Anthropologists for Justice and Peace (AJP)

Anthropologists for Justice and PeaceIt is with great pleasure that, as a member of the steering committee, I announce the formation of ANTHROPOLOGISTS for JUSTICE and PEACE (AJP), a new grouping of Canadian anthropologists, and a partner of the U.S.-based Network of Concerned Anthropologists (NCA), the Fredericton Peace Coalition, the Centre de ressources sur la non-violence (CRNV), the Collectif Échec à la Guerre, and currently in talks with Canadians for Justice and Peace in the Middle East (CJPME) and Conscience Canada about setting up working ties. AJP has been in the process of formation for almost two years, and finally took shape in late February of this year, before being publicly launched in early March (read more about the history). AJP has already been engaged in its first act of public advocacy against militarism and the militarization of the Canadian university campus, specifically around the “Project Hero Scholarship Program” (see “Open Letter from Professors at the University of Regina against “Project Hero” Scholarships,” “AJP Stands Against ‘Project Hero’ and Canadian Imperialism in Afghanistan,” and “Freedom In Spite of the Military — No Canadian Heroism in the Afghan War“). We have also suggested/endorsed two actions, one of which urges people to sign a petition against Project Hero. As far as we know, this is the first group of activist anthropologists in Canada, and we are dedicated to a public anthropology that advocates for indigenous self-determination, social justice, and decolonization at home and abroad.

AJP‘s manifesto stands firm against the militarization of Canadian universities, the recruitment of anthropologists and social scientists to serve the goals of wars of conquest and occupation, and Canada’s political and military involvement in neo-colonial adventures such as the occupation of Afghanistan and the imposition of international protectorate regimes under the guise of “humanitarianism.” In general, AJP’s aims and concerns are broader than those of the NCA. Most of its members have worked with indigenous communities and fully support internal decolonization in Canada and indigenous self-determination. One of the AJP steering committee members is a Métis scholar, and another is a Mohawk. AJP caters primarily to a Canadian audience, and is open to membership to all Canadian anthropologists, members of related disciplines, whether students or faculty. We hope to launch a series of events at the 2011 conference of the Canadian Anthropology Society (CASCA), to be held in Fredericton.

AJP is, as many organizations tend to be these days, spread across various social network sites. You can find AJP on Twitter, in Facebook, in YouTube, and at IndyMedia Québec. AJP also operates a Google Group for the steering committee (which is private), and a mailing list for members only (send a message to anthrojustpeace@gmail.com clearly identifying yourself, and your interests in joining the organization). You can see the full list of AJP postings, which is updated whenever anything new is published, or you can add the RSS feed to your reader, or subscribe on the site itself to receive posts via email.

As new as AJP is, we have already received our first mention in the alternative Canadian media, specifically in Cameron Fenton’s article in The Dominion, “The Ethnography of an Air-Strike: Canada’s military academics in the Afghan war and at home” (12 April 2010).

[A note to readers of this blog: given my new duties with AJP, the alternative site that I had envisioned as departing from this one, will no longer be created (it was also too ambitious, perhaps not too distinctive in the overall webscape, and a waste of what has been built up here). This also means that this blog will not be terminated this coming summer as planned, even if the average number of monthly postings will likely never again reach 50, and instead hover around eight per month. Of course, we would not have invited John Stanton to join us if we planned to shut down two months later.]

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30 thoughts on “Anthropologists for Justice and Peace (AJP)

  1. Glad to hear about this direction, Max, and the fact that ZEROANTH will continue. An alternative to a lot of the anthropology as usual that’s out there.

    In other news, have you heard about the madness in Arizona??? People amaze me.

  2. They are trying to pass an immigration bill that threatens to trample some basic rights of the constitution by encouraging officers to question the citizenship status of anyone, as long is there is “reasonable suspicion.” The AZ governor has until Saturday to sign or or veto this bill.

    Check this out:

    http://www.altoarizona.com/about.html

  3. Just this morning I finally came across my first report. So it’s “show me your papers” now? Amazing how many of those who claim to be against “big government” (which is also a position I endorse), are in fact supporters of big government when it comes to domestic spying, “homeland security,” the state protecting a “national day of prayer,” the maintenance of a huge military structure with massive consumption of tax dollars, and now checking everyone’s ID. Do they never wake up to their own absurd contradictions, or are they just getting dumber by the second?

