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Social Ecology – July Reading Group

Sunday, July 7, 2019, 2 PM – 4 PM @ 115 Legion Way SE, Olympia, WA

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This month we’ll be reading and discussing the Emily McGuire’s Social Ecology pamphlet.

This illustrated pamphlet is a fun an accessible introduction to social ecology: a theory developed by Murray Bookchin as an appeal for social reconstruction along ecological lines.

Join us for a reading a discussion of social ecology –– whether you’ve done the reading or not.

Reading group texts do not necessarily represent Olympia Assembly, we read them for critical engagement and discussion.

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Urban Planning and Capitalism –– June Reading Group

Sunday, June 9, 2019, 2 PM – 4 PM @ Burial Grounds Coffee 211 5th Ave SE, Olympia

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This week we’ll be reading and discussing the essay What is urban planning’s role in the maintenance of capitalism? by Samuel Stein. Also check out this supplemental interview with the author.

In his new book Capital City, Sam Stein describes how one of the tasks of urban planners is to make capitalist development appear to be in the rational best interests of workers and bosses alike. This excerpt explores the coercive role of planners who are part of a system that asks them to sort out who will go where, under what conditions and for whose benefit.

Join us for a reading a discussion of urban planning and it’s role in maintaining capitalism –– whether you’ve done the reading or not.

Reading group texts do not necessarily represent Olympia Assembly, we read them for critical engagement and discussion.

 

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Science-Fiction, Dystopia and Utopia – April Reading group

Sunday, April 7, 2019, 2 PM – 4 PM @ 115 Legion Way SE, Olympia, WA

This month we’ll be reading and discussing the articles Dystopias Now by Kim Stanley Robinson and The Limits of Utopia by China Miéville.

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Join us for a  discussion of these two short articles by science fiction authors K on dystopias and utopias and how they shape the lens that we interpret the world through and affect our organizing.

Reading group texts do not necessarily represent Olympia Assembly, we read them for critical engagement and discussion.

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Dual Power, Revolution and Symbiosis – March Reading Group

Sunday, March 3, 2019, 2 PM – 4 PM @ 115 Legion Way SE, Olympia, WA

This month we’ll be discussing three different pieces on Dual Power: Revolution is not a metaphor by Sophia Burns, Base-Building: Activist Networking or Organizing the Unorganized? by Tim Horras, and an excerpt from Community, Democracy, and Mutual Aid: Toward Dual Power and Beyond by the Symbiosis Research Collective.

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Olympia Assembly has recently voted to join Symbiosis, an organization which seeks to connect municipalist organizations across the globe to fight for socialism using the tactic of dual power. An Olympia Assembly member (Paige) has brought up that the definition of dual Power used by Symbiosis misrepresents that tactic and portrays it as a method of replacing the economy one co-op at a time rather than a means to build capacity for a revolutionary movement. As stated on the Symbiosis website, “This dual power strategy can help sustain our communities under capitalism, channel our collective action to fight back more effectively, and eventually supplant the institutions of capitalism to become the governing structures of the liberated society.”

Dual power is a term first used by Lenin and Trotsky during the Russian socialist revolution in 1917. To them, the goal of dual power was not to “supplant” the economy, but a means of building an alternative to win a contestation for power, overthrow the Duma government in an insurrection, and establish a socialist government. While the conditions of the world today have changed, and socialists cannot seek to simply copy and paste the tactics of past revolutionaries, a tradition of dual power has been carried on by various Marxist tendencies.

I am recommending two short pieces of reading for this discussion, all that deal with the long term goal of dual power (referred to as base-building in the first article). While the differences may not seem that large, the long term trajectory of a socialist project is very important. Supplanting an economy through co-ops and building revolutionary power share similar tactics in the short term, but without a plan, we very well may lose the class struggle. I hope this can lead to some thoughtful discussion.

~Paige

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Social Reproduction Theory – February Reading Group

This month we will be reading and discussing the essay “Without Reserves” by Salar Mohandesi and Emma Teitelman. Download a pdf here.
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Radical economic analysis has long focused on the conditions and exploitation of workers in the workplace. In the 1970s Marxist-feminists sought to broaden this focus from the production of commodities to the production of life generally. This theoretical intervention, social reproduction theory, particularly highlighted the myriad gendered and often unwaged activities that characterized household labor. Social reproduction theory has now conceptually expanded beyond the household and nuclear family to examine the numerous ways capitalist society is reproduced outside the workplace – whether through gender, race, state violence or market exploitation. This month’s reading, Without Reserves, offers a history of U.S. capitalism from a social reproduction perspective.

In addition to the reading, here is a short introductory video on social reproduction theory:
https://www.plutobooks.com/blog/video-what-is-social-reproduction-theory/