13 March - 19 March
March 13/15: Creating a Global Economy
Film: Poto Mitan (50m)
• The construction of the nation-state
• How do we explain emergence of the modern nation -state and the mentors through which persons
come to believe that they own their allegiance to their country?
• P.86 - introduction
• Few of 200 countries or nation-states n the world have been in existence for man that 40-50 years
• Nation-states of the sort that now dominate our political landscape are modern phenomena
• Killing and dying are important in understanding the role of the nation stet because the use of deadly
force is one of the characteristics anthropologists use to define state
• Stateness can be identified simply by locating the power of force in addition tot eh power of authority
• monopoly on force to constrain and coerce peoplepublic ostensibly have contested to assign to the state a
• Nation-states kill
• Nation-states in the 20th century killed 200 million of their own citizens
• The power to build loyalty and the deaths that result either directly or indirectly from the existence of the
nation state raise questions:
• Question 3.1 why did human beings organize into large scale state organizations?
• Some societies do very well without anything approaching state organization.
• These societies represented the only form of political organization in the world until 7-8 thousand
Governments in these societies involved a chief or village leader with limited power
• foraging societies most decisions were made by consensus
• Village or clan chiefs may have had more authority than others, but even they led more by example
than by any force
• Larger groups might sometimes form for specific activities such as collective hunts, raids on other
groups or to settle feuds
• Segmentary social system - permits people in sateless societies to form into large groups for certain
• Household (basic social unit) groups are responsible for most everyday activities
• Groups may function together for ritual occasions or for economic activities that require large numbers
• Thees family units , in turn may form into villages and combinations of villages represent still larger
groups whose members recognize a common bond for certain actives
• Within each level gorp are generally politically equals
• If not, the system is considered to be stratified and is called a chiefdom
• Generally no permanent privileged classes or elite's in a segmentary social system
• Stratified states in which ruling elites claimed the power to demand tribute or taxes
▯ • P.89
• Population growth and the need for more elaborate means of food production resulted in the
emergence of a class of specialists who gained their authority by directing activities
• Many other frameworks see conflict and the use of of force as the central reason for the creation of the
• Technologic, development encouraged the production of surplus goods that could be used by some
persons to elevate their control or power
• Asserting control permitted elite to form a merchant or business class
• To maintain their wealth and authority, they create sturdiest of force
• Morton fried suggests that differential access to wealth and resources create social stratification
• Leading to internal conflict that will require a ruling group to impose their authority and privilege by force
• External conflict is the motivation for state development
• Who groups unite under strong authority, they can conquer smaller less centralized groups and take
captives, land or property
• Consequently, if smaller groups were to protect themselves from predator states they too had to orphan
in larger groups resulting in the emergence of competing state, the more powerful ones conquering the
weaker ones and enlarging their boundaries
• War served to transform isolated politically autonomous villages into chiefdoms of united villages,
• Village against village goes to chiefdom to chiefdom then state to state creating larger political units
• Ruling elite will emerge out of the natural inequalities found in all societies and that some individuals will
distinguish themselves and their special qualities
• Leading people to appreciate advantages of people in control
• Stets and hierarchy emerge as people recognize advantages of social integration that formal leadership
and bureaucracy will bring
A state s a political entity with clearly identifiable components
• The nation is a far more abstract idea than the idea o the state
• A nation is an imagine political community
• Question 3.2: why did the nation-state come to exist and what functions does it preform?
