[ox-en] Fwd: Farewell Oekonux, we barely knew you.
- From: "Michel Bauwens" <michelsub2004 gmail.com>
- Date: Sun, 9 Mar 2008 17:56:17 -0700
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From: Dmytri Kleiner/ Friends. <dk telekommunisten.net>
Date: Mon, 10 Mar 2008 00:38:42 UT
Subject: Farewell Oekonux, we barely knew you.
To: michelsub2004 gmail.com
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Farewell Oekonux, we barely knew you: A Open Goodbye to the Neo-Utopians.
Dmytri Kleiner, 2008.
"The undeveloped state of the class struggle, as well as their own
surroundings, causes Socialists of this kind to consider themselves
far superior to all class antagonisms. They want to improve the
condition of every member of society, even that of the most favored.
Hence, they habitually appeal to society at large, without distinction
of class; nay, by preference, to the ruling class. For how can people,
when once they understand their system, fail to see it in the best
possible plan of the best possible state of society?. Hence, they
reject all political, and especially all revolutionary,
action; they wish to attain their ends by peaceful means, and endeavor,
by small experiments, necessarily doomed to failure, and by the
force of example, to pave the way for the new social Gospel."
-- Marx & Engels, The Communist Manifesto, 1848.
By 1848 the European continent may have been haunted by the spectre of
as feudal relations where unraveling and transforming while the major
powers where experiencing violent social spasms as they adopted the
pioneered by Great Britain, however back in the "Workshop of the World," the
newly privileged English working class had noticeably mellowed.
As Great Britain entered the second phase of the Industrial Revolution, her
industry turned away from (now highly competitive and thus low profit)
markets, and moved to far more lucrative Capital Goods.
Income from Steel and Machines sold to newly industrialising nations on the
continent, the new world and beyond made the United Kingdom the world's
financial power. Her workers, if perhaps only for a brief moment, enjoyed
a level of relative wealth and social stability far removed from the
inhumane conditions brutally imposed during the first phase of Industry.
After a century of Capitalization, all the newly formed productive capacity
created a massive increase in the supply of basic consumer goods, prices
where in free-fall across the board. And, with the repeal of the
Corn Laws in 1846, British tables where overflowing with cheap imported
The radical convulsions of Luddites, Levelers, and Diggers, from the eras of
enclosures, civil wars and the birth of industry, where long over
and even Chartism was quickly disappearing.
Wealth, however briefly, had fattened the worker, the Capitalist,
the Landlord and the State alike, whose raw, ruthless, violent power, so
crucial in the primitive accumulation that created the basis of Capitalist
social relationships, whose history is written in "Letters of Blood and
was now hidden behind the chubby, smiling face of British Imperialism
and wrapped in the legitimizing veneer of Tradition.
The Socialism of the day, the Socialism denounced by Marx & Engels in their
Communist Manifesto, was Utopian Socialism. A Socialism that doesn't chose
denies struggle, denies even class. A socialism that ignores the dialectic
nature of change, and assumes that some new form of organisation, born from
inspiration of a kind of enlightened social designer, driven by a
determinist world view, will be adopted whole-scale on the basis of it's
undeniable merit by worker, capitalist, and landlord alike, the latter
two classes happily abandoning the privileges that distinguish them and
uniting with the meritous worker in a new homogeneous mono-class of
postindustrial Utopian Man, living happily in Phalanstère and New Harmonies
Utopian Man never came about.
The brief gravy train of the British worker derailed in a train-wreck of
depression, unemployment, general glut and Capital flight. The teeth and
claws of Power and naked Imperialism where again shamelessly exposed as
two world wars shook the world. Utopian Socialism quickly became a
curiosity as Anarchist and Marxist Communism spread among workers,
and intellectuals world wide and erupted in various syndicalist, political
insurrectionist forms, none of which hesitated in denouncing the Bosses.
In the aftermath of Soviet collapse, the dream of Homo Utopicus returned.
An accelerated plundering of second and third world alike, unhindered by a
now lost geostrategic balance of power, valourised triumphant Capitalism and
the Capitalist State alike.
The Internet, born of Cold War military funding, introduced the most
technological development since the dawn of electricity, a medium of
communication and exchange that was synchronous, peer to peer, and
A network of equals, communicating and exchanging globally, A free network
could route around censorship and State intervention alike, a network where
journalist played on equal footing with media tycoon, a network that could
anywhere where one node consented to inter-connect with another.
The territorial monopoly on violence that was the essence of the State and
landlords now made obsolete by Cyberspace. The control of the circulation of
capital and product that was the lynch-pin of Capitalist wealth now undone
direct online commerce. The scarcity of the instruments of production that
chained the worker to his employer and social station now obliterated by
immaterial capital, nonreciprocal production, free software, free culture.
"The Californian Ideology," replaced class struggle with techno-utopianism
economic liberalism. The Neo-Utopians where born.
However once again, Utopian man hasn't come about.
The Internet, born in the generous nursery of the arms race, was now forced
to pander for finance from the very Capitalist ruling class it's anarchic
structure was supposed to neutralize.
Mom and Pop ISPs with backrooms full of consumer-grade modems are replaced
giant telecommunications corporations with shiny and expensive DSL
Networks become less neutral and more asymmetrical.
Like the downfall of the heyday of the pre-Depression British industrial
the dotCom bust marked the explosion of the era of domino asset bubbles,
precarious McJobs, wars of economic desperation and naked State repression.
Strengthened copyright laws, enhanced data retention laws, digital rights
software patents and other. political legal, and capital interventions
combine to make
the data you store, receive, and transmit a matter of national security and
privilege. Usenet is replaced by Yahoo! Groups, email is replaced by
Napster is replaced by iTunes. IRC by Skype, All funded by great
wealth and firmly in the hands of the ruling class.
Day by day, communications systems are becoming more and more centralized
The role of peer to peer technology, the core breakthrough of the Internet,
is more and more a contraband technology, a technology for criminals,
rebels, maybe even "terrorists."
The days that we can continue to pretend, despite all evidence to the
contrary in a
world of rapidly increasing wealth stratification, that mankind will
emancipated by Ubuntu, Wikipedia and Facebook are over.
If we are to create a society where we produce and share as peers, where
unmediated communications and commerce allows peer producers in informal,
communities to throw off the chains of Monopolist and Rentier, then we must
resurrect the language of resistance, of class struggle, and acknowledge the
that no privileged class will give up it's advantage gladly, that bottom up
revolution will always face top-down repression.
If we are unwilling to identify the thieves, we can never end the theft.
editing text files since 1981
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