[Marxism] Re: Help on Hitchens (or Ignatieff) on railroad and indian geno...

Louis Proyect 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.

Louis Proyect
Marxism list: www.marxmail.org 

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