危機とコモンズ:フクシマ以後の予示的政治 /





Crisis and Commons: Prefigurative Politics After Fukushima

1 – 2 December 2012

Tokyo University of Foreign Studies

Organised by the Autonomism Research Group

With Support from the Operaismo Research Group











The year 2011 was marked by a series of inter-related crises. The ‘Arab Spring’ democracy movement in the Middle East that began in Tunisia in December 2010 highlighted the crisis of democracy. In March 2011, a major earthquake caused a nuclear crisis that in turn led to a renaissance of street protest in Tokyo and cities and towns throughout Japan. The Global Financial Crisis that began in 2008 further intensified as Greece and other European countries struggled to repay their debts. Major protest movements against austerity arose in Greece, Spain and throughout Europe. In the United States the Occupy movement spread throughout the country. These movements resonated with one another and fed off one another. The Occupy movement, for example, spread far beyond the United States appearing in major cities in Australia such as Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane. Protesters in Cairo organized for pizza to be delivered to Occupy protesters in New York while anti-nuclear protesters in Europe responded to the Fukushima disaster by holding their own protests against nuclear power.

These movements have brought anti-capitalist politics back onto the agenda. However, they differ from previous anti-capitalist movements in their emphasis on prefigurative politics. Prefigurative practices don’t wait to create revolutionary social forms until ‘after the revolution.’ Rather, they focus on the production right here and now of times and spaces of liberation. Many of the movements of 2011 emphasised cooperation and commons in opposition to competition and private property. The reclamation of the spaces of the city for democratic political practice has been fundamental to movements in the Middle East, Japan, Australia, the United States and Europe. Many of these movements have featured attempts to prefigure a democratic political space in which we can share in a common debate on the kind of society we want and experiments where those ideas are put into practice in the reclaimed space of the city itself.

Capitalism has developed by enclosing the commons and colonising the sphere of reproduction. If prefigurative politics is a movement for realising an outside to capitalism in the here and now, in the present crisis, it enables us to catch a glimpse of a new commons and of a means of social reproduction that is not exploited by capitalism.

This symposium is a common space for debating the multiple crises of capitalism and considering the possibilities that are emerging in response to it. We would like to ask, what comes after crisis? How can the prefigurative practices of the various anti-systemic movements that emerged in 2011 help us to envision a post-capitalist society? How might the notion of the common help us to imagine a post-capitalist society?

*Massimo De Angelis and George Caffentzis who are planned to have keynote speeches canceled to visit Japan due to the fear of radiation. Their speeches are being held as programmed via Skype instead. Please accept our apology for a sudden change.

*Presentations will be in both English and Japanese with translation provided.

*Radiation-free vegan lunch and afternoon tea will be available on both days.

*In case of need for child-care or information support, please inform organizers in advance.