In the introduction to my personal blog Skookum, I note that the milieu I inhabit is intimately acquainted with the forces organized to prevent social inclusion and to subvert attempts to reestablish democracy in the Americas. The interruption of democratic governance, that began with the European invasions, has now lasted so long that only the intact indigenous nations have preserved its memory. For most of us, it remains a vague theory.
Some of our European descendants have tried over the centuries to depose the aristocracies established as the successors to European colonial tyrants, but mostly we’ve merely ameliorated some of their worst practices–like genocide and slavery. Even so, we’ve managed to pick up a few pointers on self-governance from the Fourth World, although we have a long way to go in institutionalizing cooperation, conservation and reciprocity.
As such, the individuals involved in protecting this nascent process function as informal guardians of those who are regularly punished for their good deeds. Until the Americas become societies where our best and brightest are honored and nurtured — rather than marginalized and deprived — there will be a need to shield the good-hearted from the poisonous ideas and ruthless brutality of those who abuse power in our countries.
It is my intent that the ideas expressed in the discussions hosted on Skookum — and I’m sure this applies to Intercontinental Cry as well — will serve as shields for those who choose to act on their conscience to create a better world. Whether that’s in Occupy encampments or in protests outside the closed doors of the UN, those who demand the opportunity to exercise the responsibilities of self-determination through genuine democratic governance have our admiration and support.
After all, we’ve been talking about the value of democracy for so long, doesn’t it seem like we actually ought to give it a try?