human being on Wed, 23 Apr 2003 10:07:37 +0200 (CEST)

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Re: <nettime> The Second Superpower (FWD)

the parts of this essay which made a lot of sense were the need to
organize and the need to 'inform' the electorate, the latter which is
exploited in the total control and ownership of media, protecting it
from outside views. (TV screen replacing walls of a guarded city).

the part that does not make any sense is trying to beat professional
politicians at their own game, then the Neoconservatives at that, in
that it is refined for a very particular environment (it seems) which is
to the benefit of those who play by those rules, and agree to them.

power may not be the way to truth, and that is both politics as they
are, and mass organizing around ideological, sometimes vague
and utopic policy positions demonstrates the break-down of the
checks and balances, both for public governance and for proposed
rule by NGO guardians, who have the pedigree much like those who
are already running the ship into the rocks, without (again) any checks
and balances on the policies. an environmental policy could easily
become fascist if it did not take into account opposing views, and it
could also destroy an economy (if one is able to exist in the future)
by ignoring things outside the purview of the ideology. there is no
indication that the writer acknowledges these as basic issues, and
instead goes towards a falsely-radical stance of mass orchestrated
demonstrations that will accomplish chaos and crackdown but will
not have cohesion, organizationally, for people, with this approach.

it is oppositional, great for card-carrying members for culture-credits,
but it is naive as hell. military superpower? open or any subversion
at the level of siding with the EU while inside the USA (treason and
sedition, anyone?) and having this as a platform position on any
issue here and there, whatever the US does needs to be worked
against, at its own game-- rather than switching the hopeless logic
of competition that is easily outclassed (military crackdown, anyone?)
and hard to even comment on. that many people may buy into this
viewpoint is also troublesome, as other actions are needed that are
not insulated by mass groups of self-satisfying symbolic gestures.

such as: say there is an election in the USA in 2004, which there is.
and, the game plan is opened up, the president, an avid runner, is
going to use a similar strategy to win a second term by being short
on content, defining the policy stage (war, terrorism, defense, and
patriotism, at ground-zero no less, in NYC). it may be in the last
months of the campaign when it is ramped up. and the democrats
(a party who should dissolve themselves and go independent, or,
like Joseph Lieberman should, just call themselves Republicans
finally and get it over with.) the democrats or anyone else could
use this time to create a different policy agenda, one that is not an
oppositional strategy (defeat the opposition) as much as it is to set
the stage for better informed electorates and shaping issues. if it is
that tax-cuts and medicare are the only issues on the table in 2004
it is because of apathy and misguided political strategies. and it is
not party-based, democrats are as pathetic as republicans.

it is that it is a losing battle to fight for 9 months for an incumbent
and popular president, using their platform (Gore lost, for instance,
not playing the cards that still await showing). it may get bad enough
or a scandal may erupt (Energy Task Force anyone?) which shows
things are not as they seem to the televised and newspapered mass
mindset, but until public opinion sways, the issues stay the same
unless there is a substantially different platform- not ants with global
military power, but education, the environment, safety, health services,
jobs, improvements that many are in their various constituencies fully
prepared to better educate the public, and defend against the lame
stonewallling over every and any issue other than tax-cuts and the
improvement of the suburban lot, 'heart and soul'-mind for the bodies.
though without 'checks and balances' and some organization it is
easy to pick off issues, one by one, as irrelevant and ideological.
yet if it is a common platform, it is no longer the same game.

and this is where those planning on 2004 re-elections with false-
advertising of the state of affairs would be challenged to adjust the
far-right ideology, weaning moderates to issues that cannot simply
remain to be ignored in a democracy (even if the President and his
entourage believe their private world view encompasses the world
itself, which then is a psychopathic condition and the person is not
fit for holding public office- interpreting religious ideology or any-
other, even progressive causes, can have the same inbred effect).
for instance, with tax cuts. to be in opposition, and to weight the
risks of winning versus the damage in losing, it seems that there
is little chance to stop much. yet if 'tax cuts' were redefined, and a
strategy co-opted the co-option, this could go to WPA-type of public
programs and services, with some creative strategic thinking, and
a change in the win-at-any-cost mindset, which is a losing strategy
it should be apparent by now. yet, 'no tax-cuts' may be fought against
as a strategy by politicians, and they will go through, it seems at some
point likely, and in all the time preceding their passage or routing in
the system, the populace could become better informed- not about
tax-cuts, but about all the issues needing to be addressed by the
citizenry, and to put any tax-cuts towards these needs. it nullifies
the oppositional stance, co-opts it, and shapes it, and there is not
a conservative ideologue who could win a public debate defending
the estate tax to 300 million people in the USA versus health care.

