Seminar Weekly Post

Photo: Emma Goldman’s mugshot, September 10, 1901 in Chicago, Illinois (Credit: wikimedia).

Seminar weekly writing activity.

Week 2 Seminar Notes
15 April, 2017

Works:

Bucklin, M. (2004). Emma Goldman: An Exceedingly Dangerous Woman. U.S.: PBS.

Goldman, E. (1996). Red Emma Speaks. Humanities Press

Motmakt. (2011, September 7). Noam Chomsky on libertarian socialism.Youtube.

 

This week we read chapters two and three of “Red Emma Speaks,” a compilation of speeches and writings by Emma Goldman, and watched “Noam Chomsky on Libertarian Socialism” and “Emma Goldman: A Very Dangerous Woman.” Ricky and I started off by discussing the role of parenting and education in the development of children during this seminar session. We talked about how rebellion against authority is seen as a “teenage phase” that will pass, while Emma describes it as an inevitable rejection of indoctrination. Ricky referred to it as “proof in the pudding”: kids will attempt to find their own ways to develop and grow outside of what they have been taught is right or wrong and outside of the authority of religion, education, and parenting.

To read the full seminar summary, please follow this link: https://drive.google.com/open?id=1FbE4MF0i06zuqq6sFRyMOMpfL4wJBrIoCiul1wyHjLA

 

Seminar weekly writing activity.

Week 3

23 April, 2017

Works:

Harvey, D. (2013). The End of Capitalism. Youtube.

Kropotkin, P. (2003). Mutual Aid: A Factor of Evolution. The Project Gutenberg Literary Archive Foundation: Ebook.

Malatesta, E. (1891). Anarchy. Freedom Press: Ebook.

Ross, K. (2016). Communal Luxury: The Political Imaginary of the Paris Commune. La Fabrique: London.

This week, Ricky and I discussed Kropotkin, Malatesta, Ross and Harvey over a two-hour seminar session. We started with discussing how we paired Malatesta and Kropotkin readings in the same week through luck–they are both anarcho-communists who discuss mutual aid and cooperation. Malatesta gives a more brief and straight-forward understanding of anarchism and mutual aid, while Kropotkin gives natural history as well as anthropological history a focus in his discussion of mutual aid to provide examples of cooperation used in the animal world as well as the human social world. David Harvey, who is a Marxist economist, does not mention mutual aid specifically but his ideas definitely fit into the idea of cooperation.

To read the full seminar summary, please follow this link: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1Ruz24q0WWY13oB77woO1vlmaT0QQ2FzI8EBDTpmmO_M/edit?usp=sharing

Project Weekly Posts

Week 2 Synthesis Paper

A Dangerous Woman in a Dangerous World

Emma Goldman was a tornado of a woman who tore through the ideas of morality, marriage, child rearing, capitalism, war, and gender during a time when these discussions were unspeakable. Her speeches and lectures radicalized many people into questioning their place in the world. I chose to read and discuss Goldman because her ability to mobilize thousands of people inspires me; I hope to learn how her words could motivate such large groups. I also wanted to read Goldman because her critiques of religion, morality, and gender can form a base from which I can create my own understanding of challenging these ideologies in a modern world. Since my ILC has everything to do with understanding radical political theories and movements, I wanted to see what Goldman had to say because she was one of the only women who has gained world-wide renown in anarchist philosophy. As someone who has been socialized female my entire life I found it necessary to involve someone who was also socialized female in this project.

For the full paper, follow this link: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1EKNpl2vA7K_VlhTsCjiizUjpnbMUZYE7vuSujtuFEyc/edit?usp=sharing

 

Week 3 Synthesis Paper

Cooperation is Human Evolution

This week I read “Anarchy,” by Errico Malatesta and “Mutual Aid,” by Peter Kropotkin, two anarcho-communists who promote the evolutionary theory of mutual aid. The reason that I chose Malatesta is because he has clear definitions of his idea of anarchism and mutual aid, while Kropotkin goes more in depth on these theories and gives historical context as to how mutual aid has been such a large factor in human evolution. Following the reading of Emma Goldman during week two, these authors have provided me with more understanding of how the theories of mutual aid and anarcho-communism are rooted in cooperation between human beings in already-lived historical experiences.

