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Debunking the myth of NGOs (non-government organizations) - Essay Example

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It is the struggle by the aborigines in colonial nations like Canada, Australia, New Zealand, and the U.S for the right to self-determination. Admittedly, many Canadians have the…
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Debunking the myth of NGOs (non-government organizations)
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Article Review "Whats Left? Canadas global justice movement and the colonial amnesia" Aziz Choudry has introduceda matter that has global repercussions and is widely discussed. It is the struggle by the aborigines in colonial nations like Canada, Australia, New Zealand, and the U.S for the right to self-determination. Admittedly, many Canadians have the latent sense that all is not well with relations between Canadian government and its indigenous peoples, especially when it comes to the latter’s claim for self-determination. Now, in support of these sensibilities, Choudry (2010) reveals in his article “What’s Left? Canada’s global justice movement and colonial amnesia” the role of NGOs in Canada, even the Left-leaning ones, is in acknowledging and supporting the indigenous struggles.
The NGOs have failed to acknowledge the link between colonialism and neoliberalism though they have acknowledged the latter as their enemy. According to Choudry, the Left-leaning NGOs in Canada do not acknowledge or support the struggles by indigenous people against neoliberalism. In order to substantiate this claim, Choudry points out that the issues of Indigenous people in Canada gained international attention as is evident from the fact that the 2008 UN Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women urged Canada to conduct special inquiry into the atrocities against the indigenous women in Canada. Still, it is surprising to note that none of the so-called Left-leaning NGOs showed any interest or supported the struggles of the indigenous people.
The reason for this is found by Choudry in the fact that even the Left NGOs are unable to acknowledge the existing element of colonialism in Canada, and hence, they adopt a ‘White progressive economic nationalist’ position. Thus, the NGOs fail to acknowledge the negative consequences of neoliberalism which surrounds them in various forms. While promoting baseless claims of nation-building, they fail to look into, or understand, the importance of the indigenous struggles.
Choudry turns the eyes of the reader towards a factor that often goes unnoticed. That is nations like Canada, Australia, New Zealand, and the U.S are all colonies in nature, and in all these nations, the indigenous people are in the struggle to preserve their land and sovereignty. However, the NGOs, and the Left in general, think that the struggle by the indigenous peoples for the right to self-determination has nothing to do with the global justice movement. Thus, the NGOs in Canada tend to identify the transnational corporations, powerful governments and political elites as responsible for the neoliberalism. As a result, the solutions they seek are social democratic governance, restrictions on foreign investors, and greater transparency in policy-making.
However, they forget to address the fact that there are no universal and shared Canadian values which can be rebuilt to develop a fairer society because the nation is a ‘stolen land’, as alleged by the indigenous. Thus, the point put forward by Choudry (2010) in the article is that capitalism and colonialism are interlinked; at least in nations like Canada, Australia, and the U.S. The fights by the indigenous people in these nations are, in fact, the fight against neoliberal capitalism too. This is so because the indigenous people are committed to confronting colonialism, which, in fact, is closely linked to neoliberal globalization.
Admittedly, Choudry (2010) has written on a subject which is globally important. Even in nations which are not victims of colonization at present, one can see struggles from the part of indigenous people against nationalization. A perfect example is India where people of many northern and eastern states are in constant struggle to gain freedom on the basis of their cultural and linguistic identity. Though it is possible for Choudry to claim that the fights of indigenous people are to be supported, the mere fact is that no one likes to surrender his or her freedom. People in the civilized world have compromised their personal freedom to make a nation or a society. So, the indigenous people do not deserve any special consideration regarding self-determination.
In total, Choudry (2010) points out the fact that the modern neoliberal globalization is just another form of colonization. Though the indigenous people recognize the same and fight against it, the Left-leaning NGOs have miserably failed to identify the relation and to react in time. As a result, even these NGOs hold the false belief that nation-building is the way to stop neo-liberalism. However, the scope of this claim is limited to such nations which are still colonized, though the indigenous in other nations too are in constant conflict with the national governments.
References
Choudry, A. (2010). "Whats Left? Canadas global justice movement and the colonial amnesia" . Sage Journals: Race and Class, 52 (1): 97-102. Read More
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