Commoning the City &
Withdrawing from the Community of Money







Postumous Notes

The Common(s) course is a beginning for what we hope will grow into a set of collective inquiries and experiences in commoning the city and exploring the potentials for withdrawing from the community of money.

It begins in the shape of a course or seminar, meeting each Monday early evening from 5:15 to 7:15 or so. It will be molecular in its organization, but there is a group composed of individuals involved with 16 Beaver, friends from CUNY, and other friends of the space including George Caffentzis, Silvia Federici, and David Harvey who will collectively care for this inquiry.

We also hope that what we are theorizing as a common(s) course is not only a context of learning but also becomes a space of friendship, collective inquiry, experiments, political activity and reclaiming a culture of the common(s).


This period mostly Wednesdays
5:15-5:30 to 7:15-30

at 16 Beaver Street, 4th floor
(unless otherwise noted)

Dec. 16

Readings, Recordings, Links, Notes










WEEK 19 (April 30)

pt. 0 - Discussion


Interview with Dafermos, a FLOK researcher at Ecuador

Introduction from the pamphlet of Platform for Autonomy, Self-sufficiency, Equality

The hacker movement as a continuation of labour struggle

Commons Fest:

WEEK 18 (April 24)

pt. 0 - Discussion / Dinner


On the one hand, we want to live communism; on the other, to spread
- Call, 2004

Find Each Other - The Invisible Committee, 2007

Kittens/Communism - New York Year Zero & Donal Foreman, 2014

We Are All Very Anxious - Institute for Precarious Consciousness, 2014

Graduate Student Workers of the World, Collectivize Your Stipends! -
Duke Collective, 2014


WEEK 17 (March 26)

pt. 0 - Discussion of Readings

pt. 1 - Conversation with Silvia and George regarding their text

Commons Against and Beyond Capitalism Upping The Anti, Issue 15 (September 2013) pp. 83-91.
George Caffentzis and Silvia Federici


WEEK 16 (March 18)

pt. 0 - Discussion of Readings

Texts relating to Our Goods and Solidarity NYC:

(Un)doing (Un)compensation (2014)

The Giving Economy: Caroline Woolard of OurGoods.org (2011)

An Economy We Want to Occupy
an interview with Caroline Woolard and Jen Abrams (2012)

Texts relating to Bioecon:

What are points and how are they created?

Why do points get oxidized?

Additional Reading:
Voices from the trueque: barter networks and resistance to neoliberalism in Argentina
Pete North

David Harvey's lecture on 14 February 2013 at the University of Warwick on the contradictions of capital. Helps to understand the principle of OXIDATION, and why the points are ONLY A MEANS OF CIRCULATION.


WEEK 15 (March 12)

pt. 0 - Discussion of Readings

Territories in Resistance: A Cartography of Latin American Social Movements
(Ak Press, 2012).

We will discuss Chapter 15, "The Urban Peripheries: Counter-Powers from Below" (pp.189-263) and suggest focusing in particular on the section "Recent Experiences" (pp.228-257).
Raul Zibech


WEEK 14 (March 5)

pt. 0 - Discussion of Readings

Other Economies Are Possible! Building a Solidarity Economy
Daniel Miller

Crisis and Opportunity: The Emerging Solidarity Economy Movement
Emily Kawano

Women, Feminism, and the Solidarity Economy
Julie Matthaei


WEEK 13 (Dec. 16)

pt. 0 - Discussion of Readings

What is Communisation?
Leon de Mattis
SIC: International Journal for Communisation (1:2011)

A World Without Money: Communism
Les Amis de 4 Millions de Jeunes Travailleurs
Part 1
Part 2

Bring Out Your Dead
Introduction to Endnotes 1

Why Communisation?
Gilles Dauvé and Karl Nesic

Invisible Politics: An Introduction to Contemporary Communisation
John Cunningham


WEEK 12 (Dec. 2)

pt. 0 - Discussion of Readings

David Graeber
Fetishism as Social Creativity - Or, Fetishes Are Gods in the Process of Construction

Michael Taussig
The Devil and Commodity Fetishism

Additional Reading:

William Pietz
Death of the Deodand - Accursed objects and the money value of human life

