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Social Contract Contradictions: What about the Indians?

Social Contract Contradictions: What about the Indians?

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A deconstruction of popular social contract theories of the mid-17th century that were used to oppress Native Americans while this country was being built.
A deconstruction of popular social contract theories of the mid-17th century that were used to oppress Native Americans while this country was being built.

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Published by: Mattchews Solomon Mrozinski on Nov 07, 2012
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Matt Mrozinski7 June 2011Prof. Tina Chanter PHL 245: Reason and SocietySocial Contract Contradictions: What About the Indians?Countless iterations of the Social Contract tried to define Indian societies as savage andconfine them to the State of Nature. On the contrary, Native Americans have satisfied everysingle criterion of Civil Society set forth by Western philosophy’s most pronounced socialcontractarians, especially Jean-Jacques Rousseau and John Locke and shared no likenesses totheir depiction as savages in the States of Nature. Archaeological record hypothesizes that theinflux of he Bering land bridge as early as 20,000 BCE,
1
and Native American creation mythshold over various different cultures that they have been there since the beginning of time. I propose the idea that these immigrants were hominoid creatures truly in the State of Nature, andthey evolved into the first Civil Societies of North America and came to posses Reason,organizing into the Social Contract, and even promoting capitalism. Interestingly enough, theywere built on tacit consent just like Locke’s image of civil society. I will show how these civilsocieties were directed by the general will, a touchstone of true sovereignty in Rousseau’s eyes.His beliefs of first occupancy thereby should establish the right to North America that theIndians duly posses. Did the European colonists use force to establish a right to conquest?Undeniably so, but Europeans also contacted North Americans prior to Columbian contact. Norse colonization was attempted in 1000 CE and failed, and what ever happened to the post-Columbian Lost Colony of Roanoke? Was not American government structured to reflect aspectsof the Iroquois Confederacy’s ideas of representative democracy,
2
which also developed without
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1
Don Alan Hall, Who Was First: Ancient Immigrants into the Americas (Online: MammothTrumpet, 2007), http://www.cabrillo.edu/~crsmith/bering.html
2
Bruce E. Johansen, “The Six Nations: Oldest Living Participatory Democracy on Earth.”Accessed 3 June 2011, http://www.ratical.org/many_worlds/6Nations/index.html
 
Mrozinski 2the influence of the Roman Republic that also inspired the Founders? It will be soon be evidentthat every aspect of American Indian culture defined by social contractarians used to establishtheir place in the state of nature is used to wrongly keep them in the custody of the State and totake their land. Native American’s major refutation of the Bering Land Strait migration theory is basedon the misinterpretation of data. Archaeologists propose that the land bridge flooded as late as12,000 BCE, thus ending the migration and the dating the earliest evidence of Native Americanoccupancy at 25,000 BCE; critics of this theory such as Vine Deloria, cite archaeologicalevidence of American Indian artifacts radiocarbon dated to 38,000 BCE
3
and instead proposethat Native Americans have occupied their land since the beginning of time. However, many failto see that the land bridge was opened two times in the archaeological record—best estimates place these openings between 75,000-45,000 BCE and 25,000-12,000 BCE.
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The land bridgetheory presents that Native Americans only descend from migration that occurred during the bridge’s second opening. If populations of late
homo sapiens sapiens
begins to outnumber  Neanderthals in Europe approximately 60,000-40,000 years ago,
5
one could suppose,hypothetically, that if the migrations were composed the of less evolved Archaic
homo sapiens
that populated the Earth from 500,000-10,000 BCE
6
occurred primarily during the land bridge’sfirst opening, modern humans would emerge in these regions at a rate comparable to modern
homo sapiens sapiens
in the rest of the world. In light of this evidence, the Mohawk’s claim to
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3
Vine Deloria,
 Red Earth, White Lies: Native Americans and the Myth of Scientific Fact 
(NewYork: Scribner, 1995) 110.
4
“Emergence of People in North America” accessed 3 June 2011,http://imnh.isu.edu/digitalatlas/geog/native/text/history.htm
5
“Evolution of Modern Humans: Early Modern Homo Sapiens” accessed 4 June 2011,http://anthro.palomar.edu/homo2/mod_homo_4.htm
6
Richard Dawkins and Yan Wong (2004) “Archaic Homo Sapiens” in
The Ancestor’s Tale: A Pilgrimage to the dawn of evolution
(New York: Mariner Books, 2004) 62.
 
Mrozinski 3have counted 33,120 winters in their calendar 
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does not seem too farfetched to serve as a ballpark guess of when the savages could be seen as modern men by a sympathetic eye.We see in John Locke’s
 Essay Concerning the True Original, Extent, and End of Civil Government 
, in the
 
section concerning Property: “Whatsoever, then, he removes out of the statethat nature hath provided and left it in, he hath mixed his labour with it, and joined to itsomething that is his own, and thereby makes it his property.”
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He believes land that was notgenerating income via labour was lying in waste, and that the purpose of property is capitalismand trade—money comes into the equation as a “lasting thing men could keep withoutspoiling.”
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Indians who do not join in the common money lay in waste.
10
Beyond Locke’sshallow understanding of Indigenous history, land has been worked for both agriculture—both totrade and sustain society—and religious purposes. Complex systems of divided labor permittedagriculture to advance in manners technologically equivalent to European agriculture techniques,including but not limited to irrigation, nutrition, and intertribal trade of surplus. Incan societies atthe time of contact employed soil conservation methods and aqueduct networks to water cropswhile also raising livestock.
11
Indigenous peoples all over the Western Hemisphere had figuredout how to grow complete nutrition for themselves,
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independently developed monotheistic belief systems and chiefdom governments, promoting some to devote their land in religious
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7
“The Bering Strait Myth: Issues of Native Circle” accessed 3 June 2011,http://www.nativecircle.com/mlmBSmyth.html
8
John Locke, “An Essay Concerning the True Original, Extent, and End of Civil Government,”in
The Social Contract 
ed. Sir Ernest Barker (London: Oxford University Press, 1961) p. 17.
9
Locke, True Original, 29.
10
Locke, True Original, 27.
11
“Incas,” Accessed 5 June 2011, http://public.wsu.edu/~dee/CIVAMRCA/INCAS.HTM
12
John Vivian,
The Three Sisters
, accessed 6 June 2011,http://www.motherearthnews.com/Nature-Community/2001-02-01/The-Three-Sisters.aspx

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