dawn of everything

[image from article dw tweeted on publication day: Here in the US, it’s publication day #TheDawnOfEverything 
David Graeber’s Possible Worlds https://t.co/cFy6JE0kAN via @intelligencer Original Tweet: https://twitter.com/davidwengrow/status/1458064583487275008]

notes/quotes from article on graeber’s possible worlds page (great zoom out article on david)


book out in us nov 9 2021

(2021) by david graeber and david wengrow

first notes here: david on dawn of everything; graeber readings; david & david on stupid savage; graeber and wengrow freedom law; m of care – aug 18; doe at lse; doe in nyt; doe online community; deresiewicz on doe and graeber; doe as anarchist history (article); doe – david w anand; doe – david w astra; doe – room for happenstancechristman on doe; doe – digging for utopia; doe on 3rd freedom; .. et al

notes while reading book here: dawn of everything (book)


notes/tweets/quotes.. till book comes out:

Wouldn’t it be fun if the earliest evidence for an explicit ideology of equality (“we are all much the same”) came between farming and cities, in what’s usually assumed to be a “chiefdom” type organisation? Everything we know is wrong.
#TheDawnOfEverything  #Ubaid #Mesopotamia

Original Tweet: https://twitter.com/davidwengrow/status/1328683310084657156

black science of people/whales law et al

David Wengrow (@davidwengrow) tweeted at 1:10 PM on Tue, Dec 15, 2020:

Any time something really good happens with #TheDawnofEverything I naturally wanna tell @davidgraeber about it at once. Since I can’t, I’ll tell Twitter instead: a leading expert thinks our #Cahokia chapter is not too shabby (usual disclaimers, etc.). 🥲



Close to finishing edits on #TheDawnOfEverything but with a heavy heart, as it feels like a conversation I started long ago with @davidgraeber is ending. Today was to be his 60th birthday. David liked putting out teasers, so in his spirit, here’s one from our conclusion: (1/3)

Original Tweet: https://twitter.com/davidwengrow/status/1360240661325377541

@davidwengrow: – “In developing the scientific means to know our own past, we have exposed the mythical sub-structure of our “social science” – what once appeared unassailable axioms, the stable points around which our self-knowledge is organised, are scattering like mice. – 2/3

black science of people/whales law

@davidwengrow: – What is the purpose of all this new knowledge, if not to reshape our conceptions of who we are, and what we might yet become? If not, in other words, to rediscover the meaning of our third basic freedom: the freedom to create new and different forms of social reality.” 3/3

imagine if we


Our charming publishers @fsgbooks made a proper banner for #TheDawnOfEverything so now at least my twitter profile looks a bit less like ROCKY III . . every step closer to release is bittersweet without DG: thanks to everyone who’s along for the ride. It really means a lot to me.

Original Tweet: https://twitter.com/davidwengrow/status/1376937941600194560


10 years on this is my copy of Debt – which @davidgraeber gave me over a bowl of ramen near Times Square, which is roughly how #TheDawnOfEverything started. https://t.co/MwsZf4Lz5G

Original Tweet: https://twitter.com/davidwengrow/status/1390264226028167171


“Perhaps this is what a state actually is: a combination of exceptional violence and the creation of a complex social machine, all ostensibly devoted to acts of care and devotion.” #TheDawnOfEverything

Original Tweet: https://twitter.com/davidwengrow/status/1401280641887576064

ostensibly: apparently or purportedly, but perhaps not actually


First reactions to #TheDawnOfEverything: magical, marvellous, much missed @davidgraeber – all this is for you!

Thanks so much to R.D.G.Kelley, R.Solnit, J.Scott, P.Mishra, @CoreyRobin, @nntaleb, Prof.Chomsky, J.Lanier, and @rcbregman https://t.co/rayWmM4JVw

Original Tweet: https://twitter.com/davidwengrow/status/1413820646107369475

rebecca solnit, nassim nicholas taleb, noam chomsky, jaron lanier, rutger bregman


This is one of the most important books I’ve read in a long time. Clear, urgent, powerful – a manifesto for decolonization and climate justice that pushes the horizons of our imagination. Every page is gold.  Read it, share it, discuss it. https://t.co/hNC93OOkjR

Original Tweet: https://twitter.com/jasonhickel/status/1413915892988088323


This is how we start by the way . . #TheDawnOfEverything https://t.co/XWUSFob4Sn

Original Tweet: https://twitter.com/davidwengrow/status/1417218877696659464

farewell to humanity’s childhood – or why this is not a book about the origins of ineq.. ‘living in time for metamorphis’

so let’s do it.. and not part\ial.. for (blank)’s sake


from nassim nicholas taleb tweets:

In case you’re seriously impatient @nntaleb has been tweeting pics of #TheDawnOfEverything (some of the bits between the covers that is).