Michael Taussig
The Baptism of Money and the Secret of Capital

David Harvey
Swindlers and Prophets: Facts, Fictions, and Fetishisms


WEEK 11 (Nov. 25)

pt. 0 - Discussion on Homelessness

pt. 1 - CUNY Actions

pt. 2 - Discussion of Readings

Michael Taussig
The Baptism of Money and the Secret of Capital

Additional Reading:
David Graeber
Fetishism as Social Creativity - Or, Fetishes Are Gods in the Process of Construction

William Pietz
Death of the Deodand - Accursed objects and the money value of human life

from Nov, 25

David Harvey
Swindlers and Prophets: Facts, Fictions, and Fetishisms


WEEK 10 (Nov. 18)

pt. 1 - Discussion of Readings

pt. 2 - Discussion relaying experiences of money within Social Movements and Struggles

This week's readings are selected from:
"The Revolution will not be Funded: Beyond the Non-Profit Industrial Complex" published by Southend Press in 2007

Adjoa Florencia Jones de Almeida
Radical Social Change: Searching for a New Foundation

Stephanie Guilloud and William Cordery
(Project South: Institute for the Elimination of Poverty and Genocide)
Fundraising Is Not a Dirty Word: Community-Based Economic Strategies for the Long Haul

Ana Clarissa Rojas Durazo
"we were never meant to survive": Fighting Violence Against Women and the Fourth World Wars





WEEK 9 (Nov. 11)

pt. 0 - Nov 8 - Solidarity Action (City College)

pt. 1 - Discussion of Readings

pt. 2 - Discussion with groups / individuals involved in student struggles

George Caffentzis
"Autonomous Universities and the Making of the Knowledge Commons"

Stefano Harney and Fred Moten, from The Undercommons: Fugitive Planning & Black Study
We will focus on Chapter 2
"The University and the Undercommons"

Silvia Federici in conversation with Maya Gonzalez and Caitlin Manning
Political Work with Women and as Women in the Present Conditions

Interview with Stefano Harney
Statistical to Logistical Populations



Studying Through the Undercommons
Stefano Harney & Fred Moten
interviewed by Stevphen Shukaitis

Notes on the edu–factory and Cognitive Capitalism George Caffentzis / Silvia Federici

Dispatches from the Ruins
a reader


WEEK 8 (Nov. 4) David Harvey, from Rebel Cities
"The Creation of the Urban Commons"

Maria Mies and Veronika Benholdt-Thomsen
Defending, Reclaiming and Reinventing the Commons
from Nov, 4
WEEK 7 (Oct. 28) David Harvey, from Rebel Cities

"The Urban Roots of Capitalist Crises"
"The Creation of the Urban Commons"
from Oct. 28

WEEK 6 (Oct. 21)

pt. 0 - October 16 - Vincian Despret: Non-Anthropocentered Common(s)

pt. 1 - Discussion of Readings

pt. 2 - Detroit in Context with Nicholas Mirzoeff

pt. 3 - Solidarity Action (Detroit)

David Harvey, "Money, Time, Space, and the City" (1989)*

David Harvey, from Rebel Cities

"The Urban Roots of Capitalist Crises"
"The Creation of the Urban Commons"

from Oct. 21

from Oct. 16 pt. 1
from Oct. 16 pt. 2
from Oct. 16 pt. 3

WEEK 5 (Oct. 14)

pt. 0 - October 11 - Reclaiming a Common(s) City

pt. 1 - Solidarity Action (Durban)

pt. 2 - Discussion of Readings

David Harvey, "Money, Time, Space, and the City" (1989)* AUDIO
from Oct. 14
Based on Friday's meeting on Reclaiming a Common(s) City

Spain in the Circuit of European Capital
by Brian Holmes
This time it’s personal. Mortgage fraud, faux-democracy and escrache in Spain
Evictions Madrid city council style

Housing Beyond Profit: A Comparison of U.S. and German Alternative Ownership Models
by Sabine Horlitz
Wir Bleiben Alle
WEEK 4 (Oct. 7)

pt. 0 - October 6 - Michael Hardt: For Love or Money

pt. 1 - Discussion about organizing ourselves and our collective inquiry

pt. 2 - Discussion of Readings
Anitra Nelson, "Interview on Non-market Socialism: Life Without Money" (2012)*

Anitra Nelson, "Money Versus Socialism" in Life Without Money (2011), pp. 23-46*

*these readings were supposed to be discussed in the last session, but since we did not get to them, we will be discussing them this week.

