Debt, service, and the origins of capitalism

Around sixty people crammed into a lecture theatre in the Arts Building on the evening of Friday 8 June 2018 to hear LSE Professor of Anthropology and cult hero David Graeber speak at length about his current research project. 

Delivered with Graeber’s trademark scatter gun panache. “Debt, service, and the origins of capitalism” took listeners from China a thousand years BC, to Madagascar in the 19th Century, Ancient Greece, 18th Century England and on to the workplaces of today.

With a heavy focus upon the social role played by debt, Graeber’s lecture was the high point of the conference 'Debt: Five Thousand Years and Counting' a conference convened by the History Department’s Ilya Afanasyev and several colleagues from the University of Oxford. Graeber’s lecture can be watched in full below: