Two Cheers for Anarchism

Six Easy Pieces on Autonomy, Dignity, and Meaningful Work and Play

Author: James C. Scott

Publisher: Princeton University Press

ISBN: 0691155291

Category: Philosophy

Page: 169

View: 9450

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"James Scott is one of the great political thinkers of our time. No one else has the same ability to pursue a simple, surprising idea, kindly but relentlessly, until the entire world looks different. In this book, he also demonstrates a skill shared by the greatest radical thinkers: to reveal positions we've been taught to think of as extremism to be emanations of simple human decency and common sense."--David Graeber, author of Debt: The First 5,000 Years "Building on the insights of his masterful Seeing Like a State, James Scott has written a powerful and important argument for social organization that resists the twin poles of Big Corporations and Big Governments. In an age increasingly shaped by decentralized, bottom-up networks, Two Cheers for Anarchism gives timely new life to a rich tradition of political thought."--Steven Johnson, author of Where Good Ideas Come From: The Natural History of Innovation and Future Perfect: The Case for Progress in a Networked Age "I am a big fan of James Scott. In this highly readable and thought-provoking book, he reveals the meaning of his 'anarchist' sensibility through a series of wonderful personal stories, staking out an important position and defending it in a variety of contexts, from urban planning to school evaluation. I don't know of anyone else who has defined this viewpoint so successfully."--Francis Fukuyama, author of The Origins of Political Order "The ambition of this book is compelling and contagious. Combining the populist rhetoric of Thomas Paine with the ferocious satire of Jonathan Swift, James Scott makes a wonderfully simple and potent argument in favor of mutualism, creativity, local knowledge, and freedom. I predict that this will become one of the most influential books in political theory and public debate for the twenty-first century."--Georgi Derluguian, author of Bourdieu's Secret Admirer in the Caucasus

Two Cheers for Anarchism

Six Easy Pieces on Autonomy, Dignity, and Meaningful Work and Play

Author: James C. Scott

Publisher: Princeton University Press

ISBN: 1400844622

Category: Political Science

Page: 200

View: 4965

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James Scott taught us what's wrong with seeing like a state. Now, in his most accessible and personal book to date, the acclaimed social scientist makes the case for seeing like an anarchist. Inspired by the core anarchist faith in the possibilities of voluntary cooperation without hierarchy, Two Cheers for Anarchism is an engaging, high-spirited, and often very funny defense of an anarchist way of seeing--one that provides a unique and powerful perspective on everything from everyday social and political interactions to mass protests and revolutions. Through a wide-ranging series of memorable anecdotes and examples, the book describes an anarchist sensibility that celebrates the local knowledge, common sense, and creativity of ordinary people. The result is a kind of handbook on constructive anarchism that challenges us to radically reconsider the value of hierarchy in public and private life, from schools and workplaces to retirement homes and government itself. Beginning with what Scott calls "the law of anarchist calisthenics," an argument for law-breaking inspired by an East German pedestrian crossing, each chapter opens with a story that captures an essential anarchist truth. In the course of telling these stories, Scott touches on a wide variety of subjects: public disorder and riots, desertion, poaching, vernacular knowledge, assembly-line production, globalization, the petty bourgeoisie, school testing, playgrounds, and the practice of historical explanation. Far from a dogmatic manifesto, Two Cheers for Anarchism celebrates the anarchist confidence in the inventiveness and judgment of people who are free to exercise their creative and moral capacities.

Two Cheers for Anarchism

Six Easy Pieces on Autonomy, Dignity, and Meaningful Work and Play

Author: James C. Scott

Publisher: N.A

ISBN: 9780691161037

Category: Philosophy

Page: 169

View: 1393

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James Scott taught us what's wrong with seeing like a state. Now, in his most accessible and personal book to date, the acclaimed social scientist makes the case for seeing like an anarchist. Inspired by the core anarchist faith in the possibilities of voluntary cooperation without hierarchy, Two Cheers for Anarchism is an engaging, high-spirited, and often very funny defense of an anarchist way of seeing--one that provides a unique and powerful perspective on everything from everyday social and political interactions to mass protests and revolutions. Through a wide-ranging series of memorable anecdotes and examples, the book describes an anarchist sensibility that celebrates the local knowledge, common sense, and creativity of ordinary people. The result is a kind of handbook on constructive anarchism that challenges us to radically reconsider the value of hierarchy in public and private life, from schools and workplaces to retirement homes and government itself. Beginning with what Scott calls "the law of anarchist calisthenics," an argument for law-breaking inspired by an East German pedestrian crossing, each chapter opens with a story that captures an essential anarchist truth. In the course of telling these stories, Scott touches on a wide variety of subjects: public disorder and riots, desertion, poaching, vernacular knowledge, assembly-line production, globalization, the petty bourgeoisie, school testing, playgrounds, and the practice of historical explanation. Far from a dogmatic manifesto, Two Cheers for Anarchism celebrates the anarchist confidence in the inventiveness and judgment of people who are free to exercise their creative and moral capacities.