from conversation with Michael Hardt - For Love of Money

Based on Sunday's meeting with Michael
Michael Hardt:
"For Love or Money"
"Politics of Love"
"Politics of Common"
"Production and Distribution of the Common"
"Common in Communism"

Lauren Berlant
A Properly Political Concept of Love

WEEK 3 (Sept. 30)

pt. 1 - Introduction to bioecon and conversation with Cecilia Hecht

pt. 2 - Follow up discussion with group, relating to Bioecon

part 3 - Conversation with Silvia and George on Commons from perspective of everyday reproduction of life and incommensurability to capitalism

George Caffentzis, "The Power of Money: Debt and Enclosure" From Letters of Blood and Fire: Work, Machines, and the Crisis of Capitalism (2013)

from conversation with Cecilia relating to Bioecon moderated by Helen and Rene

from conversation with Silvia, George and Group

NOTES from third meeting


Occidente TV:
Series of Videos Connected to Bioecon project

Contradiction of Capital
Talk by David Harvey
WEEK 2 (Sept. 23)

Field Trip - Talk by Marshall Sahlins at CUNY Graduate Center

Conversation with Michael Taussig, David Graeber, and all other commoners

Marshall Sahlins, On the culture of material value and the cosmography of riches

David Graeber, It is value that brings universes into being

from Sahlins lecture

from conversation with Michael, David, and friends ...

Journal of Ethnographic Theory
Special Issue on Value as Theory
Part 1 & Part 2

More from Marshall Sahlins
The Original Affluent Society (From Stone Age Economics)
Stone Age Economics
Waiting for Foucault, Still
Marshall Sahlins Essay Collection
WEEK 1 (Sept. 16)
Introductory Meeting

from First meeting

NOTES from first meeting

Commons and Debt

Beyond Good and Evil Commons Seminar Website

Money, Debt, Enclosure

George Caffentzis, "The Power of Money: Debt and Enclosure" From Letters of Blood and Fire: Work, Machines, and the Crisis of Capitalism (2013)

Alternative Currencies

Thomas Greco, "The State of the Alternative Exchange Movements" From the End of Money and Future of Civilization (2009), pp. 137-170.

Keith Hart, "Building Economic Democracy with Community Currencies" (2006)

Barter Exchange Networks

Caroline Humphrey, "How is Barter Done? Social Relations of Barter in Provincial Russia" in The Vanishing Rouble (2000), pp. 259-297.

Money and Capitalism

Thomas Greco, "Central Banking and the Rise of Money Power" from End of Money and Future of Civilization (2006), pp. 29-86.

Geoffrey Ingham, The Nature of Money (2004), pp. 3-14, 59-85, 134-174.

Theories of Money

Karl Marx , Grundrisse, pp. 156-173

Patrick Murray, "Money as Displaced Social Form: Why Value cannot be Independent of Price" in Marx's Theory of Money (2005)

Notes from David Harvey, "The Social Value of Labor and its Representation by Money"

Michael Hudson, "From Marx to Goldman Sachs: The Fictions of Fictitious Capital" in Critique (2010), pp. 419-444.

George Caffentzis, Clipped Coins, Abused Words, and Civil Government: John Locke's Philosophy of Money (1989)

Life Without Money

Anitra Nelson, "Interview on Non-market Socialism: Life Without Money" (2012)

Anitra Nelson, "Money Versus Socialism" in Life Without Money (2011), pp. 23-46

Harry Cleaver, "Work Refusal and Self-Organization" in Life Without Money (2011), pp. 47-69

Adam Buick, "Non-market Socialism" in Life Without Money" (2011), pp. 139-159


Thinking of experiences after the occupation of wall street as well the experiences after hurricane sandy, we have been thinking how to create a more integrated space/time for thinking and potentially acting in the city together.

David Harvey's generous seminar at the graduate center in the spring seemed a fertile ground upon which one could possibly continue an inquiry into practices of commoning and communization while maintaining a vigilant relation to the antagonisms that such practices have or need to have to the social relations presupposed in communities organized around and through money.

Since the inquiry was not solely based on exploring the nature of money, but also investigating historical and contemporary alternatives to it, as well as movements to abolish money; the course had a very generative way of opening up basic questions about what kind of life one wants to live (ensemble), what are the social imaginaries and mental conceptions of the world one shares, the state of our social relations in the metropolis and whether we could dare to imagine the abolition of money as a horizon.

