>In Particular Marx and Engels both considered native American society
>backward technologically and morally, as the blood-ties of kinship
>groups (gens) stifled individual personality.

I think at this point we understand what Heartfield means by "individual
personality". It has little to do with Marxism, but the sort of
libertarianism publicly embraced by his cult leader Frank Furedi. With
respect to technological backwardness, this is a truism and hardly worth
commenting on. With respect to morality, I am not aware of Marx dwelling
much on this question outside of the context of the need to establish
communism. Now one could read into Heartfield's selective quotations and
possibly conclude that if the Aztecs et al were bellicose, why wring one's
hands over the rape and pillage wrought by the Spanish invaders? This of
course is the standard counter-attack of right-wingers in the face of the
evidence of European genocide. It fits in perfectly with LM's overall
pro-capitalist stance.

I plan to offer my own reading of the history of the genocide against
Native Americans and subject the standard Marxist interpretation to a fresh
re-evaluation. My sources will be scholarly histories of today, not
selective quotes from Marx. Speaking of citations, Heartfield, I demand
that you furnish the bibliography for your hatchet job on Native Americans
that you crossposted a while back. To refresh your memory, this was the
piece that claimed that the Indians always sided with the French or the
British. I plan to rub your nose in this lie, but I am interested to find
out which right-wing source you picked this tidbit up from.

Finally, on the subject of the Ethnological Notebooks. I don't plan to
delve into them until the new edition is available since it will be of much
more use to scholars and activists than the old edition. This is email I
received from the author and it is a pretty convincing case for having the
patience to wait for the new edition:


Dear Louis Proyect,

Thanks for your query.  There are two main differences between this version
of the Ethnological Notebooks and the original Krader edition:  (a)  this
edition is entirely in English (you'll recall that Krader's book was a
transcription, not a translation, and that more than half of the text was
in German, French, etc.); and (b) with Krader's help, this edition is much
more completely annotated, to ensure that readers follow the twists and
turns of Marx's argument.

With any luck this book will finally appear mid-to-late next year -- and
I'll send you a notice when it does.  Thanks again, take care,

David Smith

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