Steinberger Peter on 6 Sep 2000 04:35:37 -0000

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AW: <nettime> Ars Electronica and its political context

Being an Austrian citizen some of Simons, well can i call them arguments
(?), really upset me.

Simon wrote:
! My logic in prefering a boycott of Austria is based on what happened in
! South Africa. Consumer led action, followed by state led boycotts, were
! very effective, especially when the US acted to curtail trade with that
! apartheid state.

Give me a break! Comparing the Austrian system to the apartheit system in
South Africa is so way off that i can not even call it ridiculous.

! I am sure there are plenty of non-conservative people in fact
! I know lots that are very unconservative (Gerfried among them). Whilst
! perhaps my use of the word "natural" was ill-chosen I would still argue
! that Austria is a conservative country. Conservative not only because it
! has managed to allow a facist party access to power but in far more subtle
! ways, in terms of peoples attitudes to institutions, histories,
! mythologies, change, etc.

You got a point in that but following your definition, which european
country is not conservative? Italy? Germany? France? Great Britain? You
say natural was ill chosen. I say thats the same excuse Haider always

! A country can be both conservative and civilised. In reality this is a
! common conjunction. Societies that are constantly changing, shifting and
! growing, rarely have the homogenised experience and shared values required
! for a society to be civilised in the sense that Vienna or Paris are
! civilised or sophisticated. A city like Sydney is a rough and ready place,
! with few of the sophisticated adornments or niceties that dominate
! Viennese culture...but Sydney is also a city open to change, where when I
! was there last the Mayor was Chinese and the richest family was Italian,
! where an official policy of multiculturalism was in operation (meaning
! that no one single culture can be dominant, that all are equal and that
! nobody has the right to establish their culture as above others).

I can rememeber stories that showed a different view of Sydney. Read the
news about handling homeless during the Olympic games. Well, and one of
the richest man in Austria is literally a pimp. Very conservative, right?
Well no, since prostitution is said to be the oldest business being a pimp
might be, from your point of view, a truly conservative job description.

Sorry for the cynism but I am getting tired of and I kind of hate it do
defend something that I fight against everyday. But now that Prof. Biggs
showed me that Australia must be heaven on earth i have a new perspective.
I better hurry up.

I think the last century showed very well that boycott is not an
intelligent way to handle any political situation. Nobody really learns
anything by being beaten up until she does what they told her. She might
not do it again, but not because she knows it is wrong, but because being
beaten up hurts and might destroy her. And thats the way most of Europe
dealt so far with their ugly parts of history. That has to stop now! And
boycott is not the way to start this process.

peter steinberger, vienna austria

peter steinberger

stuwerstr. 39/30
1020 vienna
01/925 1947

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