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Northern Virginia Ethical Society (NoVES)

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Platform - Andrew Orlans: The Dawn of Everything: David Graeber's Life and Work

  • Sunday, December 12, 2021
  • 11:00 AM - 1:00 PM

"We need to change the future, starting by how we view the past."  What if almost everything we have been led to believe about the benefits of civilization being inextricably linked to the coercive power of the state, with its hierarchical authority structure and vast disparities in power, wealth and resources  between the "haves" and the "have nots" is not the only historical possibility?  What if there are other ways to think of human nature beyond those offered to us by Rousseau and Hobbes?  "Over the last few thousand years we have come to be trapped in such tight conceptual shackles that we can no longer imagine the possibility of reinventing ourselves."  Andrew Orlans will discuss the life and work of the anarchist anthropologist, social critic, and activist David Graeber who died unexpectedly at the age of 59 1/2 a year ago.  David Wengrow collaborated with David Graeber for ten years on "The Dawn of Everything: A New History of Humanity".   During the writing of this 700 page book they came up with ideas for three more books which, sadly, or hopefully depending on one's perspective, are now left for others to write.  For those wishing to learn more about Graeber's works before the talk there are two shorter, easily accessible books: "Bull**** Jobs: A Theory" and "The Utopia of Rules: on Technology, Stupidity, and the Secret Joys of Bureaucracy".  For those wishing to challenge themselves a bit more there is his 2012 book "Debt:  the First 5000 Years," described by Bloomberg Businessweek as "an alternative history of the rise of money and markets, a sprawling, erudite, provocative work."

This is a hybrid meeting with both in-person and Zoom participation.  The Zoom Link is below.

We are happy to be back in person. We ask that all adults who attend be fully vaccinated and willing to wear a mask. If you do not have a mask, one will be provided for you. No food will be served this Sunday.

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