Thursday, January 3, 2013

Thoughts on "Idle No More"

"Idle No More" is the name of an ongoing Aboriginal protest movement. Inspired by Attawapiskat Chief Theresa Spence's hunger strike, tactics of the movement involve rallies, flash mobs and blockades. There are many issues behind Idle No More, but none so prevalent as the federal government's Bill C-45. Many of us have seen this Facebook post, where Bill C-45 is synonymous with unprotected lakes and rivers. Many of these waterways pass through First Nations land.

The obvious problem is the lack of private property rights both on reserves and for waterways. As this stance is fairly self-explanatory (if not read this), I'll instead focus on the movement's Manifesto, which is posted on the website. Although the authors of the Manifesto are on the right direction, without an understanding of praxeology and economics their language remains vague and trite.

We contend that:

The Treaties are nation to nation agreements between First Nations and the British Crown who are sovereign nations. The Treaties are agreements that cannot be altered or broken by one side of the two Nations. The spirit and intent of the Treaty agreements meant that First Nations peoples would share the land, but retain their inherent rights to lands and resources. Instead, First Nations have experienced a history of colonization which has resulted in outstanding land claims, lack of resources and unequal funding for services such as education and housing.

Never trust politicians. Although First Nations people may regard themselves as part of a sovereign nation, in the eyes of the British Crown, they are clearly not. Once believed to eventually die off, the fact that Aboriginal people still exist poses a problem for a state that designed treaties that were never meant to last. The system has devolved into - quite basically - communism. The state owns these people (see, Status Card), takes their resources and in return gives them all kinds of "goodies." Of course, in reality these goods are of little value, and most of the money is sucked into the bureaucracy. If the First Nations are sovereign, then they should take that proposition to its logical conclusion: secession from Canada.

We contend that:

The state of Canada has become one of the wealthiest countries in the world by using the land and resources. Canadian mining, logging, oil and fishing companies are the most powerful in the world due to land and resources. Some of the poorest First Nations communities (such as Attawapiskat) have mines or other developments on their land but do not get a share of the profit. The taking of resources has left many lands and waters poisoned – the animals and plants are dying in many areas in Canada. We cannot live without the land and water. We have laws older than this colonial government about how to live with the land.

Exactly. The state of Canada has negated property rights and this in turn has caused all sorts of environmental damage. The fact that First Nations have laws older than this colonial government is proof that secession is a legitimate answer to these problems. For secession would imply that a lot of these resources do not belong to the state of Canada. These resources are the private property of the First Nation sovereigns who never voluntarily gave these rights away. Any debate about sharing in the profit of resources you rightfully own is absurd.

We contend that:

Currently, this government is trying to pass many laws so that reserve lands can also be bought and sold by big companies to get profit from resources. They are promising to share this time…Why would these promises be different from past promises? We will be left with nothing but poisoned water, land and air. This is an attempt to take away sovereignty and the inherent right to land and resources from First Nations peoples.

Never trust politicians. Liberal, Conservative, NDP, Green, whatever. They are all effects of the corporate-state system the Western world is practising. The cause of this fascism is inherent in the coercive monopoly of the state, it's negation and violation of private property and interference in a free market of voluntary exchange. The Conservatives are trying to introduce private property onto reserves. This is not "private property" as developed by natural law theorists like John Locke or Murray Rothbard or the biological explanation of property as an extended phenotype. This is the corporate-state using language to mask the reality of what it's actually doing: enslavement and theft.

We contend that:

There are many examples of other countries moving towards sustainability, and we must demand sustainable development as well. We believe in healthy, just, equitable and sustainable communities and have a vision and plan of how to build them.

Please join us in creating this vision.

I don't know what this vision is since "healthy, just, equitable and sustainable" are words that the corporate-state uses and obviously have very different meanings. I contend that if First Nations want these adjectives to be more than just... well, adjectives, then an understanding of how the market works and how the state destroys is an absolute necessity. For that, I recommend Ludwig von Mises, Murray Rothbard, Henry Hazlitt, Hans-Hermann Hoppe, Frédéric Bastiat, Thomas Woods, and Lew Rockwell.

I also contend that if First Nations are truly sovereign, then a declaration of secession is the only rational route to take. All individuals - aboriginal or not - cannot continue consenting to this predatory system. "Canada" is a conceptual entity, literally arbitrary lines on a map. "Canada" is a social fiction arising from a history that is indelibly linked to railroad financiers, British bankers and power-hungry politicians. National identity is a civic religion. Just as one cannot be an atheist and a Christian at the same time -- one cannot be sovereign yet identify with a nation that places the Queen as the one and only sovereign.

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