The Virtues of Diogenes, Part 3: The Quest for Graeber’s Golden Waistcoat

11 April, 2024 20:00 (London time)

Building on the first two sessions, in this third session we will review what we have learnt about the world of Diogene’s philosophy, why it was rated by Graeber and focus on what it means for how we navigate theory and practice. For Diogene’s Cynics and later the Stoics, the mythical manifestation of how to navigate life was to create and undermine the idea of Hercules and recast him in a different light. As Diogenes, always the provocateur, reportedly said about Hercules, ‘it is the privilege of the gods to need nothing and of god-like men to want but little’. We will be supported in this tricky task by writer, editor, and translator Mirna Wabi-Sabi. Using her personal experience Mirna will share how she navigates life and in doing so will unpack the key link she draws between authorship, authority, authoritarianism and anarchism and the differences. Specifically, how autonomy can be distressing:

“When executing an anarchist project there are not many guarantees that it will work, guidelines to be followed, or an institution that has established a process for validating context. There is only you. You are the authority – you have the autonomy. For many people, this is distressing. It puts us in a vulnerable position, it makes us susceptible to scrutiny, to failure, therefore to insecurity and doubt…[however if you] seek authority [you] can achieve it through authorship, taking into account that in anarchist organizations there are no employees. So, if you need help with your project, it is no longer just yours.”

In preparation you can read the chapter from which this is quoted here or you can purchase a hardcopy or a digital copy online from your favourite bookshop or via Plataforma9 (hardcopy) (digital.) We will then discuss our journeys exploring the mythologies we are a part of and are crafting. Please register any additional updates for each session.

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