Friday Night — 04.20.12 — An evening of … communisation

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Friday Night — 04.20.12 — An evening of … communisation

1. An Introduction to Friday
2. An evening of …

1. An Introduction to Friday

What: Discussion / Release
When: Friday April 20th, 7PM
Where: 16 Beaver St. 4 floor
Who: Free and open to all

The question of processes and forms which a resistance can take become more important in the context of contemporary struggles. Communisation, especially in the context of the revolts of the last year, has emerged as a critical category of thought, practice, and experimentation.

This Friday evening, we host Sic: the international Journal for Communisation in releasing their first issue and in organizing a discussion around the notion.

Some questions which are outlined in issue 1 of the journal include:
What is communisation? What is the relation of the contemporary crisis and communization? How to understand the historical production of the revolution of the current period? How one can still put forward demands when no demands can be satisfied?
What does the ‘indignados’ movement in Greece tell us? And the present moment? The suspended step of communization? The right tools for the job: subsumption or reproduction?

It is with these questions or headings and those outlined below in their invitation that Sic begins its efforts to bring together different writers internationally who have been reflecting on the problematic of communisation.

We hope you will join the discussion this evening.

2. An evening of …

An evening of presentations and discussion on the theme of communisation with the release of Sic: International Journal for Communisation.

Topics include:
The periodization of the capital-labor relation
The restructuring and crisis of the 1970s
The loss of the worker identity
The characterizing tendencies of contemporary struggles
The relation of communist theory to practice
The Sic project itself

“The present journal aims to be the locus for an unfolding of the problematic of communisation. It comes from the encounter of individuals involved in various projects in different countries : among these are the journals Endnotes, published in the UK and in the US, Blaumachen in Greece, Théorie Communiste in France, Riff-Raff in Sweden, and certain more or less informal theoretical groups in the US (New York and San Francisco). Each of these projects continues its own existence. Also participating are various individuals in France, Germany, and elsewhere, who are involved in other activities and who locate themselves broadly within the theoretical approach taken here.


In the course of the revolutionary struggle, the abolition of the division of labour, of the State, of exchange, of any kind of property ; the extension of a situation in which everything is freely available as the unification of human activity, that is to say the abolition of classes, of both public and private spheres – these are all “measures” for the abolition of capital, imposed by the very needs of the struggle against the capitalist class. The revolution is communisation ; communism is not its project or result.

One does not abolish capital for communism but by communism, or more specifically, by its production. Indeed communist measures must be differentiated from communism ; they are not embryos of communism, rather they are its production. Communisation is not a period of transition, but rather, it is revolution itself which is the communist production of communism. The struggle against capital is what differentiates communist measures and communism. The content of the revolutionary activity is always the mediation of the abolition of capital by the proletariat in its relation to capital : this activity is not one branch of an alternative in competition with the reproduction of the capitalist mode of production, but its internal contradiction and its overcoming.

In the late 1960’s and early 1970’s, a whole historical period entered into crisis and came to an end – i.e. the period in which the revolution was conceived in different ways, both theoretically and practically, as the affirmation of the proletariat, its elevation to the position of ruling class, the liberation of labour, and the institution of a period of transition. The concept of communisation appeared in the midst of this crisis.

During the crisis, the critique of all the mediations of the existence of the proletariat within the capitalist mode of production (mass party, union, parliamentarism), of organisational forms such as the party-form or the vanguard, of ideologies such as leninism, of practices such as militantism along with all its variations – all this appeared irrelevant if revolution was no longer to be affirmation of the class – whether it be the workers’ autonomy or the generalisation of workers’ councils. It is the proletariat’s struggle as a class which has become the problem within itself, i.e. which is its own limit. That is the way the class struggle signals and produces the revolution as communisation in the form of its overcoming.

Since then, within the contradictory course of the capitalist mode of production, the affirmation of the proletariat and the liberation of labour have lost all meaning and content. There is no longer a worker’s identity facing capital and confirmed by it. This is the revolutionary dynamic of the present struggles which display the active denial of the proletarian condition against capital, even within ephemeral, limited bursts of self-management or self-organisation. The proletariat’s struggle against capital contains its contradiction with its own nature as class of capital.

The abolition of capital, i.e. the revolution and the production of communism, is immediately the abolition of all classes and therefore of the proletariat. This occurs through the communisation of society, which is abolished as a community separated from its elements. Proletarians abolish capital by the production of a community immediate to its elements ; they transform their relations into immediate relations between individuals. Relations between singular individuals that are no longer the embodiment of a social category, including the supposedly natural categories of the social sexes of woman and man. Revolutionary practice is the coincidence of the changing of circumstances and of human activity or self-transformation.

A problematic

This minimal approach of communisation constitutes neither a definition, nor a platform, but exposes a problematic.

The problematic of a theory – here the theory of revolution as communisation – does not limit itself to a list of themes or objects conceived by theory ; neither is it the synthesis of all the elements which are thought. It is the content of theory, its way of thinking, with regards to all possible productions of this theory.
The analysis of the current crisis and of the class struggles intrinsic to it
The historicity of revolution and communism
The periodisation of the capitalist mode of production and the question of the restructuring of the mode of production after the crisis at the end of the 1960s and the beginning of the 1970s
The analysis of the gender relation within the problematic of the present class struggle and communisation
The definition of communism as goal but also as movement abolishing the present state of things
A theory of the abolition of capital as a theory of the production of communism
The reworking of the theory of value-form (to the extent that the revolution is not the affirmation of the proletariat and the liberation of labour)
The illegitimacy of wage-demands and others in the present class struggle
By definition no list of subjects coming under a problematic can be exhaustive.”