Arquivo da tag: Sensacionalismo

Ariel Palácios: “Não são gentlemen” – sobre os barrabravas argentinos (OESP)

20.março.2014 15:06:53

Seção “Não são gentlemen”: Barrabravas argentinos intensificam violência enquanto preparam as malas para viajar para a Copa

Hunos fazendo rolezinho em terras europeias no dia 20 de junho de 451. A gravura, de A. De Neuville (1836-1885), ilustra os bárbaros descendo pauleira na Batalha de Chalôns. Os barrabravas – os hooligans argentinos – teriam estado à vontade. Os “barrabravas” argentinos cresceram durante a ditadura militar com respaldo das autoridades e dos cartolas dos times. Nas últimas três décadas de democracia continuaram sua expansão.

Mais de 50 times de futebol da Argentina, desde os grandes Boca Juniors eRiver Plate aos pequenos El Porvenir e o Chaco For Ever, estão padecendo uma intensificação generalizada das atividades dos“barrabravas”, denominação nativa para os “hooligans”. Tiroteios, assassinatos, espancamentos, extorsões e depredação da propriedade privada e pública foram a tônica no futebol local nos últimos meses, somadas às costumeiras atividades de vendas de drogas, revenda de entradas nos estádios, entre outras. No meio da polêmica sobre esta escalada de violência os responsáveis por estas ações estão planejando detalhadamente sua viagem ao Brasil, onde pretendem assistir os jogos da Copa do Mundo.

Ou, caso não consigam as entradas (a imensa maioria destes barrabravas, segundo informações extraoficiais, ainda não contam com os tíquetes), ficariam do lado de fora dos estádios, fazendo o que os argentinos denominam de “el aguante” (expressão local para designar a exibição de respaldo enfático que uma torcida propicia a seu time).

‘ROLÊ’ NO BRASIL – Uma comitiva de dez barrabravas viajará a Porto Alegre no final de março para reunir-se com contatos locais – entre eles José “Hierro” Martins, da Guarda Popular, do Inter – para preparar o desembarque do contingente das torcidas organizadas argentinas, que usariam a capital gaúcha como quartel-generalpara as viagenspelo resto do país. O grupo argentino estáorganizando o financiamento da viagem desde 2011.

Diversas estimativas indicam que ao redor de 650 barrabravas de 38 clubes argentinos viajariam ao Brasil em dez ônibus para estar presentes durante a Copa. Este volume implicaria em um aumento de 150% em comparação ao número de barrabravas que viajaram à Copa da África do Sul em 2010.

Estes barrabravas integram a Torcidas Unidas Argentinas, entidade conhecida pela sigla “HUA”, que se auto-apresenta como uma ONG para divulgar a “cultura do futebol”. Mas, enquanto que na Copa de 2010 os barrabravas desta organização contavam com lideranças fortes que serviam de interlocutor com diversos integrantes do governo dapresidente Cristina Kirchner, que lhes conseguiam financiamentos, atualmente não possuem um comando único, além de receberem apoios econômicos por parte de aliados da Casa Rosada e da oposição.

Não, o moço do moletom preto não está dando um abraço no rapaz da camista cinza. Segundo diversas autoridades e colunistas esportivos é apenas “paixão esportiva”.

Analistas esportivos consultados pelo Estado sustentam que este cenário de atomização das lideranças e vínculos complicou nos últimos anos o controle da violência dos barrabravas por parte das forças de segurança. No entanto, as autoridades argentinas prometem fiscalizar estes grupos violentos que viajarão ao Brasil. Mas os críticos ironizam, afirmando que o governo Kirchner sequer consegue controlar os barrabravas dentro do próprio país.

O município de Quilmes, na Grande Buenos Aires, foi o cenário de confrontos de barrabravas na semana passada. Os torcedores do clube Quilmes, famosos por sua violência, espancaram os rivais do All Boys com pás, além de desferir punhaladas. Além dos conflitos com outras torcidas, os divididos barrabravas do Quilmes também protagonizam combates internos. Segundo odeputado Fernando Pérez, da União Cívica Radical (UCR), “a Copa acelera as disputas porque os barrabravas se desesperam por financiar suas viagens ao Brasil”.

Estimativas das agênciasde turismo indicamque15 mil argentinos viajariam ao Brasil paraparticipar dos eventos da Copa. Mas, deste total, apenas 4.300 argentinos conseguiram entradas por intermédio da site na internet da Associação de Futebol da Argentina (AFA). Uma parte destes visitantes conseguiriam entradas por intermédios dos cambistas. No entanto, a maioria ficaria sem entradas.

Barrabravas de um time expressam o que desejam que aconteça aos torcedores do time rival com metáfora funérea.

MORTES E BUSINESS – Desde o primeiro ataque protagonizado por barrabravas com saldos fatais na Argentina em 1924 até o ano passado haviam morrido 230 pessoas, além de milhares de feridos. As brigas, que até os anos 80 eram resolvidas a base de socos e pontapés, nos últimos 30 anos foram definidas a base de armas de fogo. Nestes 90 anos a Justiça argentina foi costumeiramente omissa, já que pouco mais de três dezenas de pessoas foram condenadas por essas mortes entre 1924 e 2013.

Ao contrário de outros países onde as torcidas organizadas mais violentas estão vinculadas a grupos de skinheads e neonazistas, na Argentina os barrabravas possuem fortes laços políticos e econômicos com ministros, senadores, deputados, governadores, prefeitos e vereadores, para os quais trabalham organizando comícios, cabos eleitorais e seguranças.

Nos últimos anos na cidade de Buenos Aires enos municípios da Grande Buenos Aires osbarrabravas assumiram gradualmente o controle dos flanelinhas que circulam nas áreas dos shows de rock, estádios de futebol, exposições e demais lugares de passeio dos habitantes da área. Os barrabravas também estão vinculados ao tráfico de drogas, que cresceu de forma acelerada na última década no país. As lideranças destas torcidas organizadas obtêm dos cartolas dos times argentinos entradas para os jogos que são revendidas e também arrancam dízimos dos vendedores de cachorro-quente e outros camelôs. “Não somos escoteiros”, admitiu um barrabrava consultado pelo Estado.

Coreografia improvisada da violência dos estádios argentinos. Um clássico que repete-se com mais frequência nos últimos anos.

ATAQUES – Na semana retrasada, no distrito de Gerli, no município de Lanús, na zona sul da Grande Buenos Aires,um grupo de barrabravas incendiou um carro da polícia estacionado na frente da residência de Enrique Merellas, diretorde El Porvenir, um pequeno time local. “Merellas, você morrerá!” foi uma das legendas pintadas no muro do campo do time. No ano passado o diretor do clube havia apresentado na Justiça 53 denúncias por ameaças e agressões dos barrabravas, que aumentaram desde queo timefoi rebaixado à quinta divisão. “Este time é um depósito de drogas, tal como os outros clubes do país”, sustentou Merellas.

Merellas havia pedido ajuda ao governadorde Buenos Aires eao secretário da Justiça, que colocaram à sua disposição uma viatura policial para proteger sua casa. No entanto, na hora do ataque, os policiais não estavam no carro.

No mesmo dia, no norte da Argentina, na província do Chaco, a casa de Héctor Gómez, presidente do clube Chaco For Ever, da terceira divisão, foi alvo de tiros disparados por um grupo de barrabravas, irritados com sanções da Justiça que determinam que somente os sócios do time podem assistir os jogos quando o clube é anfitrião. “É muito difícil combater a violência no futebol argentino”, lamentou Gómez, que destacou que as drogas e álcool dentro de um estádio tornam “incontrolável” o comportamento dos barrabravas. Segundo Gómez, “o governo e a política usam estes rapazes”.

General e ditador Jorge Rafael Videla com sorriso amplo celebra a conquista da Copa de 1978 na Argentina. Durante o regime militar os barrabravas consolidaram-se e iniciaram sua expansão.

DITADURA E BARRABRAVAS – A Copa de 1978 na Argentina foi um divisor de águas na violência e na estrutura dos “cartolas” do futebol local. Por um lado, a truculência do regime teve influência sobre as torcidas, consolidando o crescimento dos “barrabravas”, que nos anos seguintes à copa começaram a desfrutar da cumplicidade das autoridades esportivas em suas atividades violentas. Simultaneamente, vários técnicos, jogadores de futebol e grupos de barrabravas colaboraram ativamente com o regime militar na repressão aos civis.

Meses após a final de 1978, apadrinhado pela Marinha argentina – que participava da Junta Militar – estabeleceu-se um grupo de poder no controle da Associação de Futebol da Argentina (AFA), liderado por Julio Grondona, que mantém-se no comando do futebol argentino há três décadas e meia. Grondona reelegeu-se ininterruptamente nove vezes desde os tempos da Ditadura. Octogenário, não exibia em 2014 sinais de querer se aposentar.

Barrabravas: sangue, suor e musculatura. Na companhia de colegas do mesmo sexo, com torsos nus, barrabravas fazem apologia da heterossexualidade em âmbito público esportivo. 

E embaixo, do pintor francês Jean-Léon Gérôme (1824-1904), a emblemática obra “Police Verso” (Polegares para baixo) que retrata o “panem et circenses” (pão e circo) do Império Romano. O quadro está no Phoenix Art Museum, Arizona, EUA. A cena pode parecer algo velha…Mas no fundo é bem atual. Gérôme nasceu em 1824. E morreu em 1904, época em que o futebol era apenas um esporte jogado de forma cavalheiresca.

   

E vamos para um pouco da imprescindível civilização: Georges Prête rege o Intermezzo da Cavalleria Rusticana, de Pietro Mascagni:

*   *   *

Seção “Não são gentlemen”, parte II: Mais de 1.200 ‘barrabravas’ tentariam entrar no Brasil durante a Copa

Não é massagem reiki. São os barrabravas de uma facção do clube Quilmes que espancam outros torcedores do mesmo time (mas de setores rivais).

Mais de 1.200 “barrabravas”, denominação dos ‘hooligans’ argentinos, estão preparando as malas para viajar ao Brasil durante a Copa do Mundo. Isso é o que sustentam investigações feitas pelo jornal portenho “Clarín”, que indicam que o volume de “barrabravas” teria duplicado as estimativas originais, de março, quando as autoridades argentinas calculavam que iriam ao lado brasileiro da fronteira 650 integrantes das violentas torcidas organizadas de times de Buenos Aires e outras cidades do país.

Organizados na “ONG” Hinchadas Unidas Argentinas (Torcidas Unidas Argentinas), conhecida pela sigla “HUA”, os barrabravas foram favorecidos em abril por uma determinação da Justiça de Buenos Aires que permitirá que possam sair da Argentina sem problemas, a não ser nos casos de pessoas que, por questões de processos nos tribunais, estejam impedidos de viajar para fora do país.

Segundo a advogada da HUA, Debora Hambo, os torcedores que irão ao Brasil “não possuem processos penais abertos nem antecedentes de fatos de violência. Os torcedores que viajarão não possuem grau algum de periculosidade”.

Apesar das recentes declarações do ministro dos esportes do Brasil, Aldo Rebelo, de que as autoridades brasileiras estarão de olho nos voos provenientes da Argentina e nos principais pontos de passagem na fronteira entre o Brasil e a Argentina, diversos barrabravas argentinos já estão planejando entrar em território brasileiro pelas fronteiras que o país possui com o Paraguai e Bolívia.

Os barrabravas argentinos teriam conseguido pelo menos 900 entradas para os jogos da primeira fase da Argentina por intermédio da Associação de Futebol da Argentina (AFA), comandada desde 1979 por Julio Grondona. O cartola, aliado de todos os presidentes de plantão, civis e militares, tornou-se colaborador da presidente Cristina Kirchner a partir de 2009, quando fez um lucrativo acordo com o governo para estatizar as transmissões dos jogos de futebol.

Há duas semanas um grupo de 300 barrabravas manifestou-se nas portas da AFA para exigir entradas para os jogos da Argentina no Brasil. Os integrantes da HUA alegam que constituem uma ONG de “luta contra a violência”, e que, portanto, merecem as entradas.

Outras épocas, outros protagonistas de pancadarias a granel. Gravura do séc.XIX sobre invasões bárbaras.

MORTES – Desde 1924, quando ocorreu a primeira morte em um estádio argentino, um total de 278 pessoas foram assassinadas pelos barrabravas em confrontos diretos individuais ou choques de grupos. A AFA, que tem contatos fluidos com as torcidas organizadas – aos quais ocasionalmente recebe em sua sede no centro portenho – jamais atendeu os parentes das vítimas da violência nos estádios. Nestes 90 anos a Justiça argentina condenou apenas três dezenas de pessoas por essas mortes.

 

 

Anúncios

Ficção climática, um gênero literário que vai além da ficção científica (IPS) 

16/4/2014 – 11h40

por Dan Bloom*

mudancasclimaticas1 300x230 Ficção climática, um gênero literário que vai além da ficção científica

Taipé, Taiwan, abril/2014 – Quando lemos romances ou ficções curtas em qualquer idioma o fazemos para entender a história, para aprender algo novo ou, com sorte, para conseguir algum tipo de elevação emocional graças às palavras impressas nas páginas e às habilidades do narrador.

Então, como contar a “história” da mudança climática e do aquecimento global?

Um novo gênero literário chamado “ficção climática”, abreviado em inglês como cli-fi, vem evoluindo nos últimos anos e, embora ainda empreste seu nome da ficção científica, se centra em relatos sobre a mudança climática e seus impactos atuais e futuros sobre a vida humana.

Alguns insistem em que é apenas um subgênero da ficção científica, e isso tem sentido em certo aspecto. Mas, em outros, trata-se de um gênero em si mesmo que está ganhando impulso em todo o mundo, não como mero escapismo ou entretenimento – embora frequentemente inclua esses elementos –, mas como um modo sério de abordar os assuntos complexos e universais existentes em torno da mudança climática.

Sei algo sobre ficção climática porque nos últimos anos trabalhei para popularizá-la, não só no mundo de idioma inglês, mas também entre milhões de pessoas que leem em espanhol, chinês, alemão ou francês, para citar alguns. Em minha opinião, é um gênero internacional, com leitores internacionais, que deveria ser abordado por escritores de qualquer nação e em qualquer idioma.

Cada vez mais novelas de ficção climática se dirigem a uma audiência jovem – “adultos jovens”, no jargão editorial –, como Not a Drop to Drink (Nem Uma Gota Para Beber), de Mindy McGinnis, The Carbon Diaries 2015 (Os Diários do Carbono 2015), de Saci Lloyd, e Floodland (Terra Inundável), de Marcus Sedgwick. Na verdade, são as crianças e os adolescentes que sofrerão as consequências dos estilos de vida escolhidos pelas gerações anteriores.

Em um mundo que enfrenta os impactos potencialmente catastróficos da mudança climática, esse novo gênero literário se incorpora à nossa cultura em narrativa comum, divulgando ideias e pontos de vista sobre o futuro que a humanidade pode enfrentar em dez, cem ou 500 anos.

É aí que entra em cena a ficção climática, que pode desempenhar um papel importante para plasmar as emoções e os sentimentos das personagens, em um relato ou romance bem escrito para conscientizar leitores em todo o mundo.

Imaginem um romance de ficção climática, que não só chegue a milhares de leitores, mas que também os emocione e, talvez, os motive a se converterem em uma voz mais forte no debate político internacional sobre as emissões de carbono.

Esse é o potencial da ficção climática.

Uma universidade dos Estados Unidos oferece um curso sobre romances e filmes de ficção climática para estudantes de ciências ambientais e literatura.

Para Stephanie LeMenager, que este ano dá aulas na Universidade de Oregon, o curso constitui uma oportunidade, para ela e seus alunos, de explorar o poder da literatura e do cinema, em um momento em que escritores e cineastas tentam abordar alguns dos assuntos mais difíceis que a humanidade enfrenta no século 21.

O curso de LeMenager se chama As Culturas da Mudança Climática. É o primeiro na América do Norte, e inclusive no mundo, que se dedica dessa maneira às artes e à mudança climática. Estou seguro de que outras universidades seguirão esse esforço pioneiro, agregando novos cursos sobre ficção climática para seus estudantes.

Nathaniel Rich é um escritor de 34 anos, autor do aclamado romance Odds Against Tomorrow (Prognósticos Contra o Amanhã), uma história ambientada em um futuro próximo em Manhattan, que mergulha na “matemática da catástrofe”. Residente em Nova Orleans, Rich acredita que serão publicados mais livros como o seu, não só em inglês e não só do ponto de vista das nações ricas do Ocidente.

Escritores de todo o mundo devem se animar a incursionar no gênero da ficção climática e a usar a literatura de suas próprias culturas para tentar despertar a população sobre o futuro que pode esperar a todos em um planeta que esquenta sem um fim à vista.

As tramas podem ser aterradoras, mas as novelas de ficção climática dão a oportunidade de explorar esses assuntos com emoção e prosa. Os livros têm importância. A literatura tem um papel a desempenhar em nossos debates sobre os impactos do aquecimento global em todo o mundo.

Se poderá dizer que o cânon do gênero remonta ao romance O Mundo Submerso, escrito em 1962 pelo britânico J. G. Ballard. Outro dos primeiros livros sobre esse fenômeno foi escrito em 1987 pelo australiano George Turner: As Torres do Esquecimento.

A norte-americana Barbara Kingsolver publicou há alguns anos um romance muito poderoso de ficção climática intitulada Flight Behavior (Comportamento de Voo). Me impressionou muito quando o li no verão passado, e o recomendo.

A canadense Mary Woodbury criou o site Cli-Fi Books, que lista romances atuais e passados de ficção climática.

Como vejo o futuro? Prevejo um mundo onde os seres humanos se aferrem à esperança e ao otimismo. E sou otimista. E creio que quanto mais nos apegarmos à ciência da mudança climática no plano cultural mais efetivamente poderemos nos unir para evitar o pior. Envolverde/IPS

Dan Bloom é jornalista independente de Boston que vive em Taiwan. Em 1971, se formou na Tufts University, onde se especializou em literatura francesa. É ativista climático e literário desde 2006. Para segui-lo no Twitter o endereço é @polarcityman.

Global Warming Scare Tactics (New York Times)

 OAKLAND, Calif. — IF you were looking for ways to increase public skepticism about global warming, you could hardly do better than the forthcoming nine-part series on climate change and natural disasters, starting this Sunday on Showtime. A trailer for “Years of Living Dangerously” is terrifying, replete with images of melting glaciers, raging wildfires and rampaging floods. “I don’t think scary is the right word,” intones one voice. “Dangerous, definitely.”

Showtime’s producers undoubtedly have the best of intentions. There are serious long-term risks associated with rising greenhouse gas emissions, ranging from ocean acidification to sea-level rise to decreasing agricultural output.

But there is every reason to believe that efforts to raise public concern about climate change by linking it to natural disasters will backfire. More than a decade’s worth of research suggests that fear-based appeals about climate change inspire denial, fatalism and polarization.

For instance, Al Gore’s 2006 documentary, “An Inconvenient Truth,” popularized the idea that today’s natural disasters are increasing in severity and frequency because of human-caused global warming. It also contributed to public backlash and division. Since 2006, the number of Americans telling Gallup that the media was exaggerating global warming grew to 42 percent today from about 34 percent. Meanwhile, the gap between Democrats and Republicans on whether global warming is caused by humans rose to 42 percent last year from 26 percent in 2006, according to the Pew Research Center.

Other factors contributed. Some conservatives and fossil-fuel interests questioned the link between carbon emissions and global warming. And beginning in 2007, as the country was falling into recession, public support for environmental protection declined.

Still, environmental groups have known since 2000 that efforts to link climate change to natural disasters could backfire, after researchers at the Frameworks Institute studied public attitudes for its report “How to Talk About Global Warming.” Messages focused on extreme weather events, they found, made many Americans more likely to view climate change as an act of God — something to be weathered, not prevented.

Some people, the report noted, “are likely to buy an SUV to help them through the erratic weather to come” for example, rather than support fuel-efficiency standards.

Since then, evidence that a fear-based approach backfires has grown stronger. A frequently cited 2009 study in the journal Science Communication summed up the scholarly consensus. “Although shocking, catastrophic, and large-scale representations of the impacts of climate change may well act as an initial hook for people’s attention and concern,” the researchers wrote, “they clearly do not motivate a sense of personal engagement with the issue and indeed may act to trigger barriers to engagement such as denial.” In a controlled laboratory experiment published in Psychological Science in 2010, researchers were able to use “dire messages” about global warming to increase skepticism about the problem.

Many climate advocates ignore these findings, arguing that they have an obligation to convey the alarming facts.

But claims linking the latest blizzard, drought or hurricane to global warming simply can’t be supported by the science. Our warming world is, according to the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, increasing heat waves and intense precipitation in some places, and is likely to bring more extreme weather in the future. But the panel also said there is little evidence that this warming is increasing the loss of life or the economic costs of natural disasters. “Economic growth, including greater concentrations of people and wealth in periled areas and rising insurance penetration,” the climate panel noted, “is the most important driver of increasing losses.”

What works, say environmental pollsters and researchers, is focusing on popular solutions. Climate advocates often do this, arguing that solar and wind can reduce emissions while strengthening the economy. But when renewable energy technologies are offered as solutions to the exclusion of other low-carbon alternatives, they polarize rather than unite.

One recent study, published by Yale Law School’s Cultural Cognition Project, found that conservatives become less skeptical about global warming if they first read articles suggesting nuclear energy or geoengineering as solutions. Another study, in the journal Nature Climate Change in 2012, concluded that “communication should focus on how mitigation efforts can promote a better society” rather than “on the reality of climate change and averting its risks.”

Nonetheless, virtually every major national environmental organization continues to reject nuclear energy, even after four leading climate scientists wrote them an open letter last fall, imploring them to embrace the technology as a key climate solution. Together with catastrophic rhetoric, the rejection of technologies like nuclear and natural gas by environmental groups is most likely feeding the perception among many that climate change is being exaggerated. After all, if climate change is a planetary emergency, why take nuclear and natural gas off the table?

While the urgency that motivates exaggerated claims is understandable, turning down the rhetoric and embracing solutions like nuclear energy will better serve efforts to slow global warming.

Exposição relembra shows étnicos com humanos ‘exóticos’ na Europa (BBC)

Daniela Fernandes

De Paris para a BBC Brasil

Atualizado em  2 de dezembro, 2011 – 09:46 (Brasília) 11:46 GMT

Uma exposição no museu do Quai Branly, em Paris, mostra como seres humanos considerados “exóticos, selvagens ou monstros” foram exibidos durante séculos em feiras, circos e zoológicos no Ocidente.A exposição Exibições – A Invenção do Selvagem indica, segundo os organizadores, que esses “espetáculos” com índios, africanos e asiáticos, além de pessoas portadoras de deficiência, que tinham o objetivo de entreter os espectadores, influenciaram o desenvolvimento de ideias racistas que perduram até hoje.”A descoberta dos zoológicos humanos me permitiu entender melhor por que certos pensamentos racistas ainda existem na nossa sociedade”, diz o ex-jogador da seleção francesa de futebol Lilian Thuram, um dos curadores da mostra.Thuram, campeão da Copa do Mundo de 1998 pela França, criou uma fundação que luta contra o racismo. Ele narra os textos ouvidos no guia de áudio da exposição.”É difícil acreditar, mas o bisavô de Christian Karembeu (também ex-jogador da seleção francesa) foi exibido em uma jaula como canibal em 1931, em Paris”, diz Thuram.A exposição é fruto das pesquisas realizadas para o livro Zoológicos Humanos, do historiador francês Pascal Blanchard e também curador da mostra.

Medição de crânios

A exposição reúne cerca de 600 obras, entre fotos e filmes de arquivo, além de pôsteres de “espetáculos” e objetos usados por cientistas no século 19, como instrumentos para medir os crânios.Nesse período, se desenvolveram noções sobre a raça e o conceito de hierarquia racial, com teses de que os africanos seriam o elo que faltava entre o macaco e os homens brancos ocidentais, ou o “homem normal”, como consideravam os cientistas.A exposição começa com as primeiras chegadas de povos “exóticos” à Europa, trazidos pelos exploradores, como os índios tupinambá, do Brasil, que desfilaram, em 1550, para o rei Henrique 2º em Rouen, na França.Pessoas com deformações físicas e mentais também serviam de atração para as cortes europeias na época.No início do século 19, a exibição de “selvagens” deixou de ser reservada às elites, com o surgimento de “shows étnicos”, que ganharam força com o desenvolvimento da antropologia e a conquista colonial.Londres, que apresentou uma exposição de índios brasileiros Botocudos em 1817, tornou-se a “capital dos espetáculos étnicos”, seguida pela França, Alemanha e Estados Unidos.A exibição em Londres, em 1810, e em Paris, em 1815, da sul-africana Saartje Baartman, conhecida como “Vênus Hotentote” (nome pelo qual sua tribo era conhecida à época), que tinha nádegas proeminentes, marcou uma reviravolta nesse tipo de apresentação.

Indústria de espetáculos

Esses “shows” se profissionalizaram com interesse cada vez maior do público, tornando-se uma indústria de espetáculos de massa, com turnês internacionais.Em Paris, um “vilarejo” africano foi montado próximo à Torre Eiffel em 1895, com apresentações sensacionalistas de mulheres quase nuas e homens tidos como canibais.”É em um contexto expansionista das grandes potências ocidentais e de pesquisa desenfreada dos cientistas que essas exibições vão ganhar legitimidade necessária para existir”, afirmam os organizadores da mostra.Eles dizem que os espetáculos de “diversão” serviam também como instrumento de propaganda para legitimar a colonização.O apogeu dessas exibições ocorreu entre 1890 e os anos 1930.Depois disso, os “shows étnicos” deixaram de existir por razões diversas: falta de interesse do público, surgimento do cinema e desejo das potências de excluir o “selvagem” da propaganda de colonização.A última apresentação desse tipo foi realizada em Bruxelas, em 1958. O “vilarejo congolês” teve de ser fechado devido às críticas na época.Segundo os organizadores da mostra, mais de 1 bilhão de pessoas assistiram aos espetáculos exóticos realizados entre 1800 e 1958.A exposição fica em cartaz no museu do Quai Branly até 3 de junho de 2012.

Violência no futebol: sobre a briga entre torcedores do Vasco e do Atlético Paranaense na Arena Joinville

10/12/13 04:00 Atualizado em 10/12/13 10:50 

Leone Mendes, o brutamonte da barra de ferro, era da banda da igreja e é dono de barbearia (Extra)

Wilson Mendes

Leone preso na Delegacia de Joinville Foto: Terceiro / Divulgação Polícia Civil de SC

Para os moradores de Austin, em Nova Iguaçu, Baixada Fluminense, as cenas de selvageria protagonizadas pelo vascaíno Leone Mendes da Silva, de 23 anos, não combinam com o descontraído e pacato barbeiro do bairro, ex-saxofonista da banda da igreja evangélica local.

— Ele sempre torceu pelo Vasco, mas esse fanatismo aumentou com o tempo. Eu sempre falando: “Meu filho, larga isso de jogo, de torcida”. Mas nunca pensei que ele faria uma coisa dessas. Eu preciso que ele me explique o que aconteceu lá. Ele é um rapaz bom — avaliou, entre lágrimas, Cleuza Mendes da Silva, de 48 anos, mãe de Leone. Eles ainda não se falaram depois da prisão.

Solteiro e filho único, é o barbeiro quem sustenta a casa, construída no mesmo terreno utilizado por outros parentes. A braçadeira de capitão do lar foi transferida em definitivo há cerca de três anos, depois que ele terminou o Ensino Médio e Cleuza sofreu um derrame.

Leone com a barra de ferro com a qual foi flagrado agredindo torcedores do Atlético-PR, um deles desacordado

Leone com a barra de ferro com a qual foi flagrado agredindo torcedores do Atlético-PR, um deles desacordado Foto: Giuliano Gomes / Folhapress

— Ele ajudou muito a mãe nessa época. Tantos remédios que comprou! — defende a tia, que não se identificou. Os vizinhos jogam no mesmo time da tia, numa tática de defesa calçada em rápidos elogios anônimos.

— Eu estou realmente surpresa. Ele foi aluno do meu marido, frequentou a minha casa e sempre foi uma ótima pessoa. Não sei o que aconteceu — diz a moradora da esquina.

