lop1912 on Thu, 14 Jun 2001 22:50:43 +0200 (CEST)

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[Nettime-bold] REKOMBINANTstrategies

REKOMBINANT - http://net-i.zkm.de/rekombinant

Rekombinant strategies

In the eighteen months following Seattle something significant has 
happened: world-wide public opinion has steadily swung towards an awareness 
that capitalist-type globalisation constitutes a violent, dangerous 
dictatorship. There is a growing perception that the political class that 
embodies this system is the irresponsible representative of a criminal 
lunpenborghesia, herding the world towards an environmental, social and 
psychological catastrophe of almost unimaginable proportions.
Yet despite this spreading awareness, the world's leaders push on regardless.
Bush's decision to jettison Kyoto is indicative of a disturbing truth: that 
power no longer has anything to do with the general interests of humanity 
and is unable to act at all if not in the immediate interests of the 
predatory ruling class.

The world-wide anti-globalisation movement has torn away the veil of 
consent, which, up until two years ago, supported the dominion of global 
capital. Yet that Capital has now been exposed for what it is: a kind of 
final solution for all humanity, vindicated by an ignorant, aggressive and 
criminal class taking up the reins everywhere.
Texan oilmen, Italian mafiosi, KGB spies. That's who's getting together in 

But they're not the only ones getting ready for Genoa: we shall be there 
too, each playing his part and employing an effective mix of direct, 
non-violent action and dadaist provocation. Yet this will be no pushover, 
as we run the risk of accepting the terrain imposed on us by the criminal 
enemy. If the weak are to win they must use the weapon of intelligence and 
choose the battlefield themselves.

The coming months will see the employment of a thousand tactics, yet the 
challenge facing the movement is just one: to progress beyond the pure 
protest stage.
Because it is a movement without concrete identity. Just take a look at the 
way it's defined: "the Seattle protestors" is not a definition, it's a news 
report detail. "Global movement" is not a definition but is simply the 
acknowledgement of the size and geographic entity of the problem. "Movement 
against corporate capitalism" is not a definition, it is a negation.

This is no mere detail. While the movement has a thousand ideological, 
political, cultural and religious identities, it has no unitary political 
goal as the 20th century labour movement had. So does this mean that it is 
destined to fall by the wayside because of a lack of shared goals?
The answer to that is a resounding "No". This movement, independently of 
its representative ideologies (often conservative or traditionalist), has 
nothing to do with the known forms of historical inheritance, political 
debate, the struggle for power or victory, the replacement of one form of 
dominant subjectivity with another. To clarify, this is a two-stage process.

The first stage was begun in Seattle (and is likely to culminate in Genoa): 
this is the stage of ethical and symbolic revolt, an accumulation of 
cultural and productive energy.

The second stage involves the deconstruction and recombination of the 
global network and its technical interfaces.

There is no chronological succession between these two stages, but a 
consistent implication. Paradoxically, the street, the battle, the protest 
march, the eruption of the movement's followers onto the media-political 
scene all belong to the symbolic phase, while the truly concrete 
transformation lies in the stage of knowledge-based, technical 
recombination of the information network.

No-one believes that Genoa will see us triumph over the armed militia of 
the ruling powers: yet we shall face up to it in the name of a revolt that 
is ethical and social. No-one believes we can win by grabbing the heart of 
that power because it is a power that has no heart - and no brain either.
Power is the blind linking together of automatisms: it's brain is not the 
criminals who will be getting together in Genoa in June. It's brain is made 
up of the activities of millions of cognitive workers: scientists, 
researchers, engineers, programmers. Millions of cognitive workers 
expropriated of their decision-making power and denied an understanding of 
the global workings of their knowledge and activities.

The battle in the street is nothing other than the symbolic catalyst for 
the self-organisation of those cognitive workers, the launch of a process 
that will dismantle the automatisms hard-wired into the production system 
by capital.
The innumerable informational-technological acts of creation that capital 
expropriates to construct its automated chain of exploitation and power can 
then begin to operate in reverse, becoming the sabotage, deconstruction and 
conscious re-finalisation of that knowledge-technology which wires the 
social fabric of humanity.

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