David Graeber

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Person.png David Graeber  Rdf-icon.png
(academic, anarchist)
David Graeber.jpg
BornDavid Rolfe Graeber
1961-02-12
Alma materState University of New York at Purchase, University of Chicago
Interests • anthropology
• money
• bureaucracy
• debt

David Graeber is the son of self-taught working-class intellectuals, and is an anarchist anthropologist. He won a Fulbright fellowship and completed a Ph.D. on magic, slavery, and politics in Madagascar. He is a relatively prominent academic (whose rehiring Yale turned down in 2007 - defying a petition of almost 5000 signatories), currently employed by Goldsmiths, University of London.

Activities

David Graeber has a long history of activism including a role in protests against the World Economic Forum in New York City in 2002, membership in the IWW. He was one of the organizers of the Occupy Wall St. protests.[1]

Publications

He has published various non-fiction books, including a highly impressive theory of money and debt, entitled Debt, The First 5000 Years, which was read on Unwelcome Guests.

 

Quotes by David Graeber

PageQuoteSource
Bureaucracy“are not themselves forms of stupidity so much as they are ways of organizing stupidity — of managing relationships that are already characterized by extremely unequal structures of imagination, which exist because of the existence of structural violence. This is why even if a bureaucracy is created for entirely benevolent reasons, it will still produce absurdities.”The Utopia of Rules
Police“If you think about it, this is a really ingenious trick. Because when most of us think about police, we do not think of them as enforcing regulations. We think of them as fighting crime, and when think of “crime,” the kind of crime have in our minds is violent crime. Even though, in fact, what police mostly do is exactly the opposite: they bring the threat of force to bear on situations that would otherwise have nothing to do with it... most violent crime does not end up involving the police... Why are we so confused about what police really do? The obvious reason is that in the popular culture of the last fifty years or so, police have become almost obsessive objects of imaginative identification in popular culture. It has come to the point that it’s not at all unusual for a citizen in a contemporary industrialized democracy to spend several hours a day reading books, watching movies, or viewing TV shows that invite them to look at the world from a police point of view, and to vicariously participate in their exploits. And these imaginary police do, indeed, spend almost all of their time fighting violent crime, or dealing with its consequences.”


References