James C. Scott

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James C. Scott (born December 2, 1936) is an American political scientist and anthropologist.


Against the Grain: A Deep History of the Earliest States (2017)[edit]

Yale University Press
  • Mankind has been mesmerized by the narrative of progress and civilization as codified by the first great agrarian kingdoms. As new and powerful societies, they were determined to distinguish themselves as sharply as possible from the populations from which they sprang and that still beckoned and threatened at their fringes.
    • p. 7
  • Once the basic assumption of the superiority and attraction of fixed-field farming over all previous forms of subsistence is questioned, it becomes clear that this assumption itself rests on a deeper and more embedded assumption that is virtually never questioned. And that assumption is that sedentary life itself is superior to and more attractive than mobile forms of existence.
    • pp. 7-8

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