2011년 4월 28일 목요일

[자료] Introduction: The Analytic Strategies of Eric R. Wolf.

자료: 구글도서
도서명: Articulating hidden histories: exploring the influence of Eric R. Wolf
저자: Jane Schneider, Rayna Rapp
University of California Press, 1995 (400 페이지)

1장. Introduction: The Analytic Strategies of Eric R. Wolf.
지은이: Jane Schneider

* * *
At the American Anthropological Association Meeting of 1991, three sessions explored the influence of Eric R. Wolf's scholarship on the field of anthropology and related disciplines. (...) Out of the 1991 sessions the title for this book, "Articulating Hidden Histories," evolved. Here, I use these words to frame what I think are the analytic strategies of Eric Wolf, working from back to front.

The first word is "histories." For Wolf, historical processes are preeminently political and economic, reinforced through ideology. Concentrations of political and economic power generate "forces" or "vectors" with enormous potential to disrupt human arrangements over a wide field. These disruptions put people at risk, demand that they cope, and provoke oppositional responses that at times succeed. Yet even the revolutionary overthrow of a particular concentration of power can end up with the "subjugation and transformation" of the social groups in whose name the revolutionaries struggled. This point was made by Wolf in ^Peasant^(1966a,92-93, 109), a book that predated by twenty years the uprising against revolutionary socialist regimes in Eastern Europe. It was reiterated in his essay "Freedom and Freedoms: Anthropological Perspectives," delivered to the University of Capetown in 1990. There Wolf compares liberal and Jacobian models of freedom. As a radical faction at the time of the French Revolution, the Jacobians conceived of the state "not as a potential threat to liberty, but as the very embodiment of the 'people's will' to freedom." Yet they, and revolutionary parties after them, were unable to install their principles or protect their gains from foreign and domestic enemies without adopting measures "quite contrary to their initial sentiments"(1990a, 9, 11).

Conclusions such as these are not born of cynicism but rather derive from a profound sense that concentrations of power, however, they might by achieved, will continue to act disruptively out of their location in a competitive, ever-changing, and unevenly developed "field of forces." At times Wolf has used the terms "structure" or "structural power" to refer to power complexes(e.g., 1990b, 586-587). He is, however, self-consciously ambivanlent about this architectural metaphor, with its implication of fixity. A bibliographic note in ^Europe and the People without History" expresses appreciation of the French structural Marxists for expanding on the mode of production concept, yet regrets their abandonment of the Hegelian language of dialecticcal contradictions in favor of a teleology of "structural causality"(1982a, 401). Consistent with this is Wolf's conscious borrowing of metaphors from physics rather than architecture: vectors, forces, and fields of force are frequently evoked in his writing.

Some anthropologists balk at the concept "forces" for being too abstract, disembodied, and determiative. Yet powerful forces like militarized chiefdom, merchant and industrial companies, banking houses, and governmental regimes (whether tributary, capitalist, or socialist) are conceptualized by Wolf as human products and repositories of human agency, having developed out of historical processes of political-economic-ideological competition. Their seeming impersonailty derives from the open-ended and inherently unstable fields within which they are constrained to operate, for any particular concentration of power provokes others into being, with which it must then contend. Wolf's essay "Cycles of Violence"(1987a) strongly suggests that the issue is not one of impersonal determinants so much as it is the unpredictable, ever-changing moves of strategizing and self-justifying powerholders in a "world of multi-tiered conflicts."

This means of course, that ideatinal phenomena belong to the world of politics and economics; they are not its product or "superstructure." Put differently, foci of accumulation require ideological definition in their very operation: ideology organizes the material and political practices of those who would deploy power. Nor does a concern with "forces" or "vectors" preclude recognizing religion as a realm of symbolic communication contributing to the realm of politics and economics. Appreciating Mart Bax's concept, "religious regime," Wolf emphasizes that religion also generates vectors, at once economic, political, and sanctifying (see Wolf 1984a, 1991a). Yet of all the forces or vectors that play, or have played, in the fields of interaction we call history, those associated with mercantilism and capitalism are seen to pose the "greatest single threat"(1990b, 587). Under capitalism, the "Cycles of Viloence" essay argues,

arrangements of power and order are predicated not upon stable and enduring foundations, but upon an economic base forever trembling and subject to major quakes... If capitalism has a special relation to the development of political freedom as we know it, it also exercises an extraordinary destabilizing power in its continuous search for higher profits and sustained capital accumulation. Capital forever abandons older sectors of the economy and relocates in new and more promising industries and areas...[;] in its continuous and often unpredictable movements, it also continuously shakes up the foundations of human existence, and as a result also calls into question over and over again the capacity of power groups to wield power and to maintain it. (1987a, 147-148)