O grupo de vizinhos da frente, incluindo um jovem devidamente uniformizado com a camisa da torcida organizada, garante que Leone nunca criou problemas nas partidas que acompanhou.

— Ele ia mais a jogos no Rio e São Paulo. Acho que longe assim esse foi o primeiro. Nunca ouvi dizer dele envolvido em briga. Nem machucado ele voltava — relatou um homem.

A mãe reclama de jogo sujo, e diz que fará de tudo para que as partidas com a Justiça seja disputadas em casa, no Rio de Janeiro.

— Eu não tenho dinheiro agora, mas se for preciso vendo até a casa. Eu quero que saibam que tenho ciência que o que ele fez foi errado. Não estou passando a mão na cabeça dele, mas ele tem 23 anos, emprego, carro e um salão. É trabalhador — desabafou Cleuza.

Cleusa, mãe de Leone, sofre com a prisão do filho

Cleusa, mãe de Leone, sofre com a prisão do filho Foto: Paulo Nicolella / Extra

De acordo com ela, os organizadores é que erraram ao deixar uma partida de futebol decisiva e com tantos torcedores acontecer sem apoio policial.

— Mostram ele, mas como pode milhares de pessoas juntas sem policiamento, sem segurança? O organizador desse jogo queria mesmo uma tragédia.

Enquanto o filho está detido na Penitenciária Regional de Joinville, aguardando os trâmites do processo que responde por tentativa de homicídio, a mãe reza.

— Eu oro que isso sirva para ele voltar para os pés do Senhor e para mim. Também peço que o jovem ferido fique bem, para dar paz à mãe dele, que está sofrendo tanto quanto eu. Porque houve má organização, mas nós que sofremos — arrematou.

Leia mais: http://extra.globo.com/esporte/vasco/leone-mendes-brutamonte-da-barra-de-ferro-era-da-banda-da-igreja-e-dono-de-barbearia-11021154.html#ixzz2n6D55JxF

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10/12/13 04:00 

Diretoria do Vasco pagou aluguel de ônibus e deu desconto de 75% nos ingressos para a torcida (Extra)

Torcedor da organizada do Vasco segura um rival pelo calção

Torcedor da organizada do Vasco segura um rival pelo calção Foto: Pedro Kirilos

Por Bruno Marinho

A campanha que culminou com a queda do Vasco para a Série B este ano entrará negativamente para a história, assim como os episódios de violência protagonizados por sua principal torcida organizada. Tudo com a conivência da diretoria. O clube financia torcedores uniformizados subsidiando 75% do valor dos ingressos e ajudando também no transporte para as partidas como visitante. Foram justamente em duas partidas longe do Rio que as brigas ocorreram.

Domingo, cerca de 100 torcedores da principal facção vascaína partiram do Rio para Joinville, em dois ônibus. O ingresso, que estava sendo vendido por R$ 100, custou R$ 25 para os membros da organizada. O gasto com o aluguel do ônibus também é dividido. Neste fim de semana, um foi bancado pelos torcedores, o outro pelo Vasco.

Antes do conflito em Santa Catarina, o clube já tinha sofrido com o confronto entre torcedores rivais na partida contra o Corinthians, dia 25 de agosto. Na ocasião, o time perdeu quatro mandos de campo. Punição semelhante deverá se repetir por causa da briga generalizada de domingo, com a pena a ser cumprida nas primeiras rodadas da Segunda Divisão.

Procurada, a diretoria da Força Jovem Vasco, cujos integrantes foram flagrados pelas câmeras de TV na briga na Arena Joinville, se defendeu, mas admitiu que houve excessos.

— As imagens mostram que estávamos nos defendendo, com os torcedores do Atlético na área destinada aos vascaínos. Mas eu entendo que houve excessos, sim — disse Jean Santana, diretor financeiro da organizada.

Já a diretoria do Vasco não foi encontrada para comentar o financiamento à torcida. Manoel Barbosa, vice de patrimônio e responsável pela venda de ingressos, não atendeu as ligações. A assessoria de imprensa do clube também foi procurada. Ela informou que o Vasco repudia qualquer tipo de violência e que o clube ajudará no que for possível para que os culpados sejam punidos.

Leia mais: http://extra.globo.com/esporte/vasco/diretoria-do-vasco-pagou-aluguel-de-onibus-deu-desconto-de-75-nos-ingressos-para-torcida-11020955.html#ixzz2n6ExOYcX

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10/12/13 05:00 

Primo de brigão da barra de ferro diz que advogado da Força Jovem alegará legítima defesa (Extra)

Leone com a barra de ferro com a qual foi flagrado agredindo torcedores do Atlético-PR, um deles desacordado

Leone com a barra de ferro com a qual foi flagrado agredindo torcedores do Atlético-PR, um deles desacordado Foto: Giuliano Gomes / Folhapress

Wilson Mendes

A defesa de Leone Mendes da Silva, de 23 anos, o vascaíno flagrado agredindo um torcedor do Atlético com uma barra de ferro, deve alegar que a ação foi por legítima defesa. A informação foi dada por um primo de Leone, que está acompanhando o caso. Leone está preso sob a acusação de tentativa de homicídio e será defendido pelo advogado da organizada Força Jovem.

— A torcida entrou em contato conosco oferecendo o serviço. Nós já tínhamos procurado um advogado, mas ele cobrou R$ 4 mil somente para ir até Santa Catarina fazer contato e buscar informações. Vamos esperar a definição da torcida para não termos que gastar tanto — disse.

A família espera que a defesa consiga libertá-lo com a justificativa de legítima defesa. Para eles, Leone entrou na briga para se defender de agressões e, como os vascaínos eram minoria, “utilizaram o que tinham em mãos”.

Até a tarde de ontem, nenhum parente de Leone havia recebido qualquer contato do Vasco com oferta de ajuda. Sem muitos recursos, eles depositam as esperanças no defensor da torcida organizada.

— Eles me explicaram que o que está pesando muito é a imagem dele batendo em um homem já caído. Mas, no meio da confusão, as pessoas não pensam direito — opinou o primo.

Leone, que tem uma barbearia em Austin, na Baixada Fluminense, deixou a casa da mãe com destino ao Sul às 19h de sábado, num ônibus fretado pela Força Jovem. O último contato com a família foi feito uma hora antes do jogo.

— Precisamos ir até lá. Ele não ligou para casa, está sem roupas e sem os documentos, que ficaram aqui na casa — diz o primo, revelando que outros parentes de Leone estão recebendo ameaças pelo Facebook: — Dizem que se ele voltar vão espancá-lo e atear fogo no salão dele.

Leia mais: http://extra.globo.com/esporte/primo-de-brigao-da-barra-de-ferro-diz-que-advogado-da-forca-jovem-alegara-legitima-defesa-11021252.html#ixzz2n6FNONV2

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10/12/13 05:00 

Ministério Público do Rio pedirá suspensão da Força Jovem por três anos (Extra)

MP pedira a suspensão da torcida do clube carioca

MP pedira a suspensão da torcida do clube carioca Foto: Pedro_Kirilos

Paolla Serra

A Força Jovem está com os dias contados nos estádios. Horas depois da briga generalizada que deixou quatro torcedores internados após ficarem feridos durante a partida entre Atlético Paranaense e Vasco, na Arena Joinville, o Ministério Público promete uma medida drástica em relação a torcida organizada carioca. Nos próximos dias, o promotor de Justiça Paulo Sally irá pedir que a Força Jovem do Vasco (FJV) fique impedida de ir aos estádios por três anos.

De acordo com Sally, o MP do Rio e o de Santa Catarina estão fazendo uma ação conjunta para evitar que cenas como a de anteontem, consideradas por ele como “terríveis”, se repitam. O promotor informou que aguarda apenas as documentações referentes às prisões para dar entrada no pedido para afastar a Força Jovem dos jogos. Ele informou ainda que os promotores catarinenses também irão tomar medidas em relação a Fanáticos, uniformizada do Atlético-PR.

Paulo Sally, da 4ª Promotoria de Justiça de Tutela Coletiva de Defesa do Consumidor e do Contribuinte da Capital, afirmou ainda que as duas torcidas já eram alvos de investigações do órgão. A FJV deixou de cumprir obrigações, inclusive, como entregar os nomes de seus componentes do grupo antes do jogo.

O promotor tomará como base o artigo 39 do Estatuto do Torcedor, que prevê que a torcida organizada “que, em evento esportivo, promover tumulto; praticar ou incitar a violência; ou invadir local restrito aos competidores, árbitros, fiscais, dirigentes, organizadores ou jornalistas será impedida, assim como seus associados ou membros, de comparecer a eventos esportivos pelo prazo de até 3 (três) anos”.

— O relatório das prisões e outros documentos serão importantes e vão dar alicerce a punição que será dada a Força Jovem — disse Sally.

Contra a Justiça não há Força.

Leia mais: http://extra.globo.com/esporte/vasco/ministerio-publico-do-rio-pedira-suspensao-da-forca-jovem-por-tres-anos-11021128.html#ixzz2n6FrGApL

Sua flecha é a palavra (Boletim da UFMG)

Nº 1845 – Ano 40
18.11.2013

Bárbara Pansardi

“Pra quem não me conhece, sou Davi Kopenawa, filho da Amazônia, que vive no meio da floresta.” As palavras simples e fortes do líder indígena são certeiras como uma flecha que acerta direto no coração – é o que ele mesmo diz. O xamã yanomami acredita que sua arma é a palavra, com a qual protege a floresta amazônica e os povos autóctones.

“Nós, Yanomami, somos guerreiros para defender nossos direitos, nosso povo, nossas crianças, nossa terra própria. Nossos antepassados não sabiam se defender, não sabiam brigar por não compreender a língua portuguesa”, explica o xamã e intérprete da Funai, que utiliza o idioma como instrumento político. “Eu não posso viver isolado. Meu povo yanomami já foi isolado. Hoje não, nós conversamos com políticos sobre o problema da nossa terra, da saúde”, afirma.

Sua mensagem é firme, mesmo quando sua expressão parece hesitar, revelando a cadência de quem não tem o português como língua materna. “Minha fala é diferente; não é fala de cidade, não. Eu falo sobre natureza, sobre meio ambiente, terra, sobre o que é bom pra nós todos”, justifica Kopenawa.

A convite do Programa Cátedras do Instituto de Estudos Avançados Transdisciplinares (Ieat), Davi veio à UFMG ensinar o que os napë [homem branco, não índio] parecem não saber. “Será que o homem não tem pensamento, não pensa em seu futuro, nas gerações que vão sofrer? Consciência dos napë é diferente da consciência indígena. Terra é nossa vida, sustenta a barriga, é nossa alegria”, alega, tecendo dura crítica às atividades econômicas que se valem da exploração das riquezas naturais.

Para Kopenawa, o problema gerado pelo homem branco com a extração dos recursos é incontornável, não há reflorestamento que o resolva. “Reflorestar não vai trazer ar limpo, não vai chamar a chuva; só miséria, fome, sofrimento”, afirma, fazendo uma analogia com as cicatrizes que se formam quando ferimos a pele, sobre as quais não voltam a nascer pelos. “Na terra, depois que corta, não cresce de novo, não nasce urihi [cobertura florestal], porque não tem força, não tem água lá embaixo. Derrama sangue da terra e ela fica seca, a água vai embora.”

Davi explica o que em sua filosofia indígena designa por “coração da terra”. De acordo com ele, trata-se de um processo cíclico segundo o qual a água é conduzida por caminhos subterrâneos que a elevam para que em seguida se precipite novamente, em movimento continuamente circular, como na corrente sanguínea. “Nós estamos circulando juntos”, acrescenta, esclarecendo que o coração humano pulsa sob mesmo ritmo. Homem e natureza, portanto, estão ligados. Então, “destruímos a nós mesmos ao devastar a terra; nosso coração bate junto com a hutukara, terra-mãe”.

Diferentes, porém complementares

O xamã acredita na capacidade de mobilizar os outros como multiplicadores de uma consciência ambiental renovada, e se alegra porque vê seu conhecimento reconhecido na esfera acadêmica. “Sou analfabeto, mas tenho saber tradicional. Eles estão me escutando e achando bom. Estão interessados, gostando muito. Eu também estou gostando. Venho para me aproximar do homem branco que nunca conheceu de mim e para conhecê-lo como amigo. Não índio também está reconhecendo minha imagem, minha fala, a experiência que eu tenho e aprendi desde pequeno.”

Entre os xamãs yanomami, boa parte dos saberes advêm do campo onírico. Os sonhos – muitas vezes associados ao transe induzido pelo sopro do pó de yãkoana [alucinógeno] – funcionam como revelações esclarecedoras. Os xapiri [espíritos] são os responsáveis por alumbrar as ideias e desvelar a sapiência do líder. Davi conta que ele próprio “sonha terra, floresta, chuva, trovão, tudo o que tem no universo”. Por isso, irrita-se com os antropólogos que, “como formigas, andam procurando sabedoria” e valem-se do conhecimento alheio. “Eu não quero antropólogo falso, que só quer trair o meu povo, que só quer aprender, tirar e copiar conhecimento yanomami”, revolta-se, em alusão à experiência com o americano Napoleon Chagnon, que trata os yanomami como ferozes e violentos.

No livro La chute du ciel, escrito em conjunto com o antropólogo francês Bruce Albert, Kopenawa conta que pediu ao xori [amigo] que o ajudasse. Como discordava dos pesquisadores que frequentavam sua aldeia e imputavam juízos sobre o modo de vida indígena, resolveu manifestar-se. “Quem vai falar sobre meu povo yanomami sou eu. Eu não sou antropólogo, mas Bruce me ajudou a escrever como no meu sonho, um sonho conhecimento. Eu queria escrever para os antropólogos da cidade, para mostrar como o Yanomami pensou. Esse livro é um mensageiro para entrar na capital. Antropólogo que não conhece índio, não conhece aldeia, não conhece mato vai ler. Esse livro foi escrito para fazer antropólogo respeitar. Foi muito bom pra mostrar minha capacitação, a capacidade que eu tenho de quem conhece rio, terra, mato”, relata.

Quanto à sua participação nas palestras ao longo da semana, o xamã mostrou-se alegre e satisfeito por cumprir a tarefa que lhe foi confiada pelos anciões. “Estou com orgulho de mim. Sou um yanomami em paz. Estou dizendo boas coisas pra eles [homens brancos] entenderem, pensarem e depois fazer respeitar. Nós somos povo indígena, guardião da terra; estamos aqui para proteger”, assevera.

Oldest Clam Consternation Overblown (National Geographic)

A photo of ming the clam.

Shell valves from a specimen of Arctica islandica that was found to have lived for approximately 507 years are pictured here. The creature’s death has generated some consternation about marine researchers that looks a bit overblown.

PHOTOGRAPH COURTESY BANGOR UNIVERSITY

Samantha Larson

for National Geographic

PUBLISHED NOVEMBER 16, 2013

Consternation over the death of the world’s oldest-recorded animal, a 507-year-old clam nicknamed Ming, has earned marine researchers unhappy headlinesworldwide.

But a closer look at the story—”Clam-gate,” as the BBC called it—finds the tempest over Ming a bit overblown. (Also see “Clams: Not Just for Chowder.”)

News of the clam’s death, first noted in 2007, took on a life of its own this week after researchers led by James Scourse, from the United Kingdom’s Bangor University, reanalyzed its age and announced the 507-year estimate.

Contrary to news reports, the researchers say they did not kill the elderly clam for the ironic-seeming purpose of finding out its age.

“This particular animal was one of about 200 that were collected live from the Icelandic shelf in 2006,” explains climate scientist Paul Butlerfrom the same U.K. university, who, along with Scourse, dredged up the clam as part of a research project to investigate climate change over the past thousand years.

All 200 clams were killed when they were frozen on board to take them home. They didn’t find out how old Ming was until they were back in the lab and looked at its shell under a microscope.

Ming Dynasty Survivor

When Ming first made headlines in 2007, the researchers said they thought it was about 405 years old, earning it even then the title of the oldest-known animal.

After the more recent reanalysis, they realized that the bivalve was even more impressive than they had thought.

In the year Ming was born, Leonardo da Vinci was at work on the “Mona Lisa,” the first recorded epidemic of smallpox hit the New World, and the Ming dynasty ruled China (hence the name). Ming was 52 years old when Queen Elizabeth I took the throne.

Clam Age Counting

The researchers determined Ming’s age by counting the number of bands in its shell. This type of clam, the ocean quahog, grows a new band every year. (Also see “Giant Clam.”)

The 100-year age discrepancy resulted from the 2007 analysis examining a part of Ming’s shell where some of the bands were so narrow they couldn’t be separated from each other.

Scourse, a marine geologist, says that the new age has been verified against radiocarbon dating and is “pretty much without error.”

Clams Don’t Carry Birth Certificates

When Scourse and Butler dredged up the live clam, they had what appeared to be an everyday quahog, an animal that could fit into the palm of their hand.

As Madelyn Mette, a Ph.D. student at Iowa State University in Ames who also studies these clams, explains, “Once they reach a certain age, they don’t get a lot bigger per year … If you have a large clam, you can’t always tell if it’s 100 years old or 300 years old, because there’s very little difference in size.”

Scourse points out that the 200 clams they sampled represented a very small fraction of the world’s entire clam population. For that reason, even if Ming was the oldest animal that we knew, the chances that it was actually the oldest quahog out there in the ocean depths are “infinitesimally small.”

How About Some Chowdah?

In fact, it isn’t unthinkable that someone might eat a clam of Ming’s age for lunch—ocean quahogs from the North Atlantic are one of the main species used in clam chowder.

If nothing else, Ming’s sacrifice should help out Scourse and Butler’s research, looking at long-term climate impacts on sea life over the past few centuries.

“The 507-year-old is at the top end of the series,” Scourse says. “From this we can get annual records of marine climate change, which so far we’ve never been able to get from the North Atlantic.”

Antropólogos x ruralistas

JC e-mail 4826, de 03 de Outubro de 2013.

A Constituição em perigo

Ruralistas tentam tornar legais as transgressões da lei. Primeiro foi o Código Florestal. Agora querem legalizar o esbulho de terras indígenas

Artigo de Manuela Carneiro da Cunha* publicado na Folha. Há 25 anos, em 1988, uma nova Constituição afirmou que o país queria novos rumos

O capítulo dos direitos dos índios na Constituição de 1988 foi emblemático dessa postura. Não tanto pelo reconhecimento do direito dos índios à terra, que já figurava em todas as Constituições do século 20. Mais significativo foi o abandono da ideia –esta do século 19– de que a missão da chamada civilização consistia em fazer os índios deixarem de ser índios. Em vez disso, pela primeira vez, celebrou-se a diversidade como um valor a ser preservado.

Em 1988, as expectativas de mineração e construção de hidrelétricas em áreas indígenas já eram contrárias à afirmação dos direitos dos índios. No entanto, a Confederação Nacional dos Geólogos se opôs aos interesses das mineradoras e entendeu que as terras indígenas constituíam uma reserva mineral. Ou seja, elas deveriam ser as últimas a serem consideradas para mineração, quando o minério fosse de interesse estratégico indiscutível e não houvesse alternativa no território nacional.

Na Constituinte, chegou-se finalmente a um acordo: exceções às garantias de usufruto exclusivo dos índios sobre suas terras, somente em caso de relevante interesse da União. Foi o parágrafo 6º do artigo 231 da CF. O entendimento era de que cada caso seria debatido e sua excepcionalidade comprovada.

Agora, 25 anos mais tarde, as exceções pretendem se tornar a regra. Como? Definindo –a pretexto de regulamentar o tal parágrafo– o “relevante interesse da União” de uma forma tão genérica e tão ampla que tudo caiba nela. Pasme: passa a ser de “relevante interesse nacional” qualquer mineração e hidrelétrica, é claro, além de estradas, oleodutos, gasodutos, aeroportos, portos fluviais e até assentamentos agrários. E no final, a pérola que trai a origem da manobra: podem ser “de relevante interesse da União” até terras indígenas intrusadas, com títulos contestáveis.

Esse é o teor de um projeto de lei complementar na Câmara, de origem ruralista, o PLP 227/2012. Outro projeto, de redação mais sutil, mas com efeitos até piores, foi apresentado recentemente pelo senador Romero Jucá do PMDB de Roraima, e, sem sequer ainda ter número, deve ter rápida tramitação. Deve-se reconhecer a esperteza da manobra, que pretende acabar de uma vez com todas as restrições.

O que está acontecendo? A bancada ruralista, aliada à bancada da mineração, está tomando conta do nosso Congresso. Por outro lado, desde 1988, as terras públicas remanescentes foram sendo destinadas para se garantir o que interessa ao Brasil como um todo, por exemplo a conservação ambiental.

A investida dos ruralistas, agora em posição de força no Congresso –e, portanto, no governo também– é no sentido de tornar legais todas as transgressões da lei que já eram praticadas. Primeiro foi o Código Florestal, desfigurado há dois anos, que anistiou os desmatamentos irregulares. Agora querem legalizar o esbulho de terras indígenas.

Na tentativa de influenciar a opinião pública, os ruralistas usam como fachada os pequenos agricultores. A situação hoje é a seguinte: a definição de áreas de conservação ambiental e a demarcação de terras indígenas e de quilombolas estão paradas. Multiplicaram-se os projetos de lei e de emendas constitucionais que lhes são hostis.

Um exemplo gritante é a proposta de emenda constitucional (PEC) 215, que quer tirar do Executivo e passar para o Congresso a demarcação das terras indígenas, o que, na prática, significa o fim das demarcações.

Por toda esta semana, índios e não índios protestam contra o desmantelamento do capítulo “Dos Índios” na Constituição Federal. Mas esse não é só um ataque aos índios. É todo o nosso projeto de futuro que está em jogo.

*Manuela Carneiro da Cunha é antropóloga, é membro da Academia Brasileira de Ciências e professora titular aposentada da Universidade de São Paulo e da Universidade de Chicago

(Folha de S.Paulo)

 

É hora de defender o Brasil

Artigo de Luis Carlos Heinze* publicado na Folha. Demarcações fundamentadas em estudos antropológicos superficiais e sem isenção e laudos tendenciosos prevalecem na farsa indigenista

O princípio da legalidade no Brasil é o de que a administração nada pode fazer senão o que a lei determina –e essa é justamente uma das principais garantias do cidadão.

Esse preceito, porém, não é observado pela Fundação Nacional do Índio (Funai), que, de forma arbitrária e ideológica, desrespeita até a Constituição. Impedir que seus atos sejam analisados por outros órgãos, como faz com o apoio do Ministério Público, é ainda uma afronta ao sistema democrático.

Com insistência, a Funai identifica pretensas terras indígenas por meio de procedimentos administrativos de natureza inquisitória. O resultado é a insegurança jurídica.

O direito ao contraditório e à defesa foram extintos. A perda da propriedade é a pena imposta a legítimos detentores de terras de forma afrontosa à cláusula pétrea do dispositivo constitucional.

Demarcações fundamentadas em estudos antropológicos superficiais, sem a necessária isenção, e laudos tendenciosos e fraudulentos prevalecem na farsa indigenista. A evidência é tanta que a Procuradoria-Geral da República firmou acordo com a Associação Brasileira de Antropólogos, e a Funai contrata apenas os profissionais sugeridos para desenvolver seus estudos, que são, claro, favoráveis aos indígenas.

Apoiada por interesses de ONGs, do Conselho Indigenista Missionário (Cimi) e por setores do Ministério Público, a Funai se porta como um poder judiciário paralelo –ela mesma denuncia, julga e condena.

Com tantas irregularidades, apropriação de poderes e interpretações equivocadas, defendemos a aprovação da PEC 215 para esclarecer o que a Carta Magna estipula: é o Congresso Nacional que disciplina os bens da União. E o que são terras indígenas? Bens da União. Resta óbvio que os limites desses territórios são de competência do Legislativo. A PEC só faz reafirmar esse poder.

Também discutimos a regulamentação do artigo 231 da lei suprema para impor um marco temporal às demarcações, por meio do projeto de lei complementar (PLP) 227/12. Que mais uma vez é redundante: a Carta de 88 é claríssima ao expor que “a União concluirá as demarcações das terras indígenas no prazo de cinco anos a partir da promulgação da Constituição”. Constitucionalmente, esse é o prazo legal para as delimitações e deve ser respeitado rigorosamente. Hoje, 25 anos após a promulgação, existem mais de 500 processos em andamento e, a cada dia, surge um novo.

Segundo a Funai, no Brasil, há 110 milhões de hectares reconhecidos como terras indígenas –13% do território brasileiro– para atender uma população que não ultrapassa 900 mil índios –0,4% da população. Não bastasse, a Funai ainda quer mais 40 milhões de hectares –e não haverá limites, se não barrarmos o abuso.

Mais estranho ainda é o apoio do Ministério Público à Funai, ao desmerecer seu papel institucional de guardião da Constituição. É chegada a hora de defendermos o Brasil. Nós, deputados e senadores da Frente Parlamentar da Agropecuária, vamos impor esse respeito, para o bem do país e de seus cidadãos.

LUIS CARLOS HEINZE* é engenheiro agrônomo, deputado federal (PP-RS) e líder da Frente Parlamentar da Agropecuária

(Folha de S.Paulo)

The Real War on Reality (New York Time)

THE STONE June 14, 2013, 12:00 pm

By PETER LUDLOW

If there is one thing we can take away from the news of recent weeks it is this: the modern American surveillance state is not really the stuff of paranoid fantasies; it has arrived.

The revelations about the National Security Agency’s PRISM data collection program have raised awareness — and understandably, concern and fears — among American and those abroad, about the reach and power of secret intelligence gatherers operating behind the facades of government and business.

Surveillance and deception are not just fodder for the next “Matrix” movie, but a real sort of epistemic warfare.

But those revelations, captivating as they are, have been partial —they primarily focus on one government agency and on the surveillance end of intelligence work, purportedly done in the interest of national security. What has received less attention is the fact that most intelligence work today is not carried out by government agencies but by private intelligence firms and that much of that work involves another common aspect of intelligence work: deception. That is, it is involved not just with the concealment of reality, but with the manufacture of it.

The realm of secrecy and deception among shadowy yet powerful forces may sound like the province of investigative reporters, thriller novelists and Hollywood moviemakers — and it is — but it is also a matter for philosophers. More accurately, understanding deception and and how it can be exposed has been a principle project of philosophy for the last 2500 years. And it is a place where the work of journalists, philosophers and other truth-seekers can meet.

In one of the most referenced allegories in the Western intellectual tradition, Plato describes a group of individuals shackled inside a cave with a fire behind them. They are able to see only shadows cast upon a wall by the people walking behind them. They mistake shadows for reality. To see things as they truly are, they need to be unshackled and make their way outside the cave. Reporting on the world as it truly is outside the cave is one of the foundational duties of philosophers.

In a more contemporary sense, we should also think of the efforts to operate in total secrecy and engage in the creation of false impressions and realities as a problem area in epistemology — the branch of philosophy concerned with the nature of knowledge. And philosophers interested in optimizing our knowledge should consider such surveillance and deception not just fodder for the next “Matrix” movie, but as real sort of epistemic warfare.


To get some perspective on the manipulative role that private intelligence agencies play in our society, it is worth examining information that has been revealed by some significant hacks in the past few years of previously secret data.

Important insight into the world these companies came from a 2010 hack by a group best known as LulzSec  (at the time the group was called Internet Feds), which targeted the private intelligence firm HBGary Federal.  That hack yielded 75,000 e-mails.  It revealed, for example, that Bank of America approached the Department of Justice over concerns about information that WikiLeaks had about it.  The Department of Justice in turn referred Bank of America to the lobbying firm Hunton and Willliams, which in turn connected the bank with a group of information security firms collectively known as Team Themis.

Team Themis (a group that included HBGary and the private intelligence and security firms Palantir Technologies, Berico Technologies and Endgame Systems) was effectively brought in to find a way to undermine the credibility of WikiLeaks and the journalist Glenn Greenwald (who recently broke the story of Edward Snowden’s leak of the N.S.A.’s Prism program),  because of Greenwald’s support for WikiLeaks. Specifically, the plan called for actions to “sabotage or discredit the opposing organization” including a plan to submit fake documents and then call out the error. As for Greenwald, it was argued that he would cave “if pushed” because he would “choose professional preservation over cause.” That evidently wasn’t the case.

