Sunday, 23 February 2014

Updated / Doug McDonald Results

23andme Standard:
99.4% European
Northern European
33.1% British & Irish
1.1% Scandinavian
58.5% Nonspecific Northern European

1.1% Ashkenazi
5.7% Nonspecific European

0.1% East Asian & Native American
0.1% Yakut
< 0.1% Nonspecific East Asian & Native American

0.5% Unassigned


Doug McDonald's take on same data:


This is likely just plain English, but could also be
     Spain= 0.381      Irish= 0.619 or
     Irish= 0.674    Italian= 0.326 or
    French= 0.634      Irish= 0.366 or
     Irish= 0.734     Tuscan= 0.266 or
and the small and weak Mideast on the chromosomes does indicate
probably a small Mediterranean part. I see no Jewish.
Doug McDonald

Thursday, 12 May 2011

Frederick Soddy: The Role of Money

Some selections from the early chapters of Frederick Soddy, The Role of Money: What it Should be, Contrasted with what it has Become (London: George Routledge and Sons, 1934). Read/download the rest of the book here.

Energy Theory of Wealth

One of the main contributions of these doctrines is a consistent energy theory of wealth and the sharp distinction that results between wealth and the ownership of a debt. This reveals much that is incontrovertible regarding the threatened collapse of the modern scientific civilization, to give it its proper name, though it is usually miscalled the capitalistic civilization. True, “Capital,” in its proper physical sense, is its most distinctive superficial feature. But in that sense Capital is the unconsumable product of the irrevocable consumption or expenditure of wealth necessary to prepare for and make possible the new methods of production. Owing to modern methods of power production, much more of it is necessary than with the old methods. Moreover, it may be exchangeable for fresh wealth, but it is not changeable into it. From the community’s standpoint capital appears as debt rather than wealth.


Orthodox economics has never yet been anything but the class economics of the owners of debts. If its writers ever attempted any wider social applications, they made themselves simply ridiculous, as when one solemnly looked forward to the millennium arriving through the accumulation of so much capital that everyone would be well off and comfortable, presumably by living on the interest of their mutual indebtednesses. Whilst in the sphere of international trade, till long after the War, the dictum that a continued favourable balance of trade was essential for the existence of the strong nations implied the continuation of unfavourable balances for the weak. It was stated that this country was threatened with disaster unless it contrived to maintain the previous rate of foreign investments returning abroad all that it received in the way of interest and sinking funds in respect of past investments, and if possible more than this. These are good illustrations of the debt-view of wealth and the substitution of social and legal conventions for physical reality.


It is convenient to give a name to the group of interconnected but more or less independent doctrines comprised under such terms as Cartesian, Physical or New Economics, Social Energetics, the Age of Plenty, and Technocracy, including the implications of these doctrines, in regard to the problems of distribution and the new philosophy of money, with which this book


is more particularly concerned. A new word Ergosophy will be employed for this purpose. It means the wisdom of work, energy, or power, in the purely physical sense. Mental or intellectual activities, to which these three terms are often loosely applied, are better referred to, rather, as effort, diligence, or attention.

There are many reasons that render such a new word or term desirable. So far there has been no real social philosophy arising wholly out of the universally obeyed laws of the physical world. On the other hand, from the remotest times, technology has been too apt to be considered merely a sort of slave or menial servant to verbose, pretentious, and impressionistic humane philosophies and religions. Indeed it would hardly be a caricature of civilization, as it has evolved up to now, to describe it as having been attempting to compound for the injustice of ascribing unto God the things that are of Science by rendering unto Caesar the things that are of God. Technocracy, in one at least of its sources of inspiration, the suggestion of Thorstein Veblen for the establishment of a Soviet of technicians to take over the control of the world, is probably one of the first collective dawnings of this malversation. So long as we have simple folk displaying a pathetic acquiescence in the piety that renders thanks for all the good things of life and ascribes them to the bounty of Providence, along with anything but simple folk who


totally disbelieve anything of the kind but nevertheless do still believe implicitly in practising much more forceful methods of obtaining them, so long will civilization be a happy hunting ground for the predatory and acquisitive and a wilderness for the original and creative. The new philosophy, by claiming for mechanical science its rightful position as an equal in the trinity of wisdom, should make it easier to render unto Caesar the things that are of Caesar and to God the things that are of God.

Wealth and Calories

In the first place ergosophy rehabilitates with a precise meaning that old-fashioned and indispensable word Wealth, which the orthodox economist, knowing even less of the alleged subject-matter of his studies than the original founders of the subject, the French Physiocrats, took too much for granted. Originating, to him, ultimately somehow through divine agency, he came to regard the acquisition of wealth as tantamount to its creation. He became obsessed with commerce and mercantile exchange to the neglect of the technical principles underlying all new production of wealth. To this day we are in the grip of a mercantile system that fritters away in distribution most of the advantage gained in lightening the labour of producing wealth.


Marxism Obsolete

It ought never to be forgotten that Victorian economics was essentially class economics, in which only gradually and tardily the actual producers of wealth as distinct from employers and property owners were considered at all. But we find things worse and not better among the accepted doctrines of leftwing and revolutionary movements. With a clearer recognition of the social implications of energy our political controversies appear mainly as due to economic confusions. In an age when men are more and more being displaced from their function as physical labourers by purely inanimate sources of power, and are in danger of being largely by-passed out of the cycle of production and distribution by automatic mechanisms, it would be incredible, if it were not true, that so large a part of the world should be misrepresented as dominated by the doctrines of Karl Marx as to wealth originating in human


labour. Every artisan must know that this is not now true. The views of Marx on money were even more out of date, relatively to his age, than his views on wealth, and it was significant in the evidence before the Macmillan Committee that Marxists seem to have been the last to abandon their primitive belief in gold as a currency medium and in the gold standard.

The Doctrine of Struggle

Unpleasant and shattering to many cherished illusions as this may seem, it is, nevertheless, the key that best fits our age, and none know it better than those who have tried to spread the new evangel. As an Australian writer recently well put it there are many who cling to (for others not themselves) poverty, insecurity, hard work, scanty living, wars, starvation, and disease, as blessings in disguise, necessary to goad and subdue this lazy


and unruly animal, man, and to protect him from softness and decadence. This is the doctrine of existence for struggle, rather than of struggle for existence, and it is probably the oldest doctrine in the world. It stinks of the East not the West.

[...] Men, it is true, in those [past] ages may have been goaded on by starvation to successful robbery and theft of their neighbours, but, in this power-age, progress has been due to the conquest of nature and the by-passing of men. Whatever may be the ultimate genic effect of the Great War, it is generally admitted that the French


Revolution and the Napoleonic Wars have perceptibly reduced the average physique of the French nation, and that now wars, since superior courage and valour are much more likely to lead to swift personal annihilation than ultimate survival, are definitely and necessarily dysgenic. While on the positive side, where courage and stamina are essential to survival, in exploration of land, sea, and sky, and in trying out and taming still imperfectly understood new processes and appliances to the use of men, science has provided and is providing both opportunities and unavoidable necessities for facing and overcoming dangers that would have blenched the cheek of the legendary heroes of olden time. [...]

Modern Wars and National Debts

In point of fact, again, are wars now merely for sustenance? Are they not waged to secure markets wherein to dispose of the surplus wealth arising from scientific production operating along with the old practical law of wages? (By “practical law of wages” is meant the system that ensures to the worker just sufficient to maintain him in a mental and physical condition to allow of his efficient conduct of his trade, craft, or vocation. This is, of course, a direct inheritance of the age


of scarcity.) To put it quite bluntly, the purpose of wars is to compel weaker nations to take this surplus off the hands of the stronger, running up debts, if need be, in order to pay for it. Then, the threat of further war is necessary to ensure that the debts and the interest on them shall not be repudiated.

The Real Struggles

The struggle for existence is now revealed as fundamentally a struggle for physical energy, and the conquest of nature has made available supplies vastly exceeding what can be extracted from the unwilling bodies of draught cattle and slaves. It is not the struggle but the energy that is essential to human life. The doctrine of existence for struggle, on the other hand, is the oldest religion in the world.

It has never been anything but a religion of the ambitious, dominating, and unscrupulous, with either a race or a caste arrogation of superiority over the races without or the herd within, an assumption of licence to act treacherously and injuriously towards aliens and those it deems of inferior breed and to confine its standards of honour and decency to those of its own blood or order. It is a code that Christianity has actively and passively resisted for two thousand years. That fact is not unimportant. For between the progress that has culminated in ergosophy and the Christian religion there is an intimate connection. Indeed the former is in origin wholly the product of the Christian nations of the West.


The Taboo on Scientific Economics

After the War, a cry went up for scientific men to cooperate with the financial, industrial, and political authorities in solving the social evils that brought on the War and which have since made Peace nothing but a misnomer. But the strange and unconventional conclusions of the few who had brought to social problems the same searching and original thought that they were accustomed to apply in their own inquiries, frightened, not the public, but those whose interest in such problems is to keep them reconciled with things as they are. Those who persisted in shedding light on social evils and anomalies were deemed impious, and the conclusions tabooed. [...] The public is expected to believe that the misfortunes that beset us are acts of God and that, though


we have the science and the necessary equipment and organization to produce wealth in abundance, it is beyond the wit of man to learn how to distribute it. The problem, it is true, is new, and the approach to it obscured, often intentionally, by a mass of half-truths and once-truths. But its solution has not been rendered any nearer or clearer by the puerile effort of the post-War era to suppress free public discussion of the new doctrines, an issue that was fought out and won in physical science in the time of Galileo.


