The evolutionary-racial othering that the concept of holism enacted does not only belong to anthropology’s past, in the nineteenth century. The division of the world into us and them has continued in many works, albeit not in the form of the “modern” us and “primitive” them that many anthropologists now recognize. This othering, itself political, operates regardless of whether the work in question explicitly engages with politics.
In 2007, Jonathan Spencer announced the “death of political anthropology.” I do not think political anthropology died, but it does need renewing.
Post-truth was Oxford Dictionaries’ 2016 word of the year, but the word became even more relevant in 2017 as Americans suffered through the first year of a presidency frighteningly indifferent, if not openly hostile, to facts. When it comes to exaggerations, half-truths, and outright fabrications, the Trump presidency is without precedent.