on david dying
Yesterday the best person in a world, my husband and my friend .@davidgraeber died in a hospital in Venice.
Original Tweet: https://twitter.com/nikadubrovsky/status/1301504647769792512
much love to nika
and david w
David Wengrow (@davidwengrow) tweeted at 5:47 PM on Thu, Sep 03, 2020:
Thank you to everyone who wrote today, for your kind words. @davidgraeber was my intellectual soulmate, and more than a dear friend – a “substitute brother” as he liked to say. I will finish what we started. I know it’s what he expects of me. It’s beginning. #TheDawnOfEverything
adding all the words
attempting to ungut my guttedness
via astra taylor
David didn’t want us to owe him anything, he gave his gifts freely. Gifts of ideas, knowledge, optimism, and friendship. He wanted a world of boundless generosity, and that’s how he lived. We’ve lost a comrade and a very special soul. Thank you David. Fuck you 2020. https://t.co/xicRqShl5P
Original Tweet: https://twitter.com/astradisastra/status/1301622655464988675
via jason hickel
thread: Jason Hickel (@jasonhickel) tweeted at 8:24 AM on Thu, Sep 03, 2020:
David is an ancestor now. And the ancestors guide us.
Rest in power.
Seeing the outpouring of support for David Graeber makes me ask myself “why didn’t we do more for him while he was still alive?”
Who else do we really treasure?
We should act now.
Original Tweet: https://twitter.com/leashless/status/1301601423818448897
kevin fb share: https://c4ss.org/content/27752
Graeber’s approach to the form of a hypothetical anarchist society is simple: take away all forms of domination, or of unilateral, unaccountable authority by some people over others, put people together, and see what they come up with.
hari rat park law et al
Graeber’s definition of “Anarchy,” accordingly, is quite simple. It’s whatever people decide to do, whatever arrangements out the countless ones possible they make among themselves, when they’re not threatened with violence:
‘Myself, I am less interested in deciding what sort of economic system we should have in a free society than in creating the means by which people can make such decisions for themselves.’
‘Mainly I’m interested in creating the conditions where we can find out.’
So anarchism isn’t just a grand theory that was invented by some big-league thinker, like Marx in the London Museum. It’s what people actually do.
2\ if we create a way to ground the chaos of 8b free people
via cory doctorow
Cory Doctorow #BLM (@doctorow) tweeted at 9:30 AM on Thu, Sep 03, 2020:
I was delighted to learn that he was charming and gentle in person – still recognizably that acerbic, lightning-witted blade that he was online, but tempered with a deep, human compassion that shone through during the signing afterwards.
via kevin carson
another kevin fb share: https://voidnetwork.gr/2011/09/22/the-machinery-of-hopelessness-by-david-graeber/
Freedom has become the right to share in the proceeds of one’s own permanent enslavement.
communism really just means any situation where people act according to this principle: from each according to his abilities, to each according to his needs. This is, in fact, the way pretty much everyone acts if they are working together.
Communism is already here. The question is how to further democratize it. Capitalism, in turn, is just one possible way of managing communism. It has become increasingly clear that it’s a rather disastrous one. Clearly we need to be thinking about a better alternative, preferably one that does not systematically set us all at each others’ throats.
Becoming aware of alternatives allows us to see everything we are already doing in a new light. We realize we’re already communists when working on common projects, already anarchists when we solve problems without recourse to lawyers or police, already revolutionaries when we make something genuinely new.
What remains is what we are able to promise one another directly, without the mediation of economic and political bureaucracies. The revolution begins by asking what sorts of promises do free men and women make one another and how, by making them, do we begin to make another world?
graeber f & b same law et al
via kevin carson
A Mini-Bio of David Graeber, Written by David Himself
The first book I wrote was Lost People, an ethnography of Betafo (Arivonimamo), a community in Madagascar divided between descendants of nobles and slaves, and I still think it’s my best, because it’s really co-written by all the characters (in every sense of the term) who inhabit it.
