Thursday, July 21, 2016

Right-wing anthropologist

Is there such a thing as a right-wing anthropologist? I am yet to meet one. My guess is that when you take so much time and effort learning about people's lives, walking in their shoes, trying to  understand their world in all this complexity, you can't go right-wing on them: blame them for the life they live, compare them with what they are not, treat them not as fellow human beings but as labels, bugaboos, somehow not-quite-humans and hence non-deserving.

Right-wing sociologists, on the other hand, do crop up every now  and then. I blame Quantitative Methods. When you are trained to reduce people to figures, graphs and spreadsheets, without bearing in mind that it's but an exercise in mental abstraction, that's essentially dehumanisation. And dehumanisation of other humans is a surefire precursor to right-wing thought and right-wing action.

*All that being said, the old-fashioned right-wing vs. left-wing dichotomy has been largely hollowed out in the political world. The majority of Tories and Labour, Republicans and Democrats are but mildly differing flavours of Neo-Liberal (right-wing, in the old sense, par excellence). The crunch nowadays is largely between the old establishment and populists. 

What do you think?

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