David Graber, Bureaucratic Violence and the Critique of Surveillance Capitalism

Item Type Journal paper
Abstract With his ability to almost historize everything and find anthropological insight in historical patterns and connections, David Graeber was one of the most radical and interesting intellectuals of our times. His political engagement inspired generations of activists across the world, and his theories deconstructed most of our Western-centric understandings of human nature, economic life and anthropological processes. This article explores how Graeber’s work on bureaucratic violence, technology and imagination sheds a critical light on the emergence of what is commonly understood as “surveillance capitalism” (Zuboff 2019). In this article, the author reflects on the legacy of her mentor, and shows how Graeber’s theory adds historical depth and anthropological insight into the techno-historical transformations of our times. His work enables us to understand the limitations to human freedom created by our use of data technologies and to reflect on the fact that we are creating a type of society that reinforces and amplifies the things that Graeber criticised most: social inequality and human reductionism.
Authors Barassi, Veronica
Projects Barassi, Prof. Ph.D Veronica & Scharenberg, Dr. Antje The Human Error Project [fundamental research project]
Journal or Publication Title Annals of the Fondazione Luigi Einaudi
Language English
Subjects computer science
social sciences
political science
Refereed Yes
Date June 2021
Volume LV, June 2021
Page Range 237-254
ISSN 2532-4969
Publisher DOI https://doi.org/10.26331/1142
Official URL https://www.annalsfondazioneluigieinaudi.it/images...
Depositing User Prof. Ph.D Veronica Barassi
Date Deposited 01 Dec 2021 10:54
Last Modified 01 Dec 2021 10:54
URI: https://www.alexandria.unisg.ch/publications/265057


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Barassi, Veronica (2021) David Graber, Bureaucratic Violence and the Critique of Surveillance Capitalism. Annals of the Fondazione Luigi Einaudi, LV, June 2021 237-254. ISSN 2532-4969


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