Hans Köchler

President of the International Progress Organization

“Mankind Can’t Survive without Values of Indigenous Cultures”

Call for a real dialogue among cultures and civilizations

Hans Köchler in conversation with Stokely Carmichael (aka Kwame Touré, leading figure of the Black Power Movement and “honorary prime minister” of the Black Panther Party in the United States) and Vernon Bellecourt (aka Wabun Inini, leader in the American Indian Movement)

Excerpt from the Harold Channer Show

International Roundtable Discussion on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples


“… I want to add something as a philosopher, particularly as philosophy of culture is concerned, as our Indian friend has spoken about it […]. The Western technological civilization will inevitably fail and will lead to the destruction of all mankind unless we are able to complement this civilization, which is based on mere materialism and a drive for power and control, […] by another value system which could be described as a system respecting Nature, helping us to understand that we are all part of one reality. […] in the field of international law that would mean […] the understanding of the human being as a citizen of the world; first, I am citizen of the world, a cosmopolitan in the true sense, and only then do I belong to this or that group or formation […].”


“Therefore, […] indigenous cultures, [who have] been able to assert their identity despite of very strong pressure from the overwhelming technological society, have to play a very vital role for the survival of mankind; and it is only from those [indigenous] cultures that the Western civilization can learn to respect itself critically. That is why we need a real dialogue among cultures and civilizations. So far, the West has never engaged in [true] dialogue. It aggressively and violently exported its own way of life, its own understanding of reality, its technology, and imposed it upon other peoples. […] what is needed now is that the West listens to the other cultures, and only then will we [be able] to […] generate this critical self-understanding […]; but for that, we need the dialogue with the indigenous cultures.”