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1 September 1988 Personal Correspondence on Cross-cultural Science Translation (PDF)

Sept. 1, ’88.

REf. Native Science Conf.

Dear Pam

Here is my suggestion for the “Frame” for the Native Science Conference. There is nothing I can say to you that you do not already know. I only attempt to write out some ideas that might make you feel assured. You are honoring me by taking the posture of asking for help. Whether I could help or not, I have to respond.

I gave you a picture of the Matrix. So this time I shall explain the Matrix and add notes. The picture is simple, but it has to be so. Once you get into discussions, however, the picture turns quite complex. Perhaps, it may be better explained in several “Levels”. As to the trick of “Simplicity” which constitutes the backbone of European “Science”, there are several philosophical problems. But I shall explain them later (see Appendix A).

Level I. Nominal Comparison

Imagine average North American White Male University students, and consider a task of explaining Native Science in contrast to European Science, such as;

(1) That Native Science is not “alienated” from its practice.

(2) Native Science/Counseling is more “Supportive” than “Clinical”

(3) Native Science is an integral part of Communal Living, not Individualistic Assertion of Knowledge. There is no Intellectual Hero in Native Science.

Having such a task in our mind, let us look at a “Comparison Table” (Map) such as below, and think about what questions the simple map might generate.

The basic idea here is to trace 4 items in relation, not just pairing comparison of 2 in antagonism. Dialectics of conflicts must be presented, but at the same time if we can shift our attention to the relational dynamics in looking at 4 items, that would be nice. I am trying “Quadra-lectics”.


[Table 1]

European Native American



Therapy Medicine

Ritual Healing



Medical Science Clinical


Medicine ( ? )

Social Sciences Social Works Community

Participation /


( ? )

– – – – – – –

I–1. The Question on the Existence of Native Science.

The first reaction of the students is to question “Does Native Science Exist?” They might say, “Science” has to be “documented” knowledge (book knowledge). Therefore, (in the nominal sense) Native Science does not exist.”

You have gone through the question thousands of times, and you even feel angry about the ignorance of the students. [Besides, for the participants of the planes conference, the answer is already clear. There is no need to go back to the rudimentary question.] But, be patient. The question is not trivial.

Let us look at possible questions/debates the table might generate. i.e.

a. “What example of Native Science do we have?”

b. “Where and how can one find Native Science?”

c. “What use does it serve to find Native Science?”

d. “Why do we need to elaborate/document on Native Science?”

“Does it help anybody?”

e. Do not Natives have/want “Wisdom”, not “Book Knowledge” sense of “Science”? Do they wish to be “Scientific” in the sense “Technical” or “Intellectual”?

If “Science” means “to reduce anything into simple mechanical routines”, is it not reducing Wisdom/Spirit into Machine?

f. “Suppose there is a set of basic ideas, guiding principles, metaphysics, or world-view, for the Native Praxis. Can we call it “Science” without modifying, correcting, or enlarging the European notion of Science?” “If so, on what ground can we justify the change?” “Is the change necessary?” “Does the change help anybody”? “Why do we need alternative sense of Science?”.


I-2. Questions on European Science.

But then, there are questions about European Science. The advantage of Quadra-lectics is that it makes easy to see there also exists conflicts/problems/antagonism/tension inside European Science. One has to look at every combination (there are 6 of them) of the 4 in relation.

a. There are problems in asserting that (European) Psychoanalysis is a “Science”.

European “Medicine” may be more of an Art than a Science.

How Scientific are the Sciences, such as Social Sciences or Physics?

b. What is the relation/connection between “Science” (Theory/Knowledge) and Practices?

What good does Theoretical Science provide to the Praxis? (What roles does “Theology” play in Religions as social/psychological phenomena?)

Is the theoretical sense of science only for edifying?

c. How relevant are “Social Sciences” to “Social Works”?

How useful is it to elaborate “Theory” for the people who practice routines which are nominally associated (subjugated) to the Theory?

What does the science of Economy say about the bureaucratic system/technique/procedure of the Social Work/Service/Welfare?

To be sure, it is reasonable to question if the Economics that we have in our academia today is a “Science”. It is sometimes said to be “Dismal Science”, but it may not be a “Science” at all.

Interestingly, by some strict definition, Physics is not a Science. Some physicists even “proudly” say that they are “Artists”.

d. What is wrong with being a “Non-Scientist”? Why should every good thing be a “science”? Is not being a “Humanitarian” enough?

Those questions have to be asked to make a comparative match with questions in I-1.

[See for the problems of European Medicine; Charles E. Rosenberg in The Care of Strangers, Basic Books 1987, talks of the inconsistency of “Vocation” and “Stewardship” which are nonetheless made into a “marriage of convenience” between Healers and Hospital. Illich, Foucault, et al likewise criticized the Medical Profession/Institution. And even our conservative governments are aware of some of the problems, because it costs too much.

I suspect the institutions of “Clinical Social Work” have similar problems with “Medicine”. The “Success” of Institutionalization/Professionalization always brings problems.

And, this leads to the question of the Social Cost (Pollution, Entropy) of the Mechanical Thinking that is worshiped as “Scientific”.]

I-3. Why bother making a comparison?

