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Re: <nettime> The Messy, Dirty, Silly ....
Jody Berland on Sat, 17 Nov 2007 11:09:36 +0100 (CET)


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Re: <nettime> The Messy, Dirty, Silly ....


This discussion about the relationship between rights, power, and
nationality is a bit confused i think.

Rights are inevitably the outcome of power, and it is very ahistorical
to suggest that rights are granted by the wealthy, ie. by the people
who already have them, as though they don't follow upon centuries of
collective struggle to obtain them. The problem is that these rights
are being eroded. The U.S. and its allies have struggled equally
hard to disconnect rights from power and to disconnect both from any
concept of public good. Damn right it should be a right to have health
care. "rights" are collective, as well as individual, and should be
fought for as such.

Damn right people should struggle for the "right" to health care--
Canadians did and Americans should too. that is what it takes.

The prohibition on any reference to nation states also makes me
nervous. this morning Associated Press conveyed the White House's
sentiment that China is becoming a dangerous spy of American military
and commercial technologies because it is so "nationalistic." and
where are they getting access to these military and commercial
technologies?

Why, from American firms (branch plants) located in China! So the
US is spouting accusations to justify further surveillance of
their Chinese hosts (they state this goal explicitly) under the
name of combating nationalism. It seems to be America's favourite
bete noir.&nbsp; because, of course, the American people are not
nationalistic at all, it is all the other stupid countries in
the world (although the U.S. is the only one who refuses to sign
international agreements on climate change, the militarization of
outer space, and other important issues irresolvable at the national
level).

Furthermore, who defines what rights the indigenous peoples should
have, and who owes reparation to indigenous peoples for what was
stolen from them? arguably, in the case of the latter, the collective
agent known as Canada. here isn't a lot I can do about this as an
individual. There isn't a lot we can (or should) do to separate
land from history, unless you prefer wars. This preoccupation with
"self-organization" is disappointingly unreflexive, i would say.

Jody Berland




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