After the Pandemic, We Can’t Go Back to Sleep”

The late  David Graeber wrote about the way forward from here before he died. In part:

Because, in reality, the crisis we just experienced was waking from a dream, a confrontation with the actual reality of human life, which is that we are a collection of fragile beings taking care of one another, and that those who do the lion’s share of this care work that keeps us alive are overtaxed, underpaid, and daily humiliated, and that a very large proportion of the population don’t do anything at all but spin fantasies, extract rents, and generally get in the way of those who are making, fixing, moving, and transporting things, or tending to the needs of other living beings. It is imperative that we not slip back into a reality where all this makes some sort of inexplicable sense, the way senseless things so often do in dreams.


Oliver's picture
Oliver on October 24, 2021 - 04:25 Permalink

I think there's a lot of truth to that, including how the pandemic has illuminated certain jobs and workplaces that especially ought to be much better regulated and compensated. But via the economy somehow even shopping in effect is "tending to the needs of other living beings." So I think it's a mistake to dismiss any kind of revenue generating activity as irrelevant. At least, it's not irrelevant to the vast interconnected money-based system on which depend.

Truthly's picture
Truthly on November 20, 2021 - 12:02 Permalink

Graeber's ignorance and naivety is deep, like with nearly all people.

He says "Why don’t we stop treating it as entirely normal that the more obviously one’s work benefits others, the less one is likely to be paid for it; or insisting that financial markets are the best way to direct long-term investment even as they are propelling us to destroy most life on Earth?"

Apparently he has zero clue about the nature of the world we live in based on this question (and others) imploring rationality because it is evident that humans are not rational --- study (not briefly scan) “The 2 Married Pink Elephants In The Historical Room –The Holocaustal Covid-19 Coronavirus Madness: A Sociological Perspective & Historical Assessment Of The Covid “Phenomenon”” at

His own ignorance is the answer to his silly questions...