, Questions and Answers // antifaschistische Stadtkommune Berlin // CyborgSociety.org

"Die Cyborg ist eine überzeugte AnhängerIn von Partialität, Ironie, Intimität und Perversität. Sie ist oppositionell, utopisch und ohne jede Unschuld.
Cyborgs sind nicht mehr durch die Polarität von öffentlich und privat strukturiert, Cyborgs definieren eine technologische Polis, die zum großen Teil auf auf einer Revolution der sozialen Beziehungen im oikos, dem Haushalt beruht."

(Donna Haraway)



Questions and Answers

Questions about this project

What is the size of the site including buildings you want to purchase?

Difficult to answer. We want a large site with several buildings. If possible there shall be space for a corral on the premises. The buildings shall enable living for ca. 50 people and space for projects and companies, meaning halls, workshops, offices, function rooms.

What about agriculture? Or is it just a concrete jungle?

The Berlin group primarily focusses on an urban project. It would be nice to have some green, but agriculture on a large scale is impossible in Berlin.

But within the bounds of intergalactic cyber*communism, there are talks about rural projects which already exist or are in the process of establishment. The commune shall include agriculture as well.


Are there ecological claims?

Yes, individually, but not dictated by the project. The same is valid for all rules concerning consumption: Either people do things out of conviction or they don't. 

Have you thought about dealing with children?

Yes. The views are not uniform, though, and there is a practical lack of experience within the project at the moment. However it is important to note:

  • collective child care
  • no exclusive power of control over children (better no power at all)
  • chilren shall be included in decision making as much as possible and even make them (not necessarily explicit, but, for example, who is taking care of the child intensively will also depend on whom the child can form a relation to.
  • There is no claim that EVERYBODY decides EVERYTHING with EVERY child.
  • Consequently it is the goal to overcome the role of parents.

Do you wish for a specific kind of upbringing or do you dismiss upbringing? Have you got precise ideas about this topic?

Whoooha, this is difficult and depends on what people think what upbringing is. I personally dismiss upbringing in the sense of forming through violence or towards a specific goal. I prefer (indivdual view!) taking care and enabling, as they are the better concepts. Of course, if a child is lying dead on the road, run over by a car, it is rather badly enabled. UPDATE: Read more in Imagine more, although the discussion is unfinished and the site under construction.

Have you already thought about legal problems? For example legal form of companies, taxes, health insurance, etc.?

Legal forms are unclear. Real estate will certainly be transferred to a trust and borrowed back, but concerning companies, it wil be best to have a multitude of legal forms depending on the needs.

We do not want to fall behind standards concerning health insurance, also concerning other safeguards, unless we will have built a reliable alternative in the far(!) future. Apart from that, our commune provides protection against (almost) any misery...

How do you deal with people who want to take part in the common economy but cannot  inject assets, but only debts?

That depends on the amount of debts and the project's financial situation. Basically, debts are no hinderance to enter, but above a certain amount the commune cannot cope with it.

How do you want to deal with people who want to finance a (sometimes really expensive) addiction out of the common economy?

Compare debts. Additionally, there are social consequences which are more problematic. It is more problematic than the widespread and relatively financiable addictions like e.g. smoking or politics. How to deal with it will be decided in the particular case...


How do you make sure there are no subprojects which breed fascist or national-socialst ideologies?

Individual person's answer: You cannot make sure, as long as you do not become 'fascist' (well, diffuse term...) yourself. We can only encounter this more or less effectively by defining our emancipative basic consent as a condition to enter for all. But the consent is only valid as far as it is subject of real discussions (between the participants) - it is a prerequisite but no guarantee - it exists out of actual, lively dispute which can be fostered by commen rules, by the composition of people...

Simply put: Do not let them in, spank them if need be and kick them out of the project.


Have you ever thought of how to realise the normative power of 'womyn' in relation to sexism in your daily practice and your projects? How do you make sure there are no discussions about the legitimacy of the allegation or similar issues within your group or projects?

