Montana Monadology: Louis Riel in Exile

Justin E. H. Smith in his own blog:

6a00d83453bcda69e2017c3509bb0c970b-350wiIf you are half-learned in philosophy and prone to dissociative mental disorders, you might wish to reconsider your plan to retreat to a cabin in Montana. It's been tried before, probably more times than you know.

Ted Kaczynski tied for top, at 98.9 percent, in the logic course he took at Harvard with W. V. O. Quine, though he left no lasting impression on the professor. And anarcho-primitivism is in the end –is it not?– a sort of application of the law of the excluded middle: it's either the earth or us. It is somewhat more difficult to trace the Montana manifestos of the Canadian Métis resistance fighter Louis Riel back to his philosophical education at the Sulpician College of Montreal in the 1850s, but as with the Unabomber after him we can be certain that there were decades-old classroom lectures ringing in his head, in the silence of his cabin, as he set about putting his thoughts to paper.

Riel was in exile in the Montana Territory, having ducked across the border in the aftermath of the 1870 Red River rebellion in Manitoba. He was of Franco-Ojibwa ancestry, and a Métis: a label non-Canadians know better in its Spanish rendering, 'mestizo', yet one that has its own distinctive meaning in the Canadian context. During the rebellion he had ordered the execution of the Orangeman Thomas Scott, in order, it is speculated, to send Canada a little message about who was in charge out on the Prairie. Riel began to imagine himself the divinely chosen leader of all Métis, and took on the biblical name of ‘David’.

More here.