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In Seeing Like a State, James Scott examines large-scale attemptsby authori- tarian governmentsto engineer their social and

agriculturalenvironments,and offers a powerfulcritiqueof why these attemptsare destinedto fail. Social engi- neering requiresthe simplificationand standardizationof complex facts, and in the process, essential knowledge about them is lost. At its worst, the result is tragedy,disaster,and human suffering.At its best, unplannedoutcomes are in- curredat great expense. Scott begins by arguing"thatthe most tragic episodes of state-initiatedsocial engineeringoriginatein a perniciouscombinationof four elements"(4). The first is a simplificationandaggregationof facts. Complex,dynamic,discrete,andof- ten unique circumstancesare manipulatedinto simplified,static, aggregated,and standardizeddata unrealisticsnapshotsthatoftenmissthemostvitalaspectsof the situation.The second element of social engineeringis an espousal of "high- modernist ideology," which Scott defines as "a strong, one might even say muscle-bound, version of the self-confidence about scientific and technical progress,the expansionof production,the growing satisfactionof humanneeds, the masteryof nature(includinghumannature),and above all, the rationaldesign of social order commensuratewith the scientific understandingof natural laws" (4). The combinationof these two elements can be devastatingwhen an authoritarianstate (the third element) is "willing and able to use the full weight of its coercive power to bring the high-modernistdesigns into being" over "a prostratecivil societythatlacksthecapacitytoresisttheseplans"(thefourthel- ement) (5). These grandplans are destinedto fail, as the rules createdby states to shape society are alwaystoo simple, ignoringthe essential featuresof any real, func- tioning social order.

cott contrastsstate simplificationswith metis, which he defines as "a wide ar- ray of practical skills and acquired intelligence in responding to a constantly changing naturalhuman environment"(313). Examples of metis are farmers knowing when to plant by looking at when the leaves on certain local trees be- gin to sprout,or describingthe size of a farmby the numberof workersneeded to tend it, ratherthan by acreage. One region may have highly labor-intensive landwhile anothernot so intensive.Describinglandin termsof acreagehives off thisusefulinformationinreturnforstandardizationa,ndwhengovernmentdic- tates that all collective farms must plant at the same time, local knowledge is again lost along with productivity. Scotttakeshis argumentone stepfurtherandnotesthatwhencitizens,events, characteristics,or the naturalenvironmentare not easily standardizedand quan- tifiable,thereis an incentivefor the stateto alterthe populationto fit the desired measurements.Landowned collectively is privatizedso it can be taxedmore easily.Villagerswithdeephistoricalrootsareforcedto adoptsurnamesso thatthey are more easily tracked,even if this means alteringthe very fabric of their soci- ety. Scott states that "the builders of the modern nation-statedo not merely describe,observe,andmap;they striveto shapea people andlandscapethatwill fit theirtechniquesof observation"(82).

What does the book have to say to societies with a strongpolity, for example?What lessons are in the book for healthydemocracieswhen they createpublic policy? Yani state I demonize etmek yanlis!

since European imperialist domination encompassed the entire globe. Focussing mainly on case examples that explore massive projects in social engineering di? rected by those who have claimed to be inspired by leftist political philosophies, James Scott argues that these exercises in bureaucratic hubris share a common commitment to tenets of what he terms "high modernist" ideology. He argues that the ideas and urges, organizational strategies, and technologies of coercion that informed Soviet schemes for collectivization, "villagization" in Tanzania, and agricultural modernization in accordance with Western precedents in the colonial and post-colonial eras were all constructed to advance high modernist ends.odernizing projects have invariably resulted in widespread bureaucratic bullying and state violence against its citizens, the destruction of viable communities and patterns of livelihood, and environmental devastation.In the general introduction to his case and thematic studies, Scott identifies three key processes whose convergence he sees as responsible for the excesses of society-wide social engineering projects in the past century. First, civil society is levelled by severe traumatic shocks, such as defeat in war, state collapse and revolution. In its prostrate condition, the society is vulnerable to the seizure of power by political factions determined to build an authoritarian regime. Finally, the ideologues of the extreme factions are committed to some version of high modernism as a grand blueprint for societal transformation. This convergence of forces corresponds perfectly with those that gave rise to the Soviet state and the forced modernization of the Stalinist era.measured and ultimately sobering critique of high modernism's assault on local knowledge and indigenous agricultural systems.cott's work, informs his defense of local diversity and time-tested techniques as well as his assault on the hubristic schemes of modernization specialists. These critiques are followed up by a spirited defense of local communities as repositories of what Scott characterized as metis, or knowledge/practice worked out over centuries, sometimes millennia, of trial and error. But he has frustrat- ingly little to say about real alternatives to high tech, large-scale, industrial modes of agricultural production that are increasingly dominant across the globeyanis adece romantism ve asiri subjectivism cott brilliantly exposes how experts conflated aesthetics with efficiency. They believed that social and ecological organization was rational only insofar as it conformed to their visual aesthetic (here called high modernism) cott introduces the Greek word

