The evolution of political society: An essay in ..

In The Great Transformation (1944), Polanyi brought a radical critique of modern capitalism to bear on his moment in history. We too must start from the world we live in, if we are to apply the vast, but inchoate intellectual resources of anthropology to a subject that is of vital concern to everyone. Ours is a very different world from when Polanyi so confidently predicted the demise of the market model of economy. Yet the revival of market capitalism and dismantling of state provision since the 1980s furnishes plentiful material for Polanyi’s thesis that the neglect of social interests must eventually generate a political backlash and a retreat from market fundamentalism. In our Introduction, we suggested that the world may now be emerging from the period of neo-liberal hegemony, with obvious potential consequences for the project known as ‘economic anthropology’. The ongoing globalization of capital – its spread to Japan, China, India, Brazil, Russia and elsewhere after centuries of western monopoly – is also bound to affect our understanding of economy. The absolute dominance of market logic, at least in the form devised by neo-liberal economists, may be coming to an end. Then, not only will Polanyi’s ideas receive more favourable attention, as they already have in some quarters, but the urgent need to review the institutional basis of economy may stimulate anthropologists to renewed efforts.

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The American federal system is often overlooked in discussions about politics in the United States; however, state governments unquestionably touch the lives of Americans every day. As such, an education in American politics is not complete without serious examination of state governments and their political institutions. This course illuminates the importance of the American states in U.S. politics and policymaking by critically examining topics such as intergovernmental relations; the historical evolution of American federalism; the organization and processes associated with state legislative, executive and judicial branches; state elections; political parties; interest groups; and specific state policy areas such as budgeting, welfare, education and the environment. Prerequisite: Pol Sci 101B.


The Evolutionof Political Society: An Essay in Political Anthropology

Mar 12, 2013 · The Evolution of Political Society: An Essay in Political ..

I would give him an A.
For the amazing "Chronique des indiens Guayaki", and for the energy of "La Société contre l'État"and "Recherches d'anthropologie politique." Not a carreer Anthropologist, but still fundamental for Political Anthropology and ethnographic writing.


An Essay In Political Anthropology by M

But to go from this recognition to suggest that Marx plagiarized everything from Proudhon in particular is indeed totally absurd. The idea of the exploitation of labour by capital, for example, was far more strongly articulated by Blanqui than by Proudhon and was completely accepted by the socialist Ricardians. It was obvious to pretty much everyone and Marx made no claims of originality in pointing to it. What Marx did was to show how that exploitation could be accomplished without violating laws of market exchange that theoretically (and in the utopian universe of classical political economy) rested upon equality, freedom and reciprocity. To promote those laws of exchange as the foundation of equality was to create the conditions for the centralization of capitalist class power. This was what Proudhon missed. When Marx pointed to the importance of the commodification of labor power he may well have been drawing on Blanqui without acknowledgement but even here it was Marx and not Blanqui who recognized its significance for the theory of capital. Marx’s critique in the Grundrisse of the Proudhonian conception of money and of the idea that all that was needed for a peaceful transition to socialism was a reform of the monetary system was accurate (and of course Proudhon’s free credit bank was an instantaneous disaster though it may have been bourgeois sabotage that made it so). Marx’s critique of Proudhon’s theories of eternal justice is also penetrating. It is here precisely that Marx points out how theories of justice are not universal but specific, and in the bourgeois case specific to the rise of liberal capitalism. To pursue the aim of universal justice as a revolutionary strategy ran the danger of simply instanciating bourgeois law within socialism. This is a familiar problem, as everyone working critically with notions of human rights recognizes. When Marx appealed, as he often did, to ideas of association he was almost certainly drawing more on Saint-Simon than Proudhon.

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While Proudhon undoubtedly had important things to say, there are dangers of viewing him as representative of some perfected social anarchism. He had a weak grasp of political economy, did not support the workers in the revolution of 1848, was against trade unions and strikes and held to a narrow definition of socialism as nothing more than the association of workers mutually supporting each other. He was hostile to women working and his supporters campaigned vigorously in the workers commissions of the 1860s in France to have women banned from employment in the Paris workshops. The main opposition came from the Paris Branch of the International Working Men’s Association led by Eugene Varlin who insisted upon women’s equality and right to work (Harvey, 2003). Proudhon’s book, Pornography: The Situation of Women, is, according to his biographer Edward Hyams, full of “every illiberal, every cruelly reactionary notion ever used against female emancipation by the most extreme anti-feminist” (1979: 274). OK, so Marx was no saint either on such matters. Both anarchism and Marxism have had and continue to have a troubled history on the gender question but on this topic Proudhon is an extreme and ugly outlier.