File spoon-archives/bhaskar.archive/bhaskar_1999/bhaskar.9907, message 31

Date: Thu, 22 Jul 1999 13:03:40 +1000
Subject: Re: BHA: logical norms

Like all the posts on dialectics Colin's needs careful thought.  I will do
that (later).  But this morning's reading in Archer's 'Addressing the
Cultural system' [Essential Readings (:503-39]) threw up(!) the interesting
case of the Berber concept of "igurramen". This refers to 'people blessed
with prosperity and capable of conferring this on others by supernatural
means, attributes clutch of characteristics to its possessors 'including
magician powers, and great generosity, prosperity, a consider-the-lillies
attitude, pacifism and so forth." (p527).

Archer points out that the concept contains a contradiction in the Cultural
System (the corpus of existing intelligibilia...all things capable of being
grasped, deciphered, understood or known by someone' (p504).

The contradiction is that it is impossible to be prosperous if one has a
'lillies-of-the-field attitude'. I do not know how to classify this
contradiction -logical?  But the interesting thing is surely what the
presence of the contradiction points to. It reveals the existence of a
society marked by the uneven distribution of wealth and power.  To cover
this institutions like the igurramen (or Salivation Army if you like) come
into play.  They ensure the redistribution of a part of the surplus back to
the producers of that surplus but they do not contribute to the
transcendence or the abolition of the power2 ensemble that lies at the
heart of the need for the igurramen.

God is evoked as always to disguise the nature of the ontological
stratification that generates the exploitation, and thus to preclude
theneed for social revolution.



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