David Graeber Quotes: Exploring the Wisdom of the Late Anthropologist


David Graeber was an American anthropologist, anarchist, and activist who passed away in 2020. He was a professor at the London School of Economics and a leading figure in the Occupy Wall Street movement. His work focused on the power of debt, democracy, and the power of imagination. In this article, we explore some of his most inspiring quotes. David Graeber was a renowned anthropologist, activist, and author who passed away in 2020. He left behind a legacy of insightful observations about society and politics that continue to inspire people around the world. In this article, we explore some of his most thought-provoking quotes.One of David Graeber's most famous quotes is 'The ultimate hidden truth of the world is that it is something we make, and could just as easily make differently.' This quote speaks to his belief in the power of human agency to shape our collective reality. It reminds us that the structures and systems we take for granted are not immutable or inevitable but rather products of human choices.Another memorable quote from David Graeber is 'If violence isn't seen as legitimate, then how can one's enemies voluntarily disarm?' This statement highlights the paradoxical nature of violence: while it may be used to achieve short-term goals, it ultimately undermines long-term stability by eroding trust and legitimacy.David Graeber also had much to say about capitalism and its effects on society. One particularly striking quote reads: 'Capitalism has never been about freedom; it's about slavery.' This provocative assertion challenges conventional notions of capitalism as a system based on individual liberty and free markets. Instead, Graeber argues that capitalism relies on exploitation and coercion to maintain its power.In conclusion, David Graeber was a brilliant thinker whose ideas continue to resonate with people today. His insights into power dynamics, social structures, and political economy offer valuable perspectives for anyone seeking to understand our complex world. For more inspiring quotes from other great thinkers like Russell Baker or Jane Roberts' Seth Speaks Quotes , check out these links!

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On Debt

Graeber was a vocal critic of the debt-based economic system. He argued that debt was a form of social control, and that it was used to keep people in a state of servitude. Here are some of his most famous quotes on debt:

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  • “Debt is a social relationship, not an economic one.”
  • “Debt is not just money we owe to others, it is obligations and duties we have to fulfill.”
  • “Debt is a form of slavery.”

On Democracy

Graeber was a passionate advocate for democracy and believed that it was the only way to ensure that everyone had a say in the decisions that affected their lives. Here are some of his most famous quotes on democracy:

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  • “Democracy is not just a form of government, it is a way of life.”
  • “Democracy is not just about voting, it is about having a say in the decisions that affect our lives.”
  • “Democracy is not just about having a say, it is about having a voice.”

On the Power of Imagination

Graeber believed that the power of imagination was the key to creating a better world. He argued that it was only through imagination that we could create a world that was free from oppression and exploitation. Here are some of his most famous quotes on the power of imagination:

  • “Imagination is the most powerful tool we have for creating a better world.”
  • “Imagination is the only way to break free from the chains of the past.”
  • “Imagination is the only way to create a world that is free from oppression and exploitation.”


David Graeber was a passionate advocate for democracy, debt relief, and the power of imagination. His quotes are a powerful reminder of the importance of these issues and the need to fight for a better world. We hope that his words will inspire you to take action and create a better future for all.