The Shotgun Blog
Monday, May 26, 2008
Lemieux: Support Native resistance
When the law is unjust, people need to be willing to break it to defend our traditional liberties. In Canada, Natives have been fighting against paper crimes and unjust laws, which is why Pierre Lemieux, in his latest column, is asking liberty-lovers to "Support Native resistance."
"In the world as it is, Canadian Native resistance helps protect our liberties, for it keeps the state from becoming a total, uncontested authority. It is thanks to the Natives that five or ten per cent of the population can purchase affordable cigarettes and that the smokers of legal cigarettes are not taxed even more. To the extent that they are involved in other peaceful black market activities — drugs for example — the Natives are helping to satisfy other consumer demands. And some honest citizens may soon have to rely on them to find guns or light bulbs or whatever. Granted that lot of damage is done in the process, but the totalitarian alternative is even worse."
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That many natives seem to support socialism not withstanding, I totally support what Pierre Lemieux is saying.
I wonder if the damage that is done in the process, that Mr. Lemieux refers to, has as much to do with the fact that the government has passed unjust and immoral legislation, as it does from the activities of the natives.
Posted by: TM | 2008-05-26 1:54:08 PM
TM I have my doubts about many Natives supporting socialism, but I understand your point. My suspicion is it is the political ones who support it just as within our society as a whole. I cannot prove this but base it on a fair amount of contact with regular (non political) Natives from across Canada. Basically I have found a very wide divide between them and Native politicians.
I also read Pierre's article in full and in general agree with him, however I wonder to what extent Native continuing resistance is due to being able to get away with it for the most part. If we are honest we know that had a group of White Canadians of the same number attempted the same things they would be serving time. It was much the same thing when a crowd of Indo-Canadians were able to prevent the deportation of an illegal immigrant more than once. They were not detained, arrested nor were the riot police called in. I do not say this to promote racism but to raise the question as to whether or not non-Native protesters could be as successful. Just wondering if this is not an element to be considered?
Posted by: Alain | 2008-05-26 3:23:25 PM
"We non-Natives (I would argue that many of us are also natives, but this is another topic) have no real rights because we are not willing to fight for them."
Another topic indeed. It's definitely the one I'm looking forward to commenting on.
As for defending Native resistance, I'm afraid if we support it too much it will no longer be resistance. Without an opposing force they'll never get stronger. They'll just drift from one state of dependancy to another. Let them fight it out and learn the ropes. Just don't complain when they win a few battles.
Posted by: dp | 2008-05-26 4:04:36 PM
What, exactly, are the Natives resisting? They do realize that if they sever relations with the Federal government that no further handouts will be forthcoming? If they think they're poverty-stricken now...
Posted by: Shane Matthews | 2008-05-26 5:06:24 PM
Those who behave badly may end up in jail. Those who behave really badly may end up at war. Better jaw jaw than war war. Lemieux writes like an anarchist. Better ways exist than his.
Posted by: dewp | 2008-05-26 6:13:55 PM
They do realize that if they sever relations with the Federal government that no further handouts will be forthcoming? If they think they're poverty-stricken now...
Posted by: Shane Matthews | 26-May-08 5:06:24 PM
they'll all start opening up casino's just like they did in the US. While it won't work for all of them it will for a lot.
Posted by: The Stig | 2008-05-26 6:29:04 PM
Stig, it'll only work for them if they're reasonably close to a population centre offering a demand for such things. Many reserves are on remote land lacking basic infrastructure. Their ancestors apparently knew how to live on such lands, but today's First Nations can't seem to cut it. Also, just because there's a profitable business on a reserve doesn't mean everyone shares in the wealth. Chiefs are notorious for corruption, embezzlement, and election-fixing.
Posted by: Shane Matthews | 2008-05-26 7:14:31 PM
Good points. I know little about natives and did not read the article in full. I have talked to a few natives that believe in a kind of shared property rights philosophy. They claimed this kind of thinking originated with natives before Eurpoeans came. I have no idea if their opinions represent any more than themselves. This is the basis for for my comment. I shouldn't have said it the way I did.
Posted by: TM | 2008-05-26 7:22:14 PM
Stig, it'll only work for them if they're reasonably close to a population centre offering a demand for such things.
Posted by: Shane Matthews | 26-May-08 7:14:31 PM
I agree but the First Nations could easily start producing cigarettes, as many already do, and booze and those products are easily moved by truck.
Posted by: The Stig | 2008-05-26 7:32:20 PM
Unfortunately, Stig, with tobacco now all but illegal, I'm not sure they'll find a receptive (legal) market for such products. And that still leaves the issue of the unaccountability of the chiefs, although properly speaking that's a matter for the First Nations peoples to settle among themselves. They'll get accountability if they fight for it hard enough.
Posted by: Shane Matthews | 2008-05-26 7:39:01 PM
The amount of money given to the natives every year is staggering. Their "government" is nothing other than a dictatorship even though some are benevolent, and we foster this in a democratic country. Every time there is an issue more taxpayer dollars go to Chiefs and councils and into somebody's pocket. Check on the richest bands in the country and note that there is still poverty and substandard housing, for most while some enjoy new housing.
One of the richest bands in Canada is in North Vancouver where housing construction is booming. However, some still live in run down conditions and are on welfare, which of course goes to the "government" to hand out and not to the needy individuals themselves. Where are the multi millions of dollars being spent? they published their annual band income not that long ago and it was astounding. There is no accountability, no business plans, no forecasts, no reviews, no audits, there is just throw more money at them to be quiet.
Posted by: TheCossack | 2008-05-27 12:20:10 AM
TM - nothing at all wrong with your comment, for you may be right and I may be wrong about it.
Posted by: Alain | 2008-05-27 10:53:26 AM
"In the world as it is, Canadian Native resistance helps protect our liberties, for it keeps the state from becoming a total, uncontested authority. It is thanks to the Natives that five or ten per cent of the population can purchase affordable cigarettes and that the smokers of legal cigarettes are not taxed even more. To the extent that they are involved in other peaceful black market activities — drugs for example — the Natives are helping to satisfy other consumer demands.
A few years ago, I would have laughed at this.
Not any longer.
Financed by the pharmaceutical industry for profit, a state sponsored behavioral modification program for smokers evolved into something which should be a major concern for those who value personal liberty.
The cancer of unlimited government power is far more dangerous than tobacco ever was or will be.
Natives did made many friends and profited from this situation.
Kudos to them.
Posted by: flex | 2008-05-30 4:23:24 PM
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