m of care – nov 27

Please join the second session of our reading group on @davidgraeber, Nov 27, 12 pm NY, 5 pm London, 8 pm Istanbul time. We will discuss selections from Direct Action: An Ethnography.  @LSEsociology @LSEAnthropology 

Details and registration info here–>  https://t.co/shsEwKxZH3

Original Tweet: https://twitter.com/ayca_cu/status/1325053971858395137

have book on hold via prospector

direct action

as if already free ness


notes/quotes from zoom meeting (300 registered.. 60 here at start.. 94 at 10:15.. 52 at 10:45.. 92 at 11):

this is what david is talking about the challenge of consensus (when trying to decide if should stay as whole group or split up)

brian karl: think so good because he was so involved with the group.. pretty rare.. and that would show up in undergrad syllabi.. too close to home.. and.. his humor to weave all these together.. very organic in his writing style

chiara: good because very transparent about all the emptiness there is in direct action (and anarchism).. a lot of empty talk and philosophizing.. like david started a movement in this direction.. in being self reflective and not homogenizing.. a way that we’re detoxing from this accusation

anna: rare to get 200 pgs of actual account before theory comes in..

birgan: ch 10 mentions how squeezing all that happened into narrative would do people on ground and history injustice.. i liked that because sometimes ethnographies make the history into a story.. which gets characters out of ordinary people.. which is one dimensional.. he describes.. continue ness and unique ness and randomness of people.. on how narratives doing violence to the actual history..

jenifer: willingness to engage in playfulness that is inefficient.. i just like the sloppiness to be generative and that’s what living ness is

ayca: he situates that sloppiness in history.. i find that mind blowingly sophisticated

marjolijn: makes activists not feel so alone.. he gives the movements value

tim: something about the style in which it is written.. how accessible it is

language as control/enclosure

saybie: asking about jo’s structurelessness..

freeman structure law (?)

fahrettin: he says leadership as structure as generating hierarchies.. reflects logic of moment after 90s and seattle.. 207: da is acting as if already free.. the root idea of whole movement.. but.. we are not.. jo freeman: we are not free.. we live in hierarchical world.. so the acting as if already free.. this principle can create not equality but hierarchy itself.. freeman’s point was exactly this in 2nd wave feminism.. this ineq’s may become invisible but.. all these moments are repressed actually.. ie: seattle.. waiting 10 yrs.. then that moment also crushed.. we should ask.. what was wrong about this movement which made possible to be crushed by the power itself.. i suggest talk more about political implications of this principle..

ayca: i’m not sure david interp’d seattle et al as a defeat

lisa: i read (his) freeman differently.. what david was saying.. w/o exclusive care.. one will reproduce structures of hierarchy and power.. moving forward w/o coercion requires methods.. i think that’s what’s misread.. we need methods/structures.. of ie: how to gather/talk/decide what we’ll do

begs ie: museum of care ness

but even more so: a means to undo our hierarchical listening

tj: when in non authoritarian systems have authoritarian structures.. can id it and solve it.. but in activists groups.. don’t do that.. but (should) find methods in order to solve

sevil: role of anarchism is getting common sense from people and telling about it as is.. we have internalized anarchist principles now that we don’t even notice.. so that when we forget about it later on.. it’s not like all the practices leave.. need to keep learning w/o noticing.. now see totally normal to spend time on dm processes.. and people who haven’t heard of anarchism see these principles as common sense.. found that so much of what i thought i knew of anarchism was missing so many parts

steve: what i liked was the zapitistas.. after the abbie hoffman part.. we’ve got really inspiring ie’s to fahrettin’s comments

ayca: i felt uncomfortable when he compared black power movements.. they almost became a straw man in his arguments..

sidney: in a way.. the way i’m used to org ing.. has been people get thrust to leadership whether they want or not.. they have charisma.. then dependent on them.. no one objects in beginning because they are taking all the flack.. but that also led to downfall.. because people who took leadership were all male and very strong.. so first revolt by women.. then women take over and even that becomes problematic.. so this whole issue of leadership is very difficult.. i do like this idea of david’s about trying to get away from any kind of leadership..