You might say; “I have made comparisons. So what?” In fact, you showed me many articles which are written on comparisons. Ones which attack European Science always carry some comparisons as the basis of attack.

On the basis of comparisons, one can go to

(i) Assimilation (Surrender) to European Science,

(ii) Rejection of Science without assertion of an alternative.

(iii) Rejection of Science, with assertion of Pure Humanism, Spiritualism, or Wisdom.

(iv) Compromise, Reconciliation, Integration.

(v) Construction of Strategy to deal with the Conflicts/Problems.

(vi) Emergence of Alternative Science, with a creative vision of World Community.

In terms of questions, students might ask

a. Is it not a step in assimilating Natives inot the Domination by European Intellect?

Just because European Culture/Civilization has a distinct fragment called “Science”, why should Natives have it?

b. Is not the show of difference a device to “demonstrate” the Intellectual inferiority of Natives?

c. When European Science itself is having troubles, if not in crisis, why should Natives look for “Science” to copy the troubles?

d. What are we going to do with the differences? Are we to eliminate the differences, say by making one of them extinct?

e. Are we not interested in Native Science, because we have troubles with our European Science? [Turning Point, et al]

II. Level II Case Studies at Level I

Here, we consider Graduate School level of talking/thinking. They presumably had exposure to the level I questions, at least some of them. You are a Professor supervising young Ph.D. candidates who are working on Native Science. What would you tell them?

 For Master’s Thesis, an articulation/elaboration on the Level I questions is a good exercise. They must do one. They must read and know a body of materials (book knowledge) and do at least one “Field Work” to see what the written materials are talking about. I point out here that even if one does work on one aspect, having awareness of the overall picture is helpful. That is the Table I is worth looking at repeatedly. The Map tells where one is.

This level of work is publishable in academic journals. In fact, many are published. But they are “academic” in that they are not intended to help people.

One might select a thesis that Native Communities (Culture) ought to reject European Science in totality and live in an “Ideal Isolation”. I concede that this might be a possible and viable strategy for some nations. When an African Economist proposed it as an answer to the problem of Economic Colonialism, I agreed. The Burmese Socialist Government, which is talked about in News Media today, tried this. Pol Pot Communists went to the extreme of even eliminating “science” along with “Intellectuals”. [Mao’s Red Guard was anti-intellectual, but respected “Science”. What Mao might have thought or hoped of “Science” — that is, there is a dialectics of “Destructive Technology/Constructive Science — may be a topic at Level III.]

I acknowledge the value of Warning Statements, pointing out problems of European Science. But I wonder what the writers are thinking as to what to do about the problems that they saw.

One can write and talk about “Rejection of European Science” and “Back to Traditional Native Medicine”. However, the comparison to European Science is there. Even if the comparison is rhetorically avoided, such works can hardly escape from being a “Reaction” to European Science.

What is worse, by the “angry rejection”, they may be taken as implicit acknowledgement that they cannot overcome European Science — i.e. acknowledgement of unquestionable superior “rationality”, “intelligence”, “power”, etc. of European Science. Saying “I cannot help Europeans from going down to Hell with their Science” may be taken as an equivalent of saying Native Wisdom has no capability to help.

That leads us into Level III. (Critical Reflection), and IV. (Creation of Alternative Science).

III. Critical Reflection

III-1. Supportive Counseling versus Clinical Operation.

As an example, let us take up the differences between “Clinical Therapy” and “supportive Counseling”. Native Healing is “Supportive”. It is not done in the sense of “putting a totally incapacitated patient, knocked unconscious, on a table to operate on it”. (The pardigmatic Metaphor of European Medical Science). Native Medicine often involve Family and Community. It was not done on an Individual basis. All powers (love relations and functions) are solicited for help. Medicine men/women are “Mediums” and “Facilitators” for the power to come together, not power itself.

In the beginning, I said “North American White Male Students”. Female students are excluded, because in the “Macho Science”, they may not talk/think/behave in the “typical” ways. There is usually considered to be a weakness and “unscientific” tendency in Females. they do not like to play the role of (Male) God in cutting up people on the operation table, even if the ultimate aim is to help the guy. Females tend to see “People” being sick or in trouble, rather than entertain the glorious mission of fighting a War against Disease (Evil) as Male Doctors often do. Male Doctors do acknowledge “Will To Live” in patients, but such “help” is solicited in “their” Fight against Disease. “Conquer the Disease” is the main paradigm of Male Medical profession. “Care of person” is the job of nurses, not doctors.

It is not that Females are dysfunctional in Clinical situations. In fact many are engaged in Clinical Social Works — except that they tend to take a posture of either (i) “being told” what to do, alienating them from personal involvement/responsibility, or (ii) like the case of the Big Nurse, identifying themselves with the Power Structure. they are more at home with “Supportive Counseling”, if not merely “Comforting”.

That makes interesting “observation” what Native Healing (Medicine, Science) is “Feminine”. Calling upon the help of the Power Spirit is not the same thing as having a sense of Power within oneself.

In the context of Social Works, what are the role/function of the workers? And what kind of Science would be helpful for them?

For the Clinical works, there Power Science justifies, and even what they do is a false sense of compelling workers to do.

Is there any “Science” behind supportive Counseling?

Evidently, the Support is needed, appreciated, and recognized as effective. But “Science”?

