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Title:The Utopia of Rules: On Technology, Stupidity, and the Secret Joys of Bureaucracy
Format Type:Ebook
Author:David Graeber
Publisher:Melville House
ISBN:1612193749
ISBN 13:
Number of Pages:261
Category:Non fiction, Politics, Economics, Sociology, Anthropology, Philosophy, History

The Utopia of Rules: On Technology, Stupidity, and the Secret Joys of Bureaucracy by David Graeber

PDF, EPUB, MOBI, TXT, DOC The Utopia of Rules: On Technology, Stupidity, and the Secret Joys of Bureaucracy Where does the desire for endless rules regulations and bureaucracy come from How did we come to spend so much of our time filling out forms .

To answer these questions anthropologist David Graeber one of the most prominent and provocative thinkers working today takes a journey through ancient and modern history to trace the peculiar and fascinating evolution of bureaucracy over the ages .

He starts in the ancient world looking at how early civilizations were organized and what traces early bureaucratic systems have left in the ethnographic literature He then jets forward to the nineteenth century where systems we can easily recognize as modern bureaucracies come into being In some areas of life like with the modern postal systems of Germany and France these bureaucracies have brought tremendous efficiencies to modern life But Graeber argues that there is a much darker side to modern bureaucracy that is rarely ever discussed Indeed in our own utopia of rules freedom and technological innovation are often the casualties of systems that we only faintly understand .

Provocative and timely the book is a powerful look and history of bureaucracy over the ages and its power in shaping the world of ideas

Debt: The First 5,000 Years

b Before there was money there was debt b br br Every economics textbook says the same thing Money was invented to replace onerous and complicated barter systems to relieve ancient people from having to haul their goods to market The problem with this version of history There s not a shred of evidence to support it br br Here anthropologist David Graeber presents a stunning reversal of conventional wisdom He shows that for more than years since the beginnings of the first agrarian empires humans have used elaborate credit systems to buy and sell goods that is long before the invention of coins or cash It is in this era Graeber argues that we also first encounter a society divided into debtors and creditors br br Graeber shows that arguments about debt and debt forgiveness have been at the center of political debates from Italy to China as well as sparking innumerable insurrections He also brilliantly demonstrates that the language of the ancient works of law and religion words like guilt sin and redemption derive in large part from ancient debates about debt and shape even our most basic ideas of right and wrong We are still fighting these battles today without knowing it br br i Debt The First Years i is a fascinating chronicle of this little known history as well as how it has defined human history and what it means for the credit crisis of the present day and the future of our economy


Fragments of an Anarchist Anthropology

Everywhere anarchism is on the upswing as a political philosophy everywhere that is except the academy Anarchists repeatedly appeal to anthropologists for ideas about how society might be reorganized on a more egalitarian less alienating basis Anthropologists terrified of being accused of romanticism respond with silence But what if they didn t br br This pamphlet ponders what that response would be and explores the implications of linking anthropology to anarchism Here David Graeber invites readers to imagine this discipline that currently only exists in the realm of possibility anarchist anthropology


The Utopia of Rules: On Technology, Stupidity, and the Secret Joys of Bureaucracy

Where does the desire for endless rules regulations and bureaucracy come from How did we come to spend so much of our time filling out forms br br To answer these questions anthropologist David Graeber one of the most prominent and provocative thinkers working today takes a journey through ancient and modern history to trace the peculiar and fascinating evolution of bureaucracy over the ages br br He starts in the ancient world looking at how early civilizations were organized and what traces early bureaucratic systems have left in the ethnographic literature He then jets forward to the nineteenth century where systems we can easily recognize as modern bureaucracies come into being In some areas of life like with the modern postal systems of Germany and France these bureaucracies have brought tremendous efficiencies to modern life But Graeber argues that there is a much darker side to modern bureaucracy that is rarely ever discussed Indeed in our own utopia of rules freedom and technological innovation are often the casualties of systems that we only faintly understand br br Provocative and timely the book is a powerful look and history of bureaucracy over the ages and its power in shaping the world of ideas


The Democracy Project: A History, a Crisis, a Movement

A bold rethinking of the most powerful political idea in the world democracy as seen through the lens of the most transformative political movements of our time and the story of how radical democracy can yet transform America br br Democracy has been the American religion since before the Revolution from New England town halls to the multicultural democracy of Atlantic pirate ships But can our current political system one that seems responsive only to the wealthiest among us and leaves most Americans feeling disengaged voiceless and disenfranchised really be called democratic And if the tools of our democracy are not working to solve the rising crises we face how can we average citizens make change happen br br David Graeber one of the most influential scholars and activists of his generation takes readers on a journey through the idea of democracy provocatively reorienting our understanding of pivotal historical moments and extracts their lessons for today from the birth of Athenian democracy and the founding of the United States of America to the global revolutions of the twentieth century and the rise of a new generation of activists Underlying it all is a bracing argument that in the face of increasingly concentrated wealth and power in this country a reenergized reconceived democracy one based on consensus equality and broad participation can yet provide us with the just free and fair society we want br br The Democracy Project tells the story of the resilience of the democratic spirit and the adaptability of the democratic idea It offers a fresh take on vital history and an impassioned argument that radical democracy is more than ever our best hope


