The world economy is not a tribute system

Having just posted about DeLong and Rossman on Graeber’s book, here is another essay on the topic, from Crooked Timber. Choice excerpt follows; I recommend reading the whole thing.

The world economy is not a tribute system:

In short – if there is evidence to support Graeber’s rather sweeping claims about the nature of the global economic system, he doesn’t provide it to the reader. Perhaps this evidence is buried in his sources somewhere. Perhaps not. But when one self-consciously makes grand claims that everyone else is wrong, one should have good evidence, and be prepared to produce it up front. Graeber, unless he’s keeping it very close to his chest indeed, has no evidence at all. This doesn’t seem to me to live up to the (admittedly high) standard that Graeber sets for himself.

(Via Crooked Timber)

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