[Marxism] Anthropology and imperialism

Louis Proyect lnp3 at panix.com
Mon May 17 10:38:40 MDT 2004

 From Seymour Hersh's latest New Yorker article:

The notion that Arabs are particularly vulnerable to sexual humiliation 
became a talking point among pro-war Washington conservatives in the 
months before the March, 2003, invasion of Iraq. One book that was 
frequently cited was “The Arab Mind,” a study of Arab culture and 
psychology, first published in 1973, by Raphael Patai, a cultural 
anthropologist who taught at, among other universities, Columbia and 
Princeton, and who died in 1996. The book includes a twenty-five-page 
chapter on Arabs and sex, depicting sex as a taboo vested with shame and 
repression. “The segregation of the sexes, the veiling of the women . . 
. and all the other minute rules that govern and restrict contact 
between men and women, have the effect of making sex a prime mental 
preoccupation in the Arab world,” Patai wrote. Homosexual activity, “or 
any indication of homosexual leanings, as with all other expressions of 
sexuality, is never given any publicity. These are private affairs and 
remain in private.” The Patai book, an academic told me, was “the bible 
of the neocons on Arab behavior.” In their discussions, he said, two 
themes emerged—“one, that Arabs only understand force and, two, that the 
biggest weakness of Arabs is shame and humiliation.”

full: http://www.newyorker.com/fact/content/?040524fa_fact


Anthropology News, November 2000, pp. 13-14

The AAA and the CIA?
by David Price

With little notice by anthropologists, there has been increasing 
documentation of the extent to which American intelligence agencies 
monitored and influenced the development of American social sciences 
throughout the Cold War. One of the ways these agencies accomplished 
this was through covert contact with professional associations -- either 
as silent observers at professional meetings or as silent partners 
entering into secret agreements with individual members or official 
bodies within these associations.

A wide literature has developed that documents some of the interactions 
between American social science professional associations and 
intelligence agencies. Benjamin Harris documented the FBI's monitoring 
of the American Psychological Association and the Society for the 
Psychological Study of Social Issues since the 1930s. In Stalking the 
Sociological Imagination (1999, Greenwood), Mike Keen used the Freedom 
of Information Act (FOIA) to document the FBI's surveillance of 
prominent sociologists as well as the meetings of the American 
Sociological Association. Christopher Simpson likewise established that 
the "FBI and US military intelligence agents kept the American 
Sociological Society conventions under surveillance in an effort to 
smoke out radicals." Sigmund Diamond's book, Compromised Campus (1992), 
used FOIA to painstakingly declassify CIA and FBI documents revealing 
the extent to which post-war Area Studies centers were manipulated by 
the CIA and Pentagon.

full: http://www.cia-on-campus.org/social/price.html


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