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Re: [SACC-L] Counter-Insurgency Manual Plagiarized?

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  • Lloyd Miller
    Mark, This digresses from the general discussion, but you ll be interested in a real-life example of the Socialist Workers Party s doctrinaire ideology that s
    Message 1 of 8 , Nov 4, 2007
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      Mark,

      This digresses from the general discussion, but you'll be interested
      in a real-life example of the Socialist Workers' Party's doctrinaire
      ideology that's happening right now in Des Moines. The only opponent
      to city's incumbent mayor in Tuesday's election is a 34-year old
      laundry worker (grew up in Moscow, Ohio by the way), member of the
      Socialist Workers' Party, whose campaign platform deals solely with
      international workers' rights. She lists no educational background
      and has spent her adult life in demonstrations supporting workers,'
      immigrants' and abortion rights and opposing the wars in Iraq and
      Afghanistan. In a Q & A with the local newspaper, when asked how the
      city should address homelessness and where a new shelter should be
      located, she responded, "Homelessness is a product of capitalism. We
      need to build a movement of working people and their allies that can
      fight for all. The Cuban revolution is an example of what's
      possible, where workers have a right to education, medical care,
      housing and employment."

      Though she has admirable sentiments (I certainly share them), her all-
      encompassing "doctrine" keeps her above the fray of local politics
      and thus unelectable. Your comments about the Socialist Party
      recalled to me my own mixed feelings about them. They always had a
      table with literature at the many demonstrations I attended, and
      though I admired their unwavering commitment to democratic
      principles, it never got past that. I found their un-nuanced
      thinking vaguely uncomfortable, like a shirt that didn't quite fit,
      so I never joined them.

      Anyway, sorry to interrupt this engaging dialog; it pulls me away
      from my struggles to complete the next issue of SACC Notes in time
      for the AAA meetings.

      Lloyd



      On Nov 1, 2007, at 2:59 PM, Lewine, Mark wrote:

