Here for the Ratio

Justin E. H. Smith in his Substack newsletter, The Hinternet:

One of the primary sticking points that prevents me from being a Marxist, even as I think Marxist analysis is the most illuminating framework we have for making sense of history and economics, is that I could never abide the idea of false consciousness. Another way of putting this is that Marxism is pretty adequate for the study of history and economics, utterly inadequate for anthropology, which I tend to care about most of all, and for which I think an anarchist lens is most revealing. Do you really want to tell a Nuer herdsman that the cattle-centric cosmology he uses to understand his place in the world is just an artefact of ideology, flowing from the relations of labor that prevail in his society and of which he remains ignorant? Wouldn’t it perhaps be more interesting to see what happens when you take his word for it, about what a cow is, for example, and how cows relate to human beings? And if you are willing to approach a Nuer herdsman in this way, why not also a concitoyen of yours who thinks Nascar is the ultimate thrill, or a lower-bourgeois French person who thinks no holiday meal is complete without pigs’ feet in aspic and who simply adores Johann Strauss’s “Blue Danube”?

More here.