Original Tweet: https://twitter.com/davidwengrow/status/1416780710258651148

I’ve stopped blurbing books. Except when they are real books. In this case a real, real book.

David Graeber and @davidwengrow, The Dawn of Everything. https://t.co/8hFzgopsGNhttps://t.co/a4JpqZ0c5m

Original Tweet: https://twitter.com/nntaleb/status/1413863796884525057


A remark that both I & Amin Maalouf made: Livy documents that the Carthagenians had a senate that blocked Hannibal. Arabs inherited a “مجلس الشورى”, a council of elders. So could it be earlier?
Here in Graeber & @davidwengrow:
1/n https://t.co/lj9SLzM5cO

Original Tweet: https://twitter.com/nntaleb/status/1416761101245636609

Graeber & Wengrow: While ancient assemblies deliberated on common problems, democracy as now implemented is a game of winners & losers. https://t.co/HPjJRI6fVF

Original Tweet: https://twitter.com/nntaleb/status/1416761689765257225

quote from book: ‘democracy as we have come to know it .. a game of winners and losers’

commenter suggest david’s ‘there never was a west‘.. for david writing about democracy.. read it for one of museum of care meetings

other notes from his writings on democracy ness: david on voting; david on communism; david on direct action; david on consensus; david on care and freedom; as if already free ness; .. so (to me).. we need to let go of any form of democratic admin

Again, the late David Graeber: the problem with historians is that they are not aware of the survivorship bias, do not have a word for it. https://t.co/tezSOFje2y

Original Tweet: https://twitter.com/nntaleb/status/1417202725486477315

from book: ‘the line of reasoning that assumes that, if there is no direct evidence for something, it can be treated as if it does not exist’

validation and all the red flags


That’s about the best 1-line summary . . #TheDawnOfEverything https://t.co/8JSoYBQ5PW

links to: graeber here.. writing w wengrow looks way back to the earliest forms of self org among human societies for clues as to how we might survive the coming decades.. 700 pages you should definitely make time to read – jd

Original Tweet: https://twitter.com/davidwengrow/status/1420390795614597129

thinking.. need to look beyond earliest forms of self org (history ness).. to survive whatever’s coming.. rather.. need a means to undo our hierarchical listening to self/others/nature.. so we can dance/self-org/whatever as legit free people

there’s a nother way for 8b people to live/org/be


well, this is very much the standard way of looking at human history – a story of progression through evolutionary stages, linked to modes of production – and in #TheDawnOfEverything we will explain (1) it didn’t really happen that way, and (2) how we came to think that it did. https://t.co/dvwp2W7nJI

links to: @mbauwens: it was an evolutionary process, foraging communities started experimenting with agriculture and found that overall it led to better outcomes, higher densities of people, more surviving family members; there’s a long inter-regnum in which both systems co-existed

Original Tweet: https://twitter.com/davidwengrow/status/1422833604351119363


while reading david on creative refusal – last page (16):

so it’s all/always been sea world.. so maybe now simona‘s tweet about dawn of everything makes sense:

The battle @davidgraeber  and @davidwengrow fight in *The Dawn of Everything* is not so much about historical revision, as it is about getting rid of the illusion of a one-shot revolution that takes us back to a single ideal past.


Original Tweet: https://twitter.com/SimonaFerlini/status/1423554211258712067

not that there was a perfect time to go back to.. because all history was/is played out in sea world.. but that doesn’t mean we can’t leap to ie: eudaimonia\tive surplus.. to an undisturbed ecosystem (not a one shot revolution.. a revolution in reverse.. a revolution of everyday life.. revolution as instigating utopia everyday


1\ undisturbed ecosystem (common\ing) can happen

2\ if we create a way to ground the chaos of 8b free people

ginormous diff

let’s be that creative in our refusal.. ie: a nother way


This is key question @davidgraeber and I grappled with & #TheDawnOfEverything argues (1) a new narrative of human history based on actual evidence is possible + (2) the conceptual tools needed to write it lie partly outside the European tradition (e.g. in Native American thought). https://t.co/MAJJXb9Gi

Original Tweet: https://twitter.com/davidwengrow/status/1323971763513020422

Agathonia Media@AgathoniaMedia

Wld you say that an evidence-based grand substitute narrative is possible or do we finally need to get rid of all? It cld be neither one of progress nor of decline. But what? A “non-linear” story of contextual possibilities, imaginative problem-solving …? #TheDawnOfEverything

get rid of it all.. ie: history ness.. research ness.. all non-legit/necessary/relevant to 8b people leaping to a nother way to live

ie: imagine if we


doe as anarchist history (article)


I’ve been asked to give the Radcliffe-Brown Lecture, which David Graeber would otherwise have given (it’s one of the highest academic honours in our field, and they’d like to hear about our joint work on #TheDawnOfEverything). I think I’ll talk about freedom. More on this soon.

