McKenzie Wark on Tue, 30 Mar 1999 09:42:21 +0200 (CEST)

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Re: <nettime> contra Barbrook digest [blissett]

Having been rightly chastised for inappropriate communication 
in the wake of this conflict, i'm reluctant to criticise. But
let's just pause a moment over the Blissett / Barbrook differences,
as i think they ae illuminating.

If there is something to be hasty about, i think it's the need to
rush into sceptisism. When it comes to media images and stories
about conflict, one cannot hurry too much to start inquiring into
the provenance of those images. 

And sceptical not just of the other side, what ever that is, but
sceptical about 'our' side too. Sceptical about the moral need 
for there to be good guys and bad guys, clearly marked, from
the start. There will be good guys and bad guys, perhaps, at the
end of the day, or more likely people with a mixture of both. Or
more likely still, in war, bad guys and really bad guys. 

Unlike Richard, i'm thankful for the more or less pro-Serbian views
posted to Nettime. They open a door to thinking about the conflict
other than in terms of good and bad. They enable me at least to
start thinking about the force implied in all of these communications.
They enable me to start thinking about how the other guys think,
and how the context appears, from there as well as from here.

Because it is complicated, isn't it? If, like Richard, we agree with
the right to national self determination, then that principle has to
be applied consistently. is it being applied consistently, by NATO
and its friends in the western media? I doubt that.

If, like some others, Serbian resistance to the imperial designs of 
Europe and the US is something to take seriously, then what other
kinds of resistance to imperial design, elsewhere in the world, would
one end up supporting -- and at what price, in terms of human rights?

The focus of energies among nettimers, syndicalists and other friends
has been to do a bit here and there to keep the channels of communication
open. Not just B92 but all of the channels in danger of being silenced
by polarisation. I think that's important, although there's a question
to be asked, somewhere, sometime, about which chanels we might *not*
want to assist. Clearly there's some selectivity involved in this
augmenting of communication in times of conflict.


"We no longer have roots, we have aerials."
 -- McKenzie Wark 

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