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Re: Jefferson and genocide
by Carl H.A. Dassbach
16 April 2002 11:52 UTC
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But the systematic, relentless extermination of the native people is only
one of the great atrocities of American history, there are more such as the
enslavement of Africans and the Black holocaust of the late 19th and early
20th c., the herding Japanese Americans into concentration camps during
World War II, or the fact that 8 to 10 million people in the "richest
country in the world" go to bed hungry and 30 million lack adequate health

National memories are selective and nations try to forget, excuse or ignore
their atrocities.  If you are a powerful nation, forgetting is more
successful than in the case of weaker nations who have their pasts "rubbed
in their face."

Even today, the US is the main accomplice in one of the greatest atrocities
of the 20th and 21st century, the systematic extermination of the
Palestinian people.
Carl H.A.  Dassbach

Member of the Human Race,
Planet Earth, Sol System, Milky Way Galaxy
Dept. of Social Sciences
Michigan Tech. Univ.
Houghton,  MI  49931
----- Original Message -----
From: <prugovecki@laguna.com.mx>
To: <wsn@csf.colorado.edu>
Sent: Monday, April 15, 2002 5:55 PM
Subject: Jefferson and genocide

> In the April 14, 2002 WSN communication "Jefferson and USA" Seyed Javad
> <seyedjavad@hotmail.com> reproduces the article "Happy Birthday Mr.
> Jefferson" by Thomas L. Krannawitter. In it Thomas Jefferson is described
> as a great humanitarian. Thus, in the beginning of this article it is
> stated that
> "[N]o one in human history has done more [than Thomas Jefferson] to
> the cause of human freedom."
> The article ends with the following statement:
> "If America is ever to truly get beyond race -- if Americans are ever to
> view one another simply as fellow citizens and friends -- we will do so
> only by embracing the color-blind and universal principles of Thomas
> Jefferson."
> One arives, however, at a totally different impression of Thomas Jefferson
> by reading AMERICAN HOLOCAUST (Oxford University Press, 1992) by David E.
> Stannard (a University of Hawaii Professor of American Studies). On its p.
> 120 one can find the following passage:
> "Jefferson's writings on Indians are filled with the straightforward
> assertion that the natives are to be given a simple choice - to be
> 'extirpate[d] from the earth' or to remove themselves out of the American
> way. Had the same words been enunciated by a German leader in 1939, and
> directed at European Jews, they would be engraved in modern history."
> Later, on p. 240 of the same book, while comparing Bolivar (who believed
> that the native Indians are the "legitimate owners" of the South American
> continent) to Jefferson, Stannard writes:
> "... Jefferson would later write of the remaining Indians in America that
> the government was obliged 'now to pursue them to extermination, or drive
> them to new seats beyond our reach.'"
> This Jeffersonian policy was very successful. After I purchased my 1967
> copy of ENCYCLOPEDIA BRITANNICA and read the cold statistics on pp. 75 -
> of its vol. 12, dealing with the North America Indian, I realized that the
> greatest genocide in human history had been carried out right here, in
> North America. Thus on p. 77 of that volume it is stated:
> "[E]vents [in USA] gave currency to the concept of the Indian as 'The
> Vanishing American.' The decision of 1871 to discontinue treaty-making and
> the Allotment act of 1887 were both founded on the belief that the Indians
> would not survive."
> And yet none of my academic colleagues at Princeton, University of
> University of Toronto, and elsewhere, seemed to be aware of these facts -
> never mind the average American or Canadian! However, well-documented
> Ronald Wright, published in the 1990s, eventually substantiated even
> further my conclusion.
> The indifference and/or ignorance of the North American public about these
> and other basic historical facts prompted me in part to write the
> utopian/dystopian novel MEMOIRS OF THE FUTURE (Cross Cultural
> Notre Dame, 2001), in which the docile population of one of its featured
> imaginary countries, called FWF (Free World Federation), is systematically
> "brainstuffed" by its media, which has built a political virtual reality
> into which each "Freeworlder" is immersed from the moment of birth. (Note:
> As opposed to "brainwashing," by definition "brainstuffing" takes place
> from the moment of birth, so that its victims never even realize that
> brains have been "stuffed" with false or misleading information.)
> Assuming that there have not been two presidents of USA named Thomas
> Jefferson (perhaps coexisting in parallel universes!?), it would be hard
> find a better example of the way "brainstuffing" is carried out than the
> one provided by the above cited article "Happy Birthday Mr. Jefferson."
> But brainstuffing can be more subtle than that! Thus the article on Thomas
> Jefferson on pp. 985-989 of the earlier cited volume 12 of ENCYCLOPEDIA
> BRITANNICA makes absolutely no mention of Jefferson's writings which
> condemned entire native nations and peoples in North America to
> However, in explaining his high-level "moral sense" it states:
> "Right and wrong differed in different societies, and the criterion which
> Jefferson accepted was the utility for a given society."
> It might be very interesting to view Hitler's philosophy and genocidal
> policies from this utilitarian point of view.
> All I can add in conclusion is that FWF, which can be dubbed "utopia for
> the rich," is being realized much faster than I had expected when I wrote
> the first draft of MEMOIRS OF THE FUTURE in 1974. However, not the same
> be said of my other imaginary country named Terra, which deserves only the
> more prosaic name of "everybody's utopia."
> Eduard Prugovecki
> Professor Emeritus
> University of Toronto

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