A Social Without Solidarity

Yes, communism is possible. It is true, more now than ever, that it haunts the old world. 1968 revealed the fragility of the social contracts installed successively to contain the revolutionary movements of the beginning of the century, those which followed the big crisis of 1929 and the movements which accompanied and followed the second great imperialist war. However one views the events of 1968, it is undeniable that they revealed the failure of this social compromise to eliminate or supersede the antagonistic contradictions of the capitalist systems. […skip two paragraphs…]

…work and life are no longer separate; society is collapsed into the logic and processes of capitalist development. Continue reading “A Social Without Solidarity”

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A New Communism (Of Singularization)

From this perspective, communism is the establishment of a communal life style in which individuality is recognized and truly liberated, not merely opposed to the collective. That’s the most important lesson: that the construction of healthy communities begins and ends with unique personalities, that the collective potential is realized only when the singular is free. This insight is fundamental to the liberation of work. Continue reading “A New Communism (Of Singularization)”

Lenin: Coming Between Guattari and Negri

We now come to a central aspect of the question of the organisation for liberation, of the form of militant social practice of liberation. This entire discussion revolves around the name, Lenin.

It is clear – more or less explicitly – that when Guattari warns against  ‘authoritarian disciplines, formal hierarchies, orders of priorities decreed from above, and compulsory ideological references…’ (p. 124) he is warning against what we might call the Leninist temptation. Continue reading “Lenin: Coming Between Guattari and Negri”

PhD Exam Reading List

Area 1: Non-linear Historical Materialism Continue reading “PhD Exam Reading List”

From Commune to Commun-ication in the Heat of Insurrection

From Raúl Zibechi, Dispersing Power, p 60-4:

Maturana and Varela argue that in communication there is no “information transmitted” but only a linkage of behaviors. They question the so-called “metaphor of the tube,” according to which ‘communication is something that is generated in one spot, carried by a conduit (or tube), and delivered to another at the receiving end.” Continue reading “From Commune to Commun-ication in the Heat of Insurrection”

Everyday Life Pierces the Fragile Heart of the Metropolis

Raúl Zibechi, Dispersing Power: Social Movements as Anti-State Forces, p50-1:

On the other hand, it is clear that before the magnitude of the September-October [2003] events [of the Bolivian Gas War, which rode on the coattails of the 2000 Cochabamba water war], institutionalized forms of social action had not succeeded in curbing the sale of gas. To be on top of the events, the neighbors had to create and invent something new, and to do so they had to go out into the streets en masse, dig themselves into their barrios, and overstep the very types of social action that they had executed in the decades before. These days the El Alto community spread out over the territory, neutralizing the armed repression by seizing areas that the army needs to pass through in order to deploy The El Alto social machine was able to disperse the state’s military machine, and to do so had to overstep their own organization and leaders not only because they were ineffective at defending and fighting, but also because these leaders and organizations had already formed part of that “other” that needed to be dispersed, as we shall see further on. Continue reading “Everyday Life Pierces the Fragile Heart of the Metropolis”

Michael Hardt’s Keynote @ “Empire: A Retrospective”

Talk given November 19, at the University of Pittsburgh.

Short Description: Hardt decided that after the completion of the third book in the “trilogy” of Empire – Multitude – Commonwealth, he’s finally in a place where he can reflect on the whole series.  He proposes two general frameworks to understand the trilogy as a general project: 1) a non-liberal theory of plurality and 2) a project of rethinking communism.  His remarks are well-considered and concise, making this the words of a mature perspective on almost 15 years of collaborative scholarship.

The recording is hard to hear, especially during the Q/A.  The clicking you hear is my note-taking.  I tried to clean all of it out, but unfortunately there’s no way to really get rid of it.  (I have the original if someone else wants to take a crack at audio editing)

My notes are pasted below.  However, wordpress doesn’t format them correctly, so if you want to read them “laid out” you should download this pdf.  [I’ve included the paste here for more-or-less websearch and crawling].

Continue reading “Michael Hardt’s Keynote @ “Empire: A Retrospective””