Native Americans

The Creek Nation and the Culture of Consent 

Under threat from the United States, Creek people replaced consent with coercion. Then they lost everything.

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Of One Mind and of One Government: The Rise and Fall of the Creek Nation in the Early Republic, by Kevin Kokomoor, University of Nebraska Press, 516 pages, $80

In the decades after the United States achieved independence, its representatives compelled the Creek people of present-day Georgia, Alabama, and Florida to reorder their social system into a coercive state. This, officials said, would make the Creeks "good neighbors" to U.S. citizens, and especially to the country's problem child, the unruly state of Georgia. The U.S. then proved to be a poor neighbor itself, systematically humiliating and undermining the very Creek government it had demanded, effectively pushing the Native Americans into civil war, and ultimately abandoning all pretense of respecting the sovereignty of—or its treaties with—the Creek Nation.

Historian Kevin Kokomoor of Coastal Carolina University tells this story in Of One Mind and of One Government. In return for transforming themselves into a reflection of the United States, he concludes, the Creeks lost many of their traditions, all of their homelands, and thousands of their lives. Kokomoor doesn't fully articulate this, but they also lost a responsive and dynamic political system that existed before the U.S. ordered its makeover.

The accomplishments of the traditional Creek system are especially significant given that they were not a homogenous population. They were a collection of disparate peoples from different linguistic groups. "A Coweta man in the Lower Country who spoke Muscogee," Kokomoor notes, "would have needed a translator to do anything meaningful in either Hitchiti or Yuchi communities, even though they were only miles away and were considered just as Creek."

The system that evolved to bring coherence to this diverse landscape was based on noncoercive consent seeking. The "center of Creek politics had always been oratory and debate in the town's square ground," Kokomoor writes. Civil and military leaders—including the most powerful micos, or headmen—led through persuasion and by cultivating respect. Ad hoc figures of influence, such as the "Great Beloved Man," were recognized outside the traditional channels of leadership. A matrilineal clan structure allowed for kin-based retributive justice, and a dual organizational system of "war" and "peace" leadership structures further distributed authority and responsibility among the Creek communities.

The result was a decentralized, adaptable framework of predominantly local decision making that balanced the needs of the geographically distinct Upper Towns and Lower Towns, that placed no undue burden on any one community or region, and that nurtured a nascent sense of nationhood without European-style political nationalism. What the Creek system could not do, however, was react with speed, decisiveness, and unity against the aggressive expansionism of first Georgia and then the United States.

Thus, the Creeks learned some of the worst possible lessons from their neighbor.

The formation of the Creek National Council in the late 1790s—a response to what Kokomoor calls "extreme outside pressure"—consolidated the voice and authority of the Creek people and did represent "a clear adaptation of old Creek customs." But its "coercive, disciplinary authority" was revolutionary in the ways it transformed the understanding of justice and depersonalized the infliction of violence. In short, U.S. representatives got what they wanted, "a state structure that much more closely resembled their own."

The National Council organized warriors into an easily mustered police force, using symbolic "sticks" to represent the fist of national authority. These stick-bearing warriors delivered the new state justice to their fellow Creeks via beatings, mutilations, and executions. The satisfaction that U.S. citizens demanded for stolen horses and livestock, for harassments and attacks, even for murders—justice the former Creek Country had provided in its own way, according to its traditional system, in a community- and kin-based manner that European Americans rejected—was now served to U.S. taste, far bloodier than before.

The U.S. and Georgian governments made it clear that the Creek Nation would be held accountable for crimes committed against European Americans by individual Creeks. Yet despite numerous promises from authorities to the contrary, Georgians murdered, raped, assaulted, and stole from Creeks with near impunity. The "lawless actions of local Georgians, whom state officials were not even pretending to control," Kokomoor writes, consistently undermined all attempts at good relations. Extreme pressure came to bear on the new Creek National Council to wreak violent justice against its own wrongdoers, but no similar satisfaction came from the other side.

For that matter, in this period neither Georgia nor the U.S. got the hang of negotiating with and seeking consent from the official representatives of Native nations. Kokomoor tours a train wreck of illegitimate, coerced, and/or ignored treaties.