Team Themis also developed a proposal for the Chamber of Commerce to undermine the credibility of one of its critics, a group called Chamber Watch. The proposal called for first creating a “false document, perhaps highlighting periodical financial information,” giving it to a progressive group opposing the Chamber, and then subsequently exposing the document as a fake to “prove that U.S. Chamber Watch cannot be trusted with information and/or tell the truth.”

(A photocopy of the proposal can be found here.)

In addition, the group proposed creating a “fake insider persona” to infiltrate Chamber Watch.  They would “create two fake insider personas, using one as leverage to discredit the other while confirming the legitimacy of the second.”

Psyops need not be conducted by nation states; they can be undertaken by anyone with the capabilities and the incentive to conduct them.

The hack also revealed evidence that Team Themis was developing a “persona management” system — a program, developed at the specific request of the United States Air Force, that allowed one user to control multiple online identities (“sock puppets”) for commenting in social media spaces, thus giving the appearance of grass roots support.  The contract was eventually awarded to another private intelligence firm.

This may sound like nothing so much as a “Matrix”-like fantasy, but it is distinctly real, and resembles in some ways the employment of “Psyops” (psychological operations), which as most students of recent American history know, have been part of the nation’s military strategy for decades. The military’s “Unconventional Warfare Training Manual” defines Psyops as “planned operations to convey selected information and indicators to foreign audiences to influence their emotions, motives, objective reasoning, and ultimately the behavior of foreign governments, organizations, groups, and individuals.” In other words, it is sometimes more effective to deceive a population into a false reality than it is to impose its will with force or conventional weapons.  Of course this could also apply to one’s own population if you chose to view it as an “enemy” whose “motives, reasoning, and behavior” needed to be controlled.

Psyops need not be conducted by nation states; they can be undertaken by anyone with the capabilities and the incentive to conduct them, and in the case of private intelligence contractors, there are both incentives (billions of dollars in contracts) and capabilities.


Several months after the hack of HBGary, a Chicago area activist and hacker named Jeremy Hammond successfully hacked into another private intelligence firm — Strategic Forcasting Inc., or Stratfor), and released approximately five million e-mails. This hack provided a remarkable insight into how the private security and intelligence companies view themselves vis a vis government security agencies like the C.I.A. In a 2004 e-mail to Stratfor employees, the firm’s founder and chairman George Friedman was downright dismissive of the C.I.A.’s capabilities relative to their own:  “Everyone in Langley [the C.I.A.] knows that we do things they have never been able to do with a small fraction of their resources. They have always asked how we did it. We can now show them and maybe they can learn.”

The Stratfor e-mails provided us just one more narrow glimpse into the world of the private security firms, but the view was frightening.  The leaked e-mails revealed surveillance activities to monitor protestors in Occupy Austin as well as Occupy’s relation to the environmental group Deep Green Resistance.  Staffers discussed how one of their own men went undercover (“U/C”) and inquired about an Occupy Austin General Assembly meeting to gain insight into how the group operates.

Stratfor was also involved inmonitoring activists who were seeking reparations for victims of a chemical plant disaster in Bhopal, India, including a group called Bophal Medical Appeal. But the targets also included The Yes Men, a satirical group that had humiliated Dow Chemical with a fake news conference announcing reparations for the victims.  Stratfor regularly copied several Dow officers on the minutia of activities by the two members of the Yes Men.

One intriguing e-mail revealed that the Coca-Cola company was asking Stratfor for intelligence on PETA (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals) with Stratfor vice president for Intelligence claiming that “The F.B.I. has a classified investigation on PETA operatives. I’ll see what I can uncover.” From this one could get the impression that the F.B.I. was in effect working as a private detective Stratfor and its corporate clients.

Stratfor also had a broad-ranging public relations campaign.  The e-mails revealed numerous media companies on its payroll. While one motivation for the partnerships was presumably to have sources of intelligence, Stratfor worked hard to have soap boxes from which to project its interests. In one 2007 e-mail, it seemed that Stratfor was close to securing a regular show on NPR: “[the producer] agreed that she wants to not just get George or Stratfor on one time on NPR but help us figure the right way to have a relationship between ‘Morning Edition’ and Stratfor.”

On May 28 Jeremy Hammond pled guilty to the Stratfor hack, noting that even if he could successfully defend himself against the charges he was facing, the Department of Justice promised him that he would face the same charges in eight different districts and he would be shipped to all of them in turn.  He would become a defendant for life.  He had no choice but to plea to a deal in which he may be sentenced to 10 years in prison.  But even as he made the plea he issued a statement, saying “I did this because I believe people have a right to know what governments and corporations are doing behind closed doors. I did what I believe is right.”  (In a video interview conducted by Glenn Greenwald with Edward Snowden in Hong Kong this week, Snowden expressed a similar ethical stance regarding his actions.)

Given the scope and content of what Hammond’s hacks exposed, his supporters agree that what he did was right. In their view, the private intelligence industry is effectively engaged in Psyops against American public., engaging in “planned operations to convey selected information to [us] to influence [our] emotions, motives, objective reasoning and, ultimately, [our] behavior”? Or as the philosopher might put it, they are engaged in epistemic warfare.

The Greek word deployed by Plato in “The Cave” — aletheia — is typically translated as truth, but is more aptly translated as “disclosure” or “uncovering” —   literally, “the state of not being hidden.”   Martin Heidegger, in an essay on the allegory of the cave, suggested that the process of uncovering was actually a precondition for having truth.  It would then follow that the goal of the truth-seeker is to help people in this disclosure — it is to defeat the illusory representations that prevent us from seeing the world the way it is.  There is no propositional truth to be had until this first task is complete.

This is the key to understanding why hackers like Jeremy Hammond are held in such high regard by their supporters.  They aren’t just fellow activists or fellow hackers — they are defending us from epistemic attack.  Their actions help lift the hood that is periodically pulled over our eyes to blind us from the truth.

Peter Ludlow is a professor of philosophy at Northwestern University and is currently co-producing (with Vivien Weisman) a documentary on Hacktivist actions against private intelligence firms and the surveillance state.

Black and White and Red All Over (Foreign Policy)

How the hyperkinetic media is breeding a new generation of terrorists.

BY SCOTT ATRAN | APRIL 22, 2013

“Americans refuse to be terrorized,” declared President Barack Obama in the aftermath of the Boston Marathon bombings. “Ultimately, that’s what we’ll remember from this week.” Believe that, and I’ve got a bridge to sell you in Brooklyn.

The Boston bombings have provoked the most intense display of law enforcement and media coverage since the 9/11 attacks. Greater Boston was in full lockdown: “a ghost town,” “a city in terror,” “a war zone,” screamed the headlines. Public transit was stopped, a no-fly zone proclaimed, people told to stay indoors, schools and universities closed, and hundreds of FBI agents pulled from other pressing investigations to focus exclusively on the case — along with thousands upon thousands of other federal, state, and city agents equipped with heavy weapons and armored vehicles. It all came close to martial law, with all the tools of the security state mobilized to track down a pair of young immigrants with low-tech explosives and small arms who failed to reconcile their problems of identity and became suspected amateur terrorists.

Not that the events weren’t shocking and brutal. But this law enforcement and media response, of course, is part of the overall U.S. reaction to terrorism since 9/11, when perhaps never in history have so few, armed with so few means, caused so much fear in so many. Indeed, as with the anarchists a century ago, last week’s response is precisely the outsized reaction that sponsors of terrorism have always counted on in order to terrorize.

Nothing compares to the grief of parents whose child has been murdered like 8-year-old Martin Richard, except perhaps the collective grief of many parents, as for the 20 children killed in last December’s school massacre in Newtown, Conn. Yet, despite the fact that the probability of a child, or anyone else in the United States, being killed by a terrorist bomb is vastly smaller than being killed by an unregistered handgun — or even by an unregulated fertilizer plant — U.S. politicians and the public seem likely to continue to support uncritically the extravagant measures associated with an irrational policy of “zero tolerance” for terrorism, as opposed to much-more-than-zero tolerance for nearly all other threats of violence. Given the millions of dollars already spent on the Boston bombing investigation and the trillions that the national response to terrorism has cost in little more than a decade, the public deserves a more reasoned response. We can never, ever be absolutely safe, no matter how much treasure we spend or how many civil liberties we sacrifice.

While there is always the chance that investigators will find foreign connections and broader plots beyond the doings of the two men suspected in the Boston bombing, our knowledge about terrorism suggests that what we already know about the April 15 bombing does not justify the disproportionate and overwrought response, including the “global security alert” U.S. authorities issued through Interpol for 190 countries. Even if the suspected Boston bombers prove to be part of a larger network of jihadi wannabes, as were the 2005 London subway suicide bombers, or had planned more operations before dying in a blaze of glory, as did the 2004 Madrid train bombers, these would-be knights under the prophet’s banner could never alone wreak the havoc that our reaction to them does.

The brothers Tsarnaev, the suspected Boston bombers, have been described by neighbors, friends, and relatives as fairly normal young men — regular Cambridge kinds. They left the Chechen conflict years ago and immigrated to the United States as asylum seekers under the U.S. government’s refugee resettlement program. Tamerlan, the oldest, was married with a 3-year-old daughter. A former Golden Gloves heavyweight boxer who once thought of competing for the United States, he had been increasingly drawn to radical Islam in the last few years. In a photo essay about his fondness for boxing, he worried, “I don’t have a single American friend; I don’t understand them.” He complained, “There are no values anymore,” forswearing drinking because “God said no alcohol.” Tamerlan’s YouTube page posts videos of radical Islamic clerics from Chechnya and elsewhere haranguing the West as bombs explode in the background. In 2011, the FBI interviewed Tamerlan at Russia’s request about connections to Chechen extremists, but the investigation found “no derogatory information.” Although Russian forces withdrew from Chechnya in 2009, violence has persisted in neighboring Dagestan, where Tamerlan visited his father last year and perhaps linked up with jihadi instigators who motivated him to act. Like the father of 9/11 pilot bomber Mohamed Atta, Tamerlan’s father claims his boy was framed and murdered. In his last reported phone communication, on Thursday, just hours before the police shootout began, he called his mother.

The younger brother, Dzhokhar, a sophomore at the University of Massachusetts in Dartmouth, played intramural soccer. On the day after the bombing he went to the dorms, worked out at the gym, and that night went to a party attended by some of his soccer buddies. Known to his friends as Jahar, he entered the university on a scholarship but lately had been failing his classes. He hung out with other students, had an easy relationship with the other young men and women, hardly ever talked politics, and was never pegged as an Islamist activist or sympathizer or even as particularly religious. Whereas relatives, friends, and teachers consistently describe Jahar as “always smiling,” “with a heart of gold,” acquaintances say Tamerlan never smiled and was aggressive. One cousin said he warned Jahar about being susceptible to the negative influence of the older brother he loved. In the last few months, Jahar’s tweets began turning darker: “i won’t run i’ll just gun you all out #thugliving,” “Do I look like that much of a softy … little do these dogs know they’re barking at a lion,” “I killed Abe Lincoln during my two hour nap #intensedream.” But declaring this wayward killer — and a naturalized citizen, at that — an “enemy combatant” borders on Orwellian.

Under sponsorship by the Defense Department, my multidisciplinary, multinational research team has been conducting field studies and analyses of the mental and social processes involved in radicalization at home and abroad. Our findings indicate that terrorist plotters against Western civilian populations tend not to be parts of sophisticated, foreign-based command-and-control organizations. Rather, they belong to loose, homegrown networks of family and friends who die not just for a cause, but for each other. Jihadists pretty much span the population’s normal distribution: There are very few psychopaths and sociopaths, few brilliant thinkers and strategists. Jihadi wannabes today are mostly emerging adults in transitional stages of their lives — students, immigrants, in search of jobs or companions — who are especially prone to movements that promise a meaningful cause, camaraderie, adventure, and glory. Most have a secular education, becoming “born again” into the jihadi cause in their late teens or 20s. The path to radicalization can take years, months, or just days, depending on personal vulnerabilities and the influence of others. Occasionally there is a hookup with a relative, or a friend of a friend, who has some overseas connection to someone who can get them a bit of training and motivation to pack a bag of explosives or pull a trigger, but the Internet and social media are usually sufficient for radicalization and even operational preparation.

The result is not a hierarchic, centrally commanded terrorist movement but a decentralized, self-organizing, and constantly evolving complex of social networks based on contingent adaptations to changing events. These are no real “cells,” but only clusters of mostly young men who motivate one another within “brotherhoods” of real and fictive kin. Often, in fact, there is an older brother figure, a dominant personality who mobilizes others in the group. But rarely is there an overriding authority or father figure. (Notably, for these transitional youth, there’s often an absence of a real father).

Some of the most successful plots, such as the Madrid and London bombings, are so anarchic, fluid, and improbable that they succeeded in evading detection despite the fact that intelligence and law enforcement agencies had been following some of the actors for some time. Three key elements characterize the “organized anarchy” that typifies modern violent Islamic activism: Ultimate goals are vague and superficial (often no deeper than revenge against perceived injustice against Muslims around the world); modes of action are decided pragmatically on the basis of trial and error or based on the residue of learning from accidents of past experience; and those who join are not recruited but are locally linked self-seekers — often from the same family, neighborhood, or Internet chat room — whose connection to global jihad is more virtual than material. Al Qaeda and associates do not so much recruit as attract disaffected individuals who have already decided to embark on the path to violent extremism with the help of family, friends, or a few fellow travelers.

Like the young men who carried out the Madrid and London attacks, most homegrown jihadi plotters first hook up with the broad protest sentiment against “the global attack on Islam” before moving into a narrower parallel universe. They cut ties with former companions who they believe are too timid to act and cement bonds with those who are willing to strike. They emerge from their cocoon with strong commitment to strike and die if necessary, but without any clear contingency planning for what might happen after the initial attack.

For the first time in history, a massive, media-driven political awakening has been occurring — spurred by the advent of the Internet, social media, and cable television — that can, on the one hand, motivate universal respect for human rights while, on the other, enable, say, Muslims from Borneo to sacrifice themselves for Palestine, Afghanistan, or Chechnya (despite almost no contact or shared history for the last 50,000 years or so). When perceived global injustice resonates with frustrated personal aspirations, moral outrage gives universal meaning and provides the push to radicalization and violent action.

But the popular notion of a “clash of civilizations” between Islam and the West is woefully misleading. Violent extremism represents not the resurgence of traditional cultures, but their collapse, as young people unmoored from millennial traditions flail about in search of a social identity that gives personal significance. This is the dark side of globalization.

Take Faisal Shahzad, the would-be bomber of Times Square in 2010, or Maj. Nidal Hasan, who killed 13 fellow soldiers at Fort Hood in 2009. Both were apparently inspired by the online rhetoric of Anwar al-Awlaki, a former preacher at a Northern Virginia mosque who was killed by a U.S. drone in Yemen in 2011. Although many commentators leapt to the conclusion that Awlaki and his ilk deviously brainwashed and recruited Shahzad and Hassan, in fact they sought out the popular Internet preacher because they were already radicalized to the point of wanting further guidance to act. As Defense Department terrorism consultant Marc Sageman notes: “Just like you saw Major Hasan send 21 emails to al-Awlaki, who sends him two back, you have people seeking these guys and asking them for advice.” More than 80 percent of plots in both Europe and the United States were concocted from the bottom up by mostly young people just hooking up with one another.

Especially for young men, mortal combat with a “band of brothers” in the service of a great cause is both the ultimate adventure and a road to esteem in the hearts of their peers. For many disaffected souls today, jihad is a heroic cause — a promise that anyone from anywhere can make a mark against the most powerful country in the history of the world. But because would-be jihadists best thrive and act in small groups and among networks of family and friends — not in large movements or armies — their threat can only match their ambitions if fueled way beyond actual strength. And publicity is the oxygen that fires modern terrorism.

It is not by arraying “every element of our national power” against would-be jihadists and those who inspire them that violent extremism will be stopped, as Obama once declared. Although wide-ranging intelligence, good police work, and security preparedness (including by the military and law enforcement) is required to track and thwart the expansion of al Qaeda affiliates into the Arabian Peninsula, Syria (and perhaps Jordan), North Africa, and East Africa, this is insufficient. As 2012 U.S. presidential candidate Mitt Romney quipped, “We can’t kill our way out of this mess.” In the United States, there are many pockets of displaced immigrant and refugee young people with even more than the usual struggles of personal development. Young Somalis seem to be having particular difficulty, and a small few are moving to the path of violent jihad. This is a good time to think about how we relate to them, though there are probably more easy mistakes than easy solutions. But political attempts to relate these problems to the very different issue of illegal immigration only adds to the scaremongering.

We need to pay attention to what makes these young men want to die to kill, by listening to their families and friends, trying to engage them on the Internet, and seeing whom they idolize, how they organize, what bonds them, and what drives them. U.S. power won’t stop the self-seeking, and preaching “moderate” Islam (or moderate anything) is hardly likely to sway young men in search of significance and glory. And even if every airplane passenger were to be scanned naked or every American city locked down, it would not stop young men from joining the jihad or concocting new ways of killing civilians.

Terrorists are directly responsible for violent acts, but only indirectly for the reaction that follows. Objectively, terrorist acts on even a 9/11 scale could never seriously harm American society; only our reaction can. By amplifying and connecting relatively sporadic terrorist acts into a generalized “war” or “assault on freedom,” the somewhat marginal phenomenon of terrorism has become a primary preoccupation of the U.S. government and American people. In this sense, Osama bin Laden has been victorious beyond his wildest dreams — not because of anything he has done, but because of how we have reacted to the episodic successes he inspires.

There are several ways to react to the political hype and media amplification of terrorism. Doing nothing and allowing this frenzied media environment to continue will only encourage future attacks; meanwhile, reporting that rushes to judgment and complements law enforcement’s denial of Miranda rights will only erode confidence in the integrity and fairness of the American press and U.S. government institutions. Legal regulation of media, as in many other countries, may not be compatible with a free society and if tried would certainly provoke persistent opposition and deep outrage. For example, previous attempts by the British government to ban interviews with terrorists and their supporters backfired. As the 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals noted in 2002, “Democracies die behind closed doors.” Even noncoercive guidelines are likely to incite widespread resistance. As former New York Times Executive Editor A.M. Rosenthal put it: “The last thing in the world I want is guidelines. I don’t want guidelines from the government … or anyone else.”

But voluntary self-restraint by the media, which is less intrusive and supported by many, is not only possible but manageable. (Venerable journalist Edward R. Murrow, informed by President Franklin D. Roosevelt on the specifics of the Pearl Harbor attack, declined the scoop and didn’t file his report until the administration could formulate a reasoned response.) Of course, “gentle censorship,” like the initially successful attempts by George W. Bush’s administration to prevent airing of bin Laden messages or talks with terrorists, can seriously hamper the flow of knowledge necessary for understanding what makes terrorists tick and how to thwart them.

The First Amendment enables the news media to watchdog the republic and help prevent government excesses and abuses so that a well-informed public can monitor and decide where government policy should go. Yet the media is increasingly less a public service devoted to this task than a competitive business that believes it best succeeds through sensation, which violence privileges. For example, the typical television news story has declined from an average of several minutes in the 1950s and 1960s to today’s repeated sound bites — often no more than a few seconds — that sensationalize the spectacular. And despite the fact that one of the suspected Boston bombers is now dead and the other in custody, it can be argued that their terrorism succeeded through the spectacular theater of last week’s events, capturing our attention and stoking our deepest fears.

We can break this real, if unplanned, alliance between terrorism and the media through better reporting for the social good, which may prove to be the best business strategy of all. When we practice restraint and show the resilience of people carrying on with their lives even in the face of atrocities like that in Boston, then terrorism fails.

Scott Atran, an anthropologist at John Jay College, the University of Michigan, and Oxford University, is co-founder of ARTIS Research and author of Talking to the Enemy.

Carbon bubble will plunge the world into another financial crisis – report (The Guardian)

Trillions of dollars at risk as stock markets inflate value of fossil fuels that may have to remain buried forever, experts warn

Damian Carrington – The Guardian, Friday 19 April 2013

Carbon bubble : carbon dioxide polluting power plant : coal-fired Bruce Mansfield Power Plant

Global stock markets are betting on countries failing to adhere to legally binding carbon emission targets. Photograph: Robert Nickelsberg/Getty Images

The world could be heading for a major economic crisis as stock marketsinflate an investment bubble in fossil fuels to the tune of trillions of dollars, according to leading economists.

“The financial crisis has shown what happens when risks accumulate unnoticed,” said Lord (Nicholas) Stern, a professor at the London School of Economics. He said the risk was “very big indeed” and that almost all investors and regulators were failing to address it.

The so-called “carbon bubble” is the result of an over-valuation of oil,coal and gas reserves held by fossil fuel companies. According to a report published on Friday, at least two-thirds of these reserves will have to remain underground if the world is to meet existing internationally agreed targets to avoid the threshold for “dangerous” climate changeIf the agreements hold, these reserves will be in effect unburnable and so worthless – leading to massive market losses. But the stock markets are betting on countries’ inaction on climate change.

The stark report is by Stern and the thinktank Carbon Tracker. Their warning is supported by organisations including HSBC, Citi, Standard and Poor’s and the International Energy Agency. The Bank of England has also recognised that a collapse in the value of oil, gas and coal assets as nations tackle global warming is a potential systemic risk to the economy, with London being particularly at risk owing to its huge listings of coal.

Stern said that far from reducing efforts to develop fossil fuels, the top 200 companies spent $674bn (£441bn) in 2012 to find and exploit even more new resources, a sum equivalent to 1% of global GDP, which could end up as “stranded” or valueless assets. Stern’s landmark 2006 reporton the economic impact of climate change – commissioned by the then chancellor, Gordon Brown – concluded that spending 1% of GDP would pay for a transition to a clean and sustainable economy.

The world’s governments have agreed to restrict the global temperature rise to 2C, beyond which the impacts become severe and unpredictable. But Stern said the investors clearly did not believe action to curb climate change was going to be taken. “They can’t believe that and also believe that the markets are sensibly valued now.”

“They only believe environmental regulation when they see it,” said James Leaton, from Carbon Tracker and a former PwC consultant. He said short-termism in financial markets was the other major reason for the carbon bubble. “Analysts say you should ride the train until just before it goes off the cliff. Each thinks they are smart enough to get off in time, but not everyone can get out of the door at the same time. That is why you get bubbles and crashes.”

Paul Spedding, an oil and gas analyst at HSBC, said: “The scale of ‘listed’ unburnable carbon revealed in this report is astonishing. This report makes it clear that ‘business as usual’ is not a viable option for the fossil fuel industry in the long term. [The market] is assuming it will get early warning, but my worry is that things often happen suddenly in the oil and gas sector.”

HSBC warned that 40-60% of the market capitalisation of oil and gas companies was at risk from the carbon bubble, with the top 200 fossil fuel companies alone having a current value of $4tn, along with $1.5tn debt.

Lord McFall, who chaired the Commons Treasury select committee for a decade, said: “Despite its devastating scale, the banking crisis was at its heart an avoidable crisis: the threat of significant carbon writedown has the unmistakable characteristics of the same endemic problems.”

The report calculates that the world’s currently indicated fossil fuel reserves equate to 2,860bn tonnes of carbon dioxide, but that just 31% could be burned for an 80% chance of keeping below a 2C temperature rise. For a 50% chance of 2C or less, just 38% could be burned.

Carbon capture and storage technology, which buries emissions underground, can play a role in the future, but even an optimistic scenario which sees 3,800 commercial projects worldwide would allow only an extra 4% of fossil fuel reserves to be burned. There are currently no commercial projects up and running. The normally conservativeInternational Energy Agency has also concluded that a major part of fossil fuel reserves is unburnable.

Citi bank warned investors in Australia’s vast coal industry that little could be done to avoid the future loss of value in the face of action on climate change. “If the unburnable carbon scenario does occur, it is difficult to see how the value of fossil fuel reserves can be maintained, so we see few options for risk mitigation.”

Ratings agencies have expressed concerns, with Standard and Poor’s concluding that the risk could lead to the downgrading of the credit ratings of oil companies within a few years.

Steven Oman, senior vice-president at Moody’s, said: “It behoves us as investors and as a society to know the true cost of something so that intelligent and constructive policy and investment decisions can be made. Too often the true costs are treated as unquantifiable or even ignored.”

Jens Peers, who manages €4bn (£3bn) for Mirova, part of €300bn asset managers Natixis, said: “It is shocking to see the report’s numbers, as they are worse than people realise. The risk is massive, but a lot of asset managers think they have a lot of time. I think they are wrong.” He said a key moment will come in 2015, the date when the world’s governments have pledged to strike a global deal to limit carbon emissions. But he said that fund managers need to move now. If they wait till 2015, “it will be too late for them to take action.”

Pension funds are also concerned. “Every pension fund manager needs to ask themselves have we incorporated climate change and carbon risk into our investment strategy? If the answer is no, they need to start to now,” said Howard Pearce, head of pension fund management at the Environment Agency, which holds £2bn in assets.

Stern and Leaton both point to China as evidence that carbon cuts are likely to be delivered. China’s leaders have said its coal use will peak in the next five years, said Leaton, but this has not been priced in. “I don’t know why the market does not believe China,” he said. “When it says it is going to do something, it usually does.” He said the US and Australia were banking on selling coal to China but that this “doesn’t add up”.

Jeremy Grantham, a billionaire fund manager who oversees $106bn of assets, said his company was on the verge of pulling out of all coal and unconventional fossil fuels, such as oil from tar sands. “The probability of them running into trouble is too high for me to take that risk as an investor.” He said: “If we mean to burn all the coal and any appreciable percentage of the tar sands, or other unconventional oil and gas then we’re cooked. [There are] terrible consequences that we will lay at the door of our grandchildren.”

Futuristic predictions from 1988 LA Times Magazine come true… mostly (Singularity Hub)

Written By: 

Posted: 03/28/13 8:52 AM

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In 2013, a day in the life of a Los Angeles family of four is an amazing testament to technological progress and the idealistic society that can be achieved…or at least that’s what the Los Angeles Times Magazine was hoping for 25 years ago. Back in April 1988, the magazine ran a special cover story called “L.A. 2013″ and presented what a typical day would be like for a family living in the city.

The author of the story, Nicole Yorkin, spoke with over 30 experts and futurists to forecast daily life in 2013 and then wove these into a story akin to those “World of Tomorrow” MGM cartoons from the mid-20th century. But unlike the cartoons which often included far fetched technologies for humor, what’s most remarkable about the 1988 article is just how many of the predictions have actually come to pass, giving some leeway in how accurately the future can be imagined.

For anyone considering what will happen in the next 25 years, the article is worth a read as it serves as an amazing window into how well the future can be predicted in addition to what technology is able to achieve in a short period of time.

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Just consider the section on ‘smart cars’ speculated to be “smaller, more efficient, more automated and more personalized” than cars 25 years ago. While experts envisioned that cars would have more Transformer-like abilities to change from a sports car to a beach buggy, the key development in automobile technology will be “a central computer in the car that will control a number of devices.” Furthermore, cars were expected to be equipped with “electronic navigation or map systems,” or GPS systems. Although modern cars don’t have a ‘sonar shield’ that would cause a car to slow down when it came closer to another, parking sensors are becoming common and rearview cameras may soon be required by law.

Though the article doesn’t explicitly predict the Internet and all its consequences per se, computers were implicit to some of the predictions, such as telecommuting, virtual shopping, smart cards for health monitoring, a personalized ‘home newspaper,’ and video chatting. Integrated computers were also expected in the form of smart appliances, wall-to-ceiling computer displays in classrooms, and 3D video conferencing. These technologies exist today thanks to the networked computer revolution that was amazingly only in its infancy in 1988.

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‘The Ultimate Appliance’ is the mobile robot expected to be a ‘fixture’ in today’s homes.

But of all the technologies expected to be part of daily life in 2013, the biggest miss by the article comes with robots.

In fact, the mobile robot “Billy Rae” is depicted as an integral component to the household, much like Rosie The Robot was in The Jetsons. In the story, the family communicates with Billy Rae naturally as the mother reads a list of chores for cleaning the house and preparing meals. There’s even a pet canine robot named Max that helps the son learn to read and do math. The robots aren’t necessarily depicted as being super intelligent, but they were still expected to be vital, even being referred to as the “ultimate appliance.”