if 'tax cuts' and similar political verbiage remains under tight 
control (and buy-in by the 'opposition' party, the pathetic democrats)
then the issue will, in the end, be tax-cuts, and whatever gets through
will be the winner's (more private) definition of tax-cuts, which screws
everyone as there is no open-dealing, no checks and balances, and
it is a numbers game until someone recodes the rules of engaging.
it is psychological, it is not firstly about power, that is what the 
policy approaches are, they are private, and why they consistently
fail to change or challenge the course, and instead lead to a state
of deadlock (shutting down of congress, say, or blocking this and
that). until truth is the most important aspect, not absolute truth or
some great reflective question answered on a hand-out flier, but
the truth of the situation, the psychology of the situation needing
to be dealt with, and how best to do this-- it is to be aggressive in
cooperating, intra-group and person, a general identity which can
be shared among the group (not a non-profit brand), and it is also
scalable to issues large and small, while keeping a sense of the
balance, that the ideas are as good as they are understood and
renewed and questioned and being vague may be better than
being too specific, to reach a wider constituency. pooling large
resources for a simple policy platform may be better than trying
to educate one issue at a time. it is at the level of policy platform
that things are askew, on just about every issue, but it is also
multifaceted, and it is never simply for or against, as that is not
the condition of the problems. maybe things are dysfunctional,
and this need to be conceded in education, in certain areas that
are identifiable and improvable. by not ignoring the issues but
dealing with what either are, or are perceive as being, problems
one can take that and turn it towards a different path. to be all or
nothing, when absolute power wields itself, nothing can stand in
the way of the conquering of issues and the wrong strategy is as
idiotic pursuing as are the destructive new laws themselves.

if the global people, most people can be identified in a common
class known as human beings, which, is more public at times
than either 'people' or national identity, or religious definition (of
even God, for instance, try Venn diagramming God as a super-
set of human beings, and it does not work, it is the smaller set in
that it is private and restricts the universal set of human beings).
democrats or republicans, progressives or whatnot. being human
is a global constituency, and by using the term one has to use a
public logic or it is apparent that their words do not include the
person reading, or hearing, the secular message, while directly
challenging the privatized agenda. it is self-correcting and it is
also undeniably the state of awareness in matters of policy now
being ignored: global warming is not a political party or non-
profit issue - it is an issue of mankind. (no). it is an issue for all
of humanity. (closer, but can be localized, rhetorically). there is
baggage with the word humans, as it is imperfect, but what is
not, and so far there is no secular prophet nor thing to pin it down
to, unless someone wants to dig up all the hidden humans roaming
the vineyards in the dark of the night in northern california, that
renamed themselves 'human being' or 'human' in the commune.
the word, as a word, has been attempted to be portrayed as a
private word and definition and it is disingenuous to portray it
as such in relation to the rise of God and Man, etc, in this day,
and compete for ideological perfect, and lose- hello dark ages.

also, it is not the greatest desire of many people who may dedicate
their lives to be compared to ants. it makes a problematic foodchain
issue (and also, the secret occult knowledge: beware the anteaters!
and just about everything else). a platform for defining oneself as
a public citizenry living within nation-states in a global reordering,
is capable of having both similarities and differences, and being
able to co-process issues large and small from the vast inter-nets
between various organizations - if they have checks and balances,
and can deal with ambiguity diplomatically in cooperation, else it
may be a win-lose competition and the system will defeat itself,
as with language, as with psychological identity, as with politics,
until a new order emerges to base commonality upon, and actions.

issues such as:

-- energy

-- environment

-- human rights

for instance, if 'human rights' were an issue, and defined publicly
in terms of human beings, there probably would not be an issue
between types of governance, if human rights were observed in
a dictatorship versus a democratic capitalistic society. each system
would have to address the same core issues, while having variance
in politics and economics, and possibly enhancing possibilities by
having difference in the current monocultural system. versus an
issue like 'education' which is somewhat different (even energy)
as it is site-specific, per country, per state, per locality. it may be
public, it may be private, it may be both, or has been both. this is
like most every issue in many countries, there is difference. to
ignore on a policy level the difference between the needs of one
country versus another is part of the problem in private reasoning.

