Possibilities: Essays on Hierarchy, Rebellion and Desire
"If anthropology consists of making the apparently wild thought of others logically compelling in their own cultural settings and intellectually revealing of the human condition, then David Graeber is the consummate anthropologist. Not only does he accomplish this profound feat, he redoubles it by the critical task—now more urgent than ever—of making the possibilities of other people's worlds the basis for understanding our own." —Marshall Sahlins, University of Chicago
In this collection, David Graeber revisits questions raised in his popular book, Fragments of an Anarchist Anthropology. Written in an unpretentious style that uses accessible and entertaining language to convey complex theoretical ideas, these twelve essays cover a lot of ground, including the origins of capitalism, the history of European table manners, love potions in rural Madagascar, and the phenomenology of giant puppets at street protests. But they're linked by a clear purpose: to explore the nature of social power and the forms that resistance to it have taken, or might take in the future.
Anarchism is currently undergoing a worldwide revival, in many ways replacing Marxism as the theoretical and moral center of new revolutionary social movements. It has, however, left little mark on the academy. While anarchists and other visionaries have turned to anthropology for ideas and inspiration, anthropologists are reluctant to enter into serious dialogue. David Graeber is not. These essays, spanning almost twenty years, show how scholarly concerns can be of use to radical social movements, and how the perspectives of such movements shed new light on debates within the academy.
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Manners Deference and Private Property Or Elements for a General Theory of Hierarchy
The Very Idea of Consumption Desire Phantasms and the Aesthetics of Destruction from Medieval Times to the Present
Turning Modes of Production InsideOut Or Why Capitalism is a Transformation of Slavery short version
Fetishism as Social Creativity Or Fetishes are Gods in the Process of Construction
PROVISIONAL AUTONOMOUS ZONE DILEMMAS OF AUTHORITY IN RURAL MADAGASCAR
Provisional Autonomous Zone Or The GhostState in Madagascar
Dancing with Corpses Reconsidered An Interpretation of Famadihana in Arivonimamo Madagascar
Love Magic and Political Morality in Central Madagascar 18751990
DIRECT ACTION DIRECT DEMOCRACY AND SOCIAL THEORY
The Twilight of Vanguardism
Social Theory as Science and Utopia Or Does the Prospect of a General Sociological Theory Still Mean Anything in an Age of Globalization?
There Never Was a West Or Democracy Emerges From the Spaces in Between
On the Phenomenology of Giant Puppets Broken Windows Imaginary Jars of Urine and the Cosmological Role of the Police in American Culture