[fitting that as i’m adding this page to the site… it fits in the grokking/glossary right inbetween communication and community.]

adding the page after reading debt by David Graeber, and while reading the notes (at the end of the book), which may take longer than reading the book did.. as i’m weaving back and forth, digging deeper into the book part.. and then out beyond the notes part.. et al.

so David’s definition of communism in ch 5 (which was begging me to be penned prior to the dictionary/often-assumed definition, for hopefully obvious reasons):

I will define communism here as..

any human relationship that operates on the principles of “from each according to their abilities, to each according to their needs.”

he goes on to say..

this is ironic (that we tend to identify communism with communist regimes), since the communist parties that ruled over the ussr and its satellites, and that still rule china and cuba, never described their own systems as communist. they described them as socialist. communism was always a distant, somewhat fuzzy utopian ideal, usually to be accompanied by the withering away of the state – to be achieved at some point in the distant future.

our thinking about communism has been dominated by a myth. once upon a time, humans held all things in common, whether in the garden of eden, during the golden age of saturn, or in paleolithic hunter-gatherer bands. then came the fall, as a result of which we are now cursed with divisions of power and private property.

property ness

the dream was that someday, with the advance of technology and general prosperity, with social revolution or the guidance of the party, we would finally be in a position to put things back, to restore common ownership and common management of collective resources.

perhaps why so many are *screaming (see below) today about markets et al. something’s not quite right in regard to how we’re playing ownership ness out. so something deep within is calling.. and calling.. and pleading.. if we just listen.

It’s high time, I think, to brush the entire argument aside. In fact, “communism” is not some magical utopia, and neither does it have anything to do with ownership of the means of production. It is something that exists right now—that exists, to some degree, in any human society, although there has never been one in which everything has been organized in that way, and it would be difficult to imagine how there could be. All of us act like communists a good deal of the time. None of us act like a communist consistently.

maybe it could. at least approaching a limit of betterness we have not yet seen. betting on the sync ness.

communist society – in the sense of a society organized exclusively on that single principle – could never exist.


i’m guessing i’m not understanding what he means here.

have/have not (have/need) ness. and if i am understanding.. perhaps the (seemingly) impossible is worth a try.. ie: a nother way.

starting as i say, from the principle of – from each according to their abilities, to each according to their needs – allows us to look past the question of individual or private ownership (which is often little more than formal legality anyway)..


we are not simply talking about cooperation. in fact, communism is the foundation of all human sociability. it is what makes society possible.


dictionary ness defn:


so – advocating class war?..

wikipedia small

In political and social sciences, communism (from Latin communis – common, universal) is a social, political, and economic ideology and movement whose ultimate goal is the establishment of the communist society, which is a socioeconomic order structured upon the common ownership of the means of production, absence of social classes,money, and the state.

Communism includes a variety of schools of thought, which broadly include Marxism, anarchism (anarchist communism) and the political ideologies grouped around both. All these hold in common the analysis that the current order of society stems from its economic system, capitalism, that in this system, there are two major social classes: the working class – who must work to survive, and who make up a majority of society – and the capitalist class – a minority who derive profit from employing the proletariat, through private ownership of the means of production (the physical and institutional means with which commodities are produced and distributed), and that political, social and economic conflict between these two classes will trigger a fundamental change in the economic system, and by extension a wide-ranging transformation of society. The primary element which will enable this transformation, according to this analysis, is the social ownership of the means of production.


so what’s dying to spill out of me today..

in thinking of words. words ness in particular. and how

1\ defining/labeling often deadens things. freezes things.

2\ if we listen/notice .. people tend to *repeat\scream things that they are insecure about.. ie: because they are themselves lacking it.

especially in regard to 2\ above.. access to people/voices via the web gives you this zoom out capability.. to notice perhaps.. common *screamings/repeatings. i’ve noticed, first via twitter, how so many of us just assume a market relationship.. everything is about returns, and pitches, et al. ie: if we want to help someone.. we think we need to get them a job/education/money.. rather than a&a. energy that rejuvenates itself ongoingly. that keeps us from screaming/repeating/freezing.

ie from ch5 of debt:

those tenets have come to be treated as received wisdom, as basically beyond question (one knows one is in the presence of received wisdom when, if one challenges some tenet of it, the first reaction is to treat one as simply ignorant—“You obviously have never heard of the Laffer Curve”; “Clearly you need a course in Economics 101”—the theory is seen as so obviously true that no one exposed to it could possibly disagree).

that makes me think of David’s passage here again:

It’s high time, I think, to brush the entire argument aside. In fact, “communism” is not some magical utopia, and neither does it have anything to do with ownership of the means of production. It is something that exists right now—that exists, to some degree, in any human society, ..

[and reminds me of time in be you house.. a convo about needing space]

[and just now.. especially in regard to 1\ above.. the clarity/grokkingness of how this page would play out in my head (between run and shower) compared to the spottiness of playing it out as i’m sitting and trying to put it into words on a page. fitting with thoughts of how printed word not only has aided our sense of communication.. but also has confined it. ie: contributing (ironically) to gbshaw ness.]

more from ch 5 of debt:

The sociology of everyday communism is a potentially enormous field, but one which, owing to our peculiar ideological blinkers, we have been unable to write about because we have been largely unable to see it.

revolution of everyday life ness

true charity – anonymous – not meant to place the recipient in one’s debt.

ie: santa claus – a benevolent burglar

the logic of identity is, always and everywhere, entangled in the logic of hierarchy.

identity ness

(back to author of book of the eskimo) – gift here does not mean something given freely not mutual aid that we can ordinarily expect human beings to provide to one another . to than k someone suggests that he or she might not have acted that way , and that therefore the choice to act this way creates an obligation, a sense of debt – and hence, inferiority.

True, if we were really determined, we could argue (as some do) that communism is a condition of permanent mutual indebtedness, or that hierarchy is constructed out of unpayable debts. But isn’t this just the same old story, starting from the assumption that all human interactions must be, by definition, forms of exchange, and then performing whatever mental somersaults are required to prove it?

.. a set of assumptions of what humans are and what they owe one another, that have by now become so deeply ingrained that we cannot see them.

– – –

much these days just sounds like Tim‘s words of the web: it won’t work unless the whole word is on it.

none of us if one of us.

seems fitting with a different sort of being together ness. one we’ve not yet gotten to.. because we keep on excluding ..

– – –

i’m guessing when i re read this tomorrow – much won’t flow. but this much is captured/frozen.. if i later want it. and/or want to uncapture/unfreeze it.



1 yr to try commons