Wars and Revolutions Result from Wealth

[I]n our day it is not the agitator fomenting class-hatred who can start, nor the airmen raining down bombs that


can stop, a revolution. But empty milk into the Potomac; import pests to destroy the cotton crop; burn wheat and coffee as fuel; restrict the production of rubber; set up tariff-barriers; permit trusts, federations, cartels, and lock-outs; allow trade unions to develop ca’canny methods to reduce output; maintain in misery, insecurity, and idleness masses of unemployed who are not allowed to better their lot by making the very things of which they stand in need; and revolution in some form is not probable, but certain. The ideas that govern men are outraged. Instead of a few striking illustrations of incompetence or worse they begin to see universal chaos instead of order. Their institutions, so far from protecting them in their peaceful avocations on which they rely for their livelihood, appear leagued together to keep them in traditional and unnecessary servitude and dependence. The army begins to realize that it is officered by the enemy.

The Monetary System Impedes the Flow

Nor will any means avail to terminate or defeat such a revolution, whether it is sudden or long-drawn-out, violent or chronic, unless and until the barriers that oppose the free and full distribution of wealth from the producer to the ultimate user and consumer are broken down and the flow of wealth again fulfils the purpose for which men have striven to create it. Since, in all monetary civilizations, it is money that alone


can effect the exchange of wealth and the continuous flow of goods and services throughout the nation, money has become the life-blood of the community, and for each individual a veritable licence to live at all. The monetary system is the distributory mechanism, and this reading of history therefore supports up to the hilt the conclusions of those who have made a special study of what our monetary system has become. It is the primary and infinitely most important source of all our present social and international unrest and for the failure, hitherto, of democracy.

A very slight knowledge of our actual existing monetary system makes it abundantly clear that, without democracy knowing or allowing it, and without the matter ever being before the electorate even as a secondary or minor political issue, the power of uttering money has been taken out of national hands and usurped as a perquisite by the moneylender. Practically every genuine monetary reformer is unanimous that the only hope of safety and peace lies in the nation instantly resuming its prerogative over the issue of all forms of money, which, legally, it has never surrendered at all.


The Private Issue of Money

By allowing private mints to spring up Parliament has fundamentally and perhaps irretrievably betrayed democracy. Before the War shed a penetrating light into the nature of money systems in general it was customary even in the works of apparently respectable economists to find absolutely dishonest


hair-splitting distinctions between the invisible money so created and paper notes. The latter were really money and the former was not! In fact, the reader can always tell in such standard works on the subject when he is approaching the fishy part of the business. The essential fact, the creation of new money, becomes obscured in a cloud of anticipatory justification and elaborate special pleading. This is no longer even possible, and one may be thankful to find nowadays some technical writers on this malodorous subject who are content to state the facts unequivocably and to leave the reader to draw his own conclusion.

True, the old credit system “based on gold” kept the currency from being progressively and permanently debased relatively to the exchange value of gold by forcibly bringing it back again after it had been debased by compounding for the robbing of Peter to pay Paul by the subsequent ruination of Paul to pay the bank. Simple, and in many ways good, as real gold and silver currencies are, they involve a vast amount of futile human effort in the search for the precious metals, which are then instantly rendered unavailing for any legitimate aesthetic or industrial application. But it is mere pretence to ascribe such solid advantages, as they may have, to modern systems pretending to be based on them, but really using them brutally to restore the value to money after it has been diluted, to the hurt of the innocent and profit of the guilty.


Saturday, 30 April 2011

Pot Calling White Kettle Black

The first two paragraphs of the Introduction to Kathleen M. Blee, Women and the Klan: Racism and Gender in the 1920s:

An elderly white Protestant woman from rural northern Indiana described her time in the Ku Klux Klan movement of the 1920s with remarkable nonchalance, as ‘just a celebration . . . a way of growing up.’ The Klan fit easily into her daily life, as it did for many white Protestants in Indiana. At most, it was an exceptional chapter in an otherwise ordinary life. Even in hindsight, she showed little remorse over the devastation left in the wake of the Klan’s crusade against Catholics, Jews, immigrants, and blacks. What she remembered with pride, not regret, was the social and cultural life of the Klan; the Klan as ‘a way to get together and enjoy.’

For thousands of native-born white Protestant women like this informant, the women’s Klan of the 1920s was not only a way to promote racist, intolerant, and xenophobic policies but also a social setting in which to enjoy their own racial and religious privileges. These women recall their membership in one of U.S. history’s most vicious campaigns of prejudice and hatred primarily as a time of friendship and solidarity among like-minded women.

Tuesday, 19 April 2011

Secrecy, esp. Religious: a Scholarly Definition

In Kocku von Stuckrad (Ed.), The Brill Dictionary of Religion [Revised edition of Metzler Lexikon Religion edited by Christoph Auffarth, Jutta Bernard and Hubert Mohr, translated from the German by Robert R. Barr] (Leiden and Boston: Brill, 2006)

1. Secrecy as an Evolutionary Strategy
Secrecy is a strategy developed by evolution, in the case of beast and human alike within the biological food chain, that attains an elevated degree of individual opportunities and possibilities for survival and reproduction by way of the accumulation of various informational prospects. The person or animal with a successful disguise does not become prey, the one that hides his/her/its food survives times of want, the creature of restrained impulses and hidden intents can secretly dodge competitors for nourishment, sexual partners, and territory, and the one that protects progeny to the third generation ensures the safe transport of her/his/its genes. The greater the concealment and silence vis-à-vis the competing side (‘information reduction’), or the more that that side is deceived and ‘tricked’ (‘disinformation’), the greater the chances of reproduction on one’s own side. A shortcoming with regard to secrecy can mean death. Fear and triumph, therefore, are the constant companions of secrecy. The invisibility of one is the insecurity of the other.

2. Human Secrecy: Intelligence
Explicit pleasure in the generation of secrecy that can become a craving or addiction appears only with the human being. Discovery in a game of hide-and-seek arouses squeals of delight in a child, even a very young one, the dissolution of the state of tension between hiding and showing oneself is enjoyed in all merriment, stubborn silence out of spite signs a new stage of development, and re-interpreting reality with words is the lovely ruse of others, not only for Huckleberry Finn.

a) Double-Coded Secret Signs
The basis of all of these phenomena is that, through cultural evolution, the human brain has become specialized in the practice of signs, and in intelligent, secretive ways of dealing with reality. Signs stand for something that, in itself, is invisible, insensible, and inaudible. Olfactory, optical, and acoustical behavior, in the sense of positing markers, here forms the evolutionary basis, but is the prisoner of the materiality of things. Only the achievement of a transformation from the openly communicative marking to the exclusive secret sign sparks the evolutionary breakthrough. In order to introduce the sign durably and reliably, a practice of secrecy, by means of a positing of signs, must represent the absent, secret thing in the present sign in such wise that it is double-coded — coded as an ‘open secret sign.’ All see or hear the sign; however, only some recognize, know, and take charge of that which the sign indicates (wild game depicted on rocks, the early Christian fish symbol, the Zen garden).

b) Co-Evolution of Secrecy and Revelation
Simultaneous esoteric and exoteric secrecy arouses not only the curiosity and craving of the excluded, but also the temptation of a profitable betrayal. The dynamic co-evolution of secrecy and revelation, thus launched, has today produced several tamper-resistant strategies of secrecy:
Semantic double-coding, in word and image, divides reality into a visible-and-real world and an invisible-and-virtual one. (→ masks, whizzing-sticks, bread and wine in cults of life-renewal; allegories and the narration of parables in speech and writing).
Performative initiation and introduction that make the individual a member of a closed chain (years-long rites of initiation in men’s associations and brotherhoods; exclusive teacher-pupil and master-disciple relations; trials of courage).
Unexaminable vehicles of information, such as ancestors, dreams, visions, divination, omens, oracles, miracles, and charms (→ Esotericism; Occultism).
Unverifiable histories (narratives of → origin, ascensions to heaven, after-death reports and near-death experiences, eschatological histories and → apocalypses).
Magical secret rituals that can be successful only when held without witnesses (→ Voodoo cults, spiritual alchemy, black → magic).
Secret cults that render secrecy an immediate, ecstatic, and extraordinary experience of wholeness (ancient → mystery cults, Australian → Aborigines’ corroborees).
Hierarchical structures, in which the organization’s secret can be known and used only by the invisible master-superior (certain Rosicrucian groups, the “Esoteric Section” of the → Theosophical Society, Opus Dei, → Scientology).
Transformation of the—as yet—unknown or unknowable to the status of the ‘secret’ (mysteries of faith; promises of revelation; speculations on cosmology or on the theory of evolution; TV cult-series “The X-Files”).
Self-reliance and independence, which keep nothing secret except this fact (traffic in secrets; esoteric mania for betraying secrets; many secret societies after the abandonment of their original purpose of their organization, e.g., German Masonic Lodges in the nineteenth century).

These forms of secrecy are characteristic of all religions. They function on the principle that the whole is more than the sum of its parts. Only those in control of the whole are in charge of the secret. Individual participants in the secret, integrated but subordinate, cannot destroy the operational force of the secrecy. In the extreme case, the secret becomes a mystery of faith, and of self-bewitching imagination, impenetrable to all.

c) Secret Knowledge by Reflection
On the other hand, self-reflexive secrecy knows and understands what it does. It successfully shifts the dynamics of concealment and revelation to the level of reflexive knowledge in the area of individual cognition. A self-aware, self-controlled, attentive ability to remain silent is characteristic here. In creative play, and secret, confidential experiment with the possibilities of representing sign and signal, limits and boundaries fall from around the respective axiomatic conceptions of world and self (→ shamanism, scholarly → Daoism, → mysticism, alchemy).

