“Negotiating to prepare for genuine decolonization in New Caledonia”

[Le dimanche 4 octobre, les 174 154 électeurs de Nouvelle-Calédonie, inscrits sur une liste spéciale – limitée aux natifs de l’île et à ceux arrivés avant 1994 – se prononceront à nouveau pour ou contre l’indépendance de l’île devenue possession française en 1853. Cette consultation, après celle de 2018, pourrait être suivie d’une troisième en cas de victoire du « non » à l’indépendance. Elle marque l’aboutissement d’un processus de décolonisation progressive inédit dans l’histoire de la République française, ouvert par les accords de Matignon le 26 juin 1988, puis par ceux de Nouméa, le 5 mai 1998. Au fil de ces évolutions, la Nouvelle-Calédonie est devenue un véritable « laboratoire institutionnel », doté d’un statut sans équivalent au sein de la République, avec ses propres institutions et de larges compétences, hors compétences régaliennes, transférées de manière irréversible.]

Tribune. Nation-states do not appreciate indigenous peoples, all the more so when the latter show inclinations for autonomy or, even worse, independence. It is about the power of sovereign countries over the territories they administer and from which they most often exploit the original marginal populations in their eyes. If these regimb, they derogate from the law and expose themselves to economic, judicial or even military sanctions. Contemporary centralized states are all the more convinced of their effectiveness and their legitimacy because they display ideologies and values ​​of which they are always proud: the development of their technical and medical knowledge, the “universality” of their confessional beliefs. or secularists, their “influence” in the world and, finally, their advanced position in the evolution of humanity, all supported, more prosaically, on a solid weaponry.

Tyrannical complacency

The indigenous peoples, in that they put forward their own territories, memories, institutions and knowledge, can only slow them down in this march towards perfection. This tyrannical self-satisfaction is nourished by the conviction, as anthropologist François Pouillon points out, that “If the others, abroad, sometimes enjoy an enviable quality of life, in the proximity of nature and the spiritual warmth of their group (which, however, does not protect them from bloodthirsty dictatorships, ethnic cleansing , natural disasters and great modern pandemics), they are, we believe, in a pitiful political state and remain, all in all, “backward” ” [L’Anthropologie des petites choses, Le Bord de l’eau, 2015].

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