Felix Stalder on Thu, 28 May 2009 05:07:53 +0200 (CEST)

[Date Prev] [Date Next] [Thread Prev] [Thread Next] [Date Index] [Thread Index]

Re: <nettime> The California Ideology is back, in the 2009 edition

On Monday, 25. May 2009, carl guderian wrote:

> Makes me shrug, actually. From here it looks less like socialism than  
> mutual-aid anarchism, and not very much like that either

I totally agree. Socialism without a state is anarchism, but this is 
neither, even if it has some faint resemblances with the latter (voluntary 
cooperation, based on mutual trust, producing collective goods). But this 
is not the whole story. First, this is embedded within -- and not in 
conflict with -- pervasive capitalism and, perhaps at least as worrying, 
within a state that is neither about to disappear nor to become 
particularly benevolent (what's the word Obama used? Ah, "prolonged 
detention"). A while ago, I wrote a piece called "Bourgeois anarchism and 
authoritarian democracies" where I tried to relate the two dynamics 
together. Here is the abstract of said article:

> Digital communication is profoundly affecting the constitution of (civil)
> society by drastically lowering the costs to speak across time and space
> with individuals and groups of any size, and by producing abundant
> records of all activities conducted through these media. This is
> accelerating two contradictory trends. On the one hand, a new breed of
> social organizations based on principles of weak cooperation and peer
> production is sharply expanding the scope of what can be achieved by
> civil society. These are voluntary organizations, with flat hierarchies
> and trust-based principles. They are focused on producing commons-based
> resources rather than individual property. In general, they are
> transformative, not revolutionary, in character. This phenomenon is
> termed "bourgeois anarchism." On the other hand, the liberal state - in
> a crisis of legitimacy and under pressure from such new organizations,
> both peaceful (civil society) and violent (terrorism) - is reorganizing
> itself around an increasingly authoritarian core, expanding surveillance
> into the capillary system of society, overriding civil liberties and
> reducing democratic oversight in exchange for the promise of security.
> This phenomenon is termed "authoritarian democracies."

Full text: 


--- http://felix.openflows.com ----------------------------- out now:
*|Mediale Kunst/Media Arts Zurich.13 Positions.Scheidegger&Spiess2008
*|Manuel Castells and the Theory of the Network Society. Polity, 2006 
*|Open Cultures and the Nature of Networks. Ed. Futura/Revolver, 2005 

#  distributed via <nettime>: no commercial use without permission
#  <nettime>  is a moderated mailing list for net criticism,
#  collaborative text filtering and cultural politics of the nets
#  more info: http://mail.kein.org/mailman/listinfo/nettime-l
#  archive: http://www.nettime.org contact: nettime@kein.org