on a political level, to be apolitical but still deal with policy it is
possible to pursue a platform that any parties can adopt, and if
it happens that currently those who are opposed embrace aspects
it is still a victory for everyone, as change is towards the better of
the directions. in cooperation this can happen, in competition it
cannot. in saying this is what we (the public, the citizens) require
addressing in matters of public policy, and to keep it on the scale
of government, it is at least a chance of getting the message and
the buzz going, instead of 'the movement' it is 'the platform', and
it may give the political establishment the informed electorates
needed to address changes on the mass scale. if one scoffs at
this, consider the chances that a democratic president would be
able to significantly change anything using the rhetoric and same
private political dealings of the past, -- it will shut things down not
open them up. unless it is just a new caeser that is to be desired.

also, forms of government like 'democracy' have become a brand,
and as such controllable by existing market forces. by having an
open ream of ideas from which to give and take, a rough sketch
of a better future which most all can see themselves living in (of
300 million people in the USA, say, young to old) then narrowing
down the constituency into controllable demographic sectors will
no longer work, organizing politics around non-profits and think-
tanks, and not around people and ideas. that open-discussion is
rare but was not in history (it seems) with long public dialogues
on issues of platforms and policies, now they are sound-bites
on stage-handled studio sets. while it was great to once see
Naomi Kline on the PBS Newshour debating someone from
the economist and single-handedly smashing the rhetorical
flotsam usually pushed about without any serious friction, there
need to be people on every show, in newspapers, all the time
to get the message and ideas across, and if these are common
issues and not overly specified or politicized (privatized, in
essence) then it can become a platform, a series of policies,
and not a meteorite of dying one-off's, or the salmon who die
by the side of the stream as a dam has been put up and their
efforts to get upstream end in their exhaustion without a chance
of even making it available. if working together, not as a brand,
not as a finite or even defined-by-an-issue constituency, then
it may be easier to leverage the vast talents and skills that are
available, by letting people use their own skills and innovate,
which the article seemed to be going after, entrepreneurial in
a sense of making things happen. there just needs to be some
common start. and it is proposed it exists in language, ideas,
psychology, and the recognition and action base upon these.

consider the idea of a human union versus a specific union in
the trades, and the scale. that is what is necessary for global
identity and issues, it is proposed, based in common sense.
not perfect sense, but the ability for checks and balances,
based on public discourse, thinking, knowledge, experience,
anomalous events, evenness, equal rights, on and on. it is
sad to think that the elections will be haunting ground-zero,
and probably the fire-and-brimstone preacher-man Graham
will be there, inciting the public ghosts of 9/11 for the cause
of the Neocon policy agenda, based on the manipulation of
private emotions, fear, hatred, superiority, and demonization
of the other for the gain of a very small few people at the cost
of the world. it is not Bush that needs to be defeated, but the
entire ideology needs to be put in its place as a relic of fringe
and dangerous pursuit of power through all means possible.

truth can defeat this. ask the preacher man who controls it.
preacher men can be defeated when outclassed. ask humans.
there is a public world that is serving a small privatized mind.
and the world is held back by this, and the inability to deal with
it, to self-correct, unless people are capable of changing, or if
the decisions made are so catastrophic that this change occurs
by default, after horrors so great that people have to change
the basis for their basic assumptions and thus their beliefs.
the logic of peace-through-war is illogical. it's not super-power
with super-men and super-heroes, it's an internetworked truth
between different peoples, peer-reviewed and self-correcting.

at least this is one guess. together we decide. and indecision
or inaction based on incompatible ideas results in big fish-kills.
openness, transparency, checks and balances, policy platform.
specific policy debates with a wide range of constituents, using
a shared general approach (language, rhetoric, logic). win-win
as is banned-speech from hipnet sector, describes it rather well.
that is, not reinventing the world, but co-opting the co-optation.

[this is written as a sketch, not an absolutist position of the idea.]

On Saturday, April 19, 2003, at 04:45  PM, Elnor Buhard wrote:

> one possible solution to the power imbalance....  question remains how 
> such an international nation could actually manifest its power 
> militarily, which seems to be the bottom line sadly enough.....  eb
> The Second Superpower Rears its Beautiful Head
> James F. Moore
> Berkman Center for Internet & Society
> Monday, March 31, 2003

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