m of care – apr 29
via simona on carnival from possibilities
via nika tweet: Please, join the reading group of #MuseumofCare to discuss two (short) excerpts from @davidgraeber ‘s Possibilities and Mikhail Bakhtin’s Rabelais and His World. it starts in an hour in our at 8 pm GTM bit.ly/3kifxZY
notes/quotes from meeting:
simona: suggested reading group interested in connections between carnival and revolution.. why do revolutions appear as carnival and why did we have a carnival to celebrate david.. and why did the commune appear as a moment of play.. as a carnival.. in possibilities.. david explains why is
[missed 5 min from phone call]
simona: what is important in carnival.. is everything that is not ordered/rational/abstract.. it is 2 parts 1\ destroy diff that makes hierarchy/avoidance make sense that’s why result in a revolution.. bhaktin: carnival not only subversion of hierarchy.. also related to call back a golden age where everybody was equal and the disorder/complex/dirty part of life was dominant and same for everybody.. fundamental feature of carnival is about time and an order set on the past and on abstraction.. it is the moment you celebrate the contradictions of life.. and the passage/change in life.. ie: marriage/death.. in this way it is revolutionary.. in this way also love and comic are revolutionary.. shows contradictions of life.. that everything is passing.. which show a comic and disorder.. they mock the order of society.. this was the role of the carnival.. that’s the general frame
carhart-harris entropy law.. yeah that
nika: what is avoidance
simona: relations of avoidance are characterized by formality.. and obligation to stay clear for every body function: eating, sex, violence, .. via taboos and by setting some people apart.. ie: too high so can’t be seen by inferiors.. the person avoided should appear at another level.. whole history of philosophy, sex, happiness, getting rid of body, .. i thought of body as a prison.. strong connection between abstractification of life.. ie: ego separate from world.. and idea of setting apart of society.. ie: rep of society from rest of people..
simona: central feature of avoidance.. person doesn’t have same obligation.. ie: behavior forbidden for lower person .. allowed for superior person.. happens in cultures changing to exchanges and are based on abstracts.. david thinks when exchanges are most important feature in relationships.. he feels is an abstraction to whole society
nika: could game be not violent
i don’t think so
simona: yes of course.. joking and avoidance not the only means.. david also says relationships of common care.. any sorts of diff relationships.. he just says those two always appear together.. always joking.. partly it became/stayed revolutionary.. joking is reversal of the order of society..
simona: change.. what was grotesque became satirical and putting blame on the behaviors.. a description of what shouldn’t be..
nika: i don’t understand.. you have carnival that is mixing up social order.. place of freedom.. constant revolution/freedom during carnival.. but normal life w rules was diff.. so compared to now.. capitalism/globalism.. we’re stuck in one order.. we don’t have alts.. we don’t have ie: carnivals for mechs of imagining alts.. ie: now not ok to argue w each other even.. but.. if i understand you were describing something else..
simona: not exactly.. there are 2 pov’s 1\ joking avoidance are self sustaining each other.. part of same logic.. joking affirms equality of lower.. and apart from higher.. 2\ carnival is joking and isn’t it.. this affirmation is like the remembrance of equality that is always there.. so i think main diff between our times and medieval is that the time of carnival in medieval was regulated.. had proven impossible to prevent festivals.. so it was set apart from normal life.. often became revolts.. in our times.. carnival came as revolts ie: commune as an eruption of play.. i think play (destruction of rules) is something ver diff from game (rules)
rob: i see carnival as not challenging the hierarchy.. so confirms status quo.. rather than changing it.. ie: elections as status carnival.. very brief time given a say.. so .. is carnival just a release valve..?
simona: i was saying revolts take the form of carnivals because they blow up rules/hierarchies.. and because they always recall mythical time of equality.. and of equality in contradictions.. this idea of disorder.. of blowing up the diff categories that set people apart and org society is a very important feature of carnival.. i don’t think elections have anything to do w carnival.. to elect means to choose somebody and set them apart to rep society.. this is exactly the logic of avoidance.. ie: making some people of diff degrees more rep of society.. this is same as our elections..
