Re: Anthros as policy wonks

mike shupp (ms44278@HUEY.CSUN.EDU)
Fri, 17 May 1996 20:12:49 -0700

On Thu, 16 May 1996 wrote:

> Personally, I would be happy to see anthropologists running for office and
> advising office holders. I can't really recall either of these things
> happening at the national level, and so I don't think we can say that
> anthropologists would have no impact.... While it is true that party
> politics is always a major factor, the impact of quality initiatives
> from inside government and of lobbying, advocacy, and reform groups
> (from outside) should not be underestimated. There is plenty
> of room for policy anthropologists here.

I hate to be a nay-saying SOB, and I am aware there is more to the world
than the state of California, but I am very cynical about what
anthropologists may achieve through "quality initiatives, loggying,
advocacy and reform groups." Open debate as a tool for promoting social
change is vastly overrated (otherwise we might have arrived at a
concensus on abortion and school prayer thirty years agao). The
only sure method of using political power responsibly is to weild the power
oneself; the fastest method of obtaining it is to run for office oneself.

Mike Shupp
California State University, Northridge