The Race to Defraud: State Crime and the Immiseration of Indigenous People
In J. McCulloch and E.Stanley (eds), State Crime and Resistance, London: Routledge, pp. 99-113
Posted: 5 Jan 2013 Last revised: 16 Jan 2013
Date Written: January 4, 2013
Most analysis of state crime focuses on state violence – ranging from torture and terror through to genocide. This chapter is an exploration of state crime in the form of systematic state-sponsored fraud and related breaches of human rights. It derives from a more general project on the relationship between colonization in settler societies and state crime. Analysis of the ongoing effects of colonization on Indigenous populations reveals that one of the major factors in bringing about their contemporary immiseration has been the long-term and systematic exploitation of Indigenous labour. This exploitation occurred through the organized system of a racialized, state-controlled labour market which includes specific fraudulent misappropriation of money (including wages, trust funds and other payments). The specific example drawn upon in this chapter is the exploitation of Indigenous people in Australia. However, the defrauding and gross mismanagement of trust funds established by the state for the benefit of Indigenous peoples has been evident in other settler states such as the United States (US), where in 2009 there was a $3.4 billion settlement to a class action relating to the mismanagement of hundreds of thousands of American Indian trust accounts.
Keywords: State Crime, Indigenous People, Compensation, Reparations
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