Bolivian farmers demand a more useful dichotomy than Western vs. tribal
Archeological evidence seems to conclusively prove that Amerind tribes
extinguished several species including the mammoth, proto-horses, large
sloths and many others, as did the Maoris in New Zealand and any other
tribe with the technical wherewithal. The evidence certainly supports
most of Rich Molini's position.
If Steve Diver had left out "Western Mind" as a label, then we could all
probably agree that an "paradigm" of rampant
>> individualism and extraction of natural resources with the aim of
>> short-term economic gain at the expense of the common good.
is obviously bad and that philosophies based on
>> based on community ethics and
>> long-term environmental awareness.
Western minds created the notion that "tribal minds are one with nature"
as a way of reacting against rampant individualism and wanton pillage of
natural resources for short-term profits.
As non-Western minds at Mitsubishi and various Indonesian conglomerates
become very adept at destructive mining, destroying rainforests and
colonialism, we must find more productive solutions than trying to deepen
Western guilt. Every race, every tribe has plenty of guilt on this
score. The witch hunt for the most guilty race/culture is tilting at
Most Bolivian farmers I met in Santa Cruz and on the Altiplano were eager
for any technology which would put more food on their tables and more
money in their pockets. Chemical companies were actively spreading their
wares and naive farmers were poisoning their children's water. A more
relevant dichotomy for Bolivian farmers (instead of Western vs. tribal)
is biocontrol and IPM versus pre-emerge chemicals.
On a more interesting topic, does anyone have information on successes of
biocontrol by insects of spotted knapweed in Montana and leafy spurge in
North Dakota? I'm hearing tales of resounding successes. True?
Jim Worstell, Coordinator
Delta Enterprise Network
Almyra, Arkansas, U.S.A. 72003
Ph: +501-673-7219; Fax: +501-673-7219
Steve Diver wrote:
> While I respect the instrumental work of Colorado
> researchers to adapt quinoa to North American farms, I agree with the
> Bolivian farmers and RAFI on the topic of biopiracy.
> Biopiracy is a product of Western Science and Technology. More
> importantly, it is rooted in Western Mind, whose paradigm is
> individualism and extraction of natural resources with the aim of
> short-term economic gain at the expense of the common good.
> In contrast, Tribal Mind is based on community ethics and
> long-term environmental awareness.
> I became aware of these two paradigms on a recent trip to
> India, after visiting tribal villages that were (as are many Native
> Americans, African Americans, and indigenous peoples around
> the world) culturally displaced by dominant European colonialism.
> For a revealing insight, read Winin Pereria's book, whose titles
> says it all...."Global Parasites: 500 Years of Western Culture",
> available from The Other India Press.
> Western Mind, it should be noted, is not just about white people
> from the North. It is a frame of mind that results in actions that
> threaten the planet and its peoples.
> Sadly, corrupt governments and industrialists of the resource-rich
> two-thirds world have happily adopted Western Mind think, and
> are reaping their individual rewards while fellow citizens, wildlife,
> and plant-based ecosystems are suffering in misery.
> Globalization, which many are realizing is so destructive, is a
> product of Western Mind.
> I am hopeful, however, in the many alternative models that are
> emerging from the visionary movements such as spiritual ecology,
> permaculture, and sustainable agriculture in general.
> Some of the paradigm shifters that come to mind include the
> partnership model that Riane Eisler talks about in "The Chalice
> and The Blade", and from a macro socio-economic perspective, the
> Progressive Utilization Theory, or PROUT, propounded by the Indian
> scholar and philosopher, P.R. Sarkar.
> Steve Diver
Rich Molini wrote:
All human cultures through the ages have utilized nature for their own
special needs and have had detrimental impacts. There were however
simply not enough people to produce significant irreversible
destruction. They simply moved on to the next inviting location and the
original had a chance to recover. Native Americans, eastern Indians,
Inuit, Africans, Asians, Mesopotamians, etc all contributed to the
degradation of the natural environment. What you term "western mind" has
no monopoly on raping nature nor advancing technology. All early
cultures were in fact "close to the natural systems". We would be too if
we didn't have a substantial roof over our heads and electricity. I
think we can be much more productive looking for solutions rather than
casting disparaging remarks about cultures and what they produced or who
is to blame. We are all responsible. Tribal-Schmibal.