    Thanks for that link.

  4. “Do they never wake up to their own absurd contradictions, or are they just getting dumber by the second?”

    The contradictions in logic are mindblowing. I don’t get it. When many people think about “smaller government,” they put in terms of classical economics (to protect the ‘free market’ and private property, etc). As if “the economy” can be divorced from the rest of social and political life. Proponents of free markets often have no problem with many forms of government intervention in the market, ironically (military interventions, subsidies, trade agreements, and so on). Also, as you point out, many supporters of small government are more than willing to advocate the use of the federal govt towards laws like this one in AZ. It makes no sense.

  5. Speaking of violating citizens’ rights. Remember that pesky Writ of Habeas Corpus? Suspended in Canada…October, 1970. When was the last time HC was suspended in the US? Live in a glass house…don’t throw rocks.

  6. “Live in a glass house…don’t throw rocks.”

    I don’t understand this comment at all. AJP is purely focused on Canada. This leads me to wonder if you even read the post.

    Now, why don’t you talk about your indefinite detentions and tortures at Guantanamo, for example, and preach about the meaning and value of habeas corpus in your country.

    Otherwise, I really could not care less about these little nationalistic games. We will throw stones at all glass houses, and it seems like you need to learn how to duck. I am not here to defend the actions of any state, and before you engage in silly accusations it’s best that you try to inform yourself about this site first.

  7. You and AJP have been pwned by Dr. Mark Dawson in this uncontrolled ranting attack: http://webcache.googleusercontent.com/search?q=cache:VNYlB72waKMJ:www.ethnography.com/+%22you+dimwitted+troglodytes.+Perhaps+you+have+not%22&cd=1&hl=en&ct=clnk&gl=us that later, in a more sober state Dr. Dawson revised it, acting like he was using “satire” instead of hiding from his future military sponsors that he has no control over his temper: http://www.ethnography.com/2010/05/this-kind-of-horseshit-is-why-cultural-anthropology-is-utterly-doomed/ Your friend “Rick” joins him in his temper tantrum calling you and all scholar critics of their beloved American militarization “bigots.”

  8. I am not sure that there is a “Dr. Dawson” on that blog, I don’t think he has a PhD. That aside, while I appreciate your note, just because the bone has been thrown, does not mean I will run to fetch it. Dawson has established a reputation for himself, as a towering moron in the field of anthropology blogging. Most of his rants consist merely of this theme: “I hate you! You’re so stupid!” usually brought on by the anti-anthropological reaction of not being able to grasp how anyone could have any reason for being unlike him, and disagreeing with him. There is world of difference out there. Unfortunately, too many North Americans, and here Dawson fits in perfectly, are trained to “get along” with others, to not make waves, to fold into community, to be intolerant towards difference, and to scorn any expression of independent, critical thinking. Ward Churchill becomes a traitor, Norman Finkelstein becomes a self-hating Jew.

    One has to wonder what exactly Dawson thinks he understood about Iraqis when he was there with the Human Terrain System, when he is so incapable of understanding members of his own social-cultural formation. The extreme wrath which he expresses toward us must take on the proportions of what we might associate with a war criminal, when dealing with Iraqis who refuse to bend to U.S. wishes. That is real hatred of difference, and that is what should have no place in anthropology.

    Let’s keep in mind what makes AJP so distastefully “bigoted” and “hateful”: that we are against violence as an instrument for dealing with other societies; that we don’t believe our society is the best one on earth and must be imposed on all others; that we do not serve the military, and do not worship it, like dupes in regimented, totalitarian societies might; and, that we do not think anthropology should be used as a tool of any of the preceding, if it wishes to maintain its new reputation as an ethically conscientious practice of dealing with others, that implies responsibility toward others. If that is extremism and hatred, then we are indeed the worst jihadists.

    I noticed that in this instance, with some adult supervision, Dawson did some editing thanks to writing assistance from a superior on his blog. That’s a positive sign: most of what he has written is composed in the dysfunctional prose of someone without much more than an elementary “skewl” education. First year undergraduates at my university do not make half as many writing and grammatical errors, and are considerably more mature, not to mention sane.