David expressed an interest to continue the inquiry. George has devoted a great part of his philosophical investigations on money and he also shared this interest. And Silvia supported the idea of using a reflection of money as a way of also opening up discussions around practices of commoning. There are additional friends who have committed to offer insights on occasion.

Thus our common(s) course, will begin with money as a basis of reflecting on the social relations which are structured and those we may colletively desire. As we formulated in a text for a meeting with George Caffentzis in May of last year, entitled 'Outliving Money':

Even if money is recognized as the god of capitalist society, the critique of money, unlike the critique of capitalism, remains relatively misunderstood or undertheorized. Is money a medium of exchange, a unit of account, a measure or storage of value, a bearer of information, a symbol of a particular type of social relation, a unit of force, a marker of processes of primitive accumulation, dispossession and enclosure? In the efforts to reclaim a common(s), build economies based on solidarity and interdependence, cooperatives of free association and free cooperation, what is to be done with money? Can we outlive money?

Ultimately the ambition for these weekly meetings is to bring many different analyses together to develop a critical relation to reality and our struggles for/through commons and the cultivation and experimentation with practices of commoning.

The course will be open, it will take place every Monday, 5:15 to 7:15, and is cared for by David, Neil, Helen, George, Silvia, Malav, Eyereen, Morgan, Rene, Mick, Yate, Luis, David, ... and hopefully others, like yourself, who may take part. The intention is for the inquiry to be a collective one and molecular in its development. We also hope that in addition to this, related inquires will emerge. And friends, wherever they may be or go, can contribute to the development of this or related common places of militant research, collective inquiry, radical situations of learning, and experimentation, conjoining to knowledges and experiences which enhance the ability to act, self-organize, and resist capitalist realism - resist racism - resist state and police violence - resist patriarchy - and generate movements toward a horizon of a common(s), and toward non-capitalist forms of doing and life.

Of course, to begin here is also a way of saying to resume several threads of collective inquiry:

- One is the wide expansive research we started with Brian Holmes, Claire Pentecost and many many friends in 2005 called Continental Drift, where we tried to share and consider the radical changes since 1989, to teach and learn from eachother about the complexities of neoliberalism and its entanglement in logics of state, of militarization, of spatial processes, and processes impacting the reproduction of life on the planet.

- Two is the molecular seminar we organized with Bifo and other friends in 2008, exploring not only the material and physical limits of resources of the planet, but the psychic and affective black holes (anxiety, depression, suicide) imposed by contemporary capitalist modes of labor in the metropolis; which separate, compartmentalize, and compatibilize every aspect of the production process, including the life and time of those working and workless, to become part of a precarious, mutating and recombinant logic of connection and constant speculation.

- Three is the Debt/Commons seminar we organized with Silvia Federici, George Caffentzis, and David Graeber in 2011 just before Occupy. Where we unfolded together, however brief and sketch-like a grammar of commons and commoning in unison with a reflection on what capitalism posits as a kind of negative commons (e.g., ecological degradation, toxic waste, debt, ...).

- Four is a seminar that David Harvey organized with CUNY students around money this last spring at the graduate center, which a few of us followed. Some of us had been thinking how to go further in the inquiries started in 'Beyond Good and Evil Commons' (the title of the 2011 seminar structured around debt and the commons).


A Common(s) Course needs tending more than attending. Those who can come to every session will hopefully enrich and be enriched by it. The attempt is to create as open a process as possible for people who may share a horizon of non-capitalist life, to follow together and develop conversations and hopefully emergent practices over a longer period of time.

Those who cannot make it every week are still encouraged to come, follow the course online, or start your own common(s) course where you live. It is open source and intended to be reproduced and developed in other contexts.

When suitable we will add readings, audio, video, and/or notes to help each other follow the threads. At the same time, we hope common(s) courses can become commitments that can eventually surpass the ones we give to normative institutional structures such as places of work or universities, becoming a part of our everyday life and a process of commoning knowledges of cultivating and tending to the common(s).

To (at)tend this course is to care for it and how it may take shape. There will be no credits or certificates no fees no registrars no grades no deans and no liens.


