Militarization: It’s All the Same, Everywhere. Or Is It?

Posted: September 15, 2014 in Uncategorized

BOOM!!! “It is not shocking to us that some would prefer a defenseless Eritrea, or that some would condemn conscription in Eritrea, and not condemn it in their native Switzerland or Italy. It is not shocking because there is a tradition that objects to the militarization of the weak and the militarization of the anti-imperialist. It is still disappointing, however, to see that some anthropologists think speaking to truth to power means exercising their white authority to pick at post-colonial bones in small states of the periphery.”



By what logic, if any, does Zero Anthropology function?

If in light of the controversy that erupted with the publication of Sophia Tesfamariam’s outline and condemnation of western anthropologists working to support regime change in her native Eritrea, Zero Anthropology for its part fails to criticize the Eritrean government for its alleged militarization, then what good are we? (Well, for one, we are good for a distraction: turn the denunciations around against us, the messenger of a messenger, and thus avoid any discomfort occasioned by Tesfamariam’s allegations.)

Let’s say either Michael Brown or Travyon Martin had a gun. Let’s say they used their guns in self-defense once they were shot at, and in so doing stayed alive. Some might condemn us for not denouncing Brown and Martin for defending themselves with a gun, especially if we still persisted in our critique of the militarization of the police. We would say…

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