From:   Charles <chcreinhardt@gmail.com>
Sent time:   Tuesday, October 18, 2011 3:36:55 PM
To:   september17 <september17@googlegroups.com>
Subject:   SPAM-MED: [september17discuss] Re: Demands Discussion [Please read, this is a co ncrete proposal]
 

Yeah, please stop the vanguardist daydreaming. I think I remember

reading somewhere that that didn't turn out too well . . .

 

 

 

On Oct 18, 4:07 pm, Snafu <sn...@thething.it> wrote:

> I disagree the politics of the commons is precisely aimed at finding an

> alternative to the socialist route of seizing state power. It is about

> building new institutions from below. These institutions already exist

> in an embryonic form within the movement. It is a matter of

> strengthening them and expanding their reach.

>

> If you say we have to seize state power, it means you are thinking to

> the constitution of a new (revolutionary) party whereas I think there

> are ample margins to organize the movement from below without becoming a

> party (which does not mean that we should not have demands or ignore the

> question of alliances).

>

> On 10/18/11 3:22 PM, acpolla...@juno.com wrote:

>

>

>

>

>

>

>

> >  re a strategic line of action: most of these questions can only be

> > answered in action once we have LITERALLY occupied Wall Street, i.e.

> > once we have seized the banks. And then we'll have to socialize them,

> > and the other corporations, by taking state power.

> > Sorry, but there's no short cuts -- although there ARE intermediate

> > steps... starting with relearning how to occupy our workplaces, i.e.

> > sit-in strikes, and even "active" occupations or "work-ins."

>

> > ---------- Original Message ----------

> > From: Snafu <sn...@thething.it>

> > To: september17@googlegroups.com

> > Subject: Re: [september17discuss] Demands Discussion [Please read,

> > this is a concrete proposal]

> > Date: Tue, 18 Oct 2011 15:14:37 -0400

>

> > Ok, if these are good questions, why don't we ask the Committees to

> > begin exploring the elaboration of a strategic line of action

> > articulated around the commons?

>

> > If the commons is a resource whose mode of disposition and usage is

> > determined by its users, how can each committee begin thinking about

> > the subject of their intervention (e.g. food, education, medical, town

> > planning, arts & culture, internet, etc) as a commons? What are the

> > actions to be undertaken that would allow us to expand the commons as

> > a movement? What kind of demands can be articulated beginning from

> > this decentralized yet interconnected vision?

>

> > I think this could be a way of inviting the whole movement into the

> > conversation on "what is to be done" rather than creating an ad hoc

> > committee for it.

>

> > If people on this list agree, we could draft a short statement through

> > which the GA could ask the Committees to explore this line of inquiry.

>

> > Here are some exemplary questions I was throwing up in a previous post

> > to further clarify how to explore a politics of the commons:

> > ?

>

> > -- If the movement learns to reproduce itself as a commons, what are

> > the strategic resources we need to take over in order to make this

> > process durable and sustainable? Can for example the Food Committee

> > strike a long-term agreement with CSAs? Can the Town Planning

> > Committee come up with ideas to expand the commons in this city?

>

> > -- How can we rely on a communication infrastructure that is actually

> > managed in common? Can we strike a durable alliance with the Open

> > Source Community? (I believe there is an OSS Committee too).

>

> > -- If we declare that ground waters should be always treated as

> > commons, how do we strike a durable alliance with the anti-fracking

> > movement? And what can we learn from the indigenous communities that

> > have been managing water as a commons for many many centuries?

>

> > --If we declare that energy production should be tread as a commons,

> > how do we work with those who have been working on this issue for

> > quite a while (e.g. 350.org)?

>

> > --If we think that education should not be treated primarily as a

> > commodity but as a commons how do we link the campaign to cancel

> > student debt to the struggle to defend public education? Is it

> > possible to think of a widely decentralized system of education that

> > is free of charge, whose physical infrastructure is managed by the

> > state but whose cultural production is managed in common?

>

> > On 10/18/11 12:07 PM, acpolla...@juno.com <mailto:acpolla...@juno.com>

> > wrote:

>

> >     Very good set of questions, Snafu!

> >     Many of the answers are here:

> >    http://www.ernestmandel.org/en/works/pdf/Mandel%20socialist%20plannin...

> >     ... the main takeaway from which is that an

> >     "articulated"?self-managed society would figure out

> >     democratically?exactly how its different units interact, and how

> >     to minimize decisions at the highest level while maximizing the

> >     fair (nonmarket) flow of resources across geographical and

> >     industrial boundaries at even the global level.

