We don’t own the Land; the Land owns us

The statement:

We don’t own the land; the land owns us

is an expression of an indigenous or traditional view of “land” as the environment we live in, and something living, which we have a duty to protect.

Simple Statements

We have a duty to protect the environment.
We have a responsibility to take care of the land.
We have to look after the land.
This is sacred ground.

This view contrasts with the western, European and American view of land and ownership which has colonised the world.

Mercantilism, Capitalism, Property and Ownership

Capitalism is making money from money.

Capital and Capitalism

Mercantilism and Markets

Mercantilism is making money from trade.

In common speech people use capitalism as a word which means “making money” but technically it means “making money from capital”. Capital is money, land or buildings.

Here we see the key to the concept. Land is regarded as a resource which we can use and sell. The indigenous view is that it is not owned by anybody so it cannot be sold. Not only that but it is our home and it is a living thing and we must protect it.

Have you seen the movie Avatar?

In the movie “Avatar” the indigenous people of the foreign planet love and respect their forest and their great mother tree. For them land and the forest is not a resource or capital. It is “sacred” or “holy”.

Broadly speaking there are two ideologies in the world. One is the traditional or indigenous view which is shared by indigenous cultures all over the world. The key word for this view is “moderation”. Of course it is necessary to kill and harvest to survive but this must be done in moderation.

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