m of care – mar 5
reading essay of david‘s on communism (my notes from prior reading here: david on communism)
via m of care fb share:
Link to the text:
This essay is a great continuation from our discussion about modes of production from the last reading group. In it, David does a few things:
– Clear a path to rescue “communism” from its conceptual muddiness and redeem it as a tool for social transformation as well as social analysis,
– Distinguish Mythic or ‘big C’ Communism, which is a wayyy older and religiously charged mode of imagining utopian/messianic visions of society than we’re told, from
– Everyday or ‘small c’ communism, which is a baseline sociality, i.e. a way of socialising with our fellow humans, and is present in all societies (all we need to do is look for it).
By doing so, David also shines light on how Communism and communism relate to each other: the one is just one of many ways of organizing the other. Everyday communism is less an organizing principle and more a generative one. Society can exist without Communism, but there would be no society without communism.
At the very least, the essay is important because it reminds us of how ideologically charged our conventional understanding of communism is: David reminds us of the (sadly) surprising fact that even so-called Communist states such as the USSR never saw themselves as Communist! Just as important, he also mentions the inherent pleasure of communistic relations (perhaps foreseeing his later essay on play as another organising principle).
thinking we might want to org around cure ios city..
To get you thinking about all this, we have a fully optional list of questions you can think about ahead of the reading group:
– When was the last time you experienced everyday, small-c communism? Before reading this essay, did you already refer to it with another word or metaphor?
– Do you think there’s still something of value in Mythic Communism, or has its association with places such as China or the USSR made it beyond redemption?
– What’s your take on utopia? Do we truly have to transcend all social divisions (such as people vs. property, capital vs. labour, nature vs. culture) to enter utopia?
Clearly, there’s a lot to unpack, so we hope to see you next Friday for a fun, communistic reading group!
Meeting ID: 604 596 7588
Passcode: CITY See Less
notes/quotes from essay (10 pg google doc):
Source: Chapter 19 (Pp. 199–210) in The Human Economy: A Citizen’s Guide. Edited by Keith Hart, Jean-Louis Laville and Antonio David Cattani
oh.. actually.. same essay that i’ve already read and took notes on here: david on communism
notes/quotes from zoom mtg:
steve bachelor: what marx hoped for in a post capitalism – communist society.. was an end to alienation.. then lenin.. so ideology becomes about the party.. no longer about anti alienation.. so still in socialist.. not communist .. so is it worth using this term.. if there’s so much misinterp/misunderstanding
yash: why i like this piece.. unpacking communism.. and how david seque’s into 2nd part – everyday communism.. humans naturally share.. david makes us conscious of this.. next session.. next level.. can we see communism as a baseline.. esp seen in disaster moments.. david wants to show this as baseline.. to read more on this: ch 5 of debt; 1st ch in possibilities on manners; then essay on play – have to have fun.. diff of play/games;..
vassily: hierarchy based on precedent; exchange based on reciprocity; communism based on to/from each according to needs et al;.. all based on gift ness.. then david goes on about defn of c could offer way out of capitalism.. a way of org ing solidarity
org solidarity: as infra
rob l to nika: on mythical communism and soviet union – where you aware of socialism.. part of your schooling?
nika: yeah.. told to memorized marx defn of communism.. which we thought was hard.. because didn’t talk about how life would be.. this society was very automized.. we were told kings/queens were vampires.. everything was very simplistic and ideologically charged
nika: on question.. should we recover (word/notion) communism.. yes.. david was writing about that in many books.. i think it’s extremely important to do that
muna khogali: i agree we should.. a historical relearning.. to set terms free
elizabeth travelslight: opp to rethink communism deterritorialized from nation.. capitalism has already done that
micheal o connell: we’ve seen new uprisings.. and on needing to know what you’re doing.. this ch is valuable to that..
simona: enlightening for me.. short note by yash.. that maybe this is no more capitalism.. production not any more the center.. c is mop.. for the market.. essential feature.. what happens when production is not any more the center.. everyday communism/coop is almost the most efficient way to product.. because less and less important.. and this is key to understand present day world to me
on the need to get back/to grokking what enough is
simona: on efficiency’s desire because want to work less.. so what happens when production is no longer the problem.. you have not any more workers power.. so we need political solution for this.. my first thought on every day communism is cooperation
simona: 2nd is this idea of (?)
rachel donald: david frames c as a reorg of communism.. which de polarizes.. the other thing to do is to engage w the reality.. important because people are getting more and more upset w c.. the other thing.. on hierarchy.. and what a utopia would look like.. about removing somebody’s role.. and i started thinking about how roles are stifling.. ie: management style employed by starbucks.. teams self org.. teal management system.. i though.. that’s communism in the workplace.. where else could we apply it.. that’s exciting..
rachel: one thing w david’s text is trust.. and i don’t think that’s there any more.. on naomi klein’s disaster capitalism – shock..
ellen judd: this essay allows us to cut thru negative rhetoric.. no matter what term we use.. it’s going to be contested.. maybe not worry about what everybody else calls something.. but what is actually happening.. what people are really doing..
yash: mar 12 – next reading group have guest: cassie – idea of the hologram.. practical approach.. soon have anniversary of paris commune .. so planning part on that friday.. mar 19
amy heller: thinking about aspect of community that can be so dehumanizing.. as simona saying.. if insisting on idea that community has inherent value.. how do we deal w opp.. ie: everyday communism/genocide.. t
ie: gershenfeld something else law – make sure infra is set up for everyone to be free to do whatever they desire (and w detox embed).. huge point.. otherwise.. we will keep having ie: inspectors of inspectors turning into genocide ness
ashur: on inequality and the acceptance of inequality of means and opportunities is an ideology
matt: on people saying coop would never work.. but then they do it.. contradictions.. also on manners.. wife from mexico.. ‘would you mind’.. ‘don’t be bad’.. makes sense of legit communism
michael reinsborough: on rebranding communism might be a tactical issue.. to me .. what you do locally et al.. point.. if anarchism w small a.. have people doing this communism.. but if gets labeled from outside as communism/anarchism.. they can see/say.. oh you just mean sharing.. et al.. it’s really recapturing the commons.. not on sharing ness of silicon valley.. does it exist when we’re larger w a tech society.. i’m not sure about to each according to have/need.. what happens if creating more than you need..? some practical points outside this article
ie: imagine if we
chat: people wanting to quit using rebrand.. rather recover reclaim
yash: on who gets to own mode of production
layne hartsell: brief observation on language.. ie: socialism doesn’t work and communism is a dream.. people don’t realize.. does capitalism really work..? it doesn’t look like it to me.. if we have good idea of c or soc or communims.. how are you going to defend it on concentration of power
again.. gershenfeld something else law.. has to be for all of us.. something 100% of us already crave
simona: reframe is the word.. the way you call things consequence how you think.. on thinking w/o words.. need to reframe meaning of words/names.. to take back original meaning of communism..
no words ness
simona (@SimonaFerlini): one thing coming up is about managing of the commons.. i hope to discuss w someone how to manage..t