Felix Stalder on Tue, 15 Feb 2000 20:00:51 +0100 (CET)

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Re: <nettime> Revolution! Globalism! Convergence! New Economy! NOW!!

>To the degree that nettimer's (and the rest of the generalized
>"cyber-cultural" mass-movement for which nettime is a sort of "vanguard")
>are willing to scrap their own notions of "globalism", "convergence",
>"revolution" and "new economy", they might contribute to a deeper
>understanding of the current situation.  Just might.

I don't think that scrapping words does help much, particularly not such
ambiguous words like the ones singled out in the above paragraph. What is
much more important is to free the discussion from strangle hold which the
"one idea system" (Ignacio Ramonet) holds over it. 

Let's take "globalization" for example. We are told, and it seems to lurk
also through the various exclamation marks in the subject line, that we
are floating on a single, coherent wave into the future. Globalization
means the rise of an elite which controls all relevant events (economy,
culture, military) in a global scale. Consequently, we are told, power is
moving from the bottom up, into the hands of this elite whose rule is
without effective challenge and without alternative. Well, not really
without alternative we, are told. There is an alternative: the nation
state.  Abandoning the nation state will play directly into the hands of
the winners of globalization, that is, the stateless elite. 

In other words, the alternative to tomorrow is yesterday. How appealing! 

This impoverished notion of "globalization" and its "alternative" is
responsible for much of the infighting currently going on among so-called
critics. Each side has handy, ready-made tool to discredit the other.
Those arguing for an understanding of globalization as a complex and
open-ended REALITY are denounced as naive hand maidens of global capital,
those who try to preserve democratic accountability through the nation
state are ridiculed as stuck in the 1970s or, even worse, secretly
supporting the isolationist far-right. How productive! 

It is not a question if we believe in globalization or not. It is a
reality, and yes, nettime is a part of it.  To argue that globalization is
identical with the dominance of neoliberalism is an ideology propagated
not only by neoliberalists, but also by conceptual lazyness of their
critics.  And yes, some of them are also on nettime. 


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