First Nations & class

Alex Trotter uburoi at
Tue Oct 24 23:04:04 MDT 1995

Jim Jaszewski mentioned the chief-system imposed on the indigenous tribes 
by British colonialism and the U.S. gov't. Could this internal hierarchy 
and policing imposed from without be described as a real class, or as a 
caste? There doesn't seem to be what you could call a Native American 
bourgeoisie, and probably not much of a petite bourgeoisie, either.
	Maybe, if Marx were familiar with the condition of the tribes 
today, when their original culture is all but destroyed, he might very 
well decide that there would be nothing for them to do but wait upon (or 
add whatever support they could to) the revolutionary activity of the 
proletariat of industrial civilization. But in his day, they were still 
putting up a hell of a fight against the encroach of that civilization. 
If capitalism was supposed to have been in its progressive, historically 
ascendant phase during the 19th cent., then, according to a marxist (but 
not necessarily Marx's) analysis, the downfall of the indigenous people 
had to be a 'tragic necessity' so as to make way for capitalism and the 
bourgeoisie to fulfill all its historical tasks, etc. How could the 
objective conditions for the proletarian revolution ripen if the 
necessary development of the productive forces was being retarded by such 


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