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“Hostiles” is a bloody depiction of the American frontier

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roddalitz

A lot of material I have read over the last two or three years leaves me with the uncomfortable conclusion that America has not changed much over the last century or two, in personal style, or politics.
Time for an new Enlightenment.

International Norm

I can tell this article's author hasn't watched many westerns. I don't understand what "frivolities" other westerns possessed that this one so supposedly uniquely excludes. Most modern westerns are not very frivolous and are also violent. What disturbs me though is that the author uses the violence in the movie to depict Americans as bloodthirsty savages and still are today. Yes we have our mass shootings and and plenty of other violent crimes but the author makes the reader think as soon as one sets foot in America his life is immediately in jeopardy.

TE still has never gotten over Hillary losing the election and therefore anything American is evil and deserves endless, merciless bashing.

nickcox

The USA likes to portray itself as the home of freedom, liberty,democracy etc.
The truth is very different.
The country was founded on the basis of the genocide of its native inhabitants.
It became rich on the back of the slavery of black people.

Aurelius512

Only a jaundiced reviewer pathetically obsessed with President Trump's policies will imagine that there is any reference to America's alleged "continuous demonization of the 'other' " in this movie about the nineteenth-century Indian wars. Also required is a serious case of historical amnesia that causes him to forget America's unique role for well over a century as the world's most welcoming country to the millions comprising the "tired, poor, huddled masses yearning to breathe free".

Norm, you write, ". . . the author makes the reader think as soon as one sets foot in America his life is immediately in jeopardy."
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In my case, that, as a matter of strict statistical fact, is the indisputable truth. Should I ever be so foolish as to visit your nation, I would increase the likelihood of my being murdered at least ten-fold. I have lived to a fairly mature age by exercising prudence and what wisdom I have been given. I have no desire to discard those traits and become gun fodder merely to make your country great in its own eyes again.
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I'm completely aware that some citizens see their astonishing murder rate as a beneficial exercise of "survival of the fittest". They arm themselves with the permission of your government and the encouragement of gun makers and dealers, civic groups, and other like-minded citizens so that they will, they hope, be shooter and not the target. I am too old to play that game, and will leave it to your nation to demonstrate the game's virtues.
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Thanks for your comment, Norm. I wish you good luck and a happy and blessed New Year.

"TE still has never gotten over Hillary losing the election and therefore anything American is evil and deserves endless, merciless bashing."

Grow up. That's a non sequitur if ever here was one.

Every nation state has dark and dis-honorable elements in its history.

John Eh.... in reply to Michael Dunne

Good day, Mr Dunn.
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I'm just a tad confused by your reply, but I am certain you may be able to help me.
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Are you describing the so-called 'Battle' of Wounded Knee as a non-fatal "Removal act"? Or are you giving the Russians credit for that cleansing? Or are you placing Wounded Knee in California? In Texas? This would seem to be a bit of a departure from the generally accepted account of that incident. Could you share with us your source of alternate facts? I find your fresh outlook and explanations quite fitting for these times.
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Many, many thanks for your information. I, and I expect others, look forward to reply expanding on your theory.
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Happy New Year!

"Why single out the United States, when world history is replete with mass murdering; and Europe is no exception."

Because everyone who reads The Economist is aware of the murderous pasts of modern nation states. The article is a film review, not a global history book.

billatcrea

For anyone interested in getting an Indian perspective on this subject (I use the term Indian because this is what most of the native Americans I run across in eastern Washington call themselves), I highly recommend The Journey of Crazy Horse: A Lakota History by Joseph Marshall, III. Marshall, himself a Lakota, uses the life of Crazy Horse to tell the story of the end of the northern plains Indian culture and of the internecine betrayals that accompanied it. The Crows and the Lakota, for example, hated each other just about as much as they hated the White man.
A couple of years ago, I went to Browning, MT to visit the Blackfeet museum after a visit to Glacier National Park. I was lucky enough to meet and talk to the director of the museum, a tribal member who was a retired investment banker, and Stanford graduate, from Seattle and who had come back to help put the museum on a sounder financial basis. My son-in-law is an attorney for the Yakamas, so that provided an opening gambit. I asked him how the Blackfeet had been so lucky to have their reservation pretty much centered on their traditional lands. He replied, "Well, White men were not all that interested in the land up here, and those who did come, we killed."

Michael Dunne in reply to nickcox

Well, no, the country, however imperfect, was one of the places where modern liberal democracies arose, and was an important polity in ensuring relatively democratic, free liberal political systems sustained themselves in the 20th century, notably against German militarism, Fascism, Japanese militarism, and violent communism.
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The country wasn't found on genocide - that is just an old Soviet calumny.
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It became unusually wealthy from industrialization with a large internal market. Industrialization commenced in the north in the early 19th century, where slavery was either banned or being phased out, and took off in the 1860s/1870s, leading to the country becoming one of three top industrial powers by the turn of the century.