Re: followers/leaders (was You may not believe in God but She still believes ...

Date: Sun Jun 25 2000 - 10:31:56 MDT

In a message dated 6/24/00 12:07:07 PM Central Daylight Time, writes:

> I never read "Coming of Age in Somoa." I heard that everything in it was
> questionable, since when the Somoan girls were being interviewed, they made
> up a bunch of stuff as a joke (but they didn't let Meade in on the joke).
> I was categorizing more along the lines used by Jared Diamond in...what was
> that book called?..._Guns, Germs, and Steel_ or something like that...with
> tribal cultures defined as those in which leaders are chosen for specific
> purposes and continue to lead only so long as the people agree to have them
> lead; in such cases the leaders are unlikely to enjoy special material
> advantages. The definition refers to political powers and says nothing
> the level of violence practiced by individual people in the course of day
> day life, although in kinship based tribes violence is more likely to be
> turned against non-members than members. This is in contrast to, say, a
> chiefdom or a kingdom, where the leader continues to lead even when a
> substantial number of members of the group are against his or her
> leadership; in chiefdoms, the leader enjoys material advantages such as
> fancier clothing, nicer housing, special foods.

I haven't read Diamond's book -- it's gotten strong pro and con reviews from
people I respect, which means I ought to read it, I suppose. Put another
round in the clip!

On the face of your desciption of his definition of "tribal" leadership, I
have some fairly deep doubts about it's empirical validity. More comment
from me will have to await my reading of his book.

       Greg Burch <>----<>
      Attorney ::: Vice President, Extropy Institute ::: Wilderness Guide -or-
                                           ICQ # 61112550
        "We never stop investigating. We are never satisfied that we know
        enough to get by. Every question we answer leads on to another
       question. This has become the greatest survival trick of our species."
                                          -- Desmond Morris

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