Also by David Graeber. Toward an Anthropological 3 The Utopia of Rules, or Why We Really Love Bureaucracy After All. Appendix. On Batman and the. With this diagnosis in mind, it is surprising that Graeber doesn’t explore The Utopia of Rules is packed with provocative observations and. The Utopia of Rules has ratings and reviews. To answer these questions, anthropologist David Graeber—one of the most prominent and.

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No doubt the NHS as it existed a generation ago was far from perfect. But does it follow that state power is always and only repressive? I think it is the inevitability of the yin-yang aspect of freedom and bureaucracy play and game that I found off-putting. The Utopia of Rules Original cover.

Gra I’m hesitant to rulse this book. Along the way, there are valuable musings about why today’s technological world isn’t very much compared to the rosy picture we dreamed up in s and s science fiction. Maybe the organization is perceived to be too big, or too complex; or newcomers demand a manual. Topics Society books Book of the day.

And it’s difficult to get a grip on this in general, because there’s rule many pretty revalatory ideas in here. Where does the desire for endless rules, regulations, and bureaucracy come from?

The result is a demanding, important examination of a subject that bolsters institutional violence, paralyzes the imagination, and, perhaps most alarmingly, silences the types of conversation this book starts. I have conservative friends and friends who only read fiction who might think they won’t like this book or get anything out of it, and that would be a grave error.

Established as part of the postwar settlement, they were creations graebwr a strong state, but they were not distracted from their true functions by intrusive monitoring and shifting targets set by governments.

And I don’t think Graeber has a good or even respectable grasp of the sheer amount of resources and work involved in many of the innovations that have shaped the technologies that he treats as disappointments.

Also intriguing was the analy I cannot imagine a stranger place where my love of anarchism would interact and engage with my love of fantasy.


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The Utopia of Rules: On Technology, Stupidity, and the Secret Joys of Bureaucracy by David Graeber

And when I say ‘inaccuracies’, I mean that when Graeber makes specific claims about technological history, or human cognition, or the like, the footnotes lead to a justification that everybody knows this, rather than a scholarly source. Graeber notes that Americans largely dislike bureaucracies, but while they are not motivated to change bureaucracies, he thinks they should be.

But Graeber actually uses “stupidity” as a theoretical category, albeit one that is never really defined. I just don’t know how David Graeber can be so politically and intellectually radical and still present his work in a way that’s engaging and easy to understand. On Technology, Stupidity, and the Secret Joys of Bureaucracy is a book by anthropologist David Graeber about how people “relate to” and are influenced by bureaucracies.

Who stole it, now, raise my hand! Cunningham, Guy Patrick January 21, True, at points the transitions could have used finessing, but I found the playfulness of this romp through David Graeber’s thought process to be part of the allure and message of the book.

David Graeber on the Utopia of Rules: Why Deregulation is Actually Expanding Bureaucracy

Here, Graeber asks an obvious question: The book was released on February 24, Our imaginations are carefully kept within script, the rules prescribed so as to appear fair and transparent and freedom-giving but in fact the opposite, allowing for control of every aspect of our lives. In that regard, he has ticked all the right boxes. The less of a stake workers feel they have thhe their job, the larger a disciplinary apparatus is required to keep them performing it, and in the case of American-style corporate capitalism, that means many middle managers performing evaluations of all kinds: This is rich research.

Sometime in I came across an ad in the newspaper telling of a panel that will take place in a club in Tel-Aviv on the topic of “can there be revolution in Israel? Again, eules mentioned once by a American-centric Graeber, who seems to speak only within his direct experience of academia and petty internal disputes.

Ok, fine, the world was never invaded by Martians, and nobody built a time machine, but rocket ships for travel to the moon, to take just one example, do exist. Debt was my most important book of the decade; A sequel on bureaucracy could be an equally ground breaking contribution.


Graeber’s stated intent is not to critique bureaucracy from the left per se but to start a discussion that includes several paths one may take towards such a critique, With that said, this book was an absolute godsend.

Recounting his own activist experience, he also sees hope. Jul 22, Emma Sea rated it teh was amazing Shelves: Buy this book, it’s the next best thing you can do.

Rather, he is calling attention to a phenomenon so pervasive we take it for granted, and this taken-for-grantedness allows the existence of the threat of violence graaeber go unnoticed and largely untheorized.

What Graeber fails to recognise is that the view of the state he advances also has something in common with that of neoliberals, who, like him, see state power as tthe root of all social ills. Burkeman, Oliver March 11, Hachard wrote that Graeber’s non-bureaucratic Occupy politics also undergirds the book’s arguments.

The Utopia of Rules: On Technology, Stupidity, and the Secret Joys of Bureaucracy

So much that I had thought about, but could never articulate, about the “State” and society in general was found in this book. Lists with This Book. Graeber has been on my radar for a while now, mainly for his role as a supplier of anarchist sound bites to major media outlets, but also for his writing. Leaping from the ascendance of right-wing economics to the hidden meanings behind Sherlock Holmes and Batman, The Utopia of Rules is at once a powerful work of social theory in the tradition of Foucault and Marx, and an entertaining reckoning with popular culture that calls to mind Slavoj Zizek fraeber his most accessible.

The Times Literary Supplement People do their thing, and because there’s not that many people involved, they can exploit various consensual models for evolving new ways. From the author of the international bestseller Debt: