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FReeCognize Me..? | 5 comments
[new] freedom of movement & communication (Avg. Score: 3.00 / Raters: 1) (#1)
by GeertLovink on Sun Oct 5th, 2003 at 07:09:01 AM EURODISCORDIA TIME
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Dear Gabriel,

thanks for your comments and questions.

We're no criminals, by the way. Our names are Geert Lovink and Florian Schneider...

Why the connection? Besides the fact that there are personal reasons for me, and political ones, one could say that the analogy between the struggles for open media architectures and the freedom of movement is one that *potentially* creates interesting social and intercultural coalitions. I don't mind if someone will draw up some meta theory about this (possibly a German...). But that's not the point. There is no urgent way to connect struggles into some totalitarian Struggle of all Struggles. That's not what we mean and stand for.

If people accuse us of being libertarians--so be it. There are plenty of libertarian currents. Here in Australia libertarians are bohemians from the left. In the USA some would think of the ultra conservative corporate think-tank the Cato Institute. Others would vehemently defend the term against the way in which neo-conservatives have highjacked the term. It's a struggle...

I don't believe in the class concept to start with--and I am deeply suspicious of anything that uses the highly ideological 'knowlegde' term.

Having said that, we believe that 'everyone is an expert'. That's not just a good campaing phrase. Your distinction between the 'real' poor and the cognitariat no longer exists. I am not sure who is behind this Digital Devide idea. The issue is that the vast majority of people on this planet are already connected. This does not mean that they have a phone at home or even have an Internet connection. It simply means that their lives are interdependent with the information economy. The 'leftist' suggestion that 'really' poor people do not communicate is nonsense. I am not saying this to make an ideological statement. It's an observation many people make these days. Perhaps many parts of Africa are left out, but that certainly doesn't count for India, China and big parts of Latin America.

Our emphasis on freedom stems from experiences with activists who--deep in their heart--long for a strong nation state that will regulate everything. We believe that this would be a reactionary step back. It's polemic anyway, but yes, in these times of surveillance and control, it could be good thing to build interesting libertarian coalitions. That's wasn't the case in the mid nineties--and might again change in a few years. That's why we have keep on thinking, and questioning our own premises so that we can act again and fall back into repetitive and predictable behaviours.


FReeCognize Me..? | 5 comments


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