[Marxism] The Leakeys

Philip Ferguson philipferguson8 at gmail.com
Wed Feb 6 17:11:10 MST 2013


In the late 1980s and early 1990s I was quite an avid reader of Richard
Leakey, as I wanted to brush up on human origins and human evolution.  My
impression is that Louis Leakey was politically conservative, but Mary
Leakey wasn't necessarily so (although I don't really know about her
politics for sure).  Richard Leakey, however, was very much a product of
the 1960s, fairly politically progressive and argued that the emergence of
humans and our evolution was based on co-operation, he seemed to be
supportive of women's liberation and anti-racist.  He also seemed very
genuinely devoted to Kenya - for instance, he probably could have had a
glittering career in Britain or the United States, as he was very clever,
at the cutting edge of his field, impeccable parentage, very personable and
blond, blue-eyed etc.  But he didn't go down that route.

He stayed in Kenya and did a lot of worthy stuff.  When he was doing his
wildlife role, he lost both his legs in a plane crash I think.

Whether the corruption in the Kenyan state has soured him somewhat and
moved him at all rightwards, I don't know.  The impression I got from
everything I read by him was that he had a lot of character and was someone
who would always be a progressive-humanist type.

Phil



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