Growth for the sake of growth is the ideology of the cancer cell. Edward Abbey

23 October 2012

Hamba kahle Russell Means

The only possible opening for a statement like this is that I detest writing. The process itself epitomizes the European concept of "legitimate thinking": what is written has an importance that is denied the spoken. My culture, the Lakota culture, has an oral tradition, so I ordinarily reject writing. It is one of the white world's ways of destroying the cultures of non-European peoples, the imposing of an abstraction over the spoken relationship of a people.

This is the opening paragraph of an article "written" by Means in 1980: 

Russell Charles Means (November 10, 1939 – October 22, 2012) was an Oglala Sioux activist for the rights of Native American people and libertarian political activist. He became a prominent member of the American Indian Movement (AIM) after joining the organization in 1968, and helped organize notable events that attracted national and international media coverage. 


  1. I get what he means about writing.
    As a programmer by trade, I'm very aware of the power of the written word.
    It is a strong glamour cast over the world like a net, catching many of us.
    I realise that over dependence on written words can be a form of slavery.

    Terri in Joburg

    1. I get it too Terri, AND I'm a writer, but I do understand the 'damage' it can do. Mayan shaman Martín Prechtel has also - ironically - 'written' about it in the most beautiful way in Secrets of the Talking Jaguar.