In 1786, there was the Georgia-Creek council at Shoulderbone, at which Georgia's "combative approach to a treaty conference seems bizarre almost to the point of being unbelievable." (Among other things, the Georgians took the only Creek headmen still loyal to the United States hostage.) There was the crisis created in 1790 by the disastrous and destabilizing U.S. Treaty of New York, a project orchestrated by a self-appointed and self-interested go-between, the Creek-Scottish Alexander McGillivray, complete with side deals offered by the United States for McGillivray alone. And by 1806, the reader is unsurprised to learn, settlers "were illegally logging, fishing, and even settling on Creek lands only a year after American authorities promised Georgia would never need to ask for more."

Add the vastly unequal burdens shouldered by different Creek communities in the face of U.S. expansionism, and the Creek people were pushed to the breaking point. The Red Stick Rebellion of 1813–14 was in effect a Creek civil war (further complicated by America's War of 1812). The rebels did not abandon the notion of a unified Creek Nation, but they did challenge the authoritarian Creek National Council and the U.S. system that had called it into being. As Kokomoor puts it, many Creeks became convinced that "the shortcomings of the National Council far outstripped the stability it provided. It had only absorbed and could only guarantee the worst, most politically, economically, and culturally objectionable parts of American culture."

When Kokomoor's narrative ends, the Creeks are devastated by the conflict and the U.S. is treating its Creek allies as cruelly as its enemies. In 1814, Washington stripped the Creek National Council of much of its territory and most of its control over what land remained. As Kokomoor says, "Creek sovereignty was officially dead. It had been a fiction to American authorities for years, and the Red Stick War provided…the opportunity to do away with it altogether." An altered but coherent and vital Creek nation-state remained, however, and would survive Creek Removal to present-day Oklahoma, unlike many Creeks themselves.

Kokomoor's prose makes a dry dissertation look like a sensationalist thriller, and many of the story's most interesting interludes happen offscreen. Some arguably colonialist assumptions slip into his critique of colonialism—he is quick to note the "religious fanaticism" that was a factor in the Red Stick Rebellion but ignores the heavy doses of Christian rhetoric used to support westward expansion. And while Kokomoor understandably dwells on the challenges that first European and then U.S. expansionism posed to the values of "local governance, kinship guidance, and reciprocity" that informed traditional Creek justice, he pays far less attention to such disruptions as the reorganization of Creek society from a matrilineal to patrilineal structure to satisfy European-American assumptions about gender.

But on the whole, Of One Mind and of One Government is an important portrait of U.S.-Creek relations, a useful contribution to our understanding of state building, and a justifiably scathing indictment of U.S. power politics. Kokomoor shows that the fall of the Creeks foreshadowed the fate of other Native nations who befriended the United States, embraced its "civilization campaign," and were punished for the sin of trusting the system to work.

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64 responses to “The Creek Nation and the Culture of Consent 

  1. Kokomoor shows that the fall of the Creeks foreshadowed the fate of other Native nations who befriended the United States, embraced its “civilization campaign,” and were punished for the sin of trusting the system to work.

    I don’t know that trusting the system to work is exactly a sin, but it’s certainly contrary to several thousand years of history and human nature and it’s dumb as hell. The system exists to serve its own ends, regardless of its stated goals and intentions, and you’d be foolish to deal with it otherwise.

    1. So true.

      It’s amazing how many people are statists, especially when they know, realistically, they will never get some plum job in exchange for their childlike faith and loyalty.

      It’s often the same people who regularly point out the greed of corporate leaders but are blind to the lust for power of pols and bureaucrats.

      1. The human mind needs a master.

    1. Old Hickory fought back!

    2. God willing and the Creek don’t rise.

  2. I’m betting Amy Sturgis has a “We borrow the land from our children” sticker on her bong.

  3. A book like this – a micro focus on those frontier interactions – when it was a frontier – seems like a better candidate for the Frederick Jackson Turner Award than the crap that seems to get that award now.

    There does seem to be a bit of broad-brushing modernist nonsense. Don’t know if that’s the author or just the article. Like ‘European American’. WTF is that? That sounds like some post-1960’s post-modern ethnoMarxism that has always been holed up in a college campus basement. Or maybe some backpacker trudging around ‘Europe’ on junior year abroad who’s having some existential angst about whether to put a Canadian v US flag on their backpack.

