Norihito Nakata

I remember my elder friends working hard to translate “The New Anarchists,” an early article in the New Left Review. Around that time, I came to engage myself in the anti-globalization movement. In that context, I met David Graeber for the first time, during the actions against the 2008 Toyako G8 Summit. This movement taught me the joy and significance that the question and practice of revolution could entail. David existed as an indispensable part of it. Over the years, he and I ran together at times, and kept distance at other times. I had not seen him for a while, and now I am so sad that he is gone. I don’t want to see him being summarized and explained away so quickly and I feel that it is not fair, though I know very well that it is inevitable, and at the same time impossible.

Now I remember very well the scenery of a one-week seminar surrounding David that took place at Suyu+Nomo, a commune in Seoul, Korea, in the summer of 2009. David presented to us many hypotheses that came to fruition later in his magnum opus Debt – the First 5000 Years. After each utterance, he laughed, his laughs prompted translators’ laughs, and the room was filled with euphoria. There was so much discussion and so many encounters. During the same tour, we visited a squat fighting against development and participated in demos. Nothing is more consoling to me than being able to join this memorial Carnival with the friends I met on that occasion. I see the greatness of David in his embodiment of the way by which revolutionary thinking is engendered as life-long practice.

— Norihito Nakata from Tokyo