The first to be published was Toward an Anthropological Theory of Value(2001), in part my homage to one of my most inspiring teachers at Chicago, Terry Turner.
I wrote a tiny little book called Fragments of an Anarchist Anthropology, which has doomed me ever since to be referred to as “the anarchist anthropologist,” even though the book largely argues that anarchist anthropology doesn’t and probably couldn’t really exist. (Please don’t do that
I also wrote a vast ethnography of direct action (Direct Action: An Ethnography) which hardly anyone ever reads, a collection of largely academic essays titled Possibilities, an edited volume called Constituent Imagination with Stevphen Shukaitis,
a book of political essays titled Revolutions in Reverse,
and Debt: The First 5000 Years, which virtually everyone seems to have read.
This was followed by The Democracy Project (which I actually wanted to call “As If We Were Already Free”),
The Utopia of Rules (which I wanted to call “Three Essays on Bureaucracy”),
On Kings (a collection co-written with Marshall Sahlins),
and Bullshit Jobs: A Theory.
I am currently working with the archaeologist David Wengrow on a whole series of works completely reimagining the whole question of the origins of social inequality, starting with the way the question is framed to begin with.
human history ness et al
After that, who knows?
I’ve continued to be actively engaged in social movements of one sort or another, insofar as I actually can, living in exile with a full-time job. I was involved in the initial meetings that helped set up Occupy Wall Street, for instance, and have been working with the Kurdish Freedom Movement in various capacities as well.
Oh, and since this is a matter of some historical contention: no, I didn’t personally come up with the slogan “We are the 99%.” I did first suggest that we call ourselves the 99%. Then two Spanish indignados and a Greek anarchist added the “we” and later a Food-Not Bombs veteran put the “are” between them. And they say you can’t create something worthwhile by committee! I’d include their names but considering the way police intelligence has been coming after early OWS organizers, maybe it would be better not to.
via rutger bregman
Rutger Bregman (@rcbregman) tweeted at 7:34 AM on Thu, Sep 03, 2020:
Wow.. shocked to hear that David Graeber has passed away, one of the greatest thinkers of our time. And a phenomenal writer. One of his best pieces: https://t.co/bvWr6jRHzQ
via jason hickel
“There’s no better way to justify relations founded on violence, to make such relations seem moral, than by reframing them in the language of debt – above all, because it immediately makes it seem that it’s the victim who’s doing something wrong.”
Original Tweet: https://twitter.com/jasonhickel/status/1301823079547629570
It is with the saddest regret that we announce the death of our husband and friend .@davidgraeber, on September 2nd 2020. David was on holiday in Venice with his wife Nika and a group of close friends. The immediate cause of death is internal bleeding. 1/
Original Tweet: https://twitter.com/nikadubrovsky/status/1301898249951903744
via kevin carson
“David Graeber is characterized above all by a faith in human creativity and agency.” – Kevin Carson
Original Tweet: https://twitter.com/c4ssdotorg/status/1302056101144334337
via jason hickel
Jason Hickel (@jasonhickel) tweeted at 7:00 AM on Fri, Sep 04, 2020:
David Graeber’s brilliant pamphlet “Fragments of an Anarchist Anthropology” had a big impact on me when I was a postgraduate student. The publisher has made it available for free download here: https://t.co/IMgQy2XukJ
via kevin carson
Constructing Postcapitalism (@CPostcapitalism) tweeted at 5:23 PM on Fri, Sep 04, 2020:
Center for a Stateless Society » In Memoriam: David Graeber, 1961-2020 https://t.co/knO11todoz
via paul mason
“Communism already exists in our intimate relations with each other on a million different levels…so it’s a question of gradually expanding that and ultimately destroying the power of capital”. My obituary to @davidgraeber at @novaramedia https://t.co/c7wA5wwKkW
Original Tweet: https://twitter.com/paulmasonnews/status/1302181209745874945
David Graeber – anthropologist, author, anarchist and friend to many – died last week in Venice aged 59.
