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Spring 2017 Seminar: Techniques of Servitude

A new eight week Sem­i­nar begin­ning Sat­ur­day, March 18, 2017.

A col­lab­o­ra­tive project with Arto Artin­ian, Peter Brat­sis, Bruno Gul­li, Kris­ten Lawler, and Michael Pelias.

The most press­ing ethical–political ques­tion of our con­tem­po­rary sit­u­a­tion can be framed as: How can so few dom­i­nate so many with­out engen­der­ing rebel­lion and active resis­tance? Indeed, it appears that the many are ever more servile, active­ly par­tic­i­pat­ing in their own dom­i­na­tion. Is the desire for secu­ri­ty and safe­ty stronger than the desire for free­dom and auton­o­my? Is this inher­ent to the human con­di­tion or, rather, is it the pro­duc­tion of a desire that is social­ly con­sti­tut­ed and per­sis­tent­ly rein­forced through sub­tle mech­a­nisms that manip­u­late us and cre­ate us as lib­er­al subjects?

Through a series of read­ings from Hegel, La Boetie, Machi­avel­li, Spin­oza, Marx, Sartre, Freud, Lefeb­vre, and Fred­er­ic Lor­don, we will inves­ti­gate dis­ci­pli­nary and con­trol tech­niques that affect our psy­chic mate­ri­al­i­ty and posi­tion our every­day lives that deny the capac­i­ty for free action and organ­ic human devel­op­ment. Trac­ing these symp­toms, is it enough to “enjoy the symp­tom” or should we think through a new prob­lem­at­ic of what free­dom means and its rela­tion­ship to a new ethos of courage and cre­ativ­i­ty which con­front the admin­is­tered world of fear that we inhabit.

The Sem­i­nar will begin on March 18th and run until May 20th, from 4–6, at the Insti­tute for the Rad­i­cal Imag­i­na­tion idea gallery, 2067 Broad­way (between 71st and 72nd streets) 7th floor. $10 per ses­sion, $80 for entire semester.

List of Readings

  • Hegel G.W. F. “Lord­ship and Bondage” pages 111–119 of the A.V. Miller trans­la­tion of Phe­nom­e­nol­o­gy of Spirit
  • De la Boetie, Eti­enne. The Dis­course of Vol­un­tary Servi­tude. Black Rose Press. Mon­tre­al (reprint­ed from Mis​es​.org)
  • Machi­avel­li, Nic­co­lo. Selec­tions from The Prince
  • Spin­oza, Baruch Bene­dic­tus. Book 4 of The Ethics and selec­tions from the Trac­ta­tus The­o­log­i­cus-Politi­cus
  • LaFarge, Paul. The Right to be Lazy.
  • Freud, Sig­mund. “The Eco­nom­ic Prob­lem of Masochism.”
  • Sartre, Jean-Paul. On the prac­ti­co-inert in Cri­tique of Dialec­ti­cal Reason
  • Lor­don, Fred­er­ic. Will­ing Slaves of Capital

Pur­chase all sessions:

$80.00Add to cart

Pur­chase indi­vid­ual session:

$10.00Add to cart

Seminar Schedule and Details

march, 2021

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