Sunday, September 06, 2020

Shock: David Graeber dead at 59yo; "We are the 99 percent" more relevant than ever

Shocking news: David Graeber dead at 59yo

This man helped invent the most important political slogan of the current era, "We are the 99 percent", arising out of the 2008 crash, which led to the Occupy Wall Street movement.

More: Vale David Graeber by Michael Hudson 

Earlier this year I bought both Debt and Bullshit Jobs. I've yet to finish both of these books, partly due to work commitments. But I do believe they will provide me with invaluable insights into the inner dynamics of the modern world.

Update (Sept 11, 2020):
I'm still at an early stage of trying to understand David Graeber's ideas. Stephen Wright's essay, The death of David Graeber may be more about Wright's views than Graebers. But he does link us to three essays by Graeber which I read and comment on below.

Essays by David Graeber:
What’s the Point If We Can’t Have Fun? (January 2014)
This speculative essay argues for more than "play is ok" or good for learning; that it may be deeply wired into the nature of matter

The Shock of Victory (2009)
Part one argues that nuclear power plants ought to be and were successfully opposed. I can't agree with that since I support nuclear power plants for their significant contribution to the decarbonisation of energy production. Part two describes the campaign against neoliberalism and claims it was successful despite the interruption by the 9/11 terrorist attack. Sadly, I wasn't involved in this so I should study Graeber's claims here more closely.

The Bully’s Pulpit (2015)
Where he outlines some surprising research about bullies and victims: (1) the overwhelming majority of bullying incidents take place in front of an audience (2) bullies do not suffer from low self-esteem (3) the ideal victim is one who fights back in some way but does so ineffectively. This reveals the deep structure of bullying: Bullying creates a moral drama in which the manner of the victim’s reaction to an act of aggression can be used as retrospective justification for the original act of aggression itself