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Stupidity about the word "Indigenous"

Copyright: Peter Zohrab 2002

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Many seemingly insoluble puzzles can be solved by making the simple assumption that most academics are:

See the webpage Are Women just Dumb, After all ? for a similar phenomenon.

The article on the webpage http://www.nupedia.com/article/short/New+Zealand/, for example, refers to "the indigenous Maori culture" of New Zealand. "What's wrong with that ?" I hear you exclaim, in tones varying from surprise to moral outrage.

It is a conventional academic and popular stupidity to refer to anyone living in a given stretch of land before the arrival of Europeans as "indigenous" or "native". The Maoris did not constitute a political or cultural unity before the arrival of Europeans, and they probably arrived at different times from different Pacific islands, which were themselves politically and culturally distinct. So there was no Maori entity there which could be called "indigenous", and God only knows which of the component tribal entities was the first on the scene, or if indeed they wiped out the real "indigenous" people who may have preceded them.

The editor referred me to the author of the article, who is not a historian or geographer, as you might expect, but a computer scientist !       He agreed with me that the term "indigenous" is an odd concept, but he wanted to be consistent with the normal usage of the term and to be uncontroversial.   In other words, academics such as he prefer to write conventionally stupid things than to be intelligent but unconventional !

Most people living in most parts of the world live there as the result of conquest, which means that their title to the land -- both before and after the era of European colonisation -- is based on conquest (though they may dress it up as "settlement"). However, the lying and, indeed, brain-dead academic use of the term "indigenous" in such cases heightens the specious moral outrage of the so-called "indigenous" people and causes oppression, such as the creeping genocide which is now being carried out on White farmers in Zimbabwe and South Africa.

The point is not that colonialism is justifiable -- the point is that the people who were colonised had themselves previously colonised other peoples, though they may not have used sailing boats to do so. To pretend that only people who travel by sailing-boat are colonialists is to commit "Transportism" -- discrimination on the basis of mode of transport.


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Peter Douglas Zohrab

Latest Update

21 May 2023