    There could be an entirely different book on the ethnic/economic/land conflicts – not ‘unity’ – within ‘Georgia’ – like between the Scots-Irish ‘crackers’/pests who were always the sharp end of the spear at the frontier v the unethical tidewater/elite/landowners who were happy to push that spear further west if it meant getting a big land grant to speculate on. Which is very much what drove those frontier conflicts with the native tribes too. If the reader doesn’t know that stuff – well that’s a problem for their understanding of what they’re reading. Hopefully, the author does know that stuff cuz otherwise the ‘history’ is just propaganda.

    1. I love Allan Eckert’s That Dark and Bloody River for this reason. Even though he was somewhat credulous in his use of sources and liked to embellish with dialogue and motivations, Eckert was generally great at letting the Indians’ and the settlers’ deeds — good and bad — speak for themselves.

    2. The meaning of “European American” was clear enough to me – people in the Americas who are of European ancestry, as contrasted with “Native Americans”. If you would prefer another term or terms, which do you favor and why?

      Regarding the ethnic/economic/land conflicts however, I’m not clear whether you’re saying that the landowning European American elite forced poor and/or marginalized European Americans westward who then in turn attempted to force Native Americans from their lands, or whether the two groups of settlers collaborated.

      Your reference to lack of unity among the European Americans makes it sound like the former, but your description of the “Scots/Irish” serving as the “sharp point of the spear” (not those at whom the spear was pointed) makes it sound like the latter.

      1. If you would prefer another term or terms, which do you favor and why?

        Something that might have existed back then. Even today there ain’t many ‘Europeans’ outside Brussels. Imposing our current labels back into history doesn’t inform us about what happened then. It merely tries to turn history into our puppet.

        Regarding the ethnic/economic/land conflicts

        As I said, that could be an entire book. A good source on the cultural differences among merely the English/British settlers is Albion’s Seed – where Georgia is just a region where a founding oddball charter-owner (Oglethorpe) is supplanted by both the ‘Cavalier’/planter migrant and the Borderlands/Scots-Irish migrant. The Creek are in contact with (and marrying and trading with and suffering from) mainly the Scots-Irish – but its the planters where the ‘negotiations’ between ‘Creek’ and ‘Georgia’ take place. With the other two English groups getting involved as well when anything moves to ‘US’ level.

        The land issues specifically are really hard to understand today because land law is based on feudal stuff that no longer exists but that the settlers did understand. The only source that’s helped me get some of that is History of the Westward Movement by Fred Merk.

        The Creek (and every other tribe we steamrolled) had their own system/culture – and by bad luck happen to be sitting on the moving battlefield when those fighting by a to-them-unknown set of rules about an unknown-to-them concept decide to make that their battlefield. It’s a great story and a tragic story – and so much more complicated/interesting than turning it all into a puppet show.

    3. Like ‘European American’. WTF is that?

      Seems pretty clear to me. It’s a person of European ancestry and culture born in America, as distinguished from native/indigenous Americans. What else would it mean?

  4. I guess Kokomoor celebrates the persistence of traditional societies and governments in other native groups, from the generally communist desolation and despair on the Navajo Reservation, to all the impoverished tribes in the northern Rockies and Plains.

    But, tradition!

    1. How does a true little-c communist/communal system handle property? Governments may say there is no private property, but people know different — there are always some personal items which people are disinclined to share, like clothes, toys, locations within housing, domesticated animals. Near as I could tell, even when the bureaucratic concept of land title was missing, everyone always knew who had planted which field.

      The real problem came down to knowing who was a member of the community. When people married across communities, which community was home? If the “native” spouse died, did the “foreign” spouse have to go back? What about bastard children fathered by an outsider?

      I never did find any general solution, but I wasn’t looking either. What made it interesting was when Indian casinos started popping up and dividing the profits among tribal members — all sorts of arguments over tribal membership. Who decided? What about members who had lived outside the tribal lands but were still pure bloods? What about those who had married without tribal permission? The corruption was tremendous because there was so much money at stake.

      It confirmed my bias that private property is part and parcel of self-ownership and socialism is bound to fail.

      I wonder how much bearing it has on this tale of woe.

      1. “How does a true little-c communist/communal system handle property?”

        I believe they generally recognize personal possessions to some degree while favoring collective ownership of land and other major resources.

        The problem it seems to me is not socialism, but aggression. Socialism when practiced voluntarily and on a small scale isn’t necessarily a recipe for failure – most families tend to operate more or less on the basis of the Marxist formulation “from each according to his ability, to each according to his need”.

        It’s when people try to impose socialism on others by force via the State that it becomes a bloody disaster. But what system imposed on people by force in a top-down manner is not prone to failure?

