Knowledge Monopolies

There are no absolutes in human health

rena sassi

1/1/20242 min read

"Because science." I hear this slogan by both scientists & lay people a lot, almost daily. As if science is this one, fixed, unchanging, all knowable, all enduring entity. I mean if that doesn't sound like a misplaced description of God than I don't know what does.

Science is not a monolith. Science is the human exploration & discovery of the natural world an its systems. All civilizations & peoples have systems of science that reflect their cultural & spiritual values and beliefs. The philosophical backdrop of a certain historical & cultural moment frames the scientific lens by which nature is discovered & "determined."

Most indigenous & traditional sciences are grounded in value systems that are in alignment with & in respect to natural laws and order. For example, systems of medicines like Chinese, Ayurvedic, Prophetic and Native American medicines are first philosophically, & most importantly practically, in line with the natural processes of health & disease. The same is true of these traditions' food & agricultural systems-- indigenous food practices are in alignment with the earth's processes & evolutionary prerogative. All of these indigenous sciences are governed by the guiding principle that nature has an intelligence that is meant to be explored, discovered & in cooperation not competition with.

Now lets take a look at modern science. What are its philosophical underpinnings & what are its guiding principles? Without taking another yet agonizing trip into the history of Western colonization, it is evident from the sheer destruction & exploitation of the planet & of the destruction of the human body & mind through earth systems like food & medicine in the past 50 years alone, that the guiding principles of modern science are that of capitalism & competition. This is also evident in the technocratic takeover of medicine, whereby technology, experimentation & practices of control & domination are centered over human wellness.

The crime however is not only in the colonization of science and knowledge systems but also in the relentless indoctrination that this paradigm of science is the only science. The crime is also in the erasure of our traditional sciences and the internalized belief that western science is superior and absolute, that only it has the answers.

After Madagascar found an herbal formula said to be an effective cure for Covid19, The President of Madagascar recently requested from his fellow African nations to withdraw from the WHO after the organization attempted to bribe (and probably blackmail) African officials not to use the formula with its population. This is the epitome of Western colonial practices as the WHO is a neo-colonial institution that weaponizes health and disease to control and exploit economies and resources in black and brown populations.

But the west does not have an authority or ownership on knowledge, science, medicine, the earth or any of its inhabitants. Finding and uplifting holistic systems that are in line with the natural order of all life on earth is perhaps one of the greatest acts of self-determination and sovereignty one can engage in. We are not limited to what the white man says is truth. Find your own.

*This blog was first published on September 7, 2020