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Re: <nettime> notes from the DIEM25 launch
Felix Stalder on Sat, 13 Feb 2016 21:02:17 +0100 (CET)


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Re: <nettime> notes from the DIEM25 launch


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On 2016-02-13 19:05, morlockelloi {AT} yahoo.com wrote:
> The trend(s) that Europe is seeing itself dragged to are not result
> of 'wrong' thinking and misbehaviour of supposedly powerful masses.
> They are the result of material circumstances, and no amount of
> magical (group)thinking will change that.

> Material circumstances are mostly related to technologies of
> social control,

I think you are overrating technologies of control, neither the Stasi
nor the KGB could save their systems from collapse (though the ruined
a lot of lives....).

The material circumstances that are dragging Europe (and the US) down
have more to do with geopolitical and demographic shifts, the kind of
stuff that Keith Hart is talking about. These are, at least in part,
related to technological changes, but are primarily embodied in
logistics, distribution of productive capacities and changing patterns
of the world economy (such as increasing "south-south trade") and not
in techniques of crowd control.


> Privacy technologies are definitely party of this equation. For
> those that can't jettison the 19th century revolutionary scene from
> their minds, think meeting on dark street corners. That was a
> technology. Today's privacy is the same thing, but it looks a bit
> different and takes far longer to learn, and it has to be done.


Sure, but the question is, when or how do you ever come out of his
corner. You cannot built a social movement in dark corner. And if you
want to sidestep this phase, because you think that the critical mass
of people are ultimately too stupid, brainwashed or what not, then you
are either going into the direction of envisioning a (benevolent)
dictator who will do the enlightened work of the unenlightened masses,
or some kind of vanguard party (what I called Leninist) that will do
the work. The historical record for both is dismal.


> Asking people to 'loose their fear' and stampede into the
> machinegun fire is short-sighted - and today 'we don't care that
> they know about our moves better than we do' is equivalent of
> this.

It really depends how you think repression works these days. If you
think that it's about repressing particularly dangerous individuals,
then both encryption (when they can be dealt with individually) and
large numbers (when they cannot be dealt with individually because you
cannot imprison, or shoot, a very large number of people) help. If you
think repression works by influencing the patterns of how people think
(e.g. creating an environment that incentivizes people to put all
emphasis on maximizing the number of useless "friends", or competing
in a rat race of faking their own happiness), then encryption won't
help much, but nothing much will.

Felix





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