Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Interactive Ritual Chains

On his blog Abandoned Footnotes, Xavier Marquez does an excellent, thoughtful review of Randall Collins' Interactive Ritual Chains. Between this review and the fact that I am thoroughly impressed by Collins' The Sociology of Philosophies, I am clearly going to have to tackle pretty much everything Collins has written. I think the idea of interactive ritual chains is very important, and given Marquez's tentative development of the idea into politics suggests the fruitfulness of this idea. I will particularly note that the first paragraph of his point 1 could almost describe chimpanzee social structures around the dominant male. Political ritual chains of this sort are indeed deep in our evolved psychologies. Now, while his point 1 does explain the emergence of organizational network structures, much of the rest is suggestive of how social self-organization can take place, from spontaneous orders to swarms. I think Austrian school economists could benefit a great deal from bringing in Collins' theories.
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