    That Rick Holden should chime in, and say he is with Dawson, is also no surprise. Rick Holden claims to have been in a PsyOps unit, which is rich given the fluff he posts. Rick Holden has also left quite the online trail — it seems his current objective is to post as much blather on as many blogs as possible, always with the “got the last word” goal, trying to post four items for one posted by anyone else. In that spew, we have details of his drinking to the point of inebriation, then posting, and taking drugs, and then posting — this is straight from what he writes. At one point he recommended to other anthropologists — if you can believe this, I can’t — that they go check out his NING profile and have a look at photos of his wife (apparently, a Japanese trophy he captured while based there; now that he owns an Asian, and displays her for public consumption, I guess the idea is that he is a “citizen of the world.” He shames his own wife in the process, and it is very ugly to see this.).

    Holden, like Dawson, engages in simplistic, reductionist, and fully ad hominem argumentation. Holden in particular would not know a logical argument even if he were intensely resocialized into the world of educated, adult civilians. His framework is as simplistic as George W. Bush’s, his obvious intellectual mentor: “You are either with us, or against us.”

    Examine this: he posits that “terrorists” (those who fight back against U.S. occupation, not that he defines “terrorist”) say X. But here is Max Forte, who says something that is a subdomain of X, let’s call it X2. X is wrong, because X is a “terrorist” idea (whatever that means). That means all of X2 is wrong too. More than that, it means Max “parrots” terrorists. Implication: because he probably is one. Call Homeland Security, we have someone to report.

    Keep in mind that Bin Laden has tried to appropriate as many discourses as possible, including environmentalist ones. That means Greenpeace is parroting terrorists, according to Holden’s formulaic mode of “thinking” (it is too automated to be called thinking really), which posits (a) guilt by ideational association, and, (b) because Y is a nasty person, everything Y says is wrong. What Holden will not do — because he thinks he is addressing a community of fellow believers, all on the same team — is define what he means by “terrorism” and what makes a “terrorist,” and why “terrorists” exist. That is too much, he can’t handle it. He is not authorized to entertain such questions. Instead he fools around with insipid notions of nuance and grey, but that only apply to himself, and those like him, when in need of an alibi. The rest are “terrorists”, and parrots of terrorists.

    These people are fools, but they provide useful material. It shows us that American propaganda is not a clever, calculating attempt to convert others. Instead, it is a statement that some Americans believe the official, enshrined lies themselves, failing to recognize them as lies, and their propaganda consists of this: if we believe this, you should too! It’s desperate, and degenerate.

    Dawson, Holden, and the others who say AJP consists of “bigots” are absolutely right: we are bigoted against war, bigoted against militarism, bigoted against unnecessary invasions and occupations, bigoted against racism, and bigoted against bigotry. Absolutely, at least they got that much clear.

    Dawson lives in a world full of what he perceives to be enemies. He has recently posted items fantasizing about the destruction of the AAA, replete with imaginary quotes from grad students (in his mind, he clearly never graduated, nor deserved to), to the effect of “BWAHAHAHAHAHAHA!” Dawson is not a scholar, hardly a writer, and not someone who could ever be accused of contemplating deep thoughts. He is a cog, and a minor one. He is the mere artifact of some older agency’s script, a throwback to 1950s McCarthyist America.

    Now, a word of advice for Dawson: in the world of public contest, there is no such thing as “bad” publicity, or “bad” controversy. AJP is new, and growing, and we are making lots of important headway. Dawson does a little (judging from incoming visitors from ethnography.com) to provide AJP with the right kind of endorsement, and so does Rick Holden, but hardly anyone reads Dawson’s blog, and few really care about Holden’s monologues. Anyway, better than nothing, even if close to nothing. Dawson is playing our game, and losing by it.

    Indeed, he has completely lost it.

