David Bedford contributed to the 5th and final This Is Not A Gateway Festival, November 2014.
David Bedford contributed the essay; 'The Left; Enemies in the Struggle for First Nation's Justice?' to Critical Cities Vol 4.
"David Bedford is professor of political science at the University of New Brunswick. He received his PhD in political philosophy from York University, Toronto, Canada. In addition to teaching and researching in political philosophy, he has taught and published on various issues on First Nations politics. His publications include articles on First Nations voter turnout, the relation of First Nations values and ecological politics, the political issues involved in self-government, and the Iroquois Great Law of Peace as a document of international relations. He has also published a book on the relation of First Nations and the Left The Tragedy of Progress: Marxism, Modernity and the Aboriginal Question."
From the 2014 This Is Not A Gateway Festival Programme
1) The Left: Enemies in the First Nations’ Struggle for Justice? / Library / 1:00PM – 2:30PM
In this session David Bedford who is joining us from the east coast of Turtle Island (‘Canada’) will expand on the thesis of his book ‘The Tragedy of Progress; Marxism, Modernity and the Aboriginal Question’. David’s book pulls apart the assumption that ‘the left’ are or have been allies to indigenous peoples around the world. David shows how Marx and Engels’s ideas were rooted in myths of Western superiority and readings of their work, which argues that there are ‘stages of progress’, have done nothing to prevent the death of hundreds of millions of indigenous peoples, and propelled Westernisation and urbanisation right around the globe.
2) The Tragedy of Progress / Great Hall / Sunday 2nd November 2014 / 5:00PM – 7:00PM
Olin Tezcatlipoca (Founder of Mexica Movement), Benny Wenda (West Papua independence leader and former political prisoner), Pradnya Garud (Disaster Researcher and End Caste Activist), Ward LeRoy Churchill (Sacked Professor, Author and Indigenous Activist), David Bedford (Author and academic). Chaired by Awqapuma Yayra Colque and Nemequene Aquiminzaque Tundama
This remarkable conversation will focus on Bedford and Churchill’s thesis that the Marxist notion of ‘progress’ as understood and utilised by ‘the left’/ ‘progressives’, continues to undermine the lives of the majority world, particularly the indigenous populations still under occupation. Were Marx and Engels’s ideas rooted in myths of white supremacy? Have readings of their work that argue there are ‘phases of progress’ enabled those with a vested interest to allow, participate or turn a blind eye to genocide, globalisation, land theft and the subsequent speed of urbanisation? What are the consequences or experiences of criticising ‘the Left’? Importantly, the panel will also discuss resistance and the struggle for self-determination.
In the This Is Not A Gateway Living Archive:
Photographs of David Bedford's London Visit.
The archive includes photographic prints taken at David's two sessions at the 5th This Is Not A Gateway Festival. Most were taken by Rehan Jamil.
We had the pleasure of hosting David in our home, so we have included a handful of personal photographs as well.
The Tragedy of Progress was the closing session of the 5th and final festival. Audience listening to his talk.
David's book and our reflection
The archive includes a copy of The Tragedy of Progress, Marxism, Modernity and the Aboriginal Question (2001, Fernwood Publishing).
At just 100 pages, this was a profoundly influential book for us and we include our personal reflection on the moment we found, located the book in the LSE library and how it helped rid us of the Marxism curse.
Copy of David Bedford's Paper in Critical Cities, Vol 4
The essay was written with his son-in-law, Thomas Cheney
Sound and Video Files of David Bedford's contribution
This includes recordings from Saturday's The Left: Enemies in the First Nations’ Struggle for Justice? and Sunday's The Tragedy of Progress sessions.
Visit the archive to access:
A biography of David Bedford
Photographs of David Bedford's visit to London, 2014
Digital copies of the Audio Visuals of David Bedford's two talks
David Bedford's book The Tragedy of Progress, Marxism, Modernity and the Aboriginal Question (2001, Fernwood Publishing).
Festival programme information - date, time, registration names etc
Personal reflection from David about his This Is Not A Gateway experience
Essay in Critical Cities Book Series