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Source: (consider it) Thread: Ethics of territorial ownership.
anteater

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This arises out of the thread about the previous inhabitants of Canada, though it applies more generally, and is a rich source of conflict.

My first question is how retro-active any right of redress should be. I slightly fear that the current fashion for apologies is a substitute for actual righting of wrongs. I have long thought that apologies are mostly useless where feasible restitution is not enacted.

So even if you agree that original occupation of where you now live was ethically wrong, does time normalise? Am I really responsible for what my ancestors did, say 1,500 years ago (roughly when I believe the Celts were driven out of England)?

If the situation is still one of theft, then don't apologize, give it back. Isn't an apology almost patronising? (Sorry I nicked your car, old chap, but you know . . .).

However, I'm not sure what right any group has to say: This is my land in perpetuity - keep out. I suspect that today, there is international law dealing with the subject, but this is very recent.

If you believe, as many do, that occupation of countries like the US and Australia was ethically wrong, what is the basis of that?

I'm not saying I know the answer. I think it is a genuinely difficult issue. I'm just interested in other's views.

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lilBuddha
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The populations of non-indigenous in the Americas and Australia preclude anything more than an intellectual exercise in regards to giving the land back.
Addressing the wrongs of the past, and the current wrongs which are an outcome of the original sins, is something that can be done, however.

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If it's not here soon, I might be done
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Crœsos
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quote:
Originally posted by anteater:
However, I'm not sure what right any group has to say: This is my land in perpetuity - keep out. I suspect that today, there is international law dealing with the subject, but this is very recent.

Isn't the perpetual possession of territory more or less the whole basis for nation-states as they exist today?

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Humani nil a me alienum puto

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Martin60
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Do-do DO-DO, I was JUST thinking of this on the way home. Israel and all that: the past is ANOTHER country ... and all that. Your point about current wrongs stemming from the wrongs of our ancestors lilBuddha, what can we do to address them? We not being the state of Israel, or the UN signatories to it. Absolutely nothing. I wear a keffiyeh I bought from a Palestine stall in a Britistani cake shop in Leicester (or the one my wife bought me or the really classy one my boss bought me from Pakistan). I've had several nice responses - all from Muslims, especially when I explain that it's for Palestine and my repentance of Zionism. Feel good stuff. Nothing.

Current wrongs - inequalities of outcome - should be easier to address in the US, Canada, Australia and New Zealand. And reverse colonization countries like the UK and France. But Israel-Palestine? Are there marked inequalities of outcome for Israeli Arabs? Let alone occupied territories.

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Love wins

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Stetson
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quote:
Originally posted by Crœsos:
quote:
Originally posted by anteater:
However, I'm not sure what right any group has to say: This is my land in perpetuity - keep out. I suspect that today, there is international law dealing with the subject, but this is very recent.

Isn't the perpetual possession of territory more or less the whole basis for nation-states as they exist today?
And I'd make a semi-educated guess that there is a pretty big overlap between no-one-is-illegal activists who think that borders are just "an arbitrary line someone drew on the map", and people who think that if some right-wing demagogue wants to enter the country to give racist speeches, he should be turned away at the border.

At the end of the day, while many nation-states are built on stolen land, and borders are indeed just arbitrary lines someone made up(often after bloody conflicts), I think the nation-state system is pretty much the one we're stuck with. I can't see anyone wanting their country to be the first one to renounce the priviliges of that system, any more than an individual would want to be the first person in his city to stop using money.

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lilBuddha
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quote:
Originally posted by Martin60:
Do-do DO-DO, I was JUST thinking of this on the way home. Israel and all that: the past is ANOTHER country ... and all that. Your point about current wrongs stemming from the wrongs of our ancestors lilBuddha, what can we do to address them? We not being the state of Israel, or the UN signatories to it.

Yeah, because we do not support them in any way.
quote:

Absolutely nothing.

Political and economic pressure are not nothing.

quote:

Current wrongs - inequalities of outcome - should be easier to address in the US, Canada, Australia and New Zealand.

Hmm, if only I had mentioned them in the post you responded to.

And I shouldn't have said every situation has an easy solution. After all, help the oppressed. Unless it is too much bother. Practically Jesus' own words.

--------------------
So goodnight moon, I want the sun
If it's not here soon, I might be done
No it won't be too soon 'til I say goodnight moon

- A. N. Parsley, D. Mcvinni

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Kwesi
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Croesos
quote:
Isn't the perpetual possession of territory more or less the whole basis for nation-states as they exist today?
Not sure about that.

