fragments at lse

Friday Seminar 19 12 2021 Fragments of an Anarchist Anthropology Keir Martin and Ayça Çubukçu

keir martin:

He is currently working on the growth of psychotherapy among new middle class populations globally and is Principle Investigator on a Norwegian Research Council funded project, Shrinking the Planet, that explores this issue.  He is also a practicing psychotherapist and member of the British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy

Ayça Çubukçu:


Author, For the Love of Humanity / Co-Director @LSEHumanRights / Co-Editor @HumanityJ & LSE International Studies Series at @CambridgeUP & @Jadaliyya-TR / She.

part of lse graeber series

fragments of an anarchist anthropology by david graeber

notes/quotes from 85 min video (host: alpa):

alpa: foundational to david’s work.. and to doe.. in fragments david asks the question.. what sort of social theory would actually be of interest to those who are trying to bring about a world in which people are free to govern their own affairs..

one that is org’d around legit needs

oikos (the economy our souls crave).. ‘i should say: the house shelters day-dreaming, the house protects the dreamer, the house allows one to dream in peace.’ – gaston bachelard, the poetics of space

8 min – keir: fragments w multiplicity of ideas.. detailed in later books.. to explore alts to hierarchy and competition.. rather than lay down on a fixed template for resistance.. david asks.. what is already been down.. by slowing down and paying attention to variety of ways people subvert hierarchies.. anthro might be the liberatory branch if only its practitioners were able to realize the potential power w/in their practice.. (on labor strikes in 60s paving way.. and now covid leading people to desire resignation ie: 4 m quit jobs in april.. sept 4.4 m)

13 min – keir: on the ways the refusal of work seems to open a possibility for a reimagining gendered relationships of kindred and care.. the world’s anthro’s have argued are intertwined w the world of paid employment

david on creative refusal.. refusal of work.. et al

15 min – keir: what would happen if we kicked this whole apparatus away – d.. his argument was that once we drop the assumption that this always has to be the starting framing of anal

dawn of everything ness

17 min – k: for david.. it (resignation) would have been further proof if more were needed.. that something radically diff from what we think we have to be now has been w/in us and in front of us all along..

ie: on each heart ness..

18 min – keir: i don’t think we’re losing much if think that human beings never really lived in the garden of eden.. he argued in fragments and underpinning the doe

we didn’t.. that only lasted (in my mind) a split second for two people.. ie: garden-enough ness.. once we let go of grokking enough ness.. no longer the garden

20 min – keir: d – if we knocked down the walls in our thoughts that separate complex from simple societies or west from rest… may allow us to see resource in much more interesting ways.. common shared human desires (for alts)

27 min – keir: david stood out as a person that refused to do anything but his own thing.. don’t have to listen to ivory towers.. that we have to squeeze out (our fittingness) in order for admission

fittingness and brown belonging law et al

and david on tenure not tenure ness

32 min – ayça: in fragments david tells of affinity between anarchy and anthro..

36 min – ayça: on rejecting vanguardism.. goal.. to look at those creating vital alts.. and then offer ideas back .. not as prescriptions but contributions/possibilities/gifts..

38 min – ayça: on mauss being interested in alts.. meaning.. anarchist..

50 min – ayça: david on madagascar in fragments: ‘it often seems no one takes on full authority until they are dead’.. to my mind.. we now have to deal w david’s full authority in an anarchist spirit.. the task at hand can’t be petrification thru idolization/canonization but the extension of an invitation to think/play/experiment w his contributions to anthro and anarchism alike .. t


1:05 – alpa: where do you find answers.. when all these communities are totally stratified.. where do you see we take david forward

1:06 – ayca: i think none of alts are pure.. and to act otherwise is a betrayal.. we haven’t really explored part of fragments where david explores counterpower.. how the possibility of violence is ever present even in rev counterpower in purpose.. my approach to all these contradictions is to attempt to stare them in the face.. but i don’t have a grand theory that hierarchy is inevitable or not but i do want to have a faith that it’s not inevitable.. and that’s a choice.. t

to me.. again.. garden lasted like seconds.. in other words… we have never not been in sea world

what we need now/most/first.. is a means to undo our hierarchical listening

1:09 – keir: whole point of fragments is that we shouldn’t be looking to others as the (model).. it doesn’t make any sense to look for pure/perfect other.. it’s to look at how hierarchies come to be

1:14 – stephan feuehtwang: what seems to me to be entirely missing in doe.. in 3 elements of state: charisma, violence, knowledge thru B.. but they don’t include .. esp last one does not include law

oi.. B is law.. no?

david w: yes it does

stephan: it’s never stated to be law

1: 15 – david w: what do you think knowledge is..

stephan: for christ’s sake.. everything is knowledge.. everything is the subject/object of knowledge.. that’s just a cop out

he says w regal dominion.. ha

david w: no it isn’t.. ‘everything is knowledge’ is a form of domination

yeah that.. intellect ness et al..

lit & num as colonialism et al..

stephan: no i’m asking about org required when think about an assoc that covers global affairs .. that is a question of laws/sanctions against law breakers

david 3: you’re talking about 3 forms of domination.. not knowledge per se

i’d say knowledge per se as well..

1:16 – ayca: i teach a course called law and violence the main idea being that law is a form of violence.. so.. section in fragments that says.. anarchy is never tired of reminding of the man w the stick who shows up in spaces otherwise thought to be free.. but when there is a rule that is broken the man w the stick comes.. that’s the law.. in my thinking.. wouldn’t allow me to posit law as compatible with a non violent arrangement of social relations.. t


1:20 – keir: again.. rather than looking for grand theories.. be aware of contradictions in everyday life.. always be on lookout for really nice sounding phrases being used to do their opposite..

revolution of everyday life ness et al

1:22 – ayca: i find ethnography as possibility hopeful.. to be honest i find graeber a bit too hopeful in that regard.. how many of us are able to imagine ethnography as that consensus building democratic proces.. if we can do that.. yes ethno can be a liberatory tool

yeah.. that’s part of the problem.. any form of democratic admin is killing us.. violencing us.. et al..





lse graeber series