nettime on Sat, 12 Jun 1999 10:22:13 +0200 (CEST)

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Date: Tue, 8 Jun 1999 12:27:52 EDT
Subject: Re: <.nettime> Conflicting paradigms, Internet history and ICANN


Yes, I believe that a *new* form of governance is exactly what is being 

Your choice of Soros is a good one.  His effort to catapult his ideas about a 
*new* form of global bank off the back of last year's economic meltdown are 
the case in point.  Leave the World Bank and IMF in place, he says, but 
supercede them with *my* new bank.

The UN still exists, but it has been superceded in Serbia by NATO.  (Which is 
one of the big issues in the current talks, since Russia and others want to 
bolster the UN.)  NATO still exists, but the EU is going to build their own 
force (with past NATO-head running it) to potentially supercede NATO.

We are in an era where "world government" is toying with superceding the 
institutions which were put in place following WW II.  Nixon scrapped Bretton 
Woods, but now the approach is to carve out new areas of responsibility and 
gradually emasculate the older institutions.  So goes the attack on the 
nation-state, for instance.

Many believe that ICANN is a part of this larger puzzle.  As a completely new 
(or so it is claimed) phenomenon, the Internet deserves a new institutional 

Those who believe that Esther Dyson, for instance, is simply a anti-statist, 
libertarian on the one hand, or an auto-cratic, backroom schemer on the other 
hand, miss who she is, her history and her context.


Mark Stahlman

P.S.  Few anylonger view the key early Internet funding as simply an attempt 
at Cold War net-hardening.  The more accurate view is that the Net (and 
related technologies) arose largely as a result of ARPA's interest in finding 
a way to get (often arrogant) top scientists together to brainstorm without 
having to put them on planes.  (Rarely did this brainstorming have 
"operational" goals, btw.)  This was augmented by sincere efforts (yes, with 
military funding) to enhance human communications in general -- quite 
idealistic, as it turns out -- which were understood and approved at the 
highest levels in the funding agencies.  The notion that the military (or spy 
agencies) is out to kill and not to change society -- even "progressively" -- 
is not supported by the historic record.  Now, as for George Soros' idealism 
. . . <g>