The Art of Not Being Governed: An Anarchist History of Upland Southeast Asia, by James C. Scott (Yale University Press, 2010). Like many great thinkers, James C. Scott’s ideas seem totally obvious once you’ve heard them. But with Scott this problem is exacerbated by the fact that
This is interesting, & given the mention of marshes, I'd love to read Scott on the Maroons & similar groups. I will say, though, that "paranoia" is both a) very easy to manipulate, and b) inimical to the compromises that make neighborhood possible. Like, the more people view every pinprick as a crisis, the more every local dispute becomes an existential threat, and soon you have people throwing bricks through windows of places that host drag brunches, etc.
Lol I'll also say that praising righteous paranoia seems likely to feed the thing where people convince themselves that they're actually a targeted minority, so anything they do to other people is just self-defense.... There's an inherent conflict, maybe, between taking the "barbarian" self-protective viewpoint and continuing to try to live in community with that motley crew known as "the neighbors."
Awesome - love Wodehouse and the Psmith books - and adore the iconoclasm and insight of Scott (weapons of the weak is my favorite). Living in the hills of Taos NM i recognize these people and strategies - would suggest you also read Ranajit Guha (elementary aspects of peasant insurgency) and several works of the subaltern studies school -