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    2nd February 2012: Violence/Non-Violence

    Exeter University, Streatham Campus, Queens Building, Room MR3
    (see number 11 on the campus map)

    It seemed like a good idea to take perspectives from each side of the argument.

    There is a chapter by Sian Sullivan offering her personal responses to violence at an EU counter summit:
    Sullivan (2005) ‘We are heartbroken and furious!’ Violence and the (anti-)globalisation movement(s) (circulated to the email list and to be uploaded here soon as a pdf) in Catherine Eschle and Bice Maiguashca (eds.) Critical Theories, International Relations and ‘the Anti-Globalisation Movement’, Abingdon: Routledge.

    Then there are some you tube videos by Derrick Jensen challenging what he terms ‘dogmatic pacifism’ within environmental and social justice movements.

    The first video is short and directly on the theme of pacifism.

    The second video is the first of seven videos that Jensen gives about his book endgame, that expands these arguments about violence, but also has greater breadth.

    Hope you enjoy the reading/watching. See you next week!

    8th November 2011: Anarchism and Community

    Exeter University, Streatham Campus, Queens Building, Room MR3
    (see number 11 on the campus map)

    This is the last anarchist reading group of this term. At the end of this session we’d also like to reflect on this term and consider the way forward for next term – come along with ideas of what you would like to put in and get out of this group going forward.

    The Great Divide: Towards Bridging the Gap Between Anarchist- and Community-Based Organizing

    Barry Pateman on Class, Community and Anarchism

    Further reading:

    Building a Non-Eurocentric Anarchism in Our Communities: Dialogue with Ashanti Alston

    Winning the Water War. History of the fight against the water charges in Dublin in the 1990s

    Anarchism and Community Politics

    The Intersections of Anarchism and community

    Any further suggestions welcome – email or leave a comment below.

    24th November 2011: Money

    Exeter University, Streatham Campus, Queens Building, Room MR3
    (see number 11 on the campus map)

    For this week we agreed to discuss critically the issue of Money. It’s a huge topic, but has the potential to provoke a really interesting discussion. Reading and watching suggestions below. As it’s quite complex and there’s a lot of material we suggest people look at what they can. Things to think about include the increasingly non-material and high-tech nature of money and the risks associated with this, the impacts of current money systems upon inequality, injustice and ecology, as well as possibilities for change.

    Reading/Watching suggestions:
    Money as Debt film, (ca. 45 mins) useful because it breaks things down and it considers the problem of growth and ecological sustainability. Concerns about this are that it is quite conspiratorial and gives a relatively simplistic understanding of money taken out of its more complex social relational and historical contexts (e.g. over emphasis on bankers as main culprits throughout history) – we can discuss this.. (For an interesting article on dealing with problematic conspiracy theories see NI article by Polyp)

    TED talk by Jem Bendall (ca. 12 mins) gives a very simple explanation and some thoughts on the present and future

    BUT, it’s important to understand the history of social relations and the broader context of money:
    Karl Marx’s Capital, Chapter 3 (helps to have background of Chapters 1 and 2 for this, David Harvey’s lecture based on the first two chapters of Capital might be helpful here. Or, for a briefer easy to understand introduction to a marxist understanding of money watch this series of short videos.)

    This David Harvey RSA Animate on Crises of Capitalism (ca. 11 mins) is also excellent.

    David Graeber is useful for understanding money and debt development over a longer timescale and also the links to the state from a more global (and anarchist) perspective, watch this short video (ca. 13 mins) or have a read.

    Bernard Lietaer’s book The Future of Money (2001) although not especially anarchist gives lots of examples from around the world of alternative local money systems as well as observations that could stimulate debate over the problems societies are now facing. He looks at Work-Enabling Currencies and Community Currencies. If you’re pushed for time the latter, pp.197-212, may be of most interest here. This TED talk and his website are also worth having a look at.

    Last but not least, a short more poetic piece on The power of money by Karl Marx.

    10th November 2011: Occupy and the Arab Spring..

    Please NOTE we’re trying out a compromise starting time of 5.30pm this week to try to accommodate those who don’t work at the university..
    Location as usual: Exeter University, Streatham Campus, Queens Building, Room MR3
    (see number 11 on the campus map)

    This week we plan to discuss the occupy protests, looking at a few texts on these as well as considering them in relation to the Arab Spring to try to get a more global picture..


    – A selection of texts(pdf) about the Occupy protests (8 pages)
    This includes:
    1. Statement released by Occupy Wall Street
    2. Transcript of Slavoy Zizek speech in New York and following question and answer session
    3. Comment from the Distributist magazine.

    – A brief summary translation of debates between anarchists and marxists in Turkey about the Arab Spring along with a few questions for consideration (1 page)

    – Tariq Ali on the Occupy protests available online here here (ca. 4 pages)

    Also worth checking out Occupy Exeter, also on facebook and twitter, as well as Occupy Britain and The Occupied Times

    Depending on whether people agree we will try to show some of Tariq Ali’s speech in Chicago a week or so ago: Revolution in the Air: On the Arab Spring and a World in Motion

    Do check out past sessions and comment under the Continuing the Discussion page!