Decoding Subaltern Politics

Ideology, Disguise, and Resistance in Agrarian Politics

Author: James C. Scott

Publisher: Routledge

ISBN: 0415539757

Category: History

Page: 158

View: 8406

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James C. Scott has researched and written on subaltern groups, and, in particular, peasants, rebellion, resistance, and agriculture, for over 35 years. Yet much of Scott’s most interesting work on the peasantry and the state, both conceptually and empirically, has never been published in book form. For the first time Decoding Subaltern Politics: Ideology, Disguise, and Resistance in Agrarian Politics, brings together some of his most important work in one volume. The book covers three distinct yet interlinked bodies of work. The first lays out a framework for understanding peasant politics and rebellion, much of which is applicable to rural areas of the contemporary global south. Scott then goes on to develop his arguments regarding everyday forms of peasant resistance using the comparative example of the religious tithe in France and Malaysia, and tracing the forms of resistance that cover their own tracks and avoid direct clashes with authorities. For much of the world’s population, and for most of its history, this sort of politics was far more common than the violent clashes that dominate the history books, and in this book one can examine the anatomy of such resistance in rich comparative detail. Finally, Scott explores how the state’s increasing grip on its population: its identity, land-holding, income, and movements, is a precondition for political hegemony. Crucially, in examining the invention of state-mandated legal identities, especially, the permanent patronym and the vagaries of its imposition on vernacular life, Scott lays bare the micro-processes of state-formation and resistance. Written by one of the leading social theorists of our age, Decoding Subaltern Politics: Ideology, Disguise, and Resistance in Agrarian Politicsis an indispensible guide to the study of subaltern culture and politics and is essential reading for political scientists, anthropologists, sociologists and historians alike.

Hearing the Other Side

Deliberative versus Participatory Democracy

Author: Diana C. Mutz

Publisher: Cambridge University Press

ISBN: 1139936638

Category: Political Science

Page: N.A

View: 4287

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'Religion and politics', as the old saying goes, 'should never be discussed in mixed company.'And yet fostering discussions that cross lines of political difference has long been a central concern of political theorists. More recently, it has also become a cause célèbre for pundits and civic-minded citizens wanting to improve the health of American democracy. But only recently have scholars begun empirical investigations of where and with what consequences people interact with those whose political views differ from their own. Hearing the Other Side examines this theme in the context of the contemporary United States. It is unique in its effort to link political theory with empirical research. Drawing on her empirical work, Mutz suggests that it is doubtful that an extremely activist political culture can also be a heavily deliberative one.

Domination and the Arts of Resistance

Hidden Transcripts

Author: James C. Scott

Publisher: Yale University Press

ISBN: 0300153562

Category: Dominance (Psychology)

Page: 251

View: 2221

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"Play fool, to catch wise."--proverb of Jamaican slaves Confrontations between the powerless and powerful are laden with deception--the powerless feign deference and the powerful subtly assert their mastery. Peasants, serfs, untouchables, slaves, laborers, and prisoners are not free to speak their minds in the presence of power. These subordinate groups instead create a secret discourse that represents a critique of power spoken behind the backs of the dominant. At the same time, the powerful also develop a private dialogue about practices and goals of their rule that cannot be openly avowed. In this book, renowned social scientist James C. Scott offers a penetrating discussion both of the public roles played by the powerful and powerless and the mocking, vengeful tone they display off stage--what he terms their public and hidden transcripts. Using examples from the literature, history, and politics of cultures around the world, Scott examines the many guises this interaction has taken throughout history and the tensions and contradictions it reflects. Scott describes the ideological resistance of subordinate groups--their gossip, folktales, songs, jokes, and theater--their use of anonymity and ambiguity. He also analyzes how ruling elites attempt to convey an impression of hegemony through such devices as parades, state ceremony, and rituals of subordination and apology. Finally, he identifies--with quotations that range from the recollections of American slaves to those of Russian citizens during the beginnings of Gorbachev's glasnost campaign--the political electricity generated among oppressed groups when, for the first time, the hidden transcript is spoken directly and publicly in the face of power. His landmark work will revise our understanding of subordination, resistance, hegemony, folk culture, and the ideas behind revolt.