In recent years, great strides have been made with robots and artificial intelligence, but we are years away from having a maid-like robot that was hoped for in the article. We’re all familiar withcleaning robots like the Roomba and hospitals are starting to utilize healthcare robots.Personal assistants like Siri show that we’re getting closer to the day when people and computers can communicate verbally. But bringing all these technologies together is one of the most challenging problems to be solved, even with the high amounts of expectation and huge market potential that these bots will experience.

In light of this, it’s interesting to compare the predictions in this article to those in French illustrations drawn around 1900, which also include a fair share of robotic automation.

The piece is peppered with utopian speculation, but already on the radar were concerns about the shifting job market, increasing pollution, and the need for quality schooling, public transportation, and affordable housing, issues that have reached or are nearing crisis levels. It’s comforting to know that many of the problems that modern cities face were understood fairly well a quarter of a century ago, but it is sobering to recognize how technologies have been slow in some cases at handling these problems.

Perhaps the greatest lesson from reading the article is that few of the predictions are completely wrong, but the timescale was ambitious. Almost all of the technologies described will get here sooner or later. The real issue then is, what is preventing rapid innovation or broad-scale adoption of technologies?

Not surprisingly, the answers today are the same as they were 25 years ago: time and money.

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[images: kla4067/Flickr, LA Times]

Social Warfare (Foreign Policy)

Budget hawks’ plans to cut funding for political and social science aren’t just short-sighted and simple-minded — they’ll actually hurt national security.

BY SCOTT ATRAN | MARCH 15, 2013

With the automatic sequestration cuts geared up to slash billions of dollars from domestic programs, military funding, social services, and government-sponsored scientific research — including about a 6 percent reduction for the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and the National Science Foundation (NSF) — policymakers and professionals are scrambling to stave off the worst by resetting priorities. In a major speech last month, House majority leader Eric Cantor (R-VA), proposed outright to defund political and social science: “Funds currently spent by the government on social science — including on politics of all things — would be better spent on curing diseases,” he said, echoing a similar proposal he made in 2009. Florida Governor Rick Scott has made a similar push, proposing to divert state funds from disciplines like anthropology and psychology “to degrees where people can get jobs,” especially in technology and medicine. Those are fighting words, but they’re also simple-minded.

Social science may sound like a frivolous expenditure to legislative budget hawks, but far from trimming fat, defunding these programs would fundamentally undercut core national interests. Like it or not, social science research informs everything from national security to technology development to healthcare and economic management. For example, we can’t decide which drugs to take, unless their risks and benefits are properly assessed, and we can’t know how much faith to have in a given science or engineering project, unless we know how much to trust expert judgment. Likewise, we can’t fully prepare to stop our adversaries, unless we understand the limits of our own ability to see why others see the world differently. Despite hundreds of billions of taxpayer dollars poured into the global war on terrorism, radicalization against our country’s core interests continues to spread — and social science offers better ways than war to turn the tide.

In support of Rep. Cantor’s push to defund political and social science, a recent article in theAtlantic notes that “money [that] could have gone to towards life-saving cancer research” instead went to NSF-sponsored projects that “lack real-world impact” such as “the $750,000 spent studying the ‘sacred values‘ involved in cultural conflict.” Perhaps the use of words like “sacred” or “culture” incites such scorn, but as often occurs in many denunciations of social science, scant attention is actually paid to what the science proposes or produces. In fact, the results of this particular project — which I direct — have figured into numerous briefings to the National Security Staff at the White HouseSenate and House committees, the Department of State and Britain’s Parliament, and the Israeli Knesset (including the prime minister and defense minister). In addition, the research offices of the Department of Defense have also supported my team’s work, which figures prominently in recent strategy assessments that focus on al Qaeda and broader problems of radicalization and political violence.

Let me try to explain just exactly what it is that we do. My research team conducts laboratory experiments, including brain imaging studies — supported by field work with political leaders, revolutionaries, terrorists, and others — that show sacred values to be core determinants of personal and social identity (“who I am” and “who we are”). Humans process these identities as moral rules, duties, and obligations that defy the utilitarian and instrumental calculations ofrealpolitik or the marketplace. Simply put, people defending a sacred value will not trade its incarnation (Israel’s settlements, Iran’s nuclear fuel rods, America’s guns) for any number of iPads, or even for peace.

The sacred values of “devoted actors,” it turns out, generate actions independent of calculated risks, costs, and consequences — a direct contradiction of prevailing “rational actor” models of politics and economics, which focus on material interests. Devoted actors, in contrast, act because they sincerely and deeply believe “it’s the right thing to do,” regardless of risks or rewards. Practically, this means that such actors often harness deep and abiding social and political commitments to confront much stronger foes. Think of the American revolutionaries, who were willing to sacrifice “our lives, our fortunes and our sacred honor” in the fight for liberty against the greatest military power of the age — or modern suicide bombers willing to sacrifice everything for their cause.

Sacred values — as when land becomes “Holy Land” — sustain the commitment of revolutionaries and some terrorist groups to resist, and often overcome, more numerous and better-equipped militaries and police that function with measured rewards like better pay or promotion. Our research with political leaders and general populations also shows that sacred values — not political games or economics — underscore intractable conflicts like those between the Israelis and the Palestinians that defy the rational give-and-take of business-like negotiation. Field experiments in Israel, Palestine, Nigeria, and the United States indicate that commitment to such values can motivate and sustain wars beyond reasonable costs and casualties.

So what are the practical implications of these findings? Perhaps most importantly, our research explains why efforts to broker peace that rely on money or other material incentives are doomed when core values clash. In our studies with colleagues in Afghanistan, India, Indonesia, Iran, the Levant, and North Africa, we found that offers of material incentives to compromise on sacred values often backfire, actually increasing anger and violence toward a deal. For example, a 2010 study of attitudes toward Iran’s nuclear program found that most Iranians do not view the country’s nuclear program as sacred. But for about 13 percent of the population, the program has been made sacred through religious rhetoric. This group, which tends to be close to the regime, now believes a nuclear program is bound up with the national identity and with Islam itself. As a result, offering these people material rewards or punishments to abandon the program only increases their anger and support for it. Predictably, new sanctions, or heightened perception of sanctions, generate even more belligerent statements and actions by the regime to increase the pace, industrial capacity, and level of uranium enrichment. Of course, majority discontent with sanctions may yet force the regime to change course, or to double down on repression.

Understanding how this process plays out over time is a key to helping friends, thwarting enemies, and managing conflict. The ultimate goal of such research is to help save lives, resources, and national treasure. And by generating psychological knowledge about how culturally diverse individuals and groups advance values and interests that are potentially compatible or fundamentally antagonistic to our own, it can help keep the nation’s citizens, soldiers, and potential allies out of harm’s way. Our related research on the spiritual and material aspects of environmental disputes between Native American and majority-culture populations in North America andCentral America has also revealed surprising but practical ways to reduce conflict andsustainably manage forest commons and wildlife.

The would-be defunders of social science denounce an ivory tower that seems to exist only in their imagination — willfully ignoring evidence-based reasoning and results in order to advance a political agenda. Only $11 million of the NSF’s $7 billion-plus budget goes to political science research. It is exceedingly doubtful that getting rid of the entire NSF political science budget, which is equal to 0.5 percent of the cost of a single B-2 bomber, would really help to produce life-saving cancer research, where testing for even a single drug can cost more to develop than a B-2. Not that we must choose between either, mind you.

Social science is in fact moving the “hard” sciences forward. Consider the irony: a close collaborator on the “sacred values” project, Robert Axelrod, former president of the American Political Science Association, recently produced a potentially groundbreaking cancer study based on social science modeling of cancer cells as cooperative agents in competition with communities of healthy cells. Independent work by cancer researchers in the United States and abroad hasestablished that the cooperation among tumor cells that Axelrod and colleagues proposed does in fact take place in cell lines derived from human cancers, which has significant implications for the development of effective treatments.

Research from other fields of social science, including social and cognitive psychology and anthropology, continue to have deep implications for an enormous range of human problems: including how to better design and navigate transportation and communication networks, or manage airline crews and cockpits; on programming robots for industry and defense; on modeling computer systems and cybersecurity; on reconfiguring emergency medical care and diagnoses; in building effective responses to economic uncertainty; and enhancing industrial competitiveness and innovation. For example, perhaps the greatest long-term menace to the security of U.S. industry and defense is cyberwarfare, where the most insidious and hard-to-manage threat may stem not from hardware or software vulnerabilities but from “wetware,” the inclinations and biases of socially interacting human brains — as in just doing a friend a favor (like “click this link” or “can I borrow your flash drive?”). In recognition of that fact, Axelrod has suggested to the White House and Defense Department an “honor code” encouraging individuals to not only maintain cybersecurity themselves, but also not to lapse into doing favors for friends and to report such lapses in others.

Elected officials have the mandate to set priorities for research funding in the national interest. Ever since Abraham Lincoln established the National Academy of Sciences, however, a clear priority has been to allow scientific inquiry fairly free rein — to doubt, challenge, and ultimately change received wisdom if based on solid logic and evidence. What Rep. Cantor and like-minded colleagues seem to be saying is that this is fine, but only in the fields they consider expedient: in technology, medicine, and business. (Though possibly they mean to make an exception for the lucrative social science of polling, which can help to sell almost anything — even terrible ideas like defunding the rest of social science.)

It’s stunning to think that these influential politicians and the people who support them don’t want evidence-based reasoning and research to inform decisions concerning the nature and needs of our society — despite the fact that the vast majority of federal and state legislation deals with social issues, rather than technology or defense. To be sure, there is significant waste and wrongheadedness in the social sciences, as there is in any science (in fact, in any evolutionary process that progresses by trial and error), including, most recently, billions spent on possibly misleading use of mice in cancer research.

But those who would defund social science seriously underestimate the relationship between the wide-ranging freedom of scientific research and its pointed impact, and between theory and practice: Where disciplined imagination sweeps broadly to discover, say, that devoted actors do not respond to material incentives or disincentives (e.g., sanctions) in the same way that rational actors do, or that communities of people and body cells may share deep underlying organizational principles and responses to threats from outside aggressors, such knowledge can have a profound influence on our lives and wellbeing.

Even before they revolted in 1776, the American colonists may have already enjoyed the world’s highest standard of living. But they wanted something different: a free and progressive society, which money couldn’t buy. “Money has never made man happy, nor will it,” gibed Ben Franklin, but “if a man empties his purse into his head no one can take it away from him; an investment in knowledge always pays the best interest.” He founded America’s first learned society “to improve the common stock of knowledge,” which called for inquiry into many practical matters as well as “all philosophical Experiments that Light into the Nature of Things … and multiply the Conveniences or Pleasures of Life.” George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, John Adams, Alexander Hamilton, Thomas Paine, James Madison, and John Marshall all joined Franklin’s society and took part in the political, social, and economic revolution it helped spawn. Like the Founding Fathers, we want our descendants to be able to envision great futures for our country and a better world for all. For that, our children need the broad understanding of how the world works that the social sciences can provide — not just a technical education for well-paying jobs.

The Destruction of Conscience in the National Academy of Sciences (Counter Punch)

FEBRUARY 26, 2013

An Interview With Marshall Sahlins

by DAVID H. PRICE

Last Friday, esteemed University of Chicago anthropologist Marshall Sahlins formally resigned from the National Academy of Sciences (NAS), the United States’ most prestigious scientific society.

Sahlins states that he resigned because of his “objections to the election of [Napoleon] Chagnon, and to the military research projects of the Academy.” Sahlins was elected to the National Academy of Sciences in 1991.  He issued the below statement explaining his resignation:

“By the evidence of his own writings as well as the testimony of others, including Amazonian peoples and professional scholars of the region, Chagnon has done serious harm to the indigenous communities among whom he did research.  At the same time, his “scientific” claims about human evolution and the genetic selection for male violence–as in the notorious study he published in 1988 in Science–have proven to be shallow and baseless, much to the discredit of the anthropological discipline. At best, his election to the NAS was a large moral and intellectual blunder on the part of members of the Academy. So much so that my own participation in the Academy has become an embarrassment.

Nor do I wish to be a party to the aid, comfort, and support the NAS is giving to social science research on improving the combat performance of the US military, given the toll that military has taken on the blood, treasure, and happiness of American people, and the suffering it has imposed on other peoples in the unnecessary wars of this century.  I believe that the NAS, if it involves itself at all in related research, should be studying how to promote peace, not how to make war.”

Napoleon Chagnon rose to fame after his fieldwork among the Yanomami (also known as Yanomamo) in the rainforests of northeastern South America’s Orinoco Basin in the 1960s and 70s.  He wrote a bestselling ethnography used in introductory anthropology classes around the world, describing the Yanomami as “the fierce people” because of the high levels of intra- and inter-group warfare observed during his fieldwork, warfare that he would describe as innate and as representing humankind in some sort of imagined natural state.

Chagnon, is currently basking in the limelight of a national book tour, pitching a memoir (Nobel Savages) in which he castes the bulk of American anthropologists as soft-skulled anti-science postmodern cretins embroiled in a war against science.

The truth is that outside of the distortion field of the New York Times and a few other media vortexesthere is no “science war” raging in anthropology.  Instead the widespread rejection of Chagnon’s work among many anthropologists has everything to do with the low quality of his research.  On his blog, Anthropomics, anthropologist Jon Marks recently described Chagnon as an “incompetent anthropologist,” adding:

“Let me be clear about my use of the word “incompetent”.  His methods for collecting, analyzing and interpreting his data are outside the range of acceptable anthropological practices.  Yes, he saw the Yanomamo doing nasty things.  But when he concluded from his observations that the Yanomamo are innately and primordially “fierce”  he lost his anthropological credibility, because he had not demonstrated any such thing.   He has a right to his views, as creationists and racists have a right to theirs, but the evidence does not support the conclusion, which makes it scientifically incompetent.”

The widely shared rejection of Chagnon’s interpretations among anthropologists comes from the shoddy quality of his work and the sociobiological nature of his analysis, not with an opposition to science.

Among Chagnon’s most dogged critics was my dissertation chair, anthropologist Marvin Harris, himself an arch positivist and a staunch advocate of the scientific method, yet Harris rejected Chagnon and his sociobiological findings in fierce academic debates that lasted for decades, not because Harris was anti-science, but because Chagnon was a bad scientist (I should note that Harris and Sahlins also famously feuded over fundamental theoretical differences; yet both shared common ground objecting to the militarization of the discipline, and rejecting Chagnon’s sociobiological work).

I suppose if there really were battles within anthropology between imagined camps embracing and rejecting science, I would be about as firmly in the camp of science as anyone; but if such divisions actually existed, I would be no closer to accepting the validity and reliability (the hallmarks of good science) of Chagnon’s findings than those imagined to reject the foundations of science.

In 2000, there was of course a huge painful crisis within the American Anthropological Association following the publication of Patrick Tierney’s book Darkness in El Dorado, in which numerous accusations of exploitation (and worse) were leveled against Chagnon and other anthropologists working with the Yanomami (see Barbara Rose Johnston’s essay on the José Padilha’s film, Secrets of the Tribe). Without detailing all the twists and turns involved in establishing  the wreckage of Chagnon and the paucity of his claims, suffice it to say that the choice of offering one of the select seats in the National Academy of Sciences’ Section 51 to Dr. Chagnon is an affront to a broad range of anthropologists, be they self-identified as scientists or not.

Marshall Sahlins’ resignation is an heroic stand against the subversion of science to those claiming an innate nature of human violence, and a stand opposing the increasing militarization of science.  While Sahlins’ credentials as an activist opposing the militarization of knowledge are well established—he is widely recognized as the creator of the “teach-in,” organizing the February 1965 University of Michigan teach-in—it still must have been difficult for him to resign this prestigious position.

In late 1965 Sahlins traveled to Vietnam to learn firsthand about the war and the Americans fighting it, work that resulted in his seminal essay “The Destruction of Conscience in Vietnam.”   He became one of the clearest and most forceful anthropological voices speaking out against efforts (in the 1960s and 70s, and in again in post-9/11 America) to militarize anthropology.

In 2009 I was part of a conference at the University of Chicago critically examining renewed efforts by U.S. military and intelligence agencies to use anthropological data for counterinsurgency projects.  Sahlins’ paper at the conference argued that, “in Vietnam, the famous anti-insurgency strategy was search and destroy; here it is research and destroy.  One might think it good news that the military’s appropriation of anthropological theory is incoherent, simplistic and outmoded – not to mention tedious – even as its ethnographic protocols for learning the local society and culture amount to unworkable fantasies. ”

Yesterday, Sahlins sent me an email that had been circulated to NAS Section 51 (Anthropology) members, announcing two new “consensus projects” under sponsorship of the Army Research Institute.  The first project examined “The Context of Military Environments: Social and Organizational Factors,”  the second, “Measuring Human Capabilities: Performance Potential of Individuals and Collectives.”   Reading the announcement of these projects forwarded by Sahlins, it is apparent that the military wants the help of social scientists who can streamline military operations, using social science and social engineering to enable interchangeable units of people working on military projects to smoothly interface.  This seems to be increasingly becoming the role Americans see for anthropologists and other social scientists: that of military facilitator.

Below is the exchange, I had with Sahlins yesterday discussing his resignation, Chagnon’s election to the National Academy of Sciences, and the Academy’s links to military projects.

Price:  How has Chagnon so successfully turned numerous attacks on his ethically troubling research and scientifically questionable methods and findings into what is widely seen as an attack on science itself?

Sahlins: There has been no address of the issues on Chagnon’s part, notably of the criticism of his supposed empirical results, as in the 1988 Science article, and the numerous criticisms from Amazonian anthropologists of his shallow ethnography and villainously distorted portrayal of Yanomami.  These Cro-Chagnon scientists simply refuse to discuss the facts of the ethnographic case.  Instead they issue ad hominem attacks–before it was against the Marxists, now it is the ‘fuzzy-headed humanists.’ Meanwhile they try to make it an ideological anti-science persecution–again ironically as a diversion from discussing the empirical findings.  Meanwhile the serious harm, bodily and emotionally, inflicted on the Yanomami, plus the reckless instigation of war by his field methods, are completely ignored in the name of science. Research and destroy, as I called the method. A total moral copout.

Price: Most of the publicity surrounding your resignation from the National Academy of Sciences focuses either exclusively on Napoleon Chagnon’s election to the Association, or on the supposed “science wars” in anthropology, while little media attention has focused on your statements opposing the NAS’s increasing links to military projects.   What were the reactions within NAS Section 51 to the October 2012 call to members of the Academy to conduct research aimed at improving the military’s mission effectiveness?

Sahlins: The National Association of Science would not itself do the war research. It would rather enlist recruits from its sections–as in the section 51 memos–and probably thus participate in the vetting of reports before publication.  The National Research Council organizes the actual research, obviously in collaboration with the NAS. Here is another tentacle of the militarization of anthropology and other social sciences, of which the Human Terrain Systems is a familiar example. This one as insidious as it is perfidious.

Price: Was there any internal dialogue between members of NAS Section 51 when these calls for these new Army Research Institute funded projects were issued?

Sahlins: I was not privy to any correspondence, whether to the Section officers or between the fellows, if there was any–which I don’t know.

Price: What, if any reaction have you had from other NAS members?

Sahlins: Virtually none. One said I was always opposed to sociobiology

Price: To combine themes embedded in Chagnon’s claims of human nature, and the National Academy of Sciences supporting to social science for American military projects; can you comment on the role of science and scientific societies in a culture as centrally dominated by military culture as ours?

Sahlins: There is a paragraph or two in my pamphlet on The Western Illusion of Human Nature, of which I have no copy on hand, which cites Rumsfeld to the effect (paraphrasing Full Metal Jacket) that inside every Middle eastern Muslim there’s an American ready to come out, a self-interested freedom loving American, and we just have to force it out or force out the demons who are perpetrating other ideas [see page 42 of Sahlins; The Western Illusions of Human Nature].  Isn’t American global policy, especially neo-con policy, based on the confusion of capitalist greed and human nature? Just got to liberate them from their mistaken, externally imposed ideologies. For the alternative see the above mentioned pamphlet on the one true universal, kinship, and the little book I published last month: What Kinship Is–And Is Not.

Price: You mention a desire to shift funding streams from those offering military support, to those supporting peace.  Do you have any insight on how we can work to achieve this shift?

Sahlins:  I have not thought about it, probably because the idea that the National Academy of Sciences would so such a thing is essentially unthinkable today.

There is a rising international response supporting Sahlins’ stance.  Marshall shared with me a message he received form Professor, Eduardo Viveiros de Castro, of the National Museum, Rio de Janeiro, in which de Castro wrote,

“Chagnon’s writings on the Yanomami of Amazonia have contributed powerfully to reinforce the worst prejudices against this indigenous people, who certainly do not need the kind of stereotyping pseudo-scientific anthropology Chagnon has chosen to pursue at their cost. The Yanomami are anything but the nasty, callous sociobiological robots Chagnon makes them look – projecting, in all likelihood, his perception of his own society (or personality) onto the Yanomami. They are an indigenous people who have managed, against all odds, to survive in their traditional ways in an Amazonia increasingly threatened by social and environmental destruction. Their culture is original, robust and inventive; their society is infinitely less “violent” than Brazilian or American societies.

Virtually all anthropologists who have worked with the Yanomami, many of them with far larger field experience with this people than Chagnon, find his research methods objectionable (to put it mildly) and his ethnographic characterizations fantastic. Chagnon’s election to the NAS does not do honor to American science nor to anthropology as a discipline, and it also bodes ill to the Yanomami. As far as I am concerned, I deem Chagnon an enemy of Amazonian Indians. I can only thank Prof. Sahlins for his courageous and firm position in support of the Yanomami and of anthropological science.”

We are left to wonder what is to become of science, whether practiced with a capital (at times blind) “S” or a lower case inquisitive variety, when those questioning some its practices, misapplications and outcomes are increasingly marginalized, while those whose findings align with our broader cultural values of warfare are embraced.  The NAS’s rallying around such a divisive figure as Chagnon, demonizing his critics, claiming they are attacking not his practices and theories, but science itself damages the credibility of these scientists.  It is unfortunate that the National Academy of Sciences has backed itself into this corner.

The dynamics of such divisiveness are not unique to this small segment of the scientific community. In his 1966 essay on, “The Destruction of Conscience in Vietnam,” Sahlins argued that to continue wage the war, America had to destroy its own conscience—that facing those destroyed by our actions was too much for the nation to otherwise bare, writing: “Conscience must be destroyed: it has to end at the barrel of a gun, it cannot extend to the bullet.  So all peripheral rationales fade into the background.  It becomes a war of transcendent purpose, and in such a war all efforts on the side of Good are virtuous, and all deaths unfortunate necessary.  The end justifies the means.”

It is a tragic state of affairs when good people of conscience see the only acceptable act before them to be that of resignation; but sometimes the choice of disassociation is the strongest statement one can courageously make.

David Price a professor of anthropology at Saint Martin’s University in Lacey, Washington. He is the author of Weaponizing Anthropology: Social Science in Service of the Militarized State published by CounterPunch Books.

‘Noble Savages’: Chagnon’s new book triggers resignation and protests (Survival International)

http://www.survivalinternational.org/news/8997

26 February 2013

Davi Kopenawa, Yanomami spokesperson and shaman, has spoken out against Napoleon Chagnon's new book 'Noble Savages'.

Davi Kopenawa, Yanomami spokesperson and shaman, has spoken out against Napoleon Chagnon’s new book ‘Noble Savages’. © Fiona Watson/Survival

A new book by controversial American anthropologist Napoleon Chagnon has triggered a wave of protests among experts and Yanomami Indians:

  • Marshall Sahlins, ‘the world’s most respected anthropologist alive today’, has resigned from the US National Academy of Sciences in protest at Chagnon’s election to the Academy. Sahlins previously wrote a devastating critique of Chagnon’s work in the Washington Post.
  • Davi Kopenawa, a spokesman for Brazil’s Yanomami and President of the Yanomami association Hutukara, has spoken out about Chagnon’s work: ‘[Chagnon] said about us, ‘The Yanomami are savages!’ He teaches false things to young students. ‘Look, the Yanomami kill each other because of women.’ He keeps on saying this. But what do his leaders do? I believe that some years ago his leader waged a huge war – they killed thousands of children, they killed thousands of girls and boys. These big men killed almost everything. These are the fierce people, the true fierce people. They throw bombs, fire machine guns and finish off with the Earth. We don’t do this…’
  • A large group of anthropologists who have each worked with the Yanomami for many years have issued a statement challenging Chagnon’s assessment of the tribe as ‘fierce’ and ‘violent’. They describe the Yanomami as ‘generally peaceable.’
  • Survival International’s Director Stephen Corry has said, ’Chagnon’s work is frequently used by writers, such as Jared Diamond and Steven Pinker, who want to portray tribal peoples as ‘brutal savages’ – far more violent than ‘us’. But none of them acknowledge that his central findings about Yanomami ‘violence’ have long been discredited.’

Napoleon Chagnon’s autobiography ‘Noble Savages: My Life Among Two Dangerous Tribes – the Yanomamö and the Anthropologists’, has just been published. His 1968 book ‘Yanomamö: The Fierce People’ portrayed the Yanomami as ‘sly, aggressive and intimidating’, and claimed they ‘live in a state of chronic warfare’. It is still a standard work in undergraduate anthropology.

The Yanomami live in Brazil and Venezuela and are the largest relatively isolated tribe in South America. Their territory is protected by law, but illegal goldminers and ranchers continue to invade their land, destroying their forest and spreading diseases which in the 1980s killed one out of five Brazilian Yanomami.

Napoleon Chagnon's view that the Yanomami are 'sly, aggressive and intimidating' and that they 'live in a state of chronic warfare' has been widely discredited.Napoleon Chagnon’s view that the Yanomami are ‘sly, aggressive and intimidating’ and that they ‘live in a state of chronic warfare’ has been widely discredited. © Fiona Watson/Survival

Chagnon’s work has had far-reaching consequences for the rights of the Yanomami. In the late 1970s, Brazil’s military dictatorship, which was refusing to demarcate the Yanomami territory, was clearly influenced by the characterization of the Yanomami as hostile to each other and in the 1990s, the UK government refused funding for an education project with the Yanomami, saying that any project with the tribe should work on ‘reducing violence’.

Most recently, Chagnon’s work was cited in Jared Diamond’s highly controversial book ‘The World Until Yesterday’, in which he states that most tribal peoples, including the Yanomami, are ’trapped in cycles of violence and warfare’ and calls for the imposition of state control in order to bring them peace.

Survival International’s Director Stephen Corry said today, ‘The greatest tragedy in this story is that the real Yanomami have largely been written out of it, as the media have chosen to focus only on the salacious details of the debate that rages between anthropologists or on Chagnon’s disputed characterizations. In fact, Yanomamö: The Fierce People had disastrous repercussions both for the Yanomami and tribal peoples in general. There’s no doubt it’s been used against them and it has brought the 19th century myth of the ‘Brutal Savage’ back into mainstream thinking.’

Note to editors:
The full statements and additional information about the controversy can be found here.

Jungle Fever: Marshall Sahlins on Napoleon Chagnon and the Darkness in El Dorado controversy (The Washington Post)

Internet Source: The Washington Post, BOOK WORLD; Pg. X01, December 10, 2000

Jungle Fever

Marshall Sahlins

DARKNESS IN EL DORADO
How Scientists and Journalists
Devastated the Amazon
By Patrick Tierney
Norton. 417 pp. $ 27.95

Guilty not as charged.

Well before it reached the bookstores, Patrick Tierney’s Darkness in El Dorado set off a flurry of publicity and electronic debate over its allegations that, at about the same time American soldiers were carrying out search-and-destroy missions in the jungles of Vietnam, American scientists were doing something like research-and-destroy by knowingly spreading disease in the jungles of Amazonia. On closer examination, the alleged scientific horror turned out to be something less than that, even as it was always the lesser part of Tierney’s book. By far the greater part is the story, sufficiently notorious in its own right, of the well-known anthropologist Napoleon Chagnon: of his work among the Yanomami people of Venezuela and his fame among the science tribe of America.