Direct Action: An Ethnography

Anthropologist David Graeber undertakes the first detailed ethnographic study of the global justice movement The case study at the center of i Direct Action i is the organizing and events that led to the one of the most dramatic and militant mass protests in recent years against the Summit of the Americas in Qu bec City Written in a clear accessible style with a minimum of academic jargon this study brings readers behind the scenes of a movement that has changed the terms of debate about world power relations From informal conversations in coffee shops to large spokescouncil planning meetings and tear gas drenched street actions Graeber paints a vivid and fascinating picture br br Along the way he addresses matters of deep interest to anthropologists meeting structure and process language symbolism and representation the specific rituals of activist culture and much more Starting from the assumption that when dealing with possibilities of global transformation and emerging political forms a disinterested objective perspective is impossible Graeber writes as both scholar and activist At the same time his experiment in the application of ethnographic methods to important ongoing political events is a serious and unique contribution to the field of anthropology as well as an inquiry into anthropology s political implications br br b David Graeber b is an anthropologist and activist who teaches at the University of London Active in numerous direct action political organizations he has written for i Harper s Magazine i and is the author of i Fragments of an Anarchist Anthropology i i Towards an Anthropological Theory of Value i and i Possibilities i br br b In Oakland California on March a fire destroyed the AK Press warehouse along with several other businesses Please consider visiting the AK Press website to learn more about the fundraiser to help them and their neighbors b br br br br


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 br br Graeber s ideas are rich and wide ranging he pushes us to expand the boundaries of what we admit to be possible or even thinkable Steven Shaviro Wayne State University br br In this new collection David Graeber revisits questions raised in his popular book i Fragments of an Anarchist Anthropology i 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 br br 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 br br b David Graeber b has written for i Harper s Magazine i i New Left Review i and numerous scholarly journals He is the author or editor of four books and currently lives in New York City br br b In Oakland California on March a fire destroyed the AK Press warehouse along with several other businesses Please consider visiting the AK Press website to learn more about the fundraiser to help them and their neighbors b br br br br


Toward An Anthropological Theory of Value: The False Coin of Our Own Dreams

This innovative book is the first comprehensive synthesis of economic political and cultural theories of value David Graeber reexamines a century of anthropological thought about value and exchange in large measure to find a way out of quandaries in current social theory which have become critical at the present moment of ideological collapse in the face of Neoliberalism Rooted in an engaged dynamic realism Graeber argues that projects of cultural comparison are in a sense necessarily revolutionary projects He attempts to synthesize the best insights of Karl Marx and Marcel Mauss arguing that these figures represent two extreme but ultimately complementary possibilities in the shape such a project might take Graeber breathes new life into the classic anthropological texts on exchange value and economy He rethinks the cases of Iroquois wampum Pacific kula exchanges and the Kwakiutl potlatch within the flow of world historical processes and recasts value as a model of human meaning making which far exceeds rationalist reductive economist paradigms br


Revolutions in Reverse: Essays on Politics, Violence, Art, and Imagination

Today s capitalist systems appear to be coming apart but what is the alternative In a generation or so capitalism may no longer exist as it s impossible to maintain perpetual growth on a finite planet David Graeber explores political strategy global trade violence alienation and creativity looking for a new common sense


Lost People: Magic and the Legacy of Slavery in Madagascar

Betafo a rural community in central Madagascar is divided between the descendants of nobles and descendants of slaves Anthropologist David Graeber arrived for fieldwork at the height of tensions attributed to a disastrous communal ordeal two years earlier As Graeber uncovers the layers of historical social and cultural knowledge required to understand this event he elaborates a new view of power inequality and the political role of narrative Combining theoretical subtlety a compelling narrative line and vividly drawn characters Lost People is a singular contribution to the anthropology of politics and the literature on ethnographic writing


Inside Occupy

Occupy Wall Street Mit diesem Aufruf besetzt im September eine Gruppe von Aktivisten den Zuccotti Park im New Yorker Finanzdistrikt Sie wollen friedlich gegen die Finanzm rkte und Banken die ungerechte Verteilung der Verm gen sowie die Unt tigkeit der Politik demonstrieren Was steckt hinter dieser Bewegung die in kurzer Zeit Millionen Menschen rund um den Globus mobilisiert Was steckt hinter den Guy Fawkes Masken der Besetzer Was steckt hinter ihrem Mut und ihrem Zorn Der Vordenker und Aktivist David Graeber berichtet aus erster Hand wie alles begann wie die Bewegung stark werden konnte und warum dies erst der Anfang ist


Lost People: Magic and the Legacy of Slavery in Madagascar, Debt: The First 5,000 Years, Fragments of an Anarchist Anthropology, The Utopia of Rules: On Technology, Stupidity, and the Secret Joys of Bureaucracy, Toward An Anthropological Theory of Value: The False Coin of Our Own Dreams, Possibilities: Essays on Hierarchy, Rebellion, and Desire, The Democracy Project: A History, a Crisis, a Movement, Inside Occupy, Direct Action: An Ethnography, Revolutions in Reverse: Essays on Politics, Violence, Art, and Imagination