Origins of Private Property -Reply -Reply -Reply

Jim Jaszewski jjazz at
Fri Aug 4 18:48:52 MDT 1995

On Mon, 31 Jul 1995, Lisa Rogers wrote:

> Now there is an anthropological chesnut - "pristine" societies vs.
> those contaminated by contact with the outside world, especially
> contact with capitalism.  In fact, it is not only herders and farmers
> that may have long had contact with state societies, traders and
> capitalists, but hunter-gatherers [H-G] too.
> Usually this argument is used to say that living H-G and other
> societies are not "pristine", i.e. they are not true examples of
> ancient societies, frozen in time, unaffected by all others around
> them.  Schrire and Wilmsen are known for using this argument to
> assail all other students of H-G societies, but the critique is
> entirely off the mark for me and my program.  We never claimed
> anybody was "pristine" and furthermore we don't think that the lack
> of it in any or all societies undermines or invalidates anything that
> we do.

	Good, because then you'd be WRONG...     |>

> I'm curious, Jim, if you'd like to offer an explanation of just why
> you are concerned about pristine-ness.  What is the problem in your
> view, how does it affect an analysis of PP and how should it be
> addressed?

	I'm only concerned where it would be claimed that 'primitive
communism' still exists, or did so till recently.  Otherwise I agree:
it's not important...

> ps It is not clear what you mean by "prehistoric societies" - do you
> really mean to refer to time scale, or certain modes of subsistence,
> or what?

	I mean literally `prior to being in the historical record', but
there's obviously a problematic here with `whose' records and just what
those records are (I would include oral histories as such). For time scale
I would always refer to paleo/neo-lithic...


   Jim Jaszewski   <jjazz at>

   WWW homepage:   <>


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