[thechat] war phase 2

deke web at master.gen.in.us
Wed Nov 28 06:57:27 CST 2001

On 27 Nov 2001, at 16:38, Erika Meyer posted a message which said:

> Practical?  I don't know.  US democracy is based on the Iroquois 
> Confederacy.  Only in the Iroquois Confederacy, the female council
> advised the chiefs and had the power to remove chiefs as needed.

That's not really true, Erika.

The Five Nations (later Six Nations) were ruled by 50 sachem. Each 
sachem was a member of one tribe, and a member of one totem, and 
he represented both.  It required *unanimous* agreement of all tribes 
and *unanimous* agreement of all totems in order to come to a 
decision, although obviously there would be individuals who would 
disagree with any given decision.

If you merged the house and senate into one body, and then
decided that you needed the unanimous consent of each state's 
caucus, as well as the unanimous consent of each party's caucus, 
*then* the US republic (it's not a democracy) would represent the 
Iriquoian republic.  

The women selected the sachem that led the Confederacy, but 
chiefs were another matter.

A chief was a self-appointed straw-boss of sorts. If someone wanted 
to go lead a raid on the Eries, he'd recruit a band of raiders. He led 
by getting others to follow him, not because he had formally been 
declared some sort of leader. 

Sorta like John Ashcroft leads raiding sorties on the US Constitution. 
He's sworn to protect and defend the Constitution, and so are all 
other federal officers, but he violates its provisions left and right, in 
the name of wartime exigencies, even though there's been no war 
declared.  (You'd never know I voted for Bush, would you?)

Sorta like "we had to destroy the village in order to save it"


> BTW almost every American Indian tribe was matrilineal (my daughter's
> tribe is one of the few exceptions; they judged lineage based on both
> parents and the type of marriage).
> Women hold political power in other Indigenous (and non-monotheistic)
> groups as well.  Or "held power" prior to colonization and the
> associated violence, oppression, abuse, and impoverishment.
> We don't have to keep up this Roman-style love of war and conquest.
> Erika
> http://www.kahnawake.com/history/
> <quote>
> >The Iroquois social system is both matrilineal and a matriarchy, the
> >bulk of the political power lies with the women of the society. Family
> >names and clans are passed down through the mother to the daughter and
> >so any children then belong to the mothers clan. It should be noted
> >that in this social structure, both men and women were considered
> >equal, neither being superior to teh next. The political system also
> >relies heavily on the clan structure. The decisions are made through
> >consensus of the people, making the Iroquois Confederacy one of the
> >world's first true democracies.
> </quote>
> -- 
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> ________________
> Heard on the London Underground:
> "Please mind the closing doors..."
> The doors close...The doors reopen.
> "Passengers are reminded that the big red slidey things on the side of
> the train are called the doors. Let's try it again. Please stand clear
> of the doors." The doors close... "Thank you."

*Any great truth can -- and eventually will -- be expressed as a cliche
-- a cliche is a sure and certain way to dilute an idea. For instance,
my grandmother used to say, "The black cat is always the last one off
the fence." I have no idea what she meant, but at one time, it was
undoubtedly true. --
                       Solomon Short

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