We must unlearn division

By Ellipsister (Ngāpuhi, Ngāti Rehia, Ngāti Tautahi)

untitled-presentation_block_1I recently watched “Requiem for the American Dream” a documentary with Noam Chomsky comprising a tantalising one and half hours of brain food. In this documentary, Chomsky unpacks what he calls the Ten Principles of Concentration of Wealth and Power. During my screening, I began thinking about those principles in terms of Māori politics. There are so many threads that we could weave together and perhaps if I get the time over the next few months, I will look at each of the principles in the Māori context.

Chomsky’s main premise is that: concentration of wealth yields concentration of power. I draw from his premise and the principles in the picture above that kōtahitanga resides in our willingness and ability as tangata Māori to recognise and resist the colonising practice of division that keeps oppressive structures in power in Aotearoa.

I’m not claiming to have developed some breakthrough proposition. I am restating what we know but with intentionality – to remind us that the vast majority of us actively participate in reinforcing division among ourselves and we need to unlearn this behaviour so that we can drive our struggle forward.

We must come to terms with the fact that kōtahitanga can simultaneously accommodate difference and challenge power. We might not get the results we want immediately or even in our life times, but power fears mass opposition and the time to resist is always now.

Recall the whakapapa of our struggle that culminated in the Māori renaissance of the 1970’s and 1980’s. It reminds us that even the smallest acts of persistent resistance can build into a mass action for change and force power to confront its ugly structure. Kaua e mate wheke mate ururoa!

 

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