m of care – dec 15


debt (book)david graeber – part 5 – ch 6


notes/quotes from 90 min video:

steve: last session focus on ch 5 – on moral understanding of econ relations and how that system operates in ways we often don’t recognize because ways that social obligations and ritual behavior that operates as forms of social currency.. how those can be turned into money.. and that critical step is the application of state violence.. we live in a moral world where we all have individual moral compasses and we live in societies that are org’d by violence.. we hear from organizers of violence that we are on side of morality/civ/goodness/progress and they are not.. and that these are gambits in a war that gets disguised as the creation of modern civ

10-day-care-center\ness et al.. structural violence et al.. any form of m\a\p

perhaps let’s try/code money (any form of measuring/accounting) as the planned obsolescence w/ubi as temp placebo.. where legit needs are met w/o money.. till people forget about measuring

jensen civilization law et al

2 min – steve: so ch 6 is where that argument goes next in logical sequence and david frames the entire ch as games of sex and death.. starting w idea that any moral system if there are contests at play then they have antagonisms at play and they’re contests over something and at bottom life is a contest over sex.. there’s an instinct there.. even lack of interest is a stance.. and then finally death.. because each day we choose to wake up is our effort to refuse to die.. goes on to embrace graeber’s theory of existentialism.. the way he gets at this .. he deliberately starts in scenarios/episodes that beautifully illustrate how system works in end.. but starts off describing it in an exotic local.. then shows has parallels across all human history

8 min – steve: ie of today’s crypto story.. sex and drug rituals overlapped w the bush child.. just confirming.. and it’s no surprise that economists would want to teach people is that what they’re doing is kind of an empirical sci and leaving out all the rest.. leave out what is really the part that is the structural determinant..

10 min – joseph turner: i’m wondering what kind of society we want to be building and what role money plays in that society (then went on to site having laws but no coercion.. then – w/money on potential for violence enters).. so this makes me wonder do we want to create a human econ or some other way of distributing goods to one another.. t.. does this mean doing away with money.. then on ie in another ch.. on alaskan native who refused to count favors/debts.. what it really meant to really be human was to refuse to keep equivs.. which is what money is.. in another section david says.. no way we could do away with money since it’s like music or maths.. in that forming equivs might just be a fundamental aspect of the way we consider the world..

has to me no money.. money less ness.. sans any form of m\a\p.. thank you ness et al

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.. so we can org around legit needs

14 min – steve: in plug for philosophers series.. keith hart.. huge to that book.. spoke on that question.. that everyone thinks money is the problem.. but it’s that there’s only one accepted form backed up by us.. if everything were allowed to be money .. w/o rules prohibiting things from being money.. let’s start there

oi oi oi.. that’s same song man.. will be as long as we hold onto any form of m\a\p..

we need to calculate differently and stop measuring things

15 min – mehdi: i’m working on a paper on money.. would like to know links et al on keith hart

steve: the youtube video and his book on money

17 min – mehdi: one thing is that i’m thinking about from this ch that there exists a moral econ and even a counting system.. but not for exchanges.. many societies they will have concept of many.. but rather as the units of that account rather than medium of exchange

19 min – simona: this is one of my fav ch’s of david’s.. because of the geometrical demo of the connection between money, slavery, violence and stupidity.. i think the perfect quote is from the last page.. reads quote on needing violence and coercion to enact this process and you can’t disentangle people form their existence w/o violence.. violence makes it possible to not take care of people’s will/desire and to compel them to ie: marry an old man and so on.. the ch shows what happens in human econ that considers violent means.. obliging them to comply with requirements of exchanges.. the cultural weakness that makes it possible is the violence that makes it possible to exchange women w/o consent.. so this connection between sex and exchangeability of people and violence required for it.. and to transform people in money.. very key ch for me and compelling

