Audra Simpson reviewing Aileen Moreton Robinson on settler statecraft: Audra Simpson, ‘The White Possessive: Property, Power, and Indigenous Sovereignty by Aileen Moreton-Robinson (review)’, Anthropological Quarterly, 89, 4, 2016, pp. 1305-1310
Excerpt: The story that settler societies like the United States, Canada, and Australia tell about themselves is that they are new, that they are beneficent, and that they are virtuous. They arrive at this story and this version of themselves through discourse and practices like law—because in law, and through law, they render justice. They are with law, they are governed by law, they are thus lawful, and, by extension, take on a “fair” character. These are not, “savage states” ruled by magic, pure belief, or unregulated emotionality. These states have institutions like law that regulate activity, guard against excess and abuse. Further, in each of these settler societies, there are democratic mechanisms in place whose functions guarantee that individuals and their property may be protected, so that goods may be distributed properly and so that they may prosper as well.
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