To read the full paper, please follow this link: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1t1rRiTKRbWorKDQR-oPrY83gS08v2vRM1v_XXygaGBI/edit?usp=sharing

Week 4 Synthesis Paper

Global General Strikes: The First and Last Call

    Rosa Luxemburg was a woman who lived in the late 1800’s and early 1900’s, and she witnessed the Russian Revolution of 1905. Her analysis of the Russian Revolution, the general strikes that took place in the early 1900’s, and her assumptions about the potential for a German revolution in that time period are applicable to my study because we are living in a time where workers are facing exploitation the likes of which we have never seen. The gap between the working class and the owning class are growing at the largest rate since the Great Depression; more people are living in poverty while under the illusion that they have free choice, Since Luxemburg was able to witness large strikes and revolutionary actions and compare them to the events happening in Germany, I think that her understandings of how strikes and revolutions work could be applicable to struggles we are facing now. Along with Luxemburg, I will be discussing Richard Wolff’s Marxist understanding of modern economics while bringing him into conversation with Luxemburg. Through discussing these two together, I hope to shed some light on the possible success of a worker’s uprising here in the United States.

To read the full paper, please follow this link: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1xAJ73Sg3mGMbOb8njm8SL0Z2iS7qi8ueTDWusSvs9so/edit?usp=sharing

Week 5 Synthesis Paper

Social Ecology and Revolutionary Technology

We are facing an age in which technology is often posed as the enemy of human survival and the planet. The extraction of materials such as oil and coal has consistently escalated pollution since the Industrial Revolution, clearcutting of massive areas of trees around the world with machinery that runs off of oil and gas has devastated natural environments, and the mechanization of the agricultural industry  poisons our bodies and the land  with chemicals such as pesticides.  Workers see jobs disappearing as they are replaced with technology; people face unemployment and low wages due to competition fueled by machines that can now work faster and often smarter than humans. Indigenous ways of caring for and living with the environment are erased through the uses of industrial technology. The reason that technology has been so detrimental is because of capitalism and ecocide: inventions are funded by capitalists to increase production rather than meet the material needs of humans while casting little care about environmental destruction.

Murray Bookchin, a social ecologist and anarchist, says technology has the potential be liberatory,  that if used in the right contexts could create better lives for humans while eliminating a lot of the toil that restricts us from participating in revolutions. In his compilation of essays titled Post-Scarcity Anarchism, he discusses the possibility of an anarchist revolution that utilizes technology in order to meet the needs of all, while attempting to balance the relationship between human beings and the environment.

To read the full paper, please download from this link: Week 5 Synthesis Paper

Week 6 Synthesis Paper

Lucy Parsons was raised in chattel slavery; she was an black anarchist woman who, once she became free, organized labor against wage slavery and capitalism. During the “Haymarket riots” in May 1886, her husband, Albert Parsons, and seven others were arrested for allegedly setting off a bomb that killed multiple police officers and wounded many more. Lucy continued to organize black communities, workers, and women even after her husband was hung in Chicago for events at the Haymarket. I value what Lucy had to say in her travels across the U.S. on speaking tours as well as in her writing. She was a member of the Industrial Workers of the World and critiqued patriarchy within the radical union; there are not enough radicals who discuss patriarchy and anarchism from a woman’s perspective. This quarter I have purposely chosen multiple women who identify as anarchist or communist in order to better understand my own position as a person who challenges patriarchy and yet witnesses it and often carries the weight of educating anarchist men about it.

To read the full paper, please download from this link: Week 6 Synthesis Paper

Week 7 Annotated Bibliography

This week, I chose to write an annotated bibliography instead of a synthesis paper. I was hoping that doing this I could include all of my readings instead of focusing in on one reading and leaving out the others. In this annotated bibliography are summaries and analysis of writings by Nestor Mahkno and Voltairine de Cleyre. Mahkno was a Ukranian anarchist alive during the late 19th century and early 18th century. He witnessed the Russian Revolution and the rise of the Bolsheviks. Voltairine de Cleyre lived from 1866-1912 and was an American anarchist who opposed marriage, religion, and the state; she briefly met Emma Goldman in the United States and they agreed on many issues. I also listened to a podcast by Mabel Williams, wife of Robert Williams, who were two Civil Rights Activists from Monroe, North Carolina. They advocated for armed self-defense of black communities and fought against the racist imperialist wars of the United States, as well as colonialism and racial oppression.

To read the full annotate bibliography, please download from this link: Annotated Bibliography Week 7