3. Of such elements, religious acts build up a world invisible and out of reach, a world of the spiritual and believed, an ‘otherwise world,’ a ‘world behind,’ behind the world of outward facts and conditions. Secrecy protects and immunizes this second world, which determines life here and hereafter, together with the well-being of those who deal with the world of secrecy. The unequal chances for life and well-being, presented this way in gerontocracies, caste societies, patriarchates, or other forms of government has, as a rule, very stable credibility. It makes religions the connective tissue of human socialization. A self-reflexive piety of silence, and falling silent, can, on the contrary, become the catalyst and motor of cultural evolution, or make survival possible in an environment of deadly enemies (Jewish and Christian → gnosticism; Taquia and Sufi brotherhoods [→ Sufism]; ‘Marranos’).

4. The world’s retransformation into an enchanted garden of occultism and esotericism, parliamentarily uncontrollable bank secrets, and new enchantment at the hands of the media, is at full speed. In this situation, secrecy still deserves the self-reflexive elucidation of who it is who produces which secrets, in what situation and against whom, for what reason and to what end, and how and by means of what procedure or operation.

Sunday, 21 November 2010

Telegraph quotes

1980 vs. 2010:

Daily Telegraph, 10 September 1980. 17/7 : They are guilty of ethnocide: destruction of the Indians’ tribal identities and thus of their ability to live.


Daily Telegraph, 02 November 2010. online : White couples will be able to adopt black and Asian children more easily under Government plans, it has been disclosed. Tim Loughton, the Children's Minister, said that there was "no reason at all" why white couples should not adopt black, Asian, or mixed-race children. He said that "if there are no other issues, the couple offering a permanent home should be approved even if it is not a perfect match". The government's guidance is expected to say that "race should not be a barrier to adoption".


Daily Telegraph, 02 November 2010. online : A Gulf War veteran has been ordered to remove a "British by birth, English by the grace of God" slogan from his taxi after complaints from passengers. John Woodward, 38, emblazoned his black cab with the motto after seeing similar sentiments on a fleet of haulage vehicles. But council officials have now written to Mr Woodward saying that two passengers in his Renault Trafic vehicle were offended by the slogan's "racist overtones".'

Tuesday, 5 October 2010

The Meaning of 'Zero Hour for Universal Nationalism'

Inspired by Leon Haller's call for an ethical program to reverse race-replacement, I got around to writing up my ideas on that score, hinted at here and stated in general terms here:

I agree we need an ethical model for restoration even though I think force will ultimately save us.

I think the proper basic distinction is between pre- and post-January 1919 peace conference when the ideal of universal nationalism can be shown to have become pretty well, ah, universal. Before that Might was Right and those who could invaded the living space of those who couldn’t. If your people happened to be on the receiving end of conquest before WW1, too bad, you’d probably have done it to the other guy if you could. But after the conference of 1919 it’s hard to make the claim that one’s colonising of another people’s living space had any moral legitimacy if known to be against the wishes of the native people. Popular opinion everywhere said it simply couldn’t be legitimate when so characterised. That remains the case and we can capitalise on that, Old and New World peoples equally, insofar as popular opinion is known to have opposed the colonisation.

Although the issue is more complex between states and populations that were involved in a formal colonial relationship post-1919, it can generally be settled quite easily by adding a second reference point: the date the colony achieved independence. For example, between Britain and India, you would make distinctions in today’s Britain between Indians whose first Indian ancestor or themselves came to Britain before 1919, Indians whose first Indian ancestor or themselves came between 1919 and August 15th 1947 when India gained independence, and Indians whose first Indian ancestor or themselves came to Britain after that date.

There would be no action taken against the pre-1919 ‘British’ Indians or their descendants, a handful of people anyway, except as should apply to all alien and minority ethnies: they would be prevented from organising collectively and lobbying politicians and businesses or having relations with the Indian government. Middle period Indians, again such as can be said to exist at all, would have those restrictions placed upon them, but also, to encourage their leaving, various financial penalties and limits on civil rights would be imposed. All who came after independence in 1947 - and their descendants - would be required to leave and all their assets would be seized. Minimal action would be taken against descendants of all three Indian classes who are part British ethnically, again a small number, perhaps they might both lose the vote and pay increased taxes in proportion to their adulteration. And of course every community would be empowered to prohibit or permit the settlement and employment of any remaining Indians, part-Indians (and other aliens) within its jurisdiction according to its own conscience.

Simple, clean, historically reciprocal. Ethical. I think...

Saturday, 25 September 2010

Protection in Historical Perspective

From A.P. Thirlwall and Penélope Pacheco-López, Trade Liberalisation and The Poverty of Nations Cheltenham: Edward Elgar Publishing, 2008)
Protection in Historical Perspective

The best historical description of the role of protection in the early industrialisation phase of the now-developed countries is given by Ha-Joon Chang, the Cambridge economist, in three fascinating books: Kicking Away the Ladder: Development Strategy in Historical Perspective (2002); Why Developing Countries Need Tariffs? (2005); and Bad Samaritans: Rich Nations, Poor Policies and the Threat to the Developing World (2007). In this section we rely heavily on the evidence in these books.

The current developed countries of the world, including Britain, the United States and the countries of continental Europe and Scandinavia did not develop their economies on the basis of free trade. On the contrary, they heavily protected their domestic industries, and also did their utmost to prevent the countries that they colonised from competing with them. Britain started to protect and foster industries as early as the late 15th century when Henry VII took the deliberate decision to challenge the successful woollen manufacturing industry of Belgium and Holland, which was reliant on the export of British wool. He taxed the


export of raw wool and banned export of some types of unfinished cloth in order to encourage processing at home. Henry VIII continued the protectionist policy, and by the middle of the reign of Elizabeth I, Britain had sufficient processing capacity to ban the export of wool entirely, which ruined the cloth industry of the Low Countries. Britain first became rich on its woollen industry nurtured by the State. Serious protection of new manufacturing industries started with Robert Walpole in 1721, using tariffs, subsidies, tariff rebates on imported inputs and other protective devices – all of which are deemed to be damaging to developing countries today. In the early 19th century, Britain imposed some of the highest tariff rates on manufactured goods in the world, averaging 45–55 per cent.

Britain also prevented its colonies from producing manufactured goods. William Pitt the Elder, the British Prime Minister from 1766 to 1768, is quoted by Friedrich List (1885) as saying that ‘the colonies should not be permitted to manufacture so much as a horsenail’. All sorts of devices were resorted to in the 18th century to keep the colonies as producers of primary commodities, giving subsidies to production, and reducing tariffs on raw material imports into Britain. A law passed in 1699 forbade the export of processed wool products from the English colonies, including Ireland. In 1700, all cotton goods from India were prohibited. In the 1720s, Walpole gave export subsidies and abolished import duties on raw materials produced in the American colonies so that their comparative


advantage stayed in primary products. Some manufacturing activities were even prohibited, such as high value-added steel products in America. The use of tariffs by the colonies was either banned or, where used for revenue purposes, a tax was imposed on the industry concerned to neutralise its competitive advantage. In other countries not colonised by Britain, ‘unequal treaties’ were signed which took away the tariff autonomy of the countries and set ‘binding’ tariffs that countries could not exceed, typically about 5 per cent in countries such as Brazil, China, Japan, Siam (now Thailand) and Persia (now Iran). With regard to Europe, Britain also tried to protect itself against competition, although to less effect. The export of some types of machinery embodying new technology was banned, and for over sixty years from 1719 to 1782 there was a ban on the emigration of skilled labour from Britain. Those who defied the ban, and did not return within six months, had their possessions confiscated and citizenship withdrawn.

Britain’s industrial revolution gathered momentum in the mid-18th century, when protection still prevailed. It would be a rewriting of history, therefore, to argue that Britain started its development process on the basis of free trade. Britain did not start dismantling its structure of protection until the repeal of the Corn Laws in 1846, but by then it had already attained technological superiority over all other countries in the world. From then on, Britain preached free trade, but as List (1885) remarked, such preaching was like ‘kicking away


the ladder’ up which one has climbed oneself so that no-one else can reach the top. List comments:

It is a very common clever device that where anyone has attained the summit of greatness, he kicks away the ladder by which he has climbed up, in order to deprive others of the means of climbing up after him. In this lies the secret of the cosmopolitan doctrine of Adam Smith, and the cosmopolitan tendencies of his great contemporary William Pitt, and of all his successors in the British Government administrations. Any nation which by means of protective duties and restrictions on navigation has raised her manufacturing power and her navigation to such a degree of development that no other nation can sustain free competition with her, can do nothing wiser than throw away these ladders of her greatness, to preach to other nations the benefits of free trade, and to declare in penitent tone that she has hitherto wandered in the paths of error, and has now for the first time succeeded in discovering the truth. (pp. 295–6)

The United States followed Britain’s protectionist route at the end of the 18th century, contrary to Adam Smith’s advice in the Wealth of Nations. Here is what Smith had to say:

Were the Americans, either by combination or by any other sort of violence to stop the importation of European manufactures, and, by thus giving a monopoly to such of their own countrymen as could manufacture the like goods, divert any considerable part of their capital into this employment, they would retard instead of accelerating the further increase in the value of their annual produce, and would obstruct instead of promoting the progress of their country towards real wealth and greatness. (pp. 347–8)

If the United States had followed Adam Smith’s advice, it would have remained an economic


backwater for a long time, instead of becoming the richest industrialised country in the world. In the 19th century, the US economy was the fastest growing in the world, and also the most protectionist. Paul Bairoch (1993) has described the United States as ‘the mother country and bastion of modern protectionism’. It was the US Treasury Secretary, Alexander Hamilton in 1791, who first coined the term ‘infant industry’, and who first argued the case for industrialisation by protection using tariffs, subsidies and other means, recognising that without protection it would be impossible for America to compete against more advanced countries, notably Britain. List, in his classic book The National System of Political Economy, first published in German in 1841, claims that he first learnt the infant industry argument for protection while in exile in the US in the 1820s. The US first imposed tariffs on industrial goods in 1789. Protection continued to increase in the 19th century and by 1870, import tariffs accounted for more than 50 per cent of the value of imports. Protection continued in the early 20th century, and was even strengthened in the 1930s with the ‘Smoot–Hawley’ tariff which raised the average tariff on manufactured goods to nearly 50 per cent. According to Bairoch (1993) no other country implemented a more protectionist policy to promote its industry than the United States. Only after the Second World War did it start to liberalise its trade, having already established industrial supremacy, and was able to ‘kick away the ladder’, as Britain had done a century earlier.


