Egalitarian Paradise Lost: David Graeber and the Pirates of Madagascar
Eve Ottenberg for Counterpunch
The search across the globe and in history for egalitarian societies turns up some strange finds. One anthropologist, the well-known, radical, recently deceased, best-selling author and a founder of the Occupy movement at Zuccotti Park, David Graeber, discovered such a world in Madagascar, in the settlements of seventeenth- and eighteenth-century pirates, recording his observations in a posthumous book, Pirate Enlightenment, Or the Real Libertalia. This portrait of a vanished almost-utopia is no idealization; Graeber lays it out in detail, but the conclusion is unavoidable: citizens of these pirate port towns had far more freedom than your average twenty-first century American prole moiling long hours for monopoly corporations. They also appear to have enjoyed a lot more happiness, you know, that thing we Americans are supposedly free to pursue.
Read the full article on the davidgraeber.org website