On kinship

by fpman

Test 1-2-3… mic check… raison d’être coming up… (sigh)

So we obviously owe readers a definition of what we mean by “relatives” in the header above. And what we mean is “kinship ties,” so we owe you an explanation of that, too.

We understand kinship ties as the set of consanguinal and affinal relations that can bind people together. Although consanguinal relations count most from the vantage point of The Patrimony, affinal ties matter as well.

For us, the notion of an “affinal tie” extends beyond relationships through marriage (not only those of the married, but those of the families of the married, too). Love and friendship and much else are included in this category. Cultures are different, people are creative, and we, for our part, are therefore open to consider alternative options, too.

Beyond this, our starting point is trivial.

Remember that poster (see below) for “The Social Network,” the movie about the rise of Facebook?


Our main thesis is that in most cases you do not become a political leader interacting with other countries, thus getting a shot at making millions of enemies, without making a few friends or having some solid kinship relations to build on. And even if by some miraculous circumstance you do not need those relationships to get to where you are you will still have all kinds of relationships which are bound to affect what you are doing, once in power.

This is what we are interested in. How human relationships of this kind shape decision-making, policies, politics, and even polities… Because even if not everything in politics is relatives (forgive us for the poetic exaggeration in the header above), certainly many things in politics are about relatives.

Now this has both dark and sunny sides, dead serious and lethally funny sides. All kinds of sides. We’re keen on covering all.