(crafty intelligence) to de- scribe the local, unwritten knowledge gained through practice or accumulated over generations. It was adequate to the diversity of natural environments, and was distributed throughout society. This kind of knowledge was disregarded or dismissed by experts. And yet, ironically, their plans would have been still more disastrous without the of people subjected to theme need positive thinking leading to solutions to difficult problems, not negativism about the partial successes of the past. tateshaveattemptedto makesocietieslegible,thatis, introduce standardizedsystemosfmeasuremenatndrecordingwhichhavegreatlysimplifiedthe administrativoerderingof natureand society.State simplificationhsave the same relationtosocietyasmapshavetocommunitiest:heyarenecessarilygeneralizing, abstract,"thin,"representationosfcomplex,messy,localrealitiesW.hentheproject oflegibilityismotivatedbyanideologyofhighmodernisma,nunscientifiacnd naivelyoptimisticbeliefin the possibilitiesof comprehensivpelanning,conjoined withan undemocratipcoliticalprocess,and implementedon a "prostratceivilsociety thatlacksthecapacitytoresistthoseplans"(p. 5),theresultis,moreoftenthannot, disastrous.Of course,people everywhereare capable of resistingsuch social engineeringand offindingcreativewaysto undermineorcircumvenetventhemost rigidofsocialplans,and thatis whyso manyofthemfail.But such"failure"comes at a terriblehumancost,and thisis theirrealtragedyI.n theconclusion,Scottgoes on to proposea fewrulesofthumbthatsocialplannersmightincorporatteo prevent such disasters:implementplans incrementallyin small steps; give preferencteo interventiontshatarereversibleincasetheydo notwork;leaveroomforunintended consequencesandforthealteringofplansmidstreama;nd,finallyp,laninsucha manneras to be able to incorporatteheinventivenesosfthesubjectsforwhomthe planningis beingdone. Cok onemli yani sanki state kendinde 1 entity gibi canavar, state de different social groups tan olusur daha geliskin 1 analiz sart yoksa morally charged olmamali: et,preciselywhen sharpcleavagesalongaxesofclass,race,gender,ethnicitya,nd sexualityexist,certain actorsand agenciesin stateinstitutionsmaycreatepoliticalallianceswithsocial groupsto forcepoliticalchangeagainsttheinterestosfothercoalitions.Scott'suse of "state"and"civilsociety"asmorallychargeddomains,I wouldargue,doesnotallow enoughroomforsuch narratives eeingLikea Stateadds another-the concept of "legibility,"the process by which modernizing states streamline, regulate, and obliterate the messy but essential complexities inherent in economic, political, and biological systems. Making things legible aids taxation, reguation, and extraction of value from natural resources but often at the expense of true economic efficiency and ecological sustainability,as well as of civil and

human rights. In Scott's view, state-initiated legibility requires four key components: the administrative ordering of nature and society; a high-modernist ideology; an authoritarian, activist state; and a prostrate civil society, unable to resist such social engineering. The combination of these elements in modernizing projects of various states blighted or destroyed tens of millions of lives during the twentieth century. The author recounts a number of these disasters in fascinating if grim detail, withjudiciously chosen plans and photographs superbly complementing his text.

Scott presents five main examples of state intervention:scientificforestryin Germany, France,and the USSR; urbanplanningin nineteenth-centuryParis,Le Corbusier,Brasilia, and Chandigarh;the Russian Revolution, including Lenin's ideas about party leadership and the critiquesby Rosa Luxembourgand AleksandraKollontay, as well as Soviet collectivization;villageresettlementin 1970sTanzaniaandEthiopia;scientificagriculturein the United States, West Africa, and the Andes.