graeber as a guide law

‘when anthros discover that anyone is using anthro texts in this way – say as a guide for how to perform their own rituals – they (anthros) are usually quite disturbed’ – david graeber


from david graeber‘s theory of value:

anthro from beginning entirely diff.. has always been most interested in action of those people who are least influenced by practical/theoretical world in which the analyst moves/operates.. esp true in days when anthros saw selves as studying savages; but to this day anthros have remained most interested in people whose understanding of world and whose interests/ambitions, are most diff than their own.. as a result.. it is generally carried out completely w/o a thought to furthering those interests/ambitions.. when malinowski was trying to figure out what torbriand gardeners were trying to accomplish in acting as they did, it almost certainly never even occurred to him that whatever that was, reading his book might make them better able to accomplish it. in fact, when an anthro discovers that anyone is using anthro texts in this way – say as a guide for how to perform their own rituals – they are usually quite disturbed



basic issues have never been resolved.. same problems keep re emerging

as we shall see, a lot of what passes for the newest and most refreshing poststructural theory nowadays is largely warmed over transactionalism, minus the fancy econ formulae, w some even fancier linguistic formulae pasted on instead..

lit & num as colonialism

adding page while re re reading david graeber‘s theory of value and also while reading seed & spark (book that keeps wanting to set free but also not wanting to let go of control/guidance)


from david graeber‘s anarchy in manner of speaking:


10 – Anthropology and economics

DG: In a way anthropology and economics are opposite poles in the relation of theory and practice. Economics is the discipline that has the least trouble with the idea that people will take a descriptive text and use it as a prescriptive text—sometimes it’s not even clear if they make the distinction. Whereas nothing would disturb an anthropologist more than writing a book about Trobriand ritual, then coming back twenty years later to discover that Trobrianders were using it as a how-to book.. t

graeber as a guide law ness


let go of any form of m\a\p