Re: New Age Nonsense

Mary Beth Williams (MBAWilliam@AOL.COM)
Wed, 1 Mar 1995 22:15:11 -0500

diam9018@TAO.SOSC.OSSHE.EDU (Bret Diamond) wrote:

>Native Americans bought many goods by trading buffalo
>hides, but they they hunt them to extinction just to reap the >short-term
benefits of profit? The assertion that indigenous people >only took what
they needed is valid--they didn't have or need bank >accounts and CD's to
stuff full of money. Show me just one >example of pre-contact capitalist
greed by any indigenous culture!

So why do we limit this to *pre-Contact*? How about the Fur Trade? Did
indigenous cultures suddenly become completely corrupted by European greed,
their cultures so inconsequential that they capitulated upon Contact? From
my research on the region, the Fur Trade easily integrated itself into the
expansive trade networks which had developed during the Late and Final
Woodland Periods.

BTW, there has also been some argument recently as to whether the significant
decrease in soft-shell clam and oyster size was related to over-exploitation
of the species... But, that would not fit into the *romantic* view that NAs
always lived in harmony with Nature, so I guess that hypotheses goes out on
the junk pile.


MB Williams