Endgame Premises Archives: 12: There are no rich or poor people

There are no rich people in the world, and there are no
poor people. There are just people. The rich may have lots of pieces of green paper
that many pretend are worth something—or their presumed riches may be even
more abstract: numbers on hard drives at banks—and the poor may not. These
“rich” claim they own land, and the “poor” are often denied the right to make
that same claim. A primary purpose of the police is to enforce the delusions of
those with lots of pieces of green paper. Those without the green papers gener-
ally buy into these delusions almost as quickly and completely as those with.
These delusions carry with them extreme consequences in the real world.

Proud Not Primitive

A new short film showing the richness of tribal peoples’ lives has been released as part of the Proud Not Primitive campaign in India.

The 30-second short aims to challenge prevailing preconceptions that tribal peoples are poor, ‘backwards’ or ‘primitive’, which are deeply engrained amongst representatives of the government, industry and the media.

The film’s provocative message ‘No poverty, no bombs, no pollution, no corruption, no prisons, no caste system – and people call them primitive?’ shows tribal peoples who have every reason to be proud of their ways of life.

The film features the Dongria Kondh and Baiga in India, Awá, Waiapi and Enawene Nawe tribes in Brazil and the Bushmen in Botswana.

Selvi, a Korumba woman from Tamil Nadu, told Survival, ‘If I have land, I can grow food. We’re not very interested in money because it brings bad things. If I have land, I can have a good life. I want our forest for air, water, and firewood’.

Davi Kopenawa, a spokesperson of the Yanomami tribe in Brazil said, ‘We are not poor or primitive. We are very rich. Rich in our culture, our language and our land. We don’t need money or possessions. What we need is respect: respect for our culture and respect for our land rights.’

Around the world, tribal peoples living on their own lands with the freedom to make their own choices about their lives are thriving. In contrast, tribal peoples who have been pushed off their land or no longer have access to its resources are often condemned to become the poorest of the poor, living at the edges of society.

Survival International has called on hundreds of followers of the Proud Not Primitive campaign to spread the word by tweeting, blogging and sharing the video amongst colleagues, family and friends.

From Survival International: http://www.survivalinternational.org/news/9382