Master of anti-political narrative: No one can control everything

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James Scott, master of anti-political storytelling, answers, “NO.”

Not only that, laziness, desertion, pretending to be stupid…these ordinary daily chores have also been elevated by Scott to the art of popular resistance to the officialdom, and they are the most meaningful and effective ways to protect work, property, and rights. Everyday resistance.

Although, Scott’s main research sample focuses on farmers on farmsteads in Southeast Asia. However, Scott’s research results and theoretical system are generally applicable to people in rural areas, a “one-spoken country”, as well as people in different fields in modern cities.

When the government controls the “ideological sectors” — culture, education, and media — people who are under strong economic extraction, political domination, and ideological domination can rarely openly engage in resistance movements.

This kind of movement is not self-destructive, it is also too dangerous.

Unlike loud protest demonstrations, careful resistance in everyday use avoids direct confrontation with authority.

They are unremarkable, yet constant.

They are not included in the history of official domination, but they constitute the history of domination and resistance.

Historian Bloch said: The great millennium movement is just a “flash in the pan.”

This kind of “daily form of resistance” that is done seriously, lazily, and perfunctorily can accumulate in thousands over time, creating unique political and economic hidden dangers, and even sinking the country.

Therefore, it is very important for Scott to write the unwritten history of resistance, give it political status, analyze the people’s “weapons of the weak”, and understand the subversive nature of these silent actions.

What’s even more exciting is that Scott explores the major themes of resistance and class struggle through in-depth analysis of daily forms of resistance, allowing readers to understand the issues of ideological dominance and hegemony, as well as the social roots of the ongoing struggle between rulers and resisters.

▲James C. Scott

There are a lot of political views in Scott’s book, and many popular reflections in society can be found here:

●People with overwhelming power do not need to learn how to “play together” with others. The larger and more centralized an organization or country is, the more likely its top decision-makers are to work in a fantasy world.

●To be ruled means to be targeted by creatures with no knowledge or virtue at all. It means to be monitored, spied on, regulated, indoctrinated, preached, censored, and ordered.

●The reason for those failed social projects promoted by state coercive power and under the banner of benefiting the people can be summed up in one sentence: the initiators of these plans often see themselves as smarter and more far-sighted, and at the same time they see their targets as stupider .

Fukuyama: I’m a big fan of James Scott.

Graeber: Among the great political thinkers of our time, none pursued a simple and astonishing idea with good intentions and inquisitiveness like Scott until it upended the world as we saw it.

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