Seeing like a state

How Certain Schemes to Improve the Human Condition Have Failed

Author: James C. Scott

Publisher: Yale University Press

ISBN: 0300128789

Category: Political Science

Page: 463

View: 7740

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Why do well-intentioned plans for improving the human condition go tragically awry? In a wide-ranging and original study, James C. Scott analyzes failed cases of large-scale authoritarian plans in a variety of fields. He argues that centrally managed social plans derail when schematic visions are imposed on long-established structures without taking into account preexisting interdependencies.

The Art of Not Being Governed

An Anarchist History of Upland Southeast Asia

Author: James C. Scott

Publisher: Yale University Press

ISBN: 0300156529

Category: Political Science

Page: 465

View: 3761

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For two thousand years the disparate groups that now reside in Zomia (a mountainous region the size of Europe that consists of portions of seven Asian countries) have fled the projects of the organized state societies that surround them--slavery, conscription, taxes, corvee labor, epidemics, and warfare. This book, essentially an anarchist history, is the first-ever examination of the huge literature on state-making whose author evaluates why people would deliberately and reactively remain stateless. Among the strategies employed by the people of Zomia to remain stateless are physical dispersion in rugged terrain; agricultural practices that enhance mobility; pliable ethnic identities; devotion to prophetic, millenarian leaders; and maintenance of a largely oral culture that allows them to reinvent their histories and genealogies as they move between and around states. In accessible language, James Scott, recognized worldwide as an eminent authority in Southeast Asian, peasant, and agrarian studies, tells the story of the peoples of Zomia and their unlikely odyssey in search of self-determination. He redefines our views on Asian politics, history, demographics, and even our fundamental ideas about what constitutes civilization, and challenges us with a radically different approach to history that presents events from the perspective of stateless peoples and redefines state-making as a form of internal colonialism. This new perspective requires a radical reevaluation of the civilizational narratives of the lowland states. Scott's work on Zomia represents a new way to think of area studies that will be applicable to other runaway, fugitive, and marooned communities, be they Gypsies, Cossacks, tribes fleeing slave raiders, Marsh Arabs, or San-Bushmen.

Anarchy Unbound

Why Self-Governance Works Better Than You Think

Author: Peter T. Leeson

Publisher: Cambridge University Press

ISBN: 110702580X

Category: Business & Economics

Page: 270

View: 4078

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In Anarchy Unbound, Peter T. Leeson uses rational choice theory to explore the benefits of self-governance. Relying on experience from the past and present, Professor Leeson provides evidence of anarchy "working" where it is least expected to do so and explains how this is possible. Provocatively, Leeson argues that in some cases anarchy may even outperform government as a system of social organization, and demonstrates where this may occur. Anarchy Unbound challenges the conventional self-governance wisdom. It showcases the incredible ingenuity of private individuals to secure social cooperation without government and how their surprising means of doing so can be superior to reliance on the state.

Beyond Tocqueville

Civil Society and the Social Capital Debate in Comparative Perspective

Author: Bob Edwards,Michael W. Foley,Mario Diani

Publisher: UPNE

ISBN: 9781584651253

Category: Political Science

Page: 340

View: 2515

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An interdisciplinary collection of historical and comparative articles on civil society and the social capital debate.

Against the Grain

A Deep History of the Earliest States

Author: James C. Scott

Publisher: Yale University Press

ISBN: 0300231687

Category: History

Page: 336

View: 3217

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An account of all the new and surprising evidence now available for the beginnings of the earliest civilizations that contradict the standard narrative Why did humans abandon hunting and gathering for sedentary communities dependent on livestock and cereal grains, and governed by precursors of today’s states? Most people believe that plant and animal domestication allowed humans, finally, to settle down and form agricultural villages, towns, and states, which made possible civilization, law, public order, and a presumably secure way of living. But archaeological and historical evidence challenges this narrative. The first agrarian states, says James C. Scott, were born of accumulations of domestications: first fire, then plants, livestock, subjects of the state, captives, and finally women in the patriarchal family—all of which can be viewed as a way of gaining control over reproduction. Scott explores why we avoided sedentism and plow agriculture, the advantages of mobile subsistence, the unforeseeable disease epidemics arising from crowding plants, animals, and grain, and why all early states are based on millets and cereal grains and unfree labor. He also discusses the “barbarians” who long evaded state control, as a way of understanding continuing tension between states and nonsubject peoples.