    2. Or perhaps they thought this was a particularly good traditional society. You don’t have to take them all as one thing.
      And I’m not sure that reservation life really counts as a traditional society.

  5. Aren’t we led to believe that the whole U.S. Constitution is based on the Iroquois’ system? If so, then Native Americans were a disparate group: the Iroquois’ form of government was apparently – according to this author – anathema to the Creeks?

    1. Aren’t we led to believe that the whole U.S. Constitution is based on the Iroquois’ system?

      I have never been led to believe that, but that doesn’t mean it’s not true.

  6. The kindle version is more expensive than the hardback!

    1. A sign of the Apocalypse?

      1. Pretty common. Amazon sets the price for the hardback, and they discount. The publisher sets the price for the ebook, which they base on undiscounted hardback price

        1. Blame Steve jobs.

        2. Not common at all. This is the first I remember seeing.

          1. Seems to be common for music. I’ve found a bunch of stuff where buying the CD is less than buying the mp3 version. And the CD often includes a free download.

  7. Kin based retributive justice is not just.

    1. “Kin based retributive justice” is the cause of most of the armed violence in our society, both historically and today.

    2. In other words constant violence between families, much like street gangs and all muslim nations. Not something to be proud of

  8. It’s more like an amalgam of the Iriquois system and John Locke. The Western philosophy of liberalism had to encounter the Native American practical reality of living free, for the American ideals to arise.

    1. This was meant as a response to creech.

  9. The result was a decentralized, adaptable framework of predominantly local decision making that balanced the needs of the geographically distinct Upper Towns and Lower Towns, that placed no undue burden on any one community or region, and that nurtured a nascent sense of nationhood without European-style political nationalism. What the Creek system could not do, however, was react with speed, decisiveness, and unity against the aggressive expansionism of first Georgia and then the United States.

    So? How do you think the Germanic tribes were organized before the Romans conquered most of them? This form of decentralized, democratic decision making is common in early human societies. But it doesn’t last historically because centralized, coercive governments tend to be militarily more successful.

    If the Europeans hadn’t conquered those societies, they would have been conquered by some kind of large centralized state arising in the Americas.

    What the US did wrong is that, rather than fully absorbing native Americans into US society, it created this weird kind of dual status, and on top of that projected its socialist visions onto the reservation system. That’s why native Americans are still doing so poorly.

    1. I can’t say *all* Native Americans – they’re not all on reservations. Or so I infer from the fact that the term “leaving the reservation” has developed into what would today be called a meme.

      1. Well, depends on what you mean by “Native Americans”. Obviously, a lot of the original “Native Americans” have just blended into US society and don’t even consider themselves separate anymore.

        But who identify as “Native Americans” by that very identification see themselves as apart from US society as a whole.

        1. I understand that even officially registered members of one or the other of the Indian tribes will often live outside reservation boundaries.

          1. Leave Faucahontas out of this.

          2. Eighty bucks is a lot of wampum to read the claims made here, but you’ll forgive some skepticism:

            “The system that evolved to bring coherence to this diverse landscape was based on noncoercive consent seeking. The “center of Creek politics had always been oratory and debate in the town’s square ground,” Kokomoor writes. Civil and military leaders—including the most powerful micos, or headmen—led through persuasion and by cultivating respect. Ad hoc figures of influence, such as the “Great Beloved Man,” were recognized outside the traditional channels of leadership. A matrilineal clan structure allowed for kin-based retributive justice, and a dual organizational system of “war” and “peace” leadership structures further distributed authority and responsibility among the Creek communities.”

            I see no cite, nor any dating of the claim.
            I do find this:
            “Creek first appeared in writing in 1736. Laws were being written in Creek from 1849, and a standard alphabet, the ‘National Alphabet’, was adopted in 1853. By the 1870s newpaper articles in Creek were being published.”
            https://www.omniglot.com/writing/creek.htm

            Unless some other data comes to light, it seems that the claim is based on ‘verbal history’.
            Do better or admit you can’t.

