book David Graeber

Bureaucracy

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Bureaucracy de David Graeber - Edition Les Liens qui Libèrent - October 2015
 
"Any government initiative designed to reduce red tape and promote market forces will ultimately increase the number of regulations and the total volume of paperwork and the total number of government employees". 
After the success of Debt: 5000 years of historyDavid Graeber returns with a fascinating text that challenges conventional wisdom about the power of bureaucracy in contemporary society. How did we, in a so-called liberal society, end up spending a large part of our time filling out more and more forms? And how much of our lives are ruined by all this endless paperwork? 
 
To answer these questions, the author looks at the history of our singular relationship to bureaucracy and reveals how it shapes our lives to such an extent that we are no longer even aware of it. Is the inanity of this paperwork symptomatic of state violence? Or is it rather an instrument of capitalism, especially financial capitalism, which exercises its control through it in order to establish its power?
 
On technology, Graeber also develops the idea that neo-liberal capitalism has deliberately hindered technology, and has diverted it from what he calls "poetic" (creative) technologies to "bureaucratic technologies" (of surveillance, discipline, labour and administrative tasks): administrative imperatives have thus become not the means, but the end of technological development. 
 
As usual, David Graeber takes us on a journey that takes us through centuries and societies and asks: what if we really love bureaucracy? Because "what if we really love bureaucracy? who hasn't dreamed of a world where everyone knows the rules, everyone plays by the rules and - even more importantly - where those who play by the rules can still really win? The problem is that this is as utopian a fantasy as a world of absolute free play. It will always remain a glittering illusion that dissolves as soon as you touch it. »
 
An essential book to understand our time. Bureaucracy: the utopia of rules will undoubtedly be at the heart of a million conversations about the institutions - a reflection of the economic and political system - that govern our lives... And the better and freer world we should perhaps begin to imagine for ourselves.
 
"It takes a thousand times more paperwork to maintain a free market economy than the absolute monarchy of Louis XIV. »
 
David Graeber is a doctor of anthropology, economist and professor at London University. He is one of the most prominent intellectuals of the moment and one of the most grounded in today's socio-economic realities. He is notably the author of Dette: 5000 ans d'histoire (Debt: 5000 years of history) published by LLL.
The New York Times calls him "one of the world's most influential intellectuals". He was one of the leaders of the "Occupy WallStreet" movement for which he is credited with the slogan "We are the 99 %".
 
Excerpt from the book (Kindle format edition - Amazon)
 

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