Felix Stalder on Fri, 4 Feb 2011 17:43:03 +0100 (CET)

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<nettime> The end of the end

The Al Jazeera stream has been running for the last week nearly
non-stop in my living room.

I'm reminded of Berlin 1989. Again, courageous people, highly
articulate and self-organized, are pushing aside a sclerotic regime
and its oppressive apparatus that threatened to swallow the future.
Just a few weeks ago the regime seemed to last forever. Suddenly, it
seems amazing that it lasted so long.

The similarities belie all talk about the 'facebook/twitter
revolution'. It's a true popular uprising, intelligent, peaceful,
using whatever is available to channel its own energies. Sure, the
means of communication are important. But, in the end, they are
secondary to the will to communicate.

But it seems appropriate to connect Berlin to Cairo for other reasons
as well. If the former stands for the beginning of the end of the cold
war geopolitical order, then Cairo could well stand for the end of
the end of that order. Many of the now crumbling dictatorships in the
middle-east managed to extend their lease on live within the American
empire by switching from anti-communism to anti-islamism, for the sole
purpose of keeping their privileged positions within periphery of the
empire. That bluff has been called now by the people.

Thus, it's perhaps only now that the 20th century is truly over. How  
fitting it is, that this event is broadcasted not by CNN but by Al    


--- http://felix.openflows.com ----------------------- books out now:
*|Deep Search.The Politics of Search Beyond Google.Studienverlag 2009
*|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 

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