Re: [ox-en] Re: Primacy of State
- From: Stefan Merten <smerten oekonux.de>
- Date: Sun, 19 Oct 2003 22:29:21 +0200
Hi Adam, Graham, all!
Adam: Could you explain what Telos means (to you)?
Last month (41 days ago) Graham Seaman wrote:
On Mon, 8 Sep 2003, Adam Moran wrote:
2. Primacy of State
First of all: What do you mean by "state"? The political phenomenon or
the way things are at some point in time? If you are thinking of the
political phenomenon I think a GPL society will not have something
similar to a state - at least not of the kind we know now.
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.
I think Graham put it quite good. The real expert on Selbstentfaltung
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 :-(
Well, to some degree Oekonux has its own language anyway. I think this
can't be prevented when you are developing a new theory. You need some
words to label the new notions you create in your heads. Of course if
addressing a broader public you need to translate that. This is called
popularizing I guess ;-) .
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
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...
My current best guess is this: For a ruling class exploiting other
class to come into being there need to be some advantage coming from
this exploitation. Otherwise why bother exploiting others?
So to answer the question whether there is potential for exploitation
in the GPL society you need to ask what the advantage of such
exploitation would be. Actually nothing comes to my mind. If the
saying is true that the Selbstentfaltung of the single is the
precondition for the Selbstentfaltung of all and vice versa then
exploiting others in any way is contrary to your own interests. Thus
only stupids would try this.
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?
I am not sure whether I understand what you are talking about.
Is it that you are talking about:
Last week (11 days ago) Adam Moran wrote:
what are the politics, the relationship between the 'I' and the 'We', of
our new states ?
If so I think the thread on OHA/ODA are very relevant to your
question. Actually in some sense they try to answer your question on a
more practical basis - at least for a start.
Mit Freien Grüßen