Sunday, February 5, 2017

Indigenous people are fighting for all of us. And It's not Just at Standing Rock

As we can see, it is not only here in the US that indigenous people are fighting to reverse private property in land. For capitalism, land is a commodity, it can belong to individuals and as we see here, corporations. 

With its development in Britain and driving of the peasantry from what little land they had left under feudalism, the peasant became the "free" worker,a  human being that owns nothing except their ability to work. Capitalism liberates the human being from their means of subsistence and their instruments of labor. We possess nothing but our labor power, our ability to work under the direction of the capitalist class of course.

Like with the concept of freedom, language means different things depending who is speaking. For the capitalist a "productive" worker is one whose labor power in use over a period time yields surplus value, value above what the capitalist pays for it. That is why social work is not valued, it is not productive from the capitalist's point of view.

When indigenous people are talking about taking back their land they are not talking about possessing it in the way a capitalist or rural landlord would, like those that sold this land to a corporation or the investors that own this corporation. They are talking about the land being a collective product, a gift of nature not a commodity to exploit short term.

The closer one is to the land the more nature is understood. Capitalism is an urban industrial system. It has made great improvements in how humans can live on this earth. We have the resources to end poverty and hunger, but capitalism will not, it can not. Unlike people of a different era who may have starved through drought, disease or other natural phenomena, in capitalist society we starve among plenty, die of diseases long ago cured because we don't have the money to buy the drugs that capitalism has developed that can cure them. It is a wasteful, destructive system.

We don't throw out the baby with the bathwater, we take the great advancements capitalism has made and decide collectively how best to use them. We decide how best to interact with nature in harmony not through the rapacious quest for surplus vale. Collectively humanity will prosper and we can develop as real free human beings

It is a good thing the indigenous peoples, often on the margins of capitalist society, are leading a global struggle against capitalism and for the land that we so desperately need if we are to survive on this planet.

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