A lifelong fighter for social justice, his ultimate achievement will be in the “everyday communist society” we create, writes @paulmasonnews https://t.co/JBfItQTzR5
Original Tweet: https://twitter.com/novaramedia/status/1302939681986949125
via jason hickel
The ultimate, hidden truth of the world, is that it is something that we make, and could just as easily make differently.”
Original Tweet: https://twitter.com/jasonhickel/status/1302220366983684098
there’s a nother way
beyond the 100 blooms
Nika Dubrovsky (@nikadubrovsky) tweeted at 1:02 AM on Sat, Sep 05, 2020:
I have been overwhelmed by the many condolence messages and offers of help. Thank you!
In the weeks before his untimely passing, David and I had started making plans to turn his childhood home on Fire Island, New York, 1/
or intellectuals, activists, artists to meet and imagine new futures together. With your help, I would like to pursue this project to honor his memory. 2/
Rest in Power David Graeber
David & his wife @nikadubrovsky started making plans to turn his childhood home in NY into a place for intellectuals, activists & artists to gather & imagine new futures together.
In loving memory, help this become reality:
Original Tweet: https://twitter.com/DoubleDownNews/status/1303796016089571328
David Graeber, a companion in life. Between the tears of losing you, I share a few words about you on this strange outer-space ‘twitter’ that in fact you introduced me to. I hope they may help all those who are feeling your loss too.
David Graeber: Releasing the genius in us… https://t.co/X5Ds8t9ZJJ
Original Tweet: https://twitter.com/alpashah001/status/1301993373994287107
I often thought of David Graeber as a genius. But of the many things that David taught me, it was that there is in fact a genius in each of us.
We can’t see this because we don’t have the collective structures to realise the brilliance within us, because we live in a world that violently excludes the many, that reserves the acquisition of individual heroism for the few, a world today driven by finance capital.
or David, anthropology was important for it was a means to resurrect other possible more beautiful worlds, imagine societies other than our own exclusive one, figure out the larger implications, and then offer those ideas back to the world for an anti-capitalist politics.
These principles guided almost all his intellectual and political contributions – from his critique of ‘bullshit jobs’ to his exposition of the violence of bureaucracy; from his idea of stranger kings to his history of debt.
What David sought, in everything he did – from his writing to his activism and even how he dressed – was to establish an ‘everyday communism.’
A tribute to our brilliant, magical David. My guru and my conjurer, as he saw fit.
David Graeber, 1961–2020 @davidgraeber https://t.co/F9YLqdhBnJ via @nybooks
Original Tweet: https://twitter.com/davidwengrow/status/1302530346026766337
David Graeber, 1961–2020
Astra Taylor, David Wengrow, John Jordan, and Isabelle Frémeaux
There was an openness about him, a willingness to let people in and give strangers a chance.
He didn’t push me into the movement, but he kept opening doors that I kept walking through, steadily becoming more deeply involved and invested.
“There’s no better way to justify relations founded on violence, to make such relations seem moral, than by reframing them in the language of debt—above all, because it immediately makes it seem that it’s the victim who’s doing something wrong,” David has written.
we argued about things including consensus decision-making (I think it rarely works) and the role of the state (I want a strong one). We both embraced the word “democracy,” analyzing it and writing about it and trying to actualize it, but I was more critical of what I saw as our movements’ failed attempts to manifest the concept. And yet David pushed me to think in new ways every time we debated, and he expanded my view and helped me change my mind many times. In a conversation we did last October at the LRB Bookshop he spoke about the pleasure of changing one’s mind through deliberative processes, and said that it was an underappreciated form of “political happiness”— as in, “Oh, I don’t have to think what I think, why don’t I think something else!” He was one of the only people I could count on to credibly make an even more far out, hopeful, utopian argument than I do—I’ll miss getting to play the curmudgeon in our duo.
