Buffalo, Beefalo, Bison

Arun, remember him, has an interesting bit on the extermination of the Bison in the American West. He argues rather credibly that it was not an accident of capitalism but part of a deliberated strategy of depriving the Native Americans of economic sustenance. Here is the money quote:

But the real reason was no civilizational altruism but aim for political subjugation as US Representative James Throckmorton would reveal in 1876:

There is no question that, so long as there are millions of buffaloes in the West, the Indians cannot be controlled, even by the strong arm of the Government. I believe it would be a great step forward in the civilization of the Indians and the preservation of peace on the border if there was not a buffalo in existence.

You don't have to share Arun's anti-Western viewpoint to see the logic.


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