Original Tweet: https://twitter.com/davidwengrow/status/1442501270691106816

yay you.. keep on man

let’s do this first.. let’s org around legit needs to free art\ists.. aka: all of us


I hear some talented readers are designing a website for #TheDawnOfEverything – a place for citizen science, and reasoned debate/deliberation on the issues raised in the book (maybe I’ll use it to respond to questions, criticisms, or the occasional misrepresentation of our work).

Original Tweet: https://twitter.com/davidwengrow/status/1442522502270382080


#TheDawnOfEverything is about unravelling myths, asking new questions, and creating tools to answer them – within the bounds of what can presently be known. Answers can’t always be simple (only myths have this quality), but some important things have come into focus. A flavour https://t.co/lXPppXg2oJ

Original Tweet: https://twitter.com/davidwengrow/status/1443565253845991431

links to screenshot of page from conclusion in book:

.. a new vision of social relations she would instantly be marked as a subversive, a revolutionary; if she attracted followers she might well find herself confronted by military force.

all this brings into focus another question. does this newly established nexus between external violence and internal care – between the most impersonal and the most intimate of human relations – mark the point where everything begins to get confused? is this an ie of how relations that were once flexible/negotiable ended up getting fixed in place: an ie, in other words, of how we effectively got stuck? if there is a particular story we should be telling, a big question we should be asking of human history (instead of the ‘origins of social ineq’), it is precisely this: how did we find ourselves stuck in just one form of social reality, and how did relations based ultimately on violence and domination come to be normalized w/in it? .. t

missing pieces.. almaas holes law

perhaps scholar who most closely approached this question in the last century was anthropologist and poet named franz steiner..


NEW VIDEO: It’s time to discard some common misconceptions and rethink our perspective on human history, so that we can truly reckon with the scope of our political possibilities.

Special shoutout to @davidwengrow https://t.co/C98m0uySpj

Original Tweet: https://twitter.com/_saintdrew/status/1445843700064690176

next tweet in his thread links to his 32 min video:

30 min – there’s so many things we don’t yet know.. there’s so many things we’ll never truly know.. but the unknowability of our whole past doesn’t cut off the possibilities of our future.. in fact.. *in some respects.. it may free us to think anew.. so much more is possible.. there is nothing inherent about our temporary condition.. t

*in all the respects.. if we would just let go enough (of history ness et al) .. to see

ie: a nother way


doe as anarchist history (article)


deresiewicz on doe and graeber


doe online community


jacobin mag 2021 – David Graeber Knew Ordinary People Could Remake the World – by GIULIO ONGARO


They show, for instance, that social domination can be broken down into three elements — control of violence, control of knowledge, and charismatic power — and that permutations of these elements yield consistent patterns throughout history. While the modern nation state embodies all three, most hierarchical societies of the past had only one or two, and this allowed for the people who lived under them degrees of freedom that are barely imaginable for us today.

The Dawn of Everything is a treatise on human freedom. 

they identify three types of freedom — freedom to abandon one’s community (knowing one will be welcomed in faraway lands), freedom to reshuffle the political system (often seasonally), and freedom to disobey authorities without consequences — that appear to have been simply assumed among our ancestors but are now largely lost

This analysis flips the question one should really be asking about the historical development of hierarchy: “The real puzzle is not when chiefs first appeared,” they suggest, “but rather when it was no longer possible to simply laugh them out of court.”..t

Whenever nonspecialists try their hands at human history, they inevitably end up reproducing the same old myths we have grown up with.

all of us.. the myth of sea world

One of the experiences of delving into this book, at least in my case, was a gradual recognition of being in the presence of an intellectual oddity, something difficult to situate within the current landscape of social theory..t

We know that Graeber, at least, liked to think himself as a “pre-humanist,” actively expecting to see humanity realize its full potential.

If comparisons must be made, they should be made with works of similar calibre in other fields, most credibly, I venture, with the works of Galileo or Darwin. Graeber and Wengrow do to human history what the first two did to astronomy and biology respectively. The book produces a similar decentering effect: in dethroning our self-appointed position at the pinnacle of social evolution, it deals a blow to the teleological thinking that so insidiously shape our understanding of history


History matters.

