[ox-en] Fascism and GPL society? (was: Re: the GPL society, theory or practice?)
- From: Stefan Merten <smerten oekonux.de>
- Date: Tue, 23 Mar 2004 21:49:17 +0100
Hi John and all!
Thanks for changing the subject :-) . I changed it again because I
(hope to) reply to your post in several parts.
6 days ago John Bywater wrote:
For myself, I do appreciate your substantial message. Ich danke Dir.
I wouldn't mind hearing what your opinion about fascism actually *is* at
some point, that is, if we can agree on what the meaning of is, erm, is.
Well, as far as today is concerned I think we are all not very far
from each other on this question.
However, when I think in terms of GPL society - a type of society
based on the principles of the production of Free Software which are
* Selbstentfaltung (aka self-unfolding) of the individual being a
pre-condition for the Selbstentfaltung of all and vice versa,
* no exchange at least not in the core of the society,
* abundance of needed resources as a common goal,
* global cooperation,
* productive forces (social and technical) at the forefront of the
- then I wonder how fascism can fit in there. For instance so far I
can't see that a state (at least any sort we know of now) emerges in a
GPL society. At least most brands of fascism I know of, however, are
not thinkable without a state - as are most brands of socialism BTW.
When I think that GPL society overcomes capitalism then this means
that the basis of a lot of phenomenons so well-known today simply will
vanish. This happens every time when an era ends and a new one starts.
Once more I'd like to compare with the situation after the bourgeoise
revolutions. Religion was one of the most important aspects of the
societies before Enlightenment. What role religion do play today? They
are a private thing and they really do not matter much any more - at
least not if compared to the situation in the Dark Ages where
(Christian) religion structured the lifes of every one to a degree I
for one think we can not imagine today. Just as 100 years of GPL
society will make it impossible for the people then what it means if
money dominates a human's live.
No, I don't think that Islamic or Christian fundamentalism are a
contradiction here. To me these types of religious fundamentalism only
show that the whole post-Enlightenment system is in a lethal crisis.
Or look at the ever growing esoteric scenes which IMHO are most of all
barbarized version of religion. Substitutes for religion in a time
when religion really does not fit any more.
There are a lot of such signs. For instance most of the
self-organization attempts started in the 70s went back to crafting,
communes on the country side and so on. In terms of mode of production
this meant a decline back to pre-Enlightenment types. This is
something I definitely learned in this project: Those projects
oriented in the past can not be a germ form for a new society.
For sure they express deep wishes of people - for instance for some
sort of close community instead of the typical atomization of modern
societies. But in terms of mode of production they usually have even
difficulties competing with capitalist market - not talking of
out-competing capitalist production as Free Software does.
I think all this is typical behavior of humans when confronted with
turns of times as I think we are experiencing todays. When old (mental
and practical) securities crumble away and the new securities are not
visible yet people look for something which is secure. Of course many
start to look to the past - regardless of how inappropriate it is
Different to this I consider Oekonux a project which looks into the
future. This means to analyze current developments and check them for
their societal potential. I'm not saying this is always easy. Even
people who are interested in this still rely on their old securities -
they need to unless we can envision new and attractive securities
here in this project. This is IMHO a task worthwhile working for.
As far as hatred is concerned I think the basis for this also vanishes
if Selbstentfaltung is the basis of the society. Hatred belongs for
sure to the freedom of humans just as love, all kind of atrocities,
wonderful things, etc. However, in capitalism being based on
competition hatred is a useful attitude. If in a GPL society you are
interested in the Selbstentfaltung of everyone on this globe hatred is
in no way I can imagine useful. In the contrary hatred contradicts
your own interests. So at least I'd say the incentives for hatred are
much smaller in a GPL society than today.
While I talk about me: I do not like labeling. I think labeling is an
expression of an ideology. That is why I'm at least sceptical about
- -isms of any kind.
I expect belief in ideology is itself ideological.
I don't really think there are such things as ideologies,
Then I should state what I mean by ideologies: Systems of thinking
which neglect fixed parts of reality while emphasizing others - not as
an accident but out of a principle. As such they are for sure a part
of many if not all OHA systems. I'd put it this way: An ideology is a
way to lie about the world. For a project like Oekonux, however, an
open mind is needed and lies are hardly useful for this.
I have no idea about ideologies in a GPL society.
I prefer reasoning and clarity. This mail attempts to contribute to
Deleuze talks about thought as being reasoning (concepts), seeing and
hearing (percepts), and feeling (affects).
What do you prefer reasoning and clarity /to/?
To state things without giving reasons, to lie - these things.
I think reasoning gives people the chance to make up their mind. It
adds to freedom / Selbstentfaltung of humans whereas ideologies /
fundamentalisms of all kinds can reason at best in their own
Reasoning about concepts for a brief moment, I'm not sure if openness is
a very good concept, because it can only be meaningful in opposition to
closedness, which it must exclude. But by excluding closedness, openness
falls into an irreducible crisis.
Well, more and more I dislike these simple antagonisms. I think things
more often than not relate differently than black and white.
As you mention it, the concept of life is much better. Life must stand
in an opposition to death, which negates it.
Does it? I think there is good reason to see death as a part of life.
Seems like I really don't like simple antagonisms ;-) .
If you now think this proves I support fascism then you are of course
free to so so. I do not need to understand it and I'm convinced anyone
with a clear mind won't understand, too.
I don't think it shows you support fascism.
But would say you oppose fascism?
Sure. Also in this project - I said that I'd consider sexism / racism
reasons to silence someone if s/he doesn't stop it after being asked.
However, I have no fixed strategy. Fortunately in my part of the world
I'm personally not very much affected by fascism.
To make it clear: I fully understand your concerns about your security
on an emotional basis. On an rational basis kicking and banning
someone is in no way effective for this.
No, but it sends a clear message to clear off. Wikis, which perhaps cast
the very figure of openness, indeed have a ban list.
Please remember that this list attracted the one who then should be
banned. If I were those who demanded this I would *at first* think
about whether this was really necessary.
Mit Freien Grüßen
PS: The first post under the clerk did not have a `Reply-To:' header
as usual. I corrected this.
Organization: projekt oekonux.de