Again it is difficult to talk sense into Louis when accusations like FBI
membership collusion with genocide and other emotionalism is in the air,
but here goes. 

In message <[EMAIL PROTECTED]>, Louis
Proyect <[EMAIL PROTECTED]> writes
>The American Indians did not have a concept of land ownership like Donald
>Trump's, but they certainly did have a concept of territoriality.
>Heartfield is aware of this, I'm sure, since he has been anxious to remind
>us of the intermittent wars between various tribes, who fought over hunting
>grounds typically.

Not quite. Territoriality is a long way from property. The wars amongst
native Americans were not *over* anything. As kinship groups they were
irresolutely hostile. It is just ahistorical to read capitalist
competition back into these societies.

>Both the American government and the tribes understood the territorial
>rights of the Indians, since the evidence of such an agreement can be found
>in the myriad of treaties that they hammered out and which the whites
>betrayed over and over again. 

This is just surreal. Louyis should ask why the US govt. like the
British govt. before it recognised native American land rights. Was this
some love of justice on their part? In all other respects native
Americans were denied the basic civil liberties of US citizens. So why
should the US courts suddenly reverse their position and embrace native
Americans as legal subjects? Only the most naive would be taken in by
this charade.

The so-called treaties (in fact unilateral impositions by the more
powerful force) only negotiated the retreat of the Indian tribes. Their
terms were onerous. The 'property' that they granted was not property in
any sense enjoyed by US citizens. It was not theirs to dispose. On the
contrary. These treaties weere ghettoes, as their degeneration into
'reservations' for the management of native Americans by 'Indian
Agents', like Custer, who were appointed to 'manage' this property on
their behalf. 

It is difficult to imagine a more fictitious land title than that
granted to native American tribes. That much is forcefully demonstrated
by the ease with which these treaties were unilaterally overturned by
the US govt.

The sense in which the US govt.
>understood the territorial
>rights of the Indians

Is explained by Louis himself
>The treaty of 1851 was subverted through a
>provocation by the capitalist government.

>This treaty was violated,
>just as the 1851 treaty was violated.

>the US Cavalry
>attacked at dawn, slaughtering 150 poorly armed Indians. The architect of
>this "victory" was

Indian agent under the treaties

> George Custer.

>Heartfield hates these treaties as much as
>the capitalist class did and finds all sorts of "Marxist" reasons to throw
>them into a bonfire and piss on them while they burn.

Again, I neither hate nor love the treaties. They are there, and they
ought to be understood.

> But they were based
>on law and were not at all "fictional." 

Touching faith in the law.

>The Supreme Court of the United
>States and state supreme courts are called upon to adjudicate them

All power to the Supreme Court

>All these cases involve land claims made by Indians on the
>basis of various treaties. Like them or not, 

neither - like has nothing to do with it

>they are real, not fictional.

And yet, strangely, afforded native Americans no protection whatsoever
against the invasion of these lands and the slaughter of their
inhabitants. Native American land rights proved about as 'real' as the
rights of Jews in the Warsaw Ghetto.

As to the honouring of these treaties today, what role exactly does land
ownership play in socialism?
James Heartfield

Reply via email to