  9. Hi Max;
    It looks like you and Mark Dawson are driving each others’ hits, which I guess is all to the good. I remember opening up Mark’s original version of his posting about AJP, and kind of rolling my eyes—there he goes again. When he edited the post the next day, I have to admit I fell out of my chair laughing. The post was inane, crazy, and certainly funny. Ditto for his April 1, 2010, post which tried to imagine a world without AAA. No, it wasn’t anthropology (maybe), and he is not Mark Twain as you note, but who of us really is?
    I write this as someone who shares some of the political sentiments of AJP. I agree that war is a really stupid endeavor for countries to engage in, and that militarism contributes to war. But, I am also sympathetic to the Kurt Vonnegut school of military assessment which notes that writing anti-war books like Slaughterhouse Five is like writing anti-glacier books. Still, even Vonnegut (who indeed was a great satirist) did not deal with questions of policies, scholarships for the children of the fallen, and the other mundane things we worry about in our day-to-day lives. Which brings me back to AJP’s main point which seems to be a fairly minor scholarship program, Project Hero.
    From AJP’s post, my understanding is that they are in favor of giving one scholarship to children who are killed in Afghanistan, but not two. (Or three, if you count the wonderful subsidies that the Canadian governments presumably give all students). In practical terms this effects probably the fewer than 100 students who are the children of Canada’s 143 dead from the Afghanistan conflict. I don’t get it, to be honest. What is the big deal? In terms of government and military waste, this is undoubtedly really small potatoes; a medium sized missile costs more than this program will over 20 or 30 years. Complaining about this program also does not get to the heart of your focus on the key issue of militarism which emerges out of broader cultural trends of which scholarship policies are a very very minor part.
    Finally, going for such a feel-good initiatives really pisses off guys like Mark and Rick who under different circumstances would be your allies. As for me, I just roll my eyes, just like I did with Mark’s first post–there goes Max again. Both Mark and Rick are critical of American policy in Afghanistan and Iraq, and also have sound backgrounds in anthropology. They have been “participant observers” with the United States military as well as the AAA, and as a result have a nuanced take on both (ok, maybe there take on the AAA is not so nuanced).

    Anyway, I guess that the conclusion of my post is to suggest to you that you take your post to the Fort Lauderdale Mall Mark did, and ask for some editing help. You might start your critque of Mark by substituting the word “Dawson” with “Daffy Duck,” and for the word “moron” you could perhaps insert “Billy Pilgrim”. For illustrative purposes, you could post some nice pictures of Malinowski in the Trobriand Islands, or better yet some of the illustrations from Slaughterhouse Five. You would make your point about “Dr.” Dawson better, in such a fashion, and perhaps gain some allies in the process.

    Either way, I appreciate your efforts at ZeroAnthropology and do occasionally pop over here to read your comments.

    Best wishes,
    Tony Waters
    Ethnography.com

    P.S. Mark has never claimed to have a doctorate in anthropology or anything else. Nor has he ever claimed to be able to spell. He does claim to be able to eat fire, but that’s another story. For the record, too, I am not the adult supervision you infer in the post.

  10. “Complaining about this program also does not get to the heart of your focus on the key issue of militarism which emerges out of broader cultural trends of which scholarship policies are a very very minor part.”

    Scholarship policies are a part, that part that inserts itself into universities, which is where we are. And you’re right, it is indeed a part, and not one to be ignored. The fact that so much of a political investment is made in the program shows that it not insignificant for any of the parties concerned. It is most definitely not an issue about numbers and quantities. AJP is going to undertake many initiatives — this was our first, as it developed just as the group was formally organized, and it is an issue affecting Canadian campuses. It is one among a number of issues we focus on in an effort to demilitarize the academy. So AJP will not be reduced to Project Hero, and we won’t minimize the significance of it either: as anthropologists, we recognize what it means, and how much it means to those who were motivated to establish and defend it.

    “Feel-good initiatives”? Not for the 16 professors at the University of Regina — they do not feel good at all. You could dismiss any cause or campaign with that same phrase…which is why I am dismissing it and not addressing it further.

    “Mark and Rick who under different circumstances would be your allies.”

    I don’t know how you imagine this to be the case. I don’t think you are following this as well as you could have. In fact, it is certain you have not.

    Regarding “there goes Max again,” thanks for patronizing me. It was an extremely cool and analytical response. Even referring to Dawson’s reputation as a “towering moron” was an observation, and not even the clinical diagnosis it would have otherwise been. In any event, one does not blame those reacting to aggression. As for this phrase, “there goes Max again,” please try to find a single post on this blog that I have written that even remotely resembles the shit that Dawson spewed. In the end, it’s better that he did, it’s his reputation that gets done in. Unfortunately for him, he is too stupid to either retract the message or apologize, and that is what is also standing out. He has joined the malevolent masses of Internet haters that have become such a despicable part of the irresponsible virulence polluting the Web, as I am certain he would never dare say any of these things to our faces (and he is invited to do so).