Why is every facet of life and in equal force, our relations with others, becoming monetized or dictated by money or some form of promissory note, credit, debt, capital, ... ? And what kinds of everyday practices and social relations can alter, resist, and disrupt the forces of money and capital? And how do these social relations dictated by money rely on other forms of domination, exclusion, and violence? Moreover, if these processes of monetization involve enclosing upon existing common(s), then how can that common(s) be reclaimed not as an end or promise, but as the very premise or means of struggle – common(s) as verb, as activity?

Could the re-cultivation of a notion of common(s) and commoning open up the imaginary of a politics of the Multitude - beyond the binaries of the State and the People (posited by Hobbes) and the zombie categories of Public and Private (which function increasingly as placeholders for Corporate-State and Corporate-Individual)?

If the structured and legally privileged social relations today are ones based on hierarchy, often masked as exchange, how to develop practices of real exchange?

What would be the appropriate forms to intermediate such 'real' exchanges?

How to understand processes of communization, commoning, sharing, and free cooperation as distinct from one another and more importantly from relations of hierarchy and exchange?

What would be the appropriate forms or processes to cultivate such relations?

How would one cultivate spaces or practices of commoning which could be resilient to their reabsorption into hierarchical and exchange based logics?

What does the subversion of money mean today? And how may it relate to the circulation of movements organizing for alternative currencies or for the abolition of money?

How can an analysis of money inform or conjoin to contemporary struggles against debt?

What are the structures of this religion, or debt-tripping machine, which will not be quenched until all are guilty?

Contemporary struggles against money, largely focus on increasing the supply of or access to money, create a people's money, or a proletarian form of money. But what could it mean to call for an abolition of money? How does organizing around such a perspective compare to historical and contemporary efforts to 'democratize' money? Is it helpful to think in terms of transitional forms or non-reformist reforms?

Beyond the metaphysics of money (as power, as value, as symbol, as object), how do contemporary heterogenous class relations define money? That is, how is "money" understood and enacted from the perspective of class composition? What are the various and different 'meanings', 'uses', and 'relations' of money (phenomenologically and in the circuit of capitalist reproduction) amongst various sectors of the class as well as capital? How does money define class hierarchy in the ontology of capitalist society (and how fluid are these definitions)? How is it that/and in what ways does a singular money-form differently entangle different sectors of society? Are there strategic connections/disconnections in the order of money based on inter- and intra-class differences?

Under what sort of social relations do alternative and non-monetary forms of exchange emerge and grow? What kinds of relations can surpass those of exchange? What is the role of the state or corporate interests in co-opting or squashing such relations? Can different networks and infrastructures of commoning online give some indication of the challenges and potentials for forms of commoning in the city which can evade co-optation?

What is the relation between the state's monopoly on the use of violence and its monopoly over money?

How can a reflection on money enhance and open up a critical space for rethinking existing social relations?

Rather than begin with the money form, could one instead begin with the kinds of social relations one aspires to and then find the appropriate strategies to facilitate modes of exchange or cooperation?

How to think money without money subsuming thought?


- This is not a university course. It starts in the middle and will end not through an arbitrarily chosen date on a calendar. Rather, it will end when the interest or need or desire for it is not longer there.

- Although one strand of its pre-life comes from a graduate seminar in a city university; collectively, for all of us involved in caring for this inquiry, the desire is to link this to autonomous forms of education and learning which have as their basis a conviction that knowledge is not separated from political action and political life. Moreover, we see this effort and what we have been doing for the last 14 years now, as a part of the emergence of constituent processes which foster and create common places which bring together different investigations and inquiries into a space of sharing and potential transfer into the practice of everyday life and everyday political struggle (the two being inseparable).

- Intellectuality today has meaning, if there is at once a desire to interrogate existing and prevailing mental conceptions of the world while looking for horizons that may inform how one lives or can live. Moreover, this intellectuality stands in direct opposition to the standardized relation to knowledge prevailing inside many universities today, which outside the problems of commodification of education, actually validate knowledge only in its recirculation inside the academic context itself or in the capacity for compatiblization into the overwhelming dictates of industry and capital. A knowledge that is not placed on the path of indentureship and slavery but rather leading toward processes of emancipation would have to counter this dominant logic by situating itself in liminal spaces which mend the link between knowledge and action. A link which today has been subsumed and contained by the knowledge/work nexus.

- That is why, our proposal today is that we cannot simply remain satisfied with politicizing our places of work. Work has sufficiently absorbed all the qualities of politics, including our basic capacities of relating to the other, our performativity, our speech, but in a manner that has delimited the function and use of each of these.