European Science came from “Fighting”. Humans, faced With Fear, either get aggressive or regress into inability. In that “Science” is “empowering” — to make humans assertive, aggressive, active —. “Love Play” has always been in Science, particularly in creative works, but it has always been “subservient”, “secondary”, “helping side” of the Power side. There have been many talks by great scientists about “Love” in science, but texts in Science do not intend to “teach” about that.

I would imagine even Clinical Social Works is motivated by “Love/Care”. But “Love/Care” is not the main “Operational Principle” of the Clinical Social Work, but the “Power of Technical Routines” is the main concern. Having or seeing Problems, the Clinical Operation set itself up as the means to Fight — the “War” to eliminate the problem —.

“Supportive Counseling” may be seen as “weak”; some might perceive it as “ineffective”, if they do not know the performance, say in terms of quantified “Success Rate”. This is because the Support gives an impression that it leaves the problem unresolved. It is not attacking the problem directly, but merely caring for the person.

The separation/dichotomy of “Being” and “Problem” is a heritage from Ancient Atomism. Being is a Dynamics and Problem is a Dynamics. Although the “level” of Dynamics may be different they are both Dynamics (Interaction). The Mechanical Science whch sees “Beings” as “Objects” is totally inadequate. There exists the awareness of such an inadequacy in some sciences, but it is far away from the “Science” of the Clinical Social Works. And because the majority in Social Works is Clinical, the Social Works as a whole has not yet come to construct “Science” for the “supportive counseling”. It is left for a few brave (or rather bleeding) souls to practice on ad hoc basis.

It is not only Native Science that is unrecognized and repressed, but all “Love Sciences” are.

This is a topic for the Level III works.

III-2. The Difficulty of Translation

Another possible topic at Level III is that of “Translation”, “Cross Cultural Understanding”, “Bridging”, “Interfacing”.

It is understandable that the Native Community entertains an Ideology of Separation/Rejection. After all, it has been European Culture that separated, rejected Natives. European Domination accepts only total Surrender of Natives, territory, culture, bodies, souls, and even history.

Therefore, naturally any attempt in the direction of “understanding” is suspected or viewed as “Compromise”, “Betrayal”, “Sell Out”, “Contamination”.

In many Colonized countries, a certain portion of natives became “Translators” for the European Power. They enjoyed somewhat privileged positions in the power structure, while others were mercilessly exploited, oppressed, killed and even sold as slaves. East Indians were often imported into other colonies to serve as lower class officers for European Administrators. Even after these colonies gained independence, the “Class Distinction” remained. [Japan narrowly escaped that owing to the late coming of Europeans to the Far East.] Native Americans have never developed such a “Class Distinction”, but nonetheless there are resentments against those who sell services to Europeans.

Eber Hampton in “The Sweat Lodge and Modern Society” mentions the destruction of Native Agriculture, which David Riesman missed in his Harvard lecture. Indeed, that is a “deliberately forgotten history” (The Big Brother erased it). But many Natives themselves seem to have erased the history when they refer to “Traditional Fur Trade”. The Fur Trade, when Iroquois Nations became addicted, destroyed their Agriculture and Community Craft Industry that they had. Hunting to provide for their own community needs is Traditional. Hunting to sell furs is not. I say this not as an accusation, but as an example of how easy it is for History to be destroyed by “Translators”.

And one thing which caught my attention is that Eber Hampton appears to be proud of “Indian English”, but it is strange for a guy like me who never learned English enough to develop “my own English”. I only manage to read an write in English as a “Foreign Language”. To me Indian English is not a Native Language. However, that betrays a tragic reality of Native Life today. Namely, without Translation into Academic English, Eber could have gotten nowhere.

You might say “Live with Native Language!” That is easy to say, as long as one is not going to do it in real life. Even without European Languages, what will Natives today do? What about the rifles that they use in their hunting? What about power boats? TVs, refrigerators, Trucks, Supermarket, Hospitals and Alcohol? The pens and papers used to apply for European Welfare? They are not “Languages” in the formal sense, but, they are the kind of idioms and vocabulary by which Native Living is spelled out.

There are millions of “Non-Reserve Indians” whose homes are on the streets of Whitemen’s Cities. Thousands of Native children were adopted by European families. Even if “Pure Blood Indians” opted for total separation in some Indian Territories (Nations, Reserves), there would be millions who will be “Outsiders”.

And what will the pure-blood Nations do about dealings with the rest of the World? A Closed State in political rhetoric is easy, but the problems of actually Living Life cannot be wiped off by the inflated hot rhetoric. Much as I admire and sympathize with the sentiment which might say, “Fuck European Science”, I cannot imagine any other way but to come to terms with European Science in one way or another.

And to come to terms with the other Science, one needs to have one’s own Science, or equivalent thereof. Ideally, the Native Science is so much better in that it can understand European Science, including its limitations, weaknesses, and faults, as well as strength and power. One cannot get that by closing the door and watching T.V. while drinking beer and liquor from European stores.

Let David Riesman be alone. He can rot in his ignorance. As far as he is concerned, he is doing very well without knowing about Natives. Even if he happened to know about Natives, he is not obliged to restore Native Farming for Education. Therefore criticizing David Riesman is a waste of time. It can only be done by Natives.