23 min – simona: my answer to (?) would be.. we don’t know what type of society we want to build.. but the main point is we want a society that consciously refuse violence and interchangeability of people.. i’m re reading fragments of anarchist anthro.. with group of anarchists here in bologna.. and i stumbled today on text.. in ch about counterpower.. that any power creates it’s counter power.. but also exists in societies that don’t have this kind of power.. and yet they have conscious means in collective imagination to prevent such power to emerge in their society.. and this kind of societies *have a lot of imaginary violence.. but no actual violence in their relationships.. in day by day reality.. so this kind of **conscious refusal is what i want for our revolution

fragments of anarchist anthro

*how can you have imaginary violence with no actual violence in relationships?.. brown belonging law.. maté trump law.. et al.. dead zones of imagination et al

**david on creative refusal ness et al.. as spinning our wheels (aka: sucking/killing our time/energy).. need curiosity over decision making.. imagine if we ness

26 min – christian walter: maybe about the violence.. on creating instability.. and at some point people just so tired.. so willing to accept new code of violence just for relief.. ie’s today.. after ww2 – 60s-70s.. idea of tension/insecurity.. society craves for someone to jump in and make strategy again.. usually goes hand in hand w neolib market reforms.. quite relevant

28 min – steve: real benefit to creating the problem if you’re the only authority that gets to decide the solution.. yeah.. shock doctrine.. been called efficiencies et al.. all go back to creating initial problems.. that need not be problems.. esp if we just all walked away

shock doctrine.. naomi on shock doctrine et al

29 min – joseph: that makes me wonder.. on all just walking away in response to what you said simona.. what does the conscious refusal of violence look like in practice

in the end.. it looks like same song.. because spend time/energy on refusal rather than itch-in-the-soul ness..

imagine if we just focused on listening to the itch-in-8b-souls.. first thing.. everyday.. and used that data to augment our interconnectedness.. we might just get to a more antifragile, healthy, thriving world.. the ecosystem we keep longing for..

what the world needs most is the energy of 8b alive people

30 min – simona: in doe d&d suggest 3 kinds of freedom that they put as most common notions of humanity.. and one is the right to disobey w/o consequences.. another is right to move away.. this conscious refusal of violence would be i would say what walter benjamin called pure means but not.. when you don’t have coercion.. violence that is a mean to coerce people into doing.. even the community decided.. not necessarily the king.. the whole community could decide.. but if enforce thru violence and *not thru mediation/consensus.. it opens the door to any kind of power/disentanglement/slavery.. even the way we **work in contemp society is ultimately violence.. david said it is slavery.. because poverty is coercion/violence.. so ***i want a society based on consensus.. respect for everybody’s will on agreements.. ****agreements are a consistent alt to violence

doe, 3 kinds of freedom..

*public consensus always oppresses someone(s)

**work et al

***we need respect for everybody’s will (itch-in-the-soul) rather than on will on agreements (decision making is unmooring us law et al)

****rather same song

35 min – rob zagler: on poet at congress opening w question about generation where song line was very important.. janice joplin.. freedom just another word for nothing left to lose.. and after finishing school.. giving books to blind person.. made money out of something that was not visible.. and the other thing is to imagine freedom as only another word for not having a career/money to lose.. he was talking about passion.. can’t write words for receiving money.. of course talking about violence.. but this is also a reason.. to find passion.. fit into the structure

yeah.. imagine if we ness

kk37 min – steve: i’ve given thought to that line to the song.. me and bobbie mcgee.. i understand/agree with that idea of lyric.. it’s also .. made me think.. why is freedom something we even debate over.. everyone has diff defn’s of freedom.. ie: david’s 3 pronged notion of freedom.. he starts w/idea.. why should we not start with freedom.. rather than question if we have it.. why should my freedom depend on someone else’s application .. or their freedom requires refusal of my freedom.. why live in a world where some are free and some aren’t.. *we should be asking some diff .. more fundamental questions.. how we ask them on global level is incredibly complicated.. if notion of needing agreement.. if start locally then actually doing.. the means.. but the means are the process itself.. of building the consensus/agreement.. yeah.. the way the ch is structured.. it highlights all these big ideas from vantage points where historical parallels are very eye opening.. and like a lot of his other work.. it was not his.. he was drawing on a large body of scholarship that already existed.. he did no new primary research to it.. just **bringing new eyes to old patterns..

