No more thought-control police to mock our efforts at free expression which is vital to a healthy transition from tyranny to democracy. The “thought police” doesn’t want us to say what is on our minds. They don’t want us to think. We can and will do it because the Kaianerehkowa mandates it. Hugo Chavez of Venezuela and others to the South are being empowered by the people to get back on the natural path that has always been there, for us and for everyone. Chavez is doing it without a war and without global interference. We can do it too.
MNN Mohawk Nation News
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