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Marxism and the Aboriginal question: The tragedy of progress
#1
http://www.thenorthstar.info/?p=4715

I'll give a paraphrased synthesis of some of the things I felt were highlights for me. 

Critiques of Marxism:
1. Marxism is distinctly European and Weaternized in economic and social paradigms - to enforce "the struggle of the proletariat" onto aboriginal (or any indigenous people for that matter) is colonialism. Just because both the worker and the aboriginal are oppressed by capitalism doesnt they're inherent allies. 

2. Marxism recreates capitalism paradigm mode of production by flipping or mirroring capitalist ecenomics; communists are still and will always be ruled by the production/consumption dichotomy

3. Marxist progress is measured by the degree that nature and thus the primitive are pacified (read: domesticated, categorized and then commodified into labor). This is exemplified in this quote from Marx: "[capitalism] produced the greatest, and to speak the truth, the only social revolution ever heard of in Asia" - referring to the industrialization of India by capitalism and colonialization.

Potential synthesis: 
The Miskito's in Nicuragua was attempted to be co-opted by the Sandista socialists in 79. The Sandista's attempted to fix the problems of forced proletarianization from British colonialism by further industrialization for stimulated economic growth. The Miskito's resisted in full force and used the Sandista's socialist liberationist rhetoric to oppose proletarianization. 

The article ends with questioning if it's possible to create large planned economies while imbedding protected mechanisms to create autonomous and self-contained cultures and economies to exist with self-determination. He suggets that the only way to achieve this is to reject industrialization as a good and necessary step, to forgo progress but maintain a socialist economy. However I suspect that the problem might lie with mass-scale planned economies themselves regardless of industrialization - I don't see how any planned economy at all can resist universalizing its constituents. 

What do y'all think?
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#2
I found this article largely uninteresting. But that's probably because I find Marxism largely uninteresting. It does however articulate some of the reasons I find Marxism uninteresting.

«Aboriginal peoples [...] see Aboriginal culture as inevitably swept away by the tide of industrialism, regardless of whether this modernization is carried out by the historical epoch of capitalism or by its replacement, socialism.» Yes — obviously.

Your question is — I think — more interesting than his questioning, which strikes me as obvious. And I would agree with your suspicion. My line of questioning to go with your question would be: is this "OK?" Do the benefits of mass-scale planned economics outweigh the disadvantages? I think it's pretty obvious that things need to be scaled back substantially, but does it all need to go? I think that a reliable answer is impossible to arrive at, because power relations are everywhere, and usually hidden and unpredictable. But we can at the very least see what we've got, and what obviously needs to go immediately.
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#3
I just finished reading a book about the Great Famine in China under Mao (1958-62) in which a conservative 45 million people were starved and beaten to death. The narrative about the sheer unbelievable destruction of the natural world by the communist states finally put the nail in the coffin for planned economies for me. Mao literally declared war on nature, in just one of many surreal examples he ordered that every person in China climb onto roofs and go into the fields and make noise and bang pans and pots in order... to kill every sparrow in the country by exhausting them from the sky, and it largely worked. And that's nothing to say of the wholesale deforestation of virgin forests, the gut wrenching coal stripping of mountains, the mass damming of rivers and diversion for agriculture, the conversion of all wetlands, scrub and plains into rice paddies and the pollution which even then defied belief. I have zero faith in the concept of communist rule to provide even a modicum of freedom and space for indigenous peoples and non-humans to live.

That's my two pennies worth anyway! :)
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