      > Having a fixed professional set of ethical codes which label a wide
      > variety of actions taken under some rubric applied for judgement to
      > include or exclude, to sanction positively or negatively is a doctrine
      > at the very least. I mentioned socialism as my own attempt at irony
      > just
      > to point out that authoritarian control based on generalized labels
      > that
      > do not require careful review of context in each case, is dangerous
      > and
      > in evidence from every part of the political spectrum because it stems
      > from ideology instead of evidence. That was my sense of irony after
      > reviewing my own position during the late 1960's (when I took your
      > position and rejected a Defense Dept. contract for race relations
      > work)
      > and now (when I am attempting to be less ideological and attempting to
      > demand a case analysis from primary data for any judgment of a
      > colleague's work)
      >
      > ________________________________
      >
      > From: SACC-L@yahoogroups.com [mailto:SACC-L@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf
      > Of Lynch, Brian M
      > Sent: Wednesday, October 31, 2007 8:40 PM
      > To: SACC-L@yahoogroups.com
      > Subject: RE: [SACC-L] Counter-Insurgency Manual Plagiarized?
      >
      > Mark,
      >
      > The anthropologist who is the primary anthropology "face" in the Human
      > Terrain Project (I can hardly even type that title without cringing)
      > wrote parts of the "Counter-Insurgency Manual" for the U.S.
      > military--presenting it as anthropological expertise. The
      > anthropologists who are engaged in the project are not "peacekeepers,"
      > they are using the tools of anthropology as weapons of war. I'm not
      > sure
      > where there is "doctrinaire socialism" or doctrinaire anything else in
      > someone objecting to this from a professional perspective. Nor am I
      > sure
      > that someone in the profession is unqualified to raise such objection
      > because she/he hasn't "been there" first hand. I wouldn't have had
      > to be
      > on the "reservations" pacifying Native Americans, in order to question
      > anthropology's role in it--nor in any of the other many places
      > anthropology has been misused or co-opted in order to question the
      > ethics of it all. Nor would one have to be "doctrinaire" to do so.
      >
      > About my reference to the concern I heard from some of my SACC
      > colleagues about my engagement as an anthropologist in the work of
      > Learning Outcomes Assessment, it was my feeble attempt to be a bit
      > ironic. (I was actually going to reference it as being "embedded in
      > Learning Outcomes Assessment," but thought better of it.)
      >
      > What I see in McFate's rationalization of this abuse of the discipline
      > is an early 21'st century obfuscation of anthropology's entaglement
      > with
      > yet another state (warfare) agenda, rationalized by a cloud of
      > quasi-academic references and a patina of "making things less bad."
      > There's a certain Donald Rumsfeldesque tone to this: "We go to war
      > with
      > the anthropology we've got, not the anthropology we would ideally
      > want."
      >
      > It is war. Anthropologists are engaging in making war, however nicely,
      > and with the tools and principles of our discipline turned into
      > weapons.
      > I don't think one has to be doctrinaire (or socialist, or "there first
      > hand") to object to this.
      >
      > Brian
      >
      > Brian
      >
      > ________________________________
      >
      > From: SACC-L@yahoogroups.com <mailto:SACC-L%40yahoogroups.com> on
      > behalf of Lewine, Mark
      > Sent: Wed 10/31/2007 5:09 PM
      > To: SACC-L@yahoogroups.com <mailto:SACC-L%40yahoogroups.com>
      > Subject: RE: [SACC-L] Counter-Insurgency Manual Plagiarized?
      >
      > Brian, I was involved with the Socialist Workers party for quite some
      > time and found that doctrinaire ideology applied to complex issues
      > with
      > short and long term levels, with a variety of perspectives involved
      > requires FIELDWORK BASED KNOWLEDGE that ironically, is prevented from
      > occuring by your ethical doctrine. As an anthropologist, why are you
      > comfortable using ideological categories like 'mercenary' and making
      > decisions for people in a cultural context that you have no experience
      > with? Last I checked, there was no Iraqi fieldwork or military
      > fieldwork in your resume...please correct me if I am wrong. Your
      > reference to the reactions you get from those with ideological
      > reactions
      > against your work on qualitative assessment is valid; I supported your
      > work at the time that you presented with the same comments that i am
      > making to you now; ideological branding by academics is no better than
      > ideological branding by corporate republicans; American Taliban,
      > Afghani
      > Taliban, Academic Taliban get out of the way! YES, we should review
      > carefully with knowledgeable representative of the AAA, like we did
      > for
      > the Yanomamo issue, ethical issues in real situations. But we
      > should pay
      > even more attention to applying ethical standards to our own practices
      > in each contextual situation that we find ourselves in. There is too
      > much of a broad stroke in your approach for me, too much censoring
      > without checking. I am not in support of this work without knowing
      > more
      > about it; I am in less support of censoring anyone's work solely on
      > ideological principle.
      >
      > ________________________________
      >
      > From: SACC-L@yahoogroups.com <mailto:SACC-L%40yahoogroups.com>
      > <mailto:SACC-L%40yahoogroups.com> [mailto:SACC-L@yahoogroups.com
      > <mailto:SACC-L%40yahoogroups.com> <mailto:SACC-L%40yahoogroups.com> ]
      > On Behalf
      > Of Lynch, Brian M
      > Sent: Wednesday, October 31, 2007 2:18 PM
      > To: SACC-L@yahoogroups.com <mailto:SACC-L%40yahoogroups.com>
      > <mailto:SACC-L%40yahoogroups.com>
      > Subject: RE: [SACC-L] Counter-Insurgency Manual Plagiarized?
      >
      > I suppose in light of the current discussion about anthropologists
      > involved as mercenaries in the "Human Terrain Project," the only valid
      > point in this "Counter-insurgency Manual" case is not about plagiarism
      > (hey, everybody does it, there are no original thoughts anyway...
      > didn't
      > one of the big Post Modern writers note this? ...and maybe it wasn't
      > his original thought anyway) but is the manual effective; does it
      > work? (And be sure no one raises the abstract, purist question
      > "what the
      > heck is an anthropologist doing writing a counter-insurgency manual in
      > the first place?!!!")
      >
      > Isn't this where we are going?
      >
      > Brian
      >
      > ________________________________
      >
      > From: SACC-L@yahoogroups.com <mailto:SACC-L%40yahoogroups.com>
      > <mailto:SACC-L%40yahoogroups.com> <mailto:SACC-L%40yahoogroups.com>
      > [mailto:SACC-L@yahoogroups.com <mailto:SACC-L%40yahoogroups.com>
      > <mailto:SACC-L%40yahoogroups.com> <mailto:SACC-L%
      > 40yahoogroups.com> ] On
      > Behalf
      > Of Thomas Stevenson
      > Sent: Wednesday, October 31, 2007 2:09 PM
      > To: SACC-L@yahoogroups.com <mailto:SACC-L%40yahoogroups.com>
      > <mailto:SACC-L%40yahoogroups.com> <mailto:SACC-L%40yahoogroups.com>
      > Subject: Re: [SACC-L] Counter-Insurgency Manual Plagiarized?
      >
      > I found the comments at least as informative as the article.
      >
      > Thomas B. Stevenson, Ph.D.
      > Associate Professor, Anthropology
      > Ohio University, Zanesville Campus
      > 1425 Newark Road
      > Zanesville, OH 43701
      > U.S.A.
      >
      > <mailto:sentto-126016-4139-1193854169-blynch%3Dqvcc.commnet.edu%
      > 40return
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