Warren Buffett’s Comments Embody the Doctrine of Discovery

CNN Anchor Poppy Harlow interviewed billionaire Warren Buffett on Monday and the Doctrine of Discovery was on full display.

Harlow pressed Buffett on whether he thought the country was due for a recession soon. Here’s his response:

America has been on a 242-year run. I mean it just gets interrupted a little bit. But if you are looking for a run, just look around. There was nothing here in 1776 and now look what we’ve got.

The Doctrine of Discovery refers to the religious and legal justification Europe’s colonial powers used to claim indigenous lands and forcibly convert or enslave indigenous peoples. The Doctrine has its roots in 15th century papal edicts and the U.S. Supreme Court adopted a secular version of the Doctrine into U.S. case law 1823. The Doctrine of Discovery’s world view was that if there were no Christians on the land, the land was basically empty and could be claimed. Or, in Buffett’s words: “There was nothing here.”

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