• Nation-state perform many of the same functions as earlier states; they main order, maintain armies,
collect tribute or taxes
• Difference is the extent to which The Modern stet influences and controls trade
• Historically, the increasing importance of trade gave governing elites a greater interest in creating
conditions to accumulate profit from trade
Early states functioned to protect the privileges of the elite by regulation the production of goods from
resources, offering protection form other elites and extracting supposes wealth in the form of tribute and
taxes from a largely peasant population
• State supplied coins and paper money, established standards for weight and measurement, protected
the movement of merchants and goods, purchase goods and created and maintained marketplaces
• Early century used to promote trade
• Trade as ultimate source of wellbeing
• states regulated money
• Banks passed laws to protect their manufacturers and merchants by imposing taxes and tariffs on
goods coming from other states
States were also responsible for creating and maintaing the infrastructure that made trad possible
(ports, roads, canals, railroad)
• States became costumers
• The state bought arms and ships
• The state became a building block of an emerging global economic networks
• States were guardians of the national economy--to advance the economic life of their citizens
• Economics only work if production costs are low and sold at inflation
• The Nation-State and the Cost of a Twinkie
• Without the intervention of the nationstate, the real cost of a twinkie would be 10$ or higher (compared
The reason it is only 1$ is because of the different ways that the nation state function to keep costs
accessional and sales profitable • P.92
• Sugar production is heavily subsided by the US government
• The nation-state also manipulates the price of things by regulating the price of labour
• Minimum wage does not apply to agriculture workers, may who are immigrants
• Indirect subsides for sugar include government funding off the infrastructure for sugar production and
processing (roads, power system, water and sanitation systems, waste disposal)
• Shipping and packaging costs
• Nation-state must maintain a standing army, ostensibly to protect us from foreign invaders, but more
realistically to guarantee the maintenance of foreign governments with policies friendly to business and
• The nation state creates tax laws, financial policies, environmental regulations, labour laws and the like,
which help corporations and consumers avoid paying the real costs of production and consumption
• Costs are therefore passed on to future generations or people in other countries in the form of low
wages, polluted environments, health risks and the like
• Corporations look to the nationstate to further their interests; to ensure this, corporations spend billions
of dollars each are to elect office holders who are friendly and sympathetic to their interests
• Consumers look to the nationstate to keep the price of things within their reach
• Workers expect the nation state to enact policies to enhance job and wage growth
• None of this could b possible without nation states to enact and enforce rules and regulations that allow
its citizens to pass on the real costs of things in the form of environmental damage, health risks and
poverty to people in other countries and to marginalized people in our own countries or to future
Bernat, J. Christopher. 1999. Children and the Politics of Violence in Haitian Context:
Statist violence, scarcity and street child agency in Port-au-Prince. Critique of
Anthropology 19(2):121-138. (Look it up on the York online system)
• An anthropology of children and violence must address the specific conditions under which children are
more (or less) likely to be nurtured and protected, rather than abused, battered or exposed.
• The Lafanmi Selavi orphanage project in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, provides housing, food, education and a
political safe haven for numerous street children who had found themselves targeted for state violence.
• Soundly based in liberation theology, Lafanmi Selavi includes both Christian social ethics and
democratic mobilization in its curriculum, drawing the often violent ire of rightist Haitian state polities
and their civil proxies.
• 30 sept 1991 a violent coup d’etat orchestrated by army Chief-of-Staff Lt General Raoul Cedras.
• the army moved to prevent the people from gathering, from erecting barricades and from ultimately
unleashing a popular insurrection against the coup.
• the military was dispatched throughout the capital and the rural depatmans, firing weapons
indiscriminately, killing scores of civilians in the first few hours of the putsch.
• tonton makout – the rightist, army-supported civilian death squads
• Terror was carried out methodically and in brutal form toward the discouragement of popular reaction;
and the young, politically mobilized partisans of the pro-Aristide Lavalas movement were specific
• Aristide had helped to create in the capital the climate of civil unrest and impatience that had made the
departure of Jean-Claude Du- valier absolutely necessary
• Aristide was one of the most visibly prominent of the many priests, sisters and laity who together
formed Haiti’s ti legliz – the ‘little church’ of liberation theology
through this radical theological base that he succeeded in raising the social consciousness of the urban
poor, as well as the violent ire of the state apparatus.
• Aristide instead opted to initiate his own projects; most notable for the concerns of this article was the
Lafanmi Selavi orphanage.
• provide housing, food, and vocational and literacy training for an emerging number of Port-au-Prince
street boys, displaced from often intact kin groups due to the economic crisis of the late 1980s • Lafanmi Selavi would rapidly become first and foremost a political safe haven for the children, as they
would become active, participatory agents of democratic change in the waning days of the Duva- lier
dynasty and thereafter.
• Their visibility and vocality against the Haitian state would make them specific targets for repression in
the years to follow.
• Lafanmi Selavi began to emerge as a vehicle for the political voice of children in social discourse, and
as a nucleus for responsive action.
• the children who live on the street develop their own social organizations, territorial domains and
networks of support linked to the sharing of food and goods.
• these networks and associations are maintained as expressions of political alliances.
• Despite such evidence, popular conceptions of street children are increasingly that they are
unsocialized or are asocial threats to established order; further, street children are frequently
represented as the primary causes of escalation in social ills, such as crime, drugs, prostitution and
Haitian society’s inability or unwillingness to protect its children
• radical political mobilization of street children (such as that advocated and encouraged at Lafanmi
Selavi), and they become de-legitimated criminals – and thus acceptable targets for state repression.
