A while ago, I was invited to contribute to a Red Pepper magazine retrospective on what a bunch of academics and activists learned from Debt: The First 5,000 Years, by anthropologist all-star thinker and doer David Graeber (RIP).
Well, the article has just been published: Learning from David Graeber.
I’m thrilled that Red Pepper gave my bit the headline ‘Debt is bollocks’ and honoured they decided it was good enough to open up the article — but there are many more worthy contributions from folks who knew DG far better than I ever did.
Not least Nika Dubrovsky, David Graeber’s partner and collaborator, who gives us an insight into the process of writing and publishing Debt:
As we waited for publication, David was increasingly nervous; he complained to me he needed to publish the book to change public discourse and the time was right now. He was right: the book, published in the aftermath of the 2008 global financial crisis, provided a new vocabulary needed to explain a changed world.
Today this new language—on how we understand debt—is used by everyone, including by power itself. This is what David called a revolution. He said revolution is not when palaces are seized or governments are overthrown, but when we change the ideas of what is common sense.
First, go and read our Red Pepper retrospective — I love Christopher J Lee’s bit about practising competitive generosity over competitive accumulation — and then go and read the book itself.