doe – david w anand

First TV appearance for #TheDawnOfEverything is now up on YouTube , here I’m talking to @AnandWrites about the book, the climate crisis, and the intellectual legacy of David Graeber.

Human History Gets A Rewrite | The Mehdi Hasan Show via @YouTube

Original Tweet:

dawn of everythingdavid wengrowanand giridharadas

notes/quotes from 16 min video – nov 5 2021 – Human History Gets A Rewrite | The Mehdi Hasan Show:

4 min – plan was just to catch readers up to speed on discoveries in last 20-30 yrs..

7 min – ie’s of org ing selves from ground up

8 min – that something else is an extraordinary project of social housing.. ad 300.. 100 000 people .. w vast majority living in luxury villas.. million miles away from our idea of millions crammed into high rises.. a society that actually changed course

it’s important to emphasize this point about scale .. because our conventional view of human history.. that try and take on the broad sweep of the human past.. give us the message that small means egalitarian and simple.. big means complex but also hierarchical.. and w approachings of 8b people on earth.. left to draw the obvious dismal conclusion.. we can tinker around the edges.. but the big story of human history that we generally get tells us that we have been for 1000s of yrs on a kind of one way street to the cultural system that we’re currently in and there’s no getting off.. t

gillis on small scale.. et al

9 min – actually.. this familiar version of the human story really doesn’t stand up to modern scientific investigation.. so in the book what we try try to do is bring a lot of that info out of the ivory of specialist journals and academic conferences and piece together the puzzle to give a sense of this new emergent picture of human possibilities..

10 min – because this is it.. this is the point of history we’re in .. ie: the climate summit going on right now is really a test as to our capacity as a species to transform ourselves.. to move away from

anand asking about article david wrote this week for the guardian that specifically talked about the toxic relationship we have to the earth right now isn’t the only way one can relate to the earth.. and some of what you’ve uncovered.. from the distant past sheds light on diff ways to live.. what are some of the ideas about how ancient people related to the earth that deserve to be recovered

quote from article: ”humanity is not trapped in a deadly game w the earth.. there are ways out’ – dw.. the author of a landmark book that challenges our view of history argues catastrophe is not foretold.. we are freer to act than we think’

11 min – well it’s not just ancient people.. there are people still alive today that are descendants of what we call indigenous societies or first nations.. who are really way ahead of us.. and have been way ahead of us for many many centuries on precisely these kinds of issues.. like forms of land management .. which are not based purely on the ethos of ownership/extraction and unlimited growth..

ie: whole concept of ownership actually based on the notion of care or care taking.. so there’s something rather peculiar about our own european legal systems as they relate to property.. actually it’s rooted in ancient legal systems going all the way back to ancient rome where the ultimate form of ownership is what in latin is referred to the terms abusis.. which is exactly what it sounds like.. to ultimately own something is to have the right to commodify it buy it sell it or even throw it away.. destroy it..

property.. ownership – intellectual property.. ness.. et al

12 min – this is a historically unusual notion of property.. actually in many first nation societies.. to own something.. including a territory or a species or a right to hunt a species or take resources from nature.. is actually quite the opposite.. it’s basically the idea that you look after them.. and you cultivate a landscape in order that they can flourish..

holmgren indigenous law.. we need a means to undo our hierarchical listening to self/others/nature

and the point i would emphasize from what history and archeology show us is that systems of the other kind.. the kind i’ve been describing .. did not only work on a small scale.. we have a tendency to romanticize indigenous peoples .. but we forget that their demographics more or less of numbers.. is itself a direct outcome of our own dominant cultural system.. and the genocides and pandemics and other things that it’s inflicted on people t.. not just in the global south but all over the world..


we perpetuate sea world because we’re all caged there.. and have no idea what legit free people would be like..

13 min – anand: how does this book reflect david’s legacy

14 min – this book was enormous fun to write w david.. because the david i knew was a private person and as you’re aware.. it’s often very difficult to reconcile your private understanding of someone who you’re close to with public perceptions of them.. but what i can say is that david’s scholarly work.. his research and activism.. they were all of a piece for him.. and actually it’s a very logical process if you think about it.. his involvement w the global justice movement.. all of that is really about asking one question.. which is along the lines of.. is this actually the only way for us to live.. are these kinds of societies the only ones in which we can org ourselves.. t


need to org around legit needs

and actually what archeology and anthropology do is try to look at the full realms.. the whole of human history and all of the varieties of possible social/cultural systems that have existed..

what we need.. is a means to go beyond even that.. to me.. we’ve always been looking back at a sea world.. so looking at history ness.. is perpetuating that tragedy of the non common et al

human history

15 min – what really struck us when we started collaborating/working together on this project is that when other scholars try to do that.. to kind of capture the broad sweep of human history.. more often than not they end up doing exactly the opposite.. in giving us this kind of teleological story about how it’s entirely inevitable that we would end up exactly the way we are.. t

so there is certainly a logical connection between the scientific aspect of david’s work and his wider attitude to the world we live in .. and i think scientists who don’t scrutinize their cultural surroundings are not really the better for it and tend to just end up repeating the sort of truisms of the culture they were brought up in .. david wasn’t like that.. he was always questioning.. t

yeah that.. same song ness..

need a means to get out of sea world..

hari rat park law et al