    As for Dawson’s post being “funny” — perhaps to you, perhaps to him as well. None of the people I know who read it found it even remotely clever. Indeed, those who had never heard of him before now have the impression of a person who is mentally unstable and juvenile. That’s his doing. You can try to make him look good, but his gift to you is that he makes you look bad.

    No matter how hard you try, there is certain territory that has been permanently conceded and cannot be regained.

    Thanks for visiting, Tony.

  11. As for Dawson’s post being “funny”—perhaps to you, perhaps to him as well. None of the people I know who read it found it even remotely clever. Indeed, those who had never heard of him before now have the impression of a person who is mentally unstable and juvenile. That’s his doing. You can try to make him look good, but his gift to you is that he makes you look bad.

    Well, I had never heard of the man before and I found the original rant entertaining and the redacted version hilarious. (Let me guess—ergo, I am unstable and juvenile. As are all of my acquaintances who laughed their asses off when they read the post.)

    If you expect people to believe that you are actually concerned about the victims of militarism you might want to consider whether the children of the members of the Canadian Forces killed in Afghanistan might also be victims. YMMV, but when someone knows how to pick their battles I tend to think they are intelligent rather than weak.

  12. Great, now let’s talk about what makes me laugh. What is genuinely funny is that Dawson thought he would take us on, but without the minimum in required reading comprehension skills, and that this earns him the praises of fellow clowns. He begins his fecal rant with this very line: “Here is the gist of it. A band of ‘Cultural Anthropologists’ have gotten together to protest about a Canadian program called ‘Project Hero’.” Wrong. That is not at all why we got together. Nor was the protest our particular project. We joined in to support colleagues at the University of Regina, who led the entire protest and have borne the brunt of the aftermath. They are not even mentioned in passing in Dawson’s tirade, nor in your comment. Equally hilarious is that Dawson should post such ignorant shit, in the name of SCIENCE (which he capitalizes, to indicate how big and important he thinks it is).

    Otherwise, those laughing along do not disturb me that much: I know when the laughter is a little too loud, a little too forced. It’s the laughter of bruised people, of sour grapes, at seeing their beloved programs get rejected by the AAA, to see groups formed in opposition to their campaigns, and to see a number of us achieve success in getting our voices heard. That’s what hurts, so they must laugh, and I of course must smile.

    “If you expect people to believe that you are actually concerned about the victims of militarism you might want to consider whether the children of the members of the Canadian Forces killed in Afghanistan might also be victims.”

    Reserve judgment until you have properly informed yourself. You are reacting without knowing what is involved, which is a bad sign. Absolutely nobody is arguing that the children of members of the CF killed in Afghanistan should not get support for their studies. They already did, and accepting a Project Hero scholarship would in fact be deducted from the support they get from the government. The argument is that all students in similar positions should get that support too…which they do not. In addition, it seems bizarre to think that one way to challenge militarism, and the “victims” it produces, is with silence about a program that salutes the cause of these young people having been made into “victims.” But what makes one student better, more valuable, and more deserving than another in the same circumstances? Do we have a favoured class of citizens? And, more broadly, are the only “victims” of militarism those who are in some way connected with violent death? I can count a number of victims here, including those victims of the advanced state of pathological regimentation that makes certain issues unquestionable, except by “loons” and “bigots” as our friendly neighbourhood moron would have it.

    Otherwise one of our battles is with militarism on the Canadian campus, this scholarship program is an instance of that (we don’t see the value in ignoring obvious discrimination on campus), and we are uniquely positioned to address it. Got a problem with that?

    “When someone knows how to pick their battles I tend to think they are intelligent rather than weak” — I agree, and have been given another reason here for doing so. In the meantime, until people have taken the time to study and follow this as closely as we have, these sorts of lazy, off-the-cuff comments, spliced with teen trash-talk that apparently some Americans find cute, come off as ignorant, vulgar and undignified.

    However, not to misjudge you, please feel free to inform us of the battles you have recently picked, so that we can better assess your own intelligence or “weakness.” (Profuse posting of pleasant pedantries on SM does not count.)

