I’m in the process of tidying up up my blog. so I’m just posting a few book reviews I had posted elsewhere, but I wanted to make sure they were codified in the main body of the blog. First up:-
“The Utopia of Rules”, Graeber, D. (2015) Melville House
Not an easy read, partly because of the density of the material, but partly because of the structure, but in my humble opinion, this book’s moment is now! It’s central focus – society’s apparent fetishisation of bureaucracy, and our collusion in that onward march, has never been more apt.
While there is no clear manifesto to lance us of the boil that is all to apparent from personal testimony with which we can all concur, the book uses this as a starting point for reflection which incorporates a range of threads – bureaucracy as a diversion, from right wing oppression, but also from our own fright at embracing un-trammelled play, while this ‘utopia of rules’ at least provides a structured game, where there is at least some transparency on what basis we can expect decisions to be taken.
If you want to be left with a clear conclusion, this is not the book you are looking for. However, if you are looking for signposts that will help unearth where the piece of the jigsaw might be that might help reveal a clearer sense of the whole picture of the crazy state of the world today, I think this book is on to something!
For a review elsewhere, see here.