Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Fight Like a Brave

There's a great line in the Butthole Surfer song, "Pepper," that goes: "You never know just how to look through other people's eyes."

This is especially true when it comes to the way we view our Native American peoples. On the one hand, we have the writings of Thomas Hobbes, who believed all Indians were savages who lived lives that were "solitary, poor, nasty, brutish, and short." He would go on to surmise in his political treatise, Leviathan, that all people, civilized as well as savage, would revert to or remain in this state of brutishness if left ungoverned. Hence, the necessity of a strong arm government to make us all behave.

On the other hand, there is the idea of the Noble Savage as reflected in the 17th writings of the French ethnologist, Baron de Lahontan, who lived with the Canadian Huron tribe from 1683 to 1694. He chronicles one of their leaders as saying: “We are born free and united brothers, each as much a great lord as the other, while you are all the slaves of one sole man. I am the master of my body, I dispose of myself, I do as I wish, I am the first and the last of my nation.” Lahontan went on to describe the Huron’s political systems as “anarchic,” that is, “A highly orderly society, but one lacking a formal government that compelled such order.”

Later, Thomas Paine and Thomas Jefferson would incorporate much of the ideals of the Noble Savage (in this case the Sioux) into writings that refuted the Hobbesian view of life and instead promoted the idea of all people as free and equal under the law, with inalienable rights to their life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness unfettered by an overarching government.

How fitting, then, that in these times of Leviathan-like trouble – in which the Democrats view humankind as victims in need of rescue and the Republicans see us as criminals in need of marshaling – that once again, we can turn to the Sioux for guidance on a third way.

Russell Means has been a thorn in the bloated backside of our federal government since the 1973 occupation of Wounded Knee on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation. A vocal leader in the American Indian Movement (AIM), he also sought the Libertarian Party presidential candidacy in 1987 (he lost to Ron Paul) and the governorship of New Mexico in 2001.

Today, Means seeks to establish an alternative to our current leviathan, the 93,000-acre Republic of Lakota, an independent, peaceable, and lawful nation designed to provide people of all races with the only thing he believes encourages creativity, productivity, and prosperity: a life free of taxes and other hinderances to our civil liberties.

In this video interview Means states:

"I've never understood the patriarchal [political system] that somehow convinces its people that income tax and property tax are a necessary evil for civilization. People ask me, 'How can you run a government without income tax?' and I say, wait a minute, the United States for longer than 50 percent of its existence went without an income tax . . . So it has been done and property tax - the most onerous and stupid tax of all in human existence, where you never own your property and can't even be sure of passing it down to the next generation because of taxes – we're going to eliminate those taxes too . . . and consequently have a political system that is run by consensus. Having two major political parties in an alleged republic . . . it's impossible to guarantee individual rights under a two party system."

Interesting stuff. I encourage you to view the entire video and to do more research. If for no other reason than this, Party People, is a radical idea in the best sense of the word. Talk about hopey/changey. The Republic of Lakota may never fly, but hey, if it does, S.B. and I just may join up. The only drawback? I'm not so sure that I can fit "She Who Walks the Plains in Four Inch Heels" on a business card.


h said...

I'll have to think on this one before responding cause it be deep.
But I wanted to let you know that I defined "ghey" for Troll Poll purposes.

sparringK9 said...

little rebellions agains the globalist NWO everywhere. in the town of Lewes, great britain, they are priting their won money.

from the Financial TImes:

.....“transition towns” in countries as diverse as the US, Japan, Australia and Italy where residents believe that the best way to preserve the values of their communities and combat climate change is to favour local produce and business over the standardised offerings of the global economy. And, last September, it went one step further by introducing its own currency.....

this particular english currency? features the face of one Thomas Paine.

there is going to have to be a revolution of some sort. opting out of this fraudulent structure is one. way. i heard the russell means interview and it was terrific.

link to independent currency story:


Jenny said...

Where can I sign up?

This is what I was referring to when I said in my future, I want to own an old resort (or tacky motel) and have people live free and well... bringing their talents/skills to contribute. A safe place that is off the radar.

Well written Moi! And thought provoking. K9's comment is perfect compliment to this discussion. I'll be back to see Troll's response.

And finally, this:

"She Who Walks the Plains in Four Inch Heels"

Pure Moi - :-)

h said...

Really good post. Did some research. Was glad to see Mr. Means occassionally does battle with the welfare-state-loving-leftist-goon Tribal Leaders and some of the other folks at A.I.M. He calls the former "Vichy Indians". Grrerhahahahahaa.

Also liked that he bitch-slapped Ed Asner over the (original) Sandinistas.

If you find anything on William Clark in your research, please let me know. I asked Mr. Means to do that too.

Pam said...

I might could move there too! And I think he might could get my vote for president. Thanks for the post, very interesting.

moi said...

K9: I find it so ironic that Obama, who ran on hope and change, has done nothing but serve up the same stale ol' Big Gubment Dish. While the real out-of-the-box thinking is being done, once again, by private citizens.

Boxer: I dug your idea as well. A place where all relationships are based on voluntary transactions - and, on occasion, someone else doing the cooking :o)

Troll: I love that Means doesn't fit neatly into any predefined political box and instead simply promotes the dignity and supremacy of the individual. To your other point: You mean William Clark from Lewis and Clark or one of your modern-day relatives named after him?

Pam: You know, Oklahoma wouldn't be a bad spot to do it as well :o). Y'all are getting real feisty lately!

h said...


William Clark of Clark and Lewis fame. After the expedition he was the first Federal "Indian Affairs Commissioner" for a LONG stretch.

He was the appointed Governor of Missouri at the same time. Most historians think he lost Missouri's first election for Governor because he was too nice to the Indians.