            1. More:
              Economics is the study of the distribution of scarce resources; if resources are not scarce, there is no reason for the science (yep, SCIENCE) of economics.
              Many of the eastern Amerindian tribes lived in sufficiently small numbers where resources were not scarce, and therefor had no need to establish the concept of, for instance, ‘ownership’ of resources.
              But several years ago, someone here suggested “Comanche Empire” (Pekka Hamalainen); I also recommend it.
              No, in general, Amerindians did not live in an Edenic paradise blessed with gamboling privileges.
              From all I’ve read, it seems that once you can’t reach over from you bed and grab a trout for breakfast, humankind has to work out who owns what and (in civilized societies) make sure they still own them when the sun comes up tomorrow.
              Unlike JFree (below), I make no claim of a *permanent* scarcity of any resource, but once there is a temporary scarcity, based on a temporary and local demand, well, now, you had better know who owns what.
              I’m no anarchist; it seems to require enforcement of laws.

          3. It’s not (just) the reservation system that holds people back, it’s viewing themselves as a separate, disadvantaged, oppressed culture.

  10. “The Creek Nation and the Culture of Consent ”

    The culture that @Reason backs is based upon a limited COERCIVE monopoly – not consent – as required by freedom of association and the free market.!

    1. true freedom of association and a truly free market would have no need for monopoly on coercion. the state persists because of historic momentum, not because it is optimal.

      1. Nonsense. That coercion exists the nanosecond land is claimed. Land cannot be created and therefore any ‘unique’ claim to it is a zero-sum game that eliminates someone else’s claim to it. Which also means the coercion to enforce those claims must then be monopolized.

        Government as we know it did not really exist in hunter-gatherer societies since in those societies it only serves to mediate personal disputes and coercion is a remarkably poor way to solve personal disputes. The second land is claimed, govt comes into being and becomes exactly as coercive as (and more powerful than) the most psychopathic alpha adult. And it remains in existence for as long as land is claimed. The entire conflict between the Creek and the ‘white settler’ was about about whose monopoly on coercion would determine the decisions about that land. And the problem for the Creeks was that notion of land claim simply did not exist for them.

        1. “Nonsense. That coercion exists the nanosecond land is claimed. Land cannot be created and therefore any ‘unique’ claim to it is a zero-sum game that eliminates someone else’s claim to it.”

          Petroleum cannot be created and therefore…
          Granite cannot be created and therefore….
          Water cannot be created and therefore…
          Your claim is bullshit Malthusianism; ‘land’ can be ‘created’ by transforming it from worthless dirt to productive real estate, much as ‘petroleum’ can be ‘created’ but removing it from the earth and turning it into an energy source.

          1. much as ‘petroleum’ can be ‘created’ but removing it from the earth and turning it into an energy source.

            ‘Creating’ ‘petroleum’ via ‘removing’ it from one place, ‘destroying’ the thing itself (that is what combustion is) and placing – without reversibility – the elemental remnants (the land part) in a completely different place/form/etc. Ya sure ya betcha.

            no you twit. That does not create petroleum. It may create ‘value’. But only if the benefit of that energy source to the person that values the energy NOW is higher than a)the direct economic cost (the returns to all the different factors) of turning it into energy and b)the option value of that resource remaining in the ground for someone who values energy more in FUTURE and c)the negative externality of openly combusting that and releasing it into the atmosphere.

            Since we don’t price the latter two, it is in fact not POSSIBLE to measure whether ‘economic value’ is really being created. And that failure is entirely a consequence of the concept of ‘land’ disappearing from neoclassical/marginalist economics. We are simply taking from the future (both b and c are land-over-time concepts which was classically conceptualized via ‘usufruct’), valuing the cost of that ‘theft’ at nothing, and pretending that because WE benefit ‘value’ is created.

            It’s the same sort of nonsense that resulted in ‘discovering’ New World gold/silver – realizing that it could be ‘created’ for the cost of a mere slug of lead in the head of the native wearing it – and then sent to Europe to create ‘gold’ and ‘silver’ and ‘money’ there. The magic of alchemy. There is no ‘scarcity’ in economics. Everything can be created.

        2. You seem to not understand anarchy, much as lc1789 claims anarchy is chaos, except you seem to think it is a logical impossibility. You a priori assume coercion must exist — therefore anarchy is impossible — therefore coercion must exist.

          1. Ignoring your attempt to make this all a mere matter of a rationalist logic argument devoid of any attachment to the real world, I seem to understand 19th century (classical) anarchism a lot better than you.

