Jan 10 2008

Why The Republic of Lakota is a Philosophical Failure

Published by at 11:23 pm under Controversial Discussions

I posted this on the Republic of Lakota’s forums. It is also an explaination on why nomadic hunter gatherer societies are infinitely stable and the people living in them free of control by authorities.


I have been thinking a lot about this and while I think the idea of you reclaiming your freedom is great, it is impossible. I’ll explain why.

In the hunter gatherer societies around the world, people enjoy almost total freedom. Because of shifting seasons and varying resource bases, people have to split up, often down to family units. They come together from time to time. Some people may decide to band together for a while because of advantages in search of food.

Because of this, any person that wants to gain power over others is restrained from doing so of the simple reason of the impossibility of retaining control over a dynamic group.

On the other hand, in an agricultural or sedentary society, a potential power hungry person can (and in time somebody will) try to control the other people. Because they all live in fixed locations, that is fairly easily achieved. After some time, laws restraining freedom becomes second nature and thought of as normal. People start accepting that some people have power over other people and owns large territories for their personal sprawl and profits.

Dynasties will come and go, but as long as you rely on a sedentary location, some people will use other people for their own good. It has happened to almost (I say that because I can not be 100% sure) every single sedentary society on earth.

The only opportunity for the Lakotas to ever become free again is to drop the idea of the state, breed buffalo like cracy and release them. Of course this isn’t going to happen of two reasons:
– The Lakotas can not win a war against the US.
– The people that now believe that they own the lands would shoot the buffalo for fun and profit.

Is it really freedom you want? Or do you just want another state that is going to deteriorate into despotism?

Torjus Gaaren


Get my book "Traditional Trout Fishing: Fishing for Survival in the North (Volume 1)

6 responses so far

6 Responses to “Why The Republic of Lakota is a Philosophical Failure”

  1. cliveon 16 Jan 2008 at 1:46 am

    Hi Torjus,

    Nice criticism – but when I searched http://www.republicoflakotah.com I couldn’t find your post. I was curious to see what the reactions would be. Perhaps you’ve been censored. Nobody likes cultural materialists – they’re party spoilers.

    The whole Republic of Lakotah concept shows how colonisation is not just a physical phenomenon – it goes right into people’s heads.

    What I’m wondering is if there is anything like a genuine traditionalist movement amongst any of the North American tribes… obviously not easy to achieve at present, but not necessarily impossible for small groups to manage, if they stay out of trouble. Like the Anthropik concept, for instance. Do you know of any movement along these lines?


  2. Sandoon 27 Apr 2009 at 5:39 pm

    Hello Torjus,
    I also enjoyed your anarchist critique of the concept Republic of Lakota.

    There certainly is (an unfortunately declining) traditionalist movement amongst the Lakota, although not the one you have in mind (as i got it). Traditionalists among the Lakota are mainly medicine men and their followers. They do perform traditional ceremonies and have a rich spiritual life. But they all live in the contemporary context of the State, neoliberal economy and so on…

