HomeBernie Sanders4/18 Bernie News Roundup – A Call For ‘Unity’ In Portland, Sanders To Campaign For Quist & More
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Don midwest

Symmetric Anthropology – our culture is under attack like the cultures of indigenous people were attacked by the colonialists

An interview of Bruno Latour by an anthropologist studying a culture that has almost been destroyed in a generation after existing for 12,000 years

BL: Do we want someone representative of the entrenched categories of a culture,
or do we want to seize the occasion given by rare diplomatic encounters
to modify deeply what we hold on to? That’s where couching ethnography
in a diplomatic instead of an epistemological mode makes a big difference.
A diplomat is the one who finds degrees of liberty where none was visible
before, when the parties at the negotiation table were simply stating their cases,
their interests, and simply drawing, as the saying goes, red lines they don’t want
to be trespassed. With representatives of the official view attempts to move the
line will surely fail. If Searle is being sent as the ambassador, nothing will move.
He will keep formatting any encounter with the prolegomenon: “is this rational
or irrational?” What I am saying is that things would be different if it is Souriau
who is sent! He might have been an ignoramus in ethnography, but at least he
won’t start with Searle’s question.

CM: Bruno, Bruno nothing of what you say works here. Where have you seen
a negotiation going on? What chance did the Fuegians, for instance, have to
negotiate? In a little over 100 years a 13,000-year-old culture has been almost
wiped out. Who was sent as a diplomat? Guns, microbes, greed, an abominable
landgrab. Diplomacy? It’s a sickening idea really.

BL: Don’t get angry at me, Carolina. I am well aware of those landgrabs, of
the destruction, of those ethnocides. But I am talking of the new landgrab, the
one where the respective positions of the “objects” of study as you said before
and the “scientist” or “observer” have totally changed because they both find
themselves invaded, dispossessed, attacked.

CM: Are you claiming that we the anthropologists with PhDs, grant money,
university jobs (I still hope to get one!) coming from big cities are at a par with
those for whom we have become the spokespersons? Those to whom we try to
give a voice?

BL: Yes, take Nastassja [Martin]’s book on Alaska I like so much… (Martin 2016).

CM: Good case, yes, but would you dare saying the Gwich’in she describes
are being seated at some “negotiation table” together with the missionaries,
A Dialog About a New Meaning of Symmetric Anthropology 333
ecologists, trappers, Federal officials, tourists that are crushing them to bits?
And at the same level? Sorry but this is nonsense.

BL: Carolina, I am not sure what I am hinting at, but what I feel is that there
is a new sense of “symmetric” in the expression of “symmetric anthropology.”
I took it first to mean: “Use the same ethnographic method for those who call
themselves ‘Moderns’ or ‘developed’ and for those who are said to be ‘premodern’
or ‘in development’ or ‘archaic’; and then see which difference you really
can detect.” Not that they ended up being “the same,” mind you, but simply
(I think I have shown it fairly convincingly) that the differences are in no way
where the clichés of Modern versus non-Modern would have placed them.

CM: This is familiar terrain: your moving from Africa to California and bringing
science under ethnographic scrutiny. But this is already dated material.

BL: I guess I am beginning to talk like a veteran. Well but…

CM: You are a veteran!

BL: I am well aware of that, thanks. What’s new is that the situation of losing
one’s ground, of seeing one’s land being taken out by new circumstances
impossible to anticipate, is now common. I insist the situation is common to all
those who are today on any piece of land. In Alaska the same thing happens to
the Indians and, let’s say, to Sarah Palin, and to Nastassja: they are losing their
ground and trying to cope. The symmetry is not complete, I agree, but…

CM: A fraternity between Palin and the Gwich’in, well that would certainly
come as a surprise to the author of Les âmes sauvages!

BL: But when you read in older monographs the complete incomprehension,
I don’t know, for instance of the Arapesh studied by [Don] Tuzin as they see
their culture, their vision of the world disappear in one generation (Tuzin 1997),
and then reading what happens to Alaska, modern Alaska, what happens to the
oil there, to the ice, to the economy, to the legislation, and all of that in less
than a generation, I see a symmetry between the two catastrophes as they come
crashing down on to entire cultures, a symmetry that did not exist before. I
would even say a fraternity—at least a common ground. Or rather a common
loss of ground.

CM: But there is no equivalence in respective power; no similarity in the size of
the tragedy between the First Nations still resisting there, and, for God’s sake,
Sarah Palin!

BL: I know, but it’s because you consider the two sides at two different
moments of the crisis they are thrown into: the Indians have been crushed to
pieces for a century and a half—and have evolved very clever ways to cope
and resist, according to what Nastassja reports—while Palin (okay, let’s not use
Palin, she is probably hopeless, she will disappear without realizing what has
happened to her, she won’t be able to cope), but take the activists, ecologists,
whoever: Are they not themselves carried through the same maelstrom they had

A Dialog About a New Meaning
of Symmetric Anthropology
Bruno Latour (interviewed by Carolina Miranda1

Don midwest

Glenn Greenwald‏Verified account @ggreenwald 16h16 hours ago

The awesome activist and Sanders organizer @WaywardWinifred swung by Rio for some generalized trouble-making

the photo

comment image

twitter account of Winne Wong

occupying @berniesanders, organizing PEOPLE @pplsummit. founder of @people4bernie. deliberate. afraid of nothing. theorizing your hegemony. an #EatingMachine.

Liepar – have you been in contact with Winnie? This is the first time that I noticed her


About 32:50 sec into the video, after Bernie lets the crowd know he is introducing Medicare for All in Congress, there is this little spark in the crowd that is reminiscent of the Evansville, IN rally on May 2nd last year.

Bernie begins:

The insurance companies may not like it. And the drug companies may not like it-”

Supporter: [they can] F$ck off!

Bernie: That’s not the exact words I would use, but that’s not bad, not bad.”

Bernie never misses a beat.

Here’s the link to last year’s rally when it happened:


That’s the thing about Bernie vs the Hil rallies…her’s were way too scripted. When Bernie gets rolling, it’s fun to listen to the crowd.


Rebuilding is great, but the blocks we use to rebuild are what I’m really looking for when Perez, et al, speak.

Not really speaking to me until he starts talking Medicare for All, No More War, not allowing corporations to write our legislation, etc.


Sanders supporter to run against red-state Democrat

Sen. Heidi Heitkamp (D-N.D.) is getting a primary challenger this week.

Dustin Peyer, a firefighter, is expected to formally announce his campaign against Heitkamp on Thursday at a marijuana reform rally at the state capitol in Bismarck.

“I’m running for Senate against Heidi Heitkamp. Basically, in my opinion, on the Dem side we have a really boring primary and we can’t allow that to happen anymore,” Peyer told North Dakota radio station WDAY.

He added that his campaign is also “about recognizing that over 60 percent of North Dakota caucused for Bernie Sanders on the Dem side.”


Well well. Wonder what Schumer will do with this race. Will DSCC stay out or will they defend the fossil fuels corporate Democrat?


Hopefully, they will stay neutral. And now you’ve got me thinking. If a Berniecrat is running on a corporate-free campaign, how does taking Dem establishment money affect that? We need public financing soooo badly.

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