Refusing the World: Silence, Commoning, and the Anthropocene
This essay establishes silence as an ethical-political response to the Anthropocene. Silence is key to the making of commons, which frames the reinvention of ways of living and relating as a necessary response to the Anthropocene moment. Drawing from and intervening in autonomist Marxist debates on communicative labor, recent interdisciplinary work on Anthropocene ecologies, and writing on the violences of ongoing colonialism, the essay shows how silence in its diverse forms can be used to expand what commons might mean and what they might come to do in the present era. Mindful of the ambivalences of silence, it contends that the tensions inherent to its politics foster the suspension of assertions on how the world is, or how it should be. In this way, silence is argued as crucial to making spaces in which the proliferation of different ways of being can occur and from within which resistance against forms of cognitive capitalism, neo/colonialism, and the ecological destruction of the earth can take place.