Turning Modes of Production Inside Out

  title={Turning Modes of Production Inside Out},
  author={David A. Graeber},
  journal={Critique of Anthropology},
  pages={61 - 85}
  • D. Graeber
  • Published 1 March 2006
  • Art, History, Economics
  • Critique of Anthropology
Marxist theory has by now largely abandoned the (seriously flawed) notion of the ‘mode of production’, but doing so has only encouraged a trend to abandon much of what was radical about it and naturalize capitalist categories. This article argues a better conceived notion of a mode of production - one that recognizes the primacy of human production, and hence a more sophisticated notion of materialism - might still have something to show us: notably, that capitalism, or at least industrial… 
Stillness as a Form of Imaginative Labour
This essay connects the practice of stillness to David Graeber's concepts of imaginative labour and immanent imagination. It makes the proposition that stillness should not be evaluated as lack of
Potlatch and the articulation of modes of production: revisiting French Marxist Anthropology and the history of central Africa
This essay seeks to understand the potlatch as indicative of a wider category of exchange. Looking at the similarity in wild exchange rituals between northwestern America and central Africa the
All Together Now! The Rise of British Nationalism
Underpinned by George Modelski’s model of World Leadership, Ornette D. Clennon will trace how war and conflict played a central role in creating ‘social unity’ within Britain as documented by C.L.R.
Money. Groundwork for a study of social relations, power and institutional change
The intellectual debate on money is often portrayed as a rather Manichean diatribe between two opposing traditions: on the one hand the orthodox, grounded in a ‘real’ analysis, and championing the
Displacement and the Capitalist Order of Things
  • Georgina Ramsay
  • Sociology
    Humanity: An International Journal of Human Rights, Humanitarianism, and Development
  • 2021
Abstract:One of the problems with the term “displacement” is that it is often mapped onto seemingly bounded groups—the “refugees,” the “homeless”—whose displacement is considered distinct. The effect
Decolonising money: learning from collective struggles for self-determination
As a reflection of our politically engaged research, this paper addresses the multiple challenges of transforming money for the emergence of the Pluriverse, arguing that practical efforts of
Countering corporate violence: Degrowth, ecosocialism and organising beyond the destructive forces of capitalism
Corporate violence is a form of organised violence motivated or caused by material interest, profit-seeking or economic expansion. It is inflicted on human beings or ecosystems. Complementing a
Fetishism as social creativity
Originally, the term ‘fetishes’ was used by European merchants to refer to objects employed in West Africa to make and enforce agreements, often between people with almost nothing in common. They
“Filial Piety” and Cultural Difference
This chapter situates the study in theoretical terms. It argues that anthropology’s distinguishing object—“culture”—although essential, has evolved in the direction of an essentializing, idealist
From democracy at others’ expense to externalization at democracy’s expense: Property-based personhood and citizenship struggles in organized and flexible capitalism
This contribution investigates the anthropological foundations of European democracies’ continuous entanglement with economic and military expansionism and a hierarchical separation between public


Manners, Deference, and Private Property in Early Modern Europe
  • D. Graeber
  • History
    Comparative Studies in Society and History
  • 1997
This essay is an attempt to map out the rudiments of a theory of manners and formal deference and to demonstrate how such a theory can be usefully applied to certain long-standing problems in the
Toward an anthropological theory of value: the false coin of our own dreams
This volume is the first comprehensive synthesis of economic, political, and cultural theories of value. David Graeber reexamines a century of anthropological thought about value and exchange, in
"'Capital' imperialism and exploitation in ancient world systems"
The above title may appear provocative to those who would maintain that capital is, by definition, wage-labor capital, that imperialism is the highest stage of capitalism, and that before the
The Origin of Capitalism: A Longer View
In this work, the author reminds us that capitalism is not a natural and inevitable consequence of human nature, nor is it simply an extension of age-old practices of trade and commerce. Rather, it
The Brenner Debate: The Agrarian Roots of European Capitalism
INTRODUCTION In my original article I began from the idea that social-property systems, once established, tend to set strict limits and impose certain overall patterns upon the course of economic
Envisioning Power: Ideologies of Dominance and Crisis
With the originality and energy that have marked his earlier works, Eric Wolf now explores the historical relationship of ideas, power, and culture. Responding to anthropology's long reliance on a
A Contribution to a Critique of Political Economy
I examine the system of bourgeois economy in the following order: capital, landed property, wage-labour; the State, foreign trade, world market. The economic conditions of existence of the three
The Brenner Debate: Agrarian Class Structure and Economic Development in Pre-Industrial Europe
General interpretations of the processes of long-term economic change in late medieval and early modern Europe have continued to be constructed almost exclusively in terms of what might loosely be
Change the World Without Taking Power
The book is an invitation to discuss, and to all those who have commented on the book, however adverse their criticism, I am very grateful for their acceptance of the invitation. (1) The experience
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"Technical progress, economic growth, productivity, even efficiency have not been significant goals since the beginning of time," declares M. I. Finley in his classic work. The states of the ancient