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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I think that some of the conspiracy-theory type implications of the third essay suggest a rather loose grasp of history, as conspiracy theories often do. Some of this stuff is spot on: Cosic, Miriam May 16, Historians typically refer to Kuhn with regard to this http: We love this, right? He previously wrote Debt: This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. He’s just so lucid and radical that it’s really refreshing.

Even computers are still not nearly as smart as science-fiction writers confidently assumed they soon would be. Those who have assumed control in our current system did so on an ideological platform that vehemently criticized bureaucracy while relentlessly expanding it, says Graeber.

The current economic system advances through free trade and deregulation; the American Dream has been outsourced globally. He makes an urgent call to remove the bureaucratic limits that hamper creativity.

The essay also covers grarber economics of Star Trek, the offshoring of manufacturing, and the bureaucratization of academia, braeber other topics, all of which are swept into the argument in a way that makes you wonder why you never saw the connection before.

In effect, such a regime defeats the purposes of the institution it is meant to regulate. Also intriguing was the analysis of where a state derives its authority for violence.


These days writers seem much warier of assuming that new technologies, like a Mars base or antigravity device, will eventuate in the next fifty years. The digressions are reason enough to read this book. A legit academic, but he consistently refuses to be boring.

Morris, Iain May 17, Mar 29, Christopher rated it did not like it. But does it follow that state power is always and only repressive?

And the book is not really about that, anyway. Sep 16, Michael Burnam-Fink rated it liked it Shelves: Bureaucracy can be efficient, so workers get more things if they don’t mind being alienated defined as the ‘warping and shattering of the imagination’. But David Graeber does it and with style. Graeber rkles the free-trade bureaucratization of the planet has already been tried and failed.

The reader follows Graeber in the first chapter through discussions about how the bureaucratic world subdues imagination, and creates blinkers through which structural power is enforced without being recognized.

China in particular, used its bureaucracy and mandarins to blunt imperial power, spreading the power out through a merit based system to limit the damage a ruler could do, and was so successful it alone ket the country together after waves of conquest and war.

And the last essay – the appendix, actually, was pretty fun, until it got too specific for a person who hadn’t viewed the Batman films involved to follow.

The Utopia of Rules » Melville House Books

And why is it that even when we try to get rid of rules, paperwork, “red tape,” and bureaucracy, we always seem to get more? Provocative and timely, the book is a powerful look and history of bureaucracy over the ages and its power in shaping the world of ideas. Along the way, he discusses how paperwork is generally under-studied because it is too boring, and how police are bureaucrats with weapons; he meanwhile comments on the useful utpoia of structural analysis and the challenges of overcoming bureaucracies only to recreate them.


Graeber, whose best-selling book, Debt: Should we just accept this bureaucracy as inevitable? Jun 06, Tara Brabazon rated it it was amazing.

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

I’m not too sure I really want clones and the idea of time travel gives me migraines but the utoppia, I want it. Fajgenbaum, Emma July—August Hanlon, Gerard February Feb 23, Oriana marked it as to-read Shelves: The Utopia of Rules: I can’t really tell for sure. How does absolute rule by Cesar and the brutality of Coliseum circuses reflect political power by an omnipotent ruler vs.

I thought the real focus of this book is how violence is integrated into our everyday systems of rules, and how that leads us to accept the idea that everyday violence is necessary to maintain society. And for every somewhat interesting insight there is another that appears completely asinine. Buy this book, it’s the next best thing you can do.

I feel disappointed, and a little betrayed.

David Graeber The Utopia of Rules: By using this site, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. 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 tthe should, perhaps, begin to imagine for ourselves.

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