German industrial policy in the 19th century was heavily influenced by the views of List. He believed that import duties should not only be used to protect industry but also to promote it, supported by the State. Germany’s average tariff rate on industrial goods was not as high as in the US, but the German State actively promoted industry by ‘assigning monopoly rights, establishing industrial cartels, providing export subsidies, importing industrial experts and skilled labour, establishing large banks and making large investments in coal production and railway and road construction’ (Skarstein, 2007).

Japan was prevented from using tariffs up to 1911 because of the ‘unequal treaties’ signed, as referred to earlier. But after 1911, Japan embarked on a comprehensive development strategy, a major part of which included substantial tariff protection, combined with subsidies to key (infant) industries and State investment in infrastructure. Just before the First World War, Japan’s average tariff on manufactured imports was 30 per cent. The protectionist stance continued after the Second World War, with tariffs on car imports, for example, of nearly 40 per cent. Protectionism in the 1950s and 1960s was combined with the highest GDP growth rate of any country in the world. If Japan had listened to the free-traders, it would have no industrial base.

The average tariff rates on manufactured goods for selected developed countries in their early stages of development are shown in Table 1.1.



Notice the very high tariff rates for the UK and US in 1820, the continued high rates in the US up to 1950, and the relatively high rates in France, Germany and Italy too. These are much higher rates that the average nominal tariff on imports of manufactures into today’s developing countries.

Average tariff rates for developed countries fell dramatically after 1950, but it is interesting to note that five of the six fastest growing countries during the ‘golden age’ of growth 1950–73 were still the highest tariff countries: Japan (8.05 per cent), Italy (4.95 per cent), Austria (4.90 per cent), Finland (4.25 per cent) and France (4.05 per cent). Germany was the only fast growing country in this period with the lowest tariffs.

The historical record tells the same story. O’Rourke (2000) takes ten of today’s developed countries over the period 1875–1914 and shows a positive relation between tariff rates and GDP growth, controlling for other factors influencing growth. Clemens and Williamson (2001) examine 35 developed and developing countries over the period 1875–1908 and 1924–34 and also find a positive relation between the level of tariffs and growth. Vamvakidis (2002) takes the inter-war period 1920–40 and finds a positive relation between tariff rates and growth across 22 countries (although not for the period 1870–1910). Studies of more recent years show the same positive relation between levels of trade restrictions and growth, controlling for other variables. Yanikkaya (2003) takes more than 100 countries over the period


1970–97 and finds that both tariffs and export taxes seem to be associated with faster growth. He concludes: ‘these results . . . provide support for the infant industry case for protection and for strategic trade policy’. And Rodrik (2001) asserts: ‘cross national comparisons of the literature reveals no systematic relationship between a country’s average level of tariff and non-tariff restrictions and its subsequent economic growth rate. If anything the evidence for the 1990s indicates a positive (but statistically insignificant) relationship between tariffs and economic growth’ (italics in the original).

It can be said with some confidence that tariffs never harmed economic progress in the countries now developed. On the contrary, they ‘climbed the ladder’ on the back of tariffs and other protectionist devices. All we know is that as countries get richer they dismantle trade restrictions, not that they get richer because they liberalise trade. The issue for developing countries today is not whether to protect, but how to protect in order to ensure the dynamic efficiency of its nascent industrial activities.



Bairoch, P. (1993), Economics and World History – Myths and Paradoxes (Brighton: Harvester Wheatsheaf).
List, F. (1885), The National System of Political Economy, translated from the original German edition published in 1841 by Sampson Lloyd (London: Longmann, Green and Company).
O’Rourke, K. (2000), Tariffs and Growth in the Late 19th Century, Economic Journal, April.
Rodrik, D. (2001), The Global Governance of Trade: As If Development Really Mattered (New York: UNDP).
Skarstein, R. (2007), Free Trade: A Dead End for Underdeveloped Countries, Review of Political Economy, July.
Smith, A. (1776), An Inquiry into the Nature and Causes of the Wealth of Nations (London: George Routledge and Sons).
Vamvakidis, A. (2002), How Robust is the Growth – Openness Connection: Historical Evidence, Journal of Economic Growth, March.
Yanikkaya, H. (2003), Trade Openness and Economic Growth: A Cross-Country Empirical Investigation, Journal of Development Economics, October.

Sunday, 8 August 2010

yamaguchy upload

A great little website, yamaguchy.netfirms , seems down for good. The anonymous creator/s had compiled a library of works primarily devoted to the money question, with hard to find books and essays by Arthur Kitson, Christopher Hollis, June Grem, Robert McNair Wilson, A.N. Field, Charles Lindbergh (Sr.), Ezra Pound among many others.

It seems a great shame that this resource might be lost, so I am thankful that I downloaded the entire site to my hard drive some time ago. I have uploaded a zip file of the entire site to megaupload so that others may download it. Zipped the package is 50MB, unzipped about 95MB but better viewing. Navigate from the index page.

Friday, 28 May 2010

Fahrenheit 451: Prescient on PC in 1953

Only one line stands out as lacking integrity: "White people don’t feel good about Uncle Tom’s Cabin. Burn it." Doesn't ring true. Truffaut's film is more honest:

Ah, Robinson Crusoe. The negroes didn't
like that because of his man, Friday.

And Nietzsche. Ah, Nietzsche.
The Jews didn't like Nietzsche.

From Ray Bradbury's novel:

“You like bowling, don’t you, Montag?”

“Bowling, yes.”

“And golf?”

“Golf is a fine game.”


“A fine game.”.

“Billiards, pool? Football?”

“Fine games, all of them.”

“More sports for everyone, group spirit, fun, and you don’t have to think, eh? Organize and organize and super-organize super-super sports. More cartoons in books. More pictures. The mind drinks less and less. Impatience. Highways full of crowds going somewhere, somewhere, somewhere, nowhere. The gasoline refugee. Towns turn into motels, people in nomadic surges from place to place, following the moon tides, living tonight in the room where you slept this noon and I the night before.”

Mildred went out of the room and slammed the door. The parlour “aunts” began to laugh at the parlour “uncles.”

“Now let’s take up the minorities in our civilization, shall we? Bigger the population, the more minorities. Don’t step on the toes of the dog-lovers, the cat-lovers, doctors, lawyers, merchants, chiefs, Mormons, Baptists, Unitarians, second-generation Chinese, Swedes, Italians, Germans, Texans, Brooklynites, Irishmen, people from Oregon or Mexico. The people in this book, this play, this TV serial are not meant to represent any actual painters, cartographers, mechanics anywhere. The bigger your market, Montag, the less you handle controversy, remember that! All the minor minor minorities with their navels to be kept clean. Authors, full of evil thoughts, lock up your typewriters. They did. Magazines became a nice blend of vanilla tapioca. Books, so the damned snobbish critics said, were dishwater. No wonder books stopped selling, the critics said. But the public, knowing what it wanted, spinning happily, let the comic-books survive. And the three-dimensional sex magazines, of course. There you have it, Montag. It didn’t come from the Government down. There was no dictum, no declaration, no censorship, to start with, no! Technology, mass exploitation, and minority pressure carried the trick, thank God. Today, thanks to them, you can stay happy all the time, you are allowed to read comics, the good old confessions, or trade-journals.”

“Yes, but what about the firemen, then?” asked Montag.

“Ah.” Beatty leaned forward in the faint mist of smoke from his pipe. “What more easily explained and natural? With school turning out more runners, jumpers, racers, tinkerers, grabbers, snatchers, fliers, and swimmers instead of examiners, critics, knowers, and imaginative creators, the word ‘intellectual,’ of course, became the swear word it deserved to be. You always dread the unfamiliar. Surely you remember the boy in your own school class who was exceptionally ‘bright,’ did most of the reciting and answering while the others sat like so many leaden idols, hating him. And wasn’t it this bright boy you selected for beatings and tortures after hours? Of course it was. We must all be alike. Not everyone born free and equal, as the Constitution says, but everyone made equal. Each man the image of every other; then all are happy, for there are no mountains to make them cower, to judge themselves against. So! A book is a loaded gun in the house next door. Burn it. Take the shot from the weapon. Breach man’s mind. Who knows who might be the target of the well-read man? Me? I won’t stomach them for a minute. And so when houses were finally fireproofed completely, all over the world (you were correct in your assumption the other night) there was no longer need of firemen for the old purposes. They were given the new job, as custodians of our peace of mind, the focus of our understandable and rightful dread of being inferior; official censors, judges, and executors. That’s you, Montag, and that’s me.”

The door to the parlour opened and Mildred stood there looking in at them, looking at Beatty and then at Montag. Behind her the walls of the room were flooded with green and yellow and orange fireworks sizzling and bursting to some music composed almost completely of trap-drums, tom-toms, and cymbals. Her mouth moved and she was saying something but the sound covered it.