  3. pahchokaon 10 Sep 2009 at 6:31 pm

    Neither geographic location or lack of personal first hand experience with a people can should be taken as a disqualifier, though the limitations of these should be recognized and taken into consideration.
    There are notable differences in governmental and societal norms in Norway(?) and here in the U.S.-more so ,there are glaring differences in the treatment of indigenous people here. While your advice or critique may be well intended how would you classify it? As an observer with no experience, a philosopher, or perhaps an educator?
    Among the various states there are rumblings about invoking states rights under
    the 10th amendment-the purpose of this is for individual states to rein in governmental intrusion and to assert states rights and some degree of sovereignty.
    There is no single miracle cure for for the reversal of policies that taken everything
    from us-there are however incremental steps that over time can assure that some
    manner of relief is obtained-and just as your particular journey has been measured in steps so will ours.
    So while your observations of our efforts may be well intended, remain aware as well that you are an observer, and without having the “advantage” of experiencing the actual issues here and the suffering they have engendered for five hundred plus years there exists within those limitations certain implied restrictions.
    The differences between an entire people attempting to free themselves and regain self determination and those of an individual or small group of people are
    immense and should not be taken lightly or dismissively.
    To think that in a modern country any ethnic group comprised of large numbers
    can live as hunter gatherers would be a fantasy, that leaves what you refer to as a sedentary society. If such a society can function as a viable sovereign entity it would
    be for all indigenous people an undeniable improvement addressing the issues of poverty, subjugation, unemployment and inadequate health care.
    Five hundred years to arrive at the juncture we find ourselves at now-hopefully it will not require another five hundred years to reverse our fortunes and return to our origins.
    I am a member of the RoL but make no claim to speak for them- I only say what I
    believe to be obvious and what is my opinion.
    In closing allow me say come live on a rez here, or a reserve in Canada, then give us a definition of freedom. You’ll find that freedom can be multifaceted and not limited to any one individuals definition of it.
    If your “criticism” of the RoL’s efforts as Clive has chosen to label it is not available
    in the forums I can neither explain or account for it, but I will inquire of a moderator.

  4. pahchokaon 10 Sep 2009 at 6:43 pm

    One brief aside as well in the form of a question-how primitive a lifestyle is it that includes computers, websites and digital photography?

  5. Torjus Gaarenon 12 Sep 2009 at 7:23 pm

    Hi pahchoka

    I do not pretend to live primitively, I strive to do so. My goals are unattainable at it’s full right now, so I’m taking advantage of a few things to compensate for the difficulties.

    What I am critisising is the goals of the Republic of Lakota. My point is that the society you are designing is bound to end up becoming just another western country. Instead of designing a society from how humans are meant to live, you just change a few things from regular western society and hope that it will get you somewhere unique.

  6. pahchokaon 13 Sep 2009 at 2:27 am


    The primary purpose of the RoL is to get out from under the government-if it accomplishes that it will have achieved what over five hundred years of resistance and struggle have failed to and by merit of that alone be a resounding victory. That would translate to a major improvement and could lend itself to much more.
    It is an impossibility for the four million or so indigenous people within the boundaries of the U.S. to live a nomadic hunter gatherer life for a variety of reasons. Most of the land is either privately owned or so called “public” land that is owned/controlled by the federal government. And no single reservation has the resources to accommodate such numbers. We can not line a homeless feral existence
    wandering across the land cutting fences and scavenging for sustenance.
    If everyone in your country decided to “live primitive” would it possible? How much governmental resistance to that do you think there would be? Or suppose only half your population desired to-do you think the other half would be accepting, willing
    to cede anything, tolerate what they would view as intrusion or an invasion, or any
    relocation that might arise as a result?
    A lone individual or a small group can do the Robinson Crusoe thing but not an entire people. The truth of the matter is that there are thousands living primitive lifestyles in every developed country in the world-they are known as the homeless, and for the most part do not consist of entire families or tribal groups. They are also
    roundly abused and looked down upon by the vast majority of people and have little if any recourse against abuses or needs.
    Some years ago I went into the wilderness in a remote inaccessible area with
    nothing but a bow, a knife and what I wore. I remained there for six months and never saw another living soul. I was there for a sub zero winter and everything I had, any clothing or shelter was constructed by me. So I have an idea of the hardships faced and what is required to survive.
    That is not the kind of life I want for my people without some sort of generational
    adaption, a time to prepare and to learn-the Rol can be a first step in that direction and is laudable in it’s intent. In the interim we can dream and plan and be supportive of like minded individuals.
    The logistics of such a venture are near overwhelming and not for the fainthearted,
    and like all great ventures require careful thought and preparation, much as you say you are preparing now. You are one person-how long will it take you and how much preparation? How much more so for an entire people?
    It is freedom we want-and if we fail in that then so be it-in the least we will have tried where so many others will not. Even in a failed attempt at freedom there is a victory of sorts because it speaks to a heart that not only yearns to be free but understands what it means.

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