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Our Lives Are Not Negotiable: A Reading Group

Organizing Committee:

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.

(We will not assume or judge anything about where you may or may not have studied; what you may or may not have read; what you may or may not have written; who you may or may not know, etc.)


Here's a new one, "The Native and the Refugee":

An open research platform initiated by Matt Peterson & Malek Rasamny to investigate the experiences of Palestinian refugee camps and American Indian reservations. Through the Public School, we will organize and host discussions, screenings, and reading groups, to help compile and share our ongoing research and engagement on the history and horizon of the shared struggle of Indians and Palestinians for autonomy.

Another discussion folks might be interested in, Thursday at Beaver:
and some friends have also been doing these parties, next one is Saturday:

hi everyone, just wanted to let you know there's a psychoanalysis and
politics reading group meeting at the Base in Bushwick starting April 2nd
at 6'30, if any of you are interested it would be great if you could come;
reading for that day is first four chapters of Freud's Group Psychology and
Analysis of the Ego (they're short). Description of group below:

Freud's views on society and politics have often been described as
"pessimistic"--according to psychoanalysis, the human psyche is
fundamentally anti-social in many ways, and a large role is assigned to
hatred, aggression and guilt-feelings in social life. At the same time,
psychoanalysis has been seen by some as holding out the possibility of
greater individual self-understanding, creativity and autonomy. Can one
have an autonomous society without autonomous individuals? Can we
understand and combat social authority without understanding the effects of
child-rearing practices and smaller social units like the family? What
impact do the "non-rational" and unconscious motivations have on political
phenomena? What kinds of mental suffering are caused by modern social
arrangements? If Freud didn't directly attack bourgeois patriarchy, did he
at least provide some tools for describing it? (And what can we say has
changed since Freud's time?) What about the post-Freudians who altered and
developed psychoanalytic theory?

Without reducing everything to biology, or resorting to a facile social
constructivism, psychoanalysis invites us to look at another reality,
obscure, fragmented and complex, with a tremendous influence: the psyche.
The goal of this reading group is to be undogmatic and critical, to raise
questions and upset assumptions, both those of conservatives and
"radicals," feminists and non-feminists. The proposed readings are:

Sigmund Freud - Group Psychology and the Analysis of the Ego

Wilhelm Reich - "The Development of the Character-Analytic Technique"

Melanie Klein - "Notes on Some Schizoid Mechanisms"

Jacques Lacan - "The Signification of the Phallus"

D. W. Winnicott - "The Concept of the False Self," "The Mother's
Contribution to Society"

Jean Laplanche - "Aggressiveness and Sadomasochism"

Nancy Chodorow - "Conclusions on Post-Oedipal Gender Personality"

Julia Kristeva - "Psychoanalysis--A Counterdepressant"

Cornelius Castoriadis - "Psychoanalysis and Politics"

First session meets April 2nd to discuss Chapters 1-4 of Group Psychology
and the Analysis of the Ego, text online here:

We'll meet every other Wednesday at 6'30 pm.


Okay, Sunday at 7 at the new space in Ridgewood:

Agamben Wknd

Hey comrades,
Some of us might get together either Friday or Sunday evening in Ridgewood to discuss some recent texts by Giorgio Agamben:
--"For a theory of destituent power" - 2013:
--"What is a destituent power?" - 2014:
It's not 100% confirmed (date, time, location), but here's a heads-up/check-in with y'all. 

Please keep me in the apartment search loop. I return on 3 June to NYC.
Would appreciate a rental room-space for June and beyond. ganesh

Apartment Search?

Also, while I'm writing, some folks are starting a new apartment in northern Brooklyn for Feb 1st. If you know of anyone looking for a room, have them email me: mjjvckp[at]gmail

Glad you made it last Fri, Broi and others!

where in 16 Beaver? It's downtown, near Wall Street, right?
any buzzer, what is there?

thank u for sharing
I wish i was in new york to attend the discussion for the endnotes..but i
won`t be there..and thank u for the Durruti it is a great reading.

Thanks M! Yes, the group reading Durruti in the Spanish Revolution is
still meeting at the Base in Bushwick. We meet this Wednesday the 15th
at 7'00, to discuss pages 250-307. All are welcome!

I'll also take this opportunity to let people know that there's also a
demo Friday to demand the release of comrades recently arrested in
Mexico, it would be great if people could come out for these friends:



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