Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Native Americans and Jean-Jacques Rousseau

The first man who, having fenced in a piece of land, said "This is mine," and found people na├»ve enough to believe him, that man was the true founder of civil society. From how many crimes, wars, and murders, from how many horrors and misfortunes might not any one have saved mankind, by pulling up the stakes, or filling up the ditch, and crying to his fellows: Beware of listening to this impostor; you are undone if you once forget that the fruits of the earth belong to us all, and the earth itself to nobody. ”

Jean-Jacques Rousseau, Discourse on Inequality, 1754

For some Europeans, Native American societies reminded them of a conception of a golden age known to them only in folk history.[47] The political theorist Jean Jacques Rousseau wrote that the idea of freedom and democratic ideals was born in the Americas because "it was only in America" that Europeans from 1500 to 1776 knew of societies that were "truly free."[47]


Natural freedom is the only object of the policy of the [Native Americans]; with this freedom do nature and climate rule alone amongst them ... [Native Americans] maintain their freedom and find abundant nourishment . . . [and are] people who live without laws, without police, without religion.

Monday, February 1, 2010

Some Excerpts from Obama's first State of the Union speech


He says there is more than a financial deficit: "We face a deficit of trust"


Obama: "It's time the American people get a government that matches their decency


From some on the right, I expect we'll hear a different argument, that if we just make fewer investments in our people, extend tax cuts, including those for the wealthier Americans, eliminate more regulations, maintain the status quo on health care, our deficits will go away.

The problem is, that's what we did for eight years.


Let's invest in our people without leaving them a mountain of debt.


In the 21st century, the best anti-poverty program around is a world-class education.