- Dec 2021
We will suggest that there isa reason why so many key Enlightenment thinkers insisted that theirideals of individual liberty and political equality were inspired byNative American sources and examples. Because it was true.
For Europeanaudiences, the indigenous critique would come as a shock to thesystem, revealing possibilities for human emancipation that, oncedisclosed, could hardly be ignored.
Indigenous peoples of the Americas critiqued European institutions for their structures and lack of freedom. In turn, while some Europeans listened, they created an evolutionary political spectrum of increasing human complexity to combat this indigenous critique.
That, Pinker tells us, is the kind of dismal fate ordained for usby evolution. We have only escaped it by virtue of our willingness toplace ourselves under the common protection of nation states,courts of law and police forces; and also by embracing virtues ofreasoned debate and self-contro
It's interesting to note that the founders of the United States famously including Alexander Hamilton and Aaron Burr regularly participated in duel culture which often ended in death despite its use as a means of defending one's honor and relieving tensions between people.
- indigenous critique
- Steven Pinker
- Alexander Hamilton
- evolution of order
- civilizing process
- political science
- Aaron Burr
- decline of violence
- the Enlightenment
you look at Rousseau he's writing two years later you know this is what everybody's discussing and the sort of social circles he's in so what does he do he synthesizes there's these two positions there's the evolutionist position and there's this sort of 00:53:31 indigenous critique possession and he does both so he comes up with the the first fusion well yes there was this primordial state where we were truly free and equal and that's cool but of 00:53:44 course then social evolution sets in and we lose it but you know someday we might get there again so basically by synthesizing these two opposed positions he essentially invents leftist discourse
Graeber and Wengrow argue that Rousseau invents leftist discourse by juxtaposing the evolutionist idea of societies and the indigenous critique in Discourse on the Origin and Basis of Inequality Among Men (Discours sur l'origine et les fondements de l'inégalité parmi les hommes) in 1754.