May 1·edited May 1Liked by Max B. Sawicky

There's a lot to consider here and I haven't the time just now. But I did want to note that I object to the notion of 1619 being the beginning of racial slavery in the US. As I understand it, this is true only if you exclude Florida, which had African slaves in St. Augustine from around 1575.

Expand full comment
May 2·edited May 2Liked by Max B. Sawicky

I have just read this myself. It is an eye-opener. The caveats you raise are worthwhile: what happened before White European settler-colonialists arrived. The book does mention that a war between two native nations in Mexico paved the way for Cortez. All was not sweetness and light pre 1492 - but that excuses nothing.

I am something of a student of history, and what struck me most was that we find few heroes in regard to the Indians, even among our most revered figures. I was struck by my memory of what used to be called “the Era of Good Feelings” - that period between the War of 1812 and the explosion of sectional strife over slavery. This was the period when the US was unified behind a program of Indian removal, and it was violent and nasty as hell. It wasn’t simple farmers in covered wagons crossing the Appalachians to find better soil. Getting rid of the Indians was an essential piece of that. And the Louisiana Purchase didn’t just fall into Thomas Jefferson’s lap.

Another worthwhile point is made about the US military which still honors the tradition of calling wherever they are fighting “Indian Country” to this day.

It has also made me question a little the liberal view that the Founders certainly didn’t intend the right to bear arms generally in the 2nd Amendment. We’d already heard from 1619 that the “well-regulated militia” was largely a slave patrol. We now learn of a second function - Indian removal, where, apparently the less regulated, the better. Not saying we have to have guns everywhere - but perhaps saying that gun policy needs to be decided on its own terms. never mind what the Founders thought.

Abe Lincoln famously resurrected the Declaration of Independence and its high-flown democratic rhetoric. His Confederate opponents thought this was crazy, the Declaration’s rhetoric had been largely forgotten because, I suppose, the gulf between theory and practice was too wide. This intellectual sleight of hand, it is fair to say, is the foundation of modern liberalism and leftism. But if this author is correct, we may need to lose the Founders crutch as the basis of liberalism and leftism.

Expand full comment