Turning and turning in the widening gyre, the falcon cannot hear the falconer. Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold. Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world. The blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere the ceremony of innocence is drowned. The best lack all conviction, while the worst are full of passionate intensity.—An extract from “The Second Coming” by W.B. Yeats.

Venezuela: The Next Move and the Final Word

Almost a month after Donald Trump recognized Juán Guaidó as the “interim president” of Venezuela, and the imperial media started to label Nicolás Maduro as the “disputed” president of Venezuela (as if that were a universally accepted statement of fact), nothing has happened to unseat Maduro. The intended coup does not appear to be advancing. […]

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A War for Oil: The US Economic War on Venezuela

A Bridge Too Far It resembled something from a post-apocalyptic setting in a movie: images of the blocked highway bridge linking Colombia to Venezuela, silent and desolate containers behind fences, not a person in sight, no movement. It was like a makeshift monument to a people’s understanding of how “humanitarian aid” is used by empire […]

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For previous articles on Venezuela published on Zero Anthropology, check articles listed under categories and tags.

What are the Prospects for a US War with China?

Was Barack Obama’s “pivot to Asia” the signal for a coming US war on China? Is the current clash between the US and China a confrontation between an empire in decline and an empire on the rise? Does China entertain imperial ambitions? Is China really a “threat to peace”? What would be some of the […]

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Ghost Exchange: Complexity, Velocity, and Risk

Increased complexity leads to increased risk. Stock markets run by algorithms, creating virtual markets that even the experts have difficulty explaining. The “flash crash,” “dark pools,” and “high-frequency trading”—what do they all mean? Throughout 2018, and now into 2019, we have witnessed some extreme volatility on stock markets, sometimes with swings so huge that many […]

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The War of the Public Intellectuals: A Review of “Best of Enemies: Buckley vs. Vidal” (2015)

When and how did the polarization of political opinion become so mainstream in the US? When was acrimony institutionalized? When did it become acceptable to deny a political opponent’s right to exist, and to commit oneself to the destruction of one’s opponents? When was incivility validated? Why are personal attacks, smears, and character assassination legitimized […]

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Book Review: Afghanistan Post–2014—Misreading Afghanistan’s Crypto-coloniality

Review of: Afghanistan Post-2014: Power Configurations and Evolving Tragectories. Edited by Rajen Harshe’ and Dhananjay Tripathi. (New Delhi: Routledge), 2016, pp. xix+248. The colonial and postcolonial writings about of Afghanistan are marked by the absence of a systematic and critical awareness about the country as an offspring and dependency of Western colonialism. The ethnographic, historic […]

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Syria: The New Terra Nullius

SYRIA, seat of an Islamic Caliphate. Syria, site of the Middle East’s newest liberal democracy. Syria, socialist paradise. Syria, a corrupt and murderous dictatorship that practices genocide. Syria, a failed state. Syria a state that is too strong. Syria, soon to be partitioned into ethnic enclaves. Syria, a pawn of Iran. Syria, a tool of […]

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What Happened to the American Empire?

Has anything out of the ordinary happened to the US as an imperialist power since the ascent of Trump to office? While the continuities between Trump and his predecessors are considerable, have there been any significant discontinuities that mark the first year of this presidency? Is there any reason to think that the rise of […]

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Eight Questions and Seven Theses about Force Multipliers

“Force multipliers: Machines which allow a small effort to move a larger load are called force multipliers. Some examples of force multipliers include: a crowbar, wheelbarrow, nutcracker, and bottle opener. The number of times a machine multiplies the effort is called its mechanical advantage. The mechanical advantage of a machine is the number of times […]

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Imperial Abduction: The Globalization of Residential Schooling

The following is an extract from my chapter, “Imperial Abduction Lore and Humanitarian Seduction,” which serves as the introduction to Good Intentions: Norms and Practices of Imperial Humanitarianism (Montreal: Alert Press, 2014), pp. 1-34: In Canada, there have been official government apologies for the abuses committed during the residential schooling era (which lasted until 1996), […]

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Canada, First in Anthropology

As Canada commemorated its 150th anniversary on July 1st, 2017, it seemed appropriate to present a topic in the history of anthropology, and Canadian anthropology in particular, that has received little attention. It is understandable that what is presented below has received little attention among Canadians generally, who have other concerns, but not so understandable […]

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Canadian Anthropology or US Cultural Imperialism?

Read Part One Read Part Two Download the complete paper Importing Empire, Exporting Capital: Canadian Universities as Retail Outlets for US Anthropology The “Americanist tradition” has been reproduced in Canada in terms of the structuring of the leading anthropology departments according to the US discipline’s four fields of archaeology, linguistic, cultural and biological/physical anthropology. This […]

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Zero Anthropology is about empire and the human condition. The history, philosophies, ideologies, cultures, and practices of imperialism are the focus of this site's concerns. Topics frequently analyzed involve foreign policy, human rights, military intervention, globalization, trade, neoliberalism, democracy, and nationalism.