James C. Scott's Anarchy

Yale professor James Scott probably laughs a lot. His books are serious, but not angry; they might include a lot more humor if academia permitted it.

Seeing Like a State, 1998



Two Cheers for Anarchism, 2012

(Multco 2015)

Six essays, mostly drawn from earlier work. This is not a manifesto or a proof, but illuminating vignettes and observations. Reportage and illustration.

p: xiv: "I definitely wish to distance myself from .. the sort of libertarianism that tolerates (or even encourages) great differences in wealth, property, and status.

p.xxv: "fragments .. Kropotkin .. Berlin .. If the test for calling myself an anarchist thinker is having that level of ideological rigor, then I would surely fail it."

p1: Anarchist calesthenics: crossing against the light, when there is no cross traffic.

p8: Fig 1.1. Memorial for the Unknown Deserter, Potsdam, by Mehmet Aksoy.

p9: Confederacy "a rich man's war and a poor man's fight", 0.25M "eligible draft-age men deserted or evaded service altogether."

Resistance by the poor and opressed is anonymous - myriad small acts of desertion, petty "theft" and foot dragging, not open mutiny.

p14: Speed limits incrementally violated by anonymous coordination.

p25: Martin Luther King created speeches in reaction to his audience. Charisma is listening very carefully.

p31: Roads named by destination, statewide by numbered route.

Monoculture is easy to command from the top, incompatible with individuals and nature.

p42: Jane Jacobs: Fatal assumption of planning: .. there is only one thing going on. freeze functions by planning fiat, "social taxidemy".

p50: Fig 2.2: Plants, Man, and Life by Edgar Anderson, drawing for the Vernacular Garden, Guatemala.

p63-64: Fig 3.2 Vietnam memorial wall of names (draw your own conclusions) vs Fig 3.3 Iwo Jima Memorial (here's what to think).

p66: Lordsville Ohio GM assembly plant, inhumane and sabotaged.

p67: Gross Human Product

p69: Hicksian income accrues only if factors of production are not degraded in the process.

p73: A Caring Institution, finding WV convalescent home for two aunts, staffs use low-level terror on residents.

p80: Drachten, Netherlands 1999 traffic light and stop sign removal, Hans Moderman. Verkeersbordvrij, "Free of Traffic Signs", "Unsafe is Safe"

p84: "Petit Bourgeoise" and small property. Autonomy more valuable than wealth.

p101: Academic ranking tied to papers published. long parody of a fictional, automatically ranked Yale.

p129: Le Chambon-sir-Lignon in Vichy France, sheltering 5000 refugees. Pastors wives present actual refugees to individual villagers, who overcome abstract fear with direct sympathy. "the banality of goodness", Francois Rochat. "the heart follows the hand", Torah.

JamesCScott (last edited 2015-08-14 19:24:46 by KeithLofstrom)