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[ox-en] Re: Primacy of State (was: language of Telos and Primacy of the State)

Hi Adam

On Mon, 8 Sep 2003, Adam Moran wrote:

2. 	Primacy of State

on this issue of 'Selbstentfaltung', can i asked the german language 
speakers for further explanation ? - the issue that concerns me when i 
read the english translation, 'self-unfolding' , is i can't find 
anything to do with the 'community-unfolding'

I'm not a German speaker (I hope one will reply later ;-)
but my understanding of this from previous discussions is that:

- self-unfolding is inseparable from community-unfolding

- the 'self' is given primacy in the word itself, because the particular
situation of free software means that when people 'unfold themselves',
this automatically results in 'community unfolding' (both because
'scratching my own itch' can result in something useful for others, and
because it's hard to participate in a community project without both
learning and helping others to learn). There is no need for altruism in
the process - doing something which is primarily selfish results in
communal benefits. Or maybe it would be better to say that 'being selfish'
loses its meaning - a kind of version of the 'hidden hand' which is
supposed to work for people, instead of for an abstract economy. 

There have been discussions before over whether packing so much meaning
into a single word is a) creating a useful theoretical term for a new
phenomenon or b) creating a closed language outsiders cannot follow :-(

i submit:

a.  	this 'community-unfolding' comes before, and is responsible for any 
individual 'self-unfolding' , and

To get this I think you would need some kind of abstract community over
and above individuals - how can the two be anything but simultaneous given
a real community and real people?

OK, from here on we're in new territory...

b. 	that the relationship between a proposed 
'global-unfolded-community-state' and the 'unfolded-individual' will 
define the Politics of the proposed 'global-unfolded-community-state'

Why I think this point is important is that the Politics of the proposed 
'global-unfolded-community-state' will be defined primarily by its mode 
of production - I submit that the existing 'unfolded-communities' have 
no Class composition as there is no extraction of surplus value from one 
Class by another - I hypothesise that the 
'global-unfolded-community-state' will itself have no Class composition 
and the Politics of this state can not be those of Class domination and 
Class antagonism.

Yep, I think this again would be one of the commonest oekonux-ish views.
It's something I've had real doubts about which I haven't ever been able
to get over to anyone else, so I'll have another try (though Benni
Baermann's '8 theses on liberation' which I put a draft translation of
into the subversion directory may be relevant here)

- all previous revolutions have claimed to be about freedom for everyone,
but turned out to be mainly about freedom for one group only, so it's 
neccesary to be suspicious of any claims like the above

- this one is being preached by a group of highly technically skilled 
people. Just the kind of group that might end up as a new class

- one of the ways it is claimed that the desired end state might be 
arrived at is that just as agriculture, once the basis of almost 
everything in society has become almost irrelevant in some places due
to technological change (2% of the population in the UK, IIRC), so 
everything but information-related work will become irrelevant in the
new state of things. Considering the fate of the billions of farm workers
who migrated to the cities over the last 100 years, what is the likely 
fate of the people currently in manufacturing if this change does happen?
Are they all going to become happy information-producers? Or are they
the basis of a possible second class?

OK, so that's a totally pessimistic of a change which is only theoretical 
anyway, but I'd like to hear a really convincing demolition of it...

If the Politics of the new 'global-unfolded-community-state' is not a 
Politics of Class, then what is it ?

My guess is that its the Politics of Potentials; firstly the potential 
of the 'global-unfolded-community-state' to define and build its telos / 
vapor-ware, and secondly the potential of the 'unfolded-individual' to 
a. know how they can help out in the process, and
b. enjoy the common wealth of the state

Can you expand on this?

My own guesses on what the politics of the new state might be are a
bit different (I think):

- how to harmonize living standards in different parts of the world which
are starting from very different points (eg. how much transfer does there 
need to be from Europe to Africa)
- how to find a stable balance between people and the rest of the world 
- what happens to people in industries which are becoming redundant
- rights of authors (just predicting from the amount of license discussion
that happens now!)

But maybe these are just a slightly more concrete version of what you are 





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