[Marxism] Re: Help on Hitchens (or Ignatieff) on railroad and indian geno...
lnp3 at panix.com
Fri Apr 9 13:51:41 MDT 2004
>Didn't Marx (perhaps "celebrate" is too categorical a word) generally think
>that the settlement of the American West was a Good Thing? I mean,
>societies were for the most part fairly brutish nomenclatures, weren't they?
You might be surprised to learn that Marx and Engels thought very highly of
the Iroquois confederacy, as did Benjamin Franklin, who incorporated many
of its features into proposals for the new American state. Furthermore, the
only "Good Thing" noted by Karl Marx in the USA in this period was the
abolitionist movement. He never regarded industrialization, mechanization
and all the other byproducts of primitive accumulation as an end in
themselves. He only saw them as preconditions for socialism. Finally, while
we should never idealize American Indians, they were primitive communists
and had more respect for elders, children and nature than found in any
capitalist society. They were constrained by a low level of labor
productivity, but their ethos is one that future socialist societies would
do well to aspire to.
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