Beatty knocked his pipe into the palm of his pink hand, studied the ashes as if they were a symbol to be diagnosed and searched for meaning.

“You must understand that our civilization is so vast that we can’t have our minorities upset and stirred. Ask yourself, What do we want in this country, above all? People want to be happy, isn’t that right? Haven’t you heard it all your life? I want to be happy, people say. Well, aren’t they? Don’t we keep them moving, don’t we give them fun? That’s all we live for, isn’t it? For pleasure, for titillation? And you must admit our culture provides plenty of these.”


Montag could lip-read what Mildred was saying in the doorway. He tried not to look at her mouth, because then Beatty might turn and read what was there, too.

“Coloured people don’t like Little Black Sambo. Burn it. White people don’t feel good about Uncle Tom’s Cabin. Burn it. Someone’s written a book on tobacco and cancer of the lungs? The cigarette people are weeping? Bum the book. Serenity, Montag. Peace, Montag. Take your fight outside. Better yet, into the incinerator. Funerals are unhappy and pagan? Eliminate them, too. Five minutes after a person is dead he’s on his way to the Big Flue, the Incinerators serviced by helicopters all over the country. Ten minutes after death a man’s a speck of black dust. Let’s not quibble over individuals with memoriams. Forget them. Burn them all, burn everything. Fire is bright and fire is clean.”

The fireworks died in the parlour behind Mildred. She had stopped talking at the same time; a miraculous coincidence. Montag held his breath.

“There was a girl next door,” he said, slowly. “She’s gone now, I think, dead. I can’t even remember her face. But she was different. How? How did she happen?”

Beatty smiled. “Here or there, that’s bound to occur. Clarisse McClellan? We’ve a record on her family. We’ve watched them carefully. Heredity and environment are funny things. You can’t rid yourselves of all the odd ducks in just a few years. The home environment can undo a lot you try to do at school. That's why we’ve lowered the kindergarten age year after year until now we’re almost snatching them from the cradle. We had some false alarms on the McClellans, when they lived in Chicago. Never found a book. Uncle had a mixed record; anti-social. The girl? She was a time bomb. The family had been feeding her subconscious, I’m sure, from what I saw of her school record. She didn’t want to know how a thing was done, but why. That can be embarrassing. You ask ‘Why’ to a lot of things and you wind up very unhappy indeed, if you keep at it. The poor girl’s better off dead.”

“Yes, dead.”

“Luckily, queer ones like her don’t happen, often. We know how to nip most of them in the bud, early. You can’t build a house without nails and wood. If you don’t want a house built, hide the nails and wood. If you don’t want a man unhappy politically, don’t give him two sides to a question to worry him; give him one. Better yet, give him none. Let him forget there is such a thing as war. If the Government is inefficient, top-heavy, and tax-mad, better it be all those than that people worry over it. Peace, Montag. Give the people contests they win by remembering the words to more popular songs or the names of state capitals or how much corn Iowa grew last year. Cram them full of non-combustible data, chock them so damned full of ‘facts’ they feel stuffed, but absolutely ‘brilliant’ with information. Then they’ll feel they’re thinking, they’ll get a sense of motion without moving. And they’ll be happy, because facts of that sort don’t change. Don’t give them any slippery stuff like philosophy or sociology to tie things up with. That way lies melancholy. Any man who can take a TV wall apart and put it back together again, and most men can nowadays, is happier than any man who tries to slide-rule, measure, and equate the universe, which just won’t be measured or equated without making man feel bestial and lonely. I know, I’ve tried it; to hell with it. So bring on your clubs and parties, your acrobats and magicians, your dare-devils, jet cars, motor-cycle helicopters, your sex and heroin, more of everything to do with automatic reflex. If the drama is bad, if the film says nothing, if the play is hollow, sting me with the theremin, loudly. I’ll think I’m responding to the play, when it’s only a tactile reaction to vibration. But I don’t care. I just like solid entertainment.”

Beatty got up. “I must be going. Lecture’s over. I hope I’ve clarified things. The important thing for you to remember, Montag, is we’re the Happiness Boys, the Dixie Duo, you and I and the others. We stand against the small tide of those who want to make everyone unhappy with conflicting theory and thought. We have our fingers in the dyke. Hold steady. Don’t let the torrent of melancholy and drear philosophy drown our world. We depend on you. I don’t think you realize how important you are, to our happy world as it stands now.”

Zero Hour for Universal Nationalism

From the introduction to Erez Manela, The Wilsonian Moment: Self-Determination and the International Origins of Anticolonial Nationalism (New York: Oxford University Press, 2007):

In the tumultuous months following the end of the First World War, Wilson was hailed around the world as the prophet of a new era in world affairs, one in which justice, rather than power, would be the central principle of international relations. [...]

The major leaders who convened for the peace conference in Paris in January 1919 were concerned mainly with fashioning a settlement in Europe. But Europeans were not the only ones who had high hopes for the conference. For colonized, marginalized, and stateless peoples from all over the world — Chinese and Koreans, Arabs and Jews, Armenians and Kurds, and many others — the conference appeared to present unprecedented opportunities to pursue the goal of self-determination. They could now take the struggle against imperialism to the international arena, and their representatives set out for Paris, invited or otherwise, to stake their claims in the new world order. A largely unintended but eager audience for Wilson’s wartime rhetoric, they often imagined the president as both an icon of their aspirations and a potential champion of their cause, a dominant figure in the world arena committed, he had himself declared, to the principle of self-determination for all peoples.

Based on these perceptions, groups aspiring to self-determination formed delegations, selected representatives, formulated demands, launched campaigns, and mobilized publics behind them. They composed and circulated a flood of declarations, petitions, and memoranda directed at the world leaders assembled in Paris and directed at public opinion across the world. Many of the petitioners adopted Wilson’s rhetoric of self-determination and the equality of nations to formulate their demands and justify their aspirations, both because they found his language appealing and, more importantly, because they believed it would be effective in advancing their cause. They quoted at length from the president’s Fourteen Points address and his other wartime speeches, praised his plan for a League of Nations, and aimed to attract his support for their struggles to attain self-determination.

Hundreds of such documents, many addressed to President Wilson himself, made their way to the Paris headquarters of the American Commission to Negotiate Peace at the Hotel Crillon, but most got no further than the president’s private secretary, Gilbert Close. The president read only a small fraction of them, and he acted on fewer still. The complex and contentious issues of the European settlement were foremost on his mind during his months in Paris, and relations with the major imperial powers — Britain, France, Japan—loomed larger in the scheme of U.S. interests as Wilson saw them than did the aspirations of colonized groups or weak states. Though the dispensation of territories that belonged to the defunct empires — German colonies in Africa and the Pacific, Ottoman possessions in the Arab Middle East — was an important topic in the peace negotiations, the leading peacemakers had no intention of entertaining the claims for self-determination of dependent peoples elsewhere, least of all those that ran against their own interests. To himself and to others, Wilson explained this lapse by asserting that the peace conference already had enough on its plate and that the League of Nations would take up such claims in due time.

Many in the colonial world who had followed Wilson’s increasingly dramatic proclamations in the final months of the war, however, came to expect a more immediate and radical transformation of their status in international society. As the outlines of the peace treaty began to emerge in the spring of 1919, it became clear that such expectations would be disappointed and that outside Europe the old imperial logic of international relations, which abridged or entirely obliterated the sovereignty of most non-European peoples, would remain largely in place. The disillusionment that followed the collapse of this ‘‘Wilsonian moment’’ fueled a series of popular protest movements across the Middle East and Asia, heralding the emergence of anticolonial nationalism as a major force in world affairs. Although the principle of self-determination was honored in Paris more in the breach, the events of 1919 established it at the center of the discourse of legitimacy in international relations. Thus, the Wilsonian moment began the process that Hedley Bull called ‘‘the expansion of international society’’ in the twentieth century. It launched the transformation of the norms and standards of international relations that established the self-determining nation-state as the only legitimate political form throughout the globe, as colonized and marginalized peoples demanded and eventually attained recognition as sovereign, independent actors in international society.

This book is an effort to reconstruct the story of the colonial world at the Wilsonian moment. Most historians have told the story of the Paris Peace Conference from the inside out, focusing on the views and actions of the leaders of the great powers of Europe and North America. This book aims to tell it from the outside in, from the perspectives of peoples who were on the margins of the peace conference and of international society more generally. The period on which the narrative centers opened with the U.S. entry into the war in April 1917, when it began to appear that Wilson would play a major role at the peace table, and ended with the conclusion of the Versailles Treaty in June 1919. During this time, Woodrow Wilson’s vision for the postwar world was disseminated to a growing global audience, and, when peace came, colonial peoples moved to claim their place in that world on the basis of Wilson’s proclamations. The crucial period — the Wilsonian moment itself — lasted from the autumn of 1918, when Allied victory appeared imminent and Wilson’s principles seemed destined to shape the coming new world order, until the spring of 1919, as the terms of the peace settlement began to emerge and the promise of a Wilsonian millennium was fast collapsing.

The use of the phrase the ‘‘Wilsonian moment’’ to describe this eventful time does not suggest that Wilson alone conceived or articulated the vision that became so intimately associated with him. Others, including the British prime minister David Lloyd George and, much more forcefully, the Russian Bolshevik leaders V. I. Lenin and Leon Trotsky, had preceded Wilson in advocating a peace settlement based on the principle of self-determination. Nor does the term imply that rhetoric alone was responsible for creating the far-reaching expectations that so many entertained in the wake of the war. The experiences of the war itself, with its unprecedented decimation of human lives and the myriad political, social, and economic dislocations it caused, served as the crucial context for the articulation and dissemination of the Wilsonian message and shaped the perceptions and responses to it. Nevertheless, the term the ‘‘Wilsonian moment’’ captures the fact that, during this period, the American president became for millions worldwide the icon and most prominent exponent of the vision, which many others shared, of a just international society based on the principle of self-determination. His name, and in many cases also his image, came to symbolize and encapsulate those ideas, and Wilson appeared, for a brief but crucial moment, to be the herald of a new era in international affairs. [...]

