m of care – dec 20
on david graeber and david wengrow‘s doe – ch 7: ecology of freedom
notes/quotes from meeting:
steve: revisiting points bookchin makes on eco of freedom.. both agree that human engagement w biosphere turns on systems in place.. social arrangement determine the way people engage w biosphere.. that premise has been lost in a lot of the scholarship of prehistory linking to
ecology of freedom.. murray bookchin
steve: start w no single revolution.. agri in particular.. so there idea of eco of freedom.. freedom to come into agri and then leave it.. 3rd element of freedom to walk away
graeber and wengrow freedom law
steve: use amazonia to show farming started as result of deprivation.. after other practices weren’t available.. so where resources thinnest.. that’s how they conclude ch and give hint that next ch will show cities that relied on agri.. but that agri wasn’t defining characteristics of those cities.. ie: could have cities in absence of stratification..
steve: so we’re at heart of argument of whole book: no simple linear process of agri revolution.. rather series of fits/starts over time.. lots of agri revolutions no one process.. love to hear form others.. esp if archeo background..
nika: for me interesting to read about women and agri and gardening.. and the woman knowledge production.. and using crops in diff ways.. when you go out into nature and figure out how things work.. so a very fem talk in this ch
steve: they make that link direct: domestication and domestic care.. and they show that domestication itself isn’t a singular process.. that too can happen in myriad ways depending on social arrangements in place.. fascinating way of starting w imagination.. carnival could happen any moment.. can try diff ways to do things.. can almost here david saying ‘go on try it.. ‘
nika: every culture now is monocrops et al.. each plant used for specific purpose.. is this called domestification.. when you go into nature and get knowledge.. how do you define domestificaiton
simona: domestication is when plant/animal can’t survive w/o human
chat: saying foraging is word she’s looking for
stevphen shukaitis: play farming to me sounds strange.. but use it as inbetween space between foraging and agri.. liminal activity that doesn’t fit in two categories but can go back/forth between them..
michael reinsborough: ch blends in w previous one.. looking at gender issues.. but this one seems to be dealing w agri rev.. whole book unpicks a myth we have about all the revolutions (agri, industrial, info, et al).. p 213 (ch 6) .. gordon child who invented agri rev in 30-40s
steve: agri, industrial, info, et al get documented because part of econ..
simona: pt of ch 7 and ch 6.. diff between serious and play.. the point is proving that serious agri is not destiny of humanity.. not the only possibility at hand.. there is a bias in our knowledge about other possibilities.. but the bias is that we have much more evidence for civ based on agri.. i think this is the reason this book is so focused on indigenous in america (all history for agri on eurasia).. important in diff of play and serious.. in play have durality of solutions to human needs.. play is a strong word because they want to stress a not serious commitment.. what’s important is the opposition to serious commitment.. t.. the first people that seriously committed to agri did so in environ leftover by foragers.. it was marginal to our food problem.. most wise idea would be to have a multiplicity of solutions.. this appears to be what happened in america
stevphen in chat: Serious committed agriculture vs play farming with benefits?
michael scheiner: play farming had to happen when it wasn’t a matter of life/death..
stevphen: one thing i was surprised didn’t show up.. that act of not being governed.. ie: rice.. can’t hide it so easy to reg.. particular forms might overlap here..
p 271: difficult to tax/monitor a group that refuses to stay in one location, obtaining its livelihood w/o making long term commitments to fixed resources
steve: jim scott’s got big take on specificity of crop w being able.. the ease w obscuring what is grown.. where labor input.. play farming wouldn’t accommodate to.. so scott says.. topography also matters.. higher in elevation escapes state authority.. he shows many forms of first agri were from slaved labor.. so the 2 david’s are building on scott’s work very nicely..
stevphen: in 2005 david talked about doing a project w scott.. so did that influence this
niekie rimac: intuition.. a sacred sci.. that’s why they don’t want to make it dominant
simona: i’m trying to examine the evolution concepts/terms in david’s thought.. i think play is one of the key words.. one element is that we can’t have fun.. another in last ch of utopia of rules where it is opposed to games.. i’m not sure culture is opposed to play.. it can be creative and mobile.. it has all possibilities inside it.. maybe
graeber fear of play law: what ultimately lies behind the appeal of bureaucracy is fear of play.
mary tracy: i think the narrative of evol of production has been used to justify empires.. where play is more friendly to american empire.. which focuses on freedom.. i think there’s a danger that we take what david’s are saying around play and turn it into something individualized.. rather that societies experimenting.. that is not allowed in current framework
mark: 3 pts: 1\ diff of anarch play vs libertarian (us) play.. dangerous stuff 2\ spirituality of cultivators.. where you’re listening.. rather than telling nature.. what to do 3\ mystery of the linear pottery tradition.. still a mystery.. for play as experimentation.. seems that was an experimentation w cost.. maybe didn’t bring enough kinds of cereal et al.. failure of some kind.. seems theme of eco of freedom.. is that we need to be able to experiment w/o those social costs
michael scheiner: in class based societies.. convince that work/play must be separate spheres.. book showing us doesn’t have to be the case
work et al
simona: there is a connection between fear and the refusal of play.. we are dominated by fear of starvation.. you aren’t dominated if you are not afraid to starve.. and spend summer singing/playing .. maybe main diff between european and america is fear.. and the opposition is between fear and play.. calvinism is a successful removal of play.. of everything useless in life.. as in useful to avoid starvation
later she tweeted the quote this way: simona: The difference between serious farming and play is fear, and fear is the main character of “Western”, aka European civilization: the Ant and the Grasshopper, if you play you will starve and will deserve it.
again – what ultimately lies behind the appeal of bureaucracy is fear of play. -dg
michael reinsborough: i didn’t get nika’s thing about culture vs play.. till i realized root is in culture of soil.. book is going back such vast periods of time so that nothing in it is relevant to today in a direct sense.. except their lesson.. of undoingness..
nika: many other ways to grow food.. playful ways to feed yourself.. when soviet union collapsed.. started to garden.. 70% of food produced on land.. so we have many options..
mary tracy: cuba did same thing when soviet union collapsed.. there are always options.. the question is.. do we have the political freedom/will
michael scheiner: and political imagination
ch 8 will be in 2 wks on thursday this time.. jan 6
thread of 7 tweets from nika dubrovsky:
In Chapter 7th of #Dawnofeverything there is a paragraph about agriculture, which presumably humans turned to when times were hard, resources stretched thin, and when they needed to act under stress.
Original Tweet: https://twitter.com/nikadubrovsky/status/1473713763975061512
hari rat park law et al – conditions org’d around legit needs