Adam Smith on Dreamtime at the ‘G

I watched quite a bit of the opening stuff on ‘Dreamtime at the MCG’. I wrote a bit of a piece on aborigines and the AFL a while back on Troppo. It’s nice to see the AFL flogging it for all it’s worth.

And apropos of the issue of race and humiliation here is one of Adam Smith’s less famous passages that I quoted a while back on the subject.

The contempt of death and torture prevails among all savage nations. There is not a negro from the coast of Africa who does not, in this respect, possess a degree of magnanimity which the soul of his sordid master is too often scarce capable of conceiving. Fortune never exerted more cruelly her empire over mankind, than when she subjected those nations of heroes to the refuse of the jails of Europe, to wretches who possess the virtues neither of the countries which they come from, nor of those which they go to, and whose levity, brutality, and baseness, so justly expose them to the contempt of the vanquished.


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