“Credible” is the operative word, with David. His conviction that our society could be organized another way was empirically based, after all. As an anthropologist and generally curious person, he was well aware that human societies and value systems vary wildly across space and time. Very often, the stories we tell ourselves, or are told, about why things are the way they are simply aren’t true; our political and economic arrangements can be transformed and remade.
He despised affectation and abhorred hierarchy, even one that might put him at the top.
We’ve lost a central member of a precious tribe: activist academics are a rare breed, and rarer still are ones as eccentric, ingenious, and committed as he was. His perspective remains vital: his insistence on seeing things differently, siding with the underdog, engaging as an equal, challenging the pompous and powerful, finding joy, and keeping a utopian horizon in sight. Despite the gathering storms, let’s channel David’s astonishing and heartfelt faith in his fellow human beings and refuse to lose sight of the possibility, not inevitability, of our collective liberation.
David Graeber died three weeks after we finished writing a book together about human history, which had absorbed us for more than ten years. It will be called The Dawn of Everything, because he wanted that.
I always found it hilarious how David could be churning out mind-bending op-eds in the New York Times, or travelling to war zones to sit on revolutionary committees, or finding other ways to inspire countless people to try and live differently, but somehow none of that “counted” in any official sense. It all proved his points about bureaucracy. I can’t conceive of The Dawn of Everything being published without David here to see it. He was so looking forward, and had already started a sequel—one of three, he insisted. He wanted a movie.
It all started as a game really, an escape from our more “serious” responsibilities. Our only rule was no rules: no deadlines, no funding applications. Just a free space to ask questions and seek answers. It was somewhere to go when we felt like it, which turned out to be pretty much daily, often in the small hours of the night, after real life ended. The world threw a lot of personal pain our ways in those years. It changed around us, mostly for the worse. “For a very long time,” David wrote, “the intellectual consensus has been that we can no longer ask Great Questions. Increasingly, it’s looking like we have no other choice.” We shared it all with each other, every day, the good stuff too, of course. And the book kept us going, transcending everything, making us feel safe when the safety of home eluded us. It made us family. We didn’t want it to end, this unexpected journey.
isa and john:
We asked you to write the preface. Via telegram from the Rojava border you replied, saying you could not write because you were smuggling drones into the Autonomous region, which gave us all so much hope about living without the state. “Ghostwrite the preface,” you wrote, which was a terrifying honor, and which JJ did, trying desperately to channel you like a kind of distant medium. It speaks volumes about how open and humble you were. You joked afterward that you should get comrades to ghostwrite you more often to give you time to learn the guitar.
“David Graeber falls into the same category as a handful of other monumental figures of the past century or so including Kropotkin, Ward, Scott, and Bookchin. There’s no knowing what his death took from us — only that we’re poorer for it.” – Kevin Carson
Astra Taylor (@astradisastra) tweeted at 7:59 PM on Sat, Sep 05, 2020:
“We’ve lost a central member of a precious tribe: activist academics are a rare breed, and rarer still are ones as eccentric, ingenious, and committed as he was.”
A remembrance of David, with more tributes to come, at the @nybooks.
Original Tweet: https://twitter.com/c4ssdotorg/status/1302277560533909506
Nika Dubrovsky (@nikadubrovsky) tweeted at 7:01 AM on Sun, Sep 06, 2020:
It seemed like it would be forever until it was no more
It turned out that all this was temporary, incredible, uncontrollable and not permanent.
As, of course, any life, the life of each of us.
Everything Was Forever, Until It Was No More
with alexei yurchak
more from astra’s rolling tribute
I’ve been collecting stories for a rolling tribute to David Graeber for @nybooks; a chorus of voices seems a fitting format for someone so committed to the collective. His mentor Marshall Sahlin’s homage made me cry. “How would you supervise an anarchist?”