angela: the ethnography works w/o tying it to a narrative.. a what point he said.. how could you make this a book..

ayca: my thought he could have given the black panthers much better treatment.. if he were alive.. this is one thing i would have appreciated a further discussion with him..

jenifer: this is what is so beautiful about the messiness.. becomes a living doc/perception

birgan: part of problem w your (ayca) critique.. i think he does this w marxism as well.. maybe we’re asking too much.. already a really long book.. not to excuse it .. but

marjolijn: i think he wants to make good point for women.. but it’s also.. on what we can criticize and what we can’t.. ie: black panther et al.. so you write it a bit crude.. but

dimitris: maybe the urgency in everyday life for counter action.. some hierarchy makes decisions faster.. even if have to sacrifice the democracy

saybie: i think he (david) said top down is most efficient in ie: waging wars

dimitris: yeah.. black panthers took a lot of action in defense.. go there now.. it happened now.. so structure going to be top down

defense ness is killing us

brian: i’d say bp is complex.. and david couldn’t have even tried to do it justice w/o a whole ch.. i think would have been diff if fbi wasn’t (attacking) so much.. but bp was hierarchical from beginning..

sevil: i’m going to defend david a bit.. he himself says i’m going to portray a caricature.. ie’s are to put them in contrast to anarchist.. but to contextualize limits of anarchists.. because anarchists can’t act outside context.. may not always be able to act in anarchist state.. he uses several ie’s to show this.. ie: w religion.. the way people choose strategies is very much dependent on context.. i think he shows anarchism cannot always flourish.. because of limits.. contradiction of offering solidarity that counter our ethics.. so .. huge on taking context into count

marc liam: his defn of direct action.. reading from ch 5: ‘to sum up: da ideal unattainable.. means/ends indistinguishable’ ie: today.. on repressions from corona restrictions.. bringing out protesters against masks.. this ie concerned me.. acting from liberated morals.. can hurt others

nika: i think david would be against virus conspiracy theories.. yeah.. everything is about context.. can’t become a member of anarchist party.. and get some cert of being always right and follow rules.. to lead to success.. because very idea of success/rules/community is always something you have to decide as community.. so sometimes political parties have to be supported.. everything about context

tom: also that whole movement of anti masking is against solidarity

chiara: but interesting.. been a lot of rupture in anarchism during this virus.. ie: thinking you need to comply w state for solidarity

rob: in ch 10 – propaganda by the deed.. moral quandry for anarchists.. don’t approve .. but how can you condemn.. of what people do.. i would assume david would not call this direct action.. because it’s a means to get something (rather than live as if free)

dimitris: i’d say this is da.. because walk down street against regs as if free.. other side repressing demonstrations.. using as excuse to take people in and making them pay.. just what david describes

ayca: so is da a form or content.. a means or an end.. i think david is specific about that.. as distinct from anarchism..

steve: it’s both.. what i get from book .. people use imagination to be collectively free.. (left) .. right would believe would turn to violence

lisa: what’s the point of writing.. how do we balance that with activism.. what does it mean.. living as if already free.. i think the role of political ed cannot be given up on.. one of core means of anarchism is mutual ed/aid.. how do we support one another.. how do we live together in a virus as this.. (w/o creating more ineq’s)

fahrettin: i just want to say this principle – living if already free – whole point of david’s work is to imply that we are living in particular way of life.. implies we may live in another way of life.. but this whole thing about living as if already free.. may cause us to think.. we don’t have to do further.. we are already free.. but not if our focus is all of us.. we are not winning (free).. this principle may create for block of creating real work

none of us if one of us ness:

on saying you’re already-free (direct action): 1\ you don’t see/acknowledge chained ones – so blind/pretending and not fine/free  2\ you do see chained ones – so pain or addictive coping going on

has to be everyone.. everyone in sync .. or it won’t work/dance

ayca: how would ontology of imagination be diff.. and how would that effect us.. i suggest next book: (the democracy project).. but nika is here and is aware of many more reading groups.. so this is not the only reading group..

nika: we cancelled our reading group tonight to come to this.. we have m of c reading group.. and we will have on 4th dec next group.. p1 of communist art..


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