Mander (1991). Introduction: Indians Schmindians. (In the absence of the sacred.)

Mander, J. (1991). Introduction: Indians Schmindians. In In the absence of the sacred: The failure of technology and the survival of the Indian Nations (pp. 1–7). San Francisco: Sierra Club Books.

“The first waves of news concerning any technical innovation are invariably positive and optimistic. That’s because, in our society, the information is purveyed by those who stand to gain from our acceptance of it: corporations and their retainers in the government and scientific communities.” (p 2)

“As we will see, the idea that technology is neutral is itself not neutral — it directly serves the interests of the people who benefit from our inability to see where the juggernaut is headed.” (p 3)

“Because of the technology’s geographic scale, its cost, the astounding power of its imagery, and its ability to homogenize thought, behavior, and culture, large corporations found television uniquely efficient for ingraining a way of life that served (and still serves) their interests.” (p 3)

“Computers, like television, are far more valuable and helpful to the military, to multinational corporations, to international banking, to governments, and to institutions of surveillance and control — all of whom use this technology on a scale and with a speed that are beyond our imaginings …” (p 3)

“Many wars that our media describe as ‘civil wars’ or ‘guerrilla insurgencies’ are actually attempts by tribal nations to free themselves of the domination of larger nation-states. In Guatemala, it’s the Mayans. In Burma, it’s the Karens. In the Amazon, it’s the Yanomamo and the Xingu, among others. In Micronesia, it’s the Belauans. In Indonesia, it’s the peoples of lrian Jaya.” (p 6)

“… the natives’ struggles to maintain their lands and sovereignty is often directed against United States corporations, or technology, or military. More to the point, it is directed against a mentality, and an approach to the planet and to the human place on Earth, that native people find fatally flawed.” (p 6)

“All things considered, it may be the central assumption of technological society that there is virtue in overpowering nature and native peoples.” (p 6)

“All of these acts were and are made possible by one fundamental rationalization: that our society represents the ultimate expression of evolution, its final flowering. It is this attitude, and its corresponding belief that native societies represent an earlier, lower form on the evolutionary ladder, upon which we occupy the highest rung, that seem to unify all modern political perspectives: Right, Left, Capitalist, and Marxist.” (p 7)

“But the assertion that technological society is something higher than what came before, and that it is bound to bring us a better world, has lately fallen open to grave doubts. The Industrial Revolution is about a century old, and we have had ample time to draw a few conclusions about how it is going. It is not too soon to observe that this revolution may not be living up to its advertising, at least in terms of human contentment, fulfillment, health, sanity, and peace.” (p 7)

See this page at

Leave a Comment