Re: Yeehaa!

Willard Brooks (willard.brooks@STUDENT.UNI-TUEBINGEN.DE)
Sat, 22 Jul 1995 17:11:10 +0200

> ...I wonder how many people have been won over by being called an
> idiot.

Aside from being uneffective and offensive it is -within the [perhaps
random and at any rate culturally mediated] realm of formal logic
considered an unacceptable, ie "bad", form of argument known as "ad hominum."

What worries me is that this type of argument also slithers both directly
and indirectly enter into other realms of anthrpological discourse (z.B.
AAA Conferences, Graduate Proseminars, and Department Meetings). As the
resources aloted to our discipline continue to shrink and as the power of
the modern [capitalist] world system continues to grow our in-fighting
over increasingly meagre and perhaps inconsequential scraps of political
power increases. This does not bode well for our future.

....the contradiction of the social sciences (esp those vareities
which aspire to political ends, is that they are always being
fed by the hand that they are always trying to bite. THus if they were
ever threatend to become powerful enough to have any real influence the
powers that be would simply close the finanial tap. (I know this is a
simplistic way of looking at things). Futhermore, I do not believe
that political consensus will ever or can ever become a real problem because
I think that we will always be disorganized.

(Take the example of the political left in Europe and Uniited States and
notice how disoragnized they tend to be ... it is always difficult to
come up with a politically usefull consensus while at the same time
adhereing to a particular set of politcal goals, one is always forced to
comprimize ones way to such an extent that the original goals become
lost in the daily minutia. Take Bill Clinton as an example).

> I also wonder how effective the role of the Internet is in
> current social, political and economic power structures.

We have little symbolic power or capital in the overall realm of things
political, we have even less in the Electronic Realm. Although there are
lots of individuals, may of whom are professors, god bless them, who like
to set up tautological little political and academic games in order to
make themselves feel good and morally correct.... or so it sometimes
seems to be.