Part 1: Exploring the New Colonialism
Part 2: Case Studies (forthcoming)
#neuroColonialism #neuroGoldrush #neuroAssets #neuroGold #supersessionism #Franchise #PyramidScheme #PonziScheme #BrandingGoldrush
|The Eagle has been associated with Empire since the ancient Romans.|
It’s not hard to see why: the ruthless descent out of the blue
swooping in to snatch its unsuspecting prey
I’m calling it! The Neurodiversity Movement is being colonized in plain sight, spearheaded by those past masters of the art of colonization: the British, the Americans and, as ever, close on their heels,the Europeans.
If you think Colonialism is a thing of the past, think again. You do not have to be a continent to be colonized - any territory, physical or conceptual, will do.
Beware of the push by some business and institutional entities with globalising ambitions to swoop in and impose themselves over the grassroots neurodiversity movement that we built. And then use it as a launching pad to extend their global reach.
Our movement has already significantly changed the (Western) world simply by the moral power of our discourse and its win-win logic, without needing the help of any self-selected and unelected leadership group.
The power of the ND movement is that it is a leaderless and non-hierarchical network held together by the internet. Thus it gives both individuals and local or national social enterprises the freedom and power to have “a voice”, in whatever medium suits them best. It is out of our free interactions that we have managed, within a few years, to shape the policies of corporations, institutions and, increasingly, governments. We don’t need to impose ourselves on the globe.
But when all you have is a hammer, everything looks like a nail.
And when all you have known for the last half a millenium is the dazzling wealth, power and prestige brought by colonisation, at least to the Upper Crust, then everything else looks ripe for take over.
Colonialism is no longer about swooping down like eagles on the physical territory of a people and then subjugating them, suppressing their culture and beliefs and snatching their resources and labor until you’ve bled them dry. Colonization today has to be much more subtle.
Enter CyberSpace: a virtually infinite conceptual territory, full of dazzling riches, conceptual assets initially given away by their creators for the sheer pleasure and passion of creating without thought of profiteering.The new Neurodiversity Colonisers are Johnny-Come-Latelies who try to swoop in on conceptual territory built up by the pioneering work of the movement, impose themselves as a layer above us, and then try to extend their reach across the globe.
What motivates the New Colonialists?
By "Old Colonialists", I am not referring to the age of cruel and ruthless buccaneering perfected by Britain and Europe in the 16th century. My model is the 19th century version, a more "enlightened" era that needed a more humane justification for its plunders. Above all it had to be something the plunderers themselves could believe to salve their consciences. Thus the new empire builders and colonizer imagined themselves as part of a superior “Civilization” who were "there to help the natives, bring them to civilization, and convert the heathens to Christianity”. And indeed, missionaries did persuade “the Natives” to accept them by bringing in European healthcare ideas (such they were), thus softening up indigenous people up for the exploitation to follow. They did some good, but see the bigger picture.
How the Colonialists Saw Themselves
The Bigger Picture
I argue that some of our contemporary colonizers are still under the sway of this mentality. They truly and naively believe that they only want to help. Instead of Christianity, they want to bring "Progress" to the non-"white" world. Thus they can hide from themselves baser, albeit natural, human drivers - the drive for self-realization, the exercise of their own talents, the desire to expand their influence, and power - in the sense of the freedom to shape the world in their own image, the prestige that will accrue to them and the income to sustain their commanding position at the top of the tree.
They are not in it for "gold" or "slaves" these days.
Instead of gold, they merely would “love” to receive your “donations” for their altruistic cause. And of course, you will have to pay membership fees… for “operational costs” to be “ploughed back to return to worthy colonials”. But you will have to look in the small print to find out how much you will end up paying in time and money.
Needless to say they would find the concept of enslaving you appalling. No, they just want you to volunteer your time out of pure altruism, while they jet around the world in your name. It makes more economic sense than slavery - you don't even have to provide shelter and food for your workers.
Don’t fall for it. If you are an NFP (Not-for-Profit) or Social Enterprise, don’t pay their fees, only to find yourself working double time for little gain.
And if you are disabled in any way, don’t volunteer your time and talents! We're past masters there and should be over that particular scam!
Nothing about us
And no one using us without fair pay
A final caution: Will the latest entrant, Institute/Society/ for Neurodiversity” end up as a cartel, which gradually pushes out the actual pioneers of the movement who value their independence, their capacity to innovate on their own terms, and refuse to join? If the owners can tempt enough punters with wild promises of global glory, will wiser organisations feel pressured to join up or be pushed out of business? It's an open secret that that is already happening.
How it works
It’s not about gold, but the symbolic power that accrues to those who successfully claim the right to name "The Other"
In the traditional colonial model, first come the colonizers, who subdue local resistance, and make it safe for the gold-diggers to move in. In the new model, the goldrush came first. When pioneers having staked out the territory, they attract the attention of the colonisers.
It’s the difference between physical territory and conceptual territory
In traditional Colonialism, first came the missionaries and the adventurers, “discovering” places that were not actually “lost” to the ancient peoples who lived there. Then came the “little red soldiers” backed up by money-hungry monarchs and aristocracy and later by the new money of the Industrial Revolution. With the colony thus subdued, and an influx of white populations needed to maintain the invader's stranglehold, the European lower classes were allowed to rush in to stake their claim, take a risk, and if they made it, become the new upper class to lord it over the natives
In the realm of cyberspace, first came the actual Neurodiversity pioneers, the creatives, the activists, then came the “Helping Professions”. With burgeoning ND enterprises in full swing, it finally attracted the interest of privileged or pathologically ambitious entrepreneurs who imagined themselves born to rule.
It works thus: the more all-encompassing a Brand Name, the more the media will come flocking to anoint the owners as the spokesperson for the masses, and the more power and prestige they will accrue.
And all they needed was a grandiose moniker and the cost of a slick website!
How to identify a would-be Neurocolonizer
I do not include corporations, educationional institutions, start ups whose Neurodiversity policies only apply to their own staff or students. I applaud them.
I shall not name these organizaton yet. But here are some clues. They may:
- have the words “Global” or “International” in their title, and yet they are all USA, UK or Europe citizens and the smiling faces on their glossy PR materials are nearly all white. In the case of the Neurodiversity, those faces will usually be male autistic computer codeeer
- simply use the majestic Definite Article “The” as in The Whatever of Neurodiversity. In case you’re not a grammar nerd, let me remind you that the definite article suggests that whatever follows is universally acknowledged to be the only one of its kind
- burst onto the scene with a conference claiming to be The 1st International/Global Neurodiversity Whatsit
- be just one individual with the gift of the gab, whose office is an alcove in their bedroom and yet they call themselves the Neurodiversity Whatever International
Then, be very cautious!
The Neurodiversity movement is doing very well in changing the way society simply by the moral pressure of its discourse, the win-win logic of its claims, and the activism that arises from it.
Even if these fly-in johnny-come-lately come in peace, and are merely naive well-meaning do-gooders still living out feel-good missionary fantasies, if they approach you with grand offers of global influence for the common good, think twice before you get all carried away