molly hankwitz on 19 Oct 2000 03:46:47 -0000

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[Nettime-bold] recent protests

> > this is exactly what i meant a while ago.
> > anti-capitalism is likely to grow exactly in times of economic depression.
> > like in the 'bleierne zeit' of the mid 70ies was the time of the oil
> > crisis.

I don't know ... there's a lot of people I know who were involved with S11
and also Seattle who aren't 'economically depressed' - infact - they are
highly skilled and wouldn't have too much trouble getting a high paid job
anywhere. And the people S11 specifically attracted were ordinary people
who were simply "pissed off" about corporate led government and the growing
evidence that quality of life was decreasing and cost of life was increasing.

>>yes, what is really interesting is how the stereotypes of the mainstream
have created a few "types" of protesters which foot the bill as "the people" -
most of these types are pretty freaky and outlandish sorts of deviants from
those pesky anarchists in black masks to fanatics of one sort or another.
curiously, tom hanks and susan sarandon were in Washington DC lending
support and critiquing these stereotypes. if you look at the videos produced
by the people you will see lots of kinds of people from all income brackets.
one often hears in fact that the americans involved were  white, affluent
middleclass college kids and if you don't think organizers have been working
on the politics of the exchange to bring in more groups of people you are
all this in the videotapes produced on Seattle and A16 (DC) - which can be
purchased from the makers at its a much more
complex set of circumstances than you will ever see on commercial tv.
besides, speaking as an american, i think it is great that the college-aged
of the affluent white middle class of America ARE in the streets. I mean,
is no perfect protest only protesters doing what they are doing.
here in Australia, students are very vocal about the unis becoming .com
instead of edu addresses for example and they are organized and pissed off
about increased fees and fewer humanities courses and corporatism on campuses.

I belive many of these people seek a new way - outside the corporate
industry. Outisde the captial 'P' Party and towards the little 'p' party.

>>I agree here. i think unfortunately it is part of corporate power and
possibly the white space screen of the Net into which we are slavishly looking
each day that tends to numb the onlookers from remembering the type of kid
who put daisies in the guns of the National Guard, or the pain of Kent
State, or
from thinking about the possibilities of other ways of doing things in the
which do not cathect around profiteering, imagineering, or genetic

About the content below, history and its context is no doubt important -
but perhaps sometimes we need to escape it in order to create a different
future - which is not guided by history. Perhaps you'd call me naive.

Adios, Sam.

> > i would not say that extreme anti-capitalism is wrong at all, but one
> > has to have good arguments that it doesn't turn into anti-semitism, or
> > some kind of short-cut, or chauvinist ersatz hatred, some kind of
> > jugendbewegung which militarizes in its desperate isolation. what has been
> > left of the left shifted to the middle or is still licking its wounds.
> > organized right wing grassroots extremism is popular especially in
> > euro regions were people feel lost, have no work, etc. austria and
> > east germany are at the fringe of the "middle" class euro zone...

i respect the assertion of critique regarding grassroots politics in
different regions.
certainly it has different raison d'etres to begin with as well as
histories both painful
and powerful. i think what we are experiencing now is a cathartic response to
corporatism and globalism. prague may leave a scar on the protesters which
heal easily any time soon. isn't this corporal punishment the idea behind
doing it?

my question is, and will always be, perhaps, just how much obvious,
corporeal punishment are we going to see in our streets - if they are
indeed our streets-
before students are fired upon and the military is brought in, until the
public at large, and
not just, perhaps an idealistic minority, decides to become really outraged
at this
kind of unbridled power - which as we now see is not simply emanating from the
mouthpieces and letterheads of CEO's in the IMF and World Bank, but is also
evident in the excessive often unprovoked violence of police forces. We are
living in
an era of increased American domestic policing and imprisonment of
minorities. Prison
building and public space ebbed away by surveillance and private advertising.

 I know that while your objections to the possibility of right-wing
grassroots extremism are justified, I don't  think that's what's happening
now. what's happening now is moral outrage
and disgust at greed. it may go another way. there were skinheads in prague
to fight the anarchists. this is bad-assed history from other fights
perhaps. protests aren't
perfect. at least there is some movement away from monoculture, though.

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