hardt at lse

michael hardt on david graeber at lse graeber series

Tomorrow! Come join us for the 2nd @davidgraeber Memorial Lecture. Delivered by Michael Hardt. 11am Pacific Time, 7pm UK. Register here: https://t.co/Eonmd6xXAM https://t.co/QgLRVElntR

Original Tweet: https://twitter.com/alpashah001/status/1510910376241737729

michael on david

notes/quotes from zoom (169):

m: the subversive 70s book.. that 70s more interesting than 60s.. begin our own era.. argument of book.. joint projects of liberation and democracy shifted.. the chapter i’m working thru.. has to do w arms struggle.. dilemma in 70s.. is of arms struggle.. many problems was their separation of the debates of the movements themselves..

m: ie: david’s experience in rojava.. last decade contribution to tradition i’m talking about from 50 yrs ago.. of dual strategy and double org.. i’m trying to express why i admire it.. this is a work in progress.. those who know me know i often doubt myself.. doing this in front of you (work in progress) i’ll probably do it even more.. but you can live w it

m: project of dual strategy (military and social) in face of extreme violence and progression.. will talk about 1\ black panther party 2\ in italy 3\ in turkey

m: 1\ bpp due to arms .. thrust party onto center stage.. message.. was that there was a civil war.. against black people.. that didn’t begin w the panthers.. served as catalyst for people to see the war that had long been right in front of them.. at center of politics.. armed defense against the police.. then later.. community service programs.. ie: breakfast program feeding 1200/day; health clinics; housing projects; et al

m: pres hoover thought breakfast program extremely dangerous.. so fbi.. two diff structures of party.. defended party as autonomy but by 2 separate spheres..

m: diff between org of military and social.. tension.. dual strategy.. double org.. a major dispute w/in party.. showed how hard to maintain duality.. party declines

m: would have been disastrous for party to neglect either side.. they were thrust unwillingly into a civil war.. primary focus of actions.. against police..

m: i simply want to highlight how difficult to maintain dual nature of black panther party..

m: 2\ italian political developments in 70s.. unique of italy.. and clearly the moved from worker to autonomous workers.. transition to democratic projects that were multi-based.. this is what i’m referring too.. took place against backdrop of extreme fear and violence.. i try to defer the question of violence.. seem to obscure political and what i want to develop.. can’t be understood w/o situation them in that violence

m: in 70s movements.. violence vs non violence wasn’t the point.. it was the intensity of (violence).. govt developed a strategy of tension to create chaos that would justify police et al.. protest no longer enough.. militarization of movements criticized..

m: ie: single event.. dec 12 1969.. bomb in bank killed 17.. police arrested two anarchists.. despite anarchists non use of mass bombing.. later confirmed that arrested anarchists had nothing to do w bombing.. details remain murky until today.. but shocking.. attack planned carried out via police.. 1st in a series of political attacks that came to be called state massacres.. became more intense.. more bombings et al

m: i just wanted to remind the intensity of violence.. in reaction.. many felt need for self defense.. ie: security teams.. guns..

m: point to make.. as a success even if defeated of a double structure.. able to maintain a political project while also conducting military

m: 3\ turkey.. innovative demo experiment at end of 70s.. city mayor w leftist movement created people’s committees.. infra projects.. yr later.. mayor declared his position turned over to demo/people.. few yrs later.. mayor arrested/tortured.. charged that he had created commune like paris commune.. he said it was merely an element of democracy – giving people voice.. anomaly but 1\ manifestation for demo.. symptom of what could have become more if military not so intense 2\ demo’s that resist could not have been possible..

m: used resistance committees as basis for self governance.. a gateway.. made possible the election of mayor and political practice/movement

m: so all 3 defeated in 70s.. but doesn’t negate strategy for dual orgs they pursued.. a strategy that allowed for political possibilities

m: military opps instruments to protect projects.. not to delay projects but to pursue them in the here and now

m: hope you can see this in relation to david and rojava.. relation to movements today.. dual strategy only required when military defense is necessary/possible.. in rojava seen developments further along this path..

m: other ie would be the zapitista’s.. dual strategy to protect demo experiment in a context of military activity

alpa: in india where i worked.. dual strategy still maintained last 50 yrs.. and it’s kind of unsolvable.. for all the wise intentions you have.. in the end.. have to prioritize self defense against all else.. so means project gets undermined.. my book is a reflection of this inherent contradiction and what it does to younger gen.. so asking of d&d’s take on schismo that they take from bateson in doe.. if shismo was at heart .. could be creative/productive space.. that we would always create demo experiments..

schismogenesis.. dawn of everything (book)..

