Andreas Broeckmann on Sat, 11 Mar 2000 13:42:26 +0100 (CET)

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[Nettime-bold] the politics of distributed power

[a south-african friend who lives in germany sent me the following question
which i would like to throw into the round for comments from nettimers;
michael will initially follow things through the archive; abroeck]

I turn to you with a  strange little question. In discussion with my
contact in South Africa, Berend, we have come up with a query. This is in
the context of globalism on the one hand, and local (S.A.) politics. On the
question of 'ethical' business, responsibilty (George Soros) and
cooperation of NGO's and individuals  with this developement
(globalisation). I know this is a buzz word, but for want  of a better one
I use it as it is.

Soros talks of a global community, as guiding  and 'discipling' force, to
function alongside global financial economics. This is a call for
leadership and authority. Certainly in the light of the power that
multi-nationals and global business generally has, I'd support the argument
for controls, so that the poor or economically weak are not totally
dis-enfranchised. Foucault and Guattari, support the idea of
micro-politics, decentralised, fragmented and at all levels of society. I
can  support this idea, and in terms of what is and has been taking place
over the last years, the role of sub-culture etc., I think it is also
'true' of our postmodern reality.

Berend is an old Marxist, who is calling for an anti-authoritarian
politics, in principle, I support this (I've just taken a  look at the
attitudes of Marx, Engels and Lenin to the Anarchists), although  coming
from the stance of revolutionary theory, ie., organised resistance, I  find
it hard to understand how fragmented, leaderless oppostion can have any
effect on a powerful system.  

Can you enlighten me as to role of authority and leadership in this our
'postmodern' politics? More specifically,  is there a form of discipline
and control (positive) within the autonomous cultural activities that you
are involved in? And lastly, as we are talking  about the need for ethical
business/politics, does the autonomous society take  the issue of 'ethics'
or 'morality' seriously? I suppose my question is  basically: if everyone
is doing what they feel is best and right, in which way  can this be seen
as a political strategy?

For now with greetings,   Michael.    

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