The story we have been telling ourselves about our origins is wrong, and perpetuates the idea of inevitable social inequality. David Graeber and David Wengrow ask why the myth of ‘agricultural revolution’ remains so persistent, and argue that there is a whole lot more we can learn from our ancestors.
Throughout its 5000 year history, debt has always involved institutions – whether Mesopotamian sacred kingship, Mosaic jubilees, Sharia or Canon Law – that place controls on debt’s potentially catastrophic social consequences. It is only in the current era, writes anthropologist David Graeber, that we have begun to see the creation of the first effective planetary administrative system largely in order to protect the interests of creditors.
Anarchism, work and bureaucracy
‘On a deep, cultural level, people actually believe that if you don’t do something that at least mildly frustrates you, then your work is not valuable.’ Anthropologist, activist and bestselling anarchist David Graeber on the police state, bullshit jobs and why people need no telling that capitalism is bad.