Page:Rise and Fall of Society.djvu/43

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From God or the Sword?

begin with conquest, it nevertheless follows the same pattern because its institutions and practices continue in the tradition of those States that have gone through the historic process. The American State did not begin with conquest; the Indians had no property that could be lifted and, being hunters by profession, they were too intractable to be enslaved. But the colonists were themselves the product of an exploitative economy, had become inured to it in their respective homelands, had imported and incorporated it in their new organization. Many of them came to their new land bearing the yoke of bondage. All had come from institutional environments that had emerged from conquest; they knew nothing else, and when they set up institutions of their own they simply transplanted these environments. They brought the predatory State with them.

Any profitable inquiry into the character of the American State must therefore take into account the distinction between making a living by production and gaining a living by predation; that is, between economics and politics.