Most nation states are a combination of ethnic groups which are aspiring to be an entity which transcends them. Ethnic nationalisms tend to challenge the concept of the modern nation state with notions of communities existing from time immemorial, which, however powerful, are myths.

Your observation, however, raises an interesting question regarding the rationale for the configuration of states as we know them. For the life of me, apart from historical development, I haven't a clue.

What is for certain is that nation states are creatures of time, and as such are born and decay like the rest of matter and social institutions. "Time like and ever rolling stream.......They fly forgotten as a dread dies at the opening day." The concept of "perpetuity" is not a feature of time.

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Crœsos
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quote:
Originally posted by Kwesi:
What is for certain is that nation states are creatures of time, and as such are born and decay like the rest of matter and social institutions.

Actually states (and other institutional entities) aren't really subject to time in the same way living things are. States are essentially immortal. Things can happen to them that result in their destruction, but they don't die of old age and they don't voluntarily disband. Take, for example, the British possession of Gibraltar. The U.K. "owns" the territory Gibraltar because of the outcome of the War of Spanish Succession, an event concluded more than three centuries ago. No one alive today participated in the War of Spanish Succession, yet British state as currently constituted still "owns" this territory.

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Humani nil a me alienum puto

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Kwesi
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anteater
quote:
Am I really responsible for what my ancestors did, say 1,500 years ago (roughly when I believe the Celts were driven out of England)?
Footnote: There was no England for the Celts to be driven out of 1,500 years ago.
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Kwesi
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Croesos
quote:
States are essentially immortal.
Is this empirically sustainable or a dogmatic article of faith?
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Ricardus
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quote:
Originally posted by anteater:
Am I really responsible for what my ancestors did, say 1,500 years ago (roughly when I believe the Celts were driven out of England)?

It doesn't really affect your wider point, but I believe historians are now coming round to the view that the Celts weren't driven out or massacred, but assimilated.

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Then the dog ran before, and coming as if he had brought the news, shewed his joy by his fawning and wagging his tail. -- Tobit 11:9 (Douai-Rheims)

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Augustine the Aleut
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quote:
Originally posted by Crœsos:
quote:
Originally posted by anteater:
However, I'm not sure what right any group has to say: This is my land in perpetuity - keep out. I suspect that today, there is international law dealing with the subject, but this is very recent.

Isn't the perpetual possession of territory more or less the whole basis for nation-states as they exist today?
That is a generally held proposition. One of my history teacher friends tells me of the incredulity and distress when students find out that boundaries have changed and some countries have entirely disappeared.
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no prophet's flag is set so...

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It gets really complicated. Here's some comments about Canada, mainly focused on the west.

We're told that the Cree people have been in the centre (north to south, roughly) of the prairies forever according to one account, but there's also info that they figured out horses which migrated north with the bison (buffalo) after the Spanish release them into North America and pushed other indigenous peoples north and south of them, coming from the east lake and forest country, thus here for maybe 300 or perhaps 400 years.

Then a people called Métis formed from combinations of French and Scottish fur trade men with various First Nations peoples. Then the British beat the French in 1759 , and took over New France (eastern Canada), spreading their control west over the next 100+ years, wanting to make sure to keep the Americans confined further south. It's a nightmare really to figure out.

Then the Canadian Gov't decided to basically eliminate aboriginal cultures by doing various combinations of confining people to Indian Reserves with a pass system akin to Apartheid (Reservation is the American term), forcing children into English language Residential Schools, seizing aboriginal children and adopting them to white families. The Roman Catholics, Anglicans and United Church of Canada (successor to Presbyterian, joined later with Methodists and Congregationalists) were contracted to run them.

We're just through a lengthy and heart-rending Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) about it all, preceded by lawsuits and criminal cases about sexual assaults, violence, what they term "cultural genocide" (language and cultural destruction, social structures destroyed, legacy through several generations). At least one Anglican diocese was sued out of existence, tens of thousands of people have received compensation, 100s jailed.

I can't actually do this justice and have summarized extensively and probably not completely accurately. The basic message is that when a people are conquered (it doesn't take war or overt killing), they may or may not be assimilated, they may die, they may have their family and community structure destroyed, the people lose basically all of the things that make human societies human. The territory is merely symbolic of all of the other destruction. Currently Canada's prisons are over-represented with First Nations peoples, they die young, have much lower life expectancy, much more family violence, much more of everything that is bad.