Weapons of the Weak

Everyday Forms of Peasant Resistance

Author: James C. Scott

Publisher: Yale University Press

ISBN: 9780300153620

Category: SOCIAL SCIENCE

Page: 389

View: 5846

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Living at the Edges of Capitalism

Adventures in Exile and Mutual Aid

Author: Andrej Grubacic,Denis O'Hearn

Publisher: Univ of California Press

ISBN: 0520962486

Category: History

Page: 336

View: 7390

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Since the earliest development of states, groups of people escaped or were exiled. As capitalism developed, people tried to escape capitalist constraints connected with state control. This powerful book gives voice to three communities living at the edges of capitalism: Cossacks on the Don River in Russia; Zapatistas in Chiapas, Mexico; and prisoners in long-term isolation since the 1970s. Inspired by their experiences visiting Cossacks, living with the Zapatistas, and developing connections and relationships with prisoners and ex-prisoners, Andrej Grubacic and Denis O’Hearn present a uniquely sweeping, historical, and systematic study of exilic communities engaged in mutual aid. Following the tradition of Peter Kropotkin, Pierre Clastres, James Scott, Fernand Braudel and Imanuel Wallerstein, this study examines the full historical and contemporary possibilities for establishing self-governing communities at the edges of the capitalist world-system, considering the historical forces that often militate against those who try to practice mutual aid in the face of state power and capitalist incursion.

A War for the Soul of America

A History of the Culture Wars

Author: Andrew Hartman

Publisher: University of Chicago Press

ISBN: 022625464X

Category: History

Page: 384

View: 1339

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When Patrick Buchanan took the stage at the Republican National Convention in 1992 and proclaimed, “There is a religious war going on for the soul of our country,” his audience knew what he was talking about: the culture wars, which had raged throughout the previous decade and would continue until the century’s end, pitting conservative and religious Americans against their liberal, secular fellow citizens. It was an era marked by polarization and posturing fueled by deep-rooted anger and insecurity. Buchanan’s fiery speech marked a high point in the culture wars, but as Andrew Hartman shows in this richly analytical history, their roots lay farther back, in the tumult of the 1960s—and their significance is much greater than generally assumed. Far more than a mere sideshow or shouting match, the culture wars, Hartman argues, were the very public face of America’s struggle over the unprecedented social changes of the period, as the cluster of social norms that had long governed American life began to give way to a new openness to different ideas, identities, and articulations of what it meant to be an American. The hot-button issues like abortion, affirmative action, art, censorship, feminism, and homosexuality that dominated politics in the period were symptoms of the larger struggle, as conservative Americans slowly began to acknowledge—if initially through rejection—many fundamental transformations of American life. As an ever-more partisan but also an ever-more diverse and accepting America continues to find its way in a changing world, A War for the Soul of America reminds us of how we got here, and what all the shouting has really been about.

Against the Grain

How Agriculture Has Hijacked Civilization

Author: Richard Manning

Publisher: North Point Press

ISBN: 1466823429

Category: Nature

Page: 240

View: 304

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In this provocative, wide-ranging book, Against the Grain, Richard Manning offers a dramatically revisionist view of recent human evolution, beginning with the vast increase in brain size that set us apart from our primate relatives and brought an accompanying increase in our need for nourishment. For 290,000 years, we managed to meet that need as hunter-gatherers, a state in which Manning believes we were at our most human: at our smartest, strongest, most sensually alive. But our reliance on food made a secure supply deeply attractive, and eventually we embarked upon the agricultural experiment that has been the history of our past 10,000 years. The evolutionary road is littered with failed experiments, however, and Manning suggests that agriculture as we have practiced it runs against both our grain and nature's. Drawing on the work of anthropologists, biologists, archaeologists, and philosophers, along with his own travels, he argues that not only our ecological ills-overpopulation, erosion, pollution-but our social and emotional malaise are rooted in the devil's bargain we made in our not-so-distant past. And he offers personal, achievable ways we might re-contour the path we have taken to resurrect what is most sustainable and sustaining in our own nature and the planet's.

Agrarian Studies

Synthetic Work at the Cutting Edge

Author: James C. Scott,Nina Bhatt

Publisher: Yale University Press

ISBN: 0300085028

Category: Social Science

Page: 310

View: 5613

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This book presents an account of an intellectual breakthrough in the study of rural society and agriculture. Its ten chapters, selected for their originality and synthesis from the colloquia of the Programme in Agrarian Studies at Yale University, encompass various disciplines, diverse historical periods, and several regions of the world. The contributors' fresh analyses will broaden the perspectives of readers with interests as wide-ranging as rural sociology, environmentalism, political science, history, anthropology, economics, and art history. The ten studies recast and expand what is known about rural society and agrarian issues, examining such topics as poverty, subsistence, cultivation, ecology, justice, art, custom, law, ritual life, cooperation, and state action. Each contribution provides a point of departure for new study, encouraging deeper thinking across disciplinary boundaries and frontiers.