• sickness, scarcity, sexual abuse, hunger and thirst all contribute to a set of conditions which routinize
greater rates of child morbidity and child death on the street.
• Haitian public and private sectors, which have come to normalize child morbidity and death as an
expected outcome for children forced to live and work on the street.
• He isolates the Haitian state apparatus itself as responsible for the everyday violence of life on the
boulevards and avenues of the capital, thus vocalizing the frustration of the poor majority, most of whom
live on, in or about the street.
Aristide instituted Lafanmi Selavi as a new template for Haitian nationalism – one built on a platform of
justice, reconciliation, democracy and ‘poverty with dignity’.
• The nationalistic theme of ‘reconciliation’ has proven to be a trying concept to develop among the
children at Lafanmi. Reconciliation – in this sense, unilateral Christian forgiveness of the army and
makouts following their being brought to justice at the hands of the Haitian human rights courts after the
coup – has been a fundamental ideal of Aristide’s Lavalas platform since at least 1994
• idea of civil contrition must be implemented in both the orphanage pedagogy as well as in its
• Boys use razors as violence
• P. 124
orphanage’s determination to incorporate the notion of reconciliation into its pedagogy.
• Firmly rooted in Haiti’s ti legliz liberation movement, the orphanage is currently home to over 400 boys
and girls, all with greater or lesser degrees of experience with the street (or, in the case of some of the
girls, harsh treatment in domestic service)
• The program actively seeks to raise the demo- cratic consciousness of the children it serves, thus
permitting the introduction of child identity as legitimate terrain for the settlement of violent political
• voice of solidarity for street children, who, since at least 1986, have formed the very backbone of front-
line activism against martial Duvalierist regimes, including the most recent of Cedras.
• The liberation theology movement throughout Latin America as a whole imagines a kingdom of God on
earth – one based on political justice and equality, and one devoid of the social madness associated
with hunger, sickness and high rates of child mortality.
• recognizes the challenge leveled by the liberation movement against theodicy – the system of natural
theology vindicating divine justice in allowing the persistence of human suffering.
• liberation theology, at least in the Brazilian case, has failed to offer a doctrinal alternative solace to child
death and morbidity.
• issue is the discrepancy between the orthodox Church as a body of doctrine and dogma, and a
theology of liberation, which, as a social justice movement, is faith in praxis and as such stands in
fundamental opposition to such doctrine and dogma
• Liberation theologies take to task the search for meaning in suffering, whether as penance or the path
The rejection of theodicy is evident in social endeavors to eliminate the root causes of suffering
altogether, not as a challenge to divine will but rather as an expression of it. • P.125
• significant aspects of Haiti’s liberation theology movement stand in proactive opposition to such
normalization and routinization, rather than in active contribution to them
• the orphanage represents itself as a cultural counterweight to the routinization of poverty and the
political impotence of street children, raising the social awareness and political resolve of citizen-
children, rather than simply feeding them (an influential statement in a country where 60 percent of the
population is under the age of 25 years, 40 percent of whom are under 15, most of them living or
working in or about the street).
• Aristide’s involvement in matters political, such as his initiation of Lafanmi Selavi, has not endeared him
to the powerful orthodox Catholic hierarchy which stands in contradistinction to the progressive
liberation theology upon which the orphanage is based.
• its children have paid profoundly for both their ties to Aristide and their active participation in pro-
democratic discourse, under Cedras and over the course of the years since.
• emblematic of this political violence is the deconstruction of traditional, cultural constraints on the state’s
use of coercive force, including the targeting of clergy, women, non-political groups, the elderly and,
certainly, children– especially those at Lafanmi Selavi.
• With Cedras’ seizure of power from Aristide, martial law was put into place, and democratically oriented
institutions like Lafanmi became criminalized.
• political attacks on the children of the orphanage – rapes, dis- appearances, firebombings, torture,
executions (I have documented instances of all of these against the children) – are the means by which
the makoutist state and its attaché proxies have sought and continue to seek the suppression of social
change and the prevention of opposition movements from undermining de facto legitimacy.
• Attacks from marginalized poor classes
• The makouts would become the brutal implementers of political terror, acting on behalf of the state as
informers, neighborhood bosses, extortioners, executioners and thugs.
• The fact that most makouts were and are of the poorer classes has permitted the state an
unprecedented penetration of nearly all aspects of the everyday life of the citizenry.
• Makoutisme became the strong- arm pillar of the Duvalie