[someone in chat: Schismogenesis in Dawn of Everything is the tendency for individuals and groups to develop opposing positions through their interaction.]

m: i fear like you do that military will always overwhelm.. but i also like you.. don’t want to accept that.. so if we can think about schismo as a way of addressing that.. i’m not sure about that.. but i like thinking about it.. it’s not that they offered solutions but that they clarified what the real problem is.. ‘no matter how hard you try you’ll never solve a false problem’.. i think you’re pointing to a real problem..

but not really.. not deep enough

m: on how people will soon move to other tactics.. but this is unsatisfactory.. my only thought.. movements in 70s is about starting from defensive posture.. and use of weapons in order to protect the movement/community.. seems like a potential criterion then at what point does climate degradation require something like defense.. any time one is thinking about use of weapons.. i’m fumbling.. feel like i have something to say.. but not getting around to it

john holloway: what concerns me is this id of self defense w org.. ie: zaptista’s self defense not dependent on being an armed movement but more on public support.. communication.. jokes.. support.. has been essence of their defense.. haven’t used arms since first couple of days.. so looking at necessity of arms.. vs social events.. perhaps wrong to connets arms w self defense.. perhaps social would have worked better than self defense..

yeah that.. we’re so distracted from the center of the problem.. with our obsessions with defense

m: maybe way of criteria.. what would have best effect on fossil fuel industry blowing up pipe line.. what are other weapons at our disposal that could be effective.. i know you’re opening a topic that i feel i might ought to have more a response to

[graham in chat: ‘One thought that sticks with me is the response from good liberals that “if anyone ever tried armed resistance against the state the US military has tanks and bombs and planes etc. and they would always win”. This is ironic to me given Iraq, Afghanistan, Vietnam, all of which was determination, Ak’s and sandals defeating the “greatest military” in human history.;]

m: (questions on hierarchy).. i think of dual power as the construction of a power that is parallel to the state.. whereas what i’m thinking about here is 2 structures w/in the movement.. the problem of creating/resisting hierarchies.. i am recognizing in the 3 groups i’m studying.. they do have hierarchical structures w centralized decision making.. the question is.. is that necessary.. can’t we have effective self defense.. i’m not sure though if kinds of violence these groups were facing.. of the effectiveness is of a militarization w/o some centralized dm structures.. you want some sort of control over what happens.. in the 3 groups they did all have this centralization in this militarized side.. could we have effective self defense w/o militarization.. that doesn’t require disciplined and command structures

decision making is unmooring us law

deeper issue.. need to let go of self defense ness

m: i’m assuming these 3 needed some type of militarized defense but they also realized that was a trap.. but a compromise that allowed them to still pursue the civil project

targol mesbah: building on john’s ref to z’s et al.. on distinction between rebellion and resistance.. ie: what do we do when hear sound of helicopters and feel the fear.. how does this work into this process.. an overcoming of rage/fear as part of the work of resistance.. the way we overcome our fear and rage.. that is by getting together and talking about it and organizing.. not that that would take care of it.. but to slightly shift the terms

m: do you think i am assuming wrongly the necessity in certain circumstances of a militarized defense.. t

depends if going for a bandaid or a nother way for 8b people to live.. to be.. together..

today we have means for latter.. ie: a means to undo our hierarchical listening

targol: role of self defense is that you can’t reproduce conditions of life if you’re dead.. so can’t give up self defense.. but..

yeah but bigger/deeper than that/us .. thurman interconnectedness law

(121 now)

questioner: wondering how those can apply to pacifist/unarmed.. every time you take action in pacified society.. reaction is really strong

m: you make me realize.. my fault for not contextualizing w other movements in 70s.. if at all possible sans violence.. that’s definitely preferably.. but i’m only thinking here of when violence so tense that impossible w/o defense.. maybe i’m exaggerating when it is necessary.. maybe it wasn’t in these cases

yeah.. not buying that.. that only perpetuates it all.. ie: see all of history.. again..

[neo lehoko in chat: ‘Question: David Graeber frequently talked about Imagination as the ultimate challenge to violence (e.g. the use of giant puppets to resist riot police); how do you see Imagination being used as a tool of self defence or as an alternative for those who want to exist but can’t see themselves using violence?’]

yeah neo.. imagination/curiosity.. our best (non) defense.. we need a means to listen for/to that.. .. so we can org around legit needs


questioner: often bothered me.. why resort to army.. answer given to me.. is that it inspires the people for resistance.. trying to get it into my own head.. how to do this.. because going to face this now in s africa.. need to hold together community building that i’d hoped we’d never have to go to arms struggle against present regime

m: i like the question.. why do we need an army.. i think i’m taking for granted.. still assuming we do need an army.. i hate it.. but i feel .. ie: z’s still held a separation.. i feel a sympathy w same questioning you have.. the need for that militarized defense..

but not deep enough.. or wouldn’t still be here.. on same song.. no?

gotta look at bigger picture.. ie: thurman interconnectedness law et al.. need to org/think that deep

m: (to neo’s question).. plenty ie’s of it.. and in most of these contexts.. that kind of imagination ie: puppets can be super effective.. i’m still convinced.. that there are certain circumstances today and in 70s.. in which something more is required.. in the context when it can’t is what i want to figure out to do.. i feel like there is a consistent challenge i’m trying to struggle with

but did militarization help in 70s?.. if we focus on when military doesn’t work.. already stuck/staying.. in sea world

wish we could talk .. i hear you wanting to know the legit possibilities.. but .. you know.. not hearing

my advantage.. quiet enough in the shadows..


1\ undisturbed ecosystem (common\ing) can happen

2\ if we create a way to ground the chaos of 8b legit free people