June discussion: abortion

from Viscera

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

from Viscera

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

from Viscera

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

from Viscera

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

from Viscera

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

from Viscera

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

From Viscera

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

from Viscera

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!

September discussion: anarchists respond to COVID (and its world)

from Viscera

oin us Sunday, September 26th from 1-3 pm for a discussion about anarchist responses to COVID! This is a subject we’ve talked about a lot, but with vaccines, new restrictions, and the limited economic support from the state being rolled back things look a lot different now – well, except for the growing number of infections!

We’ll be reading two recent pieces, one from some French anarchists who attacked a vaccination site and one less spicy (but still good!) piece from Canada!

About an attack on a vaccination centre

Health on a human scale

We’ll be meeting in Clark Park near the chess tables, as usual!

August discussion: All the terrible things we do to each other

from Viscera

This month we’ll be revisiting the theme of friendship – especially timely given the long pandemic and social strain that’s come with it. Join us in Clark Park (meet by the chess tables) Sunday, August 29th at 1 pm for a discussion of the essay The terrible things we do to each other.

And if when I say friend it means a certain willingness to throw everything away for a person you’ve just met or if you seek out certain intensities because you believe that is the purpose of friendship, to have grand and wild experiences, then perhaps we share a certain form of life—a certain idea of the good life, a common understanding of the word happiness.

Find it below, or imposed into pamphlet form here.

May online discussion: The reproduction of daily life / Dupont

from Viscera

We’ll be reading two pieces this month – the classic Reproduction of Daily Life by Fredy Perlman and some thoughts on the essay from Frére Dupont in their essay On Marxist Ideas of Change.

The practical everyday activity of wage-workers reproduces wage labor and capital. Through their daily activities, “modern” men, like tribesmen and slaves, reproduce the inhabitants, the social relations and the ideas of their society; they reproduce the social form of daily life. Like the tribe and the slave system, the capitalist system is neither the natural nor the final form of human society; like the earlier social forms, capitalism is a specific response to material and historical conditions.

Find Perlman’s essay here and Dupont here.

Discussion will be on May 23rd on jitsi from 1-3 EST. Contact us for the password!

May in-person discussion: Against Identity Politics

from Viscera

A reading liked this piece so much we’re doing it twice! Or in this case, a third time. Our in-person discussion this month will be Against Identity Politics by Lupus Dragonowl.

Find the essay here.

We’ll be meeting in Clark Park on Sunday, May 16th from 1-3 – find us by the chess tables!

April in-person event: demotivational training

from Viscera

We’re gonna take a bet on more nice weather and host another in-person outdoor event this month! Following up on bolo’bolo’s resistance to the planetary work machine, we’ll be reading excerpts from Demotivational Training by Guillaume Paoli.

…the objective of practicing demotivation, and this treatise is a modest step in that direction, would be rather to divest oneself from the apparatuses used to lead all of us donkeys to the market, to methodically dismantle the mechanisms that ensure that, despite everything, it works.

Readings:

We’ll be meeting on Saturday, April 24th from 1-3 pm at Clark Park near the chess tables.

April online event: Against Identity Politics

from Viscera

This month we’ll be revisiting Against Identity Politics, the classic critique of identity politics by Lupus Dragonowl. The world has lots of bad critiques of identity politics, but this is one we actually like.

From all of this, we must conclude that IPs are just another type of leftist, promoting sacrifice and renunciation, posing as liberators of the oppressed.

Find the essay here.

We’ll be meeting on Sunday, April 18th from 1-3pm EST on jitsi. Get in touch for the password!

March discussions: bolo’bolo, virtual and in reality

from Viscera

The weather is getting nicer, so we’re doing two discussions this month on the same reading! We’ll be revisiting (or, for some of us, reading for the first time) the classic work of anarchist utopia that’s neither, bolo’bolo.

bolo’bolo is also a modest proposal for the new arrangements on the spaceship after the Machine’s disappearance. Though it started as a mere collection of wishes, a lot of considerations about their realization have accumulated around it. bolo’bolo can be realized world-wide within five years, if we start now. It guarantees a soft landing in the second reality. Nobody will starve, freeze or die earlier than today in the transition period. There’s very little risk.

For those who prefer (or require) an online discussion, we’ll be meeting on jitsi in the room viscerapvd on Sunday, March 21st at 1-3 pm. Get in touch with us for the password!

We’ll also be doing an in-person discussion one week later on Sunday, March 28th in Clark Park (meet near the chess tables) from 1-3 pm.

This reading is a bit long, so we recommend staring early! It’s a lot of fun, and we’re looking forward to seeing people in one form or another for the discussion!