Re: [ox-en] Re: Oekonux and (non)developing countries
- From: Stefan Merten <smerten oekonux.de>
- Date: Wed, 11 Aug 2004 20:07:04 +0200
Hi Franz and all!
Last week (10 days ago) Franz Nahrada wrote:
on Sonntag, 1. August 2004 at 1:11 Uhr [PHONE NUMBER REMOVED]
Stefan Merten wrote:
I hope I could point out that I don't think these differences are
ignored. The real difference is between the Chinese farmer in the
middle of nowhere^H^H^H^H^H^H^H central Asia and the computer hacker
in New York. If you are able to show that this is an unjustifiable
abstraction than I'd agree that there is a problem with the theory.
No, it is not a problem of theory. It is a problem of practise. If we
help to practically create the link between the farmer in Central Asea and
computer hacker in New York, we are doomed.
Why? And who is exactly "we" here?
I think this is a question of (a wish for) a development at the same
time world wide. Or formulated as a program: If the GPL society ever
comes about for some (magical) reason it only can do so if it happens
on the whole planet (at least roughly) at the same time.
I really, really wonder on what is this based. The "we" above - as
Graham pointed out rightly - is probably from a very small fraction of
the world's population. I think what we are discussing here and the
models of society developed here apply perfectly to us. I for one
would prefer living in a GPL society more than in any other type of
society I know of. Why the hell needs to be good for the rest of the
world what is good for some North-Western people connected to a global
computer network? Isn't this the same old missionary attitude which
pushed this rest of the world more often in a bloodshed than not?
So on the contrary I'd say we are doomed if we imagine the GPL society
as "needs-to-be-global". Fundamental changes of society never happened
globally at the same time. Even capitalism today left a few tiny white
spots. As a materialist I'd say this is a result of the different
conditions humans live in at the same time but different locations.
If this rest of the world wants to join in then I'm the first to
welcome then. If not they are free to have whatever seems right to
them - just as it is right to have a GPL society in those parts of the
planet where the conditions are mature for it.
Well, but this is a *moral* obligation. In other words: It is totally
based on idealist thinking. For centuries the left argued in a moral
way about the obligations of the state - with exactly what result?
Moral is a nice thing to disguise interests. If this "moral
obligation" actually has any effect it is because of the non-idealist
/ materialist consequences of "obeying" this obligation.
I know this position very well, but there is a flaw in it. There is a
tendency in "materialist" thinking to restrain from conceiving goals.
Everything, so they argue, is brought about by the development of
interests. If people can follow their interests, everything else will
I know this position very well because for long time I have myself
tooled around with it. Nowadays I think it is detremental and interlinked
with the decay of the left.
Well, IMHO "the left" has given up materialist views long ago. Today I
know only the Krisis group who didn't - at least on a large scale. So
if materialist thinking is the reason for the decay then it must have
happened more than 40 years ago - and vanished after it.
Even the enlightened interest is not able
to create social action if there is not conscious goal-setting.
But this is very different from moral - isn't it.
I agree with you that "moral" in connection with state and politics
is necessarily the "glue" in which people with opposing interests
are constrained to run their dissembling discourse. Books of translation
"moral to interest and vice versa" can be written and have been written.
But there is a different aspect to it. As with "labour", the left has
failed to keenly analize the double character of our social inventions
and categories. Either they glorify the "ideal" of it or they throw
away even the idea of it. The latter was the case in German Marxism
several times, with the effect that Geman Marxism simply has no
ideas nowadays, even if it theoretically well developed.
May be. I never was into this.
Marx by himself used the term "moral" to describe the conscious
element in society. In the "Capital", he says for example the rate of
wages contains a "historical and moral element", something which
seems like a residual category for materialistic theory.
"Moral" in this sense is equivalent to "conscious choice". It is
equivalent of the "widespread feeling in society what ought to be".
Yes. But this is then a part of the overall OHA system. I'd say moral
is the sunken in ideology which keeps an OHA system stable. It is
sunken in because moral rules lack their explanation - though their
may be some. Moral rules are in some sense also alienated because - as
every rule does - they abstract from the concrete situations.
I'm not saying that moral is necessarily a bad thing. May be it's some
kind of simplification which helps to survive in an otherwise
incredible sea of options. However, if moral should not be the
disguise for repression then it needs to be in line with the basis of
the society. In the example above you won't end up with a wide-spread
moral that people should not sell their bodies^H^H^H^H^H^H work force
for money. Though I consider this for sure a moral obligation for
every human to not alienate in this way you never will see such a
moral in developed capitalism. So to back my point it is not
completely arbitrary what moral develops at a given time and place and
I firmly believe this is connected to the materialist base of that
society much more than any idealist mass enlightenment.
The more concrete the imagination of goals, the stronger the feeling
of what ought to be will be.
But humans are intelligent enough to not follow goals which are not
reasonable (to them). That's why it is so important that for a
fundamental change working, visible, and desirable(!) alternatives
exist - such as Free Software.
This is why I insist oekonux must be helpful in the development of
goals and visions that can turn into moral, i.e. practical sentiments.
Sure. In this sense I think the best thing Oekonux can deliver right
now is to develop the theory which explains an upcoming moral. May be
Oekonux can do more - but this is what is there already.
Mit Freien Grüßen
Organization: projekt oekonux.de