Read The Rule of the Clan: What an Ancient Form of Social Organization Reveals About the Future of Individual Freedom by Mark S. Weiner Online


Winner of the Grawemeyer Award For Ideas Improving World OrderA lively, wide-ranging meditation on human development that offers surprising lessons for the future of modern individualism, The Rule of the Clan examines the constitutional principles and cultural institutions of kin-based societies, from medieval Iceland to modern Pakistan.Mark S. Weiner, an expert in constitWinner of the Grawemeyer Award For Ideas Improving World OrderA lively, wide-ranging meditation on human development that offers surprising lessons for the future of modern individualism, The Rule of the Clan examines the constitutional principles and cultural institutions of kin-based societies, from medieval Iceland to modern Pakistan.Mark S. Weiner, an expert in constitutional law and legal history, shows us that true individual freedom depends on the existence of a robust state dedicated to the public interest. In the absence of a healthy state, he explains, humans naturally tend to create legal structures centered not on individuals but rather on extended family groups. The modern liberal state makes individualism possible by keeping this powerful drive in check—and we ignore the continuing threat to liberal values and institutions at our peril. At the same time, for modern individualism to survive, liberals must also acknowledge the profound social and psychological benefits the rule of the clan provides and recognize the loss humanity sustains in its transition to modernity.Masterfully argued and filled with rich historical detail, Weiner's investigation speaks both to modern liberal societies and to developing nations riven by "clannism," including Muslim societies in the wake of the Arab Spring....

Title : The Rule of the Clan: What an Ancient Form of Social Organization Reveals About the Future of Individual Freedom
Author :
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ISBN : 9781250043627
Format Type : Paperback
Number of Pages : 272 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

The Rule of the Clan: What an Ancient Form of Social Organization Reveals About the Future of Individual Freedom Reviews

  • Slobodan Blazeski
    2019-03-02 10:20

    This book is a real masterpiece. My interest of development economics and reading numerous books of why some countries are rich and the other are poor, always lead to dabbling in amateur sociology. By reading the rule of the clan you don't need to dabble anymore. The author Mark Weiner clearly describes that rule of the clan is the natural state of organization that reemerges whenever the power of the state is weakened. When you don't trust the institutions to treat you right you start organize on clannish lines and voluntary subjugate your individualism to the power of the clan in order to advance your own interests. When that happens there is no more universal morality, and you start to treat everybody as member of the insider- outsider continuum. When clannishness rule the modern state is just a sham of patronage networks who control the real power and institutions are nothing but proxy. How many countries in the world are real states instead of clannish networks in disguise? How many have countries have all the outside appearance but none of the substance. The truth written in this book is very sad, but ignoring it could bring just misery. Modern state can't hang on a skyhook, without minimizing the rule of the clan descend into dark ages is inevitable.Because the clannishness could never be beaten just contained.

  • Ed Hertzog
    2019-03-05 12:25

    This should be required reading for modern American liberals and libertarians, particularly the type who tend towards the anarchist side of the political spectrum. We don't need to imagine the type of world that would exist in the absence of a state, along with its monopoly on the initiation of force. We have thousands of years of history to suggest what decentralized executive authority very well may look like. The challenge for anarchists is to explain how a stateless society would not devolve either into some post-Soviet system of gangsterism or a blood line obsessed clan society like modern Pakistan. This is a challenging read for anyone who rejects the social contract and the construct known as the state. This book may very well raise questions that most anti-state libertarians would rather not like to confront.

  • Terry Tracz
    2019-03-03 14:17

    Having just been to Kenya and Tanzania, two countries currently evolving from Status to Contract, I found this book to be an especially interesting read. The author presumes more academic background, so I struggled to understand some passages, but we ignore the points he makes at our own peril. Before we can assist other cultures toward democracy, we must first understand their current means of existence.

  • Nathan Toronto
    2019-03-09 14:32

    One of the clearest arguments yet for the liberal worldview. Any friend of peace, prosperity, and stability should read Weiner's essay, who casts a light on how liberalism needs the cultural heritage of the clan in order to survive.

  • Robert
    2019-03-11 18:12

    This book was a great read - provocative and insightful. I highly recommend it to anyone interested in law's relation to the individual.

