by Paul Richards, PhD
Print ISBN: 978-1-7344042-4-1
eBook ISBN: 978-1-7344042-5-8
$18.99 Paperback, $9.99 eBook
The Story Unfolds: Private Property and the Goddess
Private Property and the Goddess unfolds through the author’s response to American Indian Movement leader Russell Means’ assertion that Europeans, including Marxists, had proved themselves unable to respect nature and the earth. Richards chronicles his own youthful blindness which he carried with him as he grew up as a red diaper baby in Oakland, California and a radical student in the 1960s. After being jailed for civil rights sit ins in San Francisco, and after years fighting the draft and the war in Vietnam, he traveled through decades leading up to his discovery of the Goddess. His growing awareness of the creative female life forces all around him led him to search for the hidden story of her suppression inside history and the ancient origin myths of patriarchy — inside Greek mythology and the one-God Bible. Along the way he examines “Where Marx and Engels Went Wrong.”
Private Property and the Goddess shows how patriarchal private property arose in ancient times when men seized the land from universal woman-centered cultures that grew up around the circle of women who nurtured humanity’s children, giving rise to languages and cultures worldwide. Seizing the land led men to destroy the mother right basic to all Goddess cultures in which the land descended through the female line. The only way to end the mother right was through patriarchal monogamy which ended freedom for women and inaugurated the current era of misogyny, oppression and slavery.
Was there a time when our white ancestors lived in harmony with nature and respected women? How far back would we have to go to find such a time, if it ever existed at all? How did we lose respect for the natural world and for women? The answers to these questions opens the door to finding a way to change the course of history.
From Private Property and the Goddess Introduction
Our embrace of private property blinds us to the mystery of the Goddess. When I say Goddess, I am not referring to a god in the sky. For me, the Goddess is not a force outside of us directing our thoughts or actions. The Goddess is the female source of all life on our beautiful blue planet. Every human culture before patriarchal civilization seems to have understood that. I realized that patriarchal civilization itself is built upon the suppression of the Goddess which includes the oppression of women and the destruction of the natural world.
How do we end our blindness to the Earth? Trying to find the answer to this question started for me with American Indian leader Russell Means’ 1980 speech “For America to Live, Europe Must Die.” Russell Means (1939-2012) was a leader of the American Indian Movement (AIM) during the occupation of Wounded Knee on the Sioux Indian reservation in 1973. He challenged European Americans generally, but pointedly included Marxists, to respect Mother Earth. He said that European Americans, including Marxists, had proved ourselves unable to hear him. I considered myself a Marxist for many decades so his challenge hit home.
The fact that Means included Marxism in his challenge had a big impact on my thinking. I started to reevaluate Marxism. (See Part 4: Where Marx and Engels Went Wrong.) I would not, however, join the chorus of boos heaped upon it by today’s mainstream. If Marxism had become part of the problem, I had to understand it and make some changes.
It was clear that Means was speaking to us across a divide as big as the Grand Canyon, a divide that separates the old paradigm we are now living in from a new one in the process of formation. The old paradigm, based on such biblical ideas as human dominion over the Earth, is now giving way to an understanding that to reestablish a balanced and sustainable way of life requires humans to give up dominion and absolute obedience to the laws of private property. I was on a journey to discover the Goddess who was buried deeply under thick layers of time and denial.
Estuary Press offers books, videos, historic photos, and Studio Art publications for educators, students and teachers, publishers, media producers, museums, historic monuments, and the general public. The main content offered on this site consists of photos and videos by Harvey Richards; the poetry, writings and videos by Nina Serrano; and videos and writings by Paul Richards. Estuary Press is all about peace, justice and a healthy planet.