The atrocities, sufferings and pains inflicted on Natives, pureblood or otherwise, inside reserves or outside, are Real. They are there, whether one likes it or not. They cannot be ignored. Europeans imposed them on Natives, but if Natives do not remove them, Europeans would not. That makes dealing with European Science unavoidable. There, Translators have very important roles to play. If European Science is the Enemy, one has to know it to fight it. One might even think about the possibility of “Beating the Enemy at his own Game”.

Righteous indignation is natural, and there ought to be more of it. That is the Passion needed. I would venture to say that is the Fire Way. However, sooner or later, one has to come to the question of “What To Do About The Problems?”

To face the question of “What To Do About the Problems?” is a Science. Describing the problems, so that many people come to know the problems and can start building basis of co-operation, is the important first step in the Science. But one cannot let one’s passion be exhausted by that. There is a next step, which is harder.

If we attempt Science, we need

(1) The “Science of knowing what problems are, and

(2) The Science of knowing what to do about them.

The second step has to be persistent. I would characterize it as the Water Way.

[There is the Earth Way to make things concrete, and the Wind Way has to help with Creativity needed. Then must come the Tree Way to Integrate and gently embrace the whole. But that is the topic of Level IV.]

Let me try here my armchair psychoanalysis. Natives are brave, and they are not afraid of European Science. What they Fear is not that. They are not “running away” from European Science under the disguise of righteous indignation — though European Science is indeed horrible —. The psychological trouble is that any Learning involves Love. Learning of Science is “Erotic”. Traditionalists may indeed Fear this “Love Affair”. They are afraid of “Seduction” by European Science.

Education can be “Sweet”. Yet my grandfather rioted against the Japanese Government when it imposed the school system on his village. He said, “It is bad enough that peasants are forced to pay high Tax, but now the Government is taking our children away”. He appeared to stand against Education. That is strange for one who learned to read and write on his own. He was not afraid of Science, but eagerly read and learned. Besides, he often took care of “troublesome kids” from villages around, and was known as a great educator (Therapist/Counselor). But his sense of Education was not “School Education”. Being a peasant himself, he knew what was needed to be learned. He never lost his Peasant Spirit. I have known a Scholar in the same village who was reading works of French Linguist in 1945 when most Japanese did not have any more than one pair of shoes, in the aftermath of WWII. In 1945, the life of Japanese was worse than that in, say, Nigeria then, a lot less than “Bushmen” in Canada. He did not become a Frenchman but stayed as a Peasant even after he became the president of a college. He was entirely self-taught. It is unfortunate that Japanese Peasants are not well known as “Samurais” who constituted less than 10% of the Japanese population.

I am not saying the Japanese are any better in comparison with Native Americans. They have a lot of problems. But the point is that learning European Science without selling our souls is possible. One jus has to remember that accumulation of “knowledge” is not of any value, but how much help one can offer to others in community is the measure of Science.

Level IV. Tree Science

This is Pam’s Science. I am not qualified to talk about it. The Conference hopefully comes to the Vision of it. Or better yet, Pam will bring a Prophecy. I am merely guessing at your dream. By introducing “Quadra-lectics”, you are overcoming the antagonistic paradigm in European Dialectics and introducing “relational science” which is a better Format for Healing/Love. You suggested the idea of 4-in-Relations not by so much words, but by dream-pictures.

I imagine you would talk about concrete, real, direct and personal experiences in Community Counseling. It is always good that talk is made “concrete”. But, You are “Counseling” the World Community by the same talk. If you can help the Healing of a Native Community, the very same Science can heal the World Community.

You might talk about your Science that you are raising.

There was one thing You said that was something to the effect of “in some cases there may not be a cure”. I do not know what you were referring to. Therefore I may be totally off the mark. But if you mean by “cure” in the “Clinical” sense, there is no cure for any case. The community has to recognize its own problem. The community has to do its own healing. Agencies from outside can only be helpers. Suppose the agencies of the dominant culture find a situation in some native community is a “problem”, then it is likely that the “problem” is, by a large measure, caused by the dominant culture. [If a child is behaving badly, it is likely that the family is in trouble.] And if so, then Clinical Therapy ought to be applied to the dominant culture, first of all.

If the Clinical Therapy is either not workable or not acceptable to the dominant culture, it is silly to expect the same would work for, or be acceptable to, the Native Community in question. One cannot apply the Principle of “Do as I tell you, not do as I do”. Science ought, at least, to be honest.

One of the advantages you have is that you are in a position to practice the therapy of the dominant culture, though yours is not the “clinical” kind. If you remember, that is where I met you, namely in Peace Research which is a science for “counseling” the World, in particular the most powerful of European Nations. It is what I might call “Social Therapy”.

Here, I like to tell you that Newtonian Mechanics was a very powerful “Therapy” (Brainwashing) which “empowered” Europeans to Industrialize. Yet, Newtonian Mechanics is made of nothing but “Words” and “Metaphors”.

You might think about why the “Story” called Newtonian Mechanics was so effective, so powerful. If you were in the Europe of the 16th century, you might have said that there was no “cure”. Germany did not come into the “Scientific Revolution” until the 19th century. In the beginning of the 20th century, Russians and Italians were no more ahead of the Japanese who started to learn European Science some 20 years before that time. And the learning of European Science in any country came at a horrendous cost.