Wilson’s promise of a new world order captured imaginations across the world. In the wake of a war whose consequences were widely felt, his words captured the attention not only of political elites but also of much broader publics, even if their meanings and implications varied considerably among different groups. Some, of course, remained skeptical, and they were soon joined by many others who grew disillusioned with their erstwhile hero as the developments in Paris and elsewhere failed to fulfill their expectations. But for a while, from mid-1918 to the early spring of 1919, the future of international society seemed to belong to Wilson’s vision and to depend on his influence as the leading figure in world affairs. The Wilsonian moment, therefore, should be examined and understood as an international phenomenon not because every individual on the face of the planet was aware of Wilson’s rhetoric, but because the scope of its dissemination and import transcended the usual geographic enclosures of historical narratives. [...]

The focus of this book is on the specific significance of the Wilsonian moment in the colonial world, defined broadly as the dependent or semidependent territories that encompassed at the time almost all of Asia and Africa. Even within these narrower geographical and conceptual bounds, however, an effort to cover the colonial world in its entirety would have yielded either a broad, general synthesis or else required a multivolume work of encyclopedic proportions. On the other hand, telling the story of the Wilsonian moment in only one region or within a single group would have failed to capture fully the international context of the experiences of colonial peoples at the time, and would have forgone the insights that a broad, integrated perspective can provide. In order to combine fine-grained detail with a broad perspective, therefore, the book focuses on the experiences of four groups: Egyptians, Indians, Chinese, and Koreans. It recounts the responses of these four emergent nations to the Wilsonian moment, probing their evolving perceptions of its challenges and opportunities and tracing its impact on their rhetoric, actions, and goals. It also reconstructs the sprawling international campaigns they launched, in which diasporic communities and unprecedented popular mobilizations both played important roles, and relates them to the broad, transformative protest movements that erupted in all four places in the spring of 1919. Nationalism, as an ideology and as a form of political practice, evolved conceptually and historically within an international context, and it cannot be fully understood outside that context.

There were, of course, many differences among these societies in their histories, structures, and relationships to imperialism. Still, Egyptians, Indians, Chinese, and Koreans shared important elements of historical condition and experience. All four societies had long histories as integrated socioeconomic and political entities and well-established elites imbued with consciousness of distinct cultural and historical identities. Moreover, in each of these four societies there had developed by 1914 influential groups of literate, socially mobile individuals, whose members were conversant in Western languages and ideas and had begun to develop and circulate notions of national identity articulated in modern idioms.8 The Wilsonian moment presented these elites with unprecedented opportunities to advance claims in the name of these emerging national identities and thus bolster and expand their legitimacy both at home and abroad. The language of self-determination and the international forum afforded by the peace conference prompted nationalist leaders to rethink their strategies, redefine their goals, and galvanize larger domestic constituencies than ever before behind campaigns for self-determination. In the spring of 1919, sweeping protest movements against imperialism erupted almost simultaneously in all four societies: the May Fourth movement in China, the launching of Gandhi’s nonviolent resistance movement in India, the 1919 Revolution in Egypt, and the March First movement in Korea.

In all four societies, and not only there, the period between 1917 and 1920 saw a sharp escalation of resistance to imperial penetration and control and the emergence or realignment of institutions and individuals that would play central roles in subsequent anticolonial struggles. In Egypt, Sa‘d Zaghlul, a veteran political figure who before the war had long worked within the British-controlled political system, now established a delegation that demanded the opportunity to put before the peace conference a claim for Egyptian independence. To lead this campaign, Zaghlul, who is remembered in Egypt as the ‘‘Father of the Nation,’’ established a new political party that came to dominate Egyptian politics in the interwar years. A similar shift from accommodation to confrontation occurred in India’s relationship with the empire during the same period, as the Indian National Congress, which before the war adhered to moderate positions toward the empire, became a vehicle for mobilizing resistance to it. By 1920, the Congress came under the control of Mahatma Gandhi, who had himself shifted in 1919 from a position of firm if critical support for Indian membership in the British empire to one of determined opposition to it. The newfound radicalism of the Gandhian Congress augured an era of nationalist struggle that culminated in the dissolution of British rule in 1947.

In China, the May Fourth protests that erupted in response to Chinese disillusion with the Wilsonian promise unleashed broad currents of change in the realms of thought, culture, literature, and politics. In the wake of May Fourth, protests against foreign influence in China broadened and intensified. Among the intellectual and political classes, the erstwhile admiration for the liberal ideals advanced by Wilson was widely replaced with a growing interest in other ideologies as models for building a strong Chinese nation and establishing its status and dignity internationally. And in Korea, too, the March First movement, which began as an effort to draw the attention of Wilson and the peace conference to Korean claims for independence, escalated and broadened the resistance to Japanese colonial rule. In the Korean case, even more than in the others, diasporic organizations played a crucial role in the movement, establishing a provisional government in exile headed by Syngman Rhee, a long-time independence activist and former acquaintance of Wilson at Princeton University. The provisional government survived, though barely, through the interwar years, and in 1948 the United States helped the tenacious Rhee actually attain the position he had claimed since 1919, the presidency of an independent Korean republic.

As this convergence of transformative events around the spring of 1919 suggests, one of the central features of the Wilsonian moment was its simultaneity across the boundaries of nations, regions, and empires within which the histories of the anticolonial movements of the period are usually enclosed. It was a brief but intense period in which people across the world directed attention and actions toward the drama unfolding in Paris, with the U.S. president as its leading protagonist. In part, the story of the Wilsonian moment is one of the articulation and circulation of ideas, most prominently the idea that all peoples had a right to self-determination and the related notion of a liberal international order structured around a league of nations in which all members would be equal in status if not in power. The emergence of Wilson’s ideas about the postwar international order, their gradual articulation and refinement in his wartime rhetoric, and their dissemination — both intentionally through the efforts of U.S. wartime propaganda, and circumstantially through the contemporary infrastructure of global communications, which was dominated by pro-Allied news agencies such as Reuters — are all important components of the story told here.

But this is not only, nor even primarily, an intellectual history, a history of the emergence, articulation, and circulation of ideas. To a greater degree, the story of the Wilsonian moment in the colonial world is one about the role of power, both real and perceived, in the dissemination, adoption, and operationalization — the conversion into purposeful political action — of the new norms of international legitimacy and practice that Wilson championed. For anticolonial nationalists, Wilson’s utterances were surely attractive as well as, to some extent, also innovative. The most crucial feature of his utterances, however, was that they came from a man widely viewed at the time as the most powerful leader in the world arena, whose influence on the shape of the postwar international order, it was assumed, would be decisive. Thus, the perception of the stature of the United States as a major world power and of Wilson’s commitment to his peace plan were just as important as the content of the president’s wartime proclamations in creating the impact of the Wilsonian moment in the colonial world. For a time in 1918 and early 1919, Wilson, who appeared to wield extraordinary leverage over the Allies and enjoy unprecedented popularity among their peoples, seemed to possess both the will and the power to implement his vision.

Wilson himself, it is true, had at best only a vague idea of how the principle of self-determination would be practically implemented even in Europe, and he devoted little attention to its implications elsewhere. Nevertheless, the president’s talk about the right to self-determination and his advocacy of the League of Nations implied a new and more equitable model of international relations, and they took on a life of their own, independent of Wilson and his intentions. For colonial nationalists, the acceptance of these principles as a basis for the armistice and their establishment as central tenets of the coming peace settlement were sufficient reasons to expect great changes in their own positions in international affairs. Wilson, in his wartime addresses, especially those that he delivered in the final months of the war, had couched his principles explicitly in sweeping, universal terms. Egyptians, Indians, Chinese, Koreans, and other colonial nationalists saw little reason that they should not apply outside Europe as well as within it.

The Versailles peace is often seen as heralding the apex of imperial expansion, and indeed the empires of the victorious powers, especially the British, French, and Japanese, made significant territorial gains in the wake of the war. Empire, however, cannot survive on territorial control alone. It requires accommodation and legitimacy, at least among a portion of the populations in both the metropole and the periphery. The adoption of the language of self-determination by colonial nationalists, as well as by anti-imperialists in the metropole, weakened these underlying supports of the imperial edifice. It rendered the relationship between imperial powers and subject peoples, as Henri Grimal noted, ‘‘markedly different from the idea of timeless domination which had characterized the previous period’’ and presented a major challenge to the legitimacy and permanence of the imperial order in the international arena. As James Mayall has observed, at Versailles Lloyd George and the French premier, Georges Clemenceau, may have succeeded in the short run in outwitting Wilson in their efforts to protect the interests of their empires. But in an age of advancing popular democracy they could offer no substitute, either domestically or internationally, to the principle of self-determination ‘‘as an ordering principle for international society.’’ Rather than bolster or expand the imperial order, the events of 1919 in fact laid the groundwork for its demise. [...]

At the time of the armistice in November 1918, nationalists across the colonial world believed that the road to self-determination passed through Paris, and they launched broad campaigns to receive a hearing there. It was only in the spring of 1919, as it became clear that their efforts to claim these rights had failed, that upheaval erupted. Thus, the campaigns to advance demands for self-determination and international equality and the subsequent failure and disillusionment helped launch major anticolonial protest movements and mobilize widespread popular support behind them. [...]

