“Western civilization’ is neither.”
– Cedric Robinson
Recent evidence suggests that people have lived on North America for over 130,000 years. This should give us perspective on some of the problems we face and on the absurd claims that things can’t change, even as they have. We need to reconsider what we mean by human nature.
Any effort to change the world, confronts the same argument: Things can’t change because human nature won’t allow it. People, we are told, are innately acquisitive and hierarchical, unable to go beyond these limits. Hope for a decent society is doomed by these limitations. This line of unreason has its roots on these shores.
When Columbus landed in what is now the Caribbean, probably on Haiti, this unimagined place was called the “New World.” Perhaps it’s not surprising. Knowing nothing about the area, Europeans assumed there was nothing to know.
It’s called the “New World,” even today. This latest research shows how wrongheaded a conception this is.
It was not and is not a “new” world. It has ancient roots, which we should learn from and respect.
People here developed ways of living together and of living on Mother Earth that Europeans and their descendants have never achieved. If anything, “Western civilization” has gotten worse since Columbus’s fateful landing.
The Original People of Turtle Island (Turtle Island is the earliest name for what is now called North America) might help save the planet’s “civilizations” from annihilation, if the rest of humanity can learn them in time.
Ancient societies here developed ways of living that European newcomers have only strived for – with little success, so far.
Indigenous people lived in basically classless societies. Property was communally owned. Women had real power. And people were able to make up their own minds. They lived this way for thousands of years – until Columbus.
If people lived this way for thousands of years, the argument that human nature won’t permit it is fatally undermined. The “New World’s” ancient roots attest to the vast possibilities we humans have.