The pre-publication sound and fury, however, concerned the decorated geneticist and physician the late James Neel–for whose researches in the upper Orinoco during the late 1960s and early 1970s Chagnon had served as a jungle advance man and blood collector. Sponsored by the U.S. Atomic Energy Commission (AEC), Neel’s investigations were designed to establish mutation rates in a population uncontaminated by nuclear radiation for comparison with the survivors of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. But according to Tierney, Neel also had another agenda: He wanted to test an original theory of immunity-formation in a “virgin soil” population, exposed for the first time to a devastating foreign disease. Hence the sensational chapter on “The Outbreak,” where Tierney alleges that Neel abetted, if not created, a deadly measles epidemic by inoculating Yanomami Indians with an outmoded type of vaccine known to cause severe reactions. Or so it says in the original review galleys of the book.

But by the time Darkness in El Dorado was published, it was already in a second, revised edition, one that qualified some of Tierney’s more sensational claims in the galley proofs of “The Outbreak.” Tierney is an investigative journalist, and critical aspects of his original indictment of Neel took the form of well-documented speculation, leaving plenty of space for the heated exchanges by e-mail and Internet that ensued among respectable scholars who for the most part hadn’t read the book. These hasty incriminations and recriminations created their own versions of what Neel had done–and, accordingly, criticisms of Tierney that had nothing to do with what he had said. Still, it became clear enough that Neel could not have originated or spread genuine measles by the vaccine he administered. Tierney then revised the conclusion of the relevant chapter in the published version, making the vaccine issue more problematic–and to that extent, the chapter self-contradictory. Other issues, such as whether Neel was doing some kind of experiment that got out of hand, remain unresolved as of this writing.

The brouhaha in cyberspace seemed to help Chagnon’s reputation as much as Neel’s, for in the fallout from the latter’s defense many academics also took the opportunity to make tendentious arguments on Chagnon’s behalf. Against Tierney’s brief that Chagnon acted as an anthro-provocateur of certain conflicts among the Yanomami, one anthropologist solemnly demonstrated that warfare was endemic and prehistoric in the Amazon. Such feckless debate is the more remarkable because most of the criticisms of Chagnon rehearsed by Tierney have been circulating among anthropologists for years, and the best evidence for them can be found in Chagnon’s writings going back to the 1960s.

The ’60s were the longest decade of the 20th century, and Vietnam was the longest war. In the West, the war prolonged itself in arrogant perceptions of the weaker peoples as instrumental means of the global projects of the stronger. In the human sciences, the war persists in an obsessive search for power in every nook and cranny of our society and history, and an equally strong postmodern urge to “deconstruct” it. For his part, Chagnon writes popular textbooks that describe his ethnography among the Yanomami in the 1960s in terms of gaining control over people.

Demonstrating his own power has been not only a necessary condition of Chagnon’s fieldwork, but a main technique of investigation. In a scientific reprise of a losing military tactic, he also attempted to win the hearts and minds of the people by a calculated redistribution of material wealth, and in so doing, managed to further destabilize the countryside and escalate the violence. Tierney quotes a prominent Yanomami leader: “Chagnon is fierce. Chagnon is very dangerous. He has his own personal war.” Meanwhile, back in California a defender of Chagnon in the e-mail battles has lauded him as “perhaps the world’s most famous living social anthropologist.” The Kurtzian narrative of how Chagnon achieved the political status of a monster in Amazonia and a hero in academia is truly the heart of Darkness in El Dorado. While some of Tierney’s reporting has come under fire, this is nonetheless a revealing book, with a cautionary message that extends well beyond the field of anthropology. It reads like an allegory of American power and culture since Vietnam.

“I soon learned that I had to become very much like the Yanomami to be able to get along with them on their terms: sly, aggressive, and intimidating,” Chagnon writes in his famous study Yanomamo: The Fierce People. This was not the usual stance toward fieldwork in the 1960s, when the anthropologist already enjoyed the protection of the colonial masters. Chagnon was working in the Amazonian Wild West, populated by small, independent and mobile communities in uneasy relations of alliance and hostility that could readily escalate to death by poisoned arrow. Moreover, when Chagnon began to collaborate with biological scientists, his fieldwork became highly peripatetic itself, and highly demanding of the Yanomami’s compliance. By 1974, he had visited 40 to 50 villages in less than as many months, collecting blood, urine and genealogies–a tour punctuated by stints of filmmaking with the noted cineaste Timothy Asch. Hitting-and-running, Chagnon did fieldwork in the mode of a military campaign.

This helps explain why many other anthropologists who have done longer and more sedentary work in particular Yanomami villages, including former students and colleagues of Chagnon, have disavowed his one-sided depiction of the Yanomami as “a fierce people.” “The biggest misnomer in the history of anthropology,” said anthropologist Kenneth Good of Chagnon’s use of that phrase in the title of his popular textbook.

Good and other Yanomami specialists make it clear that the supreme accolade of Yanomami personhood–the term waiteri that Chagnon translates as “fierce people”–involves a subtle combination of valor, humor and generosity. All of these, moreover, are reciprocal relations. One should return blow for blow, and Chagnon is hardly the only male anthropologist to get into dust-ups with Yanomami warriors. But according to his own account, while Chagnon readily joined the negative game of holding one’s ground, he knowingly brought contempt on himself by refusing to be generous with food. Continuous food-sharing is a basic criterion of humanity for Yanomami, the material foundation of their sociality.

Needing blood and information quickly, Chagnon would announce his visits to a village in the guise of a Yanomami warrior: dressed only in loincloth, body painted red, feathered–and carrying a shotgun. His field kits have been known to contain chemical mace and an electric stun gun. He tried to cultivate a reputation for dangerous magical power by engaging in narcotic shamanistic seances. When someone stole from him, he got children to inform on the thief; then he returned the favor by carrying off the latter’s hammock until he got his stuff back. But when it came to the reciprocity of food sharing, he protested that he could not feed the whole village. On the contrary, he disgusted curious Yanomami by telling them the canned frankfurters he was eating were animal penises, and peanut butter likewise was just what it looked like. Unselfconsciously, he acknowledges that his unwillingness to share food generously or widely made him “despicable in their eyes.”

“The next morning,” he writes, “I began the delicate task of identifying everyone by name and numbering them with indelible ink to make sure that everyone had only one name and identity.” Chagnon inscribed these indelible identification numbers on people’s arms–barely 20 years after World War II.

But he indeed had a delicate problem. He badly needed to know the people’s names and their genealogies. This information was indispensable to the AEC biological studies. He was also engaged in an absurdist anthropological project, which he took seriously, of finding ancestor-based lineage institutions among a people who by taboo could not know, could not trace and could not name their ancestors–or for that matter, could not bear to hear their own names. To utter people’s names in their presence is the gravest offense, a horror: “In battle they shout out the name because they are enemies.” As for the dead, they are completely excluded from Yanomami society, ritually as well as verbally, as a necessary condition of the continued existence of the living. But for the sake of science, Chagnon had to know–and so set in motion an opposition between their humanity and his epistemology that developed progressively through his professorial career.

Chagnon invented draconian devices for getting around the name taboos. He exploited animosities within the village to induce some people to tell on others. He “bribed” (his quotation marks) children to disclose names when their elders were not around. Most productive of all, he went to enemy villages to get people’s genealogies, and then confirmed the information by seeing if they got angry when he recited the names to their faces. By the early 1970s Chagnon had collected some 10,000 Yanomami names, including 7,000 names of the dead. It must have caused a lot of pain and hate.

Collecting names and blood was destabilizing not only for the insults it required, but because Chagnon was buying these with large payments of machetes, axes, utensils and other steel trade goods. These were prize objects of Yanomami desire, but not simply because of their economic advantages. The history of native Americans is too often written as if there had to be a white man behind every red man. Incorporating the foreign technology in their own cultural order, the Yanomami became the authors of its distinctive historical effects. They placed imported steel in the highest category of their own hierarchy of values, together with their most precious things, a position to which the foreign objects were entitled because of their analogous associations with marvelous powers–in this case, European powers. Surely steel was useful, but its utility was transcendent, beyond the ways Yanomami knew of making or controlling things. And as signs and means of power, the foreign goods were engaged in the fundamental transactions of a native Yanomami system of alliance and competition. They were materials of feasting, marriage payments, trading, making alliances, attracting followers, sorcerizing and much more. More than producing food, trade goods produced and reproduced Yanomami culture, hence every kind of satisfaction the Yanomami know. Accordingly, the foreign goods themselves became objects of native competition–as did their human sources, notably Napoleon Chagnon.

Chagnon was not the only outsider whose distribution of steel goods plunged him in a maelstrom of Yanomami violence, although it’s doubtful that any other anthropologist became so involved in participant-instigation. “The distribution of trade goods,” as Chagnon observed early on, “would always anger people who did not receive something they wanted, and it was useless to try and work any longer in the village.” Yet moving could only generate further contention, now among the villages so favored and disfavored by Chagnon’s presence. Hostilities thus tracked the always-changing geopolitics of Chagnon-wealth, including even pre-emptive attacks to deny others access to him. As one Yanomami man recently related to Tierney: “Shaki [Chagnon] promised us many things, and that’s why other communities were jealous and began to fight against us.”

Movie-making was an additional mode of provocation, especially when Chagnon and Timothy Asch used wealth to broker alliances among previously hostile groups for that purpose. The allies were then disposed to cement their newfound amity by combining in magical or actual raids on Yanomami third parties. Deaths from disease were also known to follow filming, prompting Tierney to observe that Chagnon and Asch were being awarded prizes for “the greatest snuff films of all time.”

Over time, the demands on Chagnon’s person and goods became more importuning and aggressive, to which he would respond with an equal and opposite display of machismo. (“He glared at me with naked hatred in his eyes, and I glared back at him in the same fashion.”) Soon enough he had good reason to fear for his life, by magical as well as physical attack–including the time when some erstwhile Yanomami friends shot arrows into an effigy of him. Yet Chagnon also knew how to mobilize his own camp. Early on, he fostered what was to become a life-long sociology of conflicts whose “basic logic,” as Tierney put it, saw “Yanomami villages opposed to Chagnon attacking those villages that received him.”

By 1976, however, Chagnon’s ethnography had cost him official anthropological support in Caracas, and for nearly a decade he was unable to secure a permit to resume fieldwork. In 1985, when he did return, in the company of one of his students, the latter reported they were greeted by a crowd of Indians shouting the Yanomami version of “Chagnon go home!” In 1989 Chagnon was again kept out because the law required that foreign researchers collaborate with Venezuelan scientists, and, as he complained to a missionary whose help he sought, “the local anthropologists do not like me.” Bereft of legitimate support, Chagnon returned in 1990 under the dubious aegis of Cecelia Matos, the mistress of then-president of Venezuela, and one Charles Brewer Carias, a self-proclaimed naturalist, known opponent of Indian land rights and entrepreneur with a reputation for illegal gold mining. The trio had concocted a scheme to create a Yanomami reserve and scientific biosphere in 6,000 square miles of the remote Siapa Highlands, to be directed by Brewer and Chagnon and subsidized by a foundation set up by Matos. According to Tierney, Brewer had his eye on rich tin resources in Yanomami territory. In an intensified repetition of a now-established pattern, the huge amount of goods that military aircraft ferried in for the project helped set off the bloodiest war in Yanomami history, with Chagnon’s people pitted against a coalition of Yanomami opponents, directed by a charismatic leader of their own.

In three years, the scheme collapsed. Matos was eventually indicted for corruption, in part for her role in commandeering military support for the reserve caper, and she remains a fugitive from Venezuelan justice. In September 1993, in the wake of huge protests that followed from their appointment as administrators of the reserve, Chagnon and Brewer were expelled from Yanomami territory by judicial decree. (Among the protesters were the 300 Indians representing 19 tribes at the first Amazon Indian Congress, who took to the streets against Chagnon and Brewer in the town of Porto Ayachuco.) An army colonel escorted Chagnon to Caracas and advised him to leave the country, which he did forthwith.

In America anyhow, he suffered no such indignities. On the contrary, the more unwanted Chagnon became in the Venezuelan jungle, the more celebrated he was in American science. The day before his last expulsion from Yanomami land, the New York Academy of Sciences held a special meeting devoted to his work.

In the course of Chagnon’s career, the further away he got from any sort of anthropological humanism, the more he became a natural scientist. (This could be a lesson for us all.) Whatever the accusations of ferocity and inhumanity made against his ethnography, he increasingly justified it by claims of empirical-scientific value. So he was able to answer his growing chorus of critics by the scientific assertion that they were “left-wing anthropologists,” “anti-Darwinian romantics” and other such practitioners of the “politically correct.” One might say that Chagnon made a scientific value of the belligerence in which he was entangled, elevating it to the status of the sociobiological theory that human social evolution positively selects for homicidal violence. Whatever the other consolations of this theory, it brought Chagnon the massive support of prominent sociobiologists. The support remained constant right through the fiasco that attended his attempt in 1988 to prove the reproductive (hence genetic) advantages of killing in the pages of Science.

The truth claims of the argument presented by Chagnon in Science may have had the shortest half-life of any study ever published in that august journal. Chagnon set out to demonstrate statistically that known killers among the Yanomami had more than twice as many wives and three times as many children as non-killers. This would prove that humans (i.e., men) do indeed compete for reproductive advantages, as sociobiologists claimed, and homicidal violence is a main means of the competition. Allowing the further (and fatuous) assumption that the Yanomami represent a primitive stage of human evolution, Chagnon’s findings would support the theory that violence has been progressively inscribed in our genes.

But Chagnon’s statistics were hardly out before Yanomami specialists dismembered them by showing, among other things, that designated killers among this people have not necessarily killed, nor have designated fathers necessarily fathered. Many more Yanomami are known as killers than there are people killed because the Yanomami accord the ritual status of man-slayer to sorcerers who do death magic and warriors who shoot arrows into already wounded or dead enemies. Anyhow, it is a wise father who knows his own child (or vice versa) in a society that practices wife-sharing and adultery as much as the Yanomami do. Archkillers, besides, are likely to father fewer children inasmuch as they are prime targets for vengeance, a possibility Chagnon conveniently omitted from his statistics by not including dead fathers of living children. Nor did his calculations allow for the effects of age, shamanistic attainments, headship, hunting ability or trading skill–all of which are known on ethnographic grounds to confer marital advantages for Yanomami men.

Supporters of Chagnon, and lately Chagnon himself, have defended his sociobiology by referring to several other studies showing that men who incarnate the values of their society, whatever these values may be, have the most sex and children. Even granting this to be true–except for our society, where the rich get richer but the poor get children–this claim only demonstrates that the genetic impulses of a people are under the control of their culture rather than the other way around. For dominant cultural values vary from society to society, even as they may change rapidly in any given society. There is no universal selective pressure for violence or any other genetic disposition, nor could genes track the behavioral values varying rapidly and independently of them. It follows that what is strongly selected for in human beings is the ability to realize innate biological dispositions in a variety of meaningful ways, by a great number of cultural means. Violence may be inherently satisfying, but we humans can make war on the playing fields of Eton, by sorcery, by desecrating the flag or a thousand other ways of “kicking butt,” including writing book reviews. What evolution has allowed us is the symbolic capacity to sublimate our impulses in all the kinds of cultural forms that human history has known.

In time, Chagnon became a legend of ferocity in the Amazon. Representations of him grew more monstrous in proportion to the scale of the struggles he provoked, and even his trade goods were poisoned with the memories of death. Tierney reports that shamans now portray his cameras, guns, helicopters and blood-collecting equipment as machinery of black magic, the products of a factory of xawara wakeshi, the deadly smoke of disease.

Yet in America, the scientific doctors accord the sociobiological gases emanating from this same technology the highest esteem, worthy of hours and hours of inhalation in the rooms of the New York Academy of Sciences. On college campuses across the country, Chagnon’s name is a dormitory word. His textbooks have sold in the millions. In the huge undergraduate courses that pass for education in major universities, his prize-winning films are able to hold late adolescents spellbound by primitivizing, hence, eternalizing, their own fascination with drugs, sex and violence. America.

Marshall Sahlins is the Charles F. Grey Distinguished Service Professor of Anthropology emeritus at the University of Chicago. He is the author of the just- published essay collection “Culture in Practice.

How Napoleon Chagnon Became Our Most Controversial Anthropologist (N.Y.Times Magazine)

Brian Finke for The New York Times

Napoleon Chagnon, one of America’s best-known and most maligned anthropologists.

By 

Published: February 13, 2013 – 167 Comments

Among the hazards Napoleon Chagnon encountered in the Venezuelan jungle were a jaguar that would have mauled him had it not become confused by his mosquito net and a 15-foot anaconda that lunged from a stream over which he bent to drink. There were also hairy black spiders, rats that clambered up and down his hammock ropes and a trio of Yanomami tribesmen who tried to smash his skull with an ax while he slept. (The men abandoned their plan when they realized that Chagnon, a light sleeper, kept a loaded shotgun within arm’s reach.) These are impressive adversaries — “Indiana Jones had nothing on me,” is how Chagnon puts it — but by far his most tenacious foes have been members of his own profession.

All photographs from Napoleon Chagnon.

At 74, Chagnon may be this country’s best-known living anthropologist; he is certainly its most maligned. His monograph, “Yanomamö: The Fierce People,” which has sold nearly a million copies since it was first published in 1968, established him as a serious scientist in the swashbuckling mode — “I looked up and gasped when I saw a dozen burly, naked, filthy, hideous men staring at us down the shafts of their drawn arrows!” — but it also embroiled him in controversy.

In turning the Yanomami into the world’s most famous “unacculturated” tribe, Chagnon also turned the romantic image of the “noble savage” on its head. Far from living in harmony with one another, the tribe engaged in frequent chest-pounding duels and deadly inter-village raids; violence or threat of violence dominated social life. The Yanomami, he declared, “live in a state of chronic warfare.”

The phrase may be the most contested in the history of anthropology. Colleagues accused him of exaggerating the violence, even of imagining it — a projection of his aggressive personality. As Chagnon’s fame grew — his book became a standard text in college courses — so did the complaints. No detail was too small to be debated, including the transliteration of the tribe’s name. As one commentator wrote: “Those who refer to the group as Yanomamö generally tend to be supporters of Chagnon’s work. Those who prefer Yanomami or Yanomama tend to take a more neutral or anti-Chagnon stance.”

In 2000, the simmering criticisms erupted in public with the release of “Darkness in El Dorado,” by the journalist Patrick Tierney. A true-life jungle horror story redolent with allusions to Conrad, the book charged Chagnon with grave misdeeds: not just fomenting violence but also fabricating data, staging documentary films and, most sensational, participating in a biomedical expedition that may have caused or worsened a measles epidemic that resulted in hundreds of Yanomami deaths. Advance word of the book was enough to plunge anthropology into a global public-relations crisis — a typical headline: “Scientist ‘Killed Amazon Indians to Test Race Theory.’ ” But even today, after thousands of pages of discussion, including a lengthy investigation by the American Anthropological Association (A.A.A.), there is no consensus about what, if anything, Chagnon did wrong.

Shut out of the jungle because he was so polarizing, he took early retirement from the University of California at Santa Barbara in 1999. “The whole point of my existence as a human being and as an anthropologist was to do more and more research before this primitive world disappeared,” he told me bitterly. He spent much of the past decade working on a memoir instead, “Noble Savages: My Life Among Two Dangerous Tribes — the Yanomamö and the Anthropologists,” which comes out this month. It is less likely to settle the score than to reignite debate. “The subtitle is typical Chagnon,” says Leslie Sponsel, an anthropologist at the University of Hawaii and a longtime critic of Chagnon. “Some will interpret it as an insult to the Yanomami and to anthropology in general.” Sponsel despaired that what is known as “the fierce controversy” would ever be satisfactorily resolved. “It’s quicksand, a Pandora’s box,” he said. “It’s also to some degree a microcosm of anthropology.”

When Chagnon first went into the jungle, in 1964, the public image of anthropology was at its peak. Claude Lévi-Strauss’s “Tristes Tropiques,” his magisterial memoir of his years studying tribes in Brazil, had recently been translated into English, prompting Susan Sontag to declare anthropology “one of the rare intellectual vocations that do not demand a sacrifice of one’s manhood. Courage, love of adventure and physical hardiness — as well as brains — are used by it.” “Dead Birds” (1963), Robert Gardner’s depiction of ritual warfare among the Dani people of New Guinea, was greeted as a landmark of ethnographic filmmaking. In the “Stone Age” culture of the Dani, anthropologists believed they had a snapshot of human development at a crucial early stage, and rumors of other “uncontacted” tribes fueled fantasies of genuine discovery. Membership in the A.A.A. doubled between 1960, when Margaret Mead, the field’s pre-eminent authority, served a term as president, and 1968.

Chagnon was well cast for life in the field. A 26-year-old graduate student at the University of Michigan, he grew up poor in rural Port Austin, Mich., the second of 12 children. He was self-sufficient and handy with a shotgun — minimum requirements for surviving on jungle terrain where the nearest airstrip was several hours downstream by motorized canoe. “It’s the harshest environment in the world, physically speaking,” Kenneth Good, an anthropologist at New Jersey City University, who accompanied Chagnon to Venezuela in 1975 and eventually married a teenage Yanomami woman, told me. “I nearly died of malaria several times.”

Today, Chagnon’s own health is fragile. He had open-heart surgery in 2006 — “a likely consequence of the attacks on me,” he says — and suffers from a lung condition that keeps him tethered to a portable oxygen tank much of the time. Still, when I met him in January, at his home in a wooded subdivision near the University of Missouri in Columbia, where he and his wife, Carlene, had just moved so that he could take up a new position in the anthropology department, he had half a dozen pheasants in his freezer, quarry from a recent hunting expedition with his German shorthaired pointer, Darwin. “Pheasant breast on toast with butter is one of the more delicious breakfasts I’ve ever eaten,” he said solemnly.

In his baseball cap and faded jeans, with a thermos of Heineken at his side, he seemed a pointed rebuke to Ivory Tower decorum. The house, a cavernous brick two-story, was only partly furnished — the Chagnons had lived there all of 10 days. But elegantly arrayed along a ledge above the mantel were a couple dozen woven baskets, like so many households around the rim of a shabono — the vine-and-leaf structure that encloses an entire Yanomami village.

Chagnon’s account of his first encounter with the tribe is legendary: he crept through the low entrance of a shabono, startling a group of Yanomami warriors — the dozen “filthy, hideous men” — who had just concluded a bloody club fight with a neighboring village over the abduction of seven women. “Immense wads of green tobacco were stuck between their lower teeth and lips making them look even more hideous,” Chagnon wrote, “and strands of dark-green slime dripped or hung from their noses.” (The green snot was a side effect of ebene, a hallucinogen that the Yanomami blow into one another’s nostrils.)

By the end of that first day, Chagnon knew he needed to rethink what he had been taught. Apart from a handful of reports by missionaries and European ethnographers, little was known about the Yanomami, who were scattered among several hundred shabonosacross roughly 70,000 square miles on the Venezuelan-Brazilian border. According to the reigning “cultural materialist” doctrine — which owed as much to Marx as to the noble-savage ideal — conflict among groups arose only when there was competition for strategic resources: food, tools, land. The Yanomami in Bisaasi-teri, the shabono that Chagnon had entered, appeared not to be lacking these things. They shouldn’t have been fighting with their neighbors, and certainly not over women — that kind of reproductive competition, cultural materialists claimed, had nothing to do with warfare. During Chagnon’s initial 17 months in the field, one nearby village was raided 25 times. “I began realizing that my training in Michigan was not all that it was supposed to be,” he said.

He spent his first few months trying to learn the villagers’ names and kinship ties, a standard practice at the time and a particular challenge in this case, given the Yanomami’s name taboos: to call someone by his name is often an insult, and the names of the dead aren’t supposed to be uttered at all. Chagnon rewarded informants with fish hooks, matches and, for men who really dished, knives and machetes. (The Yanomami made no metal tools themselves.) Then, on a visit to another village, Chagnon cautiously mentioned the names of the Bisaasi-teri headman and his wife. The residents burst out laughing. He realized that he’d been had: the names he’d been given were slang for genitalia.

Genealogies became Chagnon’s driving obsession. They were crucial for tracing patterns of reproduction — determining which men had the most offspring or how many had wives from other villages. By the end of his last trip to the jungle, in 1995, Chagnon had data on about 4,000 Yanomami, in some cases going back to the 19th century. “That’s what he lives for,” Raymond Hames, an anthropologist at the University of Nebraska who worked with Chagnon as a graduate student, told me. “To collect the data, update the data, crosscheck it. He’s incredibly meticulous.”

Genealogies could also be useful for understanding genetic variations within social groups — then a new avenue of research. Before leaving Ann Arbor, Chagnon met with James V. Neel, a prominent geneticist at the university’s medical school, to propose a collaboration. Neel was best known for his genetic studies of survivors of the Hiroshima and Nagasaki bombings. But he was interested in indigenous populations, in part because, having never been exposed to atomic radiation, they could provide a base line for comparison. After taking samples of the Yanomani’s blood, Neel discovered that the tribe’s levels of heavy metals and other environmental toxins were similar to Westerners’. They also lacked immunity to measles. In 1968, Chagnon helped Neel’s team vaccinate 1,000 Yanomami against the disease, just as it broke out near Bisaasi-teri.

Chagnon believed that biology was essential to understanding the tribe’s warfare over women. After all, more women meant more opportunities to pass on genes through reproduction — a basic tenet of evolutionary thought. But biology had no place in the cultural-materialist paradigm. And explanations of human behavior that relied on evolutionary theory were typically met with suspicion in anthropological circles, a legacy of the American eugenics movement, which invoked Darwinian ideas to justify racist efforts to “improve” the gene pool. “The last bastions of resistance to evolutionary theory,” Chagnon told me, “are organized religion and cultural anthropology.”

Marvin Harris, the leading cultural materialist and a professor at Columbia, was adamant that the Yanomami could not be fighting over women, and in 1975, he threw down a gauntlet. One of Harris’s former students, Daniel Gross, had just published a paper arguing that a scarcity of animal protein led to conditions that favored violence among Amazonian tribes, a theory Harris enthusiastically adopted. Chagnon, who had taken a job at Penn State, and three graduate students met with Harris in New York, on their way to Venezuela. “Harris said, ‘If you can show me that the Yanomami get the protein equivalent of one Big Mac per day, I’ll eat my hat,’ ” recalled Chagnon, who accepted the challenge.

By then Chagnon was waging battles on several fronts. That year, the Harvard biologist Edward O. Wilson published “Sociobiology,” to the dismay of many anthropologists, who were appalled by what they perceived as Wilson’s attempt to reduce human social behavior to an effect of genes. But Chagnon was excited by Wilson’s ideas, and in 1976 he and a colleague arranged for two sessions on sociobiology to take place at the annual A.A.A. convention. The evening before the sessions, several scholars moved to prohibit them. “Impassioned accusations of racism, fascism and Nazism punctuated the frenzied business meeting that night,” Chagnon writes in “Noble Savages.” Only after Margaret Mead denounced the motion as a “book burning” was it defeated.

At the same time, Chagnon’s portrayal of Yanomami aggression was meeting with increasing resistance. One theory had it that his habit of rewarding cooperative subjects with steel tools — common practice at the time — worsened conflicts. Jacques Lizot, a French anthropologist who spent more than 15 years in a village near Bisaasi-teri, wrote that he hoped to “revise the exaggerated representation that has been given of Yanomami violence. The Yanomami are warriors; they can be brutal and cruel, but they can also be delicate, sensitive and loving.” These latter traits also appeared, though less prominently, in Chagnon’s work. In “The Fierce People,” he recounts the night he became “emotionally close to the Yanomamö for the first time.” A village headman had been killed in a raid, and his brothers were audibly mourning his death. Moved, Chagnon lay quietly in his hammock, not wanting to intrude with his tape recorder or notebook. When asked why he was not “making a nuisance of himself as usual,” Chagnon explained that he was sad. This news was quickly passed around, and for the rest of the night he was treated with great deference: “I was hushuo, in a state of emotional disequilibrium, and had finally begun to act like a human being as far as they were concerned.”

