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
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
saybie: asking about jo’s structurelessness..
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:
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..