Reality Check Redux

John McCreery (jlm@TWICS.COM)
Wed, 3 Jul 1996 08:35:35 +0900

Interesting isn't it, how threads develop. Am I alone in observing that,
except for Bill Loker, those who've responded have not responded to
Okazaki's remarks, preferring instead to talk about the weaknesses in the
classic band-tribe-chieftan-state scheme. I.e., instead of speaking to an
issue raised by someone who is seen in his own society as a serious opinion
leader, reverting to shop talk which is focused on the *failings* of the
tools we use. Is this any way to win friends and influence people?

Then, too, another, even more serious issue. If all that we as
anthropologists know suggest that societies larger than a few hundred
people wind up hierarchical, what are we doing teaching social critique
rooted in the idea that everyone could be equal? Shouldn't we be talking
about the various forms of hierarchies and how they seem to differ
empirically, instead of communicating the message that hierarchy=BAD?

John McCreery
3-206 Mitsusawa HT, 25-2 Miyagaya, Nishi-ku
Yokohama 220, JAPAN

"And the Lord said unto Cyrus, 'Shall the clay say to him who moldest it,
what makest thou? Let the potsherd of the earth speak to the potsherd of
the earth." --An anthropologist's credo