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2018-11-07 06:29:55   •   ID: 2047

Big Man - Big Fool- Waist Deep in the Big Muddy

Figure 1
This is a decorated dagger, 21 cm long, with six-fold riveting perforation, from the Early Bronze Age of S-Germany, about 4 k.a. old. In general, such items are seen as attributes of the early Bronze Age elite. This elite had clearly a martial ideal.

We rarely think about the fact, that social stratification as the standard global political model of our times, is not natural and the consequence of a long complicated historical process.

There (are) / were alternatives: An acephalous, non-stratified, society lacks political leaders or hierarchies. Typically these societies are small-scale, organized into lineages, that make decisions through consensus decision making rather than appointing permanent "big man" to settle the societies affairs.

Most hunter-gatherer societies were acephalous. Even today, agricultural rural societies, for example in South Ethiopia are organized without a central hierarchy, state structures and political elites.

Mechanisms that prompted social stratification, inequality and warfare, were already described in this blog here: 1669 .

I personally suggest that the global standard model in the long term will have disastrous implications for humankind.

Donald Trump, the prototype of an erratic Big Man, a Homophobic Racist and notorious Lier, some minutes ago (7.11.18, MEZ 6:29) gave a very positive spin to the 2018 midterm election results, despite the Democrats are likely to take control of the House of Representatives. Unfortunately these election will not stop Trumps Hate agenda.

Figure 2
Figure 2 shows a famous drawing of Otto Dix (Photographed with permission during 2014 in Mannheim) displaying the program of another "Big Man" as emanation of the seven deadly sins: envy, greed, lust, wrath, sloth, vanity and gluttony.

The Motive of this Post "Waist Deep in the Big Muddy" is a story, written by Pete Seeger, as an allegory about President Johnson's engagement in the Vietnam war during the 1960ies.

This simple story is about a training platoon in Louisiana during World War II. The platoon follows their captain into the middle of the Mississippi river in the middle of the night, even though the sergeant questions whether this is really the best way to go.

"Don't be a Nervous Nellie," eggs the captain. And just after that, the captain is devoured by quick sand. Big oops.

The eminent Guitarist Marc Ribot has now updated the Pete Seeger Song: "The Big Fool," comes with a thrilling guitar and Seeger's song "Waist Deep in the Big Muddy" mutates to an angry lament about the Trump era. I agree...

Suggested Reading:

Tagungen des Landesmuseum für Vorgeschichte Halle (Saale) Band 18: Überschuss ohne Staat – Politische Formen in der Vorgeschichte Hrsg. Harald Meller, Detlef Gronenborn und Roberto Risch; Halle (Saale) 2018: Far the best about the Archeo-Ethnology of Alternative trajectories of social Organisation.