Your Native Science (or Tree Science) may appear powerless. Because the only thing you can do at this moment is just make up “stories”. You may not foresee the consequences of what you are making up, any more than Galileo, Descartes and Newton did about their “Stories”. But, that does not mean there is no consequence, no effect. You might get a big surprise. It is not defending the traditional Native Culture that I am concerned about, but rather I am interested in Native Science as a Creation of Alternative Science which works for the World. It is a gift from Native Culture.

That brings me to say a few things about “Science”. “Science” is not an object of Archeological Study of some Dead Knowledge. It has a life, dynamic, development, creativity. At least, Science responds to the problems of community of the time. Or rather, Science is created and manifested as the response of Community to its problems. Just as Love takes a particular form of expression in a particular relationship, Science is particular to the situation; The Vision that one seeks is particular to the one who is in the particular circumstance. I respect ancient Wisdom. but Wisdom is wisdom, only if it is alive in the minds and souls of people today and functioning. That is why the learning of wisdom takes creativity. And I hope all the suffering Natives have had to go through was not vain.


This is incomplete, but I send this to you for now. The Appendix A shall follow.


Sam K.

P.S. Thank Chyna for me. I appreciated her patience. She is an impressively well-behaved, happy child. Her mother must be a very loving person. I wonder if I am wrong in saying “Looking at a Child is looking at Parents”.

18 April 1987 Personal Correspondence on Academia, Socialism, and Colonization (PDF)


Dear Pam

I write you a “book review” — a sort of — on William Hodge The First American, Then and Now. Holt, Rinehart and Winston 1981.

Walter Block, Geoffrey Bernnan, Kenneth Elzinga (ed) Morality of the Market, Religion and Economic Perspective. The Fraser Institute 1982.

with some references to Gil and Gil Toward Social and Economic Justice, Berman The Reenchantment of the World, and Remi De Roo Cries of Victims, Voice of God which I have commented before.

Hodge’s book is apparently written as a text for “introduction to Anthropology”. The author lives in Oshkosh, Wisconsin and naturally talks of Oneidas and Menominees, but as a text he try to cover Micmac, Cherokee, Cheyenne, Navajos, Hopi, Papago, Pomo, Klamath, Kwakiutl, Hare, Eskimos, in a descriptive fashion — for each with a brief cultural history and description of the present situation —. At the end of the text the author briefly states his theory of “X, Y, Z, Indians”. X, Y, Z, are “ideal types” or patterns, representing types, or patterns, of reactions of the Natives — resistance, isolation, adaptation, / or right, left, middle, / etc. — in relations to the White domination. His descriptions of various Indian Nations are descriptions of those types in conflicting notions in each nation.

As an academic text, it is “reasonable”. That is, if one just wish to know a lot of things about Indians from a “neutral” stand. The tone of the text is “sympathetic” and mild. But, the academic knowledge as such is not for doing anything about the problems. Scholarly stance is understandable, in the prevalent notion-ritual of “knowledge claim” in academia. But this begs questions as to “what knowledge is for?”, and also as to the role of scholars in the dominant econo-political system. I shall have to discuss what “knowing” means. (*1 below) The separation of “Value and Fact” is a shameless fraud.

The text doe mention, for example, “rampant alcoholism”, “moral decay” etc. along with “poverty — with a typical “neutral adjective softness”, saying like “living standard is inadequate” etc. —. But what the text suggests to do about the “inadequacy”, “unsatisfactory”, “insufficiency”etc.? There is no hint.

[There is a mention of Deloria, with a qualification that “The extent to which Deloria’s opinions coincide with those of other Indians is open question”. p. 526. By this statement, perhaps, the author is declaring that his statement is the Knowledge and Deloria’s is more opinion.]

(*1) Talking of the difference in “status” of Knowledge and Opinion, I happened to be struck by an incidence. In CBC radio program, there was a report about a “Theory” by a distinguished Social Psychologist at University of Manitoba: Dr. Altemeyer. His “Theory” is reasonable enough. I think he is right. But that is not what impressed me.

Dr. Altemeyer narrated that he had noticed, some 15 years ago that authoritarian persons are submissive and at the same time agressive (apt to do violence) — citing Nazi etc. — particularly when the superior authority approve of them. He attributes violence to Fear. According him, the authoritarian characters are fed “more than average” inputs of Fear by parents, teachers, et al. They are convinced that the world is fearful and bad Place, and they see themselves “Righteous” among evils all around them. No wonder they are ready to strike back. I agree as to that.

I think a lot of people noticed the same. But that would be “Mere Opinions”. Dr. Altemeyer, apparently spent some 15 years of hard academic researches to convert the “Opinion” (or hunch) to a “Knowledge” acceptable to an Academic Institution> It is not his “Idea” that distinguishes him, but his work to gain the Recognition is the object of academic admiration. And even CBC recognizes him having gained the recognition.

