"Great joys come from contemplating noble works." Democritus, Greek Philosopher (460-370 BCE)
The purpose of the Intsangano educational website is to give people, from all walks of life, a better grasp of the functioning of the web of institutions and structures that allow the political and economic elites (Patriarchy) to dominate society and exploit nature for their own economic profit-making.
One of the tools Patriarchy is using, in order to retain political and economic power, is keeping people ignorant. It is done in various ways. In the South, children often receive poor quality education, which keeps them ill-informed. That makes it more difficult for the adults to debate meaningfully with their political leaders and hence change or resist unjust laws, policies, and actions peacefully. Another strategy is to blur the process of decision making by keeping the public away from meetings and conferences, where people actually should be present and consulted, in order for them to air their concerns and viewpoints. The general experience is that people rarely participate in meetings that decide upon their situation. The fate of society and nature is normally decided by the political and economic elites. Governments may also create various committees, groups, and so called expert panels that are confusing and inter-tangled to the extent that people cannot follow what is going on. It is also difficult to access minutes of meetings; people hardly even know the agenda of the meeting. At other instances meetings are producing tons of papers, reports, and recommendations that no average person can manage to read or understand. The end result is that ordinary people may feel insecure about debating directly with the political leaders, due to lack of insight into how political structures work. Thus, we are often kept either in darkness or bamboozled about agreements and dealings, all of which may make us into the silent majority. It tends to result in implementation of economic activities that further dominate society and exploit nature.
"I have always believed that, no matter how dark the cloud, there is always a thin, silver lining, and that is what we must look for." Wangari Maathai
However, we can do something about that. When we join forces and share knowledge we each have on a subject, then we can learn together. Thus, if a person has a deep understanding of one subject, for example how the banking structure functions, which is acquired through many years, he or she can share knowledge with others in an easily accessible way. He or she can make a written contribution about how the banking system works and how it directs profit to the rich, away from the poor. If the person explains the issue clearly, then we can all grasp, in a couple of days, how the system functions, rather than having to spend years on studying it. In that way, we will be better informed. Afterwards we can use the new knowledge to present good arguments and make relevant demands in political fora. Consequently, knowledge sharing means that we are not kept further in darkness about that particular patriarchal tool, we can exit the silent majority, and join the political debate in a serious way. So, let us be curious, read, and educate ourselves.
curious. Read widely. Try new things. I think a lot of what people call
intelligence just boils down to curiosity.” Aaron Swartz, American internet
There are potentially hundreds of subjects that would be useful to clarify, and relevant for knowledge sharing. Here are just some few general subject headings listed in order to give an idea of what can count as being dominant and exploitative structures in modern patriarchal society. The list will be updated according to people's wishes.
If a subject has been covered by one person, others are still welcome to present alternative ways of seeing the same issue. Since we all perceive our world differently, diverse views are welcome and educative. If you wish to have issues added to the list, please forward your suggestion to the website administrator or mention it in the Intsangano blog.
In which ways do the following structures/institutions dominate society and exploit nature, causing crises for both:
Agri-business and chemical food production
Banking and monetary system
Biotechnology, eugenics, genetic engineering, and genetically modified organism