One of the most important common factors that Scott found in these schemes is what he refers to as a high modernist ideology. In simplest terms, it is an extremely firm belief that progress can and will make the world a better place. But "scientific" theories about the betterment of life often fail to take into account "the indispensable role of practical knowledge, informal processes, and improvisation in the face of unpredictability" that Scott views as essential to an effective society. What high modernism lacks is metis, a Greek word which Scott translates as "the knowledge that can only come from practical experience." Although metis is closely related to the concept of "mutuality" found in the anarchist writings of, among others, Kropotkin and Bakunin, Scott is careful to emphasize that he is not advocating the abolition of the state or championing a complete reliance on natural "truth." He merely recognizes that some types of states can initiate programs which jeopardize the well-being of all their subjects.
Although the collapse of most socialist governments might lead one to believe that Seeing Like a State is old news, Scott's analysis should prove extremely useful to those considering the effects of global capitalism on local communities. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Back in my freshmen days at Johns Hopkins, I rebelled at the focus of "Political Science". It was basically all about how the system worked and was rather obviously... Read morePublished 1 month ago by Male Aesthetic Conservative
Textual research is too limited. Scott's study shows how participation and observation can disprove false though elegant theories. Read morePublished 1 month ago by sun mengxi
Really interesting to see how ideas and actions meant to help society, were actually just there to help the government. Money talks at the end of the day.Published 4 months ago by Iiiiiinny
I am long out of the habit of reading highly researched non-fiction, but this book deeply impressed me with its insights, its erudition, and the quality of its views. Read morePublished 5 months ago by Patrick Lydon
Some books are inspirational, others are fun, yet others provide valuable information. Few books have the capacity to impact our very perception of reality. Read morePublished 7 months ago by Pedro Sandín-Fremaint
This is an engaging book that peels back some of the layers of bureaucracy to show you how states understand their citizens and why government is often so inept. Read morePublished 7 months ago by Nicholas Acord
Well written, it argues in favour of local knowledge and by consequence for people's participation in state induced programmes and projects.Published 8 months ago by Ton van Naerssen
Full of insightful observations, but I wish he had swapped out the lengthy middle section explaining why the Soviet collectives were a massive, hubristic failure (oh really! Read morePublished 11 months ago by Raja Raghunath