The TRC is teaching us that we have much to atone for, much to reconcile, much wrong to right. There is extensive resistance as well, basically racist though in the modern, non-overt sense where people unconsciously denigrate others.

As an aside to the territory issue, this is why we begin to object to European versions of Christianity which is the conquerors' version. Statements like the "traditional faith" as represented by RC, Anglican, etc., is part of what is being seen by some as profoundly disrespectful to the indigenous cultures and part of a continuance of the cultural genocide. It is also why there is a National Indigenous Bishop for the Anglican Church of Canada.

[ 22. November 2017, 03:24: Message edited by: no prophet's flag is set so... ]

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Gee D
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It's hard to know quite where to start with this from an Aust perspective. The ancient peoples have lived here for 50 to 60,000 years or so. They don't own the land and never have. Rather, they belong to it and their being derives from where they were born. Since European occupation started 230 years ago, they have been dispossessed of almost all the lands where they lived for millennia, and this break with the land has had a profound effect on them. Lands that they had lived on for that period have been taken away from them by my ancestors and those of others. The connection with the land that was so basic to their very being has gone.

Alas, despite what was said in the OP, the solution has been far from easy to find and none has been yet. Where is the boundary between ancient ways of living and those of modern Aust to be drawn? What has happened is that a very large proportion now live a marginalised way of life in poor country townships, heavily dependent upon social security. Rates of alcoholism and drug abuse are much higher than in other parts of the community, while those of retention in the education systems are much lower.

A recent meeting proposed a treaty, but that has not found favour with the present government and I doubt that even were there to be a change tomorrow in the government any real agreement would be reached.

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Leorning Cniht
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quote:
Originally posted by no prophet's flag is set so...:

As an aside to the territory issue, this is why we begin to object to European versions of Christianity which is the conquerors' version. Statements like the "traditional faith" as represented by RC, Anglican, etc., is part of what is being seen by some as profoundly disrespectful to the indigenous cultures and part of a continuance of the cultural genocide.

As opposed to the "traditional faith" promulgated by the Apostles?

Jesus lived in a particular culture. The Christian faith was initially spread mostly within the confines of the Roman Empire. So yes, the church carries that cultural heritage.

But the fact that the early church arose and spread in a common culture doesn't somehow mean that the beliefs expressed in the early church are not the "traditional faith" for all Christians of whatever culture. It's not my church, or your church, or a European church - it's Christ's church.

I do argue with the "traditional faith" as regards, for example, women priests. But that doesn't mean I regard talking about the "traditional faith" as sexist or as disrespectful to a culture of equality - it just means that I think the male priesthood is a cultural artifact.
But it's still the traditional belief of Christians.


Heading back to the OP, there is rather a difference between the situation of Native / First Nations / Aboriginal / whatever peoples and that of the Celtic Briton, or the Anglo-Saxon.

The difference is that present-day Native communities exist, and its members are generally disadvantaged on several fronts. There are no communities of downtrodden Britons being discriminated against.

Similarly, slavery is a great evil. The transportation and enslavement of Black Africans was a particularly heinous example of slavery, but it's relevant today because the descendants of those slaves are also still getting royally screwed over.

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Golden Key
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We definitely need to do (further?) reparations here in the US.

But IMHO it's hard to figure out what to do. We can't simply give their land back, because generations of other people have had it in good faith since then. If the gov't bought up the land, and then freely gave it back to the tribes who lived there, that might help. But many current owners probably would rather stay. The gov't might seize the land by eminent domain, but that sometimes goes very badly. And that might cause bad feelings towards the Native Americans.

Maybe give huge amounts of money to the tribal colleges? And state universities give free tuition and board to NA young people?

This is above my pay grade, but maybe give federal recognition to ALL NA tribes/peoples who want it. Many aren't recognized, so they don't get whatever benefits there are to being recognized.

That's all I've been able to figure out. But it's an owed debt that must somehow be repaid.

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Golden Key
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We definitely need to do (further?) reparations here in the US.

But IMHO it's hard to figure out what to do. We can't simply give their land back, because generations of other people have had it in good faith since then. If the gov't bought up the land, and then freely gave it back to the tribes who lived there, that might help. But many current owners probably would rather stay. The gov't might seize the land by eminent domain, but that sometimes goes very badly. And that might cause bad feelings towards the Native Americans.

