Click here to support CAE
   
 
16beavergroup.org Mondays 16beavergroup.org About Mondays ARTicles Journalisms Events



Thursday -- 4.24.14 -- Living Communism -- Discussion & Dinner -- Week 18

Printer-friendly verion

Thursday -- 4.24.14 -- Living Communism -- Discussion & Dinner -- Week 18

CONTENTS:
0. About Thursday
1. Some notes on dinner
2. On Living Communism by New York Year Zero
3. Suggested Readings
4. Related links

__________________________________________________
0. About Thursday's Common(s) Course

What: Common(s) Course Meeting / Discussion & Dinner
When: Thursday, April 24th, 7PM
Where: 16 Beaver Street, 4th floor
Who: Free and open to all

This Thursday we'll be joined by some friends from New York Year Zero, who have proposed a discussion and dinner around the notion of "living communism," based on a desire to share practices and connect with others attempting to common the means of subsistence here in NYC. As part of our ongoing inquiry into commoning the city and withdrawing from the community of money, we hope this evening will bring together groups and individuals engaged in various local initiatives to (self) organize housing, food, education, care, and other spheres of social reproduction outside of the market and state.

__________________________________________________
1. Some notes on dinner

We're planning to cook a simple vegan meal for dinner, but encourage others to bring something to share: fruits, vegetables to cook or eat raw, breads and cheeses, wine, etc. (consciously raised always appreciated when possible). Dinner will follow our discussion, and will go on for as long as you'd like.

__________________________________________________
2. On Living Communism by New York Year Zero

I.
Communism is often offered as an inverse or opposite of capitalism, something which might perhaps appear following capitalism’s defeat or collapse, but which for now remains obscure, unimaginable, impossible. As such, many so-called “communists” spend their time being rather obsessed with capitalism, its economies, finance, laws of value, etc. Their sole practice remains some kind of mastery / endless diagnoses of the history, mechanisms, and minutiae of capital. Never before have so many self-described “materialists” spent so much time in libraries reading dusty old books, or sitting home alone with their laptops. Never before have materialists been so separated from the world, from their bodies, from life itself.

Alain Badiou, in his Rebirth of History (2011), writes, “during an international conference on the idea of communism, Antonio Negri publicly took me as an example of those who claim to be communists without even being Marxists. In short, I replied that that was better than claiming to be Marxist without even being communist.”

We think it’s in this potential breach between the Marxist and the communist—-between “anti-capitalism” and communism—-which marks the shift in orientation from analysis to life itself. From a politics which ignores or takes for granted the basic questions and decisions of what it means to live today (or whose answer is only misery and degradation, exploitation and oppression); to a set of positions emerging and inseparable from the form they take as life-in-common. Another way this could be narrated is as an almost theological schism: either meaning and truth can only be found in the final judgement/afterlife; or it can be accessed immediately in the here-and-now.

For us the commune is not simply a place, a house, a farm, but a set of relationships, bonds, commitments. Here the dictionary definition of "solidarity" is far more profound, nuanced, and inspiring than the platitude it has become for many on the Left: solidarity is a “community of feelings, purposes; of responsibilities and interests.” When we say “living together”, we mean a set of rhythms and actualizations, built, shared, and inhabited collectively.

II.
Following the Occupy movement, and especially after Hurricane Sandy, our attentions were focused less on assemblies and meetings, and more towards communal dinners and potlucks. These seemed the most fundamental and functional forms of self-organization with which we could engage, meeting the needs and desires of a new temporality and rhythm of life in post-Occupy, post-Sandy New York. These meals took place at the Brecht Forum in the West Village, the Base in Bushwick, and in our homes all across the city.

It became clear in 2012 that what we were up against was far more complex--and insidious--than just bankers, cops, and democrats, but rather a whole apparatus of governance which would require a different approach to overcome. So our emphasis shifted from activism and agitation to life and survival: from tactics to strategy. Often this practice dissolved into our everyday lives, becoming illegible, invisible as "politics" (and certainly as art). This for us was a victory, an accomplishment: our lives were not simply theater or work.

In proposing something so simple, so basic, as gathering just to eat together, to get to know each other better, to not have to perform the roles of the militant, intellectual, whatever, we saw just how confusing, anomalous, peculiar, and unfamiliar all this was. This is the reality of New York City in 2014. The only solution is communism.

This is a call, an invitation, an offering, a proposal. On something we’ve been trying, continuing with rather stubbornly, against what many forces around us nudges us toward. We hope this discussion on "living communism" can be a space to share experiences and ideas, to brainstorm, to encourage and inspire each other. If it simply becomes another place, another event, to critique, deconstruct, problematize, to contemplate and ponder, it will be yet another missed opportunity.

