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<nettime> Re: Reverse Engineering Freedom and make world paper#3
david garcia on Fri, 17 Oct 2003 18:39:30 +0200 (CEST)

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<nettime> Re: Reverse Engineering Freedom and make world paper#3

Thanks for responding Florian.

> geert and me are certainly not so tired that we would prefer to lay
> back and refer to universal principals...

One reason I took the approach of your essay to be rather universalising
or "totalising", was the claim made early in the essay that:

>We've transcended the impasse of postmodernist identity politics"

This statement espescially linked to the later claim that:

>the multitudes will refuse to be handcuffed and fettered by the myths of a
> nation-state

So yes it did seem to me that your rather airy dismissal of a whole area
of political struggle (and progress) turning on the need, indeed the
demand for *recognition*. uniting nationalist politics with the demands of
feminism and extending to a variety of "subltern" or minority groups, was
at best shallow. This position appears to dismiss the vital politics of
historically rooted and particularist identites in favor of some abstract
universal instrumentalism instituted by networks. There are powerful
existential urgencies that drive for recognition that lie at the heart the
identity politics which your essay claims we have transcended, to be
replaced by what? "file sharing and open source culture"? And anyway who
is the "we" that has done the transcending? Florian and Geert or does the
recurring "we" in this essay suggest you are somehow speaking for a larger

What you describe as "the culture of no commitment, spontaneous adventures
and loose appointments" reflects, too closely for comfort, the nihilistic
networks of global capital whose instrumental exchanges selectively switch
on and off individuals, groups" and projects. So yes I am afraid I do find
your vision of "freedom" somewhat chilly and if this condemns me to what
you describe as "conscience-stricken moralizing" then so be it.



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