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Re: <nettime> Libre Commons = Libre Culture + Radical Democracy
David M. Berry on Sat, 10 Dec 2005 19:58:45 +0100 (CET)


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Re: <nettime> Libre Commons = Libre Culture + Radical Democracy


Florian,

Many thanks for your careful and thoughtful reply.

On 8 Dec 2005, at 15:21, Florian Cramer wrote:

> You argue against the supposed moralism and apoliticism of the Free
> Software movement, but your own agenda is nothing but moralist and
> apolitical itself:

The nature of moral and apolitical arguments is to deny that these  
issues are open for political contestation. As we clearly and  
forcefully argue in the paper, we welcome political contestation of  
our work, indeed we make only a *political* justification for our  
position. Namely, it is on the basis of political praxis and not  
subject to a foundationalist claim to some kind of transcendental  
morality.

As we point out repeatedly across the paper, the problem with  
moralistic claims is that they attempt to silence criticism with an  
attempt to define what is 'good' or 'evil'. Clearly, the evil is  
something beyond debate and cannot be the basis of discussion,  
thereby neatly silencing critics and alternative positions. In the  
case of apolitical claims, there is a similar process at work whereby  
the 'sensible', 'rational' or 'common-sense' is privileged and the  
Other (i.e. as political/moral/evil/irrational) and is excluded.

>>> 1. This work is outside of all legal jurisdictions and takes its
>
> This is an romantic apolitical position because such a space  
> "outside of
> all legal jurisdictions" does not exist. Wake up and get a life.
>

Clearly, we can imagine such a space as existing and therefore there  
is the possibility of rethinking spaces in terms of a political  
imaginary. To think only in terms of what currently exists is  
somewhat limiting and naturalises what is, in any event, a contingent  
reality.

Incidentally, you may be interested to know that law requires a state  
to enforce it, and, to the best of my knowledge, we so not *yet* have  
a global state, and consequently the spaces between nation states  
(such as the high seas) are not subject to law as such (rather  
international treaties which attempt to govern these ungovernable  
spaces). You may well agree with Hardt & Negri that the rise of  
Empire is the rise of a global system of law, indeed some argue that  
Intellectual Property Law is the first such truly global system of  
law (though Maskus 2000, points out that it is still patchy and  
unequal). We feel that we are not yet in the grip of a completed  
hegemonic project surrounding us (i.e. as Empire), but do not  
preclude a rapidly changing global system is in evidence before us.

In any case, you might note that we awoke from our dogmatic slumbers  
many years ago.

Best regards

David




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