I belabor Wolf's image of a trembling and quaking field of forces, intrinsic to world history but vastly more disruptive under capitalism, in order to expand on the word "histories"in particular the choice of the plural formin the title of this book. Much of anthropology asks whether locally situated, powerless peoplesclassical anthropological subjectscan exercise "agency" in relation to the "structures" that would dominate them. This is not Wolf's definition of the problem. His starting point is an open-ended, unpredictable, interaction sphere, whose very fluidity among competing, and often contradictory, forces enlarges the possibilities for empowerment from below. Local and regional histories abound, built up out of the organizational or tactical power of "operating units" with the help of leadership and personal persuasion. Moreover, there are circumstances under which such mobilizations can enter the force-field as significant vectors.


(...) Revisiting his concept of the "closed corporate peasant community" in 1986, he described himself as striving to comprehend "local and parochial relationship in terms of wider unfolding economic and political processes, while trying simultaneously to grasp how human beings in [these local] communities responded to these processes through culturally informed action and action-involved cultural forms" (1986, 328).

For Wolf, undervalued peoples are not only "among the makers of the modern world, and among its shakers," but knowing their histories is also a way "to recover a significant part of ourselves, so that we may gain more effective knowledge of the world which all of us, with our shared history, inhabit together." (Wolf 1983f, 5). This brings us to a second sense of the word "artuculating"the linkages of an increasingly globalized totality. Occasionally, Wolf has been taken as a "world-system" theorist, bent on demonstrating unequal exchanges between "core," "periphery," and "semiperipheral regions, differentially capable of producing high-profit goods and services. But although he is ever aware of unevenness in the world distribution of profit and power, he faults this approach for obliterating the "range and variety" of the micropopulations "habitually investigated by anthropologists" (Wolf 1982a, 23)

If anything, the very concept "periphery" reifies difference, as if the ordering of power in the world had a teleology in which Europe, or more precisely, North Atlantic Europe, had been destined to ascend to "core" status and stay there. Such thinking masks the contradictory reality, attended to by Wolf, that Europeans were "peripheral" to more developed power complexes for centuries, whereas of late they have had to take note of new and potent accumulation processes in Asia. Because his analysis begins with an open field of forces, with relational sets and internal contradictions, he is receptive to the possibility that new complexes might well appear, contra any fixed notion of a core-periphery hierarchy. It is this openness that most profoundly marks his dynamic, processual approach to what history is about.

Not only does the use, here, of "articulation" differ from a world-system outlook, it is also at variance with the multiple usages of the French structural Marxists. In the 1970s, philosophers and anthropologists of this school explored new applications of the mode of production concept, delineating several types or modes that had been absent, or underdeveloped, in the writings of Marx and Engels, and exploring the terms of their coexistence with capitalism. In their language, the colonial and imperial projects of Europeans brought the capitalist mode into "articulation" with other modes, variously labeled by such general terms as "Asiatic," "African," "precapitalist," or by more restrictive designations such as "hunting and gathering," "horticulture," "slavery," and so on. William Roseberry, with his usual clarity, reviews the attempt of Pierre-Phillippe Rey to map out stages of articulation between capitalist and noncapitalist modes, as well as other applications of this term (1989, 155-175).

In ^Europe and the People without History^, Wolf, too, makes use of the mode of production concept, arguing that, because it is a powerful tool for analyzing the differentiation and appropriation of social labor, it usefully guides us to a fuller consideration of relationships of class and power. Yet he eschews the typological fixity and structural determination implied by Rey and others. Their anthropology, he suggests, shows a tendency "to collapse all culture and cultural diversity into the elements of the mode of production. Furthermore, they reify modes of production into timeless essences, which are then allowed to reproduce themselves or conjugate('articulate') with one another without reference to historical time or circumstances.(1982a, 401). Wolf opts instead for no more than three comprehensive modes, each internally differentiated and capable of much variation. The threekin-ordered, truburary, and capitalistare not so much structured entities as heuristic devices for sorting out divergent processes of power and wealth accumulation, these processes in turn fostering divergent patterns of social inequality and ideological justificationl. Moreover, all three are dynamic. Change, growth, and development emerge from kin-ordered and tributary relations, and from their interactions, as well as from the much touted restlessness of capitalism. To be discovered are the articulations among the foci of accumulation, both within and across the three modes.

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