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Re: <nettime> The Return of DRM
Flick Harrison on Thu, 29 Apr 2010 21:43:12 +0200 (CEST)


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Re: <nettime> The Return of DRM


Thanks for that JH.

In Pakistan, I heard a slogan that has struck me as the best analysis
of the networking process: Roads bring schools, but also police.

In British Columbia, you can stand on a Canadian Pacific railroad
track that runs through the barely-visible remains of a Salish village
dating, perhaps, from the neolithic. The houses were still in use
until the engineers plowed them under: Analog rights management.
There's also a few hundred miles of telegraph line (you've got yours
and I've got mine) running northwards towards Moscow, abandoned
at the dawn of wireless. Both were communications projects built
on imperialist dreams: move goods and troops from coast to coast,
encourage tourism and immigration on the untamed frontier, and
facilitate financial and political integration with the Old Country.
These projects succeeded in overwhelming both guerilla first-nations
resistance and attempts to negotiate fairly and equally with the
encroaching Europeans (in the cases, for example, of Northwest Coast
nations and Hawa'ai).

Both systems, like the internet or electricity, also extinguished some
of the difference between night and day, and encourage a homogeneity
and de-localization that subverts even some of the resistance it
facilitates, and vice versa. The forcing of native peoples to learn
english and become Christian, for instance, allowed for a pan-
aboriginal unity which was previously impossible.

Those with excess capital will always have the advantage in building
infrastructure, and the avant-garde / underdog can never win set-piece
battles. The guerilla tactics of early far-right EM (electronic media)
users, with home video studios, desktop-published hate lit, KKK BBS
etc. were far outstripped by the indymedia / hacker left by the time
of the Battle in Seattle and the various global anti-capitalist
siege movements of the early 21st-century. But the rise of the Fox-
News-led, net-organized Tea Party proves that capital will eventually
move in and pwn the means of production, and in fact you could argue
that the left developed the shareware to hang themselves with.

The job of the resistance is not to worry that Empire has adapted
counter-tactics. It is to constantly dream up new tactics, designed
specifically to play to the weaknesses of the Empire's counter-
tactics. Usually this means bureaucratic and logistical inertia
(fast- changing diversity of tactics on the front line vs centralized
Imperial decision-making), isolating and targeting resource-hogging
super-weapons (Tiger tanks required truckloads of fuel every day,
delivered along longer and riskier supply lines as the army advanced),
developing cheapest antidotes to worst threats (i.e. molotov cocktails
or their semiotic equivalent: http://www.fuh2.com/).



-Flick


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