The question--the reality--of the commune directly implicates we ourselves, our friends and comrades. And only in our collectively coming up against the limitations and prohibitions to living communism today--whether economic, environmental, political, social--will we truly realize the inevitability of insurrection, and the necessity for revolution.

__________________________________________________
3. Suggested readings

"On the one hand, we want to live communism; on the other, to spread anarchy" - Call, 2004: http://umfnyc.files.wordpress.com/2013/12/proposition-vi.pdf
"Find Each Other" - The Invisible Committee, 2007: http://theanarchistlibrary.org/library/comite-invisible-the-coming-insurrection#toc9
"Kittens/Communism" - New York Year Zero & Donal Foreman, 2014: http://year0.org/2014/01/22/kittenscommunism/
"We Are All Very Anxious" - Institute for Precarious Consciousness, 2014: http://www.weareplanc.org/we-are-all-very-anxious/
"Graduate Student Workers of the World, Collectivize Your Stipends!" - Duke Collective, 2014: http://studentunionofmichigan.wordpress.com/2014/04/04/graduate-student-workers-of-the-world-collectivize-your-stipends/

__________________________________________________
4. Related links

Group Affect: http://year0.org/
1882 Woodbine: https://woodbine1882.wordpress.com/
Desiringmachine Soundsystem: http://machinedesiring.wordpress.com/
Ridgewood Fitness Club: https://www.facebook.com/ridgewoodfitnessclub/
Singularities in New York City: http://singularitiesnyc.wordpress.com/
Build the Party: http://umfnyc.wordpress.com/
Making Worlds: A Commons Coalition: http://www.makingworlds.org/

__________________________________________________
16 Beaver Group
16 Beaver Street, 4th fl.
New York, NY 10004

for directions/subscriptions/info visit:
http://www.16beavergroup.org

TRAINS:
4,5 -- Bowling Green
2,3 -- Wall Street
J,Z -- Broad Street
R -- Whitehall
1 -- South Ferry





Email this article to a friend:
Friend's email (required):
*Separate multiple emails with commas.



Your email address (required):



Message (optional):



 
Post or contact
Subscribe

Search
Archives
May 2011
April 2011
March 2011
February 2011
January 2011
December 2010
November 2010
October 2010
September 2010
July 2010
June 2010
May 2010
April 2010
March 2010
February 2010
January 2010
December 2009
November 2009
October 2009
September 2009
August 2009
June 2009
May 2009
April 2009
March 2009
February 2009
January 2009
December 2008
October 2008
September 2008
August 2008
April 2008
March 2008
February 2008
January 2008
December 2007
November 2007
October 2007
September 2007
July 2007
June 2007
May 2007
April 2007
March 2007
February 2007
January 2007
December 2006
November 2006
October 2006
September 2006
August 2006
July 2006
June 2006
May 2006
April 2006
March 2006
February 2006
January 2006
December 2005
November 2005
October 2005
September 2005
August 2005
July 2005
June 2005
May 2005
April 2005
March 2005
February 2005
January 2005
December 2004
November 2004
October 2004
September 2004
August 2004
July 2004
June 2004
May 2004
April 2004
March 2004
February 2004
January 2004
December 2003
October 2003
September 2003
August 2003
July 2003
June 2003
May 2003
April 2003
March 2003
January 2003
December 2002
November 2002
October 2002
September 2002
August 2002
July 2002
June 2002
February 2002
January 2002
April 2001
March 2001
February 2001
January 2001
December 2000


Recent
Monday Night -- 05.09.11 -- Exporting the Occupation: Israel's Pacification Industry -- Jimmy Johnson

Friday Night -- 04.15.11 -- From Wisconsin to New York: Crisis, Austerity and Resistance

Tuesday Night -- 04.12.11 -- Screening of Arna's Children -- Commemorating Juliano Mer-Khamis -- Event 8

Tuesday Night -- 03.22.11 -- Struggles against Austerity and Crisis -- Emma Dowling -- Event 7

Sunday Night -- 03.20.11 -- Property crossing the line -- Sarah Lewison

Tuesday Night -- 03.15.11 -- Secrecy & Politics -- Jack Bratich -- Event 6

Friday Night 03.04.11 -- Field Trip -- Franco Bifo Berardi

Thursday Night 02.24.11 Truth & Politics Series -- Event 5

Monday Night 02.14.11 Truth & Politics Series -- Event 4

Sunday Night 02.06.11 -- Event for Revolution -- Truth & Politics Series