Chapter One: The Beginning is Near (part 1) from David Graeber's, "The Democracy Project: A History, a Crisis, a Movement"

Reading by James Anderson

David Graeber, author of "Debt: The First 5,000 Years," is currently a professor of anthropology at Goldsmiths, University of London. A seasoned activist, he was involved in the Global Justice Movement and helped organize the early manifestations of the Occupy Wall Street movement, including the initial occupation of Zuccotti Park in September 2011. His latest book,"The Democracy Project: A History, a Crisis, a Movement," published 2013, explores the roots and diverging current conceptions of democracy. Through detailed description and personal accounts of the organizing and events leading up to Occupy, Graeber discusses dominant barriers to justice -- extreme concentrations of wealth that distort the political system, (un)representative electoral politics of pacification, and the control mechanisms and debt and finance to name just a few critically assailed in the book. He explores notions of direct democracy, anarchist philosophy, prefigurative politics, freedom, equality, and human potential for emancipatory social transformation based on realization of the democratic impulse. As Graeber wrote: "This, then, is not just a book about Occupy, but about the possibility of democracy in America. Even more, it's about the opening up of the radical imagination that Occupy allowed."

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