The following is a short recent interview with the anthropologist and anarchist David Graeber, an intellectual and activist whose voice has risen in visibility since the beginning of the Occupy movement. Graeber was on the ground organizing at Occupy in New York at the very start, and has been credited with coining the term "we are the 99%".
Graeber was assistant professor of anthropology at Yale, but his contract didn't get renewed in a controversial decision that some thought was due to his radical political beliefs. He's now at the University of London. He's written a recent bestselling book called Debt: The First 5000 Years, which has added to a growth of new works on debt such as the new documentary Payback: Debt and the Shadow Side of Wealth. He was also involved in a recent public debate with Chris Hedges over the actions of the sometimes violent Black Blocs wing of the anarchist movement. (You can read Chris Hedges original post here, critical of the Black Blocs, and Graeber's response here).
I've been enjoying Graeber's voice and analysis over the past months, and think it has a lot to offer. I particularly appreciate his learned historical view, one that often highlights dimensions of history that we don't hear about via mainstream sources. In this clip he talks about police repression against Occupy, as well as their use of subversive tactics. For another recent instance of this in the US, check out this interview with an Occupy Seattle organizer who had a SWAT team bust through his apartment door, point automatic rifles at he and his roomates heads, and ransack their place. The police laid no charges of any kind. For a great history of the intense repression of radical Left thought (and its perpetrators) in the United States in the 20th century, see Dan Carlin's 2hr episode of Hardcore History called Radical Thoughts. (It's actually a very balanced look at this period, and Carlin really utilizes the lens of fear and its impacts on the situation, which will be a great resource for R.Michael Fisher and I in our Museum of Fearology project)
I thought the interview below, besides containing some very interesting points from Graeber, was a good way to introduce his work into the mix here at the site, and to readers who might not be familiar with him.