  13. Well, I had never heard of the man before and I found the original rant entertaining and the redacted version hilarious. (Let me guess—ergo, I am unstable and juvenile. As are all of my acquaintances who laughed their asses off when they read the post.)

    Well, I read both versions, and I did not see anything either entertaining or humorous. The first version, which I commented on without any sort of reasonable reply, was just a massive over the top rant. The second version, which some people are calling “satire,” was a sad response to some of the reactions in the comments section. His revision was little more than a childish response to criticism. It would have made more sense to reply to critiques directly, rather than taking that pretty lame approach.

    If you expect people to believe that you are actually concerned about the victims of militarism you might want to consider whether the children of the members of the Canadian Forces killed in Afghanistan might also be victims.

    That’s part of the point, at least as I see it. The students not only lose their parents because of a stupid war, but then they are politicized in order to support that very war effort. Then more students lose their parents yet end up with some money for college. And the Canadian University system, through this Project Hero, gets to be the pawn in all that. Sounds fantastic.

  14. Some might wonder if the virulence of the rant might not be the defensive expression of someone in denial, like their conscience might be troubling them, except that they never realized they had one, and never expected it to ever get in the way. People like Dawson (and some of his applauding visitors) made small fortunes from working for the Human Terrain System. What they then want, for the triumph to be total, is not just the big bucks, but universal acclaim and admiration. If not, they expect at least silence. He is a little too sour not to be someone who has been stockpiling his petty venom for such an occasion.

    As for the canned laughter, it is what I call “institutional laughter.” You hear it in corporate hallways, and in university meeting rooms. It’s almost nervous in character, and there is something dutiful about it. Note how some came here to ask why I was not laughing — indeed, in such instances the laughing apparatchiks also worry about the one serious person in the room. What could he be harbouring? Isn’t he a member of the team? It goes back to what I said about not tolerating, let alone understanding, difference. And here we see supposed anthropologists showing the least amount of tolerance for anything deviating from their norm. Laugh with me! Come on, it’s funny!

  15. Indeed, this kind of stupid and ignorant rant makes some people laugh. And this in turn makes me chill.
    What is chilling is seeing people pretending to be scholars very much willing to form judgement while being very ignorant about the matter at hand.
    But I don’t know which word would be the most appropriate to describe the feeling I get when I see people who are supposed to exercice critical thinking pretty much failing to perceive the stakes of simple political manoeuvre, propaganda, and indoctrination efforts which smell of, well, fascism (the State as a moral being, the use of “heroic” warrior figures to foster patriotism and support for war in the face of disaster, etc.). I hesitate between “nausea” and “despair”.
    In the case of Dawson, it is of course much easier to understand, as he is simply defending his own petty interests. Talk about “Science”.

    For people willing to have a quick yet instructive overview of the politics of the “Project Hero”, I would recommend reading the following exchange between one of the professor from University of Regina opposing the propaganda and some angry chap :

    http://anthrojustpeace.blogspot.com/2010/03/your-opposition-to-children-of-fallen.html

  16. They might also notice that the professor who is a critic of Project Hero was himself in the military and served overseas, whereas the businessman in question never did. Likewise, in AJP, at least one of our members is from a military family. In the NCA, one of the members of their steering committee also served in the military.

    Yet somehow the delusional and incoherent Mark Dawson imagines that AJP is dedicated to slagging off soldiers — but then he claims to have read our manifesto (see below), which clearly he has not (or his functional illiteracy is rather more extreme than I imagined). His message boils down to this: support the troops. It’s tired, worn, totally unnecessary, and quite stupid.

    He also needs some basic history lessons, because defending “science” with ignorance is unacceptable. He seems to think that the idea of a “manifesto” dates to 1930s Italy. I suppose the Communist Manifesto dates to the same time, and place. Neither Italy, nor the 1930s have any monopoly on the term “manifesto” — and if he were an anthropologist (as he pretends, for his crappy blog), he would have at least heard of Donna Haraway’s Cyborg Manifesto. Yes, some of us have even read it. It’s not in Italian, and was not published in the 1930s.