In retrospect, it is easy to see that the expectations for a more inclusive international order that Wilson’s rhetoric and global stature raised among colonial nationalists went far beyond the president’s intentions and even further beyond what he would achieve. But at the time, most Egyptian, Indian, Chinese, and Korean nationalists, along with the millions who lined the streets in the capitals of Europe to cheer Wilson as he drove by in his carriage, believed that the peace conference would transform international order in ways that would help them gain the right to self-determination. They were neither naive victims of Wilson’s hypocrisy nor, outside a few exceptions, radicals intent on revolutionary transformation, but rather savvy political actors who, keenly aware of their weakness vis-a-vis the British and Japanese imperial projects, sought to harness Wilson’s power and rhetoric to the struggle to achieve international recognition and equality for their nations. They moved with dispatch and energy to seize the opportunities that the Wilsonian moment seemed to offer to reformulate, escalate, and broaden their campaigns against empire, and worked to mobilize publics both at home and abroad behind their movements. When it became clear that the postwar settlement would fall far short of these expectations and the visions of international equality that Wilson had evoked collapsed, these mobilized nationalists launched the simultaneous revolts that convulsed the colonial world in the spring of 1919. Despite the title of this book, it is they, and not Wilson, who are the main protagonists of the story that follows.

Thursday, 22 April 2010

Shamanistic Rituals in Effective Schools

Steve Sailer’s recent posting of an Onion spoof about naive, well meaning new teachers being destroyed by their experiences in inner city schools reminded me of a section in this little gem, that I found when it was re-published in Charlotte Iserbyt’s The Deliberate Dumbing Down of America, about those occasional mass-hysteric episodes where someone claims to have the ‘cure’ for diversity-based differential outcomes in education. It seems the article is unavailable anywhere online for free, so here it is, as published in Iserbyt:

[Not a spoof!]

“Shamanistic Rituals in Effective Schools*”

“Shamanistic Rituals in Effective Schools*” by Brian Rowan, Senior Research Scientist, Far West Laboratory for Educational Research and Development. Paper presented at the annual meeting of the American Educational Research Association, New Orleans, LA, April, 1984. Asterisk in title is notation on bottom of title page which states, “Work on this paper was supported by the National Institute of Education, Department of Education, under Contract No. 400–83–003. The contents do not necessarily reflect the view or policies of the Department of Education or the National Institute of Education.” Brian Rowan was involved in Bill Spady’s Far West Lab grant to the Utah State Department of Education to “put OBE in all schools of the nation.”

This paper develops a theoretical perspective for analyzing the non-scientific uses of research in educational policy debates. A central focus is educational researchers’ use of shamanistic rituals to affect organizational health (cf., Miracle, 1982). A number of shamanistic rituals derived from research on “effective” schools are described here, and an analysis demonstrates the circumstances under which these rituals can be used to divine the unknown, cure ills, and control uncertain events.


Miracle (1982) suggested that shamans and applied social scientists perform a number of similar functions in society. Shamans, the powerful medicine men of premodern societies, worked mainly to cure ills, divine the unknown, and control uncertain events, and they performed these functions by using a specialized craft obtained after a long period of formal initiation and training. Similarly, applied social scientists acquire a specialized craft after initiation and training, and they too are called upon to alleviate the vague ills of corporate groups, divine the unknown for organizational strategists, or bring order to the uncertain events that plague institutional affairs.

The analogy raises a number of important issues for applied social science. First and foremost, shamans practice magic, whereas applied social researchers are thought to practice “science.” To liken scientists to magicians raises interesting questions about the relationship of science to pragmatic action. An additional problem is that shamans are but one of the many practitioners of magic in societies, and they can be distinguished from others who employ magic in their rituals, for example, sorcerers, witches and wizards. This observation raises questions about the uses of research in modern policy analysis. If educational “science” functions as magic, who are the shamans, witches, and sorcerers of educational research?

Forms of Pragmatic Action

We begin with the problem of whether applied educational scientists practice magic. A number of anthropologists have observed that magic is used for pragmatic purposes in premodern societies, but that magic is not the only form of pragmatism available to premodern practitioners. For example, both Malinowski (1948) and Evans Pritchard (1965) argued that premodern societies possessed sound technical logics that practitioners could use to successfully accomplish most work tasks. In addition, premodern people were able to sharply distinguish between these working, practical logics and magic. In premodern societies, when tasks were going well, the technical logic of everyday work dominated action. But as uncertainties increased, or as conflict and stress became more problematic, premodern practitioners began to supplement technique with magic. Thus, Malinowski (1948) observed the fishing practices of Trobriand islanders and found that, in the safety of lagoons, practitioners made little use of magic and relied primarily on established technical routines to ensure good fishing. But as activities moved into the more dangerous open seas, magic was increasingly invoked as a supplemental technical aid.

Similar points can be made about the modern educational practitioner’s use of research. It seems clear that schools have an established series of technical routines (Goodlad, 1983). But these practices are not grounded in the highly stylized logics of modern science. Rather, they exist in the more subtle and largely unarticulated logic of teachers and administrators (Jackson, 1968). Although some educational observers have likened this unarticulated logic to magic (e.g., Lortie, 1975), Malinwoski’s (1948) [sic] discussion suggests that it is more appropriate to think of educational research as magic. The educational practitioner appears to make wide use of the subtle and unarticulated logic of schooling, and this logic appears to have the desired technical effect on a large number of students (Hyman, Wright and Reed, 1975). Practitioners make much less use of the stylized “scientific” knowledge of applied social scientists. Indeed, like Malinowski’s Trobrianders, they appear to reserve the use of “science” for those sectors of schooling which are problematic or in “crisis.”

Other arguments also suggest that educational “science” functions much like magic. As Miracle (1982) noted, both applied social scientists and shamans utilize a “force” that derives from an other world (Mauss and Hubert, 1961). Shamans, for example, often travel to other worlds to communicate with spirits or accompany the dead to their supernatural resting places. As a result, they are said to inhabit both the real world and a spirit or supernatural world. Similarly, applied scientists appear to inhabit two distinct worlds, one the “real” world, the other the proverbial “ivory tower.” It is widely recognized that knowledge gained in the ivory tower is not the same as that gained in the “real” world, an observation that endows “scientific” knowledge with a certain otherworldly nature. Thus, like shamans, applied educational scientists inhabit two worlds and practice a craft that has a special legitimacy in social affairs.

Types of Magic

If we perist [sic] in the analogy between educational “science” and magic, it becomes useful to classify various types of magic and magicians. In premodern societies, for example, there were numerous practitioners of magic, including not only shamans, but also various witches, wizards and sorcerers. Distinctions among these practitioners can be made on the basis of their actual magic practices. Wizards and witches often practiced forms of “black magic” that were used as weapons to defend interests or harm enemies, whereas the shaman’s magic was most often employed for benevolent purposes, including the curing of ills. There is also a need to look carefully at the rituals practiced by different groups. For example, shamans often engage in a common “spitting and sucking cure,” but they also use other rituals from their “bag of tricks.”

Educational researchers can also be classified by the types and functions of the rituals they perform. For example, policy analysts sometimes use the rituals of research to confound and weaken political or scientific opponents, a form of research that appears similar to the “black” magic of witches. But there are also research shamans who can be called upon by policy analysts to perform healing rituals. All types of research ritualists select from a common and well-known bag of research tricks, although in recent years there has been a rise of ritual specialists who exclusively work either qualitative or quantitative magic on policy audiences.

Shamanism and School Effectiveness Research

In this paper, we limit attention to a single type of research ritualist—the research shaman—and to a few related magic tricks used within a narrow policy domain. Our interest is in describing research rituals that heal and revitalize sectors of education and not in research that fans controversy, inflicts harm on ideological enemies, or demoralizes existing constituencies in a policy domain. Moreover, the analysis will be narrowed to a few research rituals used in one policy domain to better illustrate how research shamans operate.

Shamanism and Crisis

It is commonly observed that working practitioners in education remain detached from, even ignorant of, the findings and applications of applied research. Yet this observation is not entirely true. Educational policy makers and their research ritualists continue to generate research, and this research continues to play a role in certain sectors of educational practice. Thus, a question emerges: in what sectors of educational institutions are the rituals of research shamanism most utilized?

Anthropological studies suggest some answers to this question. It has been argued that magic assumes its highest importance in institutional sectors plagued by three conditions: (a) high levels of technical uncertainty; (b) structural cleavages that create great stress among social groups; and (c) social disorganization that creates problematic mood states among participants (Malinowski, 1925; Gluckman, 1952; Wallace, 1956). The argument here is that research shamanism is most valued in sectors of education that contain these characteristics. Thus, research in education is most numerous in areas where there is high technical uncertainty (do schools/programs/teachers make a difference to educational outcomes?). The rituals of research also take on great importance in areas where there is conflict among social groups (are new educational initiatives needed to redress past social inequities?). And finally, research is increasingly directed at problems related to disorganization and dissatisfaction in institutional sectors of education (are urban/high schools better or worse than in the past?).

Research on Effective Schools

Research on effective schools has its origins in these problems. The research deals with a sector of educational institutions—the instructional core—which has long been the subject of uncertainty, conflict, and pessimism, and where the use of myth and ritual has been common (Meyer and Rowan, 1977; 1978). What is distinctive about “effective schools” research, in contrast to much past scientific work, is that it has taken a shamanistic approach to the problems of schooling. It has not fanned the flames of discontent and uncertainty like previous scholarly work (e.g., Coleman et al., 1966; Averch et al., 1972; Jencks et al., 1972), but instead has held out hope that the pervasive ills of modern urban schooling can be cured.

