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 has ratings and 95 reviews. Liz said: the bits about actual anthropology were good but I wanted more of an a. Fragments of an anarchist anthropology BY DAVID GRAEBER Anarchist thought and practice has left its mark on a series of high-profile social movements .

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Fragments of an Anarchist Anthropology – The Pinocchio Theory

He doesn’t offer an answer here, but instead points to how many of our assumptions about the necessity of the state don’t actually hold up, and argues for a programme of learning more about ways of living outside the state that already have existed.

I found the AZW3 one that is embedded here unable to open on a direct transfer attempt from the original file to a Kindle upload. 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.

At just over pages, this book packs quite a punch. Log in for more features Click here to register now. After all, critics will immediately ask how we can do without the state and its coerciveness. The Stansted 15 protesters, who stopped a government deportation flight from taking off in March last year, have today been found guilty of breaching terror laws. Dec 07, John rated it it was amazing Recommended to John by: The word ”fragments” on the title is of course self evident of the book’s structure.

Posted By Malva Sep 16 Accordingly, he advocates for total open borders, amnesty on international debt, and the cancellation of all patents and other intellectual property rights that is more than one year old. In short, David Graeber is not the anarchists’ friend.


The good part is that his proposals for a new body of theory may indeed bear fruits or spawn a thought revolution, although I’m skeptical about it should his call be answered by other anthropologists.

I first read this book in orwhen I was still new to anarchism. Challenging is the word to describe this very short and easy-to-read book. They have not involved challenging power head on this usually leads to being slaughtered, or if not, turning into some—often even uglier—variant of the very thing one first challenged but from one or another strategy of slipping away from its grasp, from flight, desertion, the founding of new communities.

While there can be some weight to the importance of building and maintaining radical infrastructure in times where there is no upswing of radical activity, the arguments for and against “waiting for the government to just wither away” have been played out so many times and I was just shocked that Graeber still clings to this idea that has been living in the dustbin of history.

Then he spends a good deal of the book defining sets of theories, papers, and books that he would like to see written. Ok wow, this is easily one of these best books I’ve read in a long time, because Graeber challenges so many of our assumed notions quite forcefully. Voting would be the most likely means to guarantee humiliations, resentments, hatreds, in the end, the destruction of communities.

Graeber argues that anthropologists are the only ones who have the necessary knowledge to challenge the current ideological establishment. Emerson talked about the ever-expanding “circles” of our experience. All the same, Graeber eventually falls into the same trappings of anthropologists and academic radicals in this text. Short enjoyable read about many things.

Fragments of an Anarchist Anthropology by David Graeber

Essentially, the reader can expect to gain a good intuitive understanding of what this entire field of study ought to do, which is a miracle for such a short book. One need only glance at the historical record to confirm that most successful forms of popular resistance have taken precisely this form.


I’m very sympathetic towards anarchist ideals and I find David Graeber a very smart and engaging person. It also makes the case for why anthropology has the answers we seek for how to reorganize society. Anarchist and Radical Book Club.

A fresh look at Lenin – Andy Brown. Anarchists repeatedly appeal to anthropologists for ideas about how society might be reorganized on a more egalitarian, less alienating basis.

Fragments of an Anarchist Anthropology

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It is therefore anthropologists’ responsibility to share this information and engage people in dialogue who wish to build liberated relationships and communities. Another world IS possible, and in fact, has existed in many places and times, whether “we” knew about it, or whether we defined it out of relevance with our Eurocentric ideas of civilization and democracy.

One of the most striking discoveries of evolutionary anthropology has been that it is perfectly possible to have kings and nobles and all the exterior trappings of monarchy without having a state in the mechanical sense at all.

The ending was particularly strong and nice. May 02, Parker rated it it was amazing. But this only underlines how these spectral zones are always the fulcrum of the moral imagination, a kind of creative reservoir, too, of potential revolutionary change. 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.

Glib, and perhaps an overstatement. Marxism has tended to be a theoretical or analytical discourse about revolutionary strategy.

Some may quibble with the anti-state feel here, but this is anarchist anti-state fare. Greek, Latin, or German. Graeber is refreshing and thoughtful.