Curious what the various tribes thought of him at the time. Most of them HATED the next guy to get the gig.

Clark wasn't very philosophical but he was probably more in the "noble savage" camp, in general.

moi said...

You're pretty much correct.

While Clark did fight in the wars against the American Indians in the late 1700s, he eventually came to admire and respect their way of life. He took Sacagawea's son, Jean Baptist, into his home for a while and it's rumored Clark even fathered a child with the daughter of a Nez Perce chief with whom he was lifelong friends.

He remained well-respected among many of the native tribes, due in large part to the fact that he had dealt with them fairly during the expedition and, unlike Lewis, seemed to develop a genuine liking and understanding of their ways. When Clark was appointed Governor of the Missouri territories, he made a concerted effort to build amicable relations between the Fed gub'mint and native tribes. Which the feds didn't appreciate, as you point out.

moi said...

BTW, did you send an email to Russell Means?

czar said...

Haven't read the link, let me say first. But I worked on a book some months back--a true crime case involving treatment of American Indians in Texas, or maybe it was Oklahoma, back in the late '60s / early '70s, and discussing the beginnings of the American Indian Movement. Something I took away from the book is that it seemed that one of the most dangerous places to be in America at the time was anywhere between Russell Means and a TV camera.

h said...


Yes, I shot him and a few others E-mails. I'm always gathering William Clark material. When I get enough, you or Aunty can ghost-write it into book form and make me rich!

moi said...

Czar: Life is certainly never boring with folks like this in it!

Troll: Do you have a geneology or lineage chart?

Anonymous said...

to czars comment:

while i acknowledge his observation as being correct (after all his brush with andy warhol and being in natural born killers probably went to his head) it easy to write a 3rd way figure off as a preening narcissist.

the problem with that is in order to get the message out you have to sort of be a media hog. think about it - obama et al never have to push to be covered but contrarians DO.

i listen to a radio show where the host is constantly accused of promoting sensationalism in order to sell books and videos. damn right. its the sales of the books and videos that finance the research and programming.

i guess obamas, nancy pelosis, anybody in congress or government are book projects that are totally altruistic.

anyway - voices that question the increasing over reach of the government with a proven track record of being woefully ineffective is a good thing.

kind of the message/messenger situation

czar said...

chickory: thanks. you're absolutely correct. my comments were not necessarily meant to contain any criticism of means himself, but merely to say that, like the obamas, pelosis, and franks, and the limbaughs, gingriches, and coulters, means is probably deep down a(nother) politician/entertainer who likes the limelight and who will seize on the moment to attract more attention to himself through a hot-button issue. not that there's much wrong with that. every culture's got them.

as far as government being woefully ineffective? yeah. i think eisenhower had it totally right about where the military-industrial complex would lead us, with the assistance of both parties. but frankly, as i've said here before, my faith in the free market and people's and particularly corporations' ability or desire to do the right thing left unregulated is pretty slim.

by the way, the author's comments about means date back to the late 60s and early 70s, way before natural born killers. i have no idea when warhol caught up with him.

czar said...

correction to my own post: i believe most individuals when left alone can and will do the right thing. sorry.

NYD said...

No doubt about it girl. You are a shepherd!

I like guys Like Mr. Means. People ought to shake things up more often, not just when times are rough and it's easy to complain.

Aunty Belle said...

Guerrilla girl!!

Voluntary --thas' what is missin'...ya's nailed it--no longer a viable social contract thus taxes is exercise of raw power against "subjects" rather than our participation as citizens.

Good fer Means!!

moi said...

K9 & Czar: Well, it's kind of Which Came First, the Chicken or the Egg, isn't it? You are passionate about something, you want to get the message out, but within that desire to do so there certainly lies a streak of narcissism. Big personalities are not only comfortable in the limelight, they seek it and know how to use it for their purposes.

NYD: Yeah, but, a lot of scheisse keeps getting stuck on my heels.

Aunty: It's like NYD said, we need to shake ourselves up and not just in times of crisis. Doesn't even matter if the Republic of Lakota ever becomes a reality; the fact that yet another voice is pointing to the theft perpetuated by our gub'mint and going" NO! TAKING OUR MONEY IS WRONG! is good enough for me.

h said...

My first thought on seeing Mean's name was similar to Czar's actually. That he was basically the Al Sharpton of the Injuns.

It seems to me he's become less of a screeching knee-jerk leftist publicity hound over time, though. And is now more thoughtful and indpendent in his thinking.

Kymical Reactions said...

Silly me! I always thought the line was "You never know just how YOU look through other people's eyes."

But great post. My husband is of Native American descent (although you would never know to look at him) - but as of late, we both have become very interested in the history of his tribe.

I have found it so interesting that as a 'people' his tribe, and others, never fell to the attitude that the US Government owes them. Now granted, they absolutely do, but the Native Americans have remained so humble. Very admirable people.

The Poet Laura-eate said...

Sounds good in principle, but I probably need diagrams to understand Moi!

Mind you, if you make it idiot-proof for me, you've probably made it idiot-proof for everyone else too!

I agree that a moderate approach is often best though. People forget that good government is seldom sexy or particularly visible. If anything it is noticeable by it's apparent absence (ie a country runs so smoothly, it's governing is almost imperceptible except for its presence at state occasions). Now there's a revolutionary idea!

moi said...

kmwthay: I think it's both: "to" and "you" in different refrains. Here in New Mexico, we have 19 different tribes, including the Navajo, Mescalero Apache, and Jicarilla Apache. The rest are Pueblan Indians. One of the cool things about living here.

Poet: Yes. Quiet gub'mint would indeed be revolutionary. And certainly much less trouble por Moi.