Sunday, August 21, 2016

Public Occurrences, Harris. The Indians, II

By what right of God or Man did the Indians come to have American North America?

Possession is nine-tenths of the law.

Look you, don't you get smart with me quoting a legal aphorism. How did they come to be in "possession" of it?

Over the Bering Strait land bridge. 

Of recent construction, the Bering land bridge? No, "Beringia" (I took penicillin once for beringia) existed from 45,000 BCE to 12,000 BCE. So: The American Indians were in the contiguous states of the U.S.A. for 26 CENTURIES before Columbus. That is a helluva long property title.

Where'd they come from? Asia. What gave Asians the right to "possess" all of the lower 48? They were first. Okay, so obviously there is no legal title, "they were first" is their claim. So "they were first" gives them title in perpetuity? No, that is not right. Neither by Man's nor by God's law is someone entitled to a piece of God's green earth FOREVER just because "they were first."

Okay, maybe not exclusive possession forever; other people, the Europeans, had as much right to come to the lower 48 by ship as the Asians by land bridge, but joint possession.

Possession: In what reasonable sense can 1,500,000 people in 600 different groups be said to "possess" 3,120,000 square miles? That's 0.48 Indian per square mile. That's 0.001875 Indian tribe per square mile. That is not "possession." In no "moral" sense can 1 person be said to possess two square miles of land. One person would need man-made law to possess practicably two square miles. In no moral sense can one group of people be said to possess 533.33 square miles of land. That group would need the law.

Okay, okay, why did the Europeans have to eject the Indians and put those on reservations they didn't kill?

The American Indians were hunters. They did not even cultivate the soil, primarily. They followed the herds of "beasts of chase." Each Indian tribe can be said to have "possessed" its hunting range, which was very fluid. The range was very fluid and the concept of possessing land which you traverse while stalking game drains meaning out of "possession." What happened when a tribe chased the beasts into land possessed in the same sense by another tribe?

You need a helluva lot of land for a tribe of bow-and-arrow hunters in America to subsist upon. How much land? On average, they had 533.33 square miles, however much they needed. What happens when a sedentary population comes? Drives the beasts of chase away. So, as hunters, the American Indians needed exclusive possession of their hunting range, those 533.33 square miles. They could not share it with other tribes, when one tribe's hunting range bled into another's range there was BLEEDING there was war! And when a group of pale-face couch potatoes came to grow potatoes that cultivation was done on some Indian tribe's happy hunting ground.

Hunters, sucks to be you.

Hunters cannot share land. They cannot share land even with a sedentary, cultivating people. The mere presence of other people causes game to flee and a sedentary, cultivating, and multiplying, people destroys ground cover and food source for the animals and thence the hunters hunting range.

Screw that and the horse you rode in on.

What were the European Americans to do? There is nothing they could have done but what they did: fight the Indians and relocate those they didn't kill. The two groups of Americans could not coexist.