The dialectic . . . is a logical absurdity as long as ther
the change of one ‘‘thing’’ into another ‘‘thing.’’ . . . Tha
premise is that thingsshouldbeshowntobeaspectsofproce
the knowledge that social facts are not objects but relation
is intensified to the point where facts are wholly dissolved
—Georg Lukács, HistoryandClassConsciousn
The western Argentinean Chaco is dominated by a lands
monotonous, and often overwhelming: elmonte, the bus
that cut through the region are surrounded by forest an
frail marks of human presence trying to prevent nature f
over. Wherever one looks, the thick succession of hardw
shrubs, six to twelve meters high, extends like a mantle
soil. In the northwest of the province of Formosa, one o
roads ends near the border with Paraguay, where a dozen
scattered south of the marshlands formed by the Pilcom
hamlets momentarily break the dominance of the bush ye
dinated to its unyielding presence. From every household
next to a fire, making handicrafts, or preparing food, w
can see the mass of vegetation surrounding them. Most o
bush often to gather honey, wild fruits, or firewood, to
fields, or go fishing in the marshes. And many of their
dotes, and conversations hinge in one way or another o
despite its sheer presence, people remember that the bus
the past.When they refer to theirancestors, who roamed t
in foraging bands prior to their defeat by the Argentinea
arrival of Criollo settlers in the 1910s, they emphasize tha
a world of wide grasslands, free of forest.
These memories remind many Toba that the bush
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