Brian Morris

October 18, 1936 — ?

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October 18, 1936 — ?


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About Brian Morris

Brian Morris (born October 18, 1936) is emeritus professor of anthropology at Goldsmiths College at the University of London.[1] He is a specialist on folk taxonomy, ethnobotany and ethnozoology, and on religion and symbolism.[2] He has carried out fieldwork among South Asian hunter-gatherers and in Malawi. Groups that he has studied include the Ojibwa.[3]

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This person has authored 16 documents, with 140,587 words or 952,548 characters.

There is, in many ways an “elective affinity” between anthropology and anarchism. Although anthropology’s subject matter has been diverse, and its conspectus rather broad—as a study of human culture, historically it has always had a rather specific focus—on the study of pre-state societies. But it is quite misleading to portray the anthropology of the past as being simply the study of so-called “primitive” people or the “exotic” other, and thus largely engaged in a kind of “salvage” operation of “disappearing” cultures. This is a rather biased and inaccurate portrait of anthropology, for the discipline has a long tradition of “anthropology at home,” an... (From :
Historical Materialism Bakunin’s conception of reality, like that of Marx’s, is dialectical, materialist and deterministic. Like other nineteenth-century theorists, Bakunin makes a distinction between two fundamentally contrasting approaches to reality, idealism and materialism, and argues strongly that only a materialist approach is a valid one. He poses the question in the extract subsequently published as God and the State: Who are right, the idealists or the materialists? The question once stated in this way, hesitation becomes impossible. Undoubtedly the idealists are wrong and the materialists are right. Yes facts are before ideas; yes, the ideal as Proudhon said, is but a flower, whose root lies in the m... (From :
An introduction to the thought and politics of one of the most influential anarchist communists of 100 years ago — Peter Kropotkin FOREWORD — by the Anarchist Federation In the preface to her book on Kropotkin (Kropotkin and the Rise of Revolutionary Anarchism) Caroline Cahm writes that “…the history of the European anarchist movement and the anarchist communist ideas which have tended to dominate its thinking and activity are only just beginning to receive the attention they deserve”. This was written in 1989 and only in the last few years has a slow process started that is beginning to rectify this situation, for example the publication of two new and important books on Bakunin. As Brian sa... (From :
Publisher’s Note This Freedom Press title has grown out of The Raven 17 issue on The Use of Land. Rodney Aitchtey’s, and Brian Morris’s contributions were submitted for inclusion in that issue as was Graham Purchase’s. Since we already had more material to fill an issue of The Raven (in fact that Raven ended up being 112 pages long) it seemed to us that we had material for a Freedom Press title on Ecology, but only if we could persuade our comrade Murray Bookchin to add his comments to these three contributions, which he has done, and we are sure that the discussion will continue in the pages of The Raven and of Freedom. This volume opens with a challenging contribution ‘Can Life Survive?’ w... (From :
Long ago the biologist Paul Sears described ecology as the “subversive science”, and there is no doubt that when I first became involved in environmental issues in the 1960’s, ecology was seen very much as a radical movement. The writings of Barry Commoner and Murray Bookchin emphasized that we were confronting an impending ecological crisis, and that the roots of this crisis lay firmly with an economic system — capitalism — that was geared not to human well-being but to the generation of profit, that saw no limit to growth or technology, even celebrating the achievements of the “megamachine”. Ultimately it was felt, by both Commoner and Bookchin, that capitalism was destructive not only to o... (From :
Ricardo Flores Magon has been described as one of the intellectual precursors of the Mexican revolution. He is little known outside Mexico, and even within anarchist circles and texts his name is little encountered — apart from the pioneering study on him edited by David Poole (1977). But Flores Magon was an important and influential anarchist whose writings and activities had a crucial impact on the Mexican revolution. The Mexican Liberal Party, headed by Flores Magon, was closely implicated in the industrial strikes at Cananea and Orizaba. Flores Magon was born on September 16,1874, in San Antonio Eloxochitlan in the state of Oaxaca. His father was a Zapotec Indian and a firm believer in the communal ownership of land; his mo... (From :
1. Two Images of Humans Western social science and eco-philosophy are perennially torn between two contradictory images of the human species. One, associated with Thomas Hobbes (1651), sees human social life as a “war against all,” and human nature as essentially possessive, individualistic, egotistic and aggressive, it is a basic tenet of the “possessive individualism” of liberal political theory (MacPherson 1962).The other, associated with Rousseau, depicts human nature in terms of the “noble savage” — of the human species as good, rational, and angelic, requiring only a good and rational society in order to develop their essential nature (Lukes 1967: 144–45). Both these ideas are sti... (From :
My old sociology tutor once remarked that people under 35 are advocates of social change, while people over that age tend to be keen on social control. Certainly there seems to be a general idea around that as the years go by people become more and more conservative in their thinking. Tolstoy is a clear exception to this rule; the older he got, the more radical he became. As a consequence in the last years of his life he consistently expressed a religious form of anarchism. Tolstoy’s politics, which combined Christianity, pacifism and anarchism, has always been a source of disquiet to his many biographers, and to many Marxists too. They laud the power, the realism and the sincerity of his literary imagination, but when they tur... (From :


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