Andy Martin

The Men in Grey Coats

The Utopia of Rules: On Technology, Stupidity, and the Secret Joys of Bureaucracy

By

Melville House 261pp £18.99 order from our bookshop

Whatever happened to flying cars? And moon bases, teleportation, anti-gravity shoes and servant robots? No one actually says, ‘Beam me up, Scotty!’ Or rather they do, but only ironically, in quotation marks, or in movies. The future, argues David Graeber, in this fizzing, fabulous firecracker of a book, has been lost somewhere in the past. Instead of manifest technological innovations all we are left with are barren images, postmodern simulacra of futurity. Instead of real creativity and originality, what we have is virtual art and virtual science. And the bad guys in this narrative, the Blue Meanies responsible for stomping on our latent imagination and inventiveness? Bureaucrats.

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