Godspeed You, David Graeber! Anarchist Professor Commits to Go Fight in Syria

Think you know courage? Think again. Then, think again while envisioning David Graeber, Professor of Anthropology at the London School of Economics, who has just today volunteered to go fight in the trenches for the protection of the people of Syrian Kurdistan.

David Graeber before going off to fight in the war.
David Graeber before going off to war.

David Graeber already demonstrated his bravery when he wrote a 987-word piece for The Guardian headlined “Why is the world ignoring the revolutionary Kurds of Syria?” Graeber, lone voice of courage, takes anti-imperialists to task for failing to see the obvious historical parallels between the current situation, with the leftist YPG currently fighting the well-funded nihilists of ISIS, and the doomed anti-fascist fighters of the Spanish Republic in the 1930s (Graeber’s father was among their ranks). All agree that the situation is tragic, but the Professor distinguishes himself by suggesting we do something about it.

As he has been patiently explaining to the haters and losers, decent, realistic people should support arming the Kurds. Who should arm the Kurds? Anyone works, but it’d probably be NATO. Q.E.D., all decent people who oppose imperial expansion and meddling must call for a NATO “something” in the current fighting. To do otherwise would be to display your naïveté and imperial privilege.

Many are grateful to Graeber for simply relaying the desires of the locals, of which he alone has special knowledge. But he took his commitment to the next level by tweeting the following this morning:

Courage h/t @moomism
Courage h/t @moomism

By “defenders of Kobane” it turns out the Professor was using the fancy academic trick called “metonymy” to refer to himself. The link went to a fundraiser for a project called “Homage to Kobane,” which its creator says will grant Graeber “the opportunity to gain the same experiences, and the same historical influence on the world as his dad.” Perhaps he deleted the link to the page (which you really ought to read) out of modesty – after all, the Orwell comparison! Such flattery! – or knowing that his legions of fans would raise the funds just fine for him.

The clock is ticking.
The clock is ticking.

The most persuasive and well-sourced counterarguments fall flat in the face of this moxie. Graeber has demonstrated Napoleonic levels of strategic brilliance while giving marching orders to his thousands of followers, who will surely join him in Syria in some sort of, say, “Graebraham Lincoln Brigade”! If foreigners do not follow his lead, I can guarantee that the Professor will climb the ranks of the resistance quickly by virtue of his brilliance and his militant opposition to bullshit jobs, mean net users, and other banes of the revolutionary working class.

Even the most trenchant anti-imperialists are humbled by Graeber’s display of courage. When you are crawling through the mud, dodging small arms fire, performing field amputations, brutally interrogating captured fighters, giving inspirational impromptu TED talks to your besieged squad, struggling against dysentery, refurbishing Soviet-era weaponry, mailing draft chapters to your publisher by international post, detonating car bombs, and hanging out with this guy, we will be thinking of you, Graeber. Godspeed you, Comrade Professor Graeber – may you lead by example and show that most prominent and vocal supporters of joining the right conflict will never show cowardice or surrender!


2 thoughts on “Godspeed You, David Graeber! Anarchist Professor Commits to Go Fight in Syria”

  1. Reblogged this on Stanley W. Rogouski and commented:
    Amusing satire about a desperate situation on the border of Syria and Turkey. Nevertheless, people like Graeber deserve to be mocked. Liberals have been getting spun on the Middle-East since 2002.

    Are the people defending Kobane the good guys? Are the people besieging it the bad guys? Yes. That’s probably true.

    But David Graeber, Juan Cole, and the rest of the liberal, pro-interventionists are engaging in for what the lack of a better term might be called “The Propaganda of Narrow Focus.”

    Since 2002, the United States has consisently made things worse in the Middle East. ISIS itself is a product of the destruction of Iraqi and Syrian civil society caused by western meddling. Will bombing some of their tank columns give Kobane some breathing space? In the very short term, it might. Over the long term, it wil only make things much worse. Even Juan Cole admits American bombs need American ground troops on the ground as spotters.

    Do we really want to go down that road again?

    In the end, of course, whatever David Graeber or his political opponents do is pretty meaningless. If Tens of millions of people in the streets in February of 2003 didn’t stop the invasion of Iraq, a debate but some relatively obscure intellectuals is going to be pretty meaningless. The United States ruling class is going to do what it wants, whatever any of us say.

    As for Graeber’s attempt to raise money to help the people defending Kobane, good luck to him. I’d like to raise money to help Hamas defend Gaza from Israel, but if I did I’d go right to jail, and for a very long time.

    In other words, the only reason Graeber is allowed to raise this money in the first place is because the United States government wants him too.

  2. You left out the best part!

    http://gogetfunding.com/project/homage-to-kobane <—the bottom paragraph


    With people like David Graeber there is always the possibility that they prefer to write articles from a safe office somewhere in academia instead of actually doing some fighting. But if he doesn't go he'll be single-handedly responsible for genocide in the middle east and the abortion of the "rojave revolution" and be tried as a traitor to the international proletariat and the world party"

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