David Graeber

  • 4.1 Books
  • 4.2 Article
  • 5.1 interviews


David Graeber is the author of Fragments of an Anarchist Anthropology (Eng. fragments of an anarchist anthropology, published as free of domination ) and Towards an Anthropological Theory of Value: The False Coin of Our Own Dreams (German Toward an anthropological theory of value: The false coin of our dreams ). Extensive field research in Madagascar resulted in his doctoral thesis The Disastrous Ordeal of 1987: Memory and Violence in Rural Madagascar (Eng. The disastrous ordeal of 1987: Memory and Violence in Rural Madagascar), in the tombs with the ongoing social division between the descendants of nobility and the descendants of former slaves involved. Since May 2005 Graeber worked on the publication of two books: Reinventing Revolution (German Revolution reinvent appeared as fight the kamikaze capitalism ) and Direct Action: An Ethnography (German Direct Action: An Ethnography ).

Graeber is a well-known social and political activist who took part in the protests at the World Economic Forum in New York City ( 2002). He is also a member of the union Industrial Workers of the World and the International Organization for Participatory Society.

Until June 2007, Graeber was Professor of Anthropology at Yale University, where the controversial decision was made not to renew Graeber's contract. Instead, he taught until summer 2013 Anthropology at Goldsmiths College, University of London and then moved to the anthropological faculty at the London School of Economics.


Graeber criticized from the perspective of the ethnologist the foundations of our economic and social system. This would condemn people to senseless employment en masse rather than meaningful filling activity in moderation:

" In the year 1930, John Maynard Keynes predicted that, by century 's end, technology would have advanced Sufficiently did countries like Great Britain or the United States would have Achieved a 15 - hour workweek. There's every reason to believe he was right. In technological terms, we are quite Capable of this. And yet it did not happen. Instead, technology HAS BEEN marshaled, if anything, to figure out ways to make us all work more. In order to achieve achievement this, jobs have had to be created did are, Effectively, pointless. Huge swathes of people in Europe and North America in Particular, giving Their Entire working lives performing tasks They secretly believe do not really need to be performed. The moral and spiritual damage did comes from this situation is profound. It is a scar across our collective soul. Yet Virtually no one talks about it. "

" Said John Maynard Keynes in 1930 predicted that the technology would be so advanced to the end of the century that countries such as Britain or the United States would have reached a 15 - hour week. Everything indicates that he was right. Technologically, we are able to do so. Nevertheless, this does not happen. Instead, technology has been used for this so we can all work more. To achieve this had jobs are created which are useless in the result. Large amounts of people, especially in Europe and North America have spent their whole working life in order to carry out activities which they think secretly that they actually would not be done. The moral and spiritual damage that may occur here, this situation is serious. There is a wound in our collective soul. But no one talks about. "

Following the interpretation of the financial economy Graeber dealt with the Homo economicus as not only in economics, but it also derived in the conduct of research on humans and animals will be accepted. It refers in particular to Pyotr Alexeyevich Kropotkin and speaks out against radical neo-Darwinism, for it tackles Richard Dawkins and Daniel Dennett. Graeber proclaimed a principle of playful freedom, according to which all life " under certain circumstances, a target it has to exercise its most complex skills. " His first publication on the subject was an essay in February 2014. Graeber working on a book about the subject.

Publications on German

  • The false coin of our dreams. Value, exchange and human action. Diaphanes, Zurich 2012 ( Original title: Toward an anthropological theory of value), ISBN 978-3-03734-242-8.
  • Free of domination. Fragments of an anarchist anthropology. Peter Hammer Verlag, Wuppertal 2008 ( Original title: Fragments of an anarchist anthropology ), ISBN 978-3-7795-0208-1.
  • Debt: The first 5000 years. Klett- Cotta Verlag, Stuttgart 2012 ( Original title: Debt The First 5000 Years. ), ISBN 978-3-608-94767-0.
  • Fight the kamikaze capitalism. There are alternatives to the dominant system. Pantheon, Munich 2012 ( Original title: Revolution in reverse), ISBN 978-3-570-55197-4.
  • Inside Occupy. Campus -Verlag, Frankfurt am Main 2012 ( Original title: Occupy! ), ISBN 978-3-5933-9719-1.
  • Direct action. A handbook. Edition Nautilus, Hamburg 2013 ( Original title: Direct Action: An Ethnography, translated by Sophia Deeg! ), ISBN 978-3-89401-775-0.


  • Are you an anarchist? Take the test - the answer might surprise you! Oya in 22/2013 ( Original title: Are You an Anarchist The Answer May Surprise You? )

Publications in English

  • Towards an Anthropological Theory of Value: The False Coin of Our Own Dreams
  • Possibilities: Essays on Hierarchy, Rebellion, and Desire
  • Direct Action: An Ethnography
  • Constituent Imagination: Militant Investigation, Collective theorization: Militant Investigations, Collective theorization
  • Debt: The First 5000 Years
  • The Democracy Project: A History, a Crisis, a Movement. Spiegel & Grau, New York, 2013, ISBN 978-0-8129-9356-1.
  • Revolution in reverse. Minor Compositions, London 2011, ISBN 978-1-5702-7243-1.


  • The New Anarchists
  • Give it Away - An article on the French intellectual Marcel Mauss.
  • Army of AltruistsVorlage: Web archive / Maintenance / Nummerierte_Parameter (PDF, 490 kB), to attempt to solve the riddle of why so many working class Americans vote for the Right.
  • The Twilight of Vanguardism
  • Rebel Without A God - a meditation on the anti- authoritarian elements of Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Reprint of December 27, 1998 In These Times
  • The Sadness of Post - Workerism - on assessment of recent trendy " immaterial labor theory" (a la Negri, Lazzarato etc. ), with some comments on the relation of art, value, scams, and the fate of The Future. (PDF file, 277 kB)
  • On the Phenomenom of bullshit jobs. English. In: Strike Magazine of 17 August 2013!
  • Revolution at the level of common sense. In: Federico Campagna, Emanuele Campiglio (ed.): What are we fighting. Manifesto of the radical collective ( = LAIKATheorie. Band 25). Laika -Verlag, Hamburg, 2013, ISBN 978-3-942281-51-5 ( information from the publisher ).
  • What's the Point If We Can not Have Fun?. In: The Baffler, No. 24, 2014