Re: Vamps and Tramps: My last posting before the "new rules"

Matthew Stoloff (Magnus2@IX.NETCOM.COM)
Mon, 11 Sep 1995 17:16:08 -0700

>Robert Johnson <johnsorl@COLORADO.EDU> wrote:

>The situation in American anthropology today can be laid at the feet of the
American educational >system. The ignorance, the hypocrisy, the greed, the
blindness and participation in cultural
>genocide is the product of the failure of Americas schools to educate and
to impart the capacity >for courage and critical thinking.

Please forgive my lack of knowledge, as I am a new subscriber, but what is
the current status of today's anthropological work? Is it merely the
subject of money -- that the Federal Government wants to cut funding?
Further, in what way does anthropology prevent the capacity for "courage and
critical thinking"? Unless I know the answer to these questions, I won't
comment on this.

>Camille Paglia in her series of essays published under the title of VAMPS
AND TRAMPS gives us >great insights into the root of this problem.

I admit that I am not familiar with Paglia's work, but I do acknowledge and
recognize her libertarian viewpoints; however, I am very familiar with other
Objectivist/Libertarian writers, such as F.A. Hayek, Ayn Rand, and H.L.
Mencken. But I'd like to comment a couple of things that Paglia wrote in
her essay, "The Culture Wars."

>Ideas have been relegated to the universities, but the universities belong
to the drudges.

I agree with the first part of this statement -- but I'm not a drudge. And
I know many people who are not drudges.

> Authentic leftism is nowhere to be seen in our major universities. The
"multi-culturists" and the >"politically correct" on the subjects of race,
class, and gender actually represent a continuation >of the genteel
tradition of respectability and conformity.

Please tell me -- what is an "authentic leftist"? Moreover, I disagree with
this statement: there are many, many radical leftists that surround the
American schools and colleges.

>This statement by Paglia exhibits the base of why anthropology is selling
itself like a whore to the >World Bank, corporate greed, and other
institutions of their ilk. This is why anthropology builds
>the "case-study" and "consulting social worker" industry.

Are you saying here, Mr. Johnson, that because of the intended federal cuts
for the Humanities, many teachers are seeking other sources of income? If
so, then that's wonderful! Private, as opposed to public means of income,
has always been the most effective and efficient way of exchanging value for

>This is why anthropology blinds itself to murder and cultural genocide.
This is why anthropology >participates in murder and cultural genocide. The
last sentence of Paglia's quote explains the >rush to "develop" the
non-western world, moving its peoples aside, flattering and paying off its
>Judas', and seeks to silence those who speak out against its injustice and

First, anthropology is a subject; it does not participate in anything;
simply put, subjects do not act (unless it is a living entity, of course).
But it is true that anthropology may consist of murder and genocide, i.e.,
for anthropologists study culture and the like, it is true that many forms
of good and evil will be studied . . . That anthropologists participates in
murder and cultural genocide is utterly false. Where does one get this
impression? A culture of intended study may include the people of Bosnia --
and while it is true that anthropologists merely sit back, and not do
anything to promote peace, as their job is to study, the assumption that
they participate in murder is erroneous. It must be remembered that
anthropologists did not *initiate* the war, nor are they promoting it.
Certainly, for many people, the observations of Bosnia used for
anthropological work may be taken for granted.

Matthew Stoloff