Who we are | antifascist urban commune
We are a coherence of about 20 people at the moment who are on the look-out to form a common economy whose potentials shall organise and support common companies, political/emancipative/antifacist projects as well as everyday's life of individual actors within the commune.
We exist for about 2 years now, discussed during that time quite a bit, got to know each other (and our quirks) and constantly grew in numbers, nevertheless. Trust and confidence has grown amongst us, strengthening the individuals' earnestness towards the project.
We aspire (and attempt in our current practice) to be a coherence across the generations who particularly wants to integrate queer, migrant, precarious (e.g. single parents) people.
To us the concept 'commune' makes it practically possible to realise communist approaches, like appropriation of productive means and abolishment of private property, anarchist ideals like self-organisation and abolishment of hierarchy and feminist utopia like abolishment of the patriarchal, bourgeois nuclear family with its repressive-dominant role allocation1.
A basic understanding of antifascism means the necessity to advocate that an emancipated society is a valid model of development in the currently prevailing reality. Apart from this, the antifascist urban commune had not been established to form one political unit. The commune has no political representation and hence there is no coercion or need to form a consent about it. Instead we wish for self-determined debate between the individuals and hence an emancipative variety, albeit founded on an 'emancipative basic consent' which defines a basic readiness for self-organisation and a consciousness for the necessity to fight against sexism, racism, anti-semitism, nationalism, national-socialism, religious evangelising and esotericism. The actual implementation remains a problem of practice.
Together with others, we are curently trying to find a place with several buildings in a suburb of Belin.
There we want to live as well as to build up projects and companies. It will be situated where Nazis have created a zone of fear and terror. Its mere existence should (next to our political activities and ambitions) show and let people experience a practical, emancipative alternative to the models of bourgeois society and to the nationalist-folkish 'offer'.
The following projects shall/can be realised - some as projects/part of the communal structure: graphics design, IT collective (networking technology, etc.), media collective, wood workshop, car and metal workshop (also sculpturing), space for guests, pub, catering service, event location (concerts, gatherings, theatre, cinema, conferences, etc.), seminar rooms, plenum rooms, infoshop, library, open spaces.
The actual projects in the commune depend on who takes part and what these people want, can, do. It makes sense to join a project and put forward your own interests, to look for people to realise own ideas in the communal economy.
What we want | intergalactic cyber*communism
We are looking for individuals as well as existing and forming projects who want to fusion with us. Goal is a common economy (in the sense of a 'common account') which shall be organised decentralised(!!!) and is spread over various places, regions (urban/rural) and countries. The means and possibilities created by this common economy shall be available for any kind of personal need and for the communards' political/emancipative aims2.
Why right from the Start
There are two paths of argumentation why to run a place independent structure right from the start.
1. Our group: we want to start as a large group and become a larger group. Therefore it is necessary to start with more than 15 people, because with a lower number, after a certain consolidation of the group's structure, it is very difficult and costly to integrate new people in the group: passed projects show that a certain mentality has stuck, roles are allocated, there is a lack of potential for new approaches and projects. The outlook to think your own life at one place scares many people away from cooperation. The situation that there is no space to evade others in times of conflict, tightens the quality of conflict within the structure of the commune. All in all, we do not have the aspiration to be 'one' group, in fact it shall be a decentral fabric of various and complex freely chosen cooperations of people amongst each other, like a mycelium, for which we want to create the right nutrient solution. The possibility of free choice rises with the number of people involved and integrated places and means of production.
2. Additionally it deems important to us to incite this process particularly in non-consolidated projects under construction. Because: after a commune's successful start, it is, as proprietor, on the market (wanted or not). It is a commodity, albeit (a big difference) a collective commodity. Therefore there will be a place for the voice of bourgeois-economocial reason in a consolidated commune which will speak against a common economy in the interest of preserving its own prosperity, so the wealth cannot be lost to the (in this situation real) outside. This is the reason why a consent in such kind of structure will be improbable in a place independent common economy. We call
particularly for currently forming groups, because this outside does not yet exist on that scale.
