[NB: We had some technical audio issues this week, especially on Matt's end. Something to do with Zoom, we presume. You probably won't notice most of them, but there's one point where Matt had to re-record himself reading a passage from the book; hopefully it won't be too jarring.]
This week we discuss the first two chapters of Shaman. Matt and Hilary talk about the abundance of Loon's world in contrast to the picture of the life of early humans that capitalism tries to impose on our imagination. The world of this novel has no state or politics to speak of, no written language, no phone, no lights, no motor cars--and yet, if it's not a life of luxury, it's at least one of plenty. Although there's a division of labor, that labor does not present itself as alienated. Knowledge disciplines seem undivided--the lines between science, art, history, philosophy are not yet drawn, or are drawn very differently. Political power as we know it is absent; leadership is more about responsibility to the collective than the artificial propping up of a system imposed from the past. Stories convey a truth of living-in-common that prohibits the teller from lying for his own self-aggrandizement.
The end of the episode deviates from a discussion about the book; instead we talk about: weather, seasons, dads, wearing layers, pandemic, Chicago's bad mayor, baseball fans and their burials.
Society Against the State by Pierre Clastres
Against the Grain by James C. Scott
Stone Age Economics by Marshall Sahlins
Next time we'll talk about the next 2 chapters, the old ones, and the wolverine, and we'll touch on this book review from the London Review of Books: https://www.lrb.co.uk/the-paper/v42/n24/john-lanchester/twenty-types-of-human
On Wednesday, March 17 at 8pm Eastern, Matt and Hilary will be joining Daniel Aldana Cohen, author of A Planet to Win, and Sean Estelle from Shred Magazine as part of Shred Fest, the weeklong launch of Shred Magazine, an online space dedicated to exploring complex questions about life through a dialectical lens, meaning we examine the dynamic and interwoven nature of life and society holistically. We'll be chatting about the works of Kim Stanley Robinson and the ways they encourage us to not only imagine a new world but bring a new world into being. Join us at the link: https://www.facebook.com/events/363565941294547
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