[permaculture] anthropology and permaculture

kevin s k.skvorak at verizon.net
Tue Dec 4 14:41:18 EST 2007

i have been appreciating the (most recent of 
reoccurring) "politics" thread.  when these 
threads come around, i always feel very mixed 
feelings when i observe the tangled and ardent 
efforts at communications that always mix hope, 
fear, 'facts', science, a whole bunch else into 
"politics".   i am holding back not knowing  what 
to contribute, and wondering what it is exactly 
that provokes hostility whenever the topic 
appears.  i think we can never understate or 
underestimate how wounded we all are.

  are there a lot of permaculturalist anthropologists out there?

i want to highly recommend some (ostensibly) 
anthropological writings from a friend.  he makes 
some really acute observations, and i think does 
a great service to those folks out there whose 
deepest living needs are directed towards change, 
and are working to manifest it.



from: From: David Graeber <David.Graeber at mac.com>
yup, I went and put out another book. This one is 
a collection of essays, some published,
some unpublished, some previously published only 
in French or Italian. I think it's a
pretty good collection, but I'm not sure yet how 
widely it's going to be distributed so you
might have to go to AK Press' web page or Amazon. 
Also do feel free to pass this on to
any appropriate lists, individuals, etc.


“If anthropology consists of making the 
apparently wild thought of others logically 
compelling in their own cultural settings and 
intellectually revealing of the human condition, 
then David Graeber is the consummate 
anthropologist. Not only does he accomplish this 
profound feat, he redoubles it by the critical 
task—now more urgent than ever—of making the 
possibilities of other people’s worlds the basis 
for understanding our own.” —Marshall Sahlins, 
University of Chicago

“Graeber’s ideas are rich and wide-ranging; he 
pushes us to expand the boundaries of what we 
admit to be possible, or even thinkable.”—Steven 
Shaviro, Wayne State University

In this new collection, David Graeber revisits 
questions raised in his popular book, Fragments 
of an Anarchist Anthropology. Written in an 
unpretentious style that uses accessible and 
entertaining language to convey complex 
theoretical ideas, these twelve essays cover a 
lot of ground, including the origins of 
capitalism, the history of European table 
manners, love potions in rural Madagascar, and 
the phenomenology of giant puppets at street 
protests. But they’re linked by a clear purpose: 
to explore the nature of social power and the 
forms that resistance to it have taken, or might 
take in the future.

Anarchism is currently undergoing a worldwide 
revival, in many ways replacing Marxism as the 
theoretical and moral center of new revolutionary 
social movements. It has, however, left little 
mark on the academy. While anarchists and other 
visionaries have turned to anthropology for ideas 
and inspiration, anthropologists are reluctant to 
enter into serious dialogue. David Graeber is 
not. These essays, spanning almost twenty years, 
show how scholarly concerns can be of use to 
radical social movements, and how the 
perspectives of such movements shed new light on 
debates within the academy.

Table of Contents:


1 Manners, Deference, and Private Property: or, 
Elements for a General Theory of Hierarchy.

2 The Very Idea of Consumption: Desire, 
Phantasms, and the Aesthetics of Destruction from 
Medieval Times to the Present

3 Turning Modes of Production Inside-Out, or, Why 
Capitalism is a Transformation of Slavery (short 

4 Fetishism as Social Creativity, or, Fetishes 
are Gods in the Process of Construction.


5 Provisional Autonomous Zone, or, The Ghost-State in Madagascar

6 Dancing with Corpses Reconsidered: an 
Interpretation of Famadihana (in Arivonimamo, 

7 Love Magic and Political Morality in Central Madagascar, 1875-1990

8 Oppression


9 The Twilight of Vanguardism

10 Social Theory as Science and Utopia (or, Does 
the Prospect of a General Sociological Theory 
Still Mean Anything in an Age of Globalization?)

11 There Never Was a West: or, Democracy Emerges From the Spaces In Between

12 On the Phenomenology of Giant Puppets: Broken 
Windows, Imaginary Jars of Urine, and the 
Cosmological Role of the Police in American 

David Graeber is an anthropologist and activist 
who currently teaches at the University of London 
and has been active in direct-action groups, 
including the Direct Action Network, People's 
Global Action, and the Industrial Workers of the 
World. He is the author of Fragments of an 
Anarchist Anthropology, Towards an 
Anthropological Theory of Value, and Lost People: 
Magic and the Legacy of Slavery in Madagascar, 
and has written for Harper’s Magazine, New Left 
Review, and numerous scholarly journals

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