Another happy July 4th posting – courtesy of the "objective" Ayn Rand Institute

Juli Kearns Everyday Stories 5 Comments

The Ayn Rand Institute bills itself as “the center for the advancement of objectivism”, seeking to advance the principles of reason, rational self-interest, individual rights and free-market capitalism, spearheading a “cultural renaissance” that will reverse the anti-reason, anti-individualism, anti-freedom, anti-capitalist trends in today’s culture. The major battleground in this fight for reason and capitalism is the educational institutions—high schools, and above all, the universities, where students learn the ideas that shape their lives.

Objective standing from where? In the eyes of the Ayn Rand institute, “civilization” equals European.

No Apology to Indians
Monday, June 27, 2005
By: Thomas Bowden

Dear Editor:

The Senate Committee on Indian Affairs is debating whether the United
States should formally apologize to Indians for a “long history of
official depredations and ill-conceived policies.” This proposal should be

Before Europeans arrived, the scattered tribes occupying North America
lived in abject poverty, ignorance, and superstition–not due to any
racial inferiority, but because that is how all mankind starts out
(Europeans included). The transfer of Western civilization to this
continent was one of the great cultural gifts in recorded history,
affording Indians almost effortless access to centuries of European
accomplishments in philosophy, science, technology, and government. As a
result, today’s Indians enjoy a capacity for generating health, wealth,
and happiness that their Stone Age ancestors could never have conceived.

From a historical perspective, the proper response to such a gift is not
resentment but gratitude. America’s policies toward the Indians were
generally benign, aimed at protecting them from undeserved harm while
providing significant material support and encouragement to become
civilized. When those policies erred, it was usually by treating Indians
collectively, as “nations” entitled to permanent occupancy of
semi-sovereign reservations. Instead, Indians should have been treated as
individuals deserving full and equal American citizenship in exchange for
embracing individual rights, including private ownership of land.

If the United States government were demanding that Indians apologize for
the frontier terrorism of their ancestors, as if living members of a
particular race could be guilty of their forebears’ misdeeds, the demand
would (properly) be rejected as racist. For the same reason, American
Indians should refuse to be regarded as a race of helpless victims
entitled to a collective apology from their fellow citizens.

Thomas A. Bowden
Ayn Rand Institute

Even a modicum of research would have dispelled these “stone age colored peoples lived in poverty and superstitious ignorance” myths.

For a different perspective, try this on for size. Ioway tribal representatives made a visit to Europe 1841-1845 and were not overly impressed by what they saw.

Certain sights shocked Ioway sensibilities. Among them were the coal mines, where they saw women and children used as beasts of burden to pull carts on their hands and knees through tunnels. Crowded prisons horrified and alarmed them. The grandeur of York Cathedral represented the greatness of civilization, but the poverty of many London, Birmingham and York inhabitants began to distress them seriously. When they questioned Catlin about the reasons for so many poor people, the subject of taxes and debts arose. The latter was understood, but not the result, the incarceration of debtors in prison for nonpayment. They reasoned that such a punishment only deprived the mother and children of a man to supply food and shelter, and they could see no reason for it. The poorhouses were explained as a means of taking care of such indigents, but the Ioways merely shook their heads.”

The Ioway, Washkamonya, kept an anthropological diary during the trip, studying the English and French.

Jim’s (Washkamonya) notebook now contained a sizable list of figures that argued against the benefits of civilization. He had compiled figures on the annual consumption of spirits. His numbers, carefully copied from his daily “London Times”, said that 29,200,000 gallons were sold annually in Great Britain and Ireland and that 24,000,000 pounds were spent to buy that amount. He then added a note that 50,000 drunkards died each year, and one-half of the insanity, two-thirds of the pauperism, and three-fourths of the crime were the consequences of its use.

“This,” Jim said, “was one of the best things he had for his notebook,” thinking of the missionaries at home as well as those who visited the Ioways in London. He said, “those blackcoats were always talking so much about the Indians getting drunk, that it would be a good thing for him to have these figures to show, and that he intended to have Catlin write these figures at the end of the tour, that fourteen Ioway Indians were one year in England and never drank any of this firewater, and were never drink in that time…

Washkamonya took note of how the Queen was being asked to promote laws to protect the daughters of the poor against being induced to prostitution. Washkamonya procured an article which he entered into his notebook for the purpose of taking home and showing the “black coats” who “extolled the innate virtue of white women and decried the lack of it in their red-skinned sisters. Side by side in Jim’s book were the number of churches, the number of ministers, and the number of crimes of all types that were committed in the country.”

The Ioway were more impressed with the French, though alarmed at the amount of attention paid to dogs over children.

A visit to the Foundling Hospital opened Jim’s notebook again, and he added that, of 26,000 children born in Paris during the past year, 9,000 were illegitimate. The knowledge that there was no one, not even a distant uncle, who cared enough to provide for even one little one, put more black marks on the growing list of French frailties. At this point the doctor asked why the thousands of ladies in Paris, who cared so much for little dogs, could not be induced to care for these little children. At this, the comparative gap between the English and French societies grew slim indeed. Catlin declared at this time that Jim’s notebook would soon be filled with information to ‘teach to the cruel and relentless Indians” the benefits of civilization.