Original Tweet: https://twitter.com/davidwengrow/status/1451875338678685702

the guardian – 2021 – The Dawn of Everything by David Graeber and David Wengrow review – inequality is not the price of civilisation

History matters.

does it? getting it wrong does.. so we do need to let go of it.. but i don’t know if legit free people would be concerned w history ness

All of these books (diamond, harari, et al) share a common assumption: as societies become larger, more complex, wealthy and “civilised”, they inevitably become less equal. . The lesson, then, is clear: human equality and freedom have to be traded for progress.

Graeber and Wengrow see the origins of this “stagist” narrative in Enlightenment thought, and show that it has been so persistently appealing because it can be used by radicals as well as liberals. 

the authors make their sympathies clear: they admire experimentation, imagination and playfulness, as well as mastery of the art of not being governed, to use historian James C Scott’s term.. t

sans any form of people telling other people what to do.. sans any form of m\a\p..

The Dawn of Everything is an exhilarating read, but it’s unclear how effectively it makes the case for anarchism. Sceptical readers will be driven to ask: if states in their current form are really so unnecessary, why have they become so dominant across the world? To address this, Graeber and Wengrow would have needed to offer a much fuller account of why modern states emerged, how they could have been avoided and how we might live without them. This is what Kropotkin tried to do, and such questions seem particularly pressing when the sheer complexity and interconnectedness of current global challenges lead many to conclude that we need more state capacity, not less.

? missed the point? from reviews.. haven’t read book yet.. but seems to not be about why things emerged.. but rather why we got stuck in them..

how we might live w/o them: org around legit needs (not whale in sea world needs)

Even so, myth-busting is a crucial task in itself. As we seek new, sustainable ways to organise our world, *we need to understand the full range of ways our ancestors thought and lived. And **we must certainly question conventional versions of our history which we have accepted, unexamined, for far too long.

*i’d say we don’t need to understand history ness

**i’d say we don’t need to question history.. (energy suck).. we just need a nother way way for 8b people to live


#TheDawnOfEverything is currently the *best-selling* book in Canada. As in #1.

I’m speechless, and if you’ve read it you will know what a special resonance this has.

I so want @davidgraeber to know.
Thank you to all our readers.

Original Tweet: https://twitter.com/davidwengrow/status/1451481665231114243


This is how I will always remember David Graeber. On top of the world.
#TheDawnOfEverything https://t.co/fLeweDKC89

Original Tweet: https://twitter.com/davidwengrow/status/1451853336597127169


I guess if I had to choose one line from #TheDawnOfEverything . . maybe👇 https://t.co/h2BpnEzMrY

Original Tweet: https://twitter.com/davidwengrow/status/1452593132038725643

Mere acts of violence are passing; acts of violence transformed into caring relations have a tendency to endure.” David Graeber & David Wengrow. 2021. The Dawn of Everything. Penguin Books.

Original Tweet: https://twitter.com/ParadiesYin/status/1452446283973611521

graeber violence in care law

structural violence et al

THE DAWN OF EVERYTHING debuts on the New York Times Best Seller list – #2

Rest in Power David Graeber


Original Tweet: https://twitter.com/davidwengrow/status/1461124495234711552

We need these powerful ideas to imagine and build the futures in which we actually want to live. Thank you David W! 

David G presente! We miss you!

#TheDawnOfEverything https://t.co/xIDdCLIf5a

Original Tweet: https://twitter.com/maka_suarez/status/1461339565386518528

links to tweet above about #2 best seller


2 min clip of david on democracy now:

Archaeologist @davidwengrow and the late anthropologist David Graeber wrote “The Dawn of Everything” following the Occupy Wall Street protests. The book details the origins of social inequality. https://t.co/G89bpH6Sy9

Original Tweet: https://twitter.com/democracynow/status/1461331413043531778

The book details the origins of social inequality.



Much to debate in this review of #TheDawnOfEverything by Kwame Anthony Appiah. Just like philosophers, archaeologists often disagree, but that shouldn’t make us pusillanimous or deter us from asking big questions based on the evidence of the human past.

Original Tweet: https://twitter.com/davidwengrow/status/1463773318960623617

paywall (for now).. so can just read top part but do like this: ‘must we find our future in the past?’ @KAnthonyAppiah

history ness is blinding/distracting us.. sucking our energy

that didn’t take long.. archived article in replies.. so adding page: doe – digging for utopia




doe – museum of care: aug 18; nov 13 (ch 5 ); dec 6 (ch 6); et al.. rest of museum of care meetings page