David Graeber — from the Occupy Wall Street movement, reputed to have coined and promoted the statement “We are the 99%”, and shared here on Beanstock’s World a bunch of times with his astounding insights — has died 10 days ago at age 59. Yes, only 59(!) from “internal bleeding”. Lethal internal bleeding at such a young age and without a bullet or knife stab or such smells to me a lot like COVID-19, to be honest. Oddly, an issues not mentioned anywhere on the main media (not even on Wikipedia). Here, btw, is an article digging into the broad spectrum of coronavirus symptoms: The Great Invader: How COVID Attacks Every Organ
Many of us will miss him.
Here are two nifty David quotes from one of his broadcasted conversations:
- “Economy is about human relationships.”
- “Live more by working less.”
- “The U.S. is not a democracy but a system of institutionalized bribery.”
(And a meaningful quote by one commenting on this video: ‘“A very large part of our economy doesn’t need to exist.” Not unless somebody thinks The Religion of Profit (“Something For Nothing”) simply must go on till everything is dead.’)
One of David’s important insights, published in his book “Bullshit Jobs: A Theory” is that large swaths of society are working in meaningless jobs that ultimately result in damaging psychological consequences (and often merely exist to elevate the profits, wages, and status of their job providers by making them have more underlings). His book “Debt: The First 5,000 Years” revealed the history of how people have used credit systems to buy and sell goods even before money was invented. And he also revealed to us that money was invented by warmongering ancient kings to supply their armies (by inventing a tax alongside it, so that taxed people had to sell stuff to the armies and warriors so they could pay their taxes, even though the armies didn’t produce anything in return except sometimes protecting people but more often invading other people’s areas to enlarge their kings’ empires).
“David was a hugely influential anthropologist, political activist and public intellectual,” says his widow.
Words from one of his friends in an emotional obituary:
“How much I could do with his buoyancy, his affirmation, his instinctive sense for how it was all worth it, all meant something, whatever it was. … I want the walls painted with unicorns and Graeber slogans about the revolutionary power of the imagination. I want … culminating in the total, benevolent collapse of global capitalism. I want the bullshit jobs to end, the debt to be forgiven, and the riot cops to blink, dumbfounded, in the mirror, before dumping their uniforms in the bin. Rest in power, peace and possibility, David – your legacy will spill out into the future of this world in so many untold directions, so many beautiful, iridescent ways.”
According to the New York Post, David Graeber said he didn’t personally come up with the movement’s slogan “We are the 99%,” but he did contribute to it: “I did first suggest that we call ourselves ‘the 99%,” he said. “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 am one of many people who will miss David in our world.
Therefore I dug through my past writings and video shares tightly connected to him. Some of the David Graeber based articles (with videos) and conversation videos shared here on Beanstock’s World that I wish to point at for those interested in David’s humane contributions and legacy:
Our Meaningless Hell and the Heaven We Can Build
explosion of bullshit jobs | automation | jobless future | UBI
Why Are We Wasting our Lives in a Flood of Bullshit Jobs?
My answer: because we are stuck in a bad habit — the bad habit of an economy geared towards generating a flood of free money for the rich in order to maintain their status; an economy which does this by stealing from the poor in order to give to the rich; …
Money is not our limit (David Graeber):
David Graeber: debt and what the government doesn’t want you to know | Comment is Free
The Seductive and Destructive Power of Debt
Why we let predatory lending and catastrophic financial bubbles happen.
Our vulnerability has an ancient past. We need to rethink.
Why we Don’t Have the Promised Utopia Today
A generation or two ago, we were promised a great new world. We have the technology, the science, the resources, the know-how, but…
Another good point from David quoted in that article: ‘In the U.S., we have “gotten rid” of the corruption problem by making it “legal”.’
Good interview with David Graeber from 2012 (a good follow-up if you heard his “DEBT: The First 5,000 Years” Google Talk or read my article ‘The Seductive and Destructive Power of Debt’):
Debt: The First 5000 Years – Extended Interview ~ Uprising with Sonali
Interesting thought from David: “Anarchy is democracy without a government.”
Other neat David quotes I noted down:
- “The problem with entitlement is not that some people have it but that some people don’t.”
- “Basic income: give everybody the means to exit and let them decide for themselves [what to do with their lives].”
His response to the “get a job” slur was: “Get a job that actually does some good for somebody.”
Another thing he pointed out (I don’t remember when and where and I rephrased it a little when I noted it down): The welfare state was a truce between the establishment and the dispossessed people. However what the government runs it can also take away, and it has done so (to a large degree and keeps coming for more) on behalf of the super-rich who co-opted it. So, the government has broken the truce and we’re back to war again.
You can search further for past and future appearances of and references to David Graeber on Beanstock’s World by this link.
Farewell, David. May there be a heaven for good people like you and me and (most of) our readers (although I am doubtful of it since there is no evidence of one, a good god would probably not hide from us, and the concept of a hell (as the other side of the same medal) is used to protect evil lords from revolutions and on Earth penalization with that excuse that the invisible god will take care of it AFTER they finish their luxurious life of psychotic tyranny and the rest of us our endless suffering on Earth). But, yes, for friends like you, I could not help but wish for a pleasant afterlife. I will miss you and remember you as a friend though we never met in person. And best wishes for your surviving friends and relatives.
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