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wednesday OP wrote

another quote from this book:

The process of an empire constructing the barbarians is by no means unique to the Germans. Empires habitually manufacture ethnicities at their frontiers. Ethnicity begins where sovereignty ends, to cite James C. Scott. [35] In order to control an uncontrollable, it must first be named. All domination flows from an original categorical enclosure. The very category of “tribe,” so influential in classical anthropology and pregnant with a sense of the primitive and pristine, is in fact an imperial creation. In the Roman Empire, tribes were administrative units for populations that defied direct rule but could be intimidated into paying protection money (or “tribute”), participating in “tribunes,” and taking part in other aspects of imperial business. Over time, they were increasingly integrated into the Roman state, holding on to a semi-autonomous status. Clearly, the tribes were never intended to remain autonomous forever. Identification and constitution as a tribe were early rungs on the ladder of colonization.

i'm quite enjoying this so far.


kano wrote (edited )

I thought the text was super interesting when I read it a couple years ago, definitely could be worth taking a look through it again. Cool that you are havin a look through it.

But I guess this section kind of relates a lot to stuff you were saying about inscription and naming recently or what I think of as legibility or illegibility. In order to carry out an authoritarian or in this case state making program, people, cultures, and their practices need to be able to be understood by the authority.


wednesday OP wrote

yeah, exactly. i know this idea is old as dirt when it comes to queer things, but i'm not much of a historian so it's pretty interesting to see exactly the same thing happen in a historical context in the service of constructing the state. (not that it's surprising, but i like the idea of the unified nature of things so seeing an idea i found in one place exist in another place gives me a sense of serenity.)


Tequila_Wolf wrote

Hm. Is the library down? Not working my side.


wednesday OP wrote

i had an issue load it a few minutes ago, but i think that was an issue with my local Internet connection. it seems fine now.