Native Americans Should Reject Capitalism

There is no one worse off in North America than Native Americans/First Nations people. The history of oppression and assimilation are well documented, and at least in Canada the government has apologized for it. And we’re still waiting for the Catholic Church to apologize as well.

Efforts have been made to undo the damage done. However these efforts were largely ineffective given the continuing unemployment, poor living conditions and lack of basic health care in the case of the US.

Due of the failure of respective governments to take care of the economic problems endemic to aboriginal societies, most have turned to Casino gambling. (Of course we’re supposed to say “gaming” because “gambling” has a negative connotation to it.) However these Casinos will not end these problems. Casinos only perpetuate capitalism and continue all the negative effects it has had on Native Americans from the beginning.

The short history of tribes using casino money to improve their lives is also well documented. The supposed benefit is the ability to use profits to increase living standards and education. So the collection of money from casinos is a good thing right?

In 1993, the tiny and impoverished Tigua tribe opened up the Speaking Rock Casino on the east side of El Paso, Texas. Interestingly, the rest of El Paso was built on land that had been taken from the Tigua, which is one reason why they became so tiny and impoverished. Now everything was going well.

That is, until Texas Governor George W. Bush entered the picture. One of the pieces of his platform for re-election in 1998 was opposition to casino gambling generally, and the Speaking Rock Casino specifically. When Bush won, he sent Attorney John Cornyn, who later became a U.S. senator, to go after the Tigua’s casino.

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Now when Cornyn filed suit in 1999, he had more than Bush on his side. He also had the benefit of a state wide PR, lobbying, and grassroots campaign organized by Ralph Reed, the former executive director of the Christian Coalition.

Reed wasn’t fighting the Tigua merely of the goodness of his heart. He was given 4.2 million dollars. The money came from the Louisiana Coushatta, who operated a tribal casino along the Texas boarder and wanted to shut down competition in neighbouring states.

The end result of this is one tribe trying to destroy the profits of another tribe. In other words one capitalist enterprise competing with another. So in their “competition”, they destroy each other’s living standards. This is what capitalism does to every group of people in the world. No capitalist country has escaped this.

This idea of destroying each other’s living stands to see who can get the most is directly incompatible with the most basic teachings and spiritual beliefs of Native Americans. The entire concept of capitalism is directly opposed to everything the creator wanted for humankind. It is directly opposed to every good thing Native Americans represent.

Native Americans, First Nations, aboriginal peoples are one of the few people in this world who get it. The heart and soul of what made Native American people great is being destroyed by capitalism. Marx himself acknowledged that the original way of life, (which he referred to as tribal communism) was the right way. All communism is now, is that same system made modern with our present-day material life and productive forces.

Go with socialism, you already know it.

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