Revolutions in Reverse: Essays on Politics, Violence, Art, and Imagination: Essays on Politics, Violence, Art, and ImaginationPaperback
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- Publisher: Minor Compositions
- Format: Paperback | 122 pages
- Dimensions: 152mm x 229mm x 8mm | 205g
- Publication date: 10 May 2012
- Publication City/Country: Brooklyn
- ISBN 10: 1570272433
- ISBN 13: 9781570272431
- Sales rank: 187,977
Today's capitalist systems appear to be coming apart - but what is the alternative? In a generation or so, capitalism may no longer exist as it's impossible to maintain perpetual growth on a finite planet. David Graeber explores political strategy, global trade, violence, alienation and creativity looking for a new common sense.
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By Dylan Taylor 02 May 2013
David Graeber is becoming somewhat of a big name within academic-activist circles, and his book Debt: The First 5,000 Years is being widely read and discussed. With his history in the alternative-globalisation movement-of-movements, and his recent involvement in Occupy, Graeber is justifiably seen as a someone who both walks-the-walk and talks-the-talk.
I was excited about reading this collection of essays - having recently read two thought provoking pieces he published in The Baffler journal.
This collection was, sadly, a real disappointment. Graeber makes lots of grand statements but tends to shy from providing any corroborating evidence for them. If anarchists were the leading force of all revolutionary movements in the early twentieth century as he claims - then I would love to know where to go for further reading on this subject (as I have never heard this before, despite reading a lot on this subject).
Graeber also has a tendency to make wide-ranging blanket statements about people who hold different ideological view-points from him. He frequently makes statements writing off 'Marxists' or 'Old Marxists' without acceding the wide range of positions that can be assumed within the Marxist tradition (many of which have fruitful overlaps with 'anarchist' positions). It seems he is less interested in developing a forward moving discussion with possible collaborators and is, instead, wanting to continue the tired old conflicts between Marxists and Anarchists that so many of us now realise to be a waste of time and energy.
Another fault of this book is that it is poorly produced. Almost every page has typographical errors - the common problem being missing words in sentences. These errors are so frequent I began to wonder if it was a deliberate stylistic choice?
I ordered Graeber's Democracy Project at the same time as this collection of essays, hopefully that will be a better read.
"TINA, they say, there is no alternative. The essence of neoliberalism, David Graeber suggests, is its systematization of depression, its exclusion of all alternatives to an obviously catastrophic system. These stimulating essays rupture the wall of enclosure, push forward, and open paths that lead in hopeful directions. So important." -John Holloway