lunedì 14 agosto 2023

Anthropology attempts suicide by asphyxia

If there is a science which, in these last decades so crucial for the fate of the planet, would have had the potential, and indeed the duty and obligation, to make a powerful contribution to the cause of peace on the planet and to the critique of the Powers-that-be, this science is anthropology, which had devoted itself body and soul to the formidable enterprise of deciphering and understanding cultural diversity.

In its wonder at the contemplation of cultures foreign to the Western tradition, anthropology could have found, should have found the key to diagnosing the sickness of the West and to pave the way for its healing.

Instead, apart from some handsome but feeble exceptions, anthropology has withdrawn into itself. Instead of criticizing certain highly criticizable edifices, such as Economic Orthodoxy or Geopolitical Realism, it has doggedly devoted itself to demolishing—they say "deconstructing"—its own acquisitions: reducing its most precious conquests, including the very concept of culture, to a mournful pile of messy rubble.

By priding in the ostentation of its cryptic forms of language, anthropology has succeeded in making itself unintelligible to the rest of the world, when her mission would have been to make all worlds intelligible to each other.

And now the architects of this massacre are wondering how to imagine for their discipline, which they no longer know how to define, "an outcome (to dramatize a bit) other than death by asphyxia".
And what is their solution? It's a matter of “outlining a performative description of the transformations in anthropological discourse that are at the origin of the internalization of the transformational condition of the discipline as such: that is, the fact (theoretical, of course) that it is a discursive anamorphosis relative to the ethno-anthropologies of the collectives studied”.
Well, good luck! Keeping to this course, death from asphyxiation is assured.


The words in quotes are from the first chapter of the metaphysical volume by Eduardo Viveiros de Castro, Métaphysiques cannibales: Lignes d'anthropologie post-structurale, Presses Universitaires de France, Paris, 2009. [Engl. transl. by this blogger]

Nessun commento:

Posta un commento