What could have been fruitful academic debates became personal and nasty. It didn’t help that Chagnon could be arrogant and impolitic. “Oh, God, did we have some fights in the field,” says Raymond Hames, who accompanied him on the 1975 protein-challenge trip. “He’s pretty damn sure of himself.” Hames, who remains a close friend, says he and Chagnon “made it work out.” But this was not the case with others.

Kenneth Good was also on the trip and was delegated to study protein consumption at a village far upstream from Bisaasi-teri. Chagnon, he says, refused to give him a steel boat or replenish his anti-malaria pills and didn’t care that he capsized and was stranded without food for three days. “If he had behaved in a civil way, we could have been lifelong allies,” Good told me. (Chagnon says that Good’s demands were unreasonable: “He wasn’t civil to me from the very beginning. I took him into the most exciting field opportunity that existed in anthropology at the time, and he never even sent me a progress report.”)

After Good returned to the United States, he left Chagnon’s department and finished his dissertation with Harris. When the protein studies were finally published, the findings, perhaps unsurprisingly, were split: Good showed that the Yanomami in his village ate slightly less protein than what’s in a Big Mac; Chagnon and Hames showed that their group ate much more. Daniel Gross, who recently retired from the World Bank, says the debate remains unresolved. He pointed out that the Yanomami are about five feet tall, on average. “You have to wonder what accounts for their low stature,” he said. “It’s most likely not a genetic trait.”

Chagnon also fell out with Lizot, the French anthropologist, and with Timothy Asch, an ethnographic filmmaker with whom he collaborated on more than a dozen documentaries. The partnership yielded ingenious work, including “A Man Called ‘Bee’ ” (1974), in which the camera turns, for once, on the ethnographer. Chagnon strides into the middle of a shabono in a loincloth and faded high tops and strikes a warrior pose — a bearded Tarzan aping his subjects, to their audible delight. (The film’s title comes from Chagnon’s Yanomami nickname, “Shaki,” their word for a particularly pesky species of bee.) But by 1975, with the release of “The Ax Fight,” a prizewinning record of a Yanomami brawl, Chagnon and Asch’s own fighting, mostly over who should get top billing in the credits, had destroyed their relationship.

Nor did Chagnon manage to stay on good terms with the local Salesian priests, who, thanks to their influence in Caracas, had considerable say over which scientists got to work with the tribe. In 1993, Chagnon attacked the Salesians in an Op-Ed in The New York Times, charging that the Yanomami were using mission-issued guns to kill one another. The Salesians fought back, depositing anti-Chagnon leaflets at the annual A.A.A. convention and mailing packets of letters — including one from Lizot — to anthropology departments across the country, denouncing his claims.

Chagnon sensed that his access to the Yanomami was ending. Anthropology was changing, too. For more than a decade, the discipline had been engaged in a sweeping self-critique. In 1983, the New Zealand anthropologist Derek Freeman delivered a major blow when he published “Margaret Mead and Samoa,” charging that Mead had been duped by informants in her pioneering ethnography, “Coming of Age in Samoa.” Postmodern theory precipitated a crisis. Under the influence of Derrida and Foucault, cultural anthropologists turned their gaze on their own “texts” and were alarmed by what they saw. Ethnographies were not dispassionate records of cultural facts but rather unstable “fictions,” shot through with ideology and observer bias.

This postmodern turn coincided with the disappearance of anthropology’s traditional subjects — indigenous peoples. Even the Yanomami were becoming assimilated, going to mission schools, appearing on television in Caracas and flying to the United States to speak at academic conferences. Traditional fieldwork opportunities may have been drying up, but there was still plenty of work to do exposing anthropologists’ complicity in oppressing “the other.” As one scholar in the journal Current Anthropology put it, “Isn’t it odd that the true enemy of society turns out to be that guy in the office down the hall?”

One way to confront the field’s ethical dilemmas was to redefine the ethnographer’s role. A new generation of anthropologists came to see activism on their subjects’ behalf as a principal part of the job. Chagnon did not; to him, the Yanomami were invaluable data sets, not a human rights cause — at least not primarily. In 1988, he published a provocative article in Science. Drawing on his genealogies, he showed that Yanomami men who were killers had more wives and children than men who were not. Was the men’s aggression the main reason for their greater reproductive success? Chagnon suggested that the question deserved serious consideration. “Violence,” he speculated, “may be the principal driving force behind the evolution of culture.”

The article was seized on by the press, including two newspapers in Brazil, where illegal gold miners had begun invading Yanomami lands. The Brazilian Anthropological Association warned that Chagnon’s “dubious scientific conclusions” could have terrible political consequences: “Wide publicity about Yanomami ‘violence’ in racist terms . . . is being used by the powerful lobby of mining interests as an excuse for the invasion of these Indians’ lands.”

As Alcida Ramos, a Yanomami expert at the University of Brasilia, later explained to Science: “To do anthropology in Brazil is in itself a political act. We don’t separate our interests as anthropologists from our responsibility as citizens.” Her colleague Bruce Albert told Science that a plan by the Brazilian government to divide the tribe’s land into a series of disconnected “islands” was being justified by claims that, as the reporter put it, the Yanomami “are violent and need to be kept separate so they will stop killing each other.” Nevertheless, the reporter noted, Albert “cannot demonstrate a direct connection between Chagnon’s writings and the government’s Indian policy.”

Scientists have since endorsed Chagnon’s Science article. “It shouldn’t be a shocking finding,” Steven Pinker, the Harvard evolutionary psychologist who cites the paper in his book, “The Better Angels of Our Nature: Why Violence Has Declined,” told me. “As a pattern in history, it’s well documented.” Pinker said that he was troubled by the notion that social scientists should suppress unflattering information about their subjects because it could be exploited by others. “This whole tactic is a terrible mistake: always putting your moral action in jeopardy of empirical findings,” he told me. “Once you have the equation that the Yanomami are nonviolent and deserve to be protected, the converse is that if they are violent they don’t deserve to be protected.”

Chagnon had alienated most of the anthropologists in Venezuela and Brazil who might have helped broker his visits to the tribe. In 1990, desperate to return to the jungle, he accepted an invitation from an old contact, Charles Brewer-Carías, to serve as an adviser to Fundafaci, a Venezuelan foundation established by Cecilia Matos, the consort of President Carlos Andrés Pérez, to help the country’s poor. The association proved disastrous for Chagnon. Brewer-Carías, a well-connected dentist and former Venezuelan youth minister, had been accused of illegally mining for gold on Yanomami land. (Brewer-Carías has denied the allegations.) “He’s a dapper opportunist,” Chagnon told me. “Charlie can talk his way into and out of just about everything.”

For months, Fundafaci helicopters flew in and out of some of the most pristine Yanomami settlements, ferrying researchers, television crews and the occasional wealthy tourist — as well as, inevitably, their germs. According to Patrick Tierney, during one helicopter landing, several Yanomami were injured when the roof of a shabono collapsed. Chagnon and Brewer-Carías also urged President Pérez to turn part of the region into a biosphere, which, Tierney writes, would have given them “a scientific monopoly over an area the size of Connecticut.” The A.A.A., which appointed an El Dorado task force to look into Tierney’s allegations, concluded that this charge could not be proved, since Pérez abandoned the Fundafaci proposal. But the task force was harshly critical of Chagnon, stating that his affiliation with Fundafaci “violated Venezuelan laws, associated his research with the activities of corrupt politicians and involved him in activities that endangered the health and well-being of the Yanomami.”

The adventure came to an end in 1993, when Pérez was impeached. Chagnon, characteristically, is unrepentant. “I got a year’s worth of data,” he said. “It was worth it for that reason.”

Was Fundafaci an isolated case of bad judgment, or part of a pattern of ethically egregious behavior? Tierney’s “Darkness in El Dorado,” which he spent more than a decade reporting, took the latter view and was eagerly anticipated by Chagnon’s critics: the moment when a rogue anthropologist would get a rare public comeuppance. In August 2000, while the book was still in galleys, Leslie Sponsel, of the University of Hawaii, and Terence Turner, an anthropologist at Cornell, sent an e-mail to the A.A.A.’s leadership, warning of an “impending scandal,” unparalleled in its “scale, ramifications and sheer criminality and corruption.” In lurid detail, they laid out the book’s major allegations, concluding: “This nightmarish story — a real anthropological heart of darkness beyond the imagining of even a Josef [sic] Conrad (though not, perhaps, a Josef Mengele) — will be seen (rightly in our view) by the public, as well as most anthropologists, as putting the whole discipline on trial.”

By November, when the A.A.A. met for its annual meeting, the scandal had hit the press, and “Darkness in El Dorado” had been excerpted in The New Yorker and named a finalist for the National Book Award. Much of the coverage focused on Tierney’s most sensational charges regarding the 1968 measles epidemic.

In his galleys, Tierney speculated that Neel, who died in 2000, hoped to simulate a measles epidemic among the Yanomami as part of a genetics experiment. In the published book, this theory was no longer explicit — Tierney had made last-minute changes — but it was insinuated. “Measles,” Tierney wrote, “was tailor-made for experiments.” Moreover, Neel’s choice of vaccine, Edmonston B, “was a bold decision from a research perspective” because it “provided a model much closer to real measles than other, safer vaccines, in the attempt to resolve the great genetic question of selective adaptation.” Although he quoted a leading measles researcher emphatically denying that measles vaccine can transmit the virus, he nevertheless maintained that it was “unclear whether the Edmonston B became transmissible or not.” (This line was excised from the paperback edition.) Tierney repeatedly faulted the expedition’s members for putting their scientific objectives ahead of the tribe’s health. By vaccinating the Yanomami against measles, he maintained, Neel and Chagnon may have been responsible for needless illness and death.

At an open-mike A.A.A. session, attendees, few of whom had read the book, weighed in on the controversy. Thomas Gregor and Daniel Gross later described the event in a damning article in American Anthropologist: “Virtually every aspect of [Chagnon’s] behavior, relevant or otherwise, was open for public dissection. One participant took the microphone and claimed that Chagnon had treated her rudely in the field during the 1960s. A colleague from Uganda praised Tierney’s book and suggested that Westerners manufactured the Ebola virus and disseminated it in his country, just as Chagnon and Neel had started the measles epidemic. Members of the audience applauded both speakers.” For Gregor, who recently retired as an anthropologist at Vanderbilt, the session was “a watershed moment.” “These are people who are supposed to be scientists,” he told me. “This had the look of an emotionally charged witch hunt.”

Within a few months, half a dozen academic institutions had refuted aspects of Tierney’s claims, including the International Genetic Epidemiology Society, whose statement reflected a growing consensus: “Far from causing an epidemic of measles, Neel did his utmost to protect the Yanomamö from the ravages of the impending epidemic by a vaccination program using a vaccine that was widely used at the time and administered in an appropriate manner.” (In an e-mail to me, Tierney defended his book, acknowledging only “several small errors,” concerning Neel’s work in Japan.)

The A.A.A.’s El Dorado task force was the most ambitious investigation to date but was undermined by a lack of due process. The group went so far as to interview Yanomami in Venezuela but, according to Chagnon, failed to give him an opportunity to respond to its verdicts. As Gregor and Gross put it, what the inquiry most clearly demonstrated was not Chagnon’s guilt or innocence but rather anthropology’s “culture of accusation,” a “tendency within the discipline to attack its own methods and practitioners.”

At least one task-force member had doubts about the exercise. In April 2002, shortly before the group released its report, Jane Hill, the task force’s chairwoman and a former president of the A.A.A. wrote an e-mail to a colleague in which she called Tierney’s book “just a piece of sleaze, that’s all there is to it (some cosmetic language will be used in the report, but we all agree on that).” Nevertheless, she said, the A.A.A. had to act: anthropologists’ work with indigenous groups in Latin America “was put seriously at risk by its accusations,” and “silence on the part of the A.A.A would have been interpreted as either assent or cowardice. Whether we’re doing the right thing will have to be judged by posterity.”

The e-mail is quoted in a paper by Alice Dreger that appeared in the journal Human Nature in 2011. Dreger, a professor of bioethics at Northwestern, was writing a book about scientific controversies in the Internet age, when she learned about the scandal in anthropology. She researched the case for a year, conducting 40 interviews, and by the time she published her paper, she considered Chagnon a friend, a fact reflected in her sometimes zealous tone. Among other things, she discovered that Tierney helped prepare a dossier critical of Chagnon, which he attributed to Leda Martins, a Brazilian anthropologist: “Leda’s dossier was an important resource for my research.” (Martins says that she translated the dossier into Portuguese.) But Dreger reserves her most withering remarks for the A.A.A. She told me, “All these people knew that Tierney’s book was a house of cards but proceeded anyway because they needed a ritualistic cleansing.”

In fairness, Tierney seems to have gotten some things right. The task force called his account of Chagnon’s Fundafaci episode one of the “better supported allegations.” And many have vouched for Tierney’s description of Jacques Lizot, Chagnon’s French rival, ensconced in the jungle with an entourage of Yanomami boys, whom he plied with trade goods in exchange for sex. (Lizot has said that the sex was between consenting adults.)

Yet it’s possible to imagine how a discipline seeking to expiate its sins could have overreached in Chagnon’s case. He was prominent and controversial, a sociobiologist who declined to put activism on a par with research. On the rare occasions that he adopted the mantle of advocate, the gesture typically backfired, as when he told a Brazilian magazine: “The real Indians get dirty, smell bad, use drugs, belch after they eat, covet and sometimes steal each other’s women, fornicate and make war. They are normal human beings. This is reason enough for them to deserve care and attention.” His critics, appalled by the first sentence, typically ignored the rest.

In this charged atmosphere, Tierney was to play a vital role: that of the impartial journalist who would give the discipline’s verdict on Chagnon the stamp of objectivity. Yet as Tierney himself admitted, he was not impartial. “I gradually changed from being an observer to being an advocate,” he wrote. “It was a completely inverted world, where traditional, objective journalism was no longer an option for me.” Was objectivity possible for anyone?

In 2005, the A.A.A.’s members agreed to rescind the task-force report, by a vote of 846 to 338. Daniel Gross called Chagnon to give him the news. “I saved that phone message for years,” Chagnon told me. “That was the point at which my emotional stability began to ascend.” Last spring, he was elected to the National Academy of Sciences — a prestigious honor that he took as vindication. “A lot of anthropologists have red faces from the extent to which they advocated in support of the accusations against me,” he said.

Not every critic has conceded. “The charges have not all been disproven by any means,” Leslie Sponsel pointed out. Leda Martins, who teaches at Pitzer College in Los Angeles, was more circumspect. “The controversy is so big, and the devil is all in the details,” she said. “Unless you know where Chagnon was, in what village, and what he was doing — unless you know everything — it’s really hard to talk about it.” I told her I thought that Tierney was sure he’d found another Kurtz, another “Heart of Darkness.” “Patrick and Chagnon have some similar characteristics,” Martins replied. “How ironic is it that Patrick got carried away in the same way that Chagnon got carried away?”

By now, at least a few Yanomami have read both “The Fierce People” and “Darkness in El Dorado,” and many more have been told about their contents by people with varied agendas. During an interview with a member of the A.A.A.’s task force, Davi Kopenawa, a Brazilian Yanomami leader, was invited to pose some questions of his own. “I want to ask you about these American anthropologists,” he said. “Why are they fighting among themselves? Is it because of this book?”

The interviewer answered in the affirmative, and Kopenawa went on: “So, Chagnon made money using the name of the Yanomami. He sold his book. Lizot, too. I want to know how much they are making each month. How much does any anthropologist earn? And how much is Patrick making? Patrick must be happy. This is a lot of money. They may be fighting, but they are happy. They fight, and this makes them happy.”

Emily Eakin has written for The New Yorker and The New York Review of Books blog. Her last article for the magazine was on Jonathan Franzen.

Editor: Sheila Glaser

Cacique Cobra Coral rompe parceria com a prefeitura (O Globo)

Governo teria deixado de entregar, nos prazos previstos, relatórios com um balanço dos investimentos em prevenção realizados ano passado na cidade

O GLOBO

Publicado:14/01/13 – 0h08

RIO — Em pleno verão carioca, o sistema de alerta e prevenção a enchentes do Rio perdeu um colaborador incomum. O porta-voz da Fundação Cacique Cobra Coral, Osmar Santos, anunciou no domingo que rompeu o convênio técnico-científico que mantinha com a prefeitura do Rio. O motivo é que a prefeitura deixou de entregar, nos prazos previstos, relatórios com um balanço dos investimentos em prevenção realizados ano passado na cidade. A ONG é comandada pela médium Adelaide Scritori, que afirma ter o poder de controlar o tempo. Desde a administração do ex-prefeito Cesar Maia, Adelaide esteve à disposição para prestar assistência espiritual a fim de tentar reduzir os estragos causados por temporais. Em janeiro de 2009, a prefeitura chegou a anunciar o fim da parceria, mas voltou atrás após uma forte chuva.

— Alguém da burocracia muito atarefado esqueceu da gente. Mas, caso a prefeitura queira continuar a receber nossa consultoria, que é gratuita, estamos à disposição — disse Osmar Santos.

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Humanidade deve começar a se preocupar com descoberta de vida alienígena, diz relatório (O Globo)

Fórum Econômico Mundial listou cinco fatores X, problemas sérios e ainda remotos que devem ter impacto na vida na Terra

RENATA CABRAL

Publicado:9/01/13 – 12h09 / Atualizado:9/01/13 – 15h27

RIO – Enquanto o mundo concentra suas preocupações na crise nos países desenvolvidos e no aquecimento global, o Fórum Econômico Mundial alerta para os chamados “fatores X”, que, segundo a organização, já deveriam estar na pauta de discussão de países e organizações internacionais por terem consequências incertas e, por isso, poder de desestabilizar a atual ordem mundial — entre eles, a descoberta de vida alienígena. O abuso da tecnologia para aumentar a produtividade no trabalho e nos estudos também é citado.

Com o ritmo da exploração do espaço nas últimas décadas, diz o documento, é possível considerar que a humanidade pode descobrir vida em outros planetas. A maior preocupação seria sobre os efeitos nos investimentos em ciência e sobre a própria imagem do ser humano. Supondo que seja encontrado um novo lar em potencial para a humanidade ou a existência de vida em nosso sistema solar, a pesquisa científica teria deslocados grandes investimentos para robótica e missões espaciais. Além disso, as implicações filosóficas e psicológicas da descoberta de vida extraterrestre seriam profundas, desafiando crenças das religiões e da filosofia humana. Por meio de educação e campanhas de alerta, o público poderia se preparar melhor para as consequências desse processo, indica o fórum.

O relatório anual sobre os riscos globais, publicado duas semanas antes do encontro anual que ocorrerá em Davos, teve colaboração da revista científica “Nature” considerando cinco fatores X: além da descoberta de vida em outros planetas, o avanço cognitivo do cérebro humano pelo uso de estimulantes, o uso descontrolado de tecnologias para conter as mudanças climáticas, os custos de se viver mais e as próprias mudanças climáticas em curso. De acordo com o relatório, antecipando-se a essas questões, seria mais fácil agir preventivamente e não ser pego de surpresa quando eles emergirem.

Apesar de as ameaças das mudanças climáticas serem conhecidas, o relatório também indaga se já passamos de um ponto dramático de não retorno. Por isso, para além do tema que guiou os debates na última década — se os seres humanos seriam ou não responsáveis por alterar o clima da Terra —, poderíamos ter de caminhar para discussões forçadas sobre como fortalecer a resiliência e a capacidade de adaptação para lidar com um novo ambiente que pode nos levar a um novo e ainda desconhecido equilíbrio.

Segundo o Fórum Econômico Mundial, outra preocupação de hoje sobre problemas ainda remotos deve ser o avanço cognitivo do ser humano. Há o temor de que no futuro as pessoas abusem da tecnologia que permite turbinar a performance no trabalho e nos estudos. O esforço dos cientistas para tratar doenças como Alzheimer ou esquizofrenia leva a crer que num futuro não muito distante pesquisadores vão identificar substâncias que permitam melhorar os estimulantes de hoje, como a Ritalina. Apesar de serem prescritos para pessoas com doenças neurológicas, esses remédios seriam usados no dia a dia como já ocorre hoje.

O avanço poderia também vir de hardwares, diz o relatório. Estudos mostram que a estimulação elétrica pode favorecer a memória. Diante disso, seria ético aceitar que o mundo se dividisse entre os que tiveram oportunidade de ter a parte cognitiva reforçada ou não?, indaga o documento. Haveria, ainda, o risco de esse avanço dar errado. O impacto dessas novas tecnologias é esperado para dentro de 20 ou 50 anos.

A utilização descontrolada de tecnologias de geoengenharia também é vista como um problema pelo Fórum Econômico Mundial. Apesar de ter diferentes aplicações, espera-se usar a tecnologia para controlar as mudanças climáticas. A ideia básica é que poderiam ser jogadas pequenas partículas na estratosfera para bloquear a energia solar e refleti-la de volta ao espaço. Mas os efeitos colaterais poderiam ser custosos demais, diz o documento. Poderia haver alterações significativas em todo o sistema climático, com redução da luz solar, o que alteraria a forma como a energia e a água se movimentam no planeta. Essa opção não é considerada no curto prazo. Muitos estudiosos já chamaram atenção para os riscos dessa tecnologia. Por isso, poderia surgir um espaço para que experimentações sem regulação ocorressem, alerta o relatório.

Os custos de viver mais seriam outro fator X de preocupação, uma vez que os países não têm se preparado para viver com os altos custos que a terceira idade implica e com uma massa de pessoas que sofrerão de doenças como artrite e demências. Isso porque a medicina do século 20 avançou muito nas descobertas relativas às doenças genéticas, decifrando o genoma humano. São esperados ainda mais avanços em doenças do coração e do câncer. O relatório preocupa-se com o impacto na sociedade de uma camada da população que consegue prever, logo evitar, as causas mais comuns de morte hoje, mas com uma deterioração da qualidade de vida. Mais pesquisas seriam necessárias para encontrar soluções para essas condições, hoje consideradas crônicas.

Leia mais sobre esse assunto em http://oglobo.globo.com/economia/humanidade-deve-comecar-se-preocupar-com-descoberta-de-vida-alienigena-diz-relatorio-7239466#ixzz2HZQ0ax47 
© 1996 – 2013. Todos direitos reservados a Infoglobo Comunicação e Participações S.A. Este material não pode ser publicado, transmitido por broadcast, reescrito ou redistribuído sem autorização.

On the end of the world / sobre o fim do mundo (21.12.2012)

O mundo não acabou (Folha de S.Paulo)

Contardo Calligaris – 27/12/2012 – 03h00

Pode ser que o mundo acabe entre hoje (segunda, dia em que escrevo) e quinta, 27, dia em que seria publicada esta coluna. Em tese, eu não devo me preocupar: meu título não será desmentido –pois, se o mundo acabar, não haverá mais ninguém para verificar que eu me enganei.

Tudo isso, em termos, pois o fim do mundo esperado (mais ou menos ansiosamente) por alguns (ou por muitos) não é o sumiço definitivo e completo da espécie. Ao contrário: em geral, quem fantasia com o fim do mundo se vê como um dos sobreviventes e, imaginando as dificuldades no mundo destruído, aparelha-se para isso.

Na cultura dos EUA, os “survivalists” são também “preppers”: ou seja, quem planeja sobreviver se prepara. A catástrofe iminente pode ser mais uma “merecida” vingança divina contra Sodoma e Gomorra, a realização de uma antiga profecia, a consequência de uma guerra (nuclear, química ou biológica), o efeito do aquecimento global ou, enfim (última moda), o resultado de uma crise financeira que levaria todos à ruina e à fome.

A preparação dos sobreviventes pode incluir ou não o deslocamento para lugares mais seguros (abrigos debaixo da terra, picos de montanhas que, por alguma razão, serão poupados, lugares “místicos” com proteção divina, plataformas de encontro com extraterrestres etc.), mas dificilmente dispensa a acumulação de bens básicos de subsistência (alimentos, água, remédios, combustíveis, geradores, baterias) e (pelo seu bem, não se esqueça disso) de armas de todo tipo (caça e defesa) com uma quantidade descomunal de munições -sem contar coletes a prova de balas e explosivos.

Imaginemos que você esteja a fim de perguntar “armas para o quê?”. Afinal, você diria, talvez a gente precise de armas de caça, pois o supermercado da esquina estará fechado. Mas por que as armas para defesa? Se houver mesmo uma catástrofe, ela não poderia nos levar a descobrir novas formas de solidariedade entre os que sobraram? Pois bem, se você coloca esse tipo de perguntas, é que você não fantasia com o fim do mundo.

Para entender no que consiste a fantasia do fim do mundo, não é preciso comparar os diferentes futuros pós-catastróficos possíveis. Assim como não é preciso considerar se, por exemplo, nos vários cenários desolados do dia depois, há ou não o encontro com um Adão ou uma Eva com quem recomeçar a espécie. Pois essas são apenas variações, enquanto a necessidade das armas (e não só para caçar os últimos coelhos e faisões) é uma constante, que revela qual é o sonho central na expectativa do fim do mundo.

Em todos os fins do mundo que povoam os devaneios modernos, alguns ou muitos sobrevivem (entre eles, obviamente, o sonhador), mas o que sempre sucumbe é a ordem social. A catástrofe, seja ela qual for, serve para garantir que não haverá mais Estado, condado, município, lei, polícia, nação ou condomínio. Nenhum tipo de coletividade instituída sobreviverá ao fim do mundo. Nele (e graças a ele) perderá sua força e seu valor qualquer obrigação que emane da coletividade e, em geral, dos outros: seremos, como nunca fomos, indivíduos, dependendo unicamente de nós mesmos.

Esse é o desejo dos sonhos do fim do mundo: o fim de qualquer primazia da vida coletiva sobre nossas escolhas particulares. O que nos parece justo, no nosso foro íntimo, sempre tentará prevalecer sobre o que, em outros tempos, teria sido ou não conforme à lei.

Por isso, depois do fim do mundo, a gente se relacionará sem mediações –sem juízes, sem padres, sem sábios, sem pais, sem autoridade reconhecida: nós nos encararemos, no amor e no ódio, com uma mão sempre pronta em cima do coldre.

E não é preciso desejar explicitamente o fim do mundo para sentir seu charme. A confrontação direta entre indivíduos talvez seja a situação dramática preferida pelas narrativas que nos fazem sonhar: a dura história do pioneiro, do soldado, do policial ou do criminoso, vagando num território em que nada (além de sua consciência) pode lhes servir de guia e onde nada se impõe a não ser pela força.

Na coluna passada, comentei o caso do jovem que matou a mãe e massacrou 20 crianças e seis adultos numa escola primária de Newtown, Connecticut. Pois bem, a mãe era uma “survivalist”; ela se preparava para o fim do mundo. Talvez, junto com as armas e as munições acumuladas, ela tenha transmitido ao filho alguma versão de seu devaneio de fim do mundo.

*   *   *

Are You Prepared for Zombies? (American Anthropological Association blog)

By Joslyn O. – December 21, 2012 at 12:52 pm

 

In light of all the end of the world talk, a repost of this Zombie preppers post from last spring:

Today’s guest blog post is by cultural anthropologist and AAA member, Chad Huddleston. He is an Assistant Professor at St. Louis University in the Sociology, Anthropology and Criminal Justice department.

Recently, a host of new shows, such as Doomsday Preppers on NatGeo and Doomsday Bunkers on Discovery Channel, has focused on people with a wide array of concerns about possible events that may threaten their lives.  Both of these shows focus on what are called ‘preppers.’ While the people that may have performed these behaviors in the past might have been called ‘survivalists,’ many ‘preppers’ have distanced themselves from that term, due to its cultural baggage: stereotypical anti-government, gun-loving, racist, extremists that are most often associated with the fundamentalist (politically and religiously) right side of the spectrum.

I’ve been doing fieldwork with preppers for the past two years, focusing on a group called Zombie Squad. It is ‘the nation’s premier non-stationary cadaver suppression task force,’ as well as a grassroots, 501(c)3 charity organization.  Zombie Squad’s story is that while the zombie removal business is generally slow, there is no reason to be unprepared.  So, while it is waiting for the “zombpacolpyse,” it focuses its time on disaster preparedness education for the membership and community.

The group’s position is that being prepared for zombies means that you are prepared for anything, especially those events that are much more likely than a zombie uprising – tornadoes, an interruption in services, ice storms, flooding, fires, and earthquakes.

