Conclusions about the theses (was: Re: [ox-en] Theses about the relation between the Oekonux project and the remaining world)
- From: Stefan Merten <smerten oekonux.de>
- Date: Sun, 12 Oct 2003 00:11:35 +0200
Last week (9 days ago) Stefan Merten wrote:
However, IMHO a deeper question concerning the whole Oekonux project
is the foundation for this debate and for a similar debate we had
before the 2. Oekonux conference concerning the question whether or
not to admit pseudonyms for speakers on the conference.
It is my wish that we find a clear position for these questions so
there is at least in the first place no more need for these debates -
which are often loaded with heavy emotions. For this to start the rest
of this mail argues for a certain type of relation between the Oekonux
project and the remaining world in general and to the left in
particular. I welcome comments of all sorts on these theses so we all
get a picture of the opinions in the project.
I think a lot of thoughts and some opinions have been presented now
and I feel that the debate ceases slowly - at least for now. Before I
forget too much I want to write down some of the conclusions hoping to
reflect the debate adequately. If not feel free to add, subtract or
modify the following.
The debate about these theses quickly moved to other questions only
indirectly connected to these theses. This is not reflected here.
Theses about the relation between the Oekonux project and the remaining world
Goal: The success of the Oekonux project
Ziel: Der Erfolg des Oekonux-Projekts
* The Oekonux project is very successful internally
* Das Oekonux-Projekt ist nach innen sehr erfolgreich
Benni noted that progress is slower than in the beginning but Benni
noted that he can't see progress where I see progress.
So the save side is not to close down the project ;-) .
* The Oekonux project is pretty successful externally
* Das Oekonux-Projekt ist nach Außen ziemlich erfolgreich
Nobody commented on that. I consider this as acceptance.
* These two successes are closely related
* Diese beiden Erfolge hängen eng zusammen
All sorts of people are attracted by the project: Free Software
people, engineers, artists, scientists of all areas, leftist people,
people generally interested in political questions etc. This mixture
of people from different fields of human activity is rarely found
and in Oekonux it is seen as a big advantage. Also there is a
mixture of all ages.
This broad range of people is possible because the project is an
*open project* in the best sense of the word. The atmosphere of the
discussion normally is good and interested in deeper insights. It is
possible to look at old questions in new ways and often the answers
found in Oekonux are somewhat surprising.
Both successes outlined above are connected by the openness of the
project. Because the discussions are open many interesting people
are attracted which then contribute their part to the interesting
Part of this openness comes from the fact that Oekonux is recognized
as an *independent project*. In fact the Oekonux project depends on
nobody than its members. Only for the conferences we are looking for
sponsors which varied in the past.
This were the point where the external and internal success were
related by the openness and external perception as an independent
AFAIR nobody denied that openness is a key factor for Oekonux. So this
seems to be clear.
If I understood correctly there were some doubt that independence is a
key factor. However, on the other hand nobody said the opposite: That
a perception of *dependence* is useful for the project. So I conclude
that at least independence is not considered harmful for the project.
Thus if we want to be on the save side a perception of independence
should be maintained.
* Result: We need to care about the openness and independence of the
project and that this openness and independence is perceivable
* Ergebnis: Wir müssen uns um die Offenheit und Eigenständigkeit des
Projekts kümmern und darum, dass diese Offenheit und
Eigenständigkeit nach Außen sichtbar sind
As I said: Regarding the openness this has not been denied and
regarding the independence it at least does not harm.
What needs to be cared for?
Worauf ist zu achten?
* To maintain internal openness is relatively easy
* Offenheit nach Innen ist relativ leicht zu pflegen
Nobody denied that so this seems to be clear.
* Important: To maintain the perception of an open and independent
project to the remaining world
* Wichtig: Die Außenwahrnehmung eines offenen und eigenständigen
Projekts muss gepflegt werden
Some people commented positive on this some did not see the point. The
save side again is maintaining a perception of openness and
* To maintain this perception of openness and independence for the
conferences several aspects need to be considered
* Um die Wahrnehmung von Offenheit und Eigenständigkeit für die
Konferenzen zu wahren, müssen mehrere Aspekte berücksichtigt werden
- Financial independence
- Finanzielle Eigenständigkeit
Nobody commented on that [checking account of the e.V.] but also
nobody transferred money to the e.V. - damn ;-) .
- Organizational independence
- Organisatorische Eigenständigkeit
Nobody denied that.
- Admit only neutral habits
- Nur neutrale Habituierung zulassen
There was a clarification about pseudonyms and I just added a
suggestion on academic titles but otherwise I do not remember any
comment on that.
Special case: The left
Spezialfall: Die Linke
* The left is one of the roots of Oekonux
* Die Linke ist eine der Wurzeln von Oekonux
Nobody denied that.
* However, Oekonux transcends the left - Oekonux is not a left project
but it is trans-left
* Jedoch hebt Oekonux die Linke tendenziell auf - Oekonux ist kein
linkes Projekt sondern es ist trans-links
FranzS said that people will conclude Oekonux being a left project
anyway but I'm not sure about this. At least nobody called for
labeling Oekonux as a left project. So it is the save side to not do
Nobody commented on trans-left.
* A big part of the left is separated from society and separates itself
* Ein großer Teil der Linken ist von der Gesellschaft abgeschottet und
schottet sich selbst ab
Actually nobody denied that. There have been some voices supporting
this view - in particular regarding the openness of the left.
* Because of this separated nature of the left for Oekonux it is
particularly necessary to maintain independence regarding the left
* Wegen dieser abgeschotteten Natur der Linken ist es für Oekonux
insbesondere nötig gegenüber der Linken eigenständig zu sein
If this independence is not visible, if Oekonux is perceived as a
left project in the (not so) long run this will kill the success of
The comments on this thesis concentrated very much on the social fora.
It seems questionable whether or not the social fora could be
considered left or not. However, regarding independence generally this
does not make much of a difference.
So we are on the save side if we maintain a perception of
independence. This applies to the left as well as to social fora.
* Result: Because Oekonux is an open instead of a left project
leftists are welcome as anybody else. In a left project *only*
leftists would be welcome.
* Ergebnis: Weil Oekonux ein offenes anstatt eines linken Projekts
ist, sind Linke ebenso willkommen wie alle anderen. In einem linken
Projekt wären degegen *nur* Linke willkommen.
There was some doubt if Oekonux should be really open to everybody. I
think it is ok to conclude that openness for every*body* does not mean
anything-goes. The limits should be considered on a case-by-case
basis and if necessary there should be something done about it.
Otherwise this has not been denied.
For a general conclusion I'd say there is some tension in the project
about these theses. However, I think in every case it is clear that
there is a save side which avoids dangers to the project anticipated
by at least some persons. At the same time in no case this save side
is considered harmful to the project. On a practical basis I consider
this sufficient to have some guidelines how to act in the future.
Personally I'm grateful this debate took place and I'd like to thank
all who raised there voice. As of now I think the people caring about
the organization of the project now have some guidelines for their
work. Thank you.
Mit Freien Grüßen