Re: spitting, hissing, desperate disagreement
Mon, 6 Sep 1999 17:54:20 -0900 (PDT)
[: hacktivism :]
I am starting to wonder if this list is doomed. It seems
we are coalesced around (unagreed) means for action--on a
computer and on the internet--and that this is not enough
of a basis to hold us together. The range of politics
seems to be really large. The following comment from
Parsifal (sorry it seems you have made yourself whipping
boy/girl but that's what happens when you hijack a list)
drove this home:
> Ideas, like economic market, deals with supply and demand.
Neither ideas nor markets work by supply and demand as
far as I am concerned. This is the height of rightist
neoliberalism. Parsifal's comments are right-wing
libertarian neoliberalism. This is an impasse. Parsifal is
obviously not persuaded
(or even listening) to others' opinions and I am
certainly not going to suddenly become a neoliberalist.
I've heard this all before. It's the mainstream
discourse throughout the world. I grew up around this
> Unfortunately, it seems that an average hacker is more skilled for
> computers than for psychology/sociology....
> should be interested to know how old are this list's subscribers.
> Am I speaking with teenagers ?
This is the impasse I am talking about. And the total
lack of respect and listening. I am tempted to divulge
my occupation as a sociology doctoral student in order to
credibility. (I suppose I just have.) But that seems a
pretty lame rejoinder to Parsifal.
Parsifal, there are a
range of educated opinions on these issues and yours is
but one. You need to stop imposing your views as if they
are universally applicable and correct. Just because the
neoliberalist discourse is the mainstream one doesn't
mean it is right. Infact, for me, it's a pretty clear
indicator that it is wrong. It's the discourse that
supports/creates the current exploitative world system.
I don't see how the discussion is getting anywhere. I am
not interested in hearing more neoliberalism. Parsifal
is not interested in hearing any radicalism. Where is
there to go?
I also want to say that I think an approach to politics
needs to be grounded in the particular situation, the
context and particularly the power relations, and the
historical specificity of the situation. Coming up with
universal principles like neoliberalism don't work (for
me). I would not hesitate to use the tactics Parsifal
advocates when the situation is justified. In fact, this
was a lot of my undergraduate student activism. A
university is a great setting for educating yourself and
others around issues. But I also didn't hesitate in
using more radical means that Parsifal rejects at the
same university when the situated demanded it.
There just seems to be something wrong in imposing a
definition of what proper hactivism is. This is its own
form of "totalitarianism." It closes off rather than
opens up. It creates universalities which don't account
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