Fragments of an Anarchist Anthropology. David Graeber. David Graeber. Everywhere anarchism is on the upswing as a political philosophy—everywhere, that is. Fragments of an anarchist anthropology BY DAVID GRAEBER Graeber’s short and self-consciously fragmentary book rehearses critiques of capitalism. Fragments of an Anarchist Anthropology has ratings and 95 reviews. Liz said: the bits about actual anthropology were good but I wanted more of an a.

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Graeber tries to expand the circle in order to let the imagination do what it does best: Other than a brief foray into Proudhon’s Property Is Theft! And how can this model of consensus making scale?

Fragments of an Anarchist Anthropology – The Pinocchio Theory

On June 15,Graeber dwvid the offer of a lectureship in the anthropology department at Goldsmiths College, University of London, where he currently holds the title of Reader in Social Anthropology.

Jun 30, Sharad Pandian rated it it was amazing Shelves: David Davidd Graeber is an American anthropologist and anarchist. No trivia or quizzes yet. Types of federation Affinity group Synthesis anarchism Platformism. Sep 16, Alex rated it it was amazing Shelves: Tea rated it it was amazing Shelves: As an anthropologist, which is to say, as someone who uses actual field experience to back up his claims, not just an unwieldy assemblage of footnotes dusted up from the archives–as an anthropologist, Graeber has lived with and studied groups who’ve so applied themselves to the renunciation of their former monarchical ways that what once seemed to them the acme of civilization now strikes them as morally repugnant.

Oct 11, Apemaskin rated it it was amazing. Incidentally, his description makes anarchy sound a lot more appealing than I had thought of it earlier, but consistent with the tenets of anarchism that he describes, he is not proselytizing. Jul 15, Anick-Marie rated it really liked it Shelves: There would appear to be no society which does not see human life as fundamentally a problem.

One obvious role for a radical intellectual is to do precisely that: Return to Book Page. Having just read it again and now being much more familiar with many of the principles and arguments Graeber is discussing, I still love it and highly recommend it!


Challenging is the word to describe this very short and easy-to-read book. I haven’t read much about anarchism, and probably am guilty of some of the misconceptions Graeber describes academics displaying on the topic. Lists with This Book.

Fragments of an Anarchist Anthropology by David Graeber

He believes that anthropologists possess the tools and theories that could help shape an anarchistic vision of the future. Instead of people selling us or renting us out we rent out ourselves. Aside from being sort of cutely humorous on its own and super confident, the stories that Graeber shares of stateless of anarchistic communities are such excellent reminders of what inadequate histories we in the U.

I have SO many favorite quotes in this book! For hi, the model of decision making ultimately and right away is consensus building instead of any communist van guard making decisions. One Autonomist historian, Yann Moulier Boutang, has even argued that the history of capitalism has been a series of attempts to solve the problem of worker mobility—hence the endless elaboration of institutions like indenture, slavery, coolie grabeer, contract workers, guest workers, innumerable forms of border control—since, if the system ever really came close to its own fantasy version of itself, in which workers were free to hire on and quit their work wherever and whenever they wanted, the entire system aanarchist collapse.

The basic principles of anarchism: Marxist political economy, and Foucaultian analytics of power, different as they are from one another, both view State power as an effect and an instrument of social, political, technological, and economic power relations, rather than as the source, or the most basic component, of those relations.

This is social theory written in a style you could discuss in the pub – as long as you’re still sober enough to follow the arguments! As I’ve said, it’s largely incoherent with no sense of flow so the author jumps from one point to the next leaving you with a sense of confusion. Some may quibble with the anti-state feel here, but this is anarchist anti-state fare.

Finally, radical change on the scale that anarchists like Graeber propose is no more a fantasy than the imaginary glue that holds together this chimera we call a nation.


The third part of the book, concentrating on the debunking of the Orientalist myth of the Western world vs.

Books by David Graeber. He is insightful, bringing to light the tendency of Marxists to name their sects after the people who wrote them amusingly the list evolves from state leaders to academicsand the tendency to name anarchist sects by the manner in which the sect organizes.

Graeber posits that anthropology is “particularly well positioned” as an academic discipline that can look at the gamut of human societies and organizations, to study, analyze and catalog alternative social and economic structures around the world, and most importantly, present these alternatives to the world.

Rather than dictate what shoud be done as a Marxist might, Graeber analyzes, in a brilliant way, what humans already do, and highlights their anarchist tendencies by reframing them as such.

Emerson talked about the ever-expanding “circles” of our experience.

Fragments of an Anarchist Anthropology

Since one cannot know a radically better world is not possible, are we not betraying everyone by insisting on continuing to justify, and reproduce, the mess we have today?

Anyhropology ends the book with a call to his fellow anthropologists to do more with the experiences they’ve collected to help with this transition. It’s only anthhropology such a space breaks down into violence that there’s any chance outsiders will even find out that it exists” This is something I plan on writing about some day For its length and intents, though, this book is a fantastic introduction to the concepts discussed therein. Besides, keeping the imagination well-oiled with a little fantasy is healthy!

All the same, Graeber eventually falls into the same trappings of anthropologists and academic radicals in this text. Anthropologists, terrified of being accused of romanticism, respond with silence. David here thinks that is a stretch. For I fear that here Graeber overly idealizes academia, and the grasber of anthropology in particular.