  • Kitty Red-Eye
    2019-03-02 16:27

    A very interesting book! Of course I've been thinking about the difference between individualist societies and collectivist societies before, but I've never really had the framework to fully appreciate the two and the enormous difference between them. Not that I can fathom it to the full, I believe. A collectivist society isn't something I can simply "imagine, then understand it". But this book is a good start. I especially enjoyed roughly the first half of the book, the introduction chapters and then the more detailed "case studies" of the Nuer tribes of South Sudan in the 1930ies (very funny, actually), the society of Medieval Iceland (the only case I could somewhat judge against admittedly shaky pre-knowledge, and yeah it's approved) and the current-day Palestinian Authority (I've read a lot of various critisism and praise of Yassir Arafat, but this particular critique was unknown to me!). In other chapters, many many other societies are described, but the three mentioned have the most thorough descriptions. The author is a Law professor and his field of expertice is a little "foreign" to me, but he manages to write it up simple enough for non-experts to follow his points. I believe the subject is EXTREMELY important to understand a lot of problems which haunt our world, so I'll definitely keep this one in mind, and hopefully eventually find time to read some of the sources he has used as well. Recommended.

  • Dylan Groves
    2019-03-25 13:29

    An engaging first cut at understanding the politics and culture of clannism from a liberal-statist perspective. Provocative, not conclusive. Glad I read together with James Scott and Steven Pinker.Three takeaways:1 - The natural political order in the absence of a capable state is clannism: decentralized family ties, honor-based, and highly communitarian, with enforcement defined by tit-for-tat retributive violence. Libertarians should love the state because it protects individual liberty than the clannist alternative. 2 - Clan societies are very democratic, but they arn't very liberal, they tend to be violent, and they are at least correlated with a lack of respect for women's rights/ 3 - The strategy for shifting from Honor (clan) to Contract (liberal) society should be based on a combination of (1) bottom-up cajoling of clan institutions to bind themselves to national-level instituions, (2) investments in technologies (social media) and social institutions (professional groups) that transcend clan ties, (3) occasional coercive state-making (doesn't defend this explicitly, but a clear implication)

  • Ananda
    2019-03-20 18:20

    This is a really interesting high-level essay about what Weiner sees as the only alternative to a strong central state: the rule of the clan. He argues that clan rule is the default, indeed perhaps preferred (by people in general, not him), method of human social organization. For Weiner, people (such as myself) who think the state is a major threat to liberty may be right, but clan rule is far more illiberal and suffocating than the state is (except in the obvious cases).I found this book very challenging and thought-provoking. Weiner has contributed the lead essay on this subect as part of a symposium critiquing his views at Cato right now. I'm interested to see the back and forth there.

  • Rachel
    2019-03-04 14:21

    Somewhere between 3 stars and 4 stars. This book provides a look into the clan, an organization of society throughout history and into the present day. It overlaps well with another book I'm reading "Reconciliation: Islam, Democracy, and the West" by Benazir Bhutto in that both address and provide a plausible answer as to why the West has had such problems with intervention in Iraq and Afghanistan.There is some obvious bias in this book, feeling too often like the author is ramming "liberal society is good and better than this violent clan system" down my throat. But overall his analysis has given me food for thought and broadened my knowledge and history of different tribal and clan setups.

  • Lee Robbins
    2019-02-28 13:28

    "Status to Contract""To be sure, the state can be an instrument of tyranny. Nobody who has lived in the twentieth century can fail to be profoundly aware of the dangers posed by state power. Overreaching states have utterly crushed individual freedom in the Soviet Union (sic), Germany, China, and a host of other nations. But this fact should not lead to radical cynicism about state power per se. nor should it cause us to be cavalier about the consequences that would ensue if the state were to be critically weakened"(p.200). "People dedicated to individual freedom must have the clarity and the courage to defend the state that makes freedom possible"(p.208).

  • Wickliffe Walker
    2019-03-12 16:36

    Rule of the Clan is a delight: important, thoughtful social and legal analysis leavened by fascinating examples, from an Irish Pub in Georgia to medieval Iceland, from the south of Sudan to the si-fi future of Avatar. Mark Weiner’s clean prose and impressive scholarship add up to a rare combination.

  • Fredrick Danysh
    2019-03-07 16:25

    A look at how clans function in society. The author claims that a strong Liberal government grants individual rights and are the only thing with the ability to enforce rules on society. He challenges the claim that individual rights flourish in a weak government. This is a propaganda piece for Liberalism.

  • The Advocate
    2019-03-19 15:23

    "Weiner’s study on the role of the clan in strengthening societies gives a good understanding of the conflicts and benefits of both individualism and rigid social structure."Read more here.

  • Rodger
    2019-03-18 18:35

    2015 Grawemeyer winner for Ideas Improving World Order.

  • Mimi
    2019-03-13 10:33

    interesting study but drags in some places.

  • !Tæmbuŝu
    2019-03-16 12:15