    But let’s not let facts stand in the way of their propaganda. People of all stripes have posted, and continue to post here, and we have had some very serious debates with people from many walks of life. As Holden and his extremist, ignorant pal Wigon learned however, and only after Holden began to repeat himself for the third time, I won’t tolerate spam, trolling, or personal abuse (for long). Holden and that idiot Wigon fancy themselves as “counter” propagandists…you need to free yourself of that brainwash and stop spouting propganda yourself before you can counter it.

    Finally, Dawson has posted another gem. He writes: “I simply don’t think anthropology, as a science, should be confused with activism.” Let’s leave aside his jejune notions of science for now, or his illegitimate definition of anthropology, or even his lack of concern for those peoples on whose backs anthropology was built (and the fundamentally unethical anthropology that he thus supports). Let’s turn instead to what he writes moments later: “I advocate that people with training in cultural anthropology can and should be applying their skills in a very wide range of arenas from universities to corporations to non-profits and including the military and intelligence communities and not have to worry about passing a political litmus test. But I am an applied person to my core, that’s what I like.” Get it? You can’t be an activist, but you can serve the military. Not recognizing this as activism, he also fails to note that he premises the whole thing on something that is at the very heart of all activism: “I advocate.”

    What Dawson and his chorus applaud is disregard for the wellbeing of poor and powerless communities that anthropologists have studied — they should not be “activists” for them or with them — but should serve corporations and the military. On the one hand, he advocates social irresponsibility, and that once you have a degree in anthropology you should forget about being a good citizen. On the other hand, he is a very responsible fascist, and clear-cut, classic fascism is all it is. Back to 1930s Italy for Dawson, where he belongs (if he can face hanging upside down alongside Mussolini in 1945).

    Thanks for posting Jérémy, I appreciate it, and likely will not be adding more on this.

  17. Awww, Max. To paraphrase Sally Field “You care! You really care!!” In the past you have also called me “a cancer.” You have posted as a sock puppet (geeze, like I cant do a trace route past the usual anon servers) to e.com in the past. But here is the deal: NO ONE CARES. Not about your voice and not about my voice, blogs are noise… thats IT. You , me and the rest of this little opera are engaged in nothing more than mutual masturbation.

    If you matter in the future, well, then good for you! You are right and I am wrong. Here, you get a cookie.

  18. No Mark, wrong again. I have never posted as a sock puppet on any site. I always stand by what I say, and I sign my name to it — that is pretty well my signature everywhere I go on the web. But, this isn’t your first and not likely your last false accusation. You say no one cares. That’s your mistake. Also, not likely your last one. Nor can I ever remember calling you a “cancer” — in fact, it’s not even my style to refer to a person as a cancer. Please find that quote. As a matter of fact, I do not recall ever attacking you, unless it was in response. I guess this is where the sock puppet illusion comes in.

    Anyway, if I can help you with your reading, writing, or learning how to do an actual IP trace so you don’t post falsehoods, I would be very happy to help out. I can also offer you classes in ethics, since I can see you never had any, or at least not by a real teacher. I will do all this for free, because I am an activist, not an “applied anthropologist.”

    PS: More than one anthropologist lives in Montreal, however, please feel free to post my IP, this should be another good laugh as it is rarely the same one twice on my own blog.

  19. Max, how much father can I go? YOU WIN, I’m wrong! My entire life is a void of meaning. I’m not sure what I can do after my total surrender? You WIN! I state now and for all time that everything I stand for is wrong and evil. Look, I have plowed the ground and watered it. Plant your seeds. I am utterly in the wrong and you are 100% in the right. I cant see how to take it further. YOU WIN!!!

  20. Ok, here, this may help, I just posted this to my facebook page: “I hereby proclaim that Maximilian Forte is smarter, funnier, logical, moral, and in general more worthy of oxygen than myself.”

    see… you WIN!

  21. I am sure glad that I managed to miss this one. I was bound to: I never read ethnography.com more than once, a boring and pretty dumb site with a pretentious name it never lives up to. I think these jokers were trying to cash in on the popularity of Zero Anthropology. Nobody reads them so they thought they’d slam the one featured in an article in the American Anthropologist.

  22. Did you see their latest post? It’s rare that I see such undignified wound-licking in public, aside from elected politicians. It’s all about the hits in the end — so say the porno sites too — and gee, AJP rants too. The non-discrimination in the use of the word “rant” — which seems to mean that if it’s political, and online, it’s a rant, is the kind of extremely sloppy and careless use of words I see across that site. But it does allow them to falsely compare a shit smear like Dawson’s post with the analytical items on AJP. Ultimately, theirs is a declaration that their blog is not to be taken seriously…so you were on the right track all along.

