by Michael Smith (Veshengro)
“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, Native Indian Chief
The words, in a somewhat sarcastic tone, of Chief John Fire Lame Deer certainly say a great deal of what is being referred to as civilization and civilized society.
In our civilized society, especially the modern capitalist one, the human being does not stand in the center but only profit and greed.
Chief John Fire Lame Deer does well to ask how it was ever possible for the Native Americans to exist and even thrive, some groups probably more than others, without the benefit of all the fundamental things necessary for a civilized society. Should it not make us think as to whether we are actually on the right track?
The Native American society seems to have worked quite well until the arrival of the White Man without all those things that, for some reason, are considered by the powers that be as being fundamental and necessary for a civilized society.
Considering that the arriving Europeans saw the Injuns as savages because they did not have those things that they, the Europeans, considered necessary, but still the Native Americans had a society that worked well and in most case saw to is that everyone was taken care of. Unlike in the society whence the Europeans came and the “benefits” of which they insisted to force upon the Native peoples of the Americas.
The “benefits” that the European society brought to the American Injuns was disease, the church, placing their children forcibly in institutions, slavery and alcoholism, to mention but a few.
The White Man certainly could not bring them a better system than they had already and the Mohawk Nations even had a real proper democracy, something the whites did not even have at that time and, in fact, still don't have to this very day. Most countries claim to have democracy but it is not a real participatory one. It is but sham as so much amongst the so-called civilized nations, including the United States and Canada.
The same arrogance that the White Man had when coming to the New World, to the Americas, still persists in America of today, which leads Americans to believe that they must bring their brand of democracy and American values to every nation on Earth.
We can see that very well in what has been done in Iraq and what is being done in Afghanistan and with the drone strikes in Pakistan.
That kind of democracy and civilization we call cone do without, thank you very much!