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November 24, 2010

The assaults on the Old World civilizations of the Indigenous peoples

The Canadian Charger

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Globalization's modern era really began with Columbus in 1492 - the year he inaugurated a New World Order, that continues to this day, with the constant invention and reinvention of the Americas as a promised land for immigrants and their descendants - according to Dr. Anthony Hall, Globalization Studies professor at the University of Lethbridge.

Speaking recently at the launch of his epic book Earth Into Property: Colonization, Decolonization and Capitalism, which follows Dr. Hall’s critically acclaimed work The American Empire and the Fourth World, he told the gathering at Ben McNally's Bookstore, in downtown Toronto, that there is another side to the American dream.

“The other side of the invention of America as a New World has been the military, legal, cultural and psychological assaults on the Old World civilizations of the Indigenous peoples.  Together these processes form a core component in the genesis of global capitalism.”

When we are able to see through the myth of global capitalism as a wonder that is lifting the world's poor out of poverty, Dr. Hall said we see the commodification and privatization of such massive portions of the earth's natural resources – a process which dominates our very lives. 

“Never before have all the world's nations, peoples, and cultures been pressed into the mould of a single political economy, a single worldwide market. How has the globalization of this economic monoculture affected our democratic rights and responsibilities when all the world's peoples live or die based on their ability to survive in a single regime of capitalist interaction? Where is the democratic choice in this all-encompassing system?”

While the larger framework of Dr. Hall's book is global, he puts North American history at the centre of his narrative, explaining how encounters between Indigenous peoples and Anglo-American builders of European national corporate empires, explains much about the character of Canada and the United States today.

He said that in breaking from the British Empire, the Americans established an identity as Indian fighters, while the founders of Canada – America's then conservative opponents, who wished to remain within the British Empire– sought to win the loyalty of Indians based on principles of alliance, consent, the rule of law and treaty federalism, laid out in the Royal Proclamation of 1763 – the constitutional instrument that formed the basis of British imperial Canada.

“Like the instruments of law that advanced the abolition of slavery, the prohibition of genocide and the universality of human rights, the Royal Proclamation figures centrally in the history of international law. In Canada, the Royal Proclamation is still working its way into the body politic in our constitutional recognition and affirmation of Aboriginal and treaty rights. This affirmation in section 35 of the Constitution Act, 1982, is being expressed, for instance, in the negotiation of 50 or so Crown-Aboriginal treaties presently being hammered out with the Indigenous peoples of British Columbia.”

In both of his above-mentioned books - which Dr. Hall calls The Bowl project - he emphasizes that the United States chose conquest, while Canada chose accommodation, to deal with the Indigenous Peoples of North America.

He said America's core ideal of conquest has implications today, in the justifications and course of the 9/11 Wars, which are directed primarily against the Indigenous peoples of Eurasia. 

“The process of fighting, removing and eliminating Indians in the transcontinental expansion of the United States helped establish patterns re-enacted to this day in the ailing superpower's military resource grabs, masked as civilization's ascent over the terror of Aboriginal savagery.”

In contrast, the Royal Proclamation of 1763, is based primarily on the advice of William Johnson, whom Dr.  Hall sees, along with Molly Brant and Tecumseh, as instrumental founders of Canada, and fountainheads of Indigenous Conservatism – the school of polity-building epitomized by the best of William Johnson's policies.

Moreover, Dr. Hall said Canada's multicultural policies have deep roots in the Red Tory tradition of Indigenous Conservatism, which is a very different brand of conservatism from that of the Harper government and the Tea Party movement in the United States.

In looking to the future, Dr. Hall said he would like to see a pre-emption of the 9/11 Wars through a consolidation of a system of global security based on the consent of the governed and on the equitable and fair enforcement of the rule of law, as expressed especially in the treaty federalism of the international community.

“I would like to see a globalized renaissance of Canada's Red Tory tradition as part of a transition to the ecological conservatism implicit in the biocultural diversity of the Fourth World.”

The Fourth World is a term introduced in 1974 by the Shuswap sage George Manuel in his effort to explain the underlying philosophies of the Non-Aligned Movement and the World Council of Indigenous Peoples.

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