For many in this group, Hurricane Katrina was the event that solidified their resolve to prep.  They saw what we all saw – a natural disaster in which services were not available for most, leading to violence, death and chaos. Their argument is that the more prepared the public is before a disaster occurs, the less resources they will require from first responders and those agencies that come after them.

In fact, instead of being a victim of natural disaster, you can be an active responder yourself, if you are prepared.  Prepare they do.  Members are active in gaining knowledge of all sorts – first aid, communications, tactical training, self-defense, first responder disaster training, as well as many outdoor survival skills, like making fire, building shelters, hunting and filtering water.

This education is individual, feeding directly into the online forum they maintain (which has just under 30,000 active members from all over the world), and by monthly local meetings all over the country, as well as annual national gatherings in southern Missouri, where they socialize, learn survival skills and practice sharpshooting.

Sound like those survivalists of the past?  Emphatically no.  Zombie Squad’s message is one of public education and awareness, very successful charity drives for a wide array of organizations, and inclusion of all ethnicities, genders, religions and politics.  Yet, the group is adamant on leaving politics and religion out of discussions on the group and prepping. You will not find exclusive language on their forum or in their media.  That is not to say that the individuals in the group do not have opinions on one side or the other of these issues, but it is a fact that those issues are not to be discussed within the community of Zombie Squad.

Considering the focus on ‘future doom’ and the types of fears that are being pushed on the shows mentioned above, usually involve protecting yourself from disaster and then other people that have survived the disaster, Zombie Squad is a refreshing twist to the ‘prepper’ discourse.  After all, if a natural disaster were to befall your region, whom would you rather be knocking at your door: ‘raiders’ or your neighborhood Zombie Squad member?

And the answer is no: they don’t really believe in zombies.

 

Renee Lertzman: the difficulty of knowledge

By Renee Lertzman / December 16, 2012

The notion that one can feel deeply, passionately about a particular issue – and not do anything in practically about it – seems to have flummoxed the broader environmental community.

Why else would we continue to design surveys and polls gauging public opinions about climate change (or other serious ecological threats)? Such surveys – even high profile, well funded mass surveys – continue to reproduce pernicious myths regarding both human subjectivity and the so-called gaps between values and actions.

It is no surprise that data surfacing in a survey or poll will stand in stark contrast to the ‘down and dirty’ world of actions. We all know that surveys invoke all sorts of complicated things like wanting to sound smart/good/moral, one’s own self-concept vs. actual feelings or thoughts, and being corralled into highly simplistic renderings of what are hugely complex topics or issues (“do you worry about climate change/support carbon tax/drive to work each day etc?”). So there is the obvious limitation right now. However, more important is this idea that the thoughts or ideas people hold will translate into their daily life. Reflect for a moment on an issue you care very deeply about. Now consider how much in alignment your practices are, in relation with this issue. It takes seconds to see that in fact, we can have multiple and competing desires and commitments, quite easily.

So why is it so hard for us to carry this over into how we research environmental values, perceptions or beliefs?

If we accept from the get-go that we are complicated beings living in hugely complicated contexts, woven into networks extending far beyond our immediate grasp, it makes a lot of sense that I can care deeply for my children’s future quality of life (and climatic conditions), and still carry on business as usual. I may experience deep conflict, guilt, shame and pain, which I can shove to the edges of consciousness. I may manage to not even think about these issues, or create nifty rationalizations for my consumptive behaviors.

However, this does not mean I don’t care, have deep concern, and even profound anxieties.

Until we realize this basic fact – that we are multiple selves in social contexts, and dynamic and fluid – our communications work will be limited. Why? Because we continue to speak with audiences, design messaging, and carry out research with the mythical unitary self in mind. We try to trick, cajole, seduce people into caring about our ecological treasures. This is simply the wrong track. Rather than trick, why not invite? Rather than overcome ‘barriers,’ why not presume dilemmas, and set out to understand them?

There is also the fact that some knowledge is just too difficult to bear.

The concept of “difficult knowledge” relates to the fact that when we learn, we also let go of cherished beliefs or concepts, and this can be often quite painful. How we handle knowledge, in other words, can and should be done with this recognition. How can we best support one another to bear difficult knowledge?

One of the tricks of the trade for gifted psychotherapists is the ability to listen and converse. The therapist listens; not only for the meaning, but where there may be resistance. The places that make us squirm or laugh nervously or change the topic. This is regarded as where the riches lie – where we may find ourselves stuck despite our best intentions. If we were to practice a bit of this in our own work in environmental communications, my guess is we’d see less rah-rah cheerleading engagement styles, and more ‘let’s be real and get down to business’ sort of work.

And this is what we need, desperately.

The Opportunistic Apocalypse (Savage Minds)

by  on December 14th, 2012

The third in a guest series about the “Mayan Apocalypse” predicted for Dec. 21, 2012.  The first two posts are here and here.

There are opportunities in the apocalypse.  The end of the world has been commodified.  A few are seriously investing in bunkers, boats, and survival supplies. Tourism is up, not only to Mayan archaeological sites, but also to places like Bugarach, France and Mt. Rtanj, Serbia.  But even those of us on a budget can afford at least a book, a T-shirt or a handbag.

There are opportunities here for academics, too. Many scholars have been quoted in the press lately saying that nothing will happen on Dec 21 , in addition to those who have written comprehensive books and articles discrediting the impending doom. Obviously publishing helps individual careers, and that does not detract from our collective responsibility to debunk ideas that might lead people to physical or financial harm.  But neither can we divorce our work from its larger social implications.

It is telling that the main scholarly players in debunking the Mayan Apocalypse in the U.S. are NASA (which is facing budget cuts) and anthropologists.  Both groups feel the need to prove they are relevant because our collective jobs depend on it. I don’t need to go into great detail with this crowd about academia’s current situation. Academia has gone from being a well-respected, stable job to one where most classes are taught by underpaid, uninsured part-time adjuncts, and many Ph.D.s never find work in academia at all. Tuition fees for undergraduates have skyrocketed while full-time faculty salaries have stagnated.

Among the public (too often talked about as being in “the real world,” as if academics were somehow immune to taxes or swine flu), there seems to be a general distrust of intellectuals. That, combined with the current economic situation, has translated into a loss of research funding, such as cuts to the Fulbright program and NSF. Some public officials specifically state that science and engineering are worth funding, but anthropology is not.  To add insult to injury, the University of California wants to move away from that whole “reading” thing and rebrand itself as a web startup.

Articles, books with general readership, being quoted in the newspaper, and yes, blogging are all concrete ways to show funding agencies and review committees that what we do matters. The way to get exposure among those general audiences is to engage with what interests them — like the end of the world.  Dec. 21, 2012 has become an internet meme. Many online references to it are debunkings or tongue-in-cheek. Newspaper articles on unrelated topics make passing references in jest, stores offer just-in-case-it’s-real sales, people are planning parties.  There seems to be more written to discredit the apocalypse, or make fun on it, than to prepare for it.

We need to remember that this non-believer attention has a purpose, and that purpose is not just (or even primarily) about convincing believers that nothing is going to happen. Rather, it serves to demonstrate something about non-believers themselves.  “We” are sensible and logical, while “they” are superstitious and credulous. “We” value science and data, while “they” turn to astrology, misreadings of ancient texts, and esoteric spirituality.   ”We” remember the non-apocalypses of the past, while “they” have forgotten.

I would argue that discrediting the Mayan Apocalypse is part of an ongoing process of creating western modernity (cue Latour). That modernity requires an “other,” and here that “other” is defined in this case primarily by religious/spiritual belief in the Mayan apocalypse.  The more “other” these Apocalypse believers are, the more clearly they reflect the modernity of non-believers.  (Of course, there are also the “others” of the Maya themselves, and I’ll address that issue in my next post.)

This returns us to the difference I drew in my first post between “Transitional Apocalyptic Expectations” (TAE) and “Catastrophic Apocalyptic Expectations” (CAE).  I suspect the majority of believers are expecting something like a TAE-type event, but media attention focuses on discrediting CAE beliefs, such as a rogue planet hitting the Earth or massive floods. These would be dire catastrophes, but they will also be far easier to disprove. We will all notice if a planet does or does not hit the Earth next week, but many of us — myself included — will miss a transformation in human consciousness among the enlightened.

By providing the (very real) scientific data to discredit the apocalypse, scholars are incorporated into this project of modernity.  Much of the scholarly work on this phenomenon is fascinating and subtle, but the press picks up on two main themes.  One is scientific proof that the apocalypse will not happen, such as astronomical data that Earth is not on a collision course with another planet, Mayan epigraphy that shows the Long Count does not really end, and ethnography that suggests most Maya themselves are not worried about any of this.  The other scholarly theme the press circulates is the long history of apocalyptic beliefs in the west.  In the logic of the metanarrative of western progress, this connects contemporary Apocalypse believers to the past, nonmodernity and “otherness.”

I now find myself in an uncomfortable position, although it is an intellectually interesting corner to be backed into. I agree with my colleagues that the world will not end, that Mayan ideas have been misappropriated, and that we have a responsibility to address public concerns.  At the same time, I can’t help but feel we are being drawn, either reluctantly or willingly, into a larger project than extends far beyond next week.

*   *   *

2012, the movie we love to hate

by  on December 11th, 2012

The second in a guest series about the “Mayan Apocalypse” predicted for Dec. 21, 2012.  The first post is here.

Last summer, I traveled to Philadelphia to visit the Penn Museum exhibit “Maya: the Lords of Time.” It was, as one might expect given the museum collection and the scholars involved, fantastic.  I want to comment on just the beginning of the exhibit, however. On entering, one is immediately greeted by a wall crowded with TV screens, all showing different clips of predicted disasters and people talking fearfully about the end of the world. The destruction, paranoia, and cacophony create a ambiance of chaos and uncertainty. Turning the corner, these images are replaced by widely spaced Mayan artifacts and stela. The effect is striking.  One moves from media-induced insanity to serenity, from endless disturbing jump-cuts to the well-lit, quiet contemplation of beautiful art.

Among these images were scenes from Director Roland Emmerich’s blockbuster film 2012 (2009). This over-the-top disaster film is well used in that context.  Still, it is interesting how often 2012 is mentioned by academics and other debunkers — almost as often as they mention serious alternative thinkers about the Mayan calendar, such as Jose Arguelles (although the film receives less in-depth coverage than he does).

I find this interesting because 2012 is clearly not trying to convince us to stockpile canned goods or build boats to prepare for the end of the Maya Long Count, any more than Emmerich’s previous films were meant to prepare us for alien invasion (Independence Day, 1996) or the effects of global climate change (The Day After Tomorrow, 2004).  Like Emmerich’s previous films,2012 is a chance to watch the urban industrialized world burn (in that way, it has much in common with the currently popular zombie film genre). If you want to see John Cusack survive increasingly implausible crumbling urban landscapes, this film is for you.

The Maya, however, are barely mentioned in 2012. There are no Mayan characters, no one travels to Mesoamerica, there is no mention of the Long Count.  Emmerich’s goal for 2012 was, in his own words (here and here), “a modern retelling of Noah’s Ark.” In fact, he claims that the movie originally had nothing to do with the 2012 phenomenon at all.  Instead, he was convinced – reluctantly – to include the concept because of public interest in the Maya calendar.

This explains why the Maya only receive two passing mentions in 2012 — one is a brief comment that even “they” had been able to predict the end of the world, the other a short news report on a cult suicide in Tikal. The marketing aspect of the film emphasized these Maya themes (all of the film footage about the Maya is in the trailer, the movie website starts with a rotating image of the Maya calendar, and there are related extras on the DVD), but the movie itself had basically nothing to do with the Maya, the Mayan Long Count, or Dec 21.

Nevertheless, this film’s impact on public interest in Dec 21 is measurable.  Google Trends, which gives data on the number of times particular search terms are used, gives us a sense of the impact of this $200,000,000  film. I looked at a number of related terms, but have picked the ones that show thegeneral pattern: There is a spike of interest in 2012 apocalyptic ideas when the 2012 marketing campaign starts (November 2008), a huge spike when the film is released (November 2009), and a higher baseline of interest from then until now. Since January, interest in the Mayan calendar/apocalypse has been steadily climbing (and in fact, is higher every time I check this link; it automatically updates). In other words, the 2012 movie both responded to, and reinforced, public interest in the 2012 phenomenon.

Here I return to Michael D. Gordin’s The Pseudoscience Wars (2012).  This delightful book deals with the scientific response to Velikovsky, who believed that the miracles of the Old Testament and other ancient myths documented the emergence of a comet from Jupiter, its traumatic interactions with Earth, and its eventual settling into the role of the planet Venus. (The final chapter also discusses the 2012 situation.)  Gordin’s main focus is understanding why Velikovsky — unlike others labeled “crackpots” before him — stirred the public ire of astronomers and physicists. Academics’ real concern was not Velikovsky’s ideas per se, but how much attention he received by being published by MacMillan — a major publisher of science textbooks — which implied the book had scientific legitimacy. Velikovsky’s “Worlds in Collision” was a major bestseller when it was released in 1950, and academics felt the ideas had to be addressed so that the public would not be misled.

With the Mayan Apocalypse, no major academic publisher is lending legitimacy to these theories.   Books about expected events of 2012 (mainly TAE ideas) are published by specialty presses that focus on the spiritual counterculture, such as Evolver EditionsInner Traditions/Bear & CompanyShambhala, and John Hunt Publishing.  Instead, film media has become the battleground for public attention (perhaps because reading is declining?). The immense amount of money put into movies, documentaries, and TV shows about the Mayan Apocalypse is creating public interest today, and in some ways this parallels what Macmillan did for Velikovsky in the 1950s.

One example of this is the viral marketing campaign for 2012 conducted in November 2008.   Columbia pictures created webpages that were not clearly marked as advertising (these no longer appear to be available), promoting the idea that scientists really did know the world would end and were preparing.  This type of advertising was not unique to this film, but in this case it reinforced already existing fears that the end really was nigh.  NASA began responding to public fears about 2012 as a result of this marketing campaign, and many of the academics interested in addressing these concerns also published after this time.

Academics are caught in something of a bind here.  Do we respond to public fears, in the hopes of debunking them, but no doubt also increasing the public interest in the very ideas we wish to discredit?  Should we respond in the hopes of selling a few more books or receiving a few more citations, thus generating interest in the rest of what our discipline does?  As anthropologists we are not immune to the desires of public interest, certainly (obviously I’m not — here I am, blogging away), nor should we be.  Perhaps something good can come of the non-end-of-the-world.  I’ll turn to this question next time.

*   *   *

The End is Nigh. Start blogging.

by  on December 4th, 2012

Savage Minds welcomes guest blogger Clare A. Sammells.

My thanks to the editors of Savage Minds for allowing me to guest blog this month. Hopefully I will not be among the last of Savage Mind’s guests, given that the End of the World is nigh.

You hadn’t heard? On or around Dec 21, 2012, the Maya Long Count will mark the end of a 5125 year cycle. Will this be a mere a calendrical turn, no more inherently eventful that the transition from Dec 31, 2012 to Jan 1, 2013? Will this be a moment of astronomical alignments, fiery conflagrations, and social upheavals? Or will there be a shift in human consciousness, an opportunity for the prepared to improve their lives and achieve enlightenment?

I am going to bet with the house: I do not think the world is going to end in a few weeks.  That way, either the world doesn’t end — another victory for predictive anthropology! — or the world does end, and nothing I write here will matter much anyway. (More seriously, I don’t think our world is destined to end with a bang).

I am not a Mayanist, an archaeologist, or an astronomer. I won’t be discussing conflicting interpretations of Maya long count dates, astronomical observations, or Classical-era Maya stela inscriptions. Books by David Stuart,Anthony Aveni, and Matthew Restall and Amara Solari all provide detailed arguments using those data, and analyze the current phenomenon in light of the long history of western fascinations with End Times.  Articles by John HoopesKevin Whitesides, and Robert Sitler, among others, address “New Age” interpretations of the Maya.  Many ethnographers have considered how Maya peoples understand their complex interactions with “New Age” spiritualists and tourists, among them Judith MaxwellQuetzil Casteneda and Walter Little.

My own interest lies in how indigenous timekeeping is interpreted in the Andes. I conducted ethnographic research focusing on tourism in Tiwanaku, Bolivia — a pre-Incan archaeological site near Lake Titicaca, and a contemporary Aymara village.  One of the first things I noticed was that every tour guide tells visitors about multiple calendars inscribed in the stones of the site, most famously in the Puerta del Sol.  These calendrical interpretations are meaningful to Bolivian visitors, foreign tourists, and local Tiwanakenos for understanding the histories, ethnicities, and politics centered in this place. I took a stab at addressing some of these ideas in a recent article, where I considered how interconnected archaeological theories and political projects of the 1930s fed into what is today accepted conventional knowledge about Tiwanakota calendars.  I’m now putting together a book manuscript about temporal intersections in Tiwanaku.  The parallels between that situation and the Maya 2012 Phenomena led me to consider the prophecies, expectations, YouTube videos, blog posts, scholarly debunkings, and tourist travels motivated by the end of the Maya Long Count.

survey by the National Geographic Channel suggested that 27% of those in the United States think the Maya may have predicted a catastrophe for December 21.  But it is important to note that there is no agreement, even among believers, about what will happen. I tend to think of these beliefs as collecting into two broad (and often overlapping) camps.

Many believe that “something” will happen on (or around) Dec 21, 2012, but do not anticipate world destruction. I think of these beliefs as “Transitional Apocalyptic Expectations” (TAE). Writers such as José Argüelles and John Major Jenkins, for example, believe that there will be a shift in human consciousness, and tend to view the end of the 13th baktun as an opportunity for human improvement.

On the other hand, there are those who believe that the world will end abruptly, in fire, flood, cosmic radiation, or collision with other planets. I think of these beliefs as “Catastrophic Apocalyptic Expectations” (CAE).  While some share my belief that the numbers of serious CAE-ers is small, there are panics and survivalists reported by the press in RussiaFrance, and Los Angeles.  Tragically, there has been at least one suicide.  And of course, there has been a major Hollywood movie (“2012″), which I’ll be discussing more in my next post.

As anthropologists, we certainly should respond to public fears.  But we should also wonder why this fear, out of so many possible fears, is the one to capture public imagination.  Beliefs in paranormal activities, astrology, and the like are historically common, although the specifics change over time.  Michael D. Gordin’s excellent book The Pseudoscience Wars (2012) convincingly suggests that there are larger societal reasons why some fringe theories attract scholarly and public attention while others go ignored.  The Mayan Apocalypse has certainly attracted massive attention, from scholarly rebuttals from anthropologists, NASA, and others, to numerous popular parodies such as GQ’s survival tipsLOLcats, and my personal favorite, an advertisement for Mystic Mayan Power Cloaks.

There seems to be a general fascination with the Mayan calendar — even among those who know relatively little about the peoples that label refers to.  Some are anxiously watching the calendar count down, others are trying to reassure them, and many more simply watching, cracking jokes, or even selling supplies.  But there is something interesting about the fact that so many in the United States and Europe are talking about it at all.  I look forward to exploring these questions further with all of you.

Clare A. Sammells is Assistant Professor of Anthropology at Bucknell University. She is currently living in Madrid, where she is writing about concepts of time in Tiwanaku and conducting ethnographic research on food among Bolivian migrants.  She is not stockpiling canned goods.

Torcida organizada não é sinônimo de violência (Esporte Essencial)

TORCIDA ORGANIZADA NÃO É SINÔNIMO DE VIOLÊNCIA

Por Katryn Dias – Esporte Essencial – 4 de dezembro de 2012

renzo2_426Em meados de 2001, cursando a pós-graduação em antropologia na Universidade de Columbia, em Nova York, Renzo Taddei iniciou sua pesquisa de campo, de caráter etnográfico. Como seu plano era estudar a violência, optou por um tema muito recorrente no cotidiano de diversos países: as torcidas organizadas. Comumente associadas a atos criminosos, de vandalismo ou brigas, as torcidas da Argentina foram o foco principal.

Nesta entrevista exclusiva, Taddei, que atualmente é professor da Universidade Federal do Rio de Janeiro, explica um pouco do que pode observar enquanto esteve em contato com torcedores e líderes de torcidas, vivenciando o cotidiano daquele grupo. Na medida do possível, também traça alguns paralelos entre o que viu na Argentina e o que encontra hoje no Brasil.

Esporte Essencial: Durante a sua pesquisa de campo, você teve oportunidade de conhecer de perto uma torcida organizada em Buenos Aires. O que você observou lá também se adequa ao cenário brasileiro? Em que sentido?

Renzo Taddei: Há diferenças marcantes entre a forma como as torcidas existem e se organizam na Argentina e no Brasil. Uma delas é a associação com partidos políticos. Isso é muito forte na Argentina, mas, até onde eu sei, não ocorre no Brasil. Em parte isso se dá porque o Partido Peronista tem uma imensa base popular naquele país, do tamanho que nenhum partido tem no Brasil. Muitos políticos estabelecem relações com grupos de torcedores, muitas vezes inclusive usando-os para causar confusão em eventos políticos de rivais. Mas raramente se pode dizer que uma torcida organizada participa disso; em geral são grupos pequenos.

Outra diferença deve-se à distribuição espacial dos clubes. No ano em que fiz minha pesquisa de campo mais longa, em 2001, 13 dos 20 clubes da primeira divisão Argentina estavam sediados em Buenos Aires. No Brasil, não há mais de dois ou três clubes por cidade, o que reduz a relevância espacial do lugar onde o clube está sediado. Não há muita relação entre torcer pelo Botafogo e viver em Botafogo, ou torcer pelo Palmeiras e viver próximo ao Parque Antártica, em São Paulo. Na Argentina, com exceção de times como o Boca Júniors e o River Plate, que conjugam uma participação de bairro forte com uma existência que transcende o bairro onde estão, os demais times são muito fortemente ligados às localidades e bairros em que ficam. Isso significa que outras formas de conflito, como tensões entre bairros, tendem a contaminar a relação entre as torcidas.

“HÁ MUITO MAIS NA VIDA SOCIAL DAS TORCIDAS DO QUE A VIOLÊNCIA. ESSA É UMA PARTE ÍNFIMA DA ATIVIDADE DAS TORCIDAS, E DA QUAL PARTICIPAM POUCAS PESSOAS. MAS, INFELIZMENTE, É O QUE CHAMA A ATENÇÃO E VIRA NOTÍCIA”

Eu converso bastante com torcedores no Brasil, especialmente no Rio de Janeiro e em São Paulo, e acompanho pela imprensa as notícias sobre as torcidas organizadas. Leio também os trabalhos acadêmicos produzidos no Brasil sobre o tema. Creio que há muitas semelhanças entre os dois países – ou pelo menos entre as três cidades: Buenos Aires, Rio e São Paulo. Mas minhas opiniões sobre as torcidas no Brasil não são fundamentadas em trabalho de campo sistemático, como é minha visão sobre as torcidas argentinas, e em razão disso os paralelos têm que ser traçados com muito cuidado.

EE: O que você pode concluir com a pesquisa sobre a violência nas torcidas organizadas?

RT: Inicialmente, a primeira coisa que eu concluí é que a percepção da violência varia muito em função do lugar de quem observa. Se nos basearmos em estatísticas policiais, como faz boa parte dos estudiosos sobre o assunto, o que veremos é apenas violência, que pode crescer ou diminuir, mas é sempre violência. A abordagem da antropologia parte de uma tentativa mais ampla de compreensão do mundo das torcidas, para só então analisar o papel que a violência desempenha aí. Há muito mais na vida social das torcidas do que a violência. Essa é uma parte ínfima da atividade das torcidas, e da qual participam poucas pessoas. Mas, infelizmente, é o que chama a atenção e vira notícia. Ninguém tem interesse nas demais atividades, com a exceção do carnaval, em São Paulo, onde as três maiores torcidas participam com suas escolas de samba. É óbvio que se torcida organizada fosse sinônimo de violência, como a imprensa faz parecer recorrentemente, seria impossível que essas mesmas torcidas organizassem algo grande e complexo, que demanda cooperação e organização, como um desfile de carnaval.

Minha pesquisa ocorreu em um bairro da periferia de Buenos Aires, Mataderos, numa região onde há áreas habitadas pela classe média, por famílias de classe média baixa, e onde está também uma das maiores favelas da Argentina, chamadaCiudad Oculta. E o que eu encontrei foram pessoas vivendo suas vidas e tentando resolver seus problemas, em geral sem muita ajuda do poder público. A imensa maioria dos torcedores-habitantes da região se esforçava para tentar prevenir as situações em que a violência das torcidas ocorre, incluindo aí todos os líderes de torcidas com os quais tive a oportunidade de conviver. Em geral, estavam preocupados com o crescimento do consumo de drogas (pasta base e cola de sapateiro, naquele momento) por crianças, e com o aumento da disponibilidade de armas de fogo no bairro; mas o que realmente os preocupava era o empobrecimento da população da periferia. Vi os líderes recorrentemente organizando churrascos na sede de clube, nas manhãs dos dias de jogos, onde grande quantidade de comida era distribuída entre os torcedores mais pobres. Muitas vezes os líderes dedicavam parte da semana coletando doações de comida entre diretores do clube, jogadores e alguns torcedores mais abastados do bairro. Uma vez um líder me disse que se os torcedores mais pobres entrassem no estádio com fome, coisa que não era incomum, a chance de confusão era muito maior.

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Torcedor comemorando vitória do time Nueva Chicago, na Argentina, em ônibus da torcida.

Havia pessoas da comunidade que se envolviam em atividades ilícitas – como há em qualquer lugar, independente de classe social. Na torcida do Nueva Chicago, clube com o qual trabalhei, nenhum dos líderes era “bandido”, mas eram pessoas com perfil de líderes comunitários. Havia líderes do passado que tinham se envolvido com crimes, mas na época da minha pesquisa, eram todos trabalhadores. Quando voltei ao bairro, dez anos depois da pesquisa, todos os líderes de torcida com os quais eu havia trabalhado eram líderes comunitários; alguns eram líderes sindicais. Nenhum havia sido preso ou morrido.

O fato de que boa parte deles é grande, forte, barbudo, tatuado e tem “cara de mau” não faz qualquer diferença aqui. Grande parte do problema das torcidas é reflexo da discriminação social e racismo presentes em nossas sociedades – não apenas o racismo manifestado nas arquibancadas, pelas próprias torcidas, mas principalmente o racismo que não ganha espaço na mídia, o racismo das classes médias urbanas para com os jovens pobres de periferia. Esse racismo se manifesta, sobretudo, na relação tumultuada que a polícia tem com esses jovens.

Aliás, uma das “conveniências” da expressão “violência das torcidas” é o fato de que ela faz referência à violência associada à população jovem, pobre e negra, sem precisar ser explícito a respeito. Ninguém pensa em alguém rico e branco quando se evoca o problema das torcidas – como se essas pessoas não fizessem parte das torcidas. Tenho a impressão de que, muitas vezes, o uso dessa expressão permite que algumas pessoas e instituições sejam racistas sem parecer estarem sendo racistas.

“GRANDE PARTE DO PROBLEMA DAS TORCIDAS É REFLEXO DA DISCRIMINAÇÃO SOCIAL E RACISMO PRESENTES EM NOSSAS SOCIEDADES. PRINCIPALMENTE O RACISMO DAS CLASSES MÉDIAS URBANAS PARA COM OS JOVENS POBRES DE PERIFERIA”

EE: Quais as principais causas geradoras da violência dentro das torcidas organizadas? E como evitá-las?

RT: Não há sociedade sem violência. Nunca houve, na história da humanidade. O que temos são sociedades que sabem lidar melhor com certos tipos de violência; em geral, essas são as que tem uma visão mais aberta e realista sobre a violência, e não uma visão moralista, como a nossa. Fingimos o tempo todo que a violência não existe, apenas para nos chocarmos quando ela se manifesta.

