Beginning chapter eight, I see that again Benson makes errors when he ventures from Russia to discuss the New World. He claims that native americans were baffled by the concept of private property, believing all land was holy and belonged to nature. That was a myth made up to justify seizing their land, then later adopted by environmentalists sympathetic to their plight. A few pages later he writes “the local Buryats seemed able to make as many distinctions between one kind of dung an another as Eskimos could with snow”. The Eskimo-words-for-snow meme is also mythical. What is it about native americans that results in this stuff being so widely believed?

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