Maybe give huge amounts of money to the tribal colleges? And state universities give free tuition and board to NA young people?

This is above my pay grade, but maybe give federal recognition to ALL NA tribes/peoples who want it. Many aren't recognized, so they don't get whatever benefits there are to being recognized.

That's all I've been able to figure out. But it's an owed debt that must somehow be repaid.

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Blessed Gator, pray for us!
--"Oh bat bladders, do you have to bring common sense into this?" (Dragon, "Jane & the Dragon")
--"Oh, Peace Train, save this country!" (Yusuf/Cat Stevens, "Peace Train")

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lilBuddha
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quote:
Originally posted by Kwesi:
Croesos
quote:
States are essentially immortal.
Is this empirically sustainable or a dogmatic article of faith?
Humans have an expiration date. Nothing in the definition or structure of a state contains an expiration date.

--------------------
So goodnight moon, I want the sun
If it's not here soon, I might be done
No it won't be too soon 'til I say goodnight moon

- A. N. Parsley, D. Mcvinni

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Enoch
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quote:
Originally posted by lilBuddha:
Humans have an expiration date. Nothing in the definition or structure of a state contains an expiration date.

And?

Plenty of states have expired, some willingly and some unwillingly. Some have names that everyone still recognises as places, like, say, Bavaria. But some, even their identities are gone, Lotharingia, Dalriada, the Mogul Empire, etc.

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Golden Key
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"Empires fall--always!"
--film "League Of Extraordinary Gentlemen".

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Blessed Gator, pray for us!
--"Oh bat bladders, do you have to bring common sense into this?" (Dragon, "Jane & the Dragon")
--"Oh, Peace Train, save this country!" (Yusuf/Cat Stevens, "Peace Train")

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Golden Key
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{Peering from 'cross the Pond.}

quote:
Originally posted by Leorning Cniht:
The difference is that present-day Native communities exist, and its members are generally disadvantaged on several fronts. There are no communities of downtrodden Britons being discriminated against.

I wonder...might that last sentence be disputed by many UK folks? And maybe that's a reason for Brexit? And anti-immigrant feelings?

As in "my family has always lived in this area, going back before William the Conqueror; people from far away, with different faces from us, come here and get jobs and advantages that we never got; and no one is paying attention to what *we* need; and it's not fair".

FWIW, YMMV.

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Blessed Gator, pray for us!
--"Oh bat bladders, do you have to bring common sense into this?" (Dragon, "Jane & the Dragon")
--"Oh, Peace Train, save this country!" (Yusuf/Cat Stevens, "Peace Train")

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Martin60
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quote:
Originally posted by lilBuddha:
quote:
Originally posted by Martin60:
Do-do DO-DO, I was JUST thinking of this on the way home. Israel and all that: the past is ANOTHER country ... and all that. Your point about current wrongs stemming from the wrongs of our ancestors lilBuddha, what can we do to address them? We not being the state of Israel, or the UN signatories to it.

Yeah, because we do not support them in any way.
quote:

Absolutely nothing.

Political and economic pressure are not nothing.

quote:

Current wrongs - inequalities of outcome - should be easier to address in the US, Canada, Australia and New Zealand.

Hmm, if only I had mentioned them in the post you responded to.

And I shouldn't have said every situation has an easy solution. After all, help the oppressed. Unless it is too much bother. Practically Jesus' own words.

My irony meter is oscillating wildly.

Aye, we ARE supporting Israel, as if we were them. A nation state with the rights we take to ourselves. Pragmatically, self-interestedly; amorally. Otherwise we'd recognize Palestine. Britain's and other European Muslim minorities may be able to swing that at the margins.

Political and economic pressure are not going to happen in liberal, enlightened ways which they astoundingly did against South Africa, even the conservative US and UK - begrudging - governments complied despite hiding behind the Cold War. The only case I can think of, along with the subtler pressures brought to bear over East Timor. So we're left with illiberal, unenlightened realpolitik ways, as in Syria and Iraq. Unless Bill Gates relocates Microsoft from Seattle to Al-Khalīl (Hebron).

As far my tangent too far, if that's the case, in invoking Western colonies and reverse colonization from them, sorry! Have we righted all current wrongs progressively in the latter and the former that we can then extrapolate to Israel? And Kashmir? And Burma? All Made-In-England?

