Settler invasion is an ecological structure: Norbert Finzsch, ‘”The intrusion therefore of cattle is by itself sufficient to produce the extirpation of the native race”: social ecological systems and ecocide in conflicts between Hunter–Gatherers and commercial stock farmers in Australia’, Settler Colonial Studies, 2015
Abstract: This contribution attempts to discuss unintended, neglectful, or willful manipulations of Social Ecological Systems (SESs) by commercial stock farmers as part of an attempt to drive Aboriginal people from their lands into the hinterland thereby accepting or condoning their annihilation or demographic reduction. By displaying the different ways in which commercial stock farmers have engineered changes in the ecological system I will show that traditional definitions of the term genocide fall short of applied techniques of decimation which consist of a combination of micro-practices and quotidian low-level violence. It is doubtful that given the complexity and the resilience of SES, however, a group of commercial stock farmers is able to operate the system (of which, after all, they are an element) in a controlled way. I argue nevertheless that the term ecocide should be applied to the way stock farmers changed the habitat of the Indigenous population, because the settlers had agency without understanding the totality of their actions.
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