An Indigenous Anarchist Against Intoxication Culture
The process of refusing intoxication is one that is long and arduous as a queer indigenous POC. The intense interlinking and bound together issues of being indigenous to land known as South America, a land being ravaged by major crop production of moncrops, but also of tobacco, coca, marijuana, and other chemicals being taken at a large rate out of context and out of balance like how people from off that land treat ayahuasca and other plants. As a queer individual now in the gilded, imperial terminal capitalist monstrosity known as the US, I see for what reasons our lands are being destroyed: it's for temporary pleasure, to numb from our suffering, because we have been told that how we exert liberation, freedom, and our sexuality and gender fuckery is at the bottom of a glass or end of a rail. I have also had to bear witness to the history of alcoholism en mi campesinx, mixed indigenous but not mestizx, familia. I have watched too many people end up in the clutches of the state for abusing or pushing drugs only because they had nothing else to gain or lose in their eyes so they listened to what was given to us. I speak to folx about why them spending what energy, resources, and capital on substances is not liberation, it is continuing genocide, ecocide, extinction, capitalism, colonial imperialism, and is keeping them from moving beyond themselves to actually get free.
This is a message for my indigenous relations and others: stop listening to the colonizer, stop trying to please our oppressors in every form they take. They feed off of our dead lives. We have resisted for 523 years, and often that has included abstaining from the intoxicants they push on us so we are easy and don't feel our destruction. We tell them to keep alcohol away from us, and though people die from saying no, we go on. We push governments, no matter how "leftist" or down they seem they are all gaming on maintenance of keeping nations/labor/trade for capital/systems that benefit them and must not be trusted, and narcos from lands, and even with armies against us we persist in the name of not having the substances destroy our land and people further. They have already written and foretold their demise.
To everyone else who is not yet on the same page: this is for you. You who seek to end the world and dance in the quick wild waters ready to erode the mutated fallowed earth. Why does your liberation cost the planet, other species and other humans far from you and your spectacle? Why are you seeking out making the spectacle yours instead of shedding it to embrace a real existence as an individual and collective instead of a walking dead existence? How do you justify your revolutionary revelry, subversions, or social revolt when you are still not embracing the agony and suffering of your own life let alone what your choices to consume do away from you? If you're not about capitalism, why are you acting as a consumer? If you are about decolonization, why are you promoting colonial land grabs, genocide against indigenous bodies, and destroying our connection to the environment we have always learned from? What is your cognitive dissonance with seeing suffering, extinction, and factual affects on things that you do see like the war on drugs and the incarceratory state, the military and medical industrial complexes, white supremacy, colonization of the land we are on in the US, etc.?
This is real talk. This is the problem. There is no conscience consumerism, as we all know hopefully, because of the mechanisms that make capitalism flourish. You cannot promote use of substances without participating in the justification of capitalism, you cannot produce many ofthe recreational substances used in North America, Europe, and amongst those with the capital ability to use without the exploitation and genocide of an ecosystem. We as humans in this age have seen it in both the proxy colonial wars through the Fertile Crescent and colonially termed Latinoamérica within the last 30 years. Within the warfare against US defined "terrorism"and hunting for oil in Iraq, what gets left out is the US's want of the opium poppy fields in Afghanistan when they entered. It also happened to coincide with the increase of opiate painkiller prescriptions doled out to Americans by primarily pharmaceutical company backed doctors and the continued rise in popularity of opiates as a recreational drug. This market still exists, as does the continued occupation, where people of the land are growing and being "raided" by the US but the opium gets oveseas. Similar drug pushing and coerced production for the US was seen anecdotally in the Golden Triangle as the US was fighting in Vietnam, and committing secret operations in neighboring Laos and Cambodia. Drugs benefit the US as an empire, sorry.
But if it wasn't clear enough, look just south of the US colonial line from Mexico to Argentina - the US controlled and backed War on Drugs is not only meant to create the conditions to justify genocide in the US against Black and Brown, Indigenous and arrivant bodies, it is also a strategy to continue the legacy of the Dirty Wars, juntas, and white supremacist/Casta driven, colonially based neofascism that not even Leftists in charge and adored by American and European socialists can be found not falling under. Many people are no longer able to access their generational homelands due to violence related to the purest capitalistic motives of those who have "moved up", forced to take work as runners, pushers, guards, etc since there is nothing else because the land is poisoned or monocropped, the water is poisoned from mining residue and pollutants or is stolen to produce alcohol or soda or to be bottled as is for resale, and all other avenues are limited due to racially backed classism and anti-indigenous sentiment, strict morality, gender and sexuality guidelines brought out by colonizers and neo-colonizing missionaries from the US (I see you Mormons, Jehovah's Witnesses, and Evangelicals), and purposefully underdeveloped status in the world. When we are given nothing, we turn to what we are granted, it seems.
But we do fight back, Xyha people kick marijuana growers off their land before the paramilitary can come into their territory. The Emberá of Panamá, the P'urépecha of México, the Bribri of Costa Rica, the Nahua of Colombia all have fought back and have even kicked out other foreigners or outsiders as they are aware how they could be blindsided by cartel movement if they are interfered with. Autodefensas and Zapatista communities throughout Mexico not only abstain from intoxication but also fight off cartels and the paramilitary government forces who are hand-in-hand with the cartels and the US. This type of armed resistance and pushback has history in the Americas to even earlier colonial periods and to this day, even in North America, autonomous and/or sovereign indigenous lands fight and die over preventing more damage and death done by intoxication. Though this has not always been and does not need to be the case either in indigenous lands producing or in occupied lands where it is consumed.
We can choose, and some of us do, to negate the existence of these intoxicants for political and decolonial reasons. By refusing to play into not only what pacifies but what comes up and promotes systems that are inherently based in imperialism and capitalism as well as used to bolster kyriarchy all around, one feels all the agony they should: for themselves to do what they chose or must for existence without being lulled into any false pleasure of this civilization, for other beings and the planet being destroyed near and far from them, and for the future as this continues. When you actually feel every painful aspect of living, you are more apt to resist at your fullest because you are able to sense how unyielding and sickening parasitic everything is. If you can feel that, and feel it always at the level as it is, then you have a stronger will built up to fight back as nothing is cushioning the blows any longer. Nothing is keeping your head above water, until you take the boat that civilization has given to some and smash it to bits, and float on a board. Nothing is numbing you, making you forget, making you feel pleasure when you, those around you, and other on the periphery are dying or are already dead as you are walking dead. In a framework that is against all oppression, against all control, against all passiveness, it continues that one should negate the interests of civilization and gilded pleasure at the cost of everything you think you fight for. You cannot destroy your masters without going all the way.