Re: [ox-en] Interview with Christoph Spehr
- From: Stefan Merten <smerten oekonux.de>
- Date: Sat, 14 Jun 2003 20:43:33 +0200
8 days ago geert lovink wrote:
Aliens, in Spehr's view,
are first and foremost friendly parasites, post-1945 creatures that are
interested in any type of surplus value they can extract from humans.
I find it striking, that the Free Software movement can be described
by very similar words. Especially if *any* type of surplus value is
don't do this in an old manner by attacking or surpressing people but by
Many Free Software projects have the intention to assist others.
Power is no longer personal but abstract and can no longer
be reduced to characteristics of individuals.
The power of the Free Software movement is definitely not personal.
Alien power is free, open and
most of all: on the search for creative, new ideas.
Instead it is free, open, and creative, new ideas are always welcome -
from whom ever.
Typical aliens would be
intermediates such as cultural enterpreneurs, social democratic welfare
state officials, NGOs or (ruling) green party members that all live of
movements, events, ideas and expressions of others.
These might be the typical ones but one of the fundamental rights the
GPL grants to everyone is the right to learn from the creativity of
others by studying the source code. The movements, events, ideas and
even the manifest expression of others is used by Free Software people
What these aliens have
in common is their good intentions.
The very most projects also have good intentions: They want to create
Alien hegemony is politically correct,
multi-cultural, feminist, ecological and almost impossible to defeat on a
And even this is correct to a high degree.
So, now I'm completely puzzled (well, not really ;-) ). Is the Free
Software movement a bunch of aliens?
Ok, the Free Software movement is little feminist. Making it more
feminist means making it more alien. Funny...
In Spehr's 'science friction' the antagonists of the
aliens are the 'maquis', French for bush, a term used by the French
resistance to describe zones not occupied by the Nazis). I would suggest
that maquis can be read as a synonym for 'multitudes'. It is the maquis that
experiment with post-economic models of 'free cooperation'-a topic that
Spehr further explored after finishing his political novel and brought him
in contact with the free software movement in Germany that discusses ways to
establish a 'GPL-society.'
On the other hand Free Software is not defined by resistance (though
some meanings of multitude may fit). Ok, the Free Software movement
then seems to be clearly an alien movement...
One other point:
Of course this is all alien work, a way for all aliens to stay
dominant, because these blocked conflicts nurture the hegemony of the
aliens-in all its authoritarian, patriarchal, subduing aspects-on both
In the whole interview it looks like aliens being identifiable
persons. The above list of "typical aliens" underlines this. And the
very next sentence - hold your breath:
But it's also a result of what I call "terraneous thinking": a
thinking in good guys and bad guys, right cause or wrong cause. A thinking
in terms of absolute truth, holy wars, "real solutions".
So I conclude that the idea of aliens as such is as least as
terraneous thinking as the thinking the people being prepared for the
Stalinist show process - ahm for the aliens. Nice form of
Mit Freien Grüßen
PS: I criticized Spehr's writing and thinking all too often on the
German list. I find it unfinished - to say the least -, populist and
often contradictory if you take a closer look.