Thursday, August 28, 2014

Russell Means — "For America to Live, Europe Must Die"

It takes a strong effort on the part of each American Indian not to become Europeanized. The strength for this effort can only come from the traditional ways, the traditional values that our elders retain. It must come from the hoop, the four directions, the relations: it cannot come from the pages of a book or a thousand books. No European can ever teach a Lakota to be Lakota, a Hopi to be Hopi. A master's degree in "Indian Studies" or in "education" or in anything else cannot make a person into a human being or provide knowledge into traditional ways. It can only make you into a mental European, an outsider.

I should be clear about something here, because there seems to be some confusion about it. When I speak of Europeans or mental Europeans, I'm not allowing for false distinctions. I'm not saying that on the one hand there are the by-products of a few thousand years of genocidal, reactionary, European intellectual development which is bad; and on the other hand there is some new revolutionary intellectual development which is good. I'm referring here to the so-called theories of Marxism and anarchism and "leftism" in general. I don't believe these theories can be separated from the rest of the of the European intellectual tradition. It's really just the same old song....
Being is a spiritual proposition. Gaining is a material act. Traditionally, American Indians have always attempted to be the best people they could. Part of that spiritual process was and is to give away wealth, to discard wealth in order not to gain. Material gain is an indicator of false status among traditional people, while it is "proof that the system works" to Europeans. Clearly, there are two completely opposing views at issue here, and Marxism is very far over to the other side from the American Indian view. But let's look at a major implication of this; it is not merely an intellectual debate. The European materialist tradition of despiritualizing the universe is very similar to the mental process which goes into dehumanizing another person...
In terms of the despiritualization of the universe, the mental process works so that it becomes virtuous to destroy the planet. Terms like progress and development are used as cover words here, the way victory and freedom are used to justify butchery in the dehumanization process. For example, a real-estate speculator may refer to "developing" a parcel of ground by opening a gravel quarry; development here means total, permanent destruction, with the earth itself removed. But European logic has gained a few tons of gravel with which more land can be "developed" through the construction of road beds. Ultimately, the whole universe is open--in the European view--to this sort of insanity....
Most important here, perhaps, is the fact that Europeans feel no sense of loss in all this. After all, their philosophers have despiritualized reality, so there is no satisfaction (for them) to be gained in simply observing the wonder of a mountain or a lake or a people in being....
There's a rule of thumb which can be applied here. You cannot judge the real nature of a European revolutionary doctrine on the basis of the changes it proposes to make within the European power structure and society. You can only judge it by the effects it will have on non-European peoples. This is because every revolution in European history has served to reinforce Europe's tendencies and abilities to export destruction to other peoples, other cultures and the environment itself. I defy anyone to point out an example where this is not true....
I do not believe that capitalism itself is really responsible for the situation in which American Indians have been declared a national sacrifice. No, it is the European tradition; European culture itself is responsible. Marxism is just the latest continuation of this tradition, not a solution to it. To ally with Marxism is to ally with the very same forces that declare us an acceptable cost.

There is another way. There is the traditional Lakota way and the ways of the American Indian peoples. It is the way that knows that humans do not have the right to degrade Mother Earth, that there are forces beyond anything the European mind has conceived, that humans must be in harmony with all relations or the relations will eventually eliminate the disharmony. A lopsided emphasis on humans by humans--the Europeans' arrogance of acting as though they were beyond the nature of all related things--can only result in a total disharmony and a readjustment which cuts arrogant humans down to size, gives them a taste of that reality beyond their grasp or control and restores the harmony. There is no need for a revolutionary theory to bring this about; it's beyond human control. The nature peoples of this planet know this and so they do not theorize about it. Theory is an abstract; our knowledge is real....
At this point, perhaps I should be very clear about another matter, one which should already be clear as a result of what I've said. But confusion breeds easily these days, so I want to hammer home this point. When I use the term European, I'm not referring to a skin color or a particular genetic structure. What I'm referring to is a mind-set, a worldview that is a product of the development of European culture. People are not genetically encoded to hold this outlook; they are acculturated to hold it. The same is true for American Indians or for the members of any culture. 
It is possible for an American Indian to share European values, a European worldview. We have a term for these people; we call them "apples"--red on the outside (genetics) and white on the inside (their values). Other groups have similar terms: Blacks have their "oreos"; Hispanos have "Coconuts" and so on. And, as I said before, there are exceptions to the white norm: people who are white on the outside, but not white inside. I'm not sure what term should be applied to them other than "human beings."...
Black Hawk Productions
"For America to Live, Europe Must Die"
Russell Means | Lakota Sioux

See also, THE SOUL OF THE INDIAN: An Interpretation by Charles Alexander Eastman (Ohiyesa) at Project Gutenberg. Also download at archive.org.

