In this episode we cover chapter 1 of The Dawn of Everything, which is entitled Farewell to Humanity’s
Childhood; or Why This isn’t a Book About the Origins of Inequality.
In doing so, we look at:
How the book’s underlying thesis: that human social structure is
ultimately a matter of choice and experimentation, is fundamentally
incoherent, and how this idea sets us up for future dramatic political
failures, similar to those of Occupy Wall Street or the Great Peasant’s
Revolt of 1381.
What the standard narrative of human origins actually is, vs. the
caricature elevator pitch version that Graeber & Wengrow claim to be
Why most anthropologists believe that human beings began as egalitarian
hunter-gatherers despite knowing about all of the evidence that Graeber
& Wengrow present in order to argue the otherwise.
How and why Graeber & Wengrow flush down the toilet the analytical
tools that they need in order to answer their own questions about how we
got stuck in dominance hierarchies.
How social structure actually works.
How Graeber & Wengrow’s arguments are great material for right wing
Why there is room for deliberate social change in a world where social
structure is largely a matter of conditions and relative bargaining
power, rather than a matter of “choice”.