Leona Freed's Recommendations: "Clean Government" or Anti-Welfare/Anti-Self-Government?

Craven, Jim jcraven at SPAMclark.edu
Fri Jan 5 23:58:57 MST 2001

-----Original Message-----
From: Yoshie Furuhashi [mailto:furuhashi.1 at osu.edu]
Sent: Friday, January 05, 2001 4:27 PM
To: marxism at lists.panix.com
Subject: Re: Leona Freed's Recommendations: "Clean Government" or

>  >Lou, Jim Craven, et al.:
>>Are you sure that Ms. Leona Freed's campaign is a good thing?  Have
>>you read her recommendations spelled out below?  What do you think of
>>them?  How will they translate into actual policy with the Reform
>>Party's backing?
>I am not in the sectarian habit of judging political movements from afar.
>The only thing that I am sure about--as I told Maki--is that corruption,
>nepotism, intimidation and bureaucracy are rampant on Indian reservations.
>Indian people will find solutions to their own problems. I would as soon
>pick apart Leona Freed's proposals as I would those of George Strait in
>Fiji. Are you trying to build the Fifth International from Columbus, Ohio?
>Good luck to you, my young friend.
>Louis Proyect

You mean George Speight of the Fiji Coup in 2000.  If anything,
however, the direction Freed's proposal suggests is the opposite of
Speight's coup.  In any case, it seems to me that neither could solve
the problems that beset indigenous peoples in Canada and Fiji

Nobody here is doubting the existence of the problems of nepotism,
corruption, bureaucracy, intimidation of dissidents, etc. on Indian
reservations (though I don't think the problems are worse on Indian
reservations than in capitalist governments in general).  The
question is how to fight corruption without getting exploited by
those who, like the Canadian Reform Party, spout the anti-corruption
rhetoric in the interest of eliminating government deficits, social
programs, transfer payments, self-government, etc.  Surely "Indian
people will find solutions to their own problems," as will Serbs,
Albanians, Indonesians, East Timorese, etc.  That doesn't mean,
though, that the rest of us should cease efforts to figure out what's
going on as well as possible in the meantime.


Response: "Figuring out" what is going on in Indian Country, outside of
Indian country, through the prisms of the bourgeois media and non-Indian
"savior/tourists" like Maki is an impossibility. We Blackfoot have had
overtures made by the Reform and Tory parties--trying to fish in troubled
waters. As far as I know, only one Blackfoot went for it joining the Reform
Party and he was immediately ostracized and remains so.

As a matter of fact, the corruption in Indian Country is indeed worse that
what is usual for bourgeois society--there is more desperation, fewer
"constraints", more isolation, more ways to get away with literal murder and
no real media exposure. The ones doing the corruption are all on the Federal
payroll; everyone knows who they are and what they intend. Yes there are
some, so down, desdperate and tired of corruption they will grab at any
puprported lifeline or anti-corruption. These women may be some of them. But
the fight against corruption is paramount as without eliminating the corrupt
elements, dealing with any of the forces of repression, Reform, NDP, Tories
and Liberals included, is simply impossible. So to the extent to which these
women, on the inside, help to give evidence of corruption, they are to be
supported; this does not in any way give aid and comfort to the Reforms and
Tories or whatever as they do their own documentable corruption in Indian

We are dealing with stages of struggle here.

Jim C

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