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Anti-State Communism Reading Group

Organizing Committee:


Modelled on a UCSC reading group, and the Machete Group's assertion "theory without practice is empty and practice without theory is blind", a militant investigation into a series of texts covering Dauve, Debord, Aufheben, Tiqqun, Federici, Caffentzis and other ideas of anti-state communism, providing at once an educational platform at a distance from the universities, and a springboard for future affinities.


Hey friends,

Some of us are gonna continue over here:

Our Lives Are Not Negotiable: A Reading Group

We’d like to propose a new ongoing reading group which would collectively study anarchism, autonomism, biopolitics, communism, insurrectionism, nihilism, structuralism, our relationship to capital and the state, and other forms of exchange and authority.

We will think about these traditions in the context of the ongoing Occupy movement, which for many began here in New York on September 17th with the occupation of Zuccotti Park, before spreading both nationally and internationally. We will also take into account the movements which earlier in 2011 preceded it: in Tunisia, Egypt, Spain, and Greece.

These recent lived histories have forced many of us to re-think our understandings of democracy, organizing, and struggle, as we pursue ongoing political intervention among an ever-evolving social movement.

The texts and meetings will be decided by the participants of the group on a session-to-session basis. It is open to all who wish to engage with the above.

Some of the initial authors we've discussed looking at include Giorgio Agamben, Mikhail Bakhtin, Lauren Berlant, Wendy Brown, Judith Butler, Jacques Camatte, Cornelius Castoriadis, Guy Debord, Michel Foucault, Friedrich Nietzsche, Jan Patočka, Tiziana Terranova, Mario Tronti, Raoul Vaneigem, Paolo Virno, and many others.

This group comes out of an earlier Public School reading group, “Anti-State Communism”: which a number of us took part in. It met 32 times in the 10 months between December 2010 and September 2011, and looked at texts by, among others, Alain Badiou, Franco Berardi, Alfredo M. Bonanno, Conspiracy Cells of Fire, Gilles Dauve, Jacques Derrida, Endnotes, Todd May, Saul Newman, Nina Power, Jacques Ranciere, Theorie Communiste, and Tiqqun.

It is not expected that we like or agree with the texts selected. They serve only as a means to facilitate discussion towards the sharpening of our analyses and understanding.

Hi Claiborne,

Many of us have been in awe of Occupy Oakland so we'd love to establish formal contact. Email me directly and we'll talk about it:


hi brothers & sisters in revolt; still missing you all.
MANY here in Oakland right now send their regards & express interest in creating cross-coast communication networks. pls pls email me 4 more info ! good luck !

Some of us have organized a discussion on Liberty Plaza tonight at 16 Beaver:

Are we still on for Foucault on Wednesday? Maybe 8 or 8:30?

I could do wednesday eve...

Can't do Tues. but would be able to do Wednesday.

On a different note, I know there's a lot going on... the art book fair is happening at PS1 this weekend.

glad you're posting

I'm super into it! Can't go Friday. Is Tues good for anyone else? There was also a proposal to read the Intro + Ch 1 of Badiou's Clamor of Being. Would folks be into doing this the week after? Rumor has it these two would be paired well together...

Yo, myself, Colleen, Harout, and Ganesh were talking about doing the Foucault either Tuesday, Wednesday, or Friday. The first 85 pages. There are 7 sections, plus the introduction. We've reserved sections, 1, 4, 5, and 7 to take on. Which date is best for y'all, and which section do you want to take on?

PS. does anyone know of a short, basic text explaining the history and function of cops in a capitalist state? I see even after the march the other day there's talk about "bad apples" and "not hating the NYPD" - from people who got pepper sprayed! Some habits die really hard. Liberals hate being called racist, privileged and ignorant though so if the incredible racism, privilege and ignorance of siding with cops can be explained that might do something.

Texts I would like to see distributed at Liberty Square:

Important piece about occupations and general assemblies in 68:

Troploin's "Critique of Political Autonomy," whose critique of democracy might be relevant to the GA:

A piece I just came across by Tronti, also criticizing democracy, haven't read it but looks interesting. Didn't know Tronti was still alive haha, what is he up to these days? In Rifondazione or something?:

Text about Arab Spring. Anything else about Arab Spring, especially something that de-mystifies the idea that what happened in Cairo was "non-violent" would be appreciated by me:



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