On the news today: “THE NORMALIZATION OF DEHUMANIZATION: Dehumanization is what permits genocide, land theft, slavery, segregation, discrimination, etc: Washington Redskins win trademark fight over the team’s name” Is it a coincidence, that I’m about to publish this article?
The following article is an attempt to contribute to the education and awareness inherent to La Senda Verde, from a perspective I happen to be fond of which is that of the ancestral native philosophy.
Everyone that gets involved with La Senda Verde, myself included; that is volunteers, workers, visitors and donors, begin to develop a sense of raised awareness about the meaning and purpose of life, that comes in a series of life teachings.
One of those teachings, for example, is that animals make us more human. To learn that animals are not objects has been one of core elements in the permanent educational campaigns carried out by La Senda Verde, and is something the animals have had to teach us through their suffering. This leads to a teaching about love. Loving another living being is not having it in a cage and forcing him to be ready available for our selfish disposition. Loving is doing what’s best for the loved one.
Animals also teach us to be more human when we interact with them, they show us different ways of communicating; that everyone and everything has feelings and that no being is more important than the other.
Another of the great teachings that come with La Senda Verde is the one that creates awareness about the destruction of the planet and nature. It’s not the same reading the newspapers about tropical forest loss than having to rehabilitate and shelter an animal victim of an actual event of quick, massive deforestation in which he was abandoned by his mother.
Mobilizing many people to volunteer and raise funds for months to build a large enclosure for a deer and as you are finishing the construction, to receive another deer, is an intense reminder of what’s going on. It’s not the same thing reading about a war than being in it, and we’re all in it, Senda Verde again a reminder. It’s a war against life, and everyone that passes through la Senda Verde gets it pretty clear.
Who is it to blame? Human beings! I hear people saying, and it’s not true. It is here where I hope my contribution may be pertinent. I don’t want it to be limited to the semantic definition and content of the word “human”, but in part it is an observation about the use of such word and the contribution lies in informing the reader about another definition of what a human being means and is.
Modern education (and the accompanying lack of it) parts from a project of domination (of which ecocide is a consequence) for which science (its science) is a fundamental part (the way it is used) of the dogma that articulates a homogeneous and orthodox narrative from which few escape.
This narrative is constrained by written history that according to this same narrative is the only valid evidence to what we can call human kind and use to define a human being. Beyond that there’s only a Darwinian fantasy where we imagine humans being savage and hairy people living in caves and that do not deserve the “human” trait. But this is false.
There are many “uncomfortable” evidences of the existence of civilizations and “humans” that thrived for long periods before the 5,000 years of written history. This is important to have in mind since we can’t limit the definition of what’s “human” to this recent stronghold of history. If we are to see humans as a species, then it’s a species who’s civilizational (ways of communitarian organization) horizon extends far beyond this modernly recognized and validated time limit.
All of these civilizations of which we know very little, cannot be included into the modern appraisal that humans are inherently selfish, destructive, foreign to nature and incapable of harmoniously living in it. Until here I hope to make a point, but there is another one with far worse implications.
In the present, living alongside these humans (us) where being inhuman is a natural thing, is a periphery where true “human beings” still live and are in danger of extinction. Them we can really call humans, because not only are they more human (less inhuman), but they have a well sustained and defined concept of what being a human means.
This fate they face in all conceivable ways, the most far away communities resist genocide trough being pushed away from their lands rich in natural resources. Bolivian examples of this are TIPNIS, Madidi, the Tariquía reserve and many other indigenous territories if not all of them. At the same time and along with all the other communities that are not so deep in nature, we face extinction by way of epistemicide, cultural absorption and syncretism, amongst others. It is to say, we are educated to be inhuman and to see this behavior as part of natural human behavior.
What does being a human really mean? As the Jaq’i, the Runa, the Andean men an women, and go ahead and study what these words and concepts mean. I assure you that many gates will open to an “education” far broader than the stuff they feed us from the agenda of the “capital fetiche”. You will discover in this path the answers to many questions, and you will be forced to recognize that you believed in many lies. One of the biggest barriers to follow this path is racism (including subjective, low-impact racism and self-racism), which is no more than a behavior that has been purposely rooted in modern society.
I make this suggestion as vital for the modification of an education that leads us to perpetuate and repeat an inhuman agenda; one that is provoking the extinction of all living species in the planet, including the human species; the true human species that lives in harmony with nature and where vices and evil are not part of its nature, rather, symptoms of its terminal disease.