July 17, 2011 at 5:28 am · Edit
I think that the issue is not the Indians so much as the early Americans who, to me, blew their great opportunity with an egrgious mistreatment of the Indians. The British warned of what would happen, and they were proved right. The Cherokees, for example, made every effort to adapt, but sheer greed resulted in their destruction. So the idea of Americans as a superior civilization wears a bit thin at this point.
And the appearance of Darwin’s Origin provided its own legitimation for what had happened, and for the finishing touches. To the disgrace of science.
Surprising sentiment for a buddhist??!
I think, on the contrary, that the question of the Indians and their destruction has forever blighted the American ‘dream’ and destroyed the real potential of American civilization.
Indeed, the British warned of this, as they resisted independence.
And so it happened.
It is worth seeing the movie Last of the Mohicans (skip the plot) for its snapshots of eighteenth century Indian life (no doubt roughly accurate), and also Avatar, which clearly echoes the Mohican lore (among other things) and screams out the American guilty conscience on the question of the American natives.