Thursday, December 16, 2010

Indigenous Nations and Marxism: Notes on an Ambivalent Relationship

Charles R. Menzies
New Proposals: Journal of Marxism and Interdisciplinary Inquiry
Vol. 3, No. 3 (June 2010) Pp. 5-6

The relationship between Marxism and Indigenous nations is an ambivalent one. For every story of a successful engagement we can find a story of a failed relationship. Neither has the track record of various Marxist, Socialist, or Social Democratic political parties been all that remarkable. Nonetheless, it does seem that the analytic reach of Marxist inspired theoretical concepts and frameworks should have some salience for navigating a path toward decolonization autonomy.

Marxism retains an incisive core that helps understand the dynamics of the world within which we live. Marxism points to the inherent contradictions of our social formations; it highlights the ways in which power is structured through ownership; it puts the spotlight on the function of states in the accumulation of capital and the redistribution of wealth from the many to the few.

Understanding how those with power operate is of critical importance and Marxism provides an analytic lens through which to examine how power operates. On the global scale it provides a way to tease out the linkages between media corporations, oil rig operators, and vested government officials. At the local level it gives one a clear understanding of how business works (not in the MBA cheerleading sense) and facilities intervention and engagement with businesses desiring to develop and appropriate Indigenous land.

Read more HERE.

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