Re: [SACC-L] colonialism and capitalism
- First Contact: I have been showing that film for years and I have learned some ways of answering that issue; the one I call "to the victor goes the spoils". I readily agree with students who make that argument that it is a moral judgement they might not want to make. That is their right. So I give them that one--I agree that it isn't my job to determine their morals but it is my job to point out that the anthropological perspective is to see the relationship as founded on exploitation. I point out that the three brothers are guilty of violating disclosure laws that we now have in place--if the New Guinea highlanders had known the value of the gold wouldn't they have wanted to earn the profits themselves, maybe buy a plane and learn to fly it (a little nudge to the principle of psychic unity on that one)--since I teach in Texas I place emphasis on the oil issue, disclosure laws coming about so no one could take that nasty black stuff
out of your back yard for you without you understanding the value of that nasty black stuff. I like to hit home that those are our American values. It serves to reorient the discussion back to our shared moral values--what happened in that film isn't what we as American believe in.
I then follow up with a discussion about whether we agree, morally, or not there is no denying the empirical reality of the consequences of colonialism--the wealthy get rich and the poor get poorer. You don't have to stray too far from the film for that point. Three guys got quite rich while the mass of the population lost the only resource they had to compete in a world economy--their gold. I spell out the consequences of that exploitation. Daniel used his wealth to buy up the land for his coffee plantation, displacing the people off their land and hiring them back as laborers. Its all right there for you. You can even bring in good old Jared Diamond's "guns" point if you want. Most of the class will end up agreeing with you and the remaining strict neoliberal philosophers weren't ever going to, anyway.
From: Ann Bragdon <ANNBRAG@...>
Sent: Wednesday, February 22, 2012 9:03 PM
Subject: Re: [SACC-L] colonialism and capitalism
There are some resources on the Internet.
Film - "The End of Poverty" is on Utube - has good / powerful
description of colonialism. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pktOXJr1vOQ
The film is long but strong.
Article: "Contextual Economics and a world of well-being with Neva
Goodwin" - an interview http://www.ikedacenter.org/thinkers/goodwin_int.htm
On Feb 22, 2012, at 8:43 PM, John L Matthews wrote:
> I finished showing the video "First Contact" today in my
> introductory cultural anthro course. In that video, the surviving
> Leahy brothers talk about the "primitive bush kanakas" never having
> worked a day in their lives before the Australians showed up and
> seeming to assert that trading cowrie shells for work in gold mines
> was a fair trade, an equitable remuneration. When I started talking
> about how the video, usually presented as an example of culture
> shock, can also be seen as an indictment of colonialism, I had a
> student actually ask (as if he had been reading this listserv before
> coming to class), "So, what's wrong with that? what's so bad about
> colonialism?" Several students seemed to agree that lying and
> deception were acceptable so long as one wasn't caught.
> J. Luke Matthews
> Anthropology Faculty
> Chair, Humanities Department
> Madison Area Technical College
> room D411
> 211 N. Carroll Street
> Madison WI 53703
> From: SACC-L@yahoogroups.com [SACC-L@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf Of
> Kip Waldo [kwaldo@...]
> Sent: Wednesday, February 22, 2012 1:27 PM
> To: SACC-L@yahoogroups.com
> Subject: RE: [SACC-L] colonialism and capitalism
> Interesting discussion, thanks for the links!
> If you aren't about to change your text, a good introduction, that
> usually requires a written assessment and discussion is Lappe and
> Collins' piece "Why Can't People Feed Themselves?" There are a lot
> of movies - anything by John Pilger, "Life and Debt", Marilyn
> Waring's "Who Counts" is great, and very accessible - (a title with
> a double entendre),China Blue.... I could go on.
> Luckily I am teaching a class on Globalization this semester. Some
> start out resistant, but by now people are opening up and thinking,
> and given the number of students with family elsewhere or are
> newcomers themselves, these are not abstract questions for many of
> Kip Waldo
> Anthropology Instructor
> Chabot College
> 25555 Hesperian Blvd.
> Hayward, CA 94545
> voice 510.723.6980
>>>> "Anthony Balzano" <abalzano@...<mailto:abalzano
>>>> %40sussex.edu>> 02/22/12 10:15 AM >>>
> Bodley's text is great if you teach Cultural. It is the antidote to
> many of the ills discussion in this string. If you want to kick it
> up a
> notch include all or part of David Graeber's Fragments of an Anarchist
> Anthropology (Prickly Paradigm Press, 2004).
> Anthony Balzano, Ph.D.
> Professor of Anthropology & Sociology
> Chair, Dept. of Social Sciences & History
> Sussex County (NJ) Community College
> 1 College Hill Rd.
> Newton, NJ 07860 (U.S.)
> abalzano@...<mailto:abalzano%40sussex.edu> <mailto:abalzano@...
> fonddesblancs2010@...<mailto:fonddesblancs2010%40ymail.com> <mailto:fonddesblancs2010@...
> SKYPE: anthonybalzano
> SCCC Office: 973-300-2177
> Cell: 973-271-7680
> From: SACC-L@yahoogroups.com<mailto:SACC-L%40yahoogroups.com> [mailto:SACC-L@yahoogroups.com
> <mailto:SACC-L%40yahoogroups.com>] On Behalf
> Of Patricia Hamlen
> Sent: Wednesday, February 22, 2012 8:43 AM
> To: SACC-L@yahoogroups.com<mailto:SACC-L%40yahoogroups.com>
> Subject: [SACC-L] colonialism and capitalism
> To any interested SACC buddies!
> It's been my quest to find a Cultural Anthro text that addresses the
> issues that we have been discussing the last two days. Mary Kay
> Guilliland and I, and perhaps others? ...are using John Bodley's text:
> Cultural Anthropology Tribes, States and the Global System. The book
> has a perspective and I encourage my students to critique it. It
> allows me to keep cultural anthropology relevant in this quickly
> changing world and recognize that these changes and the dominance of
> capitalism (a system that does not promote equality) are far from
> natural or inevitable but of course cultural...as we all know and well
> understand. It seems even educated individuals on occasion, prefer to
> ignore this, perhaps so they can divorce themselves from their own
> involvement and culpability?
> Best wishes to all,
> [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
> [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
> Find out more at our web site http://saccweb.net/ Yahoo! Groups Links
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