Soak the Rich

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Beginning in the 1980s, anthropologists began to be bombarded with endless—and often strangely moralistic—exhortations to acknowledge the importance of something referred to as “consumption.” The exhortations were effective; for the past 2 decades, the term has become a staple of theoretical discourse.

Super Position

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Superhero piece.

David hastens to point out the version in Utopia of Rules is much better though. Because some points were edited out.


My first reaction when asked to contribute to this volume is that an auto-ethnography of anthropology would simply be impossible.
My logic was this. During the '80s, we all became used to the idea of reflexive anthropology, the effort to probe behind the apparent authority of ethnographic texts to reveal the complex relations of power and domination that went into making them.

The Bullshit-Job Boom

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Bullshit, like paper waste, accumulates in offices with the inevitability of February snow. Justification reports: What are these? Nobody knows. And yet they pile up around you, Xerox-warmed, to be not-read. Best-practices documents? Anybody’s guess, really, including their authors’. Some people thought that digitization would banish this nonsense.

The Center Blows Itself Up

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Politics, in wealthy countries, is increasingly becoming a war between the generations. While the support for smaller parties in the UK (Liberal Democrats, Greens, the Scottish National Party, even Brexit) is constant across ages, the split between Labour and Conservative is almost entirely based on age cohort:

The Disastrous Ordeal of 1987

What follows is the epilogue to "The Disastrous Ordeal of 1987", which is a historical ethnography about a village called Betafo in central Madagascar, by me, David Graeber.