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DanAllosso

DanAllosso

Currently reading

400 Years Of Freethought
Samuel Porter Putnam
Thomas Jefferson: The Art of Power
Jon Meacham
Fairy Tales from the Brothers Grimm: A New English Version
Philip Pullman, Jacob Grimm
Doubt: A History: The Great Doubters and Their Legacy of Innovation from Socrates and Jesus to Thomas Jefferson and Emily Dickinson
Jennifer Michael Hecht
The Kingdom of Matthias: A Story of Sex and Salvation in 19th-Century America
Paul E. Johnson, Sean Wilentz

The Art of Not Being Governed: An Anarchist History of Upland Southeast Asia (Yale Agrarian Studies Series)

The Art of Not Being Governed: An Anarchist History of Upland Southeast Asia - James C. Scott In The Art of Not Being Governed, Scott continues the story begun in Seeing Like a State, from the perspective of the “runaway, fugitive, maroon communities who have, over the course of two millennia, been fleeing the oppressions of state-making projects in the valleys—slavery, conscription, taxes, corvée labor, epidemics, and warfare.” (2009, ix) “Civilizational discourses,” Scott points out, “never entertain the possibility of people voluntarily going over to the barbarians,” and often even have difficulty understanding why the outsiders resist their civilizing influences. And of course, most of our histories come from these valley civilizations. The region Scott looks at in this book is called the Zomia, which is a new name for all the territory above 300 meters in southeast Asia. It covers 2.5 million square kilometers and includes about 100 million people from a wide variety of ethnic backgrounds. The common feature of all these people is that they are relatively out-of-reach of the nation-states that nominally include them in their territories. And that the authorities of these nation-states consider them upland barbarians.But “the valley imagination” of the authorities, Scott says, “has its history wrong. Hill peoples are not pre-anything. In fact, they are better understood as post-irrigated rice, postsedentary, postsubject, and perhaps even postliterate. They represent, in the longue durée, a reactive and purposeful statelessness of peoples who have adapted to a world of states while remaining outside their firm grasp.” (337) This is really interesting to me, in the context of people who choose to live far from the centers of power, in modern America. Not to mention anarchists, who choose to live off the grid…