How Narco-Trafficking Constitutes A Coastal Nicaraguan Society

Evening class

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Mark Jamieson

How Narco-Trafficking Constitutes A Coastal Nicaraguan Society

Tuesday, April 4, 2017 - 18:45

This talk is concerned with the relationship between narco-trafficking, myth-making and the perceived failure of the autonomy process in the small coastal communities on Nicaragua’s Caribbean coast. It assesses the role of this sector of the regional economy in subsistence, development, law and political processes, while examining the actions and perceptions of local people within those communities negotiating various configurations of the relationship between narco-trafficking and an autonomy process that many deem to have floundered. Although the discussion draws on cases principally from the Pearl Lagoon district, it is argued that the conclusions are applicable to coastal communities in other parts of Nicaragua’s Caribbean coast, and in a number of aspects to rural communities in other parts of Latin America.

Evening class information

Our evening talks include discussion, are free and open to all.

Next evening class

Chris Knight

Selfish Genes, Sociobiology And The Emergence Of Modern Darwinism
Tuesday, May 2, 2017 - 18:45
Daryll Forde Seminar Room, Anthropology Building, 14 Taviton Street, London WC1H 0BW. Tube: Euston Square. map

When Richard Dawkins' book 'The Selfish Gene' was published in 1976, it caused an outrage on the left. Marxists, feminists and others took the book to be a celebration of laissez-faire economics and competitive individualism. But when we look at the versions of Darwinism which had prevailed in the previous period, it becomes clear that 'selfish gene' theory represented a major scientific advance. Far from justifying selfishness, the new Darwinism explains in a convincing way why instincts of solidarity and generosity are commonplace throughout the natural world. Today, one of the major figures in human evolutionary theory is the feminist thinker and 'selfish gene' pioneer Sarah Hrdy, whose book 'Mothers and Others' explains how cooperative childcare was the critical factor which gave rise to our species. Hrdy's work represents a modern scientific vindication of the traditional Marxist theory, popularized by Frederick Engels, that early human kinship and family life was based on collective rather than individual parenthood. This talk will review the catalogue of misunderstandings which led the left across most of the western world to respond to a scientific controversy by tragically backing the wrong side.