Original Tweet: https://twitter.com/astradisastra/status/1302688138268209153
‘One of David’s books is titled Possibilities. It is an apt description of all his work. It is an even better title for his life. Offering unimagined possibilities of freedom was his gift to us’ – marshall sahlin
David Wengrow (@davidwengrow) tweeted at 2:05 PM on Sun, Sep 06, 2020:
10 min – g: real question isn’t ‘where did the inequality/hierarchy come from’.. but ‘how did we get stuck in one mode’.. t
because it’s very diff – people aren’t going to be same in hierarchy.. if it gets ripped down half way thru the year
lots of talk sounds like david & david on stupid savage
Avi (Dr KBH) (@avi_khalil) tweeted at 2:48 PM on Sun, Sep 06, 2020:
“a deep anarchic commitment to freedom, fun, autonomy and caring for each other, whilst pragmatically working with the best that is already here in this world“ An ode to @davidgraeber a burning light in our lives #care #beauty #legend
We had sort of been reliant on the idea that with Graeber out there, there was hope that life today would find a way out of systems of coercive authority.
Some people call themselves anarchists because it fits their opinions on a graph or because it sounds cool. But as David was at pains to explain, anarchism was a praxis: it was the doing, and the living of the thing, which counted. As his Twitter bio had it: “I see anarchism as something you do not an identity so don’t call me the anarchist anthropologist”. No matter how smart he was, or how esteemed he became, he was always in the mix. Nothing was too small, no company too insignificant. He lived his ideals with an unusual consistency.
David loved to collaborate with everyone around him, but as a thinker, he was utterly singular.
yeah.. that.. let’s do/be that
He was not a ‘forensic’ scholar obsessing over detail (a bugbear of his detractors) but was drawn to the big questions that most academics feel you’re not allowed to ask anymore – or shouldn’t risk trying.
Generosity is in short stock right now; losing David is like losing access to the main supply.
“The one thing that’s clear is that new ideas won’t emerge without the jettisoning of much of our accustomed categories of thought—which have become mostly sheer dead weight, if not intrinsic parts of the very apparatus of hopelessness—and formulating new ones.” – David Graeber https://t.co/CTapwBf77k
Original Tweet: https://twitter.com/c4ssdotorg/status/1302970627813326850
davidwengrow continues: “Mutual aid, social cooperation, civic activism, hospitality, or simply caring for others: these are the kind of things that actually go to make civilisations. In which case, the true history of civilisation is only just starting to be written….”
Original Tweet: https://twitter.com/johnthackara/status/1304325441340178435
Nika Dubrovsky (@nikadubrovsky) tweeted at 6:29 AM on Wed, Sep 09, 2020:
The autopsy was performed yesterday morning. According to the sources from the hospital, the cause of death is “natural” (ND: as much as death can be “natural” at all). The hospital will need from two weeks to forty days to issue an official statement with a detailed report.