17 comments:

Unknown said...

a pretty racist rant.

Ryan Harris said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Matt Franko said...

"so there is no satisfaction (for them) to be gained in simply observing the wonder of a mountain or a lake..."

Well we Europeans are taught that we have been created in the image (eikon: replication) of God...

"For a man, indeed, ought not to be covering his head, being inherently the image and glory of God" 1 Cor 11:7

So would it not be unreasonable to think that we would often be seen as more interested in our own creations rather than His?

A big building rather than "a mountain", a huge hydroelectric dam rather than "a lake"? These are OUR creations, not His...

Is it not unreasonable for many among us to often be seen as more concerned with what WE are creating? If we are indeed created in His "image"? What else are we supposed to do?

rsp,

Ryan Harris said...

The Europeans/Americans inflicted a well documented genocide on native americans for nearly 400 years. It isn't ancient history either, with almost 25% of native american women being sterilized without their consent by BIA health centers as late as 1980s. You don't have to look very hard to talk to women today who woke up at a government health center without a uterus. So yes, their rhetoric is radical, but entirely justified. The government that operates with our consent tried to snuff these people out but they are the racist ones? Right.

These aren't controversial or debatable facts, google "native sterilization", google "BIA eugenics" and learn about what the US government has finally, after centuries, openly admitted their crimes. Before Reagan, it was mostly under the radar of the popular imagination.

It isn't that the US position isn't understandable by Native Americans, Matt. The problem was that the US government setup a program where they were systematically exterminating natives so for a person in the frame of reference where they are being exterminated, the only possible way to survive is to subvert the system that is killing them. It was no longer about right or wrong but the basic necessity of staying alive. That is why the writing sounds threatening and radical because they aren't writing from a place that most Americans understand exists in the country.

Tom Hickey said...

For an articulation of Russell Means's worldview, called "the Red Path," see Ohiyesa's The Soul of an Indian, to which I linked in the post. See also, The Gospel of the Redman: A Way of Life, by Ernest and Julia Seton (PDF), and The Way of the Hopi, by Frank Waters. It's available used for a penny plus postage.

This explains way many Native Americans have resisted assimilation, and gives a glimpse into the issues involved in the assimilation of other tribal people.

Recall that both the Hebrew Scriptures and the Qur'an were prophecies of tribal people also, and that the orthodox among these traditions also refuse to assimilate. Even in Christianity, the Amish, Mennonites and other "apostolic Christians" also refuse to assimilate.

Tribalism is the ancient sense is locked in a gigantic struggle with Western civilization in the process of globalization under neoliberalism.

This is one of the big issues of the 21st century. I don't see Western civilization conquering the world and imposing itself globally without being profoundly influenced also. The world is now the melting pot rather than America as previously.

Unknown said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Tom Hickey said...

To be sure, there is a lot anti-white sentiment in the world, which can certainly be characterized as "racism." Since the white population is in decline, even in its strongholds, that should be a reason for whites to rethink their views based on demographics rather than doubling down on their own perceived superiority and consequent right to dominate and force assimilation. Given the present demographic trend this is going to end badly for whites, unless they resort to genocide — again.

Roger Erickson said...

There are a lot of points unnecessarily conflated in Russell Means article as well as in the comments above.

1) Tribal methods were practiced worldwide until very recently. They were, and largely, remain, the pinnacle of human cultural methods for millennia.

2) Population density simply overwhelms tribal methods. Humans simply have not yet worked out methods for continuing tribal values to supra-tribal population levels. We're trying, but it simply is not an easy task.

3) Europeans?
a) Europe is NOT homogenous.
("Tribal" groups from the Sami to the Basque remain. More than Means apparently knows of.)

