David Graeber is a man of many talents. A longtime activist, a professor of anthropology at the University of London, and a prolific author, David also helped found the Occupy Wall Street movement in 2011. He even coined the phrase "We are the 99%."
While Occupy encampments are no longer a staple of cities across the United States, Graeber credits the movement with jump-starting a broader shift toward radical democracy in America. In his new book, "The Democracy Project: A History, a Crisis, a Movement," Graeber explains that the true meaning of democracy is often contested, particularly by class.
In early American history, Graeber writes, "When members of the educated classes spoke of 'democracy,' they were thinking of a system of government, which traced back specifically to the ancient world."
By contrast, for "ordinary Americans," Graeber continues, the idea of of democracy "was freedom, equality, the ability of a simple farmer or tradesman to address his 'betters' with dignity and self-respect."
Graeber believes in the "ordinary American" democracy, and he says he found it in the Occupy protests of 2011.