Guess What Empire & What City-State? Who said Greece was home of civic participation?

Social spheres colliding has now led to what I call ”sliding supremacies” or the idea that hierarchies never remain static. That said, SCAMs and SLAMs seem to remain at the top. Go figure?

In first chapters of Out of Many, One: Obama and the Third American Tradition (University of Chicago) I mix up Hannah Arendt’s expansive notion of the oikos with Jean Baudrillard’s postwar ideas about consumerism.*

A central theme is I can change the unit of analysis to the family. Not the family led by men alone but the New Netherlands interpretation of Hugo Grotius’s political/economic/social thought.

Being the 11th generation of the Stout/Frick family, I’m finishing my book manuscript on American neo-tribalism. I track how women crack the hegemony within my own family. To be sure, this power made them violent as they participated in coloniality as opposed to decoloniality, not post-colonialism.

Worse, the New Netherlands notion of the matrilineal conception of a family frees women more than women trapped by the English or the Scottish ideas about individuals, individualism, and individuality. After all, only with Princess Charlotte do we discover that Princess Di was the end of the line of male primogeniture.

Being the 11th generation of the Stout/Frick families gave me the freedom to explore what we did best: lots of power to their women. The Stout women did ”liberation as education” and ”education as liberation” and I’ve gotten to rely on Paolo Friere’s Pedagogy of the Oppressed for my whole career teaching graduate education or all but a few years.

The Frick-doers was what the Far West Fricks called us/them, whereas the Stout’s simply called the frontier women — household partners.

Penelope Stout (b. Amsterdam 1620, immigrated 1641) started a trajectory for me, though it was only in 2017 in cleaning out my basement that I found all all the documents, photographs, and many artifacts to piece it all together. My first and second cousins from my generation are generously sending me copies and photographs of their archives.


“The household (oikos) was the fundamental social, political and economic unit of ancient Greece (Arist.Pol. 1. 2), though its precise links into larger political and economic structures changed regionally and over time. At one level it was a co-resident group, many (though not all) of whose members were kin or affines (related by marriage). Patrilateral kinship was probably more common than matrilateral in household settings, since marriage was patrilocal, i.e. women tended to move into their husband’s house and household on marriage (see matrilocality). Though a nuclear family (parents and children) might form the household’s core, there is considerable evidence for the regular appearance of stem families (nuclear family plus a grandparent) and various kinds of extended families, especially incorporating unmarried female relatives (aunts, sisters, nieces, cousins, etc. ). The senior man in the household usually took charge of ‘official’ relations with the outside world and acted as the head of household (kyrios).”

Published by *Ruth Frick O'Brien

Professor Ruth Frick O'Brien, City University of New York, Graduate Center, 1st "professorette" nicknamed by Rush Limbaugh nickname. Ruth Frick* O'Brien & Frederic Halper* O'Brien, Dep.M.E. @ National Review *(honoring our mothers)

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