This essay presents the Haudenosaunee Confederacy (sometimes referred to as the Iroquois League or Five Nations) as part of an alternative social contract theory, contrasting the social and political institutions and norms of the Five Nations with those proposed by Enlightenment-era philosophers. Although the oral history of the Haudenosaunee describes a Hobbesian ‘state of nature’ prior to the founding of the Confederacy, the Five Nations entered into, and constantly renewed, a substantially different ‘social contract’ than that theorized by Hobbes, Rousseau, or Locke. Because these differences reveal a unique understanding of human nature and potential, undergirded by distinctly Haudenosaunee political and moral principles, the Confederacy constitutes a new and under-examined approach to – as well as a living critique of – social contract theory.
- social contract theory,
- Indigenous political philosophies
Available at: http://works.bepress.com/samgrey/8/