August Reading: Anarchy & Strategy

Join us Sunday, August 14th from 1-3 for our next reading discussion. We’ll be talking about “Anarchy & Strategy,” an essay by Aragorn! originally published in Anarchy: A Journal of Desire Armed (AJODA).

An anarchist strategy is not a strategy about how to make a capitalist or statist society less authoritarian or spectacular. It assumes that we cannot have an anarchist society while the state or capitalism continues to reign.

You can find the reading here.

As usual, this discussion will be held outdoors at Clark Park – we’ll be meeting, as usual, near the chess tables (look for the disreputable-looking people mostly dressed in black who aren’t playing bocce).

July reading: A conversation between anarchists

Join us at Clark Park on Sunday, July 17th from 1-3 for a conversation among anarchists about… a Conversation Between Anarchists! This is a dialogue between imprisoned members of the Greek Conspiracy of Cells of Fire and some Mexican anarchists.

Find the reading here

As usual, we’ll be meeting in the vicinity of the chess tables!

June discussion: abortion

Join us Sunday, June 19th in Clark Park from 1-3 for our next anarchist discussion group. In line with the times, we’ll be reading a few pieces on abortion!

Jane’s Revenge – First Communique

Robin Marty – I am an abortion rights activist. I hope the Supreme Court overturns Roe v. Wade.

Laura Kaplan – The Story of Jane: The Legendary Underground Feminist Abortion Service (excerpt):

As usual, we’ll be meeting near the chess tables! Yes, we realize this is father’s day, yes, you’re welcome to bring your dad or a father figure.

May discussion: The Great Caliban: the struggle against the rebel body

This month we’ll be reading “The Great Caliban: The Struggle Against the Rebel Body,” a chapter from Silvia Federici’s classic work, Caliban and the Witch.

We can see, in other words, that the human body and not the steam engine, and not even the clock, was the first machine developed by capitalism.

History, gender, Foucault, surgeons stealing the bodies of executed prisoners from the gallows – it’s got something for everyone.

We’ll be meeting in Clark Park by the chess tables on Sunday, May 22nd, from 1-3. Bring a blanket or something else to sit on in case the chairs are full with other people enjoying the warm weather!

Find the reading online here or in pdf form here:

April readings: laying flat

Who likes to work? Not us! Join us on Saturday, April 23 from for our next discussion! We’ll be meeting from 1-3 in an increasingly warmer and pleasant to be in Clark Park.

This month we’ll have two readings on how to live without work – or trying to, at least. We’ll be reading the newly-translated Tangpingest Manifesto

Some of the young people, disgusted at what they see before them, are moving on. Rather than being crushed by a sinister life, they simply live instinctually. Their poses resembling rest, sleep, sickness, and death, are not meant to renew or refresh, but are a refusal of the order of time itself.

and a section of Matsumoto Hajime’s Manual for a worldwide manuke revolution

My fellow manuke of the world, rejoice! Throughout Japan, nay, the earth, huge morons have started making tons of unthinkable spaces in opposition to this pointless world. Totally fun places, places that seem on the edge of shutting down but keep it together and persist, extremely cool spaces, places with a full-throttle feeling of freedom, places that are too stupid, places where unexpected people of mystery appear one after another… What’s that? What’s goin’ on? Hey, this looks fun!

Read the introduction and as much as you’d like of the rest, we’ll be discussing all of it!

March discussion: Hello

Hello – it’s a term we use in some form every day, it’s also the name of an essay about friendship, commitment, and alienation among anarchists. With the weather warming up, we’ll be discussing “Hello” this month in Clark Park (meet near the chess tables) on Sunday, March 13th from 1-3 pm.

When we invoke commitment to commitment, we are speaking of a form of organization that is far from all the boring clubs and pseudo-military formations. The strength of this form is entirely dependent on the intensity with which one enters into it and how well it shrouds itself. You do not have to believe that you are doing something more serious than playing a game to play it seriously, to win.

Find the reading here

January discussion II: Theater and the plague

With our own plague raging, we’ve got another in-person, outdoor event to warm us all in these cold winter months. Come get exposed to something other than COVID-19 with our next discussion on Antonin Artaud, Hakim Bey and the Theater of Cruelty!

The theater, like the plague, is in the image of this carnage and this essential separation. It releases conflicts, disengages powers, liberates possibilities, and if these possibilities and these powers are dark, it is the fault not of the plague nor of the theater, but of life.

Join us Sunday, January 30th from 1-3 – we’ll be meeting in the same place as last time, so let us know if you need the address. In case of rain we’ll reschedule.

You can find the introduction to The Theater and its Double and Theater and the Plague here:

In addition we’ll be discussing two short pieces from Hakim Bey’s T.A.Z. – Poetic Terrorism and Communique #6.

This is a bit of reading, so we recommend allotting some time for it!

January discussion: the schizophrenic experience

With the holidays coming up, we’ll be having our next event on Sunday, January 2nd from 1-3, where we’ll be discussing (anti) psychiatrist R.D. Laing’s writing on schizophrenia and social control with a chapter from The Politics of Experience and the Birds of Paradise.

There is no such ‘condition’ as ‘schizophrenia’, but the label is a social fact and the social fact a political event

Barring the weather being really awful, this event will be in our backyard somewhere in West Philly where we can have a fire in peace. Please contact us for the address and (optional but encouraged) bring something to burn.

November discussion: The Trap

This month we’ll be watching Adam Curtis’s three part documentary, The Trap: What Happened to Our Dream of Freedom? from (dusts off label) 2007! Curtis examines positive versus negative freedom with examples ranging from the Austrian school of economics to R.D. Laing and anti-psychiatry to neoliberalism and the occupation of Iraq.

If you’ve never watched an Adam Curtis feature you’re in for a treat!

We’ll be meeting in Clark Park on Sunday, November 28th, from 1-3 barring us finding somewhere congenial and heated – meet near the chess tables.

You can find the documentary on YouTube (or elsewhere) – each part is one hour, and we’ll be discussing all three!

October discussion: Death

The crisp of autumn is in the air and the sun ceding ground to the long, long night, which means it’s time for a spooky reading!

Today, the man best protected against setting the stage for his own dying is the sick person in critical condition. Society, acting through the medical system, decides when and after what indignities and mutilations he shall die.

Join us on Saturday, October 30th in Clark Park (near the chess tables) from 1-3 pm for a discussion about Ivan Illich’s “Death against death” from the classic Medical Nemesis. You can read the chapter online with footnotes here or in pdf form below:

There might even be Halloween treats!