Old Capitol Books and the Direct Action Monterey Network are coming together for the thirty-first discussion in the Theory and Philosophy Reading Group. This series of discussion has been put together to facilitate discussion on the Monterey community about political philosophy, social theory, and critical thinking. Readings are available for free here, but completing the readings is not necessary to participate in the discussions, which are guided by an experienced facilitator. This is also a venue for people to develop critical thinking and facilitation skills alongside others in a welcoming environment.

This is a mini-series within the broader project which explores anarchist theories of the state.

Where: Old Capitol Books, 559 Tyler Street
When: Friday 15 December 2017, 7pm
What: James C. Scott’s Thinking Like a State



  • “Introduction” Thinking Like a State (available free here)
  • Read the introduction and Part I (to page 52)

james-c-scott_0James Scott is the Sterling Professor of Political Science and Professor of Anthropology and is Director of the Agrarian Studies Program. He is a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, has held grants from the National Science Foundation, the National Endowment for the Humanities, and the Guggenheim Foundation, and has been a fellow at the Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Science, Science, Technology and Society Program at M.I.T., and the Institute for Advanced Study, Princeton.

His research concerns political economy, comparative agrarian societies, theories of hegemony and resistance, peasant politics, revolution, Southeast Asia, theories of class relations and anarchism. He is currently teaching Agrarian Studies and Rebellion, Resistance and Repression.

Recent publications include “Seeing Like a State: How Certain Schemes to Improve the Human Condition Have Failed”, Yale University Press, 1997; “Geographies of Trust: Geographies of Hierarchy,” in Democracy and Trust, 1998; “State Simplifications and Practical Knowledge,” in People’s Economy, People’s Ecology, 1998 and The Art of Not Being Governed: An Anarchist  History of Upland Southeast Asia” (Yale  Press, 2009). (Yale University, Department of Political Science)

Location: Old Capitol Books, 559 Tyler Street, downtown Monterey

Previous reading groups:

August – December 2017 Theme: Anarchist Theories of the State

Jan – April 2016 Theme: African Philosophy

May – September 2016 Theory & Philosophy Reading Group Theme: Anarchist Critiques of Democracy.

More information here.

2015 Theme: Imprisoned Philosophers

Each month DAMN set up a Theory & Philosophy reading group, and  set readings focusing on philosophers who have been incarcerated in solidarity with statewide actions against solitary confinement on the 23rd of each month – symbolic of the 23 hours each day a person is segregated.