> >     The answers?are also in the lived experience of Barcelona under

> >     workers' rule, of the early years of the Soviet Union, of Cuba

> >     today. YES, the latter is way too bureaucratized. But it still

> >     proves our point: if a noncapitalist regime can year after year

> >     after year do way better than the US in infant mortality rates and

> >     literacy and so on, how much more efficient would a "commons"

> >     economy be?if workers and neighborhood residents could vote and

> >     participate in running it?

> >     ?

> >     ?

> >     ?

>

> >     ---------- Original Message ----------

> >     From: Snafu <sn...@thething.it> <mailto:sn...@thething.it>

> >     To: september17@googlegroups.com <mailto:september17@googlegroups.com>

> >     Subject: Re: [september17discuss] Demands Discussion [was MoveOn

> >     Execs Now...]

> >     Date: Tue, 18 Oct 2011 11:55:21 -0400

>

> >     Shaista, very good questions. I'll try to answer them briefly.

> >     There is a vast literature on the commons/common. I think the most

> >     complex work is Hardt and Negri's Commonwealth. You can buy it on

> >     print or download it for free from aaaaarg.org. The book has its

> >     limits, but what doesn't.

>

> >     A simple definition I am throwing here: The commons is a resource

> >     whose mode of disposition and usage is determined by its users,

> >     that is, we decide together who has a right to access a commons

> >     (not all commons are open access) and in what way (how the commons

> >     is to be used and reproduced).

>

> >     Re: relationship to private property and the state

>

> >     Capitalist accumulation as you know has been largely built upon

> >     the enclosure of common pastures, the privatization of the land,

> >     the water, etc. David Harvey calls it "accumulation by

> >     dispossession." This means that the commons stand in radical

> >     opposition to private property and the state apparatus whose

> >     primary function is to defend the rights of property owners.

>

> >     As Silvia Federici and George Caffentzis have shown, living labor

> >     is also a common resource that capital needs to privatize in order

> >     to have an exploitable workforce reservoir at its disposal. When

> >     workers can rely on common resources (such as those provided by a

> >     social movement, common lands, etc) they do not need to rely on

> >     the wage in order to reproduce themselves. --> The more we expand

> >     the commons the less we need to rely on wages in order to satisfy

> >     our needs and reproduce ourselves.

>

> >     Are there example of existing commons? Absolutely: workers and

> >     consumers' cooperatives (such as farmers coops or the Park Slope

> >     Food Coop) are examples of commons. Linux and Wikipedia are

> >     commons. The Maine fisheries are or were managed as commons. (See

> >     the work of Elinor Olstrom on Common Pool Resources). Not all

> >     these commons are managed in a democratic way and they should not

> >     be idealized, but in the examples I made resources are

> >     collectively managed.

>

> >     The problem is that commons don't go far enough, i.e. they touch

> >     upon only few segments of the production and distribution chain,

> >     and are thus integrated by capitalism as "exceptions" that can be

> >     even useful for capitalist innovation.

>

> >     A few questions for the movement:

>

> >     -- If the movement learns to reproduce itself as a commons, what

> >     are the strategic resources we need to take over in order to make

> >     this process durable and sustainable? Can for example the Food

> >     Committee strike a long-term agreement with CSAs?

>

> >     -- How can we rely on a communication infrastructure that is

> >     actually managed in common? Can we strike a durable alliance with

> >     the Open Source Community? (I can't believe we are still having

> >     this conversation on a corporate listserv!).

>

> >     -- If we declare that ground water should be always treated as a

> >     commons, how do we strike a durable alliance with the

> >     anti-fracking movement? And what can we learn from the indigenous

> >     communities that have been managing water as a commons for many

> >     many centuries?

>

> >     --If we declare that energy production should be tread as a

> >     commons, how do we work with those who have been working on this

> >     issue for quite a while (e.g. 350.org)?

>

> >     --If we think that education should not be treated primarily as a

> >     commodity but as a commons how do we link the campaign to cancel

> >     student debt to the struggle to defend public education? Is it

> >     possible to think of a widely decentralized system of education

> >     that is free of charge, whose physical infrastructure is managed

> >     by the state but whose cultural production is managed as a commons?

>

> >     There is so much work to do, but I think it is totally worth to

> >     try and take the long view. If not now, when?

>

> >     On 10/18/11 10:57 AM, shaista husain wrote:

>

> >         Snafu we love you too--

> >         my utopian self weeps in joy at this idea of the "commons" but

> >         my pragmatic side needs elaboration (there is no military, no

> >         judiciary, not even "leadership" held up for

> >         accountability--how do we define this commons What is the base

> >         of this commons--is it only for exchange--and what is its

> >         relations to the state apparatus--market and private property

> >         etc..etc etc. etc.

>

> ...

>

> read more »

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