Started Dec 1, 2016
Started this discussion. Last reply by John McCreery Nov 14, 2016.
I have recently posted two pieces on the potential for an anthropology of world society using the resources made available by the internet.
The digital revolution and me
Studying world society as a vocation
I have made two other attempts at telling my story (both sung to an old Hoagy Carmichael tune):
Manchester on my mind
Africa on my mind
About my website.
Banks are slower-moving deposits of fast-moving flows, whether of water, information or money. This website is my Memory Bank, but it is meant to reach out to a public that shares my aims. The two great human memory banks are language and money which are converging into a single network of digital communications in our time. The idea of a 'New Commonwealth' refers to the possibility that money might serve the purposes of economic democracy more fully than it has; but beyond that to the need to make a world society fit for all humanity.
We face an extraordinary moment in history when the old structures are palpably failing. The formation of a global civil society, even a world state, is an urgent task. Anthropology has a distinguished past, but it has an even greater role to play in future, not necessarily as an academic discipline, but perhaps as an interdisiciplinary project: to discover what we need to know about humanity as a whole if we would make a better world. Such a project depends on making full use of the emerging social and technical synthesis entailed in the digital revolution.
Posted on December 1, 2013 at 11:50pm — 5 Comments
Come read and discuss an essay by Horacio Ortiz and myself posted online in separate parts, either here or on my website.
We review developments in the anthropology of money and finance over the last century, listing its achievements, shortcomings and prospects. Since the 1960s, anthropologists have tended to restrict themselves to niche fields and marginal debates.…Continue
Posted on September 4, 2013 at 5:30pm — 21 Comments
An earlier essay, ‘Manifesto for a human economy‘, deals explicitly with the object, theory and methods of a human economy approach. Here I examine some of the precedents for such an approach in the history of modern revolutions, drawing on Kant, Jefferson, Tocqueville, James and Gandhi.
‘Human economy’ is one way of taking forward the great conversation about making a better world.…Continue
Posted on July 14, 2013 at 5:00pm — 2 Comments
Posted on July 4, 2013 at 11:00am
I will first explain what I mean by saying that the informal economy, a concept I was associated with coining in the early 1970s, has taken over the world, largely as a result of neoliberal deregulation over the last three decades (pp. 1-3). After a brief account of my own early exposure to West Africa (pp. 3-5), I turn to the question of how and why Africa has long been a symbol of global inequality. Even after independence, Africans are still waiting from emancipation (pp. 5-10). Even so…Continue
Posted on June 6, 2013 at 3:24pm