Creole nationalism is a body of thought, ideological heritage and form of compromise that defines the independence movements of the British West Indies and as such is a distinctly local manifestation…[It] is a distinct political ideology of the West Indies derived from Victorian civilisation but much adapted and transformed since such time. At its heart Creole nationalism was a form of liberation ideology (might we even say theology) driving West Indian politicians of the pre and post Independence era. It was the ideology of 19th century British Empire reinterpreted by Caribbean men who were educated in ideas of liberalism from theColonial centre (first the British tradition and latterly the North American one), who professed solidarity with the plight of their fellow Colonial subjects. This produced a dialectic, a generative contradiction of cultural assimilation and cultural resistance that created the politics of CreoleNationalism and shaped the forms which Independence would take across the islands of theBritish West Indies – and perhaps continues to take.
Everything conspires to make us forget the socially constructed, and hence arbitrary and artificial, character of investment in the economic game and its stakes: the ultimate reasons for commitment to work, a career or the pursuit of profit in fact lie beyond or outside calculation and calculating reason in the obscure depths of a historically constituted habitus, which means that, in normal circumstances, one gets up every day to go to work without deliberating on the issue, as indeed one did yesterday and will do tomorrow
Pierre Bourdieu - The Social Structures of the Economy (via socio-logic
Why do Americans pretend that their weaponry is somehow more moral than that of other combatants? Back in the 1990s, Bill Clinton lobbed cruise missiles at his perceived enemies the way kids throw rocks. The net result ended up being dead innocents, unnecessary destruction, angry governments and negligible political results. Cruise missiles always seemed to me to be nothing more than car bombs of US imperialism. Ostensibly targeting certain buildings or people, they often kill with little regard to who happens to be near the target. In addition, like the drones favored by Obama, the element of surprise these weapons depend on intensifies the likelihood that innocents will be killed. Just more collateral damage.
A really efficient totalitarian state would be one in which the all-powerful executive of political bosses and their army of managers control a population of slaves who do not have to be coerced, because they love their servitude.
Aldous Huxley, Brave New World,
Defeatism is more often than not a psychological instrument designed to relieve one of the responsibility to act (if change is impossible, then I have no reason and no obligation to work or take risks for it). That is bolstered by the effort of all ruling interests to instill a sense of powerlessness and hopelessness in those they suppress; systemic power abuses are, above all else, designed to persuade people of the futility of opposition, to adopt a defeatist mindset. But it is a mindset that finds little to no support in political history.
Chagnon’s gung-ho research provides the origin story needed by the fading economic and imperialist power that is the US today. Sahlins long ago decoded this Hobbesian view as a Western peculiarity. As the War on Terror drags on, it comes as no surprise that the national academy of the most violent, warmongering state on the planet is anxious to validate narratives - such as those of Steven Pinker, Jared Diamond and Chagnon - which legitimise state control over alleged “violent savages”.
I thought reaching into the pockets of U.S. smartphone users and annoying them into drone-consciousness could be an interesting way to surface the conversation a bit more.
The true story is the history of desire. A capitalist, or today’s technocrat, does not desire in the same way as a slave merchant or official of the ancient Chinese empire would. That people in a society desire repression, both for others and *for themselves*, that there are always people who want to bug others and who have the opportunity to do so, the “right” to do so, it is this that reveals the problem of a deep link between libidinal desire and the social domain. A “disinterested” love for the oppressive machine: Nietzsche said some beautiful things about this permanent triumph of slaves, on how the embittered, the depressed and the weak, impose their mode of life upon us all.
With President Obama’s election, a clear white consensus favors ‘race neutral’ government policies – which, in practice, reject Black grievances based on past discrimination and disadvantage, and set an extremely high bar for complaints of current bias. Such dismissal of essential – and irrefutable – contemporary and historical data can only be rooted in a general white belief that African American culture is what holds Blacks back. Barack Obama either shares this white attitude, or pretends he does for political gain. His singling out of ‘irresponsible’ Black fathers and hectoring of Black parents for feeding their kids Popeye’s chicken for breakfast was a shout-out to white folks that he shared their assessment of Black ‘culture.’ His rejection of targeted economic policies that address deep disparities based on the historical and ongoing realities of race and racism (‘A rising tide lifts all boats,’ says Obama) puts him in the same ‘race neutral’ camp as Romney and the rest of the GOP – and most of the Democrats, as well. And, of course, Obama also fights for the same empire that sees its roots in the natural (or divinely ordained) rise of ‘western civilization’ – a euphemism for white people – to dominate every nook and cranny of the world, by force.
Contemporary forms of oppression do not routinely force people to submit. Instead, they manufacture consent for domination so that we lose our ability to question and thus collude in our own subordination.
I think that anthropology (and the other social sciences) are the ideological arms of sociopolitical arrangements. I use ideology here not in the narrow sense of propaganda, but in the sense of pervasive idea system making up a world view that both reflects and molds certain social arrangements. In general, scholarship reflects and molds the sociopolitical system called a university, and universities are not independent from our social order, but are paid and organized to perpetuate and legitimize it.