[OPE-L] Anthropologists are replacing economists as the hired prize-fighters for capital

From: Jurriaan Bendien (adsl675281@TISCALI.NL)
Date: Sat Oct 06 2007 - 05:52:28 EDT

Well, if it means that they kill fewer people, or kill fewer people for the wrong reasons, I think it's a good thing. 

But the more important point is the absurd American-military myopia involved here. If they'd taken seriously social scientists who are authorities on Iraq, probably they'd never have invaded the country, or at the very least, the political strategy would have been completely different. 

By the time you need an anthropological expert to tell friend from foe, there's something deeply wrong with your whole military approach. You're fighting against something you don't even understand.

Social science in this neoliberal age is supposed to be a kind of pseudo-science or a pomo metaphor, incapable of explaining anything much about society in useable ways. But the fracas in Iraq really provides the most powerful case for the necessity of good social science. Much of American state policy is informed by very bad social science, or none at all, which leads to all kinds of policy disasters. 


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