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Re: <nettime> notes from the DIEM25 launch
Nina Temp on Sat, 13 Feb 2016 01:56:34 +0100 (CET)

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Re: <nettime> notes from the DIEM25 launch

Hello all,

I was also there and cannot share Geert's enthusiasm a tiny bit, as do
many others that were there.


- Let's start with the fact that it was indeed some "contemporary
version of 1930s popular front":

That doesn't only apply to the very general sense of it, but even to
borrowing rhetorics from national socialism, given that a repeatedly
mentioned ominous "they" was attributed to the nameless rich & powerful
in the trailer (very similar to the financial elites said to be all
Jewish in the 1930s) which -  while not depicted with rats - was indeed
illustrated by spiders (yes, actual spiders). 

- I was shocked to hear that the contents of the speeches didn't refine
enough their intentions so that even a woman in the audience defining
herself as fan of Ken Jebsen and the "New Peace Movement" (both
representing a new spectrum of the political right in Germany) was still
able to feel very included and happily applaud to everything presented.

- In context of this, the "start cooking, recipe to follow" motto that
Brian Eno announced (not without referring to Bono and even the
defenseless dead David Bowie) and that is currently so fondly quoted,
makes me think of a brilliant Hannah Arendt quote that I heard on
Thursday's "Maker Culture" panel at transmediale, and that puts this
actionism in a very problematic light: "Making is much too often an
excuse for acting". (~) 

- The fact that there is a lot of big names from the cultural left
supporting the movement, who obviously spread the information of the
workshops among themselves while making others pay entrance to a
theater, somehow gives me the feeling that this will in no way be
bottom-up, but just reproduce the already existing power structures,
making some enthusiasts work for free while the big names can add social
capital and new networks to their accounts.

- It's interesting to see that all men I know are totally fond of it,
while all women I know are highly unimpressed and couldn't help
themselves breaking into stunned laughters given the populism and
emptiness of a lot of the speeches - which were leaving parts of the
audience behind with the feeling of being taken for dumb, uninformed,
easily manipulable and therefore to be patronized, whereas this movement
pretends to intend the opposite goals.

- Last but not least, of course I know that this project aims
specifically at improving the current EU problematics, but these
somewhat "All hail the EU" rhetorics left me with the uneasy feeling
that this could end up as some kind of socialism that simply replaces
"national" with "european", thus empowering yet again another local
(well-fenced) in-group while actually the problems that caused the
current European crisis are international, can't be isolated to a
certain territory, and thus can also only be solved on that level and in
a much more inclusive way, which should seek alliances with activists
and politicians from all over the world, especially of course from the
Africa, the Middle East and all the industrial global players.

I don't know if all this was just teething problems. I actually have a
hard time believing it, as all these are structural problematics, and it
is hard for me to understand how highly professional politicians and
intellectuals are not able to see them right away.

I do agree with Jacob Applebaum's call for secure communication, but
must remind that this will make the bottom-up process yet more

Also, I was very surprised at him having the excellent chance on the
whistleblower panel at transmediale to have the audience almost
literally hanging on his lips, eagerly asking for answers to the
question what they themselves can do -- and all he comes up with is some
childish James Bond stories that don't even suit 1 person in 300 million
and thus irresponsibly contribute to the very problematic already
existing believe that we need more action of a kind that is sexy,
technology-related and will make you famous. 

Crap! It's much more important to encourage people to do grass-roots
work.  The spectacle at the Volksbuehne didn't exactly tell a different
narrative from A's?.


Am 13.02.2016 um 06:33 schrieb Geert Lovink <geert {AT} xs4all.nl>:

> Dear nettimers,
> last weekend I was in Berlin where I combined Transmediale festival
> (attending workshops on the Snowden archive and MoneyLab related issues)
> with the launch of the Democracy in Europe Movement (DIEM25), initiated
> by the ex-Greek finance minister & Sydney-sider Yanis Varoufakis. The
> day was divided in three parts: a press conference (an old school format
> with weird criteria who was entitled to attend, and as I am 100% not
> press, I left), a closed meeting divided in three parts (general
> diagnosis, economics and strategy) and a theatre show in the large
> auditorium of the Volksb??hne (see links below for the entire stream and
> selected presentations). 

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