    And yes, especially with their latest post, the whole thing stinks of grudge, payback, and a yearning for attention. Vapid.

  23. Dawson, at what point in life did you decide to give up on trying to make any sense or even tell the truth? So where’s the quote Max asked you for, or was that another lie?
    You have to be pretty thick not to see the irony in your comment: “NO ONE CARES. Not about your voice and not about my voice, blogs are noise…If you matter in the future, well, then good for you!” – so you’ve now got two posts on that worthless blog of yours about AJP, ZA, and Max…and I don’t see a single post on this site about you or your blog. AJP hasn’t even acknowledged your existence on their site.

    I guess that means you don’t matter, but you made them matter for you and your readers. Now howzzat for a turd sandwich? Dipshit.

  24. Forget it Mike, you won’t get an answer. Mark Dawson is determined to make a complete fool of himself, resolving to be an Internet jackass posting under the pretense of being an anthropology blogger. The ironies you pointed out are not the only ones, unfortunately.

    There is a post by Dawson following his AJP rant, that misappropriates the work of socialist George Orwell, like only an ignorant, ultra right wing American could do. He knows nothing about George Orwell, who was a committed socialist, and an anti-Stalinist, just like a great many socialists today. What he has done is to vindicate us twice: first, by resorting to the work of a socialist, and not a corporate **** sucker like himself; second, by using the work of someone who would never agree that “literature” and “activism” should never be “confused” (like Dawson argues about anthropology), since the vast majority of his literature is resolute advocacy against fascism, corporatism, and Stalinism.

    I said that Mark Dawson was playing our game and losing by it — and here he loses again. Orwell would never endorse Dawson’s slavish, servile, uncritical, and opportunistic adherence to mass regimentation and groupthink, as embodied by the military and corporations. To praise Orwell is to denounce himself. That he should do so, in the false and dishonest name of egalitarianism, when advocating that anthropologists should serve hierarchical command structures of the worst sort, makes Dawson into one of the main pigs of the Animal Farm setting.

    But does he know anything about Orwell? Has he even read Animal Farm? I doubt it. Instead of referring readers to the actual book, which can be read in its entirety for free online, he refers them to some stupid Wikipedia article, telling his readers they can “Cliff Notes” it — probably revealing one of the many shortcuts he took in his own “education,” with obvious results.

    Now, I don’t provide courtesy links back to Dawson’s post, or active hyperlinks to his site; instead, here is the full text of Orwell’s Animal Farm:

    http://www.george-orwell.org/Animal_Farm/index.html

  25. Incidentally, I meant to note the regular recurrence of our American interlocutors — and these are supposedly educated people — in resolving everything to stereotypical default positions: one either speaks as a “scientist,” presumably some Professor Nerdlittle, or one is Glenn Beck. Now, I have never seen or heard Glenn Beck, not even on YouTube, but I gather that some have immersed themselves in his shows. It’s not just sad, but alarming, to see such an extreme narrowing of the political vocabulary and styles of rhetoric in these individuals’ “minds” — they are much more creatures of an Orwellian dystopia than they would care to recognize, also because the real Orwellian creature cannot recognize it.

  26. The beauty of Mark Dawson referring to Animal Farm, is his failure to understand that it is probably one of the most “fundamentalist” and purist socialist expressions we have. The whole point of the revolt against the pigs–for whom Dawson would share some affinity–is that they sold out the revolution to the capitalist humans. There was to be no trade, no exchange, no ties, nothing with the rotten capitalist humans. The pigs violated that. Dawson is one of the enemies in the book, and he can’t even recognize himself. If it is an indictment of actually existing socialism, it’s that it was not socialist enough. Why a right wing corporate servant like Dawson would praise this book is beyond me.

    Again, don’t “Cliff Notes” it–try actually reading the book. Here in Canada, it was part of the early reading curriculum in what Americans would call “junior high school.” Everyone of my age has read it. Spend less time reciting the pledge of allegiance (not knowing that it too was drafted by socialists), and memorizing Dale Carnegie.

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