The Art of Not Being Governed


Avoiding complex anthropological and sociological terms as much as possible to reach the hearts of the common readers, author draws our attention towards a very interesting sociological feature. Here he tells the story of Zomia people and their unlikely odyssey in search of self-determination. Is it not interesting to note that these tribes, living in Southeast Asia, have managed to live—rather deliberately and reactively intended to live– in a stateless society? What is more interesting is the fact they this form of living is being practiced in a place which is not any scattered and sporadic, rather a large area of land which is comparable to the size of Europe! What is of more significant is that these societies are not at all any imagination of any anarchist theoretician; these tribes learned this political lesson of the futileness of the stately-hood by experiencing it in their own life and history. It makes us curious and invites to think it afresh when we keep feeling satisfied with what ‘civilization’ and state mechanism has offered us. This book insist us to redefines our views on Asian politics, history, and our approach towards runaway, fugitive and marooned communities like Gypsies, Cossacks, tribes fleeing slave raiders, Marsh Arabs and San-Bushmen alike world wide.

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James C. Scott

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