Yes, we have (or a large part of us). This had the consequence that people not willing to debate and/or fundamentally objecting these claims have left use or were dismissed (see notice of resignation). But again: to make sure is an illusion. The only aid on top of preventive measures (basic consent, composition of the group, discussions) is the dispute that exists. The urban commune is a project with feminist/anti-sexist claims (and practice), of which the participants are aware of and to which people (womyn) can refer to. Nevertheless the urban commune is no 'feminist paradise' where some safeguards woulde make the daily dispute unnecessary.

In the end, normative power is a result of enforcement, hence of the people active in this sense (no power without powering). I do not know of anybody in the commune's group of founders who does not support this claim, but do not know everything about the newcomers, for instance. 

A very positive effect of a collective existence is a different way of dealing with conflicts, due to a higher degree of mutual dependency. In contrast to the I-don't-care-mentality of individualised people, there are heaps of potty-practical reasons to listen to each other in the commune, to create a comfortable climate, to really solve conflicts, to communicate conflicts adequately and comprehensibly.

But none of these constitutes a guarantee.

"The term normative power has replaced the term arcane knowledge known from former times." How do you Anarchafems, who refuse this patriarchy with opposite signs, deal with it?

Aaaalright.... We prepared the following: first

No. All joking aside. We all want a world free of domination, so far consent. Top two, we want to have it, because it does not exist yet. I do not know where this quote comes from and what it relates to. Normative power means in this case that the victims of sexualised violence do not have to prove their victimisation to get help in their situation. Therefore it is to be understood as a politic course of action referring to top two, not a concept of society.

Generally, demanding men's rights invokes a certain amount of disapproval, no matter from whom, which does not mean that there are no good arguments for it. But perhaps this will go beyond the scope...

(Anti-sexist claim cont.) And how do you deal with this in your commodified production/companies?

I am not sure what this question directly relates to, but generally spoken: We want to build our own companies to gain influence on how we produce what. Beginning with division of labour (production/reproduction, amount, differentiation, abolishment of professions), extending to the climate in which we work together, but also WHAT we produce... And this shall and can be item of  discussion. 

Fundamentally, this capability of influence does NOT exist in regular, conventional boss companies (at most in an exceptional fluke).

I was thinking more along the lines of if you take care not to deal with e.g. sexists or racists in your economic actions.

I reckon this is practically rather impossible. Besides, as our own bosses, we have the practical capability to refuse if people seem to be strange or give politically questionable orders. Of course, the graphics design collective would not make pornographic advertisement or compose propaganda for right-wing organisations. But to make a pc-check on each customer would exceed our capabilites and means...

A clear YES AND NO. It will depend on our economic situation if we can choose (to say no) and does not depend much on willing or not.

Also the basic train of thought is to be rather economically 'immoral' which means to do the 'usual' shit and build and support emancipative projects with the acquired means. The reason is that these effects are substantially larger than that somebody has to look for another business partner on the market...

I hope the ambivalence has come through, so that nobody sinks their teeth into one written page...

To what extent do you want to try to replace production of commodites by cooperative coverage of (summarised) invidividual needs (getting away from market mechanisms to a self-determined, non- or least-alienated solidarity economy in order to avoid the term 'planning economy' which is nowadays wrongly associated with 'central planning commission')?

Aaaaalright: a common economy dissolves ad hoc any kind of value transfer amongst each other, this is not just a try, an exchange of commodities without private property is utterly absurd. It makes sense to create as many possibilites as possible. But we cannot circumvent existing borders of private property and hence we cannot choose if we want to deal with the market or not, meaning: We will try to give our best there...

Internally, we have got a decentralised planning economy, the 'commission' are internet programs which are fed by everybody, but have no coercive power over us. 

Well, 'self-determination' and 'least-alienation' do not really sound desirable. How about 'having a good life together, all to their capabilities, all to their needs'?

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