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Love wins

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Marvin the Martian

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quote:
Originally posted by Crœsos:
quote:
Originally posted by anteater:
However, I'm not sure what right any group has to say: This is my land in perpetuity - keep out. I suspect that today, there is international law dealing with the subject, but this is very recent.

Isn't the perpetual possession of territory more or less the whole basis for nation-states as they exist today?
Only the ones that don't allow any immigration whatsoever would be analogous to what anteater is talking about.

Are there any nations that utterly prohibit immigration? Even North Korea lets some people in.

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Hail Gallaxhar

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chris stiles
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quote:
Originally posted by Golden Key:
{Peering from 'cross the Pond.}
quote:
Originally posted by Leorning Cniht:
The difference is that present-day Native communities exist, and its members are generally disadvantaged on several fronts. There are no communities of downtrodden Britons being discriminated against.

I wonder...might that last sentence be disputed by many UK folks? And maybe that's a reason for Brexit? And anti-immigrant feelings?

Which one could argue neatly exculpates those whose fortunes date back to things like the Enclosures, Poor Laws and so on.
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Moo

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One thing we could do for the Indians is allow them to make decisions about their own land.

My church has a mission to the Pine Ridge reservation, where people live in dire poverty. There are no stores on the reservation, and the grocery, clothing, and hardware stores near the reservation all have liquor stores near them. Alcoholism is rampant on the reservation, and most alcoholics who try to stay away from liquor stores cannot avoid them.

There are no stores on the rez because Congress passed a law in the 1930s saying that all the land on the rez belonged to the entire community; no single individual could hold title. No one is going to build a store or anything else on land to which he holds no title.

The Bureau of Indian Affairs sits in Washington and makes decisions about how things should be done on the rez. I am not sure how many have ever been there. The system is paternalistic, and the Indians will continue to suffer until things change.

Moo

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Karl: Liberal Backslider
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quote:
Originally posted by anteater:
This arises out of the thread about the previous inhabitants of Canada, though it applies more generally, and is a rich source of conflict.

My first question is how retro-active any right of redress should be. I slightly fear that the current fashion for apologies is a substitute for actual righting of wrongs. I have long thought that apologies are mostly useless where feasible restitution is not enacted.

So even if you agree that original occupation of where you now live was ethically wrong, does time normalise? Am I really responsible for what my ancestors did, say 1,500 years ago (roughly when I believe the Celts were driven out of England)?

Logres, or Lloegr in the modern vernacular, please.

No, of course not, but even here there is an interesting parallel. England has waged a campaign of cultural imperialism against Wales ever since that period. Sometimes thinking it was doing it a favour (Treason of the Blue Books; the idea the language was a hindrance and should be forced into extinction). The British (i.e. English) Crown replaced Welsh princes with their own English "Prince of Wales". Cornwall's constitutional status has slid imperceptibly to a mere English county, despite the Cornish once being recognised as a British nation; its language partly killed off by the imposition of English liturgy in the churches. To this day both Wales and Cornwall are poorer parts of the country, because of their distance from London, to where their central administration and finance has been for centuries. The Welsh Not fades out of living memory, but the almost entirely English speaking South Wales Valleys stand testament to a time when emulating the English was the way to get on, and Welsh culture and language was considered backward.

So no, of course you're not responsible for Hengist turning on Vortigern, but even today the Brythonic fringes are impoverished to the benefit of the English.

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orfeo

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quote:
Originally posted by anteater:
If the situation is still one of theft, then don't apologize, give it back. Isn't an apology almost patronising? (Sorry I nicked your car, old chap, but you know . . .).

Those aren't the only two options.

And in fact the law has long recognised those aren't the only two options. There are situations where a person is not entitled to get their property back, but might still have some other form of redress.

[ 22. November 2017, 11:55: Message edited by: orfeo ]

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Augustine the Aleut
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quote:
Originally posted by Moo:
One thing we could do for the Indians is allow them to make decisions about their own land.

My church has a mission to the Pine Ridge reservation, where people live in dire poverty. There are no stores on the reservation, and the grocery, clothing, and hardware stores near the reservation all have liquor stores near them. Alcoholism is rampant on the reservation, and most alcoholics who try to stay away from liquor stores cannot avoid them.