That is similar to recognition given to the actors and actresses who are recognized by some awards. That they gained a recognition is the source of the recognition. By this criterion of “recognition begets recognition”, the Natives have to get a recognition to be recognized. And how one gets a recognition? Our society does it by ritual ceremony. Publishing in a “reputable Journal” is one of such rituals and one accumulates brownie points by that. To get your “opinion” Published — register a knowledge claim —, you have to follow the rituals, such as showing “statistics” (despite statistics proves nothing). When that is done, one has to do “public relation” work by creating “media events”, saying that you Published — what you said in the publication are too much of details that nobody cares to bother with —. It is not whether one knows anything, but it is that the Public knows that one knows, that is the aim of the game.

Natives had known that living organisms cooperate. That is the Principle of Living. But it had to be professional biologists, properly educated and accredited, to claim a “knowledge” — inventing a jargon “Symbiosis” —. In this case, it was a “linguistic game” of Naming, that claimed the knowledge.

To be able to live with the “sense” of ecological cooperation, as the Natives did, doers not count as “Knowing”. It is because “the proper linguistic ritual” is not performed to the satisfaction of the institution which is empowered to declare academic recognition. Universities give out diplomas and people come and pay for it. That is possible, because the universities are institutions which give “recognitions”. Natives are handicapped not having institutions to edify their recognitions.

Pam has a Ph.D. in Social Welfare, so she knows. The poor people in reserves, who managed to survive centuries, do not know anything about how to live, because they have no degree. What Pam learned from her grandfather is not “knowledge”, because her grandfather was an Indian. What Pam’s mother taught her is not knowledge, because she taught her by her “living” not by academic rituals and the Academia does not know how to recognize it. (Compare woman who actually give birth to medical doctors who “know” what birth is.)

Whitemen’s “Science”, “scholarship” are Institutions of Rituals. Whitemen’s society is more “ritualistic” than Native community. Natives appear to be ignorant of the importance of Rituals, perhaps because Whitemen downgraded Native Rituals and the Native themselves accepted Whitemen’s concept on native rituals.

Incidentally, political struggles are struggles as to which ritual system shall be recognized and which ritual system shall be regarded “irrational”, “superstitious”, or “heretical” The struggles for “knowledge claim”, “academic recognition” are minor parts of the political struggles. It is not that the Natives did not have “Silence”, but that it was denied of recognition.

You tell a story of your “experience”, “feeling” in looking at the Moon. I wonder what the academic think of it. It is not even and “opinion”, let alone being a knowledge claim. Yet some academics are impressed, according to Elise Boulding. They must have felt something stronger than one in academic rituals. Is that a sign that there is still hope for Humanity?]

The above sense of “Neutral Knowledge” also pervades the second book; Morality of the Market. There is nothing in the book as to what to do about the problems.

The book is apparently a reaction of the “Right Wing Reactionaries” to “Left Wing” Christian Liberation Theology, (Christian Socialism?) such as Reinhold Niebuhr. [see also De Roo.] Sure enough, Fraser Institute, which is reputed to be Canadian branch of Rand Corporation in the U.S., knew enough of Public Relation Work to include some “Liberals”, such as James M. Wall; ex-editor of The Christian Century, a Journal published by The World Council of Churches, which has been labeled by the Right to be a “Communist Front”, and Kenneth Boulding, a liberal economist. But the arguments in the book is mainly about “ills and incompetence of the Socialism”. Mr. Trudeau, hearing Canadian Bishops’ moral stand on Economy, said “Bishops do not know Economy. They ought to stick to Religion”. The same message is in this book. The authors in the book tell readers how much they “know” about, economy. But what to do with the problems is not their concern. They talk about how “moralists” are wrong and how socialists failed.

Of course, knocking down strawman is a favorite game among academics. By proving others being wrong or insufficient, they claim their superiority. That is cheap. Since they are not proposing anything, they cannot be “wrong”, except that they help perpetuating the status quo by discouraging people to do anything about it. In turn, those “superior intellectuals” say “Given an apathetic mass of people, nothing much can be changed.” They would say There is no demand in the market for revolution”. In this case they do not believe in the Supply-side Economy. So the whole exercise go on a vicious circle. Obviously any change will be difficult and comes with all sorts of problems. By saying there are problems, nothing is changed, except perhaps for catastrophes — even the Great Depressions did not change the economic system much, but rather made people more scared of changes —. Liberal economists do not acknowledge their failure in changing the economic system and keep talking about the “faults” of those who had bravely tried. If they have tried, they would have failed worse. Easy armchair criticisms are not only cheap and useless but also poisonous.

Those “scholars” get prestigious attacking “socialism”, precisely because the system (what they call “Liberal Capitalism”) needs their defense. They are the “ideologues” for the status quo. But then, they pretend that they are neutral. Kenneth Boulding referred back to Schumpeter. But Schumpeter did not make phony distinctions like “Liberal Capitalism/Democratic Socialism”. He simply said “Socialism” as the inevitable end of the Capitalism.

To be sure, I am not saying “Socialism” is the answer. In my view, “socialism” is already here, in terms of Social Welfare, Medical Insurance, Corporate Subsidy, etc. The growth of Bureaucracy is, to me an aspect of “Socialism”, and it is here. It is an inevitable course that the “Socialization” started by the Industrial Revolution. The Capitalism and the Socialism are – isms emerged in Industrialization. The question is not whether or not Socialism, but what we are going to do with problems. Here, we need to look at the Industrialization itself, without assuming it to be unquestionable good. We used to call the industrialization “Progress” and never thought that there can be alternatives (Marx included).

