Re: what exactly do anthropologists do?

Todd Michel McComb (
6 Jul 1995 16:58:00 -0700

In article <>,
Gerold Firl <> wrote:
>The converse, meaning the lack of competition? You've studied economics, so
>you know the effects of monopoly there; a similar analysis can be applied
>to politics. The party in china holds a *monopoly* on political power. The
>benefits of competition are clear.

The party in power in China has not been able to do whatever it wants
(although it comes close at times). There is other political power,
especially at the international level.

True monopoly is very rare... possibly unknown (except in theory)...
harmful concentration of power that's easy... in the business world,
we need look no farther than Microsoft.

>It's not that easy to be "unemployable". Here in california there are large
>numbers of people who cross the border speaking no english, and utterly
>lacking any employable skill. Yet they not only survive, but save money.
>Many illegal aliens carry a wad of several hundred dollars.

Illegal aliens have a desirable employment "skill" -- desperation, or
the appearance thereof. As you implicitly say, that have an easier
time finding work than some other social groups.

>What about going to school and getting an education?

And that does what for a person, besides educating them?

>What's all this about "trying"?

You've lost me on that one... illegal aliens are trying to do
something, clearly.

>>Yes, I do believe I dislike being told that everyone is (or can
>>be) equal when it is manifestly untrue. I prefer the truth, even
>>if it serves to calcify the situation.

>I don't believe you.

Suit yourself.

>No one is equal. There is no guarantee of wealth or success, or even
>survival. That is the truth, but do you really prefer it?


>Look at average lifespan. It has been going up steadily as disease is

This does not prove that disease has been "nearly eliminated". In
fact, many people would argue that nutrition is the biggest factor
in longer lifespans for adults. I have not seen either point
demonstrated in any definitive way, although I have certainly never
seen it demonstrated that disease has been "nearly eliminated".

>Why do you find that hard to admit? Why does that conflict with
>the way you want to view the world?

Come again? I believe that average lifespan has increased, if
that makes you feel better.

>Western culture has problems; it is good to focus on solving those
>problems. But don't fall into the trap of seeing nothing but the
>problems, and then compound the error by convincing yourself that
>everything is wrong.

To my knowledge, I have never made a statement even resembling the
characterization above.

>My speculation is that people who are malnourished, diseased, parasite-
>ridden and oppressed have little time or energy for exploring their unique

I'll buy that. There have always been people who weren't in that

I think this thread has reached the end for me; instead of defending
your grand generalizations, you now seem intent on showing that the
Western world is not "all bad". Since I have no desire to dispute
that point, I have nothing else to say on the subject.

Todd Michel McComb