The Collapse of Societies

By now, the entire world is aware of the historic and unprecedented events occurring in the United States.  It seems trite to characterize these events as an aberration that will soon pass over. Even more striking, it seems these events will have far-reaching, long-term, damaging effects on not only the Constitution of the United States […]

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The Horror of War – Part 2

It was Christmas Eve and it just so happened that I pulled guard duty. The post I was assigned to was a 30-foot tower that stood facing toward the Bien Hoa Airport. At night, you could see the large flood lights and the air traffic controller tower clearly from that position. I had pulled guard […]

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An Anthropologist in the World Revolution – Pt. 1 by Keith Hart

Michael Wesch, an assistant professor of cultural anthropology at Kansas State University, well-known for his inspiring YouTube lectures and documentary shorts, has received over a hundred applications for his graduate course in ‘digital ethnography’ from around the world.1 The only problem: no such course exists. Wesch teaches undergraduates and has organized a ‘digital ethnography working group’ […]

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The Real Race Problem – Part 2

On the eve of the one-hundred and eighth anniversary of W.E.B. Du Bois’ newspaper The Crisis, we are presenting, in its entirety, a lecture from the distinguished anthropologist, mentor and head of the Anthropology Department at Columbia University for many years – Dr. Franz Boas on the subject of the “race” problem. THE REAL RACE […]

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Teaching Anthropology in 2018

Recently, a colleague contacted me with a very interesting and specific question. At the time, I was on the road and too busy to address his inquiry. I asked him to hold on until I had time to think about how to approach the question. After some thought, I decided to respond by penning this […]

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There’s Something in the Water

A recent death in the family necessitated a return to the United States after living abroad for the past ten years. A family member in Miami has a large home, so I stayed there for six months while handling family business. From the very beginning, I noticed a slight discoloration in the tap water in […]

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The Struggle for Power by Keith Hart

  Book Review: The Rise and Fall of Nations: Ten Rules of Change in the Post-Crisis World by Ruchir Sharma, London: Allen Lane, 2016; pp 464, £25. Ruchir Sharma grew up between Mumbai,  Delhi  and  Singapore. He entered the world of international investment in the early 1990s as a specialist in emerging markets. He has […]

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Anthropology and the New Human Universal by Keith Hart

World society today resembles nothing so much as the eighteenth century ancient régime that Kant had every reason to believe had been abolished by revolution. Now a rich, aging white minority inured to luxuries unimaginable two centuries ago presides over masses whose passivity is measured by their lack of spending power (Hart 2002). The institutional […]

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Gun Violence in American Schools

  There is something terribly wrong going on in American schools today. A silent epidemic is spreading throughout the country like a cancer. What does it say about a society when children and adolescents can get their hands on military grade weapons, somehow get them into their schools and gun down dozens of fellow classmates […]

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The Bitcoin Controversy

Most people have already heard of Bitcoin. However, very few know what it is or how it originated. Many people know that it is some form of “cryptocurrency” but only a few know what that term means. Those of us that spend time on the Internet are familiar with the term but do not know […]

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Brazil’s Dichotomous Treatment of Corruption – PT 2

After the end of the Brazilian military dictatorship, the Liberal Front Party (LFP), Democratic Social Party (PMDB) and Brazilian Social Democratic Party (PSDB) dominated the government of Brazil. For more than 20 years, right wing and centrists autocrats controlled the government and struggled with enormous foreign debt, rampant hyperinflation, and the difficulties of transitioning to […]

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Preface to the Coming World Crisis-by Keith Hart

Trump’s election has accelerated talk on the left of the end of (neo-) liberalism and the rise of fascism in the West. The prospects for world war seem closer now. As when the 2008 crash is placed in history, comparison is usually with the 1930s. We need rather to develop a perspective on 1900-2100 as […]

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What Anthropologists Really Do-by Keith Hart

The Summary The new anthropologist is a self-appointed people’s representative in the double sense of writing them up and acting as their advocate. And anthropology is a sort of democratic politics, informed by long-term, empty-headed exposure to strangers wherever they live and shaped by the main public issues of the day. This populism is hostile […]

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Mess in the Middle East

Many people throughout the Western world do not understand what is happening in the Middle East. Much of the confusion stems from a misunderstanding of the complicated relations between countries, land, people, and political objectives. One particular myth is these conflicts go back as far as the Crusades and the wars between Muslims and Christians. […]

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The Second American Revolution

Well, it only took about two-hundred and forty years but the greatest fear of the writers of the Constitution of the United States has taken place. A rich, capitalist class of billionaire Americans have finally taken over the government. It seems that political representatives from states all over the country have sold out their constituents […]

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Religion and Economy – Part Two-by Keith Hart

We need to understand better how we build the infrastructures of collective existence, money among them. How do meanings come to be shared and memory to transcend the minutiae of personal experience? Property must endure in order to be property and that depends on memory. Money thus expands the capacity of individuals to stabilize their […]

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Religion and Economy – Part One-by Keith Hart

Religion belongs to a set of terms that also includes art and science. Science began as a form of knowledge opposed to religious mysticism, but is now often opposed to the arts. If science may crudely be said to be the drive to know the world objectively and art is mainly a means of subjective […]

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Measures of Quality Education

When I first came to Brazil, I quickly became aware of the problem in the educational system here. So, I began to collect statistics and study why the educational levels were so low. During that time, Lula was the president and Brazil was making a serious effort to address its problems in education. The country […]

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Why do Leaders Fail?

This is an opinion piece that some might say loosely fits within the realm of anthropology. And yet, if one could say that anthropology is the genealogy and archaeology of human activity, then under those circumstances it should be appropriate. I wish to discuss those things that any head of State, President, or sovereign leader […]

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World’s Most Vital Resource

It is not necessary to explain the process by which algae through millions of years of geological time and chemical reactions become fossil fuels such as oil, natural gas and coal. It is important to explain, however, why these fossil fuels have become the most vital resources in the world today. Our modern-day lives depend […]

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Decline of Brazil’s Middle Class

  Although he was a left-wing, socialist president for two consecutive terms, Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva demonstrated that a left-wing administration was capable of navigating a sound macroeconomic course for Brazil. Also, he opened the country’s economy to unprecedented global trade and investment. During his presidency, Brazil became more integrated into the global economy […]

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Birth of the Pharmaceutical

In his highly original work, Birth of the Clinic, Foucault focuses his attention on the human experience and the rational for its continued homogenous reality. He discusses in great detail concepts about ideological space, the transformation of language and the politicization of medicine. He attempts to illustrate and illuminate the development of methods of medical […]

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