The Dying Days of Liberalism

How Orthodoxy, Professionalism, and Unresponsive Politics Finally Doomed a 19th-century Project What a sight to behold. These are the dying days, counting down soon to the final hours, of the defeated political project of liberalism, inherited from the 19th-century. The centre—if there ever was one—could not hold after all. What a thing it is to […]

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Anthropologists and “Illegal Immigrants”

In this second of two recent articles on migration I examine the writings of three anthropologists— Nicholas P. De Genova, Andrew Kipnis, and Luis F.B. Plascencia—concerning usage of the phrase “illegal immigrant”. The problem of labelling migrant workers is not one that anthropologists invented, but it certainly is one they take seriously, as they should. […]

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Open Borders, Global Citizenship, and the Working Class

In this and the next article I will discuss some of the politically contentious issues surrounding what some of us call “illegal immigration,” with reference to the works of three anthropologists—Andrew Kipnis, Nicholas De Genova, and Luis F.B. Plascencia—and the commentaries they sometimes make of each other’s arguments. This is a promised continuation from two […]

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Trump and Anthropology

“We are the new Indians…there are people today who want to discover us again, who want to conquer, enslave, and colonize us, and who want to use us like the conquistadores once did….The Indians were sacked for centuries…we are the new Indians and we need defenders. “We are doing worse than our Indians did during […]

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Cosmopolitan Imperialism: Obama Does Anthropology in Laos?

“Obama, the cerebral son of an anthropologist”—this is how the Associated Press touted soon to be ex-president Barack Obama on his visit to Laos this week. The AP went even further, declaring Obama’s approach “soft diplomacy”. One has to wonder where all of the “soft diplomacy” was in the seven brutal wars simultaneously fought by […]

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The Ultimate Proletarian and the Neoliberal Condition

“Proletarian” has acquired many layers of meaning over the centuries, possibly in part because the many, historically changing situations of proletarians became more complex. Since the advent of western European capitalism in the sixteenth century, proletarians were defined as “members of the lowest class”. By the mid-1800s, they were “the lowest class” composed of “indigent […]

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