There are no stores on the rez because Congress passed a law in the 1930s saying that all the land on the rez belonged to the entire community; no single individual could hold title. No one is going to build a store or anything else on land to which he holds no title.

The Bureau of Indian Affairs sits in Washington and makes decisions about how things should be done on the rez. I am not sure how many have ever been there. The system is paternalistic, and the Indians will continue to suffer until things change.

Moo

It is not so much that no-one will build a shop on land which they do not own as individuals, but no bank will give a loan on the security of the land. Unless the shopkeeper has another source of security, or the cash in hand, they won't have the money to build and operate.

The principle reason why Canada and the US no longer permit individual alienation of traditional lands is that huge tracts were purchased (and often outright swindled) through individual purchase. There are precious few things about the aboriginal peoples about which one can generalize but one was that land was held for use by the particular nation. Sometimes vendors were operating from a radically different notion of land tenure where they did not see how land could be owned in perpetuity by an individual. At other times, leaders sold off tribal land for their individual profit. The pattern of land grabs by unscrupulous purchasers and land companies was one of the factors which led to the Royal Proclamation of 1763, whereby land could not be sold to private individuals or companies (incidentally, one of the causes of the Revolutionary War).

To permit individual ownership and sale would mean that the communities which lived on traditional lands would soon no longer be there. Land title geeks in much of the Ohio Valley and parts of Ontario can provide us with an uncomfortable history.

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Moo

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quote:
Originally posted by Augustine the Aleut
To permit individual ownership and sale would mean that the communities which lived on traditional lands would soon no longer be there.

It would be possible to stipulate that the land may only be sold to another member of the tribe. The present situation makes escape from poverty impossible.

Moo

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no prophet's flag is set so...

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Individual ownership of land and exchange of title is a cultural idea. Assimulationist. These people do not want to become part of the dominant culture. Nor should they have to. What's happening here is that treaties are being examined and further lands are being given back, some within western Canadian cities as urban reserves. They have businesses and retail malls, but as reserves aren't subject to taxes the same way, including land, income and corporate taxes.

Part secondary education is part of treaties, as is health care: First Nations have a separate entitlement to medical care with more coverage for more services than our universal medicare. But no-one off it is relieving the gross inequality, poverty and other social problems, such we're understanding that the cultural and language extinguishment policies of the past are haunting unto the 5th or 7th generations. Throwing money or solutions at people who have only had shit thrown at them for generations doesn't solve much. Control of policies and governance, but when no able becausr of structural societal destruction is a real problem. We have generations of problem to overcome.

[ 22. November 2017, 12:38: Message edited by: no prophet's flag is set so... ]

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Moo

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Right now, the only way a Pine Ridge Indian can escape poverty is to leave the rez, leaving behind his family, his friends, and his culture. Moreover, the education he has received does not qualify him for most jobs.

Moo

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Marvin the Martian

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quote:
Originally posted by Moo:
It would be possible to stipulate that the land may only be sold to another member of the tribe.

I'm trying to imagine the response were someone to propose the same thing for other lands that have traditionally been occupied by a specific people. How about a law saying that only ethnically English people can own land in England, for instance?

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Marvin the Martian

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quote:
Originally posted by Moo:
Right now, the only way a Pine Ridge Indian can escape poverty is to leave the rez, leaving behind his family, his friends, and his culture. Moreover, the education he has received does not qualify him for most jobs.

The same could be said for a lot of people the world over who happen to live in economically depressed areas. It's not an issue of territorial ownership, it's an issue of some areas being rich and others being poor.

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Jengie jon

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quote:
Originally posted by Marvin the Martian:
quote:
Originally posted by Moo:
It would be possible to stipulate that the land may only be sold to another member of the tribe.

I'm trying to imagine the response were someone to propose the same thing for other lands that have traditionally been occupied by a specific people. How about a law saying that only ethnically English people can own land in England, for instance?
There are a variety of conditions on leasehold property here and some are pretty discriminatory. An 'estate' local to me houses cannot be sold for subdivision presumable to not allow poorer people in who might live in smaller properties.

Scare quotes used because said 'estate' is Victorian.

Jengie

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Marvin the Martian

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Leasehold isn't land ownership.

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Hail Gallaxhar

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Enoch
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It can be. Some leases last for 999 years.

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Marvin the Martian

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A very long lease is still a lease.