4) We forget that all European tribes recently underwent similar assimilation. It's inevitable, just as distinct tribes, large & small, mixed throughout history to form novel tribes and languages. The task is how to move forward. We can't go back.

5) The Judeo/Christian Book of Genesis is a very similar rant about giving up tribal nomad life for farming. They haven't made it back to the garden of eden yet, no matter how much both groups bomb people who get in their way. :(

6) Judeo/Christian conventions are NOT European in origin. They are Middle Eastern syntheses attempting to rationalize the transition from tribal to supra-tribal cultural organization.

7) He doesn't mention another clash, based on completely separate parameters. That's the clash between the Indo-Aryan tribes who were evolved to "sparse-population" habits vs more social tribes adapted to slightly higher population density. There are still ongoing frictions as new Aryan technical methods (e.g., lactose tolerance, dairy) continue to allow their small numbers to spread out and overwhelm the larger-population tribes scattered across 1st Europe, then the Americas & Australia. Aryans keep wanting more land, but can't escape their own numbers, let alone others.
To many "tribal" people around the world, "white people" act like the solitary Polar Bears of the human species - i.e., they're ornery, violent, and like lots of personal & family space.

So events of the last 4000 years have been dominated by the interplay of sexual as well as cultural recombination.

Still, all this is past & rapidly ongoing. We're all quickly evolving into something new & different. The question for Russell Means is where all variants of humans can now go, since we're going there together.

To repeat, none of us can go back.

Matt Franko said...

Well if we sit around all day looking at a lake pretty soon all of us are going to starve.... rsp,

Matt Franko said...

" Judeo/Christian conventions are NOT European in origin."

Roger, Paul went to Europe, Europe didnt go to Paul....

rsp,

Malmo's Ghost said...

I don't believe there's much anti white sentiment among higher IQ folks, no matter what race they belong to. Also, I think, by far, the most virulent anti white sentiment is found in the black community in America. There's also a smattering of self hating white liberals, but they are fringe. Most American Indians are not stridently anti white either, especially in comparison to blacks. Hispanics, in general, have little antipathy towards whites too. Their European ancestry augers against that kind of hate. All in all I have little worry about a world of whites battling everyone else on account of race (religious and political ideologies are another matter). Tempest in a teapot.

Tom Hickey said...

There is a difference between hatred and prejudice. There is a lot more ethnic and nationalistic prejudice in the world than most people think or are aware of personally. I have lived long enough to find that out.

It is usually under the surface but when the context heats up, so does prejudice and it can easily manifest as hate under mob conditions.

This is going to be a challenging overcoming in the integration process now taking place worldwide. The oncoming generations will make the difference. So far they seem to be dealing with it pretty well as far as I can tell.

Malmo's Ghost said...

All the world, black, brown and yellow come to America in droves. Hispanics find it a safe haven of safe havens. Those aren't the actions of virulent anti white sentiments. Now, I will say that whites harbor anti everybody else feelings, much of which is based on race. I don't believe whites are particularly fond of the melting pot and it's multicultural implications either. In fact, I think multiculturalism is completely unworkable. Common culture is tried and true, and unfortunately a multicultural country will be ultimately balkanized and internally violent whether along racial, ideological or religious lines. Tossed salad cultures are sadly inherently unstable.

Matt Franko said...

"All the world, black, brown and yellow come to America in droves."

right!... and even if they dont come here they are also like zombies for USDs.... what's up with this?????

rsp,

Tom Hickey said...

Western dominance has made living in the West and using Western capital and currency desirable. IN the end, this will rebound on the West for hogging the pie rather than creating a system for the benefit of all. Look at who — the few — that own the bulk of the world's financial and real wealth.

It's obscene and appears to be psychopathological, especially when viewed in the entire social, political and economic context. The upshot is that Western elites have concluded that they need the strongest military alliance ever assembled to maintain and extend global dominance.

Long John said...

Why did you skip the best part of the speech where it talks about the dehumanization process?

I ask this as someone who was present when Russell gave the speech in 1980 ....

atila said...

Russell means was a spiritual man of greatness
Gandhi was a pedophile
mother Teresa was a greedy corrupt fraud
Mandela was a sadist necklacing egotist
Hitler was a jew
Jesus is the son of God