*yeah.. see.. this is why graeber model law (revolution law) et al.. we need hari rat park law so we can stop spending our time/energy debating/defining/naming the colour ing

**oh my.. yeah that.. taleb center of problem law.. we don’t need new eyes on old patterns..

41 min – michael: on nothing left to lose.. suggests that idea of freedom.. things we have hold us in place.. ie: in debt to be more powerful.. i wonder if that’s a remark on that.. on remark to christian.. it’s all about sex/death in stock market.. you hear those things.. but i don’t see that in my life.. this ch doesn’t have a lot of sex/death in .. it has those as things people are interested in .. but their manipulation as part of the process of creating debt.. to me ch was mostly about creating debt.. the whole sex/death thing seems to me like a cool title.. but is that really what the ch is about

45 min – steve: i got to be the historian on the janice joplin thing.. there is a point in there and it’s kinda the elephant in the room.. the song she’s known for was written by chris christopherson.. rogue’s scholar.. so it’s about a highly educated white dude.. imagining coming back to nashville hoping for a chance to se the master.. so it speaks to his privilege that allowed him the honor of being able to survive.. think of all the female labor that went on that allowed him to do/say that.. i’m free.. just make it disappear.. so.. it’s all sex and death.. we’re having sex right now .. simona save me.. from myself.. not that there isn’t sex and death.. things are sex/death first if we start from premise that life is first the refusal to kill oneself.. then right now this is the game of death.. we’re all sort of playing games.. if we start from premise that similarity between social reproduction (sex and ideas into existence).. then this is a form of reproduction.. how do we define sex.. that’s where gambits come down to .. what relationships are we bringing into existence.. so that events shaped by breathing to live another day.. social reproduction and death.. everything else is kind of materiality.. that’s my two cents.. i don’t know

51 min – paula maas: joplin’s line was an inspiration to how many people.. to get that sense of on the road wind in hari direction free.. that is really important.. and i think it’s part of the jubilee.. that sense.. almost like the beginning.. of how to do.. why don’t we start with freedom (then she sings it)

52 min – simona: i will agree w/anything paula says/sings.. so beautiful .. i think it’s actually about games w sex/death.. because it’s about human econs and human econs are games of .. not just reproduction.. but the whole ch is about complicated exchanges of life as payment for debt.. this intricate network of relationships of potential.. because you know in any moment you can be considered responsible for the death of somebody and owe a life in exchange for the life you have supposedly taken.. so the point is what happens when this kind of human econ comes into contact with the commersion (?) econs p 155.. the premise for interchangeability of people are already in human econ system/network.. eye for eye et al.. when commercial econs w their version of exchangeability come in.. it’s a disaster.. and the disaster comes in because aliens come into those human econs and distort the consequences of it.. where you had a network of relationships.. you have a disentangle.. we are not free in as much our time is inter exchangeable.. one hour of my time equal to one hour of any other worker.. this is alienation.. alienation is what makes it measurable.. as for joplin.. this is a very old idea.. if you are willing to die.. if you are not free.. you are free. . the problem is we are not always willing to die.. poverty is violence and we are not free until we are under the threat of violence.. doesn’t mean actual violence.. just means we are under distress

58 min – michael: mark convinced me in chat on sex/death.. and simona.. that transition from small community .. i thought phrase turning chickens into cows.. p 147.. but if talking about women/partners.. whole diff sphere and they don’t interact.. that striated value system.. the idea that everyone has their price is a c idea.. how much would you sell your mother for.. well.. people don’t sell their mother.. some things don’t have prices.. but by using coercion.. you transfer those types of exchanges.. then can charge a debt in any form of exchange.. and place in society is only how much equiv in society you have.. how would we build a striated econ today.. certain value systems..

1:02 – sid arora: on p 148 where he quotes vickers on cock fights.. i haven’t heard anyone raise the topic of gambling.. to me that is an essential element of debt.. ie: what is entrepreneur driven by.. making money fast.. like gambling..

1:05 – steve: i think you’re right.. very important point.. when david explains formation of great c empires.. he returns to question of what is c.. not really answered till ch 10 or so.. what he returns to point of gambling as way of explaining what was it about cortez and this new world shift that allowed for creation of c.. david argues.. we have to consider c as a game where those willing to risk/gamble it all will be ones allowed to win.. so now.. for a while that was elon musk.. willing to take this gamble on.. there will always be a world’s richest person.. willing to make that gamble.. c is not just about gamblers.. but about spectators as well..

