[Marxism] Troublemaker Anthropology

Louis Proyect lnp3 at panix.com
Tue Dec 30 10:31:53 MST 2008


Counterpunch, December 30, 2008
How "Yes, Sir" Necessarily Becomes "No, Sir"
Ted Downing and Troublemaker Anthropology

By BRIAN McKENNA

Censorship and suppression of one's work are among the worst things 
that can happen to a writer, bureaucrat or cultural worker.

Ted Downing, former Society for Applied Anthropology President 
(1985-87), experienced this and more. In 1995, Downing wrote an 
evaluation report describing the s evere social and environmental 
impacts likely to be suffered by Chile's Pehuenche Indians from a 
proposed dam project underwritten by the World Bank. After his report 
was censored Downing demanded that the World Bank publicly disclose 
his findings. The Bank responded by threatening "a lawsuit garnering 
Downing's assets, income and future salary if he disclosed the 
contents, findings and recommendations of his independent 
evaluation." (Johnson and Garcia Downing). As a result of his 
whistleblowing, Downing was blacklisted from the World Bank after 13 
years of consulting service.

"Personally, I was blackballed for 10 years for filing, what turned 
out to be 3 human rights violations charges against the IFC (private 
sector arm of The World Bank)," said Downing in an interview. "The 
experience left me only the devil's alternative, to get involved in 
politics." Literally.

Downing went on to serve two terms in the Arizona legislature from 
2003-2006. He rejected corporate contributions and collected hundreds 
of $5 contributions to qualify for public campaign financing. Downing 
introduced bills to protect the integrity of the election system, 
co-authoring a bill requiring hand count audits of electronic voting 
machines. He increased financial support for university and community 
college students, protected animal rights, improved energy efficiency 
and more. Eighty-six of Ted's co-sponsored bills became law, a 
spectacular achievement for a Democrat in a Republican controlled legislature.

full: http://www.counterpunch.com/mckenna12302008.html





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