Before we were civilized

This quote from the Lakota philosopher John Fire Lame Deer speaks not only about the manner in which the entire civilization of the natives was systematically destroyed, but also about how all civilizations have been torn apart since the enclosure acts of the late 18th century that created an extreme concept of private property, since the radical exploitation of the New World by the Spanish and the Portugese. Of course evil existed long before that, but we have been struck down by a virus of the mind that renders us all killers, whether we know it or not. And now the United Nations and other organizations, tell us it is our duty to make other nations, who still follow the old way, who still have harmony between humans and nature, to make them modern.

“Before our white brothers arrived to make us civilized men,

we didn’t have any kind of prison. Because of this, we had no delinquents.

Without a prison, there can be no delinquents.

We had no locks nor keys and therefore among us there were no thieves.

When someone was so poor that he couldn’t afford a horse, a tent or a blanket,

he would, in that case, receive it all as a gift.

We were too uncivilized to give great importance to private property.

We didn’t know any kind of money and consequently, the value of a human being

was not determined by his wealth.

We had no written laws laid down, no lawyers, no politicians,

therefore we were not able to cheat and swindle one another.

We were really in bad shape before the white men arrived and I don’t know

how to explain how we were able to manage without these fundamental things

that (so they tell us) are so necessary for a civilized society.”

– John (Fire) Lame Deer, Sioux Lakota – 1903-1976

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