- In a more simple manner, one could say in only politicizing our places of work, we risk making of politics a work. This would not be an argument against politicizing or organizing with others inside the workplace. Instead, it is an emphasis to also engage with spheres outside what one does as a 'profession' or 'work' to experiment with the potential to rediscover and reclaim other spheres of doing, of activity, of politics.

- Politics cannot be work, because politics, is not simply a task one conducts to produce a result, nor is it simply the performance of a power one does not innately possess. Politics implicates an ability to redistribute and put to question the very structures of collective life which can, among other things, make a particular form of activity considered productive work and another form of activity considered unproductive, without value, even a threat.

- Let it also be said here, since this space has among other things been one associated with art, what can be called poetry or art, is also not a simply a kind of work or labor. It can be this, it can be a profession, like any other. But similar to political activity, it can be the kind of activity that can put to question what humans or other animals do or can do. And in this way, it can be also be a form of refusal. It can be a form of strike. And contrary to what some have argued, art is not a specific form of doing, rather it is precisely, or has the capacity to be or open up the space for, the potential undoing of every type of doing. Art and poetry have the capacity to insist on the necessity of the unnecessary of any given consensus or hegemony.

- Let us aspire toward situations of learning that can learn to revoke, unwork, undo, unlearn, disown, put into play, make use of, profane, render inoperative rather than 'produce' knowledge, especially when the dominant form of that production of knowledge is leading to apocalypse.


- 730 days before this upcoming Monday (Sept. 16), the first day of our weekly seminar on money and the commons, wall street was occupied.

- In the month leading to the occupation, along with George Caffentzis, Silvia Federici, David Graeber and many friends we explored the linkages between the grammar and logic of debt and that of the common(s). In the midst of the assemblies leading to the occupation, we wanted to ask:

What do we owe to whom?

What is the nature of this religion, or debt-tripping machine, which extracts money from the poor to pay for the excesses of the rich?

What are the prospects for a movement against debt?

At whose altar are these sacrifices or austerity measures being made?

Are the toxic outcomes of extreme processes of extraction, eviction, enclosure, dispossession capitalism's proposal of a common(s)?

How can we avert or defend against a capitalist and statist recuperation of struggles for a common(s)?

Could the common(s) be both a means and horizon of struggle against the social relations which are structured by and through debt / money?

Could the re-cultivation of a notion of common(s) and commoning open up the imaginary of a politics of the Multitude - beyond the binaries of the State and the People (posited by Hobbes) and the zombie categories of Public and Private (which function increasingly as placeholders for Corporate-State and Individual-Corporation)?

If the structured and legally privileged social relations today are ones based on hierarchy, often masked as exchange, could we begin to develop practices of real exchange? What would be the appropriate forms to intermediate such 'real' exchanges?

How to understand processes of communization, commoning, sharing, and free cooperation as distinct from one another and more importantly from relations of hierarchy and exchange? What would be the appropriate forms or processes to cultivate such relations?

How would one cultivate spaces or practices of commoning which could be resilient to their reabsorption into hierarchical and exchange based logics?

- Many things have happened in these nearly two years. And many more critical questions have emerged. For example, questions about the forms of self-organization outside existing structures and institutions which have monopolized the scene of politics of the 19th and 20th century. Additional questions about the disproportionate force of states and police to dictate through the arbitrary use and abuse of law, surveillance, force and violence the terms of struggle. Questions about race, gender, class, and other categories of privilege, domination, everyday violence which would not go away simply by struggling against the 1%. And furthermore, basic questions confronting the dynamics of struggling against processes, logics and structures which act not only against us but through us, inhabiting our mental conceptions, practices, modes of relating with one another.

- For some, the occupation of wall street and the incredible resonance it had globally, especially in extending a series of movements confronting the corporate-state monopolization over the reproduction of life, reaffirmed the necessity to revolt and reintroduce forcefully a critique of state and capitalism. Something which was not considered imaginable in public debate both pre and post 1989, at least in the USA. For others, it represented once again a chance to reconnect the struggles last conjoined in the height of movements in the 60's, which Chris Marker once referred to as two separate and irreconcilable trajectories, those who revolt against poverty and those who revolt against wealth. But the ambivalence that marks the multitude, which is in no small way dictated by the seeming impossibility to withdraw from the communities of money, has allowed or forced many to reintegrate themselves back into the matrices of power and domination.

