anthropology that moves us toward critique: the tendency to pick-apart any kind of human effort to do anything in the world. Modernization: homogeneous and violent. International development: bureaucratic and self-interested. Food aid: corrupt and exploitative. Humanitarianism: ineffective and paternalistic. It seems that our gaze upon the world is colored by darkly-tinted lenses; we see problems as if they were highlighted in neon; we even historicize them so as to find their roots, the concepts behind these global systems.
But critique itself can be a violent thing. It destroys everything in its path with a smug wave of its hand, and leaves nothing in place of what was there. Read more