Thank you so much for your input, J.
MerriCatherine
41

Thanks for the response as well as your initial intervention. I figured the claim about you not having read the article was hot air, but felt it was better to attack the logic behind that claim. Back when Settlers was doing the rounds again in the early 2000s the same white panic reviews and facebook denunciations (that, to my mind, seemed based on people only having read the subtitle) were commonplace. This felt, to my mind, like a repetition as farce moment.

I have my reservations with Settlers, but I have reservations with my own work that I wrote last year, and on the whole I think it’s a valuable book. All books should be submitted to proper critique (in the academic sense), and I wish more people would engage honestly with Settlers, because that’s what makes them known. These pseudo-critiques are insulting and serve the purpose of invisibilizing important literature.

I am not from or live in the US so the organizational issues, though similar, are not completely identical. (Which also renders a lot of what Settlers historiography moot in my social context since colonialism and racism developed differently here. We kind of need our own Settlers.) I do support and organize with a party project that is composed of a lot of people from different sites of oppression and sees the proletariat as not being fundamentally white/male/cis/able-bodied. (The joke is that the “white male worker” is the crudest identity politics of the left.) We of course have our problems, organizational life is messy, but we work through them as we struggle together.

One good thing that came out of your intervention is that, according to the publisher of Settlers (who is also the publisher of my first and third books, honoured to be part of the same catalogue), people who haven’t heard of it yet are demonstrating interest. They used the title of the shitty Wolfe article to do a promotional: some people don’t want you to read Settlers, for the next five days download the electronic copy of the 2nd edition for free!

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