From:   shaista husain <>
Sent time:   Friday, November 11, 2011 12:48:55 PM
Subject:   Re: Re: [september17discuss] An OWS Seminar on the Commons?

Dear Commons Committee,
Beside Harvey and Paul Mattick JR, including the theorists Snafu has suggested.. Here are some more authors in this field who contribute analysis to this discussion :  Mattick Jr. might be good . Or Graeber:  There is Tiqqun , a collective that critiques H and N:

On Fri, Nov 11, 2011 at 12:44 PM, shaista husain <> wrote:
Looking at the Charter you sent, i see it as a platform---there is Zucotti and the working groups, many working groups, but its there is also the Direct Action, Tactics, Labor Outreach, Immigrant Workers, etc etc. To think we can use the idea of the "commons" just to address our own internal concerns, ie food, finance, that could also become very bureaucratic. You mentioned the need to address the State--this is important, not for running it, but for understanding it and transforming it. That is immanent.What is Liberty Square's relationship to the State? There is no way that we are going to address the Commons and not speak about economy, the state, military, finance, the justice system.... i don't see separating spheres is the way to go, esp w Hardt and Negri, who are themselves interdisciplinary....Lets facilitate a way to be inclusive with the different strategies, as Tarak, rightly pointly out, as well as interdisciplinary, since we all have something to learn from each other's fields. We are developing strategies on the "commons' by the "common" for the "commons" --but for the free exchange and sharing of ideas, inviting different scholars who may debate one another is the way to go. For example, Jem is quite disturbed about us overthrowing the state and all current economics, we can bring in David Harvey, since he is somewhat of left wing keynesian- that is all debatable, which is why we need this forum--to be democratic.

On Fri, Nov 11, 2011 at 11:59 AM, <> wrote:
I am against planning everything we do as based around an overthrow of the state and all current economics.
On 11/11/11,<> wrote:
There's a difference between "immanence" and "interim":
A workers' strike, especially if it's a sit-in (occupation) has to form interim committees for food, health, safety, etc.
Same with a liberated zone in a revolutionary war fought over geographical (rather than industrial) battle lines.
But those interim committees can't grow over in a linear fashion into a revolutionary society. Thus they cannot be immanent, nor can they prefigure. They CAN inspire a vision of what a society run along similar comradely lines would be like.
But to make that vision a reality requires a rupture, a break with the old society, its ruling class and their state.
Thus the beautiful commons described by Orwell in Homage to Catalonia (Barcelona under the workers rule) was crushed for lack of a strategy to eliminate the old powers.

---------- Original Message ----------
From: Snafu <>
Subject: Re: [september17discuss] An OWS Seminar on the Commons?
Date: Fri, 11 Nov 2011 08:54:49 -0500

On 11/11/11 8:26 AM, wrote:
> why should our starting point be how OWS committees deal with the
> Commons?
Because the theme of the forum would be how to develop a concrete
politics around the commons. And the committees are an integral part of
the movement as they deal with very specific problems. This would allow
us to approach this issue from the ground up. It is a matter of using
the notion of the commons for composing differences not for
superimposing a theory from above.

> shouldn't it be how entire neighborhoods and industries, and the
> working class as a whole, will create a Commons once we get rid of the
> banks and corporations and their state?
I don't see revolution as a process that can be broken down in stages.
The politics of the commons is immanent to existing practices. It is
only by struggling for the commons on a daily basis that we can produce
a practical understanding of the Common in general. This is what the
movement is doing already so there is no *before* and *after.* We should
not idealize the capital-C Commons as it is extremely difficult to
manage small-scale resources (think of the very difficulties Zuccotti is
facing to manage itself) let alone jumping to large-scale solutions.
There is only one known infrastructure that can deal with large-scale
management of the Commons and that is the state. However, I believe we
are trying to build something different here, something that would
eschew the well-known shortcomings of a large-scale bureaucracy.

> ---------- Original Message ----------
> From: Snafu <>
> To:
> Subject: Re: [september17discuss] An OWS Seminar on the Commons?
> Date: Thu, 10 Nov 2011 23:52:57 -0500
> So for instance, how is Empowerment & Education dealing with the
> question of the Commons? And Urban Planning? And Food or OSS? I would
> try to decentralize these questions as much as possible. And invite
> the speakers on the basis of our needs and with the clear goal in mind
> of drafting a document-- perhaps something along the lines the Charter
> for Innovation, Creativity, and Access to Knowledge drafted by the
> Free Culture Forum in Barcelona (