R.I.P David Graeber
“The notion that a society could be regulated entirely by market forces is a utopian fantasy: an impossible dream generated by imagining what the world would be like if everyone’s behavior was utterly consistent with some abstract moral ideal-in this case, economic theories that assume all human action is based on calculating, systematic, (but scrupulously law-abiding), greed.” — Graeber
A rare gem of academia, David Graeber was a maverick who dared to think differently, approach the world in his own way and teach us the value of critically analysing the very things we are supposed to take for granted.
Just as we have begun to need the left intelligentsia more than ever, however, many of our most important and valued mavericks are beginning to fade away and die off, leaving us in a nightmare of our own making; the graveyard of their ill-received or plainly neglected insights.
Politicians and their lackeys continue to scramble to form any kind of coherent policy on social distancing, while the possibility of a second and third waves of Covid infections looms on the horizon like the shadows of tsunamis preparing to break upon the shore. The rate of infection, much like the response, has varied in country after country, and it seems unclear what “phase” each nation may be in or what ingenious new ideas the respective governments may entertain in order to “break the curve” and keep us all in our cubbyholes.
Across the UK and Ireland, nobody appears capable of following the daily updates on regulations or of understanding what we are or are not allowed to do from one day to the next.
Schools in some parts have reopened, while remaining closed in others. Masks are obligatory in some outlets, while apparently optional in others.
Thousands have been forced back to work, while millions more are told to stay home. Pubs can legally open, but only if they serve food — though the rationale for that, to my knowledge, has never been expressed — and, from what I heard yesterday, only six people from a maximum of three different households can now congregate indoors or out.
In terms of travel, the situation becomes even more confusing and convoluted, as the rules for where one can or cannot go likewise change from one moment to the next and many of the airlines are barely operational, though advertisements for Air Asia and Ryanair and all the rest still flash across our screens ceaselessly. Nations open and close their borders sporadically like trap doors and sometimes with only a two hour warning. One may require a visa upon entry and 3,000$ in cash at one point and, minutes later, pass freely through without so much as a second glance.
The nebulous and inconsistent procedures of every state across the known world only seems to compound an already exasperating situation for everyone effected, which, let’s face it, is humanity as a whole at this point.
Dramatic speculations aside, it really does feel as if we’ve reached a stage of the devolution of our species in which our very existence as individuals has become impossible — as if the systems we have created have quite literally made our everyday lives impossible to manage.
Personally, I feel as though I am experiencing a breakdown within a breakdown; as if my own life has been simultaneously crumbling at the very same pace as everything around me is collapsing. For at least a couple of years, I’ve experienced this awful and quite painful sensation of shedding parts of myself everywhere I go and in the past few months, it has gotten so extreme that it seems as if my very identity itself will be the next thing to slip away.
This system, and the way we’ve been raised within it, has never sat quite right with me. I’ve always been on the edge, awaiting that final moment when my mind snaps and I lose the will to keep fighting anymore, lose the energy to keep struggling against the tide of ignorance and immorality and stupidity and greed.
During the quarantine time,perhaps the space of a couple of months, I came the closest I’ve ever been to that moment; watching myself slide slowly into insanity, laughing at my own misery, making friends with the darkness.
All those who may have understood me, felt the urgency of our dilemma and comprehended what remains at stake are long dead, dying or recently deceased.
R.I.P David Graeber; the world is much stupider and shallower and neurotic without you in it.