In this book, Ezra J. Misham (“Religion, Culture and Technology.” p. 279) is the only one who addressed to the problem of “Industrial Economy” (Technological Society). He does see “Science-Technology” is a replacement of Religion. But, somehow, in this article, he lacked clearness. The main point does not come through.

Kenneth Boulding talked of “Cost of Agreement”, which is an important item in “political economy”. But it seems the scholars gathered there was not impressed. Religion was a mans of scouring an “Agreement”, effective in a social scale. “Ideology” was once thought as an effective means to get revolutionary agreement in the last century. “Science-technology” replaced them. Mishan was saying that in the conference. But as usual in academic conferences, Boulding perhaps did not hear what Mishan was saying. Nor Mishan appears to have heard Boulding.

And Boulding’s consideration of the “Cost of Agreement” refers only to production side, so appears. There is another kind of cost in “maintaining an agreement”. “Authoritarianism”, “Dogmatism”, “Theocracy” are examples. The inflexible attitude of Bureaucracy is no less “tyrannical” in insisting  a “Iron Rule” of established mechanical routines. And in Bureaucracy, even a slightest change in agreed procedure indeed “costs” enormous amount of efforts, time and of course money. That is, the “system” designed to keep a stability of an “agreed way” do so by making any changes to be prohibitively costly. The “Cost of Agreement” is also a defense mechanism. Boulding appears not be aware of this aspect.

I have a nightmarish metaphor about our economic system. That is an image of Nuclear Power Plant in crisis. Those “experts” are arguing among themselves as to “who is best expert”, while the Reactor is running toward the melt-down point.

At any rate, Fraser Institute is not interested in dealing with the problems of our political economy. It wants, so appears, to be known as a “Think Tank” institution — a snob institution for pretended “super intellectuals” —, on which their income depends.

There was, however, some references to economists like Myrdal. [See for example, Myrdal’s articles in Economic Development And Social Change — The modernization of Village Communitites — ad. by G. Dalton Natural History Press 1971.] The Materialist sense od Economy is in decay, either the Capitalist or Socialist. We are now able to talk, without too much inhibition, about the “Rituals” or market, “Worship” of Money, etc., — i.e. Economy as an “Anthropological phenomenon”. Religion and Political Economy are not that different. [Neither is Religion and Science.] Some people are already sensing this.

And that is where what you do arc very important. Social Welfare is not just for providing foods and shelters for those unfortunate “drop out!” Nor is it just taking care of alcoholism (so as to keep alcoholics invisible to the society). Berman, in the Reenchantment of the World mentions of Alcoholism, Alcoholic Anonymous (p. 21, 171, 239, 244, 273, 288, 302, 334) Why so many references? It is significant!

It was not because Berman was a student of Bateson and Bateson happened to chose Alcoholism as the subject medium to elaborate on his theory of Cybernetics of Self” (Berman p. 239). But because the problem of Alcoholism gives clues to other “addiction problems” — addictions to Money, Power, Fame, Material objects, Authority, etc. —. It tells us about how we get into problems and how we could get out of them.

Hodge, in the First Americans, narrates cases of “Trade” with Europeans. Case after case, the history demonstrates disastrous consequences of Trades.

I would imagine the Liberal Economists, the Socialist Economists, the Capitalist Economists, all would say Trade is good. Even Myrdal would say the same, except his objection to “unequal trade”. So far as I know, F. Fanon is the only one who said that the Third World would be better off without Trades with the Europeans (I guess now includes Japanese).

But, let us think about “Why Trade?” Europeans wanted Beaver pelts, because its fur was needed as a material for Top Hat. Imagine who needed Top Hat!!!

Likewise, what in a hell (or in heaven), the Natives needed beads? Trinkets? They had furs, so why they needed blankets?

The Economic Theory that says Trade is for “necessities” is pure BS. Nobody needed Trade, except for “……”.

That “…..”. is psychological, just as some people want a drink for “….”. It becomes “physiological necessity” after addiction, after development of dependency (=called “culture”) on the things that are traded.

Europeans introduced Alcohol to the Natives. But Natives had far potent stuffs. If the Natives wanted to get drunk, they could do it by their own ways. Natives could get “drunk” even by dream. Alcohol was not needed. But precisely because it was not needed, that why alcohol was Traded.

Iroquois was “addicted” by the British Trade through New York — after the Dutch were defeated —. In order to get beavers for the Trade, Iroquois had to fight wars with other Native Nations. But what Iroquois gained, in term of their living substances? A few “ornaments”? Guns? According Hodge, in the case of Oneida, their male population was so depleted that Oneidas had to capture males from their “enemy” to satisfy women. And what amazes me is that there seems nothing that shows the benefits of the Trade, which costed them so dear. Why they Traded?

The question is, perhaps, the same as asking Alcoholics “Why do you drink?”.

Was it because of fun? Was it because Oneida needed European things for their pride? For ceremonial purposes? Was it because curiosity?

