Keep Karl

Kotliar (viomar@ATHENS.NET)
Fri, 16 Feb 1996 10:49:22 -0400

Marxian) types of analysis in anthropology are rather disturbing. The
authority to tax is an "archist" principle not exclusively a "Communist"
one. Those who reject such authority follow "anarchist" principles. A
purist form of the market oriented economy (ala Ayn Rand) is anarchist at
its heart, but Karl's dream was also a anarchist paradise. Many of the
leftists in 1930's Spain and Pre-Soviet Russia were anarchists. The
left-wing anarchists in Russia were executed or gulaged when the Soviet
state came up. Those in Spain became the victims of the fascists.
The problem with State socialism (as a 19th century Pope predicted)
is that instead of ending the exploitation of the workers, it simply
substituted exploiters. Terrible things have been done in the name of
"socialism", but terrible things have been done in the name of "free"
markets. (How about thugs shooting down striking workers? Or union
organizers bieng lynched.) Market-type analyses and Marxian type analyses
both have a place in anthropology. Engage ideas, do not silence them.
Point out flaws in market or Marxian analysis, and offer a solution (not
just a critique). Synthesis is preferable to censorship. As a discipline
I think anthropology can forge a place in the world by offering
challenging, insightful and reasoned discussion of issues clouded by
emotions and intolerance.

Jay Kotliar
The law, in its majestic equality, forbids the rich as well
as the poor to sleep under bridges, to beg in the streets
and to steal bread.
-Anatole France, Crainquebille.