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Forgive us our debts

Benjamin Kunkel: The History of Debt, 10 May 2012

Paper Promises: Money, Debt and the New World Order 
by Philip Coggan.
Allen Lane, 294 pp., £20, December 2011, 978 1 84614 510 0
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Debt: The First 5000 Years 
by David Graeber.
Melville House, 534 pp., £21.99, July 2011, 978 1 933633 86 2
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... writer Philip Coggan, and in Debt: The First 5000 Years by the anthropologist and activist David Graeber, which situates the same stretch of modern history within the vast tidal shifts, across five millennia of Eurasian history, between monetary regimes founded on precious metals and those based on ‘virtual credit money’. In August 1971, Nixon ...

On Wall Street

Astra Taylor, 25 October 2012

... the many small groups that filled the square. Movement veterans like the anarchist anthropologist David Graeber and Marina Sitrin, the author of a book about horizontal organising methods used in Argentina, conversed with twenty-somethings freshly radicalised by disappointment in the president they helped to elect. Not long after the police massed at the ...

Stiffed

David Runciman: Occupy, 25 October 2012

The Occupy Handbook 
edited by Janet Byrne.
Back Bay, 535 pp., $15.99, April 2012, 978 0 316 22021 7
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... left. But Rolling Stone magazine identified the originator of ‘We are the 99 per cent’ as David Graeber, the anthropologist and activist, who first spotted its potential as an organising tool.* You can see why people might want to lay claim to ‘We are the 99 per cent’: it’s a brilliant slogan and an increasingly successful brand, doing its ...

Good New Idea

John Lanchester: Universal Basic Income, 18 July 2019

... for a great range of thinkers, including Nick Srnicek and Alex Williams in Inventing the Future, David Graeber in Bullshit Jobs, Paul Mason in Post-Capitalism, Rutger Breman in Utopia for Realists, and Peter Barnes in With Liberty and Dividends for All. UBI is definitely having a moment.Guy Standing is a long-standing member of BIEN, the Basic Income ...

A Day’s Work

Joanna Biggs: Reports from the Workplace, 9 April 2015

... making up pointless jobs just for the sake of keeping us all working’ – from an article by David Graeber for Strike! magazine about ‘bullshit jobs’. Productive jobs, he argues, have been automated away and replaced by administrative ones which masquerade as service: HR, PR, financial services, ancillary industries like dog-washing and ...

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