The natives did have trade between Native Nations before Europeans came. In the traditional trades there seems to have been no problem. The traditional trades were like “exchanges of gifts”, more or less. Natives might have thought European Trades in the same sense. But even then, it is puzzling why so much disasters in European Trade. Even Fanon does not tell me why European Trade were so poisonous to the Natives — as if the Natives did not have “immunity” against European Trade —. And how come the Ntives did not stop after seeing the consequences? Was it a case of addiction?

[Because of the time element, Japanese and Koreans had time to learn what happened to China through trade with British — Opium War, etc. —. So they refused trade. They did not allow Christian missionaries to come onto their lands either. It took threat of Gun Boats to open ports for European ships. But then, Japanese knew what formidable “devils” they allowed to come in. Japanese decided to “beat the devils in their game”, which culminated in the WWII and was a disaster any way. The bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki were “symbolic” of the Trade-War.

Ironically, Japan is still in Trade-WAr with the U.S. And it will get worse. For Japan, the only effective strategy is to Trade with the Communist China and USSR. The U.S. is pushing Japan to do that.

The US share of Japanese exports accounts for some 30%. But the exports account for only some 10% of Japanese internal market. One wonders [ought to wonder] why trade at all with all those troubles. Can’t peoples in the US and Japan be happy within each internal market? Why in a hell Japanese have to work so hard, for what good?]

The question goes back o that of “Why drink?” We are addicted to “civilization”, “progress”, “trade”, “more and more things”, and “for me”. The weakness of American Natives against European invasion was, perhaps, their “individualism” — misidentified with European Individualism, which was a defense mechanism/adaptation to alienation —. Bateson does point out “Egoism” in alcoholics. They are “lonely people” cut off from community. Because of that, AA tries to provide a “community of supports” for alcoholics. In the case of American Natives, they had beautifully working “Community” and still failed. It can only be explained, to me at least, as “Loss of Spirit”. Native warriors who wanted to fight, despite advices of “Peace Chiefs”, did not see the Spirit of the Community. They lost the battle, right then and there.

The Wisdom of Oneida woman failed to stop the warriors to go off to fight wars. Did not they love their children enough? I cannot tell from descriptions in books. But it appears that women were drunk just as well. One might also wonder the difference between the “intoxication by European Alcohol”  (things) and the “heightened consciousness by the Native Rituals”. The difference is in sprituality?

Being in a psychological state and being in a “spiritual state” are entirely different. Yet, from outward manifestations, distinctions are difficult. The Native warriors might have “cheated”, by saying like “my dream told me to go to war”. In the Native etiquette, women could not question the validity of the claim. But, if one cheats “Spirit” by pretending, the consequences is grave.

I almost saying that Iroquois was destroyed because Iroquois did not follow the Spirit of the Great Peace in the addiction to trade. This is a serious accusation. I expect you to correct me.

Now, back to the Economy. I was talking of a question: if people need so many things to be happy. Why people go through so much humiliation and risk of alienation to earn money so as to buy and be proud of a 824,00 car? Why the bankrupting Dome Petro. Co has a president who gets paid like million dollars in salary? Why that is necessary?

We know the natural resources on the Earth are not enough to keep “growth” of industries. Why do we push more and more? Sure enough, there are people who feel happy with the economic situation as it is, in terms of his or her personal satisfaction or pride. But the vast majority is not. Then why this goes on?


Success and Suicide. Resistance to Identity Change: Implications for Benefits from Land Claims Settlements (PDF)

 A Yukon Indians Band neober rho had only tlro I{eeks to go to Euccessfully coEplete grade 12 rrent on a drunk and dldnrt orite the flnal exans everybody knel. he could easily pa6s. A neElve unlverslty student strugSled lIlth her teacher8 and took forever to coDplete the last few ecsy asslgnmenls that were due ln order to tecelve her degree: not only once, bul for each of three degrees- Bachelors, l.lasters, and her PhD. Wlthln 6 felr months of complettng en upgradlng cour6e, Geverrl nembers of the saloon Arm area Indlan comm\rnlty cordnltted sulclde. The llANA.!cBlon of Alaska, one of the best-nanaged, eealthlest and most 6oclally-ionaclous riiElni-run conmunltles and ado{nlstratlons In the north, has the hlghesr aulclde rate in the State

A Meeting Between Brothers (PDF)

The last few years haqse seen ct r€-dssessment of the k,nu,tiledge hetdby the indigenuts peopl”es of the world, and a desire to understand traditional ways of Life md the wisdom they contain. One oJ the mast exciting possibilities to emerge from this reaiaal is of a synthesis, mtd a real dialogue, between mtcient and.contemporary mades of latowl”edge. In the following articles, we introduce two wa;ys in which this possibility is currently being presented to us.

DR PAMELA COLORADO was born an Oneida Indian, meaning ‘people of reality’ (called by white settlers the ‘Iroquois’) of the tribe of Ongwehahwe (‘the people of the long.standing rocks’), and was brought up on a reservation in the state of ‘STisconsin. She was one of the first Indian women to attend an American university, taking a degree in Social Sciences at the University of lTisconsin in Milwaukee, where she was the only native person in a student body of over 20,000. She went on to do doctoral work at Harvard, studying alcoholism in the native communities. It was during her doctorate that she began to take an interest in her indigenous culture, and to attempt to integrate within herself native and Western systems of knowledge.