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Below are the 5 most recent journal entries recorded in radical anthropology's LiveJournal:

Friday, October 3rd, 2008
2:20 pm
The Worst Mistake in Jared Diamond's History of the Human Race: The State
Guns, Germs and Steel is a good book, and I suggest you follow up with reading Collapse: How Societies Choose to Fail or Succeed.

However, if you find yourself interested in primatology and evolutionary biology, I don't suggest you read Diamond's The Third Chimpanzee. Instead, I recommend Frans de Waal's Our Inner Ape, unlike Diamond, de Wall doesn't ignore bonobos. I haven't read Diamond's Why is Sex Fun?, but I suspect it won't have enough kink for me.

I do have one significant disagreement with Diamond, the degree which he is a material determinist. While I agree with him that most (all?) government resembles a kleptocracy, I disagree with him that it is an inevitable consequence of agriculture. Let me quote something I wrote a while ago:

a review essay that wouldn't fit on goodreadsCollapse )

Current Mood: academic
Sunday, June 17th, 2007
8:27 pm
Help! This is one of my ideas for an area of cultural or applied anth to specialize in, and I want to start researching it thoroughly...

Does anybody know of any literature that focuses on systems of justice/methods of maintaining social harmony in stateless societies (preferably societies with little to no hierarchy in their social organization).

What I'm really looking for is alternatives to prisons, courts, police, military.

I'm an anth/journalism undergrad who's finished the anth coursework, and am trying to see what research is out there on this, don't know where or with whom to start (besides Harold Barclay). Obviously there will be certain sections of books by cultural anth's that deal with the topic for a given culture, but what'd be even better is studies, key researchers, publications or organizations geared towards the topic.

Any ideas???
Wednesday, November 22nd, 2006
10:31 am
Woodlans appartment complex anti-eviction campaign (New Orleans)
A friend forwarded this information to me this morning. I don't think you can attact pdf files to LJ posts, so if any of you want a comprehensive list of the people who need to be contacted for in this campaign (email addresses, phone numbers etc), send me an email at gregory.esteven@selu.edu. This is very urgent! Tell these business owners that we won't stand for them evicting over 100 poor families in New Orleans! The people of NOLA have suffered enough.

Friends, Allies and Supporters:


The time has come when your action could mean the difference between
justice and injustice, home for the holidays or homeless in the cold.
In the next few days over 100 families are facing eviction from their
affordable apartments at the Woodlands. Right now your support, and
your action, could provide the impetus they need to win their fight.

As you may know, Common Ground has been managing the Woodlands
apartment complex for the past five months, with the intent to
purchase the property to create cooperative housing, small business
cooperatives, social programs and human services offices, all while
keeping the lowest rents in the city. During this time CG
rehabilitated over 100 units, and formalized rental relationships with
signed leases. Through a series of bad faith dealings the former
owner, Anthony Reginelli, sold the property to the Johnson Property
Group, LLC. Now both are working together to evict the tenants just in
time for the holidays.

The tenants are organized and ready to fight. They are planning a host
of strategies, from press conferences to direct actions, from formal
mediation to court cases. But they need your voice. They need your
faxes, calls emails in support, calling for the new owners to do the
right thing and work with the tenants to find a mutually beneficial

The next pages contain sample letters detailing the tenants needs and
demands, and following those is a contact list. There are two versions
of the letter, one for the Johnson Property Group, LLC itself, and
another for their business associates. Feel free to use the sample
letter, or create your own based on it. If you have business or
organization letterhead, that may add extra weight. The crucial aspect
is that the residents need your assistance RIGHT NOW.

This can be an extremely effective public pressure campaign, because
the new owners have a very good name in human services in Baton Rouge
and throughout Louisiana. The Managing Manager for the Group is
Soundra Temple-Johnson, who, along with Collis Temple, Jr. and family,
own and operate Louisiana Health and Rehabilitation Options as well as
the Harmony Center, Inc., both of which offer extensive social
services for those in need. They have a conscience, at least a public
one, which can be effectively prodded by your letters, and by the
opinions of their business associates.

Please take a little time out of your Thanksgiving preparations to
send or hand deliver these letters to as many of the contacts as
possible. Because of the holiday we must act right now to be
effective. If you live near one of these locations, hand-deliver the
letter. If you are able, mount a small (or large!) demonstration at
their address, as the tenants will be doing in Baton Rouge and New

You will hear more from us, as we hold press conferences and
demonstrations, and we will keep you updatedwith our progress. We'd
also love to hear from you about your involvement
at:nolaevictiondefense@gmail.com You could cc: us when you email out
the letter, and send us a note about faxes, hand-deliveries and
demonstrations – or any other great ideas you put into action!

Please act now, before Thanksgiving, so the one hundred families and
children of the Woodlands can have something to be thankful for this
holiday season.
Wednesday, June 7th, 2006
1:21 am
anyone alive in here?
maybe you work in your own small way towards changing the culture(s) you live among.

here is a question for thinking, just for the hell of it:

name a culture/society or two that matches up well with your values...that resembles most the kind(s) of society you'd want to live in. and explain why.

I suppose you'd have to include the time period if that's relevant
ex) "how they were before colonization" or after a certain change.
Tuesday, December 20th, 2005
11:18 pm
Circumcision in America
I'm sure many of you are familiar with MGMbill.org, an organization working to have sweeping anti-genital mutilation legislation enacted in the US. Their proposed bill would illegalize unnecessary genital mutilation on underaged males and intersex individuals. Also, the legislation would put female genital mutilation rightly in the context of a more expansive understanding of children's rights, prompting Westerners to stop thinking of it as a freaky exoticism that is wholly unrelated to our own cultural practices (introducing the pot to the kettle, in other words.)

Anyway, they're trying their luck at the state legislative level as well as the federal. If you're looking for an easy way to aid the intactivist movement, consider becoming a "temporary state office" for MGMbill.org. All that is required is that you contact them so that they can draft a version of the bill for your state, and that you submit the copies of the bill to your state legislators on the day that the MGM Bill folks submit the federal version to the US Congress.

I'm serving as state office for Louisiana, but unfortunately there are at this point only a few state offices in total. Consider doing it, it's very easy.

Become a state office.

Current Mood: angry
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