chapter  8
18 Pages

Thinking From a Different Place

What Is a Just Society? A Brief Manifesto
ByEric Cheyfitz

In this chapter, the author argues for philosophical convergences that emerge from cultural commonalities and for political convergences that arise from shared histories. These shared histories are the histories of European and Euramerican colonialisms. Each of these colonialisms has particular valences, expressed in Western law and other forms of containment and expropriation. Nevertheless, as the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples witnesses, even with its fundamental compromises with colonialism, there is a call across the globe by Indigenous people for a recognition of the historical force of these colonialisms. This force expresses itself in the subversion of the autonomy of Indigenous communities. Pre-contact indigenous societies developed regimes of conscience and justice that promoted harmonious coexistence of humans and nature for hundreds of generations. In 1991, Laguna Pueblo writer Leslie Marmon Silko published her novel of Indigenous-led revolution of the dispossessed in the Americas, Almanac of the Dead.