Ayça Çubukçu (@ayca_cu) tweeted at 11:38 AM on Sun, Sep 13, 2020:
This was very difficult to write, and read, too. You are with us dear David.–> Remembering the many lives of our friend David Graeber: https://t.co/hOrNUyhez6 via @ROAR_Magazine
your mischievous soul dancing to its own beat while listening to us all
Nika Dubrovsky (@nikadubrovsky) tweeted at 3:02 AM on Mon, Sep 14, 2020:
Last day in Venice for me. Goodbye, dreadful city. My hometown Leningrad (Saint-Petersburg) has been called the Venice of the North. It’s also an unbelievably beautiful and rotten city. https://t.co/gyb8L4ir0M
David Graeber’s commemoration is today. Memorial starts ay 16:30 London & 11:30 NYC time. Register to receive Zoom link: https://t.co/3uRXbYbO9b
Original Tweet: https://twitter.com/DoubleDownNews/status/1306176255147102209
speakers will be: Nika Dubrovsky, Maurice Bloch, Ayça Çubukçu, Renata Todd, Elif Saracan, Alpa Shah. . open mic facil’d by: Rita Astuti.. invite by: Laura Bear
your mischievous soul dancing to its own beat while listening to us all – ayca
he made curiosity permanent for me.. he was the most generous.. he was like a child – elif
brings me comfort to know that when he left this world he was surrounded by her love – renata
he was always playfully disrupting systems to create better ones – alpa
remained lonely.. trying to create another world while having to live this one
song: oh my – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7KVWXxjsbUo
lanitra manga manga by salala
The blue sky..Hidden by the clouds.. Is home for the saints.. Who doesnt wanna be there, my friend?.. Quarrels you had before.. Dont do it anymore.. The tree has lost some leaves,.. But you have to grow the rest, my friend.. You and I Are only pilgrims.. Nobodys gonna stay here.. So lets forgive each other, my friend.. If you ever feel blue.. Because some relatives left you.. Theyre just a bit ahead.. And were gonna be too there, my friend.. The blue sky Hidden by the clouds.. Is home for the saints.. Who doesnt wanna be there, my friend? – salala
assia: grateful to david for showing me that there are no dead ends.. always another way
such a beautiful accessible person – mark
david always say the play that nobody else could see – gary
closed w another malagasy song
oh no.. 600 signed up.. only 300 were able to join.. will be a recording
Nika Dubrovsky (@nikadubrovsky) tweeted at 5:39 PM on Thu, Sep 17, 2020:
A public ceremony to celebrate .@davidgraeber life and mourn his death will take place around the world on 11.10. The disposal of his remains will be carried out by the three women he loved over the course of his life(Nhu Le, Lauren Leve and .@nikadubrovsky). 1/
Nhu Thi Le, whose mind for the last six has touched everything mine has
theory of value acknowledgements: There are two names though that I really ought to mention: my oldest friend, Stuart Rockefeller, an intellectual companion since high school, and Nhu Thi Le, whose mind for the last six has touched everything mine has. Any idea you read in here might very well actually have been invented by one of them; in many cases, perhaps most, they are really joint projects that all three of us, and probably others, are equally responsible for
David Wengrow (@davidwengrow) tweeted at 0:42 PM on Thu, Sep 17, 2020:
Suddenly recalled @davidgraeber and I once had pics taken for a feature in a French news magazine. They were never actually used in the piece that came out for “Marianne” but thanks so much to @kalpeshlathigra for keeping and sharing these today: they are invaluable to me now. https://t.co/nD8WCQfsJE
Brett Scott (@Suitpossum) tweeted at 4:21 AM on Thu, Sep 17, 2020:
The anthropologist in an economist world: my tribute to David Graeber https://t.co/HNWZI7VX0L
On the 9th anniversary of Occupy Wall Street, we ask everyone who feels close to .@davidgraeber to share an invitation to Memorial Carnival4David! Live and streamed, inside and outside, here and everywhere – from sun rise to sun set. 11th of October!
Original Tweet: https://twitter.com/nikadubrovsky/status/1306611790294511619
He died in Venice, a city he often visited. David loved to dress up at any opportunity. He brought back venetian masks and costumes after every visit. Before it became a tourist commodity, the Venice Carnival constituted a political space of radical democracy. During Carnival there were no blacks, no whites, no old, no young, no beautiful, no ugly, no poor, no rich. Everyone was a mask.
how we can embody them in a future that begins now – “live as if you were already free” – David would say.
We will be organising an online streaming of the memorial carnivals and details of this will come later as well as ways to coordinate so many time zones.
.@davidgraeber: We will remain faceless because we refuse the spectacle of celebrity, because we are everyone, because the carnival beckons, because the world is upside down, because we are everywhere. 1/
Original Tweet: https://twitter.com/nikadubrovsky/status/1307236846024495104