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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To say that technological innovation should have continued at the same feverish pace until we were actually terraforming planets, zipping around in flying cars, and relying on robotic maids is sheer ruls fantasy founded or mired in ignorance.

The First 5, Years was replete with evidence, this book feels more like idiosyncratic musings. What I read though, was a a bunch of thrown together essays written stream of consciousness style, jumbles of logic with vague points leading nowhere, and statements of caricature masquerading as fact, and several fantastical ‘rebuttal’ arguments with fictional critics. I can tell you that this is true as well for a lot of small businesses that become bigger.

Subordinates spend an immense amount of effort figuring out the minds of their masters, if only to avoid being crushed. Weinberg, Jonathan April Ok, fine, the world was never invaded by Martians, and ufopia built a time machine, but rocket ships for travel to the moon, to take just one example, do exist.

The cult of the market has produced a society throttled by bureaucracy. He makes an urgent call to remove the bureaucratic limits that hamper creativity. Here, Graeber asks an obvious question: Anthropology portal Books portal. I’m not too sure I really want clones and the idea of time travel gives me migraines but the rest, I hte it.

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

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.


Fay, Stephen July 8, The current economic system advances through free trade and deregulation; the American Dream has been outsourced globally. In the second essay, Graeber applies his critique of bureaucracy to technological change, arguing that true innovation is stifled by a risk-averse, shareholder-return-maximising corporate culture.

A difficult theory to argue from credibly today. As a revolutionary project, Graeber seeks to revitalize the Left against the neoliberal combination of bureaucracy and extractive capitalism that he calls the ‘worst of all possible ideologies’ think Tony Blair or Hillary Clinton. Social and Environmental Accountability Journal. Really, it’s so rich and dense with ideas, lesser people would have made thick books of every paragraphs. The Utopia of Rules is packed with provocative observations and left-field scholarship.

It opens the door to change. That said, the first two essays, if a little discursive and slightly silly, were pretty fun to read. But bureaucracy is bad, mkay?

The idea of “interpretive labour”, for example, is a useful tool to consider social relations. And it’s all the more impressive for coming from a Marxist hermeneutic. Apr 04, Szymon Pytlik rated it it was amazing. Filter by Audio Video All content.

You can’t say fairer than that. Jun 09, Robert rated it really liked it. Mar 27, Richard rated it it was amazing.

Graeber, whose best-selling book, Debt: An essential book for our times, The Utopia of Rules is sure to start a million conversations about the institutions that rule over us—and the better, freer world we should, perhaps, begin to imagine for ourselves. The result is that while those at the bottom of a social ladder spend a great deal of time imagining the perspectives of, and genuinely caring about, those at utopiia top, it almost never happens the other way around.


Much of the red tape he came up against surrounded the American Medicare system, which he uses to utoia how a regime of rules can promote a condition of helpless stupidity in those who deliver the services and those who use them.

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

This has created a bureaucratic nightmare, asserts David Graeber in his latest book, The Utopia of Rules: Rather, Graeber points out how central the state has been since the financialization — or re-regulation — of the s.

In the early days, there develop ways things get done; and they are very flexible ways, in part because they are not written down. Why is the state such a durable institution? Ruless, I have kept this up longer than I expected to. Some of this stuff is spot on: Nonetheless, the idea of the utopia remains dear to our hearts, an idea that, Graeber argues, will never really be overcome.

To answer these questions, the anthropologist David Graeber—one of our most important and provocative thinkers—traces the peculiar and unexpected ways we relate to bureaucracy today, and uotpia how it shapes our lives in ways we may not even notice…though he also suggests that there may be something perversely appealing—even romantic—about bureaucracy. Refresh and try again. Feb 28, Rhys rated it it was ok. 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.

But they never become anything bigger than that.