A mere 'networking' with other communal projects does not seem promising to us. The proprietors manifest themselves in them, the cooperation remains precarious, sporadic and governed by the fact that there is no common economy. Examples for networking which have produced something similar to a common economy, unknown to us.
From our perspective, the most practical solution would be if this place independent coherence helps people and groups on its own to create new projects which are part of the common economy.
Advantages and Chances
Besides the aforementioned impact on group dynamics and the possibility of a broader and a more complex integration, we naturally have a material interest in a fusion of economies. This includes a broader basis of financial means, a larger work-force through more participants and the possibility to live in different places with different people as well as a broader selection of means of reproduction, production, conflict solution, knowledge, inspiration and exchange - synergies on all levels.
Our profit shall be your profit and vice versa. As we hope for help to build 'our' project, the result is fully available to you, so is 'our' help for 'your' project. We want to live, work, discuss, relax at 'your' place and 'our' doors are naturally open to you in the same way. We would like to skip 'yours' and 'ours', though.
It is a valid question how a decentralised organisation which is transparent, functional and so participative that all existing interests can be communicated and organised, is supposed to work. Our answer is, next to traditional structures of communication and decision making (with as little hierarchy as possible), a web based computer system. We are partly using the functionality of a flexible forum, but also a groupware for tasks3, appointments and administration of finances and resources. This system is still under development.
By means of this system it shall be possible to develop a common structure of communication and organisation which is not bound to physical locations anymore. There is no difference to the system if it is fed from the room next door or e.g. from southern Italy. Also, it boosts transparency and written tradition. Time and space for communication is extended.
Naturally, nobody thinks of replacing conventional face-to-face communication. The forms of communication shall rather complement each other. Computer aided planning and structuring of information shall prevent endless plena. On the one hand they are an organisatorial bottleneck, on the other they consume time and energy.
The real exchange between the places shall be liaised by humans who fluctuate between them (enabled via the common economy) which will also boost dissolve partialised group identities. Classic face-to-face, so to speak.
Megalomaniac and unrealistic?
Sure, some of you will think: "well, start going and then we'll see." But we want to break up exactly this kind of thinking, obstinacy deprives us of many possibilities. Projects with similar goals should take the next step in their cooperation. Mutual goodwill visits and small exchange of commodities between the communes will make it difficult to establish a dynamic and broadening of the idea of the commune. The history of the communes has shown that the previous 100 years. The abolishment of private property does not stop at the borders of your own house/farm. A societal perspective of change is only thinkable if a broad basis fostering the broadening of communal economies is formed. An extensive everyday's autonomy and different practices of the various actual coherences and cooperations remain untouched by this idea.
Prerequisites demanded by the antifascist urban commune
Our prerequisites are a commitment to the emancipative basic consent and the interest in a place independent common economy. Of course, we would like to get in contact with you (or parts of your organisation) personally, but for the time being, feedback about this text is sufficient, also by electronic mail via . We can organise a meeting then, if interested. Furthermore, there is the non-representative website http://www.CyborgSociety.org - always deficient and incomplete - containing concepts of projects, theories on emancipation and politics and supplemental texts.
First we would like to have a feedback if the text reached out for you and if you discuss about it in your group coherence.
If you do that, we would like to be informed where you see commonalities and differences and if you are interested and have the capacity for a personal come-together.
1) As well as the abolishment of coercion into self-constituion as a commodity.
2) Exceptions are the consumption of some hard drugs, addiction to gambling and usage which contradicts the emancipative basic consent, for instance sexist pornography.
3) Besides everyday's tasks, in a transnational/multilingual network, it would be a task to be allocated to translate important, relevant discussions into the necessary languages or to make the information transparent to those who do not have access to the system (e.g. people who cannot read).