The Relevance of Scholarship to Social Change

It can go in any direction – you can have horrible right wing fantasy utopias realised in some cultures, extreme patriarchal ones in others, and so on and so forth. But I think we need to start thinking about history. Radical social movements, revolutionaries, reactionaries and all those things we’re familiar with in contemporary politics weren’t invented two hundred years ago. We’ve been taught that they were – that right and left suddenly came into being, and that all these revolutions suddenly started happening, in the middle of the eighteenth century. But I think they’ve actually been happening for thousands of years, it’s just that we don’t have the language to describe them.

 

– David Graeber interviewed in the White Review: on anthropology, anarchism, and more. He touches on how his ethnographic investigation of the Malagasy people of Madagascar, his recent survey book on the history of debt and money across societies, and Occupy Wall Street are connected.

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