File puptcrit/puptcrit.0811, message 389


Date: Sat, 22 Nov 2008 18:50:48 -0500
To: puptcrit-AT-puptcrit.org
Subject: Re: [Puptcrit] The down-side of storytellers


Alan wrote:

>What helped bring us to this lowpoint? Lee Atwater, Rush Limbaugh 
>and other story tellers of that ilk, the talented "spinners" of 
>swift boat stories and character assasinations made it all possible.

According to the theories of the great anthropologist Pierre 
Clastres, the origin of the State can be traced, in large part, to 
the spinning of swift boat stories on the part of the 
shaman-become-leader-of-people.  The shaman would seduce part of the 
tribe with stories of a "land without evil", a "land of peace" and 
"of plenty", which only he knew how to reach and which could only be 
attained by following him.  In this land, everybody would have to 
work together, abandoning their tribal ways, under the despotic 
direction of a new "knowing" caste, a caste of priests, who had the 
monopoly of knowledge and the sole ability to organize  large-scale 
agriculture and trade.  It is by the agency (or with the help) of 
these idea, argues Clastres, that we transitioned from "savage 
culture" to the early State society.  And it seems that to this day, 
like good children the the State,  we still spin, and fall prey to, 
the same tales - the tiger will lie down with the lamb, all 
differences will be erased, "altruism" will prevail over 
"selfishness", milk and honey will flow in the rivers, evereything 
will be plentiful and free - if only we subject ourselves to one 
"leader" or another, one "re-education" or another,  one "for our own 
good" or another.  And if the promised land somehow doesn't come on 
this earth, then that must be because the earth is essentially evil, 
but we can certainly look forward to achieving the promised land in 
the (eternal, of course) life-after-life - if only we....

-m

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