here’s a 40 minute lecture by Zizek, type out your own quotes i got bills to pay
While anthropology is a relatively young discipline, ideas and assumptions of an anthropological nature permeate pop culture, political discourse, and everyday conversations of an incredibly broad scope.
What is human nature? Why is there diversity in the world, and what does that diversity signify? Is there a way people are supposed to exist, but don't for various reasons? These are questions we all ask, but which anthropologists test by looking at real people leading real lives.
While this blog is generally concerned with theories created by academic anthropologists, followers are encouraged to submit examples of anthropological ideas or assumptions from anywhere, like the media, pop culture, etc.
"Violence-particularly aggressive violence, is one of the few forms of human activity that does seem to be more efficient if organized on a top-down, command basis. This and the concomitant need for secrecy, ensure that the more one prepares for war, or something like it, the more difficult it is to organize democratically."
"All I know is that, up until a just few years ago, I would blithely, and perhaps a bit fatuously, tell students and younger colleagues who asked how to get ahead in our odd occupation that they should stay loose, take risks, resist the cleared path, avoid careerism, go their own way, and that if they did so, if they kept at it and remained alert, optimistic, and loyal to the truth, my experience was that they could get away with murder, could do as they wish, have a valuable life, and nonetheless prosper. I don’t do that anymore."
Clifford Geertz laying down some life advice and also the smackdown
"This primitive accumulation plays in Political Economy about the same part as original sin in theology. Adam bit the apple, and thereupon sin fell on the human race. Its origin is supposed to be explained when it is told as an anecdote of the past. In times long gone by there were two sorts of people; one, the diligent, intelligent, and, above all, frugal elite; the other, lazy rascals, spending their substance, and more, in riotous living. The legend of theological original sin tells us certainly how man came to be condemned to eat his bread in the sweat of his brow; but the history of economic original sin reveals to us that there are people to whom this is by no means essential. Never mind! Thus it came to pass that the former sort accumulated wealth, and the latter sort had at last nothing to sell except their own skins. And from this original sin dates the poverty of the great majority that, despite all its labour, has up to now nothing to sell but itself, and the wealth of the few that increases constantly although they have long ceased to work. Such insipid childishness is every day preached to us in the defence of property."
Karl Marx, Capital vol 1 ch. 26
Just wanted to say that Marx’s snark is so delicious.
"I am not a living creature nor even a “man,” nor again a “consciousness,” endowed with all the characteristics which zoology, social anatomy, or inductive psychology recognized in these various products of the natural or historical process- I am the absolute source, my existence does not stem from my antecedents, from my physical and social environment; instead it moves out towards them and sustains them, for I alone bring into being myself (and therefore into being in the only sense that the world can have for me) the tradition which I elect to carry on, the horizon whose distance from me would be abolished- since that distance is not one of its properties- if I were not there to scan it with my gaze."
"The IMF (International Monetary Fund) and what they did to countries in the Global South—which is, of course, exactly the same thing bankers are starting to do at home now—is just a modern version of this old story. That is, creditors and governments saying you’re having a financial crisis, you owe money, obviously you must pay your debts. There’s no question of forgiving debts. Therefore, people are going to have to stop eating so much. The money has to be extracted from the most vulnerable members of society. Lives are destroyed; millions of people die. People would never dream of supporting such a policy until you say, “Well, they have to pay their debts."
"Like a protein subjected to stress, the world for us may be thoroughly denatured, but it is not any less consequential. So while the late-twentieth-century immune system is a construct of an elaborate apparatus of bodily production, neither the immune system nor any other of biomedicine’s world-changing bodies-like a virus- is a ghostly fantasy, Coyote is not a ghost, merely a protean trickster."
-Michel Foucault, The Order of Things
"Burning in effigy. Kissing a picture of a loved one. This is obviously not based on a belief that it will have a definite effect on the object which the picture represents. It aims at some satisfaction and it achieves it. Or rather, it does not aim at anything; we act in this way and feel satisfied."
Ludwig Wittgenstein’s critique of Frasier (via fuckyeahanthrotheory)
fixed it for you
WHAT KIND OF A MONSTER HAVE I BECOME