I think you're right, I think we're both coming from different perspectives--and I also acknowledge my grasp of Rastafari is limited so while we may disagree, I completely respect where you are coming from and recognize that you obviously have a great deal more knowledge/experience in regards to some of these topics.
Native American tribes did have chiefs and officials, but in most cases they did not make decisions. They acted primarily as facilitators for group meetings and would offer their own input, but they did not have total power over the decision making of the tribe. Most indigenous tribes ruled via direct participatory democracy, meaning that those who had a say made decisions based on consensus (unfortunately their society was not perfect and not everyone was always welcome to voice their opinion. Usually it was solely males and elder women who had a say). Obviously a modern adaptation of such a system would need some reform, but the indigenous American ideals of rule were very different from modern Western concepts of representative democracy in which we elect officials to make decisions for us. Many of the tribes in the Americas are examples of the oldest direct democracies on the planet, and they (mostly) operated through consensus.
Hmm, you obviously know more about Shashamane than I do. So with that, I'm going to concede on that point and do some more research. I might have jumped the gun with the comparison to colonialism, and for that I apologize. Granted, I'm not sure that tribalism=wicked--but that is besides the point. On another note, have you read Wretched of the Earth by Frantz Fanon? If not I highly recommend it, it's written by an Algerian who worked with the Algerian nationalist movement for liberation and it's all about the downpressive psychology of the colonized and the process of decolonization. Of its many subjects, it touches on how colonial ideals are pushed onto the colonized, and how native culture is turned into the quintessential nature of evil, into wickedness. Fanon is very explicit in his assertion that the projection of tribalism as something wicked and depraved is a product of colonialism and white supremacy. You might be completely right in that the local Ethiopians have no right to harass the Rastas at Shashamane, but I do not think their tribalism has anything to do with this and I stand by that.
Communal living based off of consensus does not mean a lack of structure or organization. The laws are created, again via consensus, by the people. Not by a bureaucratic agency or a bourgeoisie elite who creates laws just to protect their own interest. Any 'crime' and punishment would be dealt with by the people, primarily those directly affected by the crime. It would not be left to an agency with no accountability to the people (eg the police). The military would be volunteer based, and would be utilized when needed. I think accountability is the big thing here...we need communities that can operate themselves without the need of some huge outside force imposing laws that are irrelevant and serve the interest only of the elite, we need laws that are not vague and set in stone--but transparent, flexible, and accountable to the people who are affected by them. We don't need other people to write our laws for us. I firmly believe that man/woman is perfectly capable of governing themselves without the need for some complex abstract system that is accountable to no one. I am not saying no governance, I'm saying self governance within individual communities.
Its true we currently live in a world dominated by capital, but I don't see why this has to be the only way in which we manage our resources. I currently don't know what an alternative economy might look like, perhaps barter/trade? I think that whatever system is established, it needs to compensate labor fairly and needs to have some kind of safeguard as to prevent exploitation. What would that entail? I'm not sure, I'm not an economist...but the universe is a big place and I'll be damned if capitalism is the only way that sentient creatures have ever been able to exchange goods and services.
I'm not opposed to anything in your last paragraph. I also believe that we need unity. I think we need a singular large scale movement that tackles racism, colonialism, ecological genocide, capitalism, patriarchy...all of it. We need to dig up the problem from the roots, anything otherwise is just masking symptoms...anything less is just a cosmetic fix. So I 100% agree that we need 1 black love, a sense of international identity. I just think that when we are victorious we need to think about what our communities will look like, and I'm hoping that nationalism will be a thing of the past.
You reason very well, brother. Thanks for sharing your knowledge--I have a much better understanding of some of the fundamental aspects of Rastafari and where I fit in, and where I may see solutions differently. Above all else I think I just need to learn through experience like you said, I need to spend time with Rastas and see the movement through a direct lens and not through an academic one.
Now to redirect back to the intent of my original post. With some of my opinions/perspectives laid out here, do any of them fundamentally challenge Rastafari in such a way that they would bar me from actually considering myself a true Rasta? I know that Rastafari is about reasoning and there is no set universal dogma, but I also overstand there are some tenets that are fundamental to the movement and if I don't identify with them or agree with them completely does that mean I cannot be a Rasta?
Blessings and love, praise to the Highest