The Ayn Rand Institute above states, “The transfer of Western civilization to this continent was one of the great cultural gifts in recorded history, affording Indians almost effortless access to centuries of European accomplishments in philosophy, science, technology, and government. As a result, today’s Indians enjoy a capacity for generating health, wealth, and happiness that their Stone Age ancestors could never have conceived.”

What? Millions killed. Millions dead of smallpox and disease. Even the “Adams’ Family Values” movie has it over the Ayn Rand Institute, when Wednesday, asked to portray a convivial Pocahontas, turns to the audience and makes a speech on how the whites live as opposed to American Indians forced onto reservations, living in trailer homes, lists a litany of ills forced on the American Indian nations by Euro-Americans and finishes with, “And for all these reasons, I have decided to scalp you and burn your village to the ground”, and proceeds to torch the Thanksgiving theater of the pilgrims.

Poverty and starvation were the gifts to the First Nations from Anglo-American civilization.

Now, for a fun treat, compare Washkamonya’s anthropological surveys with those of progressive bloggers. Washkamonya paid strenuous attention to what he observed and recorded it all with the intention of pointing out to the “blackcoats” their hypocrisy. To no avail. The Ioway, returning home, began to awake fully to how non-negotiable their situation was.

Progressive, liberal, Democrat bloggers dash about recording the hypocrisy of the Neocons, the Dominionists. I know, I do it as well. We do as Washkamonya did. We take our findings back to the “blackcoats” and we say, “See, see, I have the figures here. What you’re saying is wrong. Look to your own way of doing things for corruption and destitution of spirit. You are forcing upon us a way of doing things we do not want. It does not work, we see that. And it won’t work for us. Stop. We don’t want it.”

But the blackcoats won’t listen. They weren’t listening in 1845. They won’t listen now.

There is no reasoning with blackcoats.

Happy July 4th.

Comments 5

  1. I think the arrogant tone and purposeful ignorance of
    the institute’s letter is a strong clue as to their
    agenda. It’s also noteworthy that they focus on
    whether or not an apology is appropriate, rather than
    whether or not the US is ever going to honor its
    treaties, contracts, and other legally-binding

  2. My goodness, this was so very good. After my nap, I’m going to have to re-read this again. What the hell have I been missing all this time with your writing? I have been amiss. Or M.I.A. … I will correct this undersight.

  3. Part of the problem is Euro-Americans want to celebrate their heritage and perceive reconciliation as an impediment rather than a means to do that. In Josep Fontana’s book The Distorted Past, he writes about how indigenous Europeans–similar to aboriginal peoples of the Americas–were not what we often are led to believe.

    Scots, Basques, Irish, and Catalonians–among other first nations–have much in common with autochthonous pre-industrial cultures elsewhere. It is only within that historically narrow timeframe, culminating in the industrial colonization of other continents, that they went amiss.

    Understanding this aspect of social evolution is especially critical to Euro-American and other cultures displaced from their ancient homelands during the colonial diaspora and relatively recently transplanted on foreign soils, where they’ve yet to take root or have barely begun to comprehend how to relate to either the original inhabitants or landscape in a cooperative, respectful manner.

  4. No Apology to Indians
    By: Thomas Bowden
    How mislead America is in its past doings. need more? Live a life of a Indian. I know walk a mile in my shoes… Lets see where does one start with so much stereotyping done about how the West was won from a bunch of stone age Indians. Could we start with the facts or shall we keep lieing to the children? Whats best for the image of “ALL men were created equal” Liberity and Justice for all… What a farce. With 30 million indigenous native Americans here at pre-contact and only 1.5 million surviving in this day and age, genocide needs no apology. Prefabrication of American history as well as the actual numbers exterminated on contact we need not to hide the misdeeds of our past relatives. Natural phenomenon is just a back door to escape fopr a breath of freash air. With the sudden impact tha these stone age Indians did have a better way slaps you upside the face as Global warming sets the tide of time in motion. Such a gift, My apologies to your advance race for all this technology bring us a better life.
    Wow, “America’s policies toward the Indians were generally benign, aimed at protecting them from undeserved harm while providing significant material support and encouragement to become civilized”. My mistake here, I thought The Northwest Ordinance (1789), Trade and Intercourse Acts (1790-1834), The Indian Removal Act (1830),Suspension of Treaty-Making (1871), to name but a few was all part of an genocidal action to my people, as with the so called “The Termination Act (1953), how could I think otherwise on all of these lies, my apologies.
    For the betterment of my people, Okay, try this one on for size.
    “Your America has not been its land of proclaimed equality and Justice for all. Disease suicide and bureaucratic promises of a better tomorrow. May your God forgive you, the treatment of our people have been a national tragedy and disgrace. The time has come to put an end to this disgrace Alcrtraz, Wounded Knee(XIT) 1971″, the bombing of Angoon, whatever is necessary you must take the responsibility of your past deeds”.

  5. Pingback: Eye of the Beholder

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