1:07 – sid: but you’re focusing on the winners.. this book is all about debt.. i think it’s the losers of gambling.. a by product of the game.. is what this book is about.. debt.. one way is to be sucked into a game of gambling

1:08 – steve: i agree.. david isn’t saying want history to be of winners.. what he’s saying is that any time there are indebted people .. there are creditors.. there’s the other side of that debt.. so we hear about the winners because they are the ones who pay people to write their history after.. we don’t hear about the losers.. because they don’t get to write their own history.. it’s on their debt winners have made their fortunes.. david says.. need to expand our conceptual approach to also include the majority of population who say.. i’m not going in that casino.. because that’s where they steal from you.. that’s that 3rd party.. so not only the losers.. why have we constructed a society w winners/losers.. when also ones that refuse.. that’s the kind of fuller take that gets developed in the doe

1:10 – sid: but the safe space today to perform that gambling today is the casino or lottery ticket.. ironically these casinos are safe in sense they are regulated..

steve: they’re safe in that you know who the bully is and the bully is the banker.. that’s not my defn of freedom or safety

1:11 – christian: talking about whole gambling thing.. if you look at way society is seen.. lens of people who don’t have much don’t have many chances.. ie: ghettos.. rap music.. it’s the game.. everybody is playing the game.. it doesn’t get more street than this.. the underlying reality of these words.. these people gambling w all they have.. their life.. end of in prison.. completely structured around that.. us has two systems.. military and prison.. if poor have to go into military if don’t want prison.. something redeeming in people willing to put it all on the line

1:15 – joseph: the right to disobey.. move away.. wonder how that ties into this convo about joplin quote.. freedom being nothing left to lose.. if think about rights as freedom of power or will power. then right to disobey is will power to disobey despite consequences.. interesting connection to that in this ch.. young lele women had nothing left to lose so ran away and accepted in other villages.. treated like princesses..

1:17 – steve: yeah .. become stranger kings/queens

1:18 – joseph: so right to disobey w/o consequences.. then need to live in society that allows that where joplin quote sounds like society that doesn’t obey it.. so leaving and going to society that accepts.. but if go in military.. still haven’t found society that accepts you

1:19 – simona: stranger queens have freedom to move away.. and this is what allows them to disobey.. so yeah.. societies that accommodate your freedom or not

steve: next time next 2 ch’s.. parallels graeber wants us to draw.. moral confusion at bottom at human condition.. it turns on places that don’t have shared value systems.. so how does it play out when infused w violence..

1:22 – joseph: the point i was trying to make about lele women breaks down in two ways.. one in way you mention.. that have right to leave.. but on other hand when get to new village.. have responsibilities.. ie: have sex w every man.. so not freedom.. so the joplin quote is like from that desperation.. so there’s healing for that desperation.. but it’s not like a perfect flip

1:24 – simona: i have also issues w freedom to disobey.. how do you manage to have a society working w people free to disobey.. not to respect pacts and commitments.. becaUse to disobey is also .. it’s complicated

ie: undisturbed ecosystem


1\ undisturbed ecosystem (common\ing) can happen

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

paula: civil initiative in which you have agreed upon rules.. you can even take on constitution .. which has robust ideas we’ve walked away from.. i’m finding that a comfortable place to consider action that is non violent yet in resistance to legal actions of govt

1:26 – michael: in small society easy to walk away.. but then have to look after self.. then societies that are successful are ones that work cooperatively together.. that freedom to disagree could work.. ie: can disagree but if you disagree.. you’re on your own

1:28 – nika: i propose to read 1 ch at a time

next one jan 5





from debt (book)

m of care – oct 20debt (book) – part 1

m of care – nov 3 – part 2 – ch 1-2

m of care – nov 17 – part 3 – ch 3-4

m of care – dec 1 – part 4 – ch 5-6

m of care – dec 15 – part 5 – ch 6

m of care – jan 5 – part 6 – ch 7



museum of care meetings

museum of care