Edmonds (1979a), the most powerful of all effective schools shamans before his untimely death, seemed accutely [sic] aware of the need for healing in modern educational institutions, and a careful reading of his works reveals his strategy for effecting a cure for the problems confronting urban education. He argued that research must be used to counter the pessimistic view that schools have weak effects on student outcomes, and that as this occurred, practitioners could attain new expectation states that facilitated, rather than hindered, the achievement of disadvantaged children (see, especially, Edmonds, 1978; 1979b). Thus, Edmonds saw that “science” could be used to confront the conflicts, uncertainties, and problematic mood states afflicting modern schooling.

That Edmonds’ [sic] approach possessed a special “force” in educational policy arenas is indisputable. Like the revitalization movements that swept the great plains during the period of indian [sic] decline (Wallace, 1966), the rituals of effective schools research diffused widely and rapidly. They were adopted by other shamans, who brought them to state departments of education and local school systems, and there these rituals were used as the cornerstone of ambitious revitalization ceremonials (see, e.g., Ogden et al., 1982; Shoemaker, 1982; Clark and McCarthy, 1983).

It is worth noting that the perspective being developed here does not necessarily imply that these shamanistic rituals are hoaxes. Indeed, just as many modern medical practitioners have come to recognize the wisdom and efficacy of shamans, there is at least some reason to think that the arguments of effective schools proponents possess some scientific merit (see, e.g., Rowan, Bossert and Dwyer, 1983). Nevertheless, for the moment, it is useful to suspend our empirical curiousity [sic] about whether these initiatives really “work,” [sic] and to examine instead some of the concrete ritual practices that characterize this new educational movement.

Important Shamanistic Rituals

It has already been suggested that shamanistic rituals are designed to cure ills, divine the unknown, and control uncertain events. In this section of the paper, three prominent effective schools rituals are discussed and their relationship to the central functions of magic are illustrated.

Curing Ills with Literature Reviews

We begin with one of the most common shamanistic rituals in the effective schools movement, the glowing literature review that promises relief from the currently pervasive sense that educational institutions are in poor organizational health. Miller’s (1983: 1) review illustrates the general form of this ritual: “Not so long ago the conventional wisdom regarding American schools was that ‘schools do not make a difference.’ ...Yet today... the message of... research is primarily postive [sic] and upbeat: schools can make a difference” (Miller, 1983: 1).

A closer look illustrates the consistent dramatic form used by reviewers to affect the promise of a cure. First, the authors contrast the dismal tradition of school effects research with “more recent” and more positive studies of effective schools. This is followed by the citation of a host of previously unpublished and obscure studies which are often nothing more than other positive literature reviews. The final step is a grandiose concluding statement, which most often calls on practitioners to adopt the new discoveries.

We speculate that these rituals have their most dramatic effect on naïve individuals who have little time or inclination to follow-up footnotes or read works cited in the text, or on those who have little tolerance for the ambiguity that marks true scientific debate. Lacking a systematic understanding of the scientific pros and cons of effective schools research, naïve individuals are left only with the powerful and appealing rhetoric of the reviewers. Thus it is that research on effective schools has come to be seen as a “cure” for educational ills the less it has been published in scholarly journals and the more it has been disseminated in practitioner magazines. The experiences shaman knows to avoid the scrutiny of scholars, for this can raise objections to the “scientific” basis of ritual claims and divert attention away from the appealing rhetoric. Instead, the shaman cultivates the practitioner who needs a simple and appealing formula.

Divining the Unknown Using Outliers

While the literature review ritual can be observed equally well by both qualitative and quantitative specialists, a second ritual, designed to divine the unknown, is the exclusive domain of quantitative ritualists. The ritual uses residuals from a regression analysis to identify “effective” schools and to contrast them with “ineffective” schools. The purpose is to divine an answer to two nagging questions in school effectiveness research: which are the effective schools in a system and what are these schools doing that makes them different?

The techniques involved in this ritual have been described before (see, Rowan et al., 1983). A regression equation predicting school achievement from school socioeconomic composition is tested, and errors of prediction are calculated. The errors (or residuals) are used to identify “effective” and “ineffective” schools and form samples for contrasted groups studies. The ritual almost always strongly supports the rhetorical posture of the ritual literature review. Since predictor variables never account for all of the variance in school-level achievement, an analysis of residuals will always demonstrate that schools differ in achievement even after controlling for socioeconomic composition. Thus any experienced shaman can find “effective” schools. Second, if a shaman asks a large number of questions, a number of structural and cultural differences between effective and ineffective schools can be found. Thus, the outliers ritual not only identifies the previously unrecognized “effective” schools, it also reveals for the first time why these schools attain effectiveness.

From a magician’s standpoint, this ritual’s power can be increased in a number of ways. First, the worse the specification of the initial regression model, the more persuasive the ritual. For example, by failing to include all measures of school socioeconomic composition, a shaman can increase the residual achievement differences between schools. This, in turn, enhances claims that “effective” schools make a difference to achievement. Moreover, to the extent that school characteristics are correlated to omitted socioeconomic predictors, misspecification [sic] enhances the liklihood [sic] that differences in school characteristics will be found between “effective” and “ineffective” groups of schools. Thus, the worse the initial regression model, the more powerful the shamanistic ritual.

A related tactic is to use aggregate models. By using schools rather than individuals as the unit of analysis, proportions of variance in achievement explained by school management and culture are increased. In between-school analyses, schools can be seen to account for nearly 30% of the variance in achievement. But in between-individual analyses, this is reduced to about 5%. Thus, effective schools ritualists have been able to inflate their claims of school effects through a simple aggregation trick (see Alexander and Griffin, 1976).

The experienced shaman also avoids certain practices. For example, it is wise not to repeat the residuals ritual in the same population, for this highlights the low correlation of residuals over time and raises questions about measurement reliability. It is much wiser to demonstrate reliability by using the conventional, and cross-sectional, “split/half” procedure of psychometricians (see, Forsythe, 1973). Similarly, after a few performances of the residuals ritual and the associated contrasted group study, it becomes possible to ignore problems of validation. Thus, as time moves on, the wise shaman avoids achievement data and the residuals ritual entirely, and instead assesses schools on the degree to which their structures match those of previously identified “effective” schools.

Controlling Uncertainty through Measurement

A final shamanistic ritual in the effective schools movement requires the shaman to have advanced training in the art of psychometrics. The ritual is particularly suited to application in urban or low performing school systems where successful instructional outcomes among disadvantaged students are highly uncertain but where mobilized publics demand immediate demonstrations of success. The uncertainties faced by practitioners in this situation can easily be alleviated by what scholars have begun to call “curriculum alignment.”

This ritual begins with an analysis of what is actually being taught in schools. The shaman conducting the ritual assembles a group of local practitioners and together they list instructional objectives for each grade level. The next step is to find achievement tests that ask questions related to these objectives. To the extent that test items matching local objectives are found, either in commerically [sic] prepared tests or in locally constructed ones, and to the extent that these items are used in achievement testing rather than the haphazard collection of items contained in most commerically [sic] prepared tests, the curriculum and testing systems of the local school are said to be “aligned.”

Since it is known that at least some variance in student achievement is a function of students [sic] opportunity to learn what is tested in criterion measures (Cooley and Leinhardt, 1980), the alignment ritual can have immediate effects on perceptions of effectiveness. For example, a school system moving from an unaligned commercially prepared achievement test to an aligned one can expect that it will score higher on national norms than before. But this increased “effectiveness” does not occur because students are learning more or different things. In the typical alignment ceremony, only test items—not instruction—are changed. Nevertheless, while student learning remains unchanged, alignment allows students to practice criterion measures and achieve higher test scores, thus giving them an advantage over comparable students in unaligned school systems.

An even more powerful demonstration of instructional effectiveness can be achieved if shamans avoid the standard psychometric practice of designing norm-referenced achievement tests and move instead toward criterion-referenced tests. As Popham and Husek (1969) discussed, the typical norm-referenced achievement test eliminates items that nearly all students in a population can answer correctly, since norm-referenced tests are designed to produce between-student variance in achievement scores. But if one neglects this practice and allows items that almost everyone can answer correctly to be included in achievement tests, a larger number of students will appear to be performing more successfully in their academics.

Thus, the art of measurement can be used as an aid to shamanism, espcially [sic] in urban schools plagued by the uncertainties of student performance. Student variability in performance can be reduced, and relative performance increased, not by changing instructional objectives or practices, but simply by changing tests and testing procedures.


The analysis of specific shamanistic rituals in the effective schools movement raises a number of important questions about the relationship of applied science to pragmatic action. Most importantly, it suggests that future studies of “science” as magic are needed. There is a need to begin to chart other rituals used by applied scientists to disarm enemies, cure ills, and divine the unknown. Moreover, there is a need to study the conditions under which these magical practices spread through practitioner populations. Using this perspective, much of the literature on organizational change and applied research can be rewritten from an institutional perspective (Meyer and Rowan, 1977).

At the same time, there is a need to carefully analyze the science of magic. There can be little doubt that Malinowski’s (1948: 50) observations about premodern magic will ring true for many observers of current applied research in education:
...when the sociologist approaches the study of magic... he finds to his disappointment an entirely sober, prosaic, even clumsy art, enacted for purely practical reasons, governed by crude and shallow beliefs, carried out in a simple and monotonous technique.

Yet this “clumsy” art sometimes achieves great effects in practitioner communities and may even have some empirical merit, and this raises the appealing promise that applied social scientists can someday develop shamanistic rituals that empirically “work.”

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