The Essential Douglass

Selected Writings and Speeches

Author: Frederick Douglass

Publisher: Hackett Publishing

ISBN: 1624664555

Category: History

Page: 392

View: 6499

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In addition to a thoughtful selection of the essays, speeches, and autobiographical writings of Frederick Douglass, this anthology provides an illuminating Introduction; a timeline of Douglass' life; footnotes that introduce individuals, quotations, and events; and a selected bibliography.

Real Pigs

Shifting Values in the Field of Local Pork

Author: Brad Weiss

Publisher: Duke University Press

ISBN: 0822374234

Category: Social Science

Page: 312

View: 4278

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In addition to being one of the United States' largest pork producers, North Carolina is home to a developing niche market of pasture-raised pork. In Real Pigs Brad Weiss traces the desire for "authentic" local foods in the Piedmont region of central North Carolina as he follows farmers, butchers, and chefs through the process of breeding, raising, butchering, selling, and preparing pigs raised on pasture for consumption. Drawing on his experience working on Piedmont pig farms and at farmers’ markets, Weiss explores the history, values, social relations, and practices that drive the pasture-raised pork market. He shows how pigs in the Piedmont become imbued with notions of authenticity, illuminating the ways the region's residents understand local notions of place and culture. Full of anecdotes and interviews with the market's primary figures, Real Pigs reminds us that what we eat and why have implications that resonate throughout the wider social, cultural, and historical world.

Unmasking Administrative Evil

Author: Guy Adams,Danny Balfour

Publisher: M.E. Sharpe

ISBN: 0765629003

Category: Political Science

Page: 248

View: 2029

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The modern age with its emphasis on technical rationality has enabled a new and dangerous form of evil--administrative evil. Unmasking Administrative Evil discusses the overlooked relationship between evil and public affairs, as well as other fields and professions in public life. The authors argue that the tendency toward administrative evil, as manifested in acts of dehumanization and genocide, is deeply woven into the identity of public affairs. The common characteristic of administrative evil is that ordinary people within their normal professional and administrative roles can engage in acts of evil without being aware that they are doing anything wrong. Under conditions of moral inversion, people may even view their evil activity as good. In the face of what is now a clear and present danger in the United States, this book seeks to lay the groundwork for a more ethical and democratic public life; one that recognizes its potential for evil, and thereby creates greater possibilities for avoiding the hidden pathways that lead to state-sponsored dehumanization and destruction. What's new in the Fourth Edition of Unmasking Administrative Evil: UAE is updated and revised with new scholarship on administrative ethics, evil, and contemporary politics. The authors include new cases on the dangers of market-based governance, contracting out, and deregulation. There is an enhanced focus on the potential for administrative evil in the private sector. The authors have written a new Afterword on administrative approaches to the aftermath of evil, with the potential for expiation, healing, and reparations.

Of Virgins and Martyrs

Women and Sexuality in Global Conflict

Author: David Jacobson

Publisher: JHU Press

ISBN: 142140754X

Category: Social Science

Page: 272

View: 9800

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Women's bodies have become a battleground. Around the world, people argue about veiling, schooling for Afghan girls, and "SlutWalk" protests, all of which involve issues of women's sexuality and freedom. Globalization, with its emphasis on human rights and individuality, heats up these arguments. In Of Virgins and Martyrs, David Jacobson takes the reader on a fascinating tour of how self-identity developed throughout history and what individualism means for Muslim societies struggling to maintain a sense of honor in a globalized twenty-first century. Some patriarchal societies have come to see women’s control of their own sexuality as a threat to a way of life that goes back thousands of years. Many trace their lineage to tribal cultures that were organized around the idea that women’s virginity represents the honor of male relatives and the good of the community at large. Anyone or anything that influences women to the contrary is considered a corrupting and potentially calamitous force. Jacobson analyzes the connection between tribal patriarchy and Muslim radicalism through an innovative tool—the tribal patriarchy index. This index helps to illuminate why women's sexuality, dress, and image so compel militant Muslim outrage and sometimes violent action, revealing a deeper human story of how women's status defines competing moral visions of society and why this present clash is erupting with such ferocity. -- Subrata Mitra, Department of Political Science, and South Asia Institute, University of Heidelberg