General News · 6th October 2008
The biggest fight of this century will be against the corporations. The history of the last century was dominated by the rise and fall of nation-states. But the time of the nation-state is now fading. We can see that the government is no longer in control of our country, the corporations are the back seat drivers in this limo ride of consumerism while the government that we see behind the wheel is only the chauffer.
From the first days of colonization, corporations have been at the forefront of the colonialist agenda. Governments wanted to expand their base of control, but it was never the governments that reaped the major benefits of colonization. It was big business that led to wave after wave of resource extraction, beginning with the fishing and the fur trade and, if we let them have their way, would end with cutting the last pristine forests and burning the last drop of oil.
The corporate lust for profit is inherently violent and always has been. Our history books tell us that the process of removing the First Nations was an unfortunate mistake that the government has now apologized for. The attempted destruction of the First Nations was not a mistake. It was deliberate violence because the First Nations were a threat. Not because they weren’t Christian, nor because they were savages. The threat that First Nations presented was that they didn’t need the corporations. They were able to live self sufficiently. Profits can’t grow if people know how to take care of themselves.
We know that government is under the power of mega-corporations. Our government does not protect us from corporate interests, instead they side with the corporations. Government couldn’t even exist without corporate support and cooperation. It never could have.
We have been taught to believe that colonialism happened in Canada’s past. The popular conception of colonialism is that is exists in the past and perhaps only lingers somewhere in American foreign policy. This is a fallacy. Colonialism never ended. Colonialism never slowed. Anywhere that still has resources that can be forcibly stolen or “extracted” continues to be under threat of colonialism.
Colonialism is a way of being. It is parasitic in nature. It feeds upon destruction of land, upon economic dependency, upon the backs of the worlds poor. It is characterized by sucking all the goods, all the wealth, out of natural ecosystems and out of communities. Behind Colonialism is a driving need to maximize profits for shareholders regardless of the death and destruction that they leave behind. Around the world lands are still under threat of corporate colonialism. On Cortes Island right now it is the Carrington lands that are in danger.
According to government laws, Carrington and other corporate owned lands are considered private, yet they are not really private. They are supposedly owned by thousands upon thousands of absentee shareholders who have absolutely no stake in, and generally have no knowledge of, what happens on their corporate owned lands. Providing that profits continue to increase, they will never know of the existence of these lands or the communities that they damage irreparably.
We cannot accept that Island Timberlands can do what they want with Carrington.
It is only government laws that state that Carrington is owned by Island Timberlands. We cannot put our faith in law. The government uses law as a tool for protecting corporate interests, not for protecting the health of our land, our community, or our planet. Our government will not step up to protect these lands. It is up to us.
The Carrington lands do not belong to Island Timberlands or any other corporation. They belong to those who use it, care for it, know it and who rely on it as a healthy living forest. Carrington does not belong to those who would trade it’s life for profit for investors.
We can win this fight against corporations when we see them for what they are. Corporate resource extraction is aggressive, violent and hides behind government laws. In our community, with the vast wealth of our shared determination, resourcefulness, creativity and strength we have an unprecedented ability to make a stand and contribute to the changing of our world. It’s time to stand up.