            Primitivism – applied to social/cultural stuff – goes way back. If (debatable but i’ll cede that) Creeks then were ‘living’ ‘ a ‘better form of governance’, it wasn’t something new or alien to anyone of English origin familiar with folks like the Levellers/Diggers/Lilburne/Putney Debates of the English Civil War era. All the different ‘English’ groups that came to the US were, in their bones, the embodiment of all the civil war factions/arguments about governance. Both sides also, in their bones, understood that the core economic/property issue that separated that ‘Creek’/native idea from a ‘civilized’/modern idea was LAND. Cuz the Creeks were on that land and the settlers had all spent centuries dealing with the transition from feudalism via enclosure – and those who came to the US migrated here BECAUSE they had lost those property battles over there.

            The only thing settlers ‘agreed’ on was that they, personally, would not be the loser this time round. The American ‘frontier’ – all that land/resources with no one coercively claiming/titling it – was their personal chance to ‘win’. And the only thing that stood in their way was the natives who were merely ‘occupying’ it. Squatting so to speak.

            Everyone in the 19th century ‘classical’ era (including anarchists) understood that land issue. Both Creeks and the settlers understood the conflict was about LAND. They were unable to solve that land issue. And didn’t really try either cuz – all that land still available – ‘Lockean proviso’ will apply forever so it’s not like ‘they’ will be harmed if ‘we’ push them off this tiny bit of land here.

            Well guess what happened. Frontier ended. Frontier mindset did not. We didn’t ‘solve’ the land issue. We just eliminated the very idea of it from our heads and from academia. Nothing is really about land. Except of course most seemingly unsolvable problems now like homelessness, migration, climate change, environmental stuff, intergenerational debt/inheritance, tilted playing fields and cronyism, ‘fiat’ currency unconnected to actual economic production, etc.

            Hey – maybe we can go all anarcho-primitivist and ‘solve’ the problem this time – by ignoring the elephant. A complete twit like Sevo has the solution. Or maybe, it’s all about ‘ethnicity’ or some sort of ‘affinity grouping’ or other anthropology/sociology concept.

            1. You own land if you can enforce your property rights. You can enforce your property rights if you’re part of a society that has the means and will to do so against the individuals and societies that want to take it from you. It’s that simple and philosophy doesn’t really enter into it.

              1. So property itself requires coercion?

                1. So property itself requires coercion?

                  Of course.

                  Haven’t you ever watched a nature show?

                  There’s some great stuff out there now, filmed in time-lapse, that shows plants endless territorial battles in ways humans can see for the first time.

  11. I stumbled at the first sentence:

    “In the decades after the United States achieved independence, its representatives”

    “United States” is plural, and before you go on about neo-Confederate ideology, check the 13th Amendment:

    “Neither slavery nor involuntary servitude, except as a punishment for crime whereof the party shall have been duly convicted, shall exist within the United States, or any place subject to *their* jurisdiction.” (emphasis added)

    1. No, that *their* is a singular pronoun nicely not forcing any gender identity on its subject.

      1. Actually the language of the 13th Amendment cited by Eddy reflects the linguistic convention of that time, which was to refer to the United States in the plural.

        Only after the Second American War of Secession (aka the American Civil War) and in accord with the outcome of that conflict, did the singular usage gradually become dominant , reflecting the growing power of the national government.

        1. The point is that at the end of the Civil War (or War of Secession), The victorious North, flush with nationalistic fervor, nevertheless kept the plural language when it put through the 13th Amendment, which codified a key result of the war.

          Making this one of several plural uses of “United States” in the Constitution.

          1. Yeah, but nobody says it that way now. What are you going to do?

            1. Maybe, once the “origin story” of the singular usage is discredited, people will be able to calmly consider the implications of this usage – contradicting the Constitution *and* encouraging a centralized national government even in peacetime.

  12. “The National Council organized warriors into an easily mustered police force, using symbolic “sticks” to represent the fist of national authority.”

    You know who else used symbolic sticks to represent their authority?

      1. No, no, you’re supposed to say something non-Godwinesque, like “Gandalf” or something.

      1. And more than one type of stick too.

        The torches of freedom campaign got women to smoke cigarettes. And Bernays based that campaign on his uncle’s (Sigmund Freud) notions that women had penis envy

        1. Don’t be saucy with me, Bernays!

    1. Symphony conductors?

      1. Let me belatedly acknowledge this as the best comment.

  13. Wayne Gretzky?

  14. It’s amazing how many people are statists, especially when they know, realistically, they will never get some plum job in exchange for their childlike faith and loyalty.

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