- If 'Occupy' is not seen as a thing, or a brand, or a self-assigned group of revolutionaries, activists, individuals, or an organ or body of a nascent political movement, in short as an object, or delimited localized thing, but is seen in its continuity, seen instead as a force or intensification of the insurrectionary imagination lurking behind the seemingly passive and apathetic multitudes; then, this force or intensity, which includes an array of growing tactics, gestures, modes of disruption across continents and squares (with names such as indignados, occupy, capulcu, or even ultras) has only begun to manifest itself. We hope that the ongoing inquiries, such as our own and of other friends, can be a part of process of collectively reflecting, imagining, and building up the capacities, imaginaries, and solidarities for its subsequent manifestations.


- We are asking ourselves: can an inquiry into our existing and desired for social relations, also become a form of political activity and open up to different experiments and experiences in the fabric of the city?

And it is in this context, that commoning the city and withdrawing from the community of money meet:

- The role and function of money in different contexts, both historical and contemporary.
- Examining existing social relations and their overdetermination through the expanding monetization and financialization of everything.
- Understanding the perpetuation and exploitation of existing forms of domination, coloniality, patriarchy, and racism through the power vested in money.
- Investigating existing and potential forms for resisting, undoing and withdrawing from monetization processes and the relations they presuppose, through alternative modes of exchange and/or forms of communization, sharing, or commoning.
- Inquiring into and experimenting with processes, which could orient toward social relations not determined by dynamics of hierarchy or even exchange.

- We meet and ask, without any preconceptions or accepting any naturalized response:
Why are supposedly 'free' people born as debtors?
Why do so many people in the so-called developed parts of the world have to equate living with money? And to be rich to have access to non-toxic food and non-toxic housing? Why is this the standard of ‘development’ that is being imposed globally?
Why is money seen as a means of liberation when all that it implies is materially more connected to slavery?
How has money colonized thought and imagination?
Why and how has a professed means of facilitating transaction and exchange emerged today as the bearer and executor of life? So much so that nearly no existing social and political organization today can think of sustainability outside the register of money.

- Beside overcoming the separation of knowledge and action, we will have to collectively overcome our imagination of what a collective inquiry can be or become. How can we create encounters and conversations, which at once have the speculative qualities of an intellectual inquiry, the aesthetic force of sparking the imaginary, and with equal force the qualities and urgency of a political meeting or gathering.

- That contemporary education has become more and more impotent against this avalanche of monetization of all life, if not one of its very instruments is not outside our reflection. It is exactly why today a proliferation of groups are attempting to inquire and critique these processes while building up common spaces which can cultivate the multi-faceted character of learning experiences able to exceed the knowledge/work matrix.

- Sites of ‘knowledge production’ have been rendered impotent today by being used either as instruments for forces of monetization and militarization or as sites of pacifying and rendering irrelevant any resistance to those forces. Inside many universities and cultural institutions (by the very circumstances of orienting thought exclusively toward 'professional' or 'vocational' domains and under increasing pressures of monetization) knowledge is being 'produced' and 'accumulated' to normalize, advance, and glorify the violence that communities of money believe is necessary to underwrite their relations (of force and purported exchange) and forms of life. But if knowledge was a premise for emancipation, and ‘profession’ cannot be the path of emancipation, and indebtedness is not the path of emancipation, then what kind of knowledge can reconfigure itself toward emancipatory processes? What form can the sharing and generation of that knowledge take? What kinds of spaces can be created to allow this kind of knowledge not only to be shared, but also to be put into play in everyday life?

- That education and learning have become increasingly instruments of military and economic interests is perfectly embodied in the context of the second week's meeting at CUNY. Earlier this year, Marshall Sahlin's withdrew from the National Academy of Sciences, in part because of the military research projects of the Academy. Additionally, as most of you may know, an Ad Hoc Committee Against the Militarization of CUNY has been formed and has been involved in organizing against the appointment of ex-general and ex-CIA chief Petraeus. This week’s student protests were interrupted by an outburst of violence from police, assaulting and arresting six students, prompting a large group of students and faculty to sign a letter supporting the students actions, condemning the actions of the police and asking for charges against students to be dropped, and CUNY to terminate Petraeus' appointment.