any form of m\a\p ness
nika in chat: yes, election about choosing the best, this is an aristocracy and not a democracy, but the way how the elections run is very theatrical so, it is not really chose per say, it is a performance
vassily: p 45: carnival not just inverting hierarchy.. but diff basis.. so carnival can’t be controlled.. political moment when create equals.. i think this is what david is saying
simona: i don’t agree w david on boundaries of lower/higher structure.. ie: for time being.. carnival was equal for everybody.. this is also diff between carnival and theatre.. nobody is outside the carnival.. nobody is outside blowing up rules of revolution.. david says carnival can blow up rules but much more it gets out of control and becomes a revolution
michael: interesting on rob’s comment.. festivals as release valve.. so estab wants carnival but not one that spirals out of control.. so everything goes back to normal.. ie: also .. lot of people might just be trying to have fun
rob: that’s exactly what i had in mind.. knotting hill carnival.. ie: police get involved in evening when get out of control.. i think carnival and revolt are 2 diff things.. carnival as release.. revolt as change.. so simona i don’t agree w you there..
simona: so when talking joking.. not talking jokes.. but talking relations of young men in society.. ie: insulting bantor as a joking relationship.. a ritual violence between friends.. not real violence.. you affirm with your friend we are equals.. that’s why we can insult each other.. make mock attacks.. and freely take the other’s goods.. knowing they’ll take ours .. an unequal relationship in time.. but it is about equality/friends..
? not real violence? depends.. spiritual violence? this is why it becomes unequal in time
simona: to rob.. i think revolutions is exactly having fun.. not about pushing a new order on society.. it is affirming equality and blowing up the order.. i object both to negri and david.. i don’t think we can get rid of constituent power of rules/structures.. but i do think revolution is about destroying the hierarchy patterns of society.. and this is actually fun.. expecting something and having expectation not fulfilled.. by something outside of expectations.. this is fun.
simona: essential feature of play is freedom.. nothing wrong w game playing by rules.. free to have rules or not.. but the playful chapter of revolution is about freedom.. about not having rules.. as equals.. games can be fun.. but not free.. the essential feature of mochery.. i like that m of care is moc.. to pull the leg.. it’s all about breaking rules.. about not having rules.. about freedom
simona: rojava carnival very org’d.. very important to people of the city.. worked on for a long time.. but what’s relevant for me in carnival is the spirit it tells.. in rojava.. no jokes.. no satiricals.. i think the real resurgence of carnival was in zucotti parkt.. i remember asking.. when was it that you felt free.. showing possibility of breaking rules
huge diff in demographics/life-death-situations from z and r.. and to me.. this is why.. ‘just for fun’ ness.. needs to wait till it’s all of us free
nika: so my understanding.. trotsky talking about permanent changing of rules.. bakunin coming together to change rules.. allows for some to be free and some stuck in society/tribe.. is this right.. this is a question for myself of how i should live.. ie: i need to have some rules to survive.. but wanting a structure where i could jump out
vassily: i don’t know to be honest.. but i’ll think about it..
simona: for me.. it’s the possibility to jump out.. community is essential..
nika: you were talking trotsky.. carnival rearranges rules.. permanent revolution.. blow up rules..
simona: but i don’t think you can have a society w/o rules.. maybe one w min of hierarchy
nika: i agree.. but trotsky was thinking revolution was for all the world.. and not just for some.. so it’s a game inside.. then it’s a play all together.. that’s how i see it (trotsky’s i think)
ben aaron: sounds like closed vs open games.. ie: if bet on something.. if what happens inside games has connections on other things.. ie: anarchism.. you can exit the game w/o losing at other games
simona: carnival is not ordinary life.. for ordinary life need org/rules.. the oint is .. being free to leave is essential to this method of consensus