In a recent column, I demonstrated that the phrase “Indigenous peoples” means "peoples under dominance" or "peoples under domination."
This is revealed by a couple of international working definitions of the term “indigenous.” So here’s a strange question: Given the massive degree of National Security Agency (NSA) surveillance, and many other such trends, are the American people themselves rapidly becoming one people under domination with liberty and justice for none? Are all the peoples of the world rapidly becoming “peoples under dominance” in the name of “governance” and “government”?
Before I attempt to answer those questions, it may help for me to explain how I came to be obsessed with the themes of dominance and domination. It resulted from my studies of U.S. federal Indian law and policy, along with the Latin and English versions of Vatican documents issued by various popes in the 15th and later centuries. The English version of one such document from 1493 says that the Holy See “trusts in Him” (the Catholic deity) “from whom empires and governments and all good things proceed.”
Renee Vaughan holds a sign during the Zimmerman trial
The original Latin language version of the document uses “dominationes” (dominations) for the word “governments.” This is doubly strange. Not only did the Holy See envision its deity as an unnamed Being out of which “empires” and “dominations” were considered to issue forth, but the document also tells us that the word “government” means “domination.” In the right context, the commonly heard phrase “our government” means “our domination.”
The relationship between government and domination is undoubtedly what led George Washington to declare: “Government is not reason; it is not eloquent; it is force. Like fire, it is a dangerous servant and a fearful master.” The exact same point can be made about domination. Washington was one personality in a generation of elite Founders of the united States who viewed the common masses as “the rabble,” and as “a serpent” that “might strike,” or, in other words, as an adversary.
Today, we see an increasingly ominous trend. It has to do with those whom the United States government regards as “adversaries.” All people living in the United States are now being treated by the U.S. government (domination) as enemies and adversaries who are not to be trusted by the United States. How do we know this? In response to a recent Freedom of Information Act Request, the NSA said: “Any positive or negative response on a request-by-request basis would allow our adversaries to accumulate information and draw conclusions about NSA’s technical capabilities, sources, and methods.”
There are only two ways of interpreting this part of the National Surveillance Agency letter: Either the NSA has reason to believe the person who made the FOIA request is likely to share disclosed information with U.S. “adversaries,” or else the NSA considers the person who has made the FOIA request to be an adversary, along with anyone else who has been under NSA surveillance (everybody at this point).
It ought to be great cause for alarm that the U.S. government considers the average American citizen, or anyone living in the United States for that matter, to be an adversary. But the additional fact that by the year 2020 the U.S. government plans to have tens of thousands of drones, weaponized and unweaponized, flying in the skies of the United States to be used against its adversaries ought to make any thinking person’s blood run cold. The year 2020 is, ‘coincidently’ the same year that the U.S. military plans to complete its Joint Vision 2020 “full spectrum dominance” program. Unfortunately, far from being a “conspiracy theory” or some “crack pot” conjecture by a deluded mind, this U.S. government military program is fully in motion, and has been since the year 2000.
Then there is this: On a recent flight to Puerto Rico, coming off the plane I saw a series of HSBC bank posters with the theme: “Be part of the future.” One poster shows the front of someone’s pointer finger. It has a coded ink spot, and the slogan reads: “Your DNA will be your data.” Now that’s a cheerful prospect: Governments, militaries, and corporations, possessing a "full spectrum" dominating control over our lives, right down to the molecular level of our DNA.
Steven Newcomb (Shawnee, Lenape) is co-founder and co-director of the Indigenous Law Institute, author of Pagans in the Promised Land: Decoding the Doctrine of Christian Discovery (Fulcrum, 2008), and the Indigenous and Kumeyaay Research Coordinator for the Sycuan Band of the Kumeyaay Nation.