Tratar a questão da violência das torcidas como problema de polícia faz parte desse panorama. É uma forma de evitar termos que pensar a sociedade em que vivemos, encarar nossos problemas a fundo. De qualquer forma, não acho que os atos de violência que ocorrem na relação entre torcidas tenham causas diferentes de outras formas de violência da sociedade. Posso elencar alguns fatores, correndo o risco de deixar muita coisa de fora. Há o fato de tentamos suprimir artificialmente as muitas formas de discriminação que existem em nossa sociedade, fingindo que elas não existem, o que apenas faz com que elas ressurjam de formas abruptas e violentas. Eu poderia também mencionar a impunidade, mas acho que essa é apenas a ponta de um iceberg. Pelo menos no que diz respeito às torcidas, por baixo disso – de atos violentos condenáveis – há o ressentimento por parte da população para com o poder público, e em especial para com a polícia, em razão da violência desmesurada e frequentemente aleatória por parte desta sobre a população jovem, pobre e negra. Tenho a impressão que, em situações de alteração emocional coletiva, esse ressentimento se transforma em ataque ao patrimônio público. No ano de 2001, durante a crise política argentina, a multidão incendiou o Congresso Nacional daquele país. Para grande parte daquelas pessoas, o Estado está ausente de suas vidas diárias, exceto pela presença da polícia. Ou seja, a polícia é a cara do Estado. E muita gente em Buenos Aires tem a experiência de ter apanhado da polícia ou de ter sido presa sem fazer a menor ideia do motivo para tanto. No Brasil não acho que isso é diferente.

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Portanto, a questão passa pela legitimidade do Estado frente às populações, muito mais do que pelo tema da impunidade. O Estado não faz qualquer esforço no sentido de construir sua legitimidade política junto às populações mais pobres, com muito raras exceções. A percepção de que o Estado é ilegítimo, somada ao tratamento aviltante dado pela polícia à população em geral, e aos torcedores em particular, resulta em ações contra a ordem instituída – depredação do patrimônio e agressão contra a própria polícia. Mas essa reação não é planejada, não é articulada objetivamente, e por isso ela pode também ser parte de outras formas de violência, como a que ocorre entre torcidas. Ou seja, é um contexto que produz a violência como forma de expressão, e que produz pessoas que usam a violência como forma de expressão. O contexto violento impõe as regras violentas do jogo; as pessoas não são violentas por alguma “essência” interior. E isso é uma questão que se faz presente em diversos contextos sociais, não apenas no futebol.

Assassinos devem ser julgados e punidos; a não punição de assassinos não vai melhorar a situação no curto prazo, só piorar. Mas reduzir a questão mais ampla dos atos de violência associados às torcidas a um problema de polícia não vai resolver nada de forma definitiva. Na minha percepção, a maneira como o poder público trata o problema se reduz a um imenso teatro. E a população em geral não consegue pensar de outro modo que não seja “isso é problema do poder público”; por isso estamos atolados, sem sair do lugar. Ou seja, é preciso, no mínimo, transformar as forma de relação entre o Estado e a população, o que passa por transformar a polícia.

EE: No seu trabalho, você afirma que “a maioria dos torcedores torcia pelas torcidas”. Como você explica esse fato? E por que motivo o que acontece dentro do campo deixa de ser tão importante?

RT: O futebol, como esporte, passou por muitas transformações ao longo dos últimos 150 anos. Inicialmente, na Inglaterra, houve o esforço de “civilizar” a sua prática, que era notória por sua capacidade de gerar tumulto e confusão. Segundo Eric Dunning, um importante estudioso da violência no futebol, as autoridades inglesas iniciaram um combate ao futebol, através de leis que o proibiam em certos locais, por volta do ano 1314. No século 19, as regras que conhecemos foram desenvolvidas, com o objetivo de transformar uma prática de lazer popular em exercício de disciplinamento do corpo e da mente. Esse já foi um primeiro passo no processo de distanciamento entre a vida das classes populares e o esporte. Ao longo do século 20, duas outras coisas importantes ocorrem nesse sentido: o futebol se transforma em espetáculo, o que faz com que participantes sejam transformados em espectadores – a própria ideia de torcedor, que implica em alguém que não participa diretamente do jogo, aparece apenas no início do século passado. Em segundo lugar, e em especial na segunda metade do século, há um processo de profissionalização e de aburguesamento do esporte, o que distancia ainda mais o que ocorre dentro de campo e a comunidade de torcedores. Jogadores que antes eram membros da comunidade, como ainda ocorre em times pequenos, de segundas e terceiras divisões, passam a ser profissionais-celebridades com quem a torcida não interage de forma significativa; inclusive porque tais jogadores tendem a permanecer pouco tempo em cada clube. Qualquer resquício de experiência de comunidade ficou então restrito às torcidas, ao que ocorre nas arquibancadas. Foi o que eu vivenciei na Argentina: os jogadores eram festejados como celebridades, mas a relação com eles era superficial; a relação com a vida da comunidade de torcedores, com seus símbolos e rituais, no entanto, era muito mais forte e perene. Por isso eu disse que os torcedores em geral torcem muito mais por suas próprias torcidas do que pela equipe.

“REDUZIR A QUESTÃO MAIS AMPLA DOS ATOS DE VIOLÊNCIA ASSOCIADOS ÀS TORCIDAS A UM PROBLEMA DE POLÍCIA NÃO VAI RESOLVER NADA DE FORMA DEFINITIVA”

Mas isso marca mais os torcedores que frequentam os estádios e outros lugares das torcidas. Há vários tipos de torcedores. O torcedor de sofá, em geral, não tem essa experiência. O torcedor de boteco tem um pouco dela. Na relação com a torcida nos estádios, há muitos torcedores que são espectadores de terceiro grau: são espectadores do jogo e do espetáculo que as torcidas promovem nas arquibancadas, que eles só veem pela televisão. Aliás, parte do cinismo presente nos discursos midiáticos sobre a violência das torcidas é o fato de que estes jamais mencionam que muitos espectadores veem nas torcidas um espetáculo tão notável quanto o que ocorre em campo. Tenho amigos corintianos que falam com muito orgulho da Gaviões da Fiel, sem nunca terem se aproximado fisicamente da torcida. Vi a mesma coisa com a La 12, maior torcida do Boca Juniors, na Argentina.

EE: Em Buenos Aires, você descobriu que os torcedores mais jovens são geralmente os mais agressivos. No Brasil, um levantamento do jornal Lance! mostrou que, nos últimos 24 anos, mais de 150 pessoas foram mortas em decorrência de brigas entre torcidas, sendo 47% delas na faixa etária entre 11 e 20 anos. Esse número pode ser explicado pelo mesmo motivo?

arquibancada-renzo_450RT: Ninguém deveria morrer indo ao estádio. Mas esses são números que revelam que o pânico moral em torno das torcidas é ridículo. Muito mais gente morre andando de bicicleta do que indo ao estádio. Pensemos através dos números: as grandes torcidas organizadas têm dezenas de milhares de associados; só no brasileirão de 2011, o público total foi de cinco milhões e meio de pessoas. Adicione aí os estaduais, e as outras divisões, e seguramente temos mais de 10 milhões de torcedores nos estádios anualmente. E temos uma média de 10 a 12 mortes por ano. Se esses números estiverem corretos, é como dizer que a taxa é de 0,1 mortes por 100.000 habitantes, e apenas levando em consideração as pessoas que efetivamente vão aos estádios. Estatisticamente, é obvio que ir ao estádio, e mesmo participar das torcidas, não está entre as coisas mais perigosas da vida urbana; pelo contrário. Para uma grande quantidade de gente – em especial os mais pobres nos grandes centros urbanos -, participar de uma torcida dá uma sensação de pertencimento e segurança não encontrada em outras áreas da vida. Foi isso que eu vi na Argentina: boa parte dos imigrantes de outras partes do país, ou de outros países, ia morar nas favelas da capital argentina, onde não tinham rede de apoio social, parentes, amigos. Encontravam isso nas torcidas.

“SE HOUVESSE UMA MELHOR INTERLOCUÇÃO ENTRE OS DIVERSOS SETORES DA SOCIEDADE ENVOLVIDOS NA QUESTÃO, E EM ESPECIAL ENTRE AS TORCIDAS E AS AUTORIDADES, TENHO CERTEZA DE QUE AS PRÓPRIAS TORCIDAS AJUDARIAM NO CONTROLE DO PROBLEMA. MAS AS TORCIDAS E SEUS LÍDERES SÃO PREVIAMENTE TAXADOS DE BANDIDOS”

Com relação à idade dos participantes, isso remete a outras questões que eu ainda não mencionei. As culturas e sociedades humanas, quaisquer que sejam, têm que lidar com essa questão, a necessidade de controlar, de alguma forma, a abundância de energia e os comportamentos agonísticos, agressivos, dos garotos adolescentes e jovens adultos. O próprio surgimento dos esportes pode estar ligado a isso, de alguma forma. Entre os jovens ligados às torcidas organizadas, não é incomum a visão de que, para se transformar em um líder com fama e prestígio, é preciso demonstrar altos níveis de coragem e agressividade. Com o tempo, os membros das torcidas, e especialmente os líderes, que tendem a ser mais velhos, entendem que para ter a liderança é preciso muito mais do que coragem e valentia; é preciso, fundamentalmente, inteligência e carisma. E isso não se ganha no grito.

Por isso eu digo que, sem as torcidas e os controles que elas exercem sobre seus membros, os índices de violência e criminalidade em áreas periféricas, como a que eu pesquisei na Argentina, seriam provavelmente maiores. Qualquer grupo social exerce alguma forma de controle sobre seus membros; as torcidas não são diferentes. Como eu ouvi recorrentemente na Argentina, situações de violência e confusão não são convenientes aos líderes de torcida, porque estes têm muito a perder com isso. Também não são convenientes, para usar um exemplo mais chocante ao nosso senso comum, a quem trafica drogas dentro das torcidas: em situações violentas, eles correm o risco de perder a droga e serem presos. Eu vi traficantes atuando de forma a conter o ímpeto de violência de alguns torcedores, o que poderia desencadear eventos violentos coletivos. Não se trata de apresentar traficantes como “bons moços”; muitas vidas são efetivamente perdidas com o consumo de droga na torcida, e não descarto que eventos violentos podem ser desencadeados por ações tolas e desmesuradas cometidas por alguém sob efeito de drogas. O que eu estou tentando dizer é que a realidade é mais complexa do que o que faz crer essa tendência que temos de dividir o mundo entre “bons” e “maus”.

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De qualquer forma, minha experiência com as torcidas me diz que, em geral, quando uma torcida é a causadora de atos de violência contra a polícia ou outra torcida, isso frequentemente se dá em decorrência de atos impensados e impulsivos dos torcedores mais jovens. Os torcedores mais velhos e os líderes precisam saber administrar o ímpeto dos mais jovens. Mas nem sempre são capazes de fazê-lo, e quando a situação sai de controle e o combate se estabelece, os líderes acabam tendo que entrar na briga ao lado dos jovens que a causaram.

Eu presenciei negociações entre líderes de torcida e delegados de polícia de bairros de periferia, em que os últimos autorizavam a entrada de bandeiras ou tambores nos estádios, coisa proibida em Buenos Aires quando fiz minha pesquisa, em troca da garantia dos líderes que estes iriam controlar los pibes, a “molecada”, e que não haveria confusão ao redor do estádio. Ou seja, essa relação entre as ações dos mais jovens e as brigas era entendida de forma semelhante tanto por líderes como por policiais de bairro.

“PARA UMA GRANDE QUANTIDADE DE GENTE, EM ESPECIAL OS MAIS POBRES NOS GRANDES CENTROS URBANOS, PARTICIPAR DE UMA TORCIDA DÁ UMA SENSAÇÃO DE PERTENCIMENTO E SEGURANÇA NÃO ENCONTRADA EM OUTRAS ÁREAS DA VIDA”

Na Europa, uma das iniciativas mais ousadas de que tenho notícia é a contratação de assistentes sociais, na Bélgica, Holanda e Alemanha, com o intuito de conviver com as torcidas, e agir estrategicamente nos momentos em que ações de poucos indivíduos poderiam desencadear reações em cadeia, se alastrando para toda uma multidão e resultando em violência e depredação. Ou seja, a ideia era, ao invés de criminalizar todo um contingente de pessoas, evitar que a fagulha que produz a explosão coletiva ocorresse. Acho isso uma ideia genial; liberal demais, talvez, para o pensamento de nossas elites políticas, porque desarticula as formas de discriminação que existem na base de nossa existência social.

EE: Depois da obra, o Maracanã vai contar com um conjunto de ações anti-vandalismo, que inclui a utilização de materiais anticorrosivos e resistentes a pancadas. Você acredita que essa é a maneira correta de prevenir esse tipo de ação? Como evitar confusões entre torcedores em eventos de grandes proporções, como a Copa do Mundo?

RT: O Maracanã está saindo muito caro para a sociedade. Acho bom que ele seja, pelo menos, durável. Mas não há qualquer prevenção nisso.

arquibancadanoturno-renzo_450Pensando em escala de curtíssimo prazo, para os grandes eventos que se aproximam, as autoridades devem ser capazes de identificar agressores e submetê-los à justiça, mas de forma precisa, objetiva, isenta. Se houvesse uma melhor interlocução entre os diversos setores da sociedade envolvidos na questão, e em especial entre as torcidas e as autoridades, tenho certeza de que as próprias torcidas ajudariam no controle do problema. Mas as torcidas e seus líderes são previamente taxados de bandidos, e o que se vê pautando a percepção coletiva, via mídia, é então apenas o discurso da polícia, repetido no jornalismo de forma quase sempre acrítica. Muitos jornalistas, infelizmente, pensam: “não vou dar espaço a esses bandidos” – sem perceber que, ao fazê-lo, estão pré-julgando e condenando muita gente que nunca se envolveu em violência. Essa é uma das razões pelas quais nunca se ouve a voz de quem participa das torcidas. Ou seja, em geral, a cobertura jornalística sobre a questão das torcidas tende a refletir apenas um ponto de vista, dentre muitos outros possíveis: o que manifesta certo moralismo das classes médias urbanas. Como conclusão, eu diria então que um pré-requisito para qualquer avanço nessa área é a melhoria na interlocução entre torcidas, jornalistas, autoridades e demais envolvidos.

Num prazo mais longo, é preciso mudar a relação entre o Estado e os segmentos da população diretamente envolvidos. Uma das coisas que as lideranças da polícia do Rio de Janeiro aprenderam, a duras penas, com a implantação das Unidades de Polícia Pacificadora, é que o treinamento dado aos policiais para o policiamento das ruas não era adequado para a situação de convivência com as comunidades. É justamente essa a questão, o mesmo ocorre nos estádios: os policiais precisam, antes de tudo, ser treinados para a convivência com os torcedores, entendendo as lógicas específicas dos contextos das torcidas, e só então o combate ao crime entra em cena. Não se pode pensar que a convivência é uma coisa óbvia, e o combate ao crime é que é complexo: a convivência entre torcedores e policiais deve ser tomada como um elemento fundamental, tão importante e complexo, do ponto de vista dos policiais, quanto ser capaz de identificar um crime. Por essa razão, eu sinceramente espero que o Coronel Robson, uma das autoridades policiais mais esclarecidas a esse respeito no Rio de Janeiro, seja envolvido na preparação das polícias de todo o Brasil para a Copa do Mundo de 2014.

Fotos: Renzo Taddei

Kaiowá e Guarani denunciam Veja por racismo e exigem direito de resposta (CIMI)

Informe nº 1040: Kaiowá e Guarani denunciam Veja por racismo e exigem direito de resposta

Inserido por: Administrador em 14/11/2012.
Fonte da notícia: Campanha Guarani

Alvos de reportagem da Revista Veja no último dia 4, indígenas Guarani e Kaiowá lançaram nesta quarta-feira, 14, uma carta pública exigindo o direito de resposta na publicação. Afirmam, também, que irão encaminhar denúncia de racismo e estímulo ao ódio ao Ministério Público Federal do Mato Grosso do Sul (MPF-MS). A carta foi coassinada por cerca de cinquenta organizações.

A matéria, assinada por Leonardo Coutinho e Kalleo Coura epublicada nas versões impressa e virtual da revista, foi considerada discriminatória pelos indígenas. Segundo a carta, a Veja “não perdeu ‘a oportunidade de apresentar, mais uma vez, a imagem dos Guarani e Kaiowá como seres incapazes, como [se] nós indígenas não fossemos seres humanos pensantes. Fomos considerados como selvagens e truculentos'”, afirmam.

Um abaixo-assinado exigindo direito de resposta será enviado ao MPF-MS.

Leia o documento na íntegra:

Revista Veja: direito de resposta aos Guarani-Kaiowá já

“A escrita, quando você escreve errado, também mata um povo”. Assim afirmaram os professores Guarani-Kaiowá a respeito do que foi publicado na revista Veja, em 4 de novembro, sobre a luta de seu povo pelos seus territórios tradicionais.

Sob os títulos de “A ilusão de um paraíso” e “Visão medieval de antropólogos deixa índios na penúria” (nas versões impressa e virtual, respectivamente), a reportagem parte de uma visão: i) claramente parcial no que diz respeito à situação sociopolítica e territorial em Mato Grosso do Sul, pois afirma que os indígenas querem construir “uma grande nação guarani” na “zona mais produtiva do agronegócio em Mato Grosso do Sul”; ii) deliberadamente distorcida quanto à atuação política dos grupos indígenas supracitados e dos órgãos atuantes na região, desmoralizando os primeiros ao compará-los, ainda que indiretamente, a “massas de manobra” das organizações supostamente manipuladoras e com uma “percepção medieval do mundo”; iii) irresponsável e criminosa, por estimular medo, ódio e racismo, como se vê no seguinte trecho: “o resto do Brasil que reze para que os antropólogos não tenham planos de levar os caiovás (sic) para outros estados, pois em pouco tempo todo o território brasileiro poderia ser reclamado pelos tutores dos índios”.

A reportagem, assinada pelos jornalistas Leonardo Coutinho e Kalleo Coura, não perdeu “a oportunidade de apresentar, mais uma vez, a imagem dos Guarani e Kaiowá como seres incapazes, como [se] nós indígenas não fossemos seres humanos pensantes. Fomos considerados como selvagens e truculentos”, conforme escreveu o Conselho da Aty Guasu, a assembleia Guarani e Kaiowá,  em nota pública lançada no último dia 5.

O documento repudia “a divulgação e posição racista e discriminante” do texto e reafirma a autonomia organizativa e política Guarani e Kaiowá na luta pela recuperação dos territórios. “A Luta pelas terras tradicionais é exclusivamente nossa. Nós somos protagonistas e autores da luta pelas terras indígenas. [E] nós envolvemos os agentes dos órgãos do Estado Brasileiro, os agentes das ONGs e todos os cidadãos (ãs) do Brasil e de outros países do Mundo”, afirmou a Aty Guasu. Ali também denuncia o tratamento difamatório na reportagem, reiterada na nota da Comissão de Professores Guarani-Kaiowá ao indicar que, propagando o ódio contra os indígenas, “a matéria quer colocar um povo contra outro povo. Quer colocar os não-índios contra os indíos. Essa matéria não educa e desmotiva. Ao invés de dar vida, ela traz a morte”.

*

A conjuntura em que estão inseridos os Kaiowá e Guarani lhes é extremamente desfavorável. Num momento em que se procura gerar uma negociação que busque superar os conflitos entre indígenas e fazendeiros no Mato Grosso do Sul, a revista teima em incendiar os ânimos de seus leitores ruralistas. A matéria carrega em si uma série de falhas na apuração das informações, apresentando fatos falsos ou distorcidos:

1. A reportagem expõe e reforça uma imagem distorcida e estigmatizada dos indígenas como dependentes de órgãos púbicos e privados, usuários de drogas e reféns dos interesses de indivíduos ou organizações exógenas às comunidades. Essa imagem estimula o racismo, o ódio e preconceito contra indígenas, problema histórico no Brasil, em geral, e no Mato Grosso do Sul, em particular, podendo intensificar a tensão e a violência já sofrida pelo povo Guarani-Kaiowá.

2. Aciona, também, preconceito contra a sociedade não-indígena, quando afirma que a população apoiadora da causa é manipulada, conforme explicitado na nota da Aty Guasu: a “(…) REVISTA VEJA considera que esses cidadãos (ãs) manifestantes seriam ignorantes e não conheceriam as situações dos Guarani e Kaiowá, os tachando de ignorantes aos cidadãos (ãs) em manifestação”. Há também uma passagem de sexismo sugestivo no texto, citando mulheres que “não perderam a chance de protestar de peito aberto diante das câmeras”

3. Omite a verdade quando ignora de maneira retumbante os posicionamentos públicos dos indígenas Guarani-Kaiowá organizados em sua assembleia maior, a Aty Guasu

4. Deturpa de maneira generalizada o conteúdo da carta dos Kaiowá de Pyelito Kue, imputando suas denúncias a organizações exógenas e creditando ao Cimi sua autoria e divulgação. A reportagem, no mínimo, não atentou às datas de divulgação do carta, escrita de próprio punho por lideranças de Pyelito Kue e endereçada à Aty Guas no dia 9 de novembro. Deturpações como essa são usadas para corroborar a tese de que os Kaiowá são “manipulados” pelo Cimi, pelos antropólogos e pela Funai;

5. Não foram checadas informações e acusações. As organizações citadas no texto, notadamente o Conselho Indigenista Missionário, nunca foram questionadas pela reportagem sobre as informações e acusações;

6. Uso de fonte questionável. O antropólogo citado na matéria, Edward Luz, não é pesquisador dos Guarani e Kaiowá, sequer do Mato Grosso do Sul. É, sim, missionário evangélico, membro do Conselho Consultivo do Instituto Antropos, diretor da Associação das Missões Transculturais Brasileiras (AMTB), vinculada à Missão NovasTribos do Brasil, o braço brasileiro da ONG internacional New Tribes Mission, organização que já foi expulsa ou impedida de entrar em diversas aldeias indígenas pelo órgão indigenista oficial brasileiro, a Fundação Nacional do Índio. É a mesma fonte, também, de outras matérias na revista com o mesmo teor antiíndigena;

7. Houve ma-fé no uso de informações desmentidas há tempos. As informações destacadas no mapa sobre a dita “Nação Guarani” – que revisaria limites territoriais nacionais e internacionais – e a demarcação contínua das terras do sul do Estado do Mato Grosso do Sul já foram desmentidas por indígenas e posteriormente por antropólogos e pela própria Funai, e novamente pelos indígenas durante as agendas de audiências públicas no Congresso Nacional na última semana.

8. Uso de apenas uma linha de entrevista, de maneira descontextualizada, com um único indígena – mesma fonte da matéria anterior sobre os Kaiowá e Guarani – no sentido de sugerir concordância com o texto conclusivo da matéria.

9. Exposição indevida da imagem de crianças indígenas em fotografia utilizada para ilustrar reportagem preconceituosa, com contornos sensacionalistas, ofensivos e que faz juízo de valor depreciativo de sua comunidade.

Dessa forma, o Conselho da Aty Guasu, grande assembléia dos povos Guarani Kaiowá, em conjunto com as demais organizações signatárias, vem a público denunciar a postura criminosa da Revista Veja.

A Aty Guasu Guarani e Kaiowá e a Comissão de Professores Guarani e Kaiowá exigem a investigação rigorosa e punição cabível dos responsáveis, bem como o direito de resposta aos Guarani e Kaiowá na revista Veja. Tais demandas também farão parte de Representação ao Ministério Público Federal para que este, dentro de suas competências constitucionais, tome as medidas necessárias. A imprensa é livre para se posicionar da forma que bem entenda – no entanto, os “fatos” que norteiam a reportagem citada são falsos. Não se trata de uma questão de opinião, e, sim, de irresponsabilidade. Os povos Guarani e Kaiowá já foram vitimados suficientemente por irresponsabilidades.

Dourados, 14 de novembro de 2012

Conselho Aty Guasu (Grande Assembleia do povo Guarani e Kaiowá)

Comissão de Professores Kaiowá e Guarani

Campanha Guarani

Coassinam:

Articulação dos Povos e Organizações Indígenas do Nordeste, MG e ES (APOINME)

Articulação dos Povos Indígenas do Brasil (APIB)

Associação Brasileira de Etnomusicologia (ABET)

Associação de Advogados de Trabalhadores Rurais no Estado da Bahia (AATR)

Ação Nacional de Ação Indigenista (ANAÍ-BA)

Amigos da Terra Brasil

Associação Aritaguá

Associação de Moradores de Porto das Caixas

Associação Socioambiental Verdemar

Centro de Estudos da Mídia Alternativa Barão de Itararé

Comissão Pastoral da Terra (CPT)

Conselho Federal de Psicologia (CFP)

Conselho Indígenista Missionário (Cimi)

Centro de Documentação Eloy Ferreira da Silva (CEDEFES)

Central Única das Favelas (CUFA-CEARÁ)

Centro de Estudos e Defesa do Negro do Pará (CEDENPA)

Centro de Cultura Negra do Maranhão

Coordenação Nacional de Juventude Negra

Centro de Estudos e Pesquisas para o Desenvolvimento do Extremo Sul da Bahia (CEPEDES)

Centro de Estudos das Relações de Trabalho e Desigualdades (CEERT)

Conselho Pastoral dos Pescadores (CPP)

CRIOLA – RJ

EKOS – Instituto para a Justiça e a Equidade – São Luís – MA

Fórum da Amazônia Oriental (FAOR)

Fase Amazônia

Fase Nacional – Núcleo Brasil Sustentável

Frente em Defesa da Amazônia (FDA)

FIOCRUZ

Fórum Carajás – São Luís – MA

Fórum de Defesa da Zona Costeira do Ceará

FUNAGUAS – Terezina – PI

Federação Nacional dos Jornalistas (FENAJ)

Grupo Pesq. em Sustentabilidade, Impacto e Gestão Ambiental (UFPB)

Grupo Pesq. em Educação Ambiental da (GPEA/UFMT)

Grupo Pesq. Historicidade do Estado e do Direito (UFBA)

Justiça Global

IARA – RJ

Intervozes – Coletivo Brasil de Comunicação Social

Instituto Brasileiro de Análises Sociais e Econômicas (Ibase)

Instituto Socioambiental (ISA)

Instituto para a Justiça e a Equidade (EKOS)

Instituto da Mulher Negra (GELEDÉS)

Instituto Nacional de Estudos Sócio-Econômicos (INESC)

Instituto Búzios

Instituto Federal de Educação, Ciência e Tecnologia Fluminense

Instituto Terramar

Instituto Internacional de Educação do Brasil (IEB)

Inst. Nac. de Ciência e Tec. de Inclusão no Ensino Superior e na Pesquisa (INCTI)

Justiça Global

Mestrado Prof. em Sustentabilidade junto a Povos e Terras Indígenas (CDS/UnB)

Movimento Brasil pelas Florestas

Movimento Cultura de Rua (MCR) – Fortaleza – CE

Movimento de Mulheres Camponesas (MMC)

Movimento dos Trabalhadores Rurais Sem Terra (MST)

Movimento Cultura de Rua (MCR)

Movimento Inter-Religioso (MIR/Iser)

Movimento Popular de Saúde de Santo Amaro da Purificação (MOPS)

Movimento Wangari Maathai

Núcleo de Investigações em Justiça Ambiental (Universidade Federal de São João del-Rei) – São João del-Rei – MG

Núcleo TRAMAS (Trabalho Meio Ambiente e Saúde para Sustentabilidade/UFC) – Fortaleza – CE

Observatório Ambiental Alberto Ribeiro Lamego – Macaé – RJ

Omolaiyè (Sociedade de Estudos Étnicos, Políticos, Sociais e Culturais) – Aracajú – SE

ONG. GDASI – Grupo de Defesa Ambiental e Social de Itacuruçá – Mangaratiba – RJ

OcupaBelém

OcupaSampa

Opção Brasil – São Paulo – SP

Oriashé Sociedade Brasileira de Cultura e Arte Negra – São Paulo – SP

Plataforma Dhesca Brasil

Projeto Recriar – Ouro Preto – MG

Rede Axé Dudu – Cuiabá – MT

Rede Matogrossense de Educação Ambiental – Cuiabá – MT

Rede Jubileu Sul Brasil

Rede Nacional de Advogados Populares (RENAP)

Sociedade de Melhoramentos do São Manoel – São Manoel – SP

Sociedade Paraense de Defesa dos Direitos Humanos (SDDH)

Terra de Direitos – Organização de Direitos Humanos

TOXISPHERA – Associação de Saúde Ambiental – PR