Re: [ox-en] Re: Empire-discussions
- From: Stefan Merten <smerten oekonux.de>
- Date: Sun, 06 Oct 2002 17:32:35 +0200
Hi Graham and all!
Last week (12 days ago) Graham Seaman wrote:
On Sun, 22 Sep 2002 alan lokmail.net wrote:
Secondly Jamie King has recently written an intersting essay that ties
parts of the debate around copyright enclosure and the italian
immaterial labour/general intellect debate together: Towards an Army of
Ideas - Oppositional Intellect and the Bad Frontier
I just read a few paragraphs from the article.
So what are the equivalent concrete ideas in this essay? As I read it,
it says we need to drop defence of the 'information commons' (the
goal of 'left-liberal-lawyer lobbyists, NGO gonks, and wild-eyed info
egologists' - alas poor Lessig - 'necessarily failing and doomed'), and
replace it by a more active strategy of 'constituting a shared community
of ideas that, expecting such co-option and acting in prescience,
deliberately designs itself to appear, perhaps, palatable, but to be
in fact poisonous [to capital]'. And this poison pill is to be
'a return to Artaudian insanity via Burrough's 'language virus''.
From what I understood from the discussions around Empire seems to be
reflected here: Everything which might be interesting need to be
resistance of some kind. I read the paragraph above as not to have a
real common but a shared one limited to those who bought a ticket at
However, this is exactly the way property works and so I think they do
the same and will finally end up in (perhaps another sort of) the same
shit. And it is the exact opposite of how Free Software works. Free
Software is free to everybody. Nobody prevents "the enemy" (TM) to use
it. It's not resistance really. It just *is* and it is enough in
Though people usually start to argue that this is a kill criterion for
Free Software having a emancipatory potential I see it just the other
way round. A basis for a new society does not need be in resistance of
the current one. If it would, it would be so bound to the current
system, that it is not able to create something really new.
We can see that in the shift from feudalism to capitalism. Sure there
were some conflicts between feudalism and capitalism, but in the end
capitalism did not need to extinct religion or even the aristocracy.
Capitalism just made them unimportant. I think this is the only way a
real change can be brought about.
Well, the first problem for me with this is just the language. Stefan
mentioned that the language of the German translation of Empire is 'ugly'.
I doubt if it's any uglier than the original; and I have real problems
reading or taking anything seriously that comes out of the whole
Deleuze/Guattari tradition just because of this.
I agree with the language point. One can even argue that this is
closed source mode...
Mit Freien Grüßen