NEW YORK ( MainStreet) -- When he's not busy brainstorming how to tear apart and rebuild America's democratic system, David Graeber prefers to think about simpler things, like why we still don't have flying cars.Graeber, a professor at the University of London and a widely respected anthropologist, has achieved new fame in recent weeks for his early influence on the Occupy Wall Street protests that began in New York City and have since spread around the world. The Wall Street Journal declared Graeber to be "the single academic who has done the most to shape the nascent movement," while Bloomberg Businessweek declared him to be the "anti-leader" of Occupy Wall Street who generally abstains from the limelight even as his writings, including a new book on the history of debt and the influence of money, serve as an "intellectual frame" for the protesters.
|An anarchist and celebrated anthropologist, David Graeber, helped make Occupy Wall Street into what it is today.|
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"I'm really a conduit. It's not my ideas," he says before going on to explain just how much his ideas are engrained in the movement. Graeber, a longtime anarchist, joined the protests in the very beginning on a whim and quickly set it on a new course to make government less corrupt. If there is an endgame to the protests, he says it's to "delegitimize" the current political system to make way for the kind of radical change that would create a more open and fair democracy unshackled by the interests of big money. Still, to imply the protest is a means to an end misses much of what Graeber considers to be the big point of the movement today.