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Hail Gallaxhar

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Jane R
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Leasehold is the most common form of property ownership in that well-known bastion of socialism, Singapore.
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Crœsos
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quote:
Originally posted by Enoch:
quote:
Originally posted by lilBuddha:
Humans have an expiration date. Nothing in the definition or structure of a state contains an expiration date.

And?

Plenty of states have expired, some willingly and some unwillingly.

Not really. States expire, but they never seem to do so willingly. Things can happen to states to metaphorically "kill" them, but they don't seem to voluntarily commit suicide. The closest I can think of would be the dissolution of the Soviet Union, and that was part of the fallout of a failed coup.

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Humani nil a me alienum puto

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lilBuddha
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quote:
Originally posted by Marvin the Martian:
quote:
Originally posted by Moo:
It would be possible to stipulate that the land may only be sold to another member of the tribe.

I'm trying to imagine the response were someone to propose the same thing for other lands that have traditionally been occupied by a specific people. How about a law saying that only ethnically English people can own land in England, for instance?
Couldn't be that the resultant dynamics of your "counter" example would be completely different and make the exact opposite point you seem to be wanting?

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So goodnight moon, I want the sun
If it's not here soon, I might be done
No it won't be too soon 'til I say goodnight moon

- A. N. Parsley, D. Mcvinni

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Stetson
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Croeses wrote:

quote:
States expire, but they never seem to do so willingly. Things can happen to states to metaphorically "kill" them, but they don't seem to voluntarily commit suicide.
Well, there has been an on-again, off-again movement for some of the Caribbean nations to join Canada as provinces. It never comes to fruition(obviously), but if the government of, say, Turks and Caicos were to decide to give up being an independent nation and join Canada, would that count as a state "voluntarily commiting suicide"?

In the realm closer to reality, you have East Germany deciding to join the Federal Republic after the fall of the Berlin Wall, but that was a case of a previously existing state getting back together after being forcibly divided.

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Kwesi
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Croesos
quote:
Not really. States expire, but they never seem to do so willingly.
What about the Scottish Parliament of 1707 agreeing to the Treaty of Union with England and Wales, which at the same time brought an end to England and Wales? What about the agreement of 40 chieftaincies in what is now Ghana to form a confederacy under the paramount chieftaincy of the Asantahene? What about the formation of the United States out of disparate colonies? In short, perceived mutual benefits from forming a greater union for purposes of defence and trade, involving the voluntary demise of existing sovereign entities, are by no means uncommon.
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Higgs Bosun
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# 16582

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quote:
Originally posted by Kwesi:
anteater
quote:
Am I really responsible for what my ancestors did, say 1,500 years ago (roughly when I believe the Celts were driven out of England)?
Footnote: There was no England for the Celts to be driven out of 1,500 years ago.
It used to be held that the Angles, Saxons and Jutes invaded, and either killed or drove to the West the resident Britons. However, genetic studies have strongly suggested that this is an exaggeration. One I read, put the Germanic source of population between 10-40%. What did happen in the East of what is now England is that the language and culture of the invaders took over from the Romano-British culture.

Whether the Britons themselves were Celts, or the result of an earlier cultural invasion is itself a moot point. The classic Welsh person is small and dark, but Celtic culture originated in Central Europe among tall and fair people.

Going back further, I have read that there is evidence that the neolithic farmers did displace the mesolithic hunter-gatherers.

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lilBuddha
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quote:
Originally posted by Kwesi:
Croesos
quote:
Not really. States expire, but they never seem to do so willingly.
What about the Scottish Parliament of 1707 agreeing to the Treaty of Union with England and Wales,
We're bought and sold for English gold-
Such a parcel of rogues in a nation!

The end of a long time of conquest and bribery more than a nation ending itself.

quote:

which at the same time brought an end to England and Wales?

England wasn't so much ended as expanded and given a name change.
quote:

What about the agreement of 40 chieftaincies in what is now Ghana to form a confederacy under the paramount chieftaincy of the Asantahene?

Not familiar with the dynamics of this one. But a confederacy is not typically seen a dissolution; it is more a joining. And whilst there is a lessening of powers, it is not an abdication of them. At least not initially, when the decision is made.

quote:

What about the formation of the United States out of disparate colonies? In short, perceived mutual benefits from forming a greater union for purposes of defence and trade,

The disparate colonies were in the same place before the revolt; colonies of the same nation state. They were not actual nation states.

