‘The Avant-garde in Crisis’ (Online Group Video Chat)March 23, 2020
On 31st March 2020, the Exploding Appendix Avant-garde Art Practice and Research Group will be holding another interactive video chat (via Google Hangout) from 19:30 – 22:30. This will involve the opportunity to share random thoughts, ideas and any projects we are working on. Bradley Tuck will guide the discussion. This one will be on ‘The Right to be Greedy’ (See below). If you would like to get involved please message me at email@example.com.
It is often assumed that capitalism and greed go hand in hand. From Bernard Mandeville’s coupling of private vice with public benefit to Ayn Rand’s celebration of the virtues of selfishness, the spirit of capitalism is often seen as a spirit of greed and self-interest, and any socialistic opposition to it is often seen as a variant of moralism and self-denial. However, we will explore a different story, one that challenges this easy coupling. Expressing an alternative attitude in one of its most incendiary forms, the 1970s American Situationist collective ‘For Ourselves: Council for Generalized Self-Management’ declared that the problem with contemporary capitalism is not greed, but the limited nature of it. For them the “present forms of greed lose out in the end because they turn out to be not greedy enough.” In contrast to the limited greed of contemporary capitalism, they called instead for a the Right to be Greedy and offered a vision of post-scarcity libertarian communism. (https://theanarchistlibrary.org/library/for-ourselves-the-right-to-be-greedy-theses-on-the-practical-necessity-of-demanding-everything)
Drawing upon this manifesto and the work of diverse figures such as Karl Marx, Friedrich Engels, Max Stirner, Oscar Wilde, Max Weber and Paul Lefargue we ask ‘what is the spirit of capitalism?’, ‘What is greed and self-interest?’, and ‘What would emancipatory freedom look like?’