ABSTRACT. In this article, I describe one of the basal motifs of the Pākehā world in terms of its difference from the patternings of te Ao Māori. The motif is both a patterning traced by a mode of life and an epistemological diagram of the structures of thought that are co-constituted in that pattern. I read the Pākehā world from the perspective of its difference from Te Ao Māori, using Karl Marx, Alfred Sohn-Rethel and Gilbert Simondon as native informants of the European mode of life and questioning them about their difference from the perspective of a world primarily patterned on whakapapa. I argue that monetary exchange expresses the fundamental configuration of Pākehā life and thought, and I detail the hostility and incompatibility of this organisation of existence to that of te Ao Māori.

Keywords: settler-colonial; Māori; Marx; Sohn-Rethel; Simondon

How to cite: Barber, S. (2022). The settler baggage of abstraction. Knowledge Cultures, 10(3), 12–34.

Received 31 January 2022 • Received in revised form 9 June 2022
Accepted 16 November 2022 • Available online 01 December 2022

Simon Barber
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Te Whare Wānanga o Ōtākou/The University of Otago
Dunedin, Aotearoa/New Zealand

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