Capitalist Anthropology

I have been aware for some time of the fact that new ideas of all types and forms are subject to shaping by the prevailing system, ie: capitalism and the megatheocorporatocracy. Science and in particular, anthropology, are no exception. It has always amazed me that no one seems to have drawn attention to this particular bias. Though of course, if people cannot conceive the existence of an alternative system, if people have internalized the status quo to the point that it becomes second nature, the be all, end all of human arrangements, then there is little wonder that everything they see will be tainted by it. The theory of evolution is a great example. We like it, it seems to work fine, and for the most part I am willing to make concessions and give it a pass. However, when it comes to human beings, then I’m afraid I have to speak out. The whole of human interaction is basically reduced to this classical example of capitalism in practise. The ultimate goal is to produce, the more the better. The produce? Offspring. The means of production? Women. The owners of the means of production? Men. If I was less humble, I would call it Capitalist Anthropology. And the more you think about it, the more sense it makes. Every human action is reduced to maximizing the chances of survival, with the sole goal of maximizing the production. Everything we hold dear and makes us human, love, friendship, solidarity, empathy, every single expression of affection, no matter how altruistic, is reduced to improvement of the means of production or to the increasing of the chances of survival.

Now, of course I don’t know anymore than anthropologists know if this is indeed the way things really are. But one has to recognize that in a world dominated by one single ideology, one single economic system, this cannot less than sound suspicious. However, every now and then, anthropologists take this ideas so far that it becomes crystal clear for most of us, if nor for them, that they have got it wrong somewhere. And this is one of those times: “Male macaques pay for sex”. Every non educated, barely sane person will look at this and think, “well, I had been touched for quite some time, I would also want to make out”. I know I am a fairly ignorant person, and I may be totally off here, but as I understand it, any economic system and/or transaction sits on top of basic human behaviour, not amongst it. We cannot claim that natural human behaviour is dominated by an economic system because economic systems are something we create to support our natural human behaviour. Sure, an economic system can change human behaviour and indeed it does, but that’s not what these people are after here. They want to unravel the mysteries of the intrinsic human nature through the application of economic laws, and capitalist laws at that.

But hey, I could be entirely wrong.

Now, I’ve explained that this blog will try to go further than feminism, hence the name, and I think I’ve done so here. In case you are disappointed by the treatment I’ve given to this news and you are looking for the real, juicy feminist take, you can find some of it here, here and here.

Note: I remember reading somewhere that male chimpanzees are the ones who groom each other the most. Better ignore this in case there are homophobes reading. LOL.

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2 Responses so far »

  1. 1

    pisaquaririse said,

    “Every non educated, barely sane person will look at this and think, “well, I had been touched for quite some time, I would also want to make out”. I know I am a fairly ignorant person, and I may be totally off here, but as I understand it, any economic system and/or transaction sits on top of basic human behaviour, not amongst it.”

    Well hell yes and don’t you know (the frustrating part) people are convinced that their every day behaviors are *innate*! Even when faced with the multitude of diversities surrounding them, the multitude of preferences given (even via la Patriarcia!) that they *cannot help it*. Pure mental laziness (and a host of others).

    Liking the (new-found-for-me) blog so much!

  2. 2

    Starfish said,

    “I’ve explained that this blog will try to go further than feminism, hence the name, and I think I’ve done so here.”

    I believe what you’ve come to is Radical Feminism. Welcome home!

    “The whole of human interaction is basically reduced to this classical example of capitalism in practise.”

    Yes. Yes, indeed.


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