[lit-ideas] Re: Giving Thanksgiving

  • From: Mike Geary <jejunejesuit.geary2@xxxxxxxxx>
  • To: lit-ideas@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
  • Date: Wed, 1 Dec 2010 09:14:51 -0600

What is the genesis of this conversation?  Who in the world takes the notion
of the "Noble Savage" seriously?  Human beings are human beings,
self-interest is the primary motivating force in our lives.  That's why we
have government.  Of course, self-interest can manifest itself in noble,
generous, selfless ways,  witness Jesus, Siddhartha, Gandhi, King,  and
untold billions throughout history who acted for the common good even if it
was not in their immediate self-interest, but in the long-run they believed
it to be in their self-interest as a human being.  And actions of
self-interest can seem contradictory such as poor whites voting Republican,
but in fact, they perceive their primary self-interest in believing that
they are superior to other races and vote for those who claim to support
that belief.  "Noble Savage"  Who but Rousseau believed that?  We are noble
when it's in our self-interest, we are savage when it's in our
self-interest.  Knowing what's truly in our self-interest is the problem.

Mike Geary
interested only in myself

On Wed, Dec 1, 2010 at 2:07 AM, Eric Yost <mr.eric.yost@xxxxxxxxx> wrote:

> On 11/30/2010 11:25 AM, Omar Kusturica wrote about Tecumseh:
>   there was a concrete pretext for that but more generally it seems like a
>> logical decision
> The northeastern US Indians played French against British for a while until
> France lost, then switched to working with the British in guerrilla raids on
> the colonists during the US Revolutionary War. At this point in US history,
> 1812, it was possible for the British to retake the colonies, which is why
> Tecumseh sided with them, by explicit agreement with the British.
> No strategy was successful against the Europeans. In the South, one tribe,
> Cherokee I believe, tried to assimilate, creating their own alphabet,
> establishing a government, taking on all British customs, even going so far
> as owning African slaves.
> They were forcibly evicted--despite winning a US Supreme Court case in
> their favor--to endure, and many could not, the infamous "Trail of Tears."
> Yet they were never "Noble Savages" in a Rousseauian sense. Like their
> counterparts in Florida, they were often proxy warriors for European powers,
> and were just as vicious and relentless as any European or Asian group has
> been.
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