Intro to Bioecon, Notes from Silvia, Discussion of Readings — Common(s) Course — Week 3

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Monday — 09.30.13 — Intro to Bioecon, Notes from Silvia, Discussion of Readings — Week 3

0. About Mondays
1. About This Monday
2. Common(s) Course Website
3. This Week’s Links, Readings, Videos
4. Related Event

0. About Mondays

What: A Common(s) Course / Intro to Bioecon, Notes from Silvia, Discussion of Readings
When: 5:15 – 7:15pm Monday September 30
Where: 16 Beaver Street, 4th Floor
Who: Free and open to all

We would like to invite you to our weekly meeting of a common(s) course.

As we wrote in our first text a few weeks ago; we see it as a place to maintain an ongoing inquiry into our social relations in the city, investigate the increasing role money plays in determining and structuring those relations, potential efforts or processes of withdrawal from the community of money, and efforts and practices of reclaiming and producing common(s).

We hope that this kind of inquiry can help eliminate and challenge the all too readily accepted division between theory and practice, as well as those ‘inside’ a course and those ‘outside‘ it. Instead, the course is a place of meeting, mending, and tending to different forms of knowledge and doing which can excite a social imaginary beyond the sad passions produced by a reality that proposes an eternal return to dead ends.

Details about this Monday below!

1. About This Monday

For this week’s meeting we will try to divide into three sections:


We would like to take the context of the course to initiate with others a experience of a non-monetary economy. Some friends in Argentina have developed a network for doing so and we will have a conversation with one of the individuals involved with it. We will use this introduction as a way of initiating this experience together.

As the course is being cared for by different friends of the space. This week Silvia will join us to try and connect the issues of increasing monetization and struggles to reclaim a common through her most recent trip to South Africa.
George has contributed a text which he thought would be helpful for our collective inquiry from his recent book entitled “From Letters of Blood and Fire” published by PM Press/Common Notions/Autonomedia.

We have also posted two texts online by Anitra Nelson. One is an interview and the second is a text which is part of a book she has edited with Frans Timmerman entitled ‘Life without Money’ and published by Pluto Press in 2011. We have offered this as one potential reference for our discussions and thinking.

We will attempt to dedicate some time to discuss these text as group and if necessary, we can use time in the subsequent meeting to discuss further.

2. Common(s) Course Website

Our website for the course is now live. You can visit there to keep updated with readings and whenever possible, we are posting audio recordings of the conversations / meetings. We now have online our first meeting, the lecture by Marshall Sahlins, as well as the conversation we had afterward with Michael Taussig and David Graeber.

please visit:

3. Related Links, Readings, Videos

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

Anitra Nelson
“Interview on Non-market Socialism: Life Without Money” (2012)

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

It would be very helpful to visit the bioecon website and familiarize yourself with some of the ideas.

Occidente TV:
Series of Videos Connected to Bioecon project

4. Related Event

We would like to direct people’s attention to the Urban Convergences gathering this weekend taking place at the New School. Moreover, as part of that, Silvia has directed our attention to a discussion which is taking place on Sunday.

At 11 in the morning there will be a panel on South Africa, with people from the Shack-dwellers movement. It would be great if you could attend it because they need all the support they can get, as their members, as of now, are being shot at and their homes are being demolished in Durban.

Sunday: 55 West 13th Street, Arnhold Hall (2nd Floor), The New School

11:00am-12:30pm Focus on South Africa

The African National Congress broke South Africa’s apartheid, brought democracy to the country, and became an international symbol of proud, successful resistance to colonialism. Today, the ANC retains much of its power but little of its original revolutionary anti-colonialism, instead actively dispensing austerity policies. Nonetheless, the ANC continues to employ leftist rhetoric, and many open socialists work actively within its ranks. How do social movement groups seeking transformative change in today’s South Africa relate to the ANC? In what ways does the party’s left-wing past create opportunities as well as obstacles in the quest for greater housing justice?

Patrick Bond, Director, Centre for Civil Society, University of KwaZulu-Natal, Durban
David Ntseng, Church Land Programme, Durban
Najuwa Gallant, Tafelsig People’s Association, Cape Town
Muziwakhe Gerald Ndlalose, President, Abahlali baseMjondolo, Durban
Moderated by Rachel Laforest, Executive Director, Right to the City Alliance, New York

16 Beaver Group
16 Beaver Street, 4th fl.
New York, NY 10004

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R — Whitehall
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