Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Dehumanization 101: What's (still) happening to the Penans?, what price progress?



What price progress?
Azly Rahman

Civilisation carries with it the necessity for technological progress and more inventions. But if Nature is destroyed in the process of creating 'civilisations', what does being 'civilised' mean? Would 'going back to Nature' and 'destroying civilisations' be a better way to conceive the meaning of human progress? Must human beings de-evolve, de-urbanise, de-technologise and de-construct themselves in order to save Humanity from its environmental doom?

Industrialisation is a process of transforming nature to culture by the state's appropriation of natural resources. The resources are transformed into technology and techniques and applications derived from the use of science help fuel inventions. Inventions are products/artifacts of the activities of the human mind, activities that are fueled by the need to master man's destiny and the environment. But these inventions contain 'inert capital’ in them, transforming human labour into technologies.

Technologies are then used to further transform nature into culture. Culture in this sense means the culture that comes into being as a result of human beings' economic activities. Modern governments, such as those installed in Sabah and Sarawak, are the necessary evil – they use the state apparatuses and transform the environment by collaborating with powerful multinational corporations in speeding up the use of natural resources, leaving the land barren and human beings in famine and poverty-stricken. Enlightened citizens must collectively revolt against governments that systematically destroy the environment in the name of 'civilisation' and 'progress'.

Citizens must raise the consciousness on the power of these post-modern multinational corporation in that the power these primarily Western-industrialised corporations have are used to bring destruction to the peoples of this Earth as evident in the refusal of powerful nations to ratify the Kyoto Protocol and other global treaties that are enforced to save planet Earth.

Eco-philosophical thinking

Thinking of the Penans and of the blockades against logging, I think of a world inspired by ecological security as a paradigm of a post-global Depression Obamanomics era.

"Ecosophy" or the paradigm of thinking that synthesizes "ecological security" and "natural philosophy" ought to be explored if we are to honor Mother Earth and tame Father Hell. We need to engage in a form of thinking that takes preservation of the environment as a philosophy of development.

Amongst this is to "reuse" and not "recycle". Recycling takes a lot more energy. We need to explore what paradigm of thinking to "reuse" and what to avoid "recycling".

We should not even "recycle" politicians who are corrupted or has a record of destroying the environment. We should not even reuse them.

To engage in an "ecosophical" thinking means to go back to the drawing board of everything and rethink even the way we think. It is going even beyond metacognition; beyond even understanding the way we think about how we think about the world around us.

This might be a mentally paralysing notion even for the thinkers in our government ministries but it is worth exploring. "Ecosophy" takes into consideration not only the environment but the radical ideas about the self itself.

I believe the Orang Asli of Malaysia - the "un-modernized" Temuans, Senoi, Semang, Jakun, Sakai, etc. - can explain this idea of human development better than any expert in any international development bank or in the Ministry of the Environment. I believe too that the Orang Asal of Sabah and Sarawak, the different tribes of the Dayaks, can teach the modern "civilized" man how not to plunder and rape ancestral lands. I believe these natives can teach us in Putrajaya what "ecosophical" thinking means.

"Ecosopohy", independence, and freedom are not a slogans but an existential state of mind and a condition of 'lived democracy', one in which citizens are aware of how oppressive systems that destroys the environment are cultivated. From ecosophy we might learn how to "revilligize" and relearn what "kampong-ism" means, a form of economic thinking that values pastoralism.

3 comments:

komando said...

BRUNO MANSER THE SWISS JUNGLE MAN DID WHAT HE COULD AND HE DIED BELIEVING HE DID HIS BEST!

THE PENANS CANNOT BE PUT IN A FIVE STAR HOTEL AND CALL IT HOME!

THEY LIVED BY THE LAND FOR AGES!
THEY THRIVE ON THE LAND TO SURVIVE!
THEY WILL DIE ON THE LAND THEY WERE BORN!

IMAGINE SENDING TUN MAHATIR TO STAY IN THE JUNGLES WITH THE PENAN, HE WONT LAST A DAY!
HE STAYS IN POSH & LUXURIOUS HOMES THROUGHOUT HIS LIFE!

SO, WHY CAN'T WE LEAVE THE PENAN'S ALONE AND LET THEM LIVE THEIR LIVES THEY KNOW BEST?

SO WHY MUST WE TRY AND JUSTIFY OUR WAYS & MEANS TO SOLVED THEIR PROBLEMS!

THEY WANT THEIR LAND BACK THAT'S ALL.

THEY HUNT AND FORAGE THE JUNGLES FOR THEIR FOOD - FISHING, HUNTING AND PLANTING!

NO FOREST & JUNGLES MEANS DEATH TO THEM!

NO MORE FISH BECAUSE THE GREEDY LOGGERS FELL ALL THOSE TREES THAT SUPPORT GAME AND ANIMAL LIFE! THEY CONTINUE TO DO SO TILL TODAY, NEVER EVER SAYING IT IS ENOUGH, I HAVE MADE MY MONEY!

RIVERS ARE ALL POLLUTED AND CLOGGED UP, HOW CAN FISH SPAWN? NO MORE TREES HOW CAN ANIMALS FEED, LIVE AND REPRODUCE?

SO IMAGINE .....

HOW A GROUP OF INNOCENT PEOPLE SUFFER IN THE HANDS OF SO CALLED LEARNED AND INTELLIGENT HUMANS CLAIMING TO BE SUPERIOR AND RULING THEIR LAND!

WE CAN NEVER CHANGE THEM...LEADERS ARE FOR EVER FOREVER EVER GREEDY! THEY THINK THEY OWN EVERYTHING AND ALL OF US TOO!

HOW SAD...MALAYSIA IS A DONE DEAL !

komando said...

The Sarawak government has done a good job all have been silenced....no more issues total black out...

But wait the next bruno manser may appear soon

komando said...

Dear Dr.Azly, hope you do read this sad mail I have pasted.

By Susan Loone

This statement was written by Katrina Jorine Maliamauv, daughter of Irene Fernandez. It’s her respond the article in Malaysiakini: “No budget, so no to rape probe”.
The bile is rising in my throat.
For more than ten years at least, Penan girls have been raped, violated and sexually abused. The Penan women in the community have been at dire risk of various forms of sexual assault and harassment.
Young, young, school going girls have made the difficult step to come forward and say that they have been raped by members of the logging companies.
The life and dignity of a Penan woman, however, appears to be worth less than RM3600.
Investigations into the allegations of rape and abuse by loggers in Sarawak against the Penan girls have led nowhere.
Today, the Sarawak police say they can only afford the RM100 000 needed to pay for police personnel, and not the RM3600 proposed to pay for the much-needed Penan-Malay translators, if the 6-day investigation into these allegations were to be carried out.
The police can spend RM15 million on a by-election in Kuala Terengganu, but RM3600 to pay for an essential part of an investigation into rape of children is too much?
By the way, how much was spent by the police on “guarding public interest” during the recent peaceful assembly in Kuala Lumpur?
Is the interest of the people in power worth more than the safety, security and basic rights of the Penans?

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