m of care – feb 3
on david graeber and david wengrow‘s dawn of everything (book) ch 9 (332)- hiding in plain sight
notes/quotes from meeting:
steve: intro.. asking readers to imagine some of the possibilities of org.. on resources distributed more equitably et al.. ie: social housing (p 339).. look like apts that 100 fams could have lived that were egal ish
rp ness et al
steve: on how kings take shape.. by arriving from outside and then gaining legit thru whatever means.. part of origin myths of a lot of indigenous groups in mexico.. my own specialty is mexico.. artificial divide w arrival of europeans.. very few have scope that 2 davids have for this.. ie: show 1\ state does not have greek/roman/western origins 2\ process of schismogenesis seems to have gone on in the americas to a level scholars have not taken notice of.. so in next ch.. huge chapter talk about 3 ie cities.. where attempt to take over schismogenesis.. so restores a sense of history to people themselves.. not a unilinear path to state hood.. lots that saw way society was going and deliberately blocked it
steve: kings role was to be poets.. w pretend power.. et al.. (then goes into history not history et a).. so the idea that a state has an origin is not only wrong but also wrong to think that once a state takes shape only grows stronger.. but show often not the case.. turns happening thru schismogenesis process where people are consciously making decision more lives.. showing how can play out in a myriad of ways.. interesting to see indigenous face new situations in various ways
nika: want to talk about tech makes changes.. ie: diff agri practices et al.. when didn’t have tech.. ok.. so when hands on tech .. bad idea
michael: i guess some techs support/destroy relationships..
need: tech as it could be
michael: (then talks about agri tech).. no such thing as tech.. there’s techs.. lots of them.. what would be techs of social housing.. et al.. subtitle: hiding in plain sight.. i didn’t get the last bit finished.. it’s not arguing like social housing today is dependent on this earlier debate or is it.. is there an argument here that social housing here has an influence of europeans?
steve: i don’t think that’s the argument they’re making.. they’re trying to rebut an argument made that t’s were inspired by europeans.. ability to escape domination by aztecs.. by adopting councils.. that argument though is not a very strong one.. i have not seen a lot of work that t’s were inspired by europeans.. but what they do get right is that there is a conventional wisdom that that kind of social policy wasn’t predominate in the new world prior to columbus.. and i think that’s probably true.. but i think it’s also because so much research has been done on aztecs.. hiding in plain sight comes from an academic spanish account who interviewed cortez’s children.. et al.. using that to show version of democracy hiding in plain sight.. to show that sophisticated thought predated europeans
hasan: p 355 – assumption that indigenous picked up democracy from europeans.. but at that time europeans not all that excited about d.. so hard to believe indigenous picked it up from them
vassily: i think they’re talking about steel.. not metal.. because that was jared diamond’s argument.. trying to do in this ch.. they’re trying to change focus from tech to democracy
nika: meaning that tech is not so important.. or that deliberate choice of certain techs make democracy
vasilly: i think they’re saying tech is not that important.. diamond’s book is about that.. so trying to show – never a west – we didn’t invent democracy – has multiple origins
(shared by hasan in chat): https://theanarchistlibrary.org/library/david-graeber-there-never-was-a-west
michael: on how in some ways those who dominate techs dominate.. how do particular techs enable this kind of org.. ie: steel goes w violence.. what’s the relationship between tech, violence and democracy.. maybe a foot hold on undermining the west.. ie: tech as liberation of west part of the mythology.. when they’ve used it for control.. but i don’t think use of tech is necessarily bad.. ie: agri in andes amazing way to grow food.. emphasis on what a tech is.. we might shift to other techniques that enable relationships ie: resolution conflicts
steve: on v’s point of this ch being a critique of diamond.. diamond spends great deal of time talking about what west did to indigenous.. steel and disease.. as explaining the conquest of the aztecs.. (diamond) saying ie: why steel.. because of diet.. but actually had robust diets.. so tech trajectory toward steel has no pull.. i didn’t read this ch as critique of diamond.. but now w what v said.. makes you wonder about presuppositions authors like diamond bring to work sans imaginations/options/variety.. like d&d bring
nika: now .. on changing social regimes w changing techs.. big question for me.. how tech is/isn’t.. ie: clear that nuclear tech way to create elimination; solar panels less.. smaller techs easier to keep from dominance; ie michael on guns.. ie: (quoting lady) invention of guns democratize violence.. not just kings can kill.. so i wonder if we can change any tech and reuse them for diff social purposes.. like if any tech is fixed ie in evil purposes.. maybe we can use bad tech for good purposes or good tech for bad.. maybe that’s a shiftable thing
michael: most people would look at tech w/in social context.. so as social context changes.. people use/build diff techs.. and diff’s techs make when people have equal power.. i’d be interested to know.. if when you have social housing.. how people are judging all these houses are equal.. but what if some have 3 and some have one.. always a question about how much you can judge from archeo material ie: how to judge if equal.. we’ve all been to mtgs that are very democratic.. but when see center.. very much of control.. for equality do you need equal houses.. or is it just easier
steve: every ch seems to have a section where people say ‘enough already’.. i read this as reminders that we can put a stop of what we don’t like.. but will take a lot of effort to get combined sources.. so a hopeful book even though talking about many yrs ago.. like a fountain head where we can find how we could have been.. crosses so many geographies w same message.. that humans have the power to creatively refuse
mark: other direction to .. ie: on ethnic group more violent than other.. skulls.. et al.. maybe you have to do something else about differing ethnicities w/in large city like that.. maybe another hint that at that level there are some things we should take into account.. too many ethnicities w/o an over arching mission et al.. so not just facts.. actually helping our imaginations..
steve: yeah.. thinking of title.. doe.. cheeky title.. but graeber’s constituent imagination.. asking reader to allow own imagination to expand so we can do these thought experiments if we want to consider right now as a dawn of humanity.. beyond kids.. it’s like a workbook asking you to stretch your imagination as you read it..
hasan: on obama quoting king on long arch.. we’re working toward something.. march toward communism/utopia.. so all political/tech that start from enlightenment force us to think about history in sequential way.. so as progressing only going to get better and institutions in present are time tested.. so only tweaked to become better.. but no significant alteration that can be imagined.. we’re still in this intellectual demise of curiosity.. ways of thinking.. we need to think about alts.. book is about potential alts that have existed.. but on thinking things have to proceed as have proceeded is best we can do.. when to break thru mold..
nika: like soviet union.. saying we have to sit quiet.. this is such a bad trick of the power..
steve: ch 10 is a big one.. why state has no origins.. a lot in that one.. in 2 weeks