“The Politics of Suffering” – Fascinating Read

(An earlier version of this first appeared on the blog portion of my MobileMe site, in a post dated February 21, 2011.  I have updated the original with additional information.)

For more than 40 years, Peter Sutton worked as an anthropologist and linguist with the Australian Aborigines.  He grew more and more disillusioned with the situation there, and penned the book, The Politics of Suffering:  Indigenous Australia and the End of the liberal consensus (2009).  He argues that certain traditional approaches to such matters as violence and sorcery have had a detrimental effect–particularly when combined with welfare dependence and substance abuse. 

Sutton’s book proved to be so much in demand that a second edition was issued in 2011, with an additional foreword, plus an afterword by him.  Both the first and second editions of the book include a foreword by Aborigine scholar, Marcia Langton. who agrees with many of Sutton’s concerns.  I see numerous parallels between what he says and my experiences with the aboriginal situation here in Canada.

My “Clans and Tribes in the 21st Century,” “Violence Against Aboriginal Women” and “Part Two of Two – A Delectable Lie, A Tree and a Way Forward:  Multiculturalism and Aboriginal Policy Compared” posts at my other website, http://www.counterpoise.ca, make reference to Sutton’s views.