The Dawn of Everything, Part 2

by Miriam Ronzoni on December 17, 2021


So, I had promised a Part 2, and here it is. As I anticipated in Part 1, Graeber and Wengrow suggest that we should look at early Modern and Modern exchanges between, especially, Europeans and native North-Americans in a different way. If we take seriously what European intellectuals, missionaries and explorers of the time report, the story they tell us is one of encounters characterised by muscular, vibrant debates about the merits of different social arrangements and life-styles. Crucially, in these debates, both parties were active, passionate participants, and indigenous intellectuals had very sharp criticisms to make to western political structures, as they were getting to know them. This is not the central thesis of the book (which is about early humans, recall), but it is put forward as a clue to the fact that we might have a tendency to stubbornly deny certain pieces of evidence – even when they lie in front of us, in plain sight. [click to continue…]