graeber and wengrow freedom law

the 3 basic freedoms: move away, say no, and create alt social ordersgraeber and wengrow


from david wengrow doing graeber readings (reading from dawn of everything)

32 min – and we do in the book .. actually intro some new terms of our own.. it’s not primarily a work of .. most of deconstruction.. most of it is actually trying to ask new questions w a new sort of language of anlystis (?).. which we’ll see how people take to that

as an ie.. we id 3 basic forms of human freedom and 3 basic forms of domination

33 min – i can tell you about the freedom.. so the 3 basic forms of human freedom.. actually there was a point that david wanted to call the book – the 3rd freedom.. but we decided not to in the end.. and these are not abstract freedoms.. not like freedom of speech or something like that .. these are not freedoms in the sense of liberty/equality/fraternity.. they’re not symbolic freedoms we’re interested here in actual forms of freedom that one could actually perform in practice.. things you could actually do.. very basic things.. :

1\ freedom to move away – freedom to go away.. fallen out w someone.. feud/dispute.. the freedom to move away.. and this seems to be terribly important in human history generally because one of the things that we know now about a lot of human history certainly after the last ice age.. is that communities.. even when they were demographically quite small.. they were almost never isolated.. they formed these great sort of .. culture areas or hospitality zones.. and archeological science now is very sophisticated now in actually tracking the movements of people/animals/plants.. and everything we learn is showing us that the world was a much more connected place.. which implies a scale of mobility .. and of course a freedom to move also implies that the place you move to.. whatever.. a few 100 km away.. is somewhere where you’re going to be received and cared for.. given food/shelter.. so it implies a kind of hospitality at other end as well.. otherwise you’re not really going anywhere.. and of course there are historical analogies for this with the totemic systems of aboriginal australia or clan systems of native n america.. where you could move away from your home settlement and bio kin.. often over huge distances .. spanning half continent.. and there would be a clan member there.. who was obliged to receive you give you shelter.. so on.. so the freedom to move away.. basic human freedom

freedom to move away from a project (the it is me ness) – ie: gray play law (freedom to quit)

35 min

2\ freedom to say no – to refuse orders .. this is something if you read the jesuit account from 17th cent of their impressions of the indigenous societies in what is now roughly the region that is part of canada.. basically quebec down to the area around the great lakes.. something that local observers of european.. mainly french but also british and dutch society would often point out that they found strange about europeans is the extent to which they are always bossing each other around.. taking orders from each other.. which really just wasn’t acceptable to them.. which again this comes back to the question – how does one id freedom.. largely for many of these iroquios speaking societies.. *freedom was a matter of not being told what to do.. and having to follow orders.. and actually.. they weren’t terrible concerned with wealth/equality as such.. it didn’t particularly bother them that somebody has more stuff/land/property.. however.. the idea that having more material wealth could then be translated into power.. into the right to command people.. that they found entirely alien and objectionable .. and this is a very common feature of those critiques of european society in the 17th cent.. which were gradually absorbed into the writings of european authors like the frenchman.. baron la tan (?).. who’s writings became extremely influential in europe.. and we argue in the book.. actually the conservative counter reaction to those kind of ideas is what led to many of our basic schemes of progress and social evolution.. that’s another story.. so freedom two.. freedom to say now.. disobey orders

we have to let go of any form of *people telling people what to do

37 min –

and freedom number 3.. the third freedom.. which in a way is the most important one for the book .. is the

3\ freedom to create – the freedom to create entirely new forms of society.. to create new social orders.. and one of the things we suggest in the book is that if someone wants to say that human society sort of lost something .. people often talk about the broad sweep of human history.. and almost biblical sense as the fall from grace: we started out equal..and we desired to be like gods and in the process we basically screwed ourselves and ended up locking selves in cage so tight we can’t figure out.. basically a rehash version of the book of genesis if you like.. so partly what we ask is if something’s been lost and it wasn’t this imaginary/idealic state of equality.. then what was it..? what is it that we’ve lost.. and partly the conclusion that we come to is that it’s precisely that ability to create/generate.. to play around w alt forms of society.. is one of the things we’ve genuinely lost.. and was actually much more widely experimented with and much more boldly in other societies and in other periods of human history

doe on 3rd freedom

black science of people/whales law

39 min – so those are the 3 basic freedoms – move away, say no, and create alt social orders


Yes, in #TheDawnOfEverything @davidgraeber and I will define #3 Freedoms that we think were once common to many human societies:

1. to refuse orders.

2. to move away (which also implies hospitality).

3. to create entirely new social orders (or move between different ones).

Original Tweet:


Still musing on this conversation about the ecology of freedom w. @elifxeyal @debbiebookchin and esp. Dan Chodorkoff’s reflections (1:12/3) on giving institutional form to social freedoms beyond fleeting moments, carnivals, temporary autonomous zones . .

Original Tweet:

1:19 – david (just after naming the 3 forms of freedom): if history can re energize/methologize our sense of possibility.. then i don’t think it matters if one calls it a myth or form of science.. as long as it’s actually grounded.. ti’s the other stuff that’s a fiction

ie: a nother way

1:20 – book – unstrange minds – on autism

higashida autism law et al


from doe at lsedavid wengrow answering questions at the end of event:

we face challenges about the 3rd freedom.. can we remake society that could make it diff.. to something like earth system, poverty, et al.. if you keep drumming into head that future is predetermined/preordained.. not helpful/true.. so important to stop these myths..t

graeber make it diff law

ie: a nother way


doe on 3rd freedom




freedom to quit – most basic freedom

free\dom and play

david on boredom

as if already free ness