Ever since the decline of Marxist-Leninist party politics, social movements have become forces of decentralized socio-political action. Movements like Occupy, Black Lives Matter, abolitionism, and the anti-austerity do not depend politically on the centripetal force of a party. Thus, they are left with the need for an independently provided theory that informs and justifies their actions. For theory to be produced, radical theoretical collectives are formed. Such collectives come from the movement and are not above the movement. They stay near the movement, they “rearguard” it, and try to reflect on its actions and principles. The theory produced by the radical collectives exhilarates the tendencies inside the movement: instead of creating grand yet simplifying schemata for the socio-political world, the radical collectives theorize social reality in its detailed, messy, and often disturbing state. In that sense, the discourse of the radical collectives is the closest access one can have to the movement itself. In the spirit of the Weather Underground collective: Social movements don’t need a weatherman to know which way the wind blows.
In this reading group we are going to read seminal texts from radical collectives like Endnotes, Chuang, Weather Underground, Blaumachen, Baedan, Tiqqun, the Situationists etc. The meetings occur each Monday from 6 to 8 p.m. at P.C. Hoofthuis room 3.19. For joining the reading group or any other questions send your e-mail at email@example.com.