Carl Guderian on 6 Sep 2000 18:49:41 -0000

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Re: <nettime> Ars Electronica and [boycotts]

>Being an Austrian citizen some of Simons, well can i call them

>(?), really upset me.

I agree with Peter here.

I think sanctions are only useful if targeted specifically at the bad guys
and not the general population. Collective punishments hardly ever work,
and yield resentment the intended target can use to support itself at
home. People respond (negatively) to the punishment first; the supposed
moral reason behind it barely registers, if at all. Broad sanctions are
just mass reprisals given the gloss of respectability.

If you're going to impose sanctions on Haider and Co, hit them where they
live. Assuming they're trying to recreate a 1930s Germany with less of the
fuss, then they're still trying to gain political, legal, and intellectual
legitimacy, while denying it to their enemies.  We should simply reverse

Don't boycott dissident Austrian artists; instead, treat them as one would
any other dissidents.  Don't boycott AE or other Austrian events (but give
the Linz Hitler Library opening ceremony a miss, haha). The last thing we
need is isolation of the very people trying to do something about that
rotten government. AE may be on a collision course with the Haider regime.
Enjoy it while it lasts.

Mirror, republish, or rebroadcast banned or threatened works, while
declaring open season on any intellectual property held by Haider and his
friends. Do not prosecute bootlegging of any written, recorded, or filmed
works by Haider-friendly media companies. I'm afraid the rest of the world
loves copyright protection too much to deny it even to bastards. On the
other hand, nobody's upholding the Chinese governement's lawsuit against a
dissident artist.

Let Carinthia open its Nazi art museum. Smuggle in a camera and put the
works in the public domain.  Otherwise, Austrians who've never seen the
stuff might form the opinion that it's actually good. Maybe it will be
entertainingly bad. Art produced under oppressive regimes is generally
crap anyway, and the Komar & Melamid spoofs of Stalinist (and Capitalist)
Realism were a hoot.  (After seeing "The Wonderful Horrible Life of Leni
Riefenstal," I gathered that, as an accomplished kitschmeister, she was an
accident waiting to happen. In all of her work, the messy bits of life
like age and disease occured conveniently offstage. Did you know Taschen
publishes a Leni agendabook?).

The EU countries should deny legal support to any acts of the Haider
regime and not honor any punitive lawsuits filed in the European Court,
nor prosecute acts of cybermischief against Haider and Haider-friendly

As for political reprisals, paint swastikas on the Austrian section of the
EU parliamentary chamber. Or something like that.

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