Space Notes
Midnight Notes 4 - (1981) Space Notes p. 27

Thursday (8/18)
Day 1A (Silvia / George - this recording is partial)
Day 1B (David)

Friday (8/19)
Day 2A (Silvia / George)
Day 2B (David)

Saturday ( 8/20)

Day 3A (Discussion)
Day 3B (David)
Day 3C (Silvia / George conclusion)

Videos From Sessions Forthcoming


The seminar was free and open to the public. We made a collection for food. An intensive intellectual effort like this also requires some nutrients beyond ideas. It was organized with and by Silvia, George, David, 16 Beaver Group, This Is Forever, and various individuals affiliated with spaces and initiatives in New York.



-\ \ \ Silvia Federici
Women, Land Struggles, and the Reconstruction of the Commons

Feminism And the Politics of the Commons

-\ \ \ George Caffentzis
A Tale of Two Conferences: Globalization, the Crisis of Neoliberalism and Question of the Commons

The Future of 'the Commons': Neoliberalism's 'Plan B' or the Original Disaccumulation of Capital?

Workers against Debt Slavery and Torture: An Ancient Tale with a Modern Moral

-\ \ \ David Graeber

DEBT, The First 5,000 Years

Chapter 1: On the Experience of Moral Confusion

Chapter 5: A Brief Treatise on the Moral Grounds of Economic Relations

Chapter 12: 1971–The Beginning of Something Yet to Be Determined

Debt: The First Five Thousand Years (overview published in Mute 2009)

-\ \ \ Midnight Notes

The New Enclosures n.10 (1990)

Midnight Notes: New Enclosures (n. 10)


Beyond Good and Evil Commons
Debt, Economic Crisis and the Production of Commons

Silvia Federici
George Caffentzis
David Graeber

For the seminar Silvia Federici and George Caffentzis will contribute three sections on the commons, starting from a more theoretical discussions -- (why the commons, what are the commons, different forms of commons, different theories [e.g. Negri/Hardt], commons in the crisis)--and ending with a more practical discussion focusing on reproductive commons, knowledge commons, global commons, negative commons (Maria Mies expression), like trash for instance, the square phenomenon, and through these examples the question of commons as political spaces.

David Graeber
will draw from his recent publication 'DEBT - The First 5000 Years' outlining some of the critical arguments in the book, which is a contemporary research on the history of money, markets, and debt, along with an anthropological analysis of the diverse and often conflicting moral principles that lie at the root of what we now call 'economic relations', how the former history has caused much of that moral basis to become invisible to us, and finally, how this history might be brought to bear on contemporary social, political, and economic struggles.



-\ \ \ Maria Mies and Veronika Benholdt-Thomsen
Defending, Reclaiming and Reinventing the Commons

-\ \ \ Massimo De Angelis
The Commons (from The Beginning of History: Value Struggle and Global Capital)

-\ \ \ Peter Linebaugh
Two Charters (from The Magna Carta Manifesto)

-\ \ \ Ferruccio Gambino
The Elementary Algebra of Common Goods and Evils

-\ \ \ David Bollier
Introduction (from Silent Theft: The Private Plunder of Our Common Wealth)

-\ \ \ Michael Hardt
Two Faces of Apocalypse: A Letter from Copenhagen

-\ \ \ Paige Sarlin
Vulnerable Accumulation

Space Notes - Page 21
Midnight Notes 4 - (1981) Space Notes p. 21


we promise / / / - They say the nation suffers from debt, and all share a common responsibility to pay what is owed. But what is the debt they are referring to? And is this really all we have a common responsibility toward?

we think / / / - Thursday, Friday, and Saturday (18, 19, 20 of August 2011) we are organizing a seminar which will be lead by Silvia Federici, George Caffentzis, and David Graeber. Three individuals who have contributed a great deal to contemporary thinking around the notion of the commons as well as debt. They have also consistently made efforts to tie their thought and research to critical struggles and political developments.

we live / / / - In the midst of ...
- 10 years of a 'War on War' - if we understand terrorism to mean resorting to the use of violence in the pursuit of political aims.
- An unprecedented wave of revolutionary protests in North Africa, the Mediterranean and Middle East.
- The impacts of a massive nuclear catastrophe which obviously cannot be confronted without also confronting capitalism
- Emerging pockets of resistance globally against efforts to transfer and impose (through 'austerity' measures) the debts accrued by continued war and financial speculation/crimes.
- 30+ years into a neoliberal paradigm that has paved a one way path toward privatizing profits, and externalizing everything else.
- 5000 years of debt

we would like / / / - To learn the thousands of ways we can say 'Enough!' collectively. And the struggles taking place around the commons and against debt are critical in this regard.

we act / / / - The history of actions is written after the fact, not before


How can an anthropological approach to debt open up and inform contemporary struggles around and against debt?

How to build or pre-figure the political spaces we desire and how can contemporary and historical inquiries into the commons assist such processes?

Where are the potential holes or points of recouperation in struggles against debt and struggles for a commons?

Computer State NotesMidnight Notes 5 - (1982) Computer State Notes p. 4


A. Debt
B. The Commons
C. The concatenation between modes of resistance and efforts to pre-figure, embody, enact the commons, communalization, commoning.


We came up with a schedule that would allow for some conversations around the presentations and some meals.

Day 1
Thursday 18th
Doors open at 4:00
Session 1 4:30 - 6:45 Silvia / George
light food
Session 2 7:15 - 9:30 David

Day 2
Friday 19th
Doors open at 4:00
Session 3 4:30 - 6:45 Silvia / George
light food
Session 4 7:15 - 9:30

Day 3
Saturday 20th
Doors open at 1:00
Session 5 2:00 - 4:30 David
Session 6 5:00 - 7:30 Silvia / George

Space Notes p.19Midnight Notes 4 - (1981) Space Notes p. 19