Freeman

ARTICLE

Reservation Fever

AUGUST 01, 1964 by R. J. RUSHDOONY

Among various "mistaken correlations" are the notions:

·                             that inflation causes prosperity,

·                             that toads cause warts,

·                             that labor unions raise real wages,

·                             that snake dances bring rain.

In checking on snake dances, inquiry was made of the Reverend R. J. Rushdoony, who spent many years as a missionary among the American Indians. His response included the following "extraneous information."

I have had some experience with medicine men. In many respects, they were backward, supersti­tious, and irresponsible characters who hated progress. In other re­spects, they were shrewd, calcu­lating psychologists who put our psychiatrists to shame with their diabolical knowledge of man’s na­ture and weaknesses.

An important point about the snake dance, and many similar ceremonies: We assume them to have been religious services. They were not. They were magical, pre­scientific attempts at controlling nature. The Indians had very lit­tle religion in our sense of the term, a concern with ultimate issues, and an attempt to order life and society in terms of ulti­mate truth. Rather, their concern was with health (hence the medi­cine man) and power, over nature and over men. A welfare order was thus their major interest. Some tribes, especially in the Southwest, were more or less communistic. Among those Plains Indians who were more nearly in­dividualistic, the chief had the ascendency… until defeat and servile conditions made the medi­cine man, like Sitting Bull, able to seize power from the hands of the military leaders. It is a grimly ironic fact that we today remem­ber Sitting Bull, and call him a "chief," which he was not, and forget the real leaders of the Sioux tribes.

I believe that an interesting and important point can be made by developing this facet of Indian life. Today, we find that historic Christianity is giving way to so­cial gospel teachings (welfare economics, if you can call it eco­nomics), and to mental health programs as a substitute for reli­gion. As an Indian told me in 1945, the white man today has "reservation fever." 

ASSOCIATED ISSUE

August 1964

comments powered by Disqus

EMAIL UPDATES

* indicates required
Sign me up for...

CURRENT ISSUE

July/August 2014

The United States' corporate tax burden is the highest in the world, but innovators will always find a way to duck away from Uncle Sam's reach. Doug Bandow explains how those with the means are renouncing their citizenship in increasing numbers, while J. Dayne Girard describes the innovative use of freeports to shield wealth from the myriad taxes and duties imposed on it as it moves around the world. Of course the politicians brand all of these people unpatriotic, hoping you won't think too hard about the difference between the usual crony-capitalist suspects and the global creative elite that have done so much to improve our lives. In a special tech section, Joseph Diedrich, Thomas Bogle, and Matthew McCaffrey look at various ways these innovators add value to our lives--even in ways they probably never expected.
Download Free PDF

PAST ISSUES

SUBSCRIBE

RENEW YOUR SUBSCRIPTION