--------------------
So goodnight moon, I want the sun
If it's not here soon, I might be done
No it won't be too soon 'til I say goodnight moon

- A. N. Parsley, D. Mcvinni

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Crœsos
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quote:
Originally posted by Kwesi:
Croesos
quote:
Not really. States expire, but they never seem to do so willingly.
What about the Scottish Parliament of 1707 agreeing to the Treaty of Union with England and Wales, which at the same time brought an end to England and Wales?
What about it? States do reorganize themselves from time to time. In that case it was a simple acknowledgement that the English head of state and the Scottish head of state were the same person. That seems more like an acknowledgement of something that had already happened to a state (or several states, depending on your perspective) than a state suddenly deciding not to exist.

quote:
Originally posted by Kwesi:
What about the formation of the United States out of disparate colonies? In short, perceived mutual benefits from forming a greater union for purposes of defence and trade, involving the voluntary demise of existing sovereign entities, are by no means uncommon.

It's debatable whether the former British colonies that formed the United States were ever "sovereign entities". Throughout the Revolutionary War they acted as a collective entity. It's also arguable that the Constitutional Convention was essentially a bloodless coup that did an end run around the various state governments, rather than something agreed to by the states. Madison and company certainly exceeded their original mandate, which was to suggest revisions to the Articles of Confederation, not chuck the whole thing and institute a replacement via state conventions.

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Kwesi
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# 10274

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Obviously, lilBuddha and Croesos, you do not seem willing to admit that existing poilitical entities could possibly come to a rational decision to merge with greater entities, thereby ceasing to be. I think that is demonstrably not the case.
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lilBuddha
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quote:
Originally posted by Kwesi:
Obviously, lilBuddha and Croesos, you do not seem willing to admit that existing poilitical entities could possibly come to a rational decision to merge with greater entities, thereby ceasing to be. I think that is demonstrably not the case.

I'm not saying that it is impossible. I am saying that your examples are not representative of the point you are attempting to make.

--------------------
So goodnight moon, I want the sun
If it's not here soon, I might be done
No it won't be too soon 'til I say goodnight moon

- A. N. Parsley, D. Mcvinni

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Kwesi
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lilBuddah, Perhaps you could explain why Scotland does not fit the case.
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Augustine the Aleut
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quote:
Originally posted by Moo:
quote:
Originally posted by Augustine the Aleut
To permit individual ownership and sale would mean that the communities which lived on traditional lands would soon no longer be there.

It would be possible to stipulate that the land may only be sold to another member of the tribe. The present situation makes escape from poverty impossible.

Moo

The problem is not so much sale to other people, as local interchange practices have facilitated that for years, is that financial institutions will not accept it as security for loans and lines of credit. There have been attempts at complicated mechanisms (here is a page from Vancouver City Credit Union's site to illustrate current Canadian attempts at this).

The real challenge to life on reserve lands, as most (not all-- such as in the Vancouver area) are isolated and nowhere near employment, educational, and recreational opportunities. A recent dinner guest of mine was for some years at the (now twice renamed) Department of Indian Affairs and told me of frustrations dealing with water purification. The Department had paid for the training and education of three successive water engineers (one from the reserve itself and two from other aboriginal communities) all of whom, when their contracts expired, moved south to larger cities where they would have a much more interesting life, albeit without the isolated post allowances. The same situation existed with teachers, as with a growing aboriginal population off reserve--- over half of school age aboriginal Canadians live in urban areas-- city boards were anxious to hire them and with greater professional opportunities, the temptation to move south is strong.

It is beginning to appear that aboriginal Canadians themselves are less and less likely to seek to make a life on reserve lands. Ottawa has become the second-largest Inuit community in Canada, 5 hours by aeroplane from Iqaluit.

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lilBuddha
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quote:
Originally posted by Kwesi:
lilBuddah, Perhaps you could explain why Scotland does not fit the case.

I did, though admittedly briefly and with poetry.
The monarch was the same person, weakening the distinction between the nations. The economic interests of lowland Scotland were intertwined with England and she was sold down the river to line the pockets of a few rather than for the benefit of the nation, much less most of its inhabitants. It was at the end of a long process of actual conquest, mixed with political pressure and greed. It was not a nation deciding their best interest was a merger.

--------------------
So goodnight moon, I want the sun
If it's not here soon, I might be done
No it won't be too soon 'til I say goodnight moon

- A. N. Parsley, D. Mcvinni

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