This is an introductory post to the point I will be walking as the 3. part of Committing Egocide. Here I am looking at the point of “Ecocide” specifically with the history of Africa’s relationship with Europe as an example. In the next post I will walk the self-forgiveness.
Ecocide: “Destruction of the natural environment, especially when willfully done.”
Today I have been reading about the history of Africa for a course I am doing in sociology about global inequality. The paper I’ve been reading describes some explanations as to why Africa has not developed economically as Europe and America in particular. According to the authors the reason for the demise of Africa, is because they have not efficiently been able to implement policies. One of the main reasons is according to the authors that there has been a tradition in many African countries of “sharing” and as such much uncertainty over private property as well as regimes that does not allow for individual participation. But they also describe the development of slavery in particular as well as colonization that they don’t go into detail with. They describe the development of apartheid in South Africa. I have known a little bit about what happened in South Africa, but I have never actually read the details about it or about Africa’s history in general. Reading about what the European’s did during the apartheid and that it lasted for so many years was astounding. But what the European’s did was even more astounding. They virtually forced the black majority population to become oppressed and unable to get skilled, educated, get land or proper jobs – only because of money, because they feared the competition from the blacks. And they created this entire idea about the blacks as a lesser group that it was not even worth educating – total manipulation, just so that they could profit and force the blacks into low paid and hazardous jobs, such as mining.
The example from the South African apartheid is but one example of the atrocities committed by the Europeans in Africa. Other examples are of course the colonization, the forceful missioning of Christianity, the trade of slaves for weapon, the poaching of wildlife and the depletion of oil in for example Nigeria. So what the Europeans did in Africa was to commit a deliberate ecocide. Absolutely all of it has been because of money and within that a deceptive belief from the Europeans that they were a ‘pristine superior people’.
It is astounding that the Europeans even convinced themselves that what they were doing was in the name of the greater good, that they were ‘civilizing’ the savages – when they in fact were the monsters in that situation. Obviously it is not about Europeans or Africans – the situation could just as well have been in reverse. It is not about blaming or victimizing one group or another. It is about what this very manifestation of occurrences on earth, is reflecting who and what we’ve accepted and allowed ourselves to be and become as all of humanity, as how we live together in the home that is this world – and thus also how each of us have accepted and allowed ourselves to exist.
In the coming writing I will thus be bringing this point back to myself in self-forgiveness within and as looking at how I have participated in committing ecocide for the sake of siding with ego, exactly as the Europeans did in Africa.
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