Ronda Hauben on 16 Feb 2001 08:40:03 -0000

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RE: <nettime> Technology, the double-edged sword

"G.H. HOVAGIMYAN" <> wrote;
Geert Lovink wrote:

>>The question for me would be why passions in the US about a potentially
>>dangerous future technology are so high whereas corporate-governmental
>>takeover of the Internet right now is drawing so few crowds. Can only the
>>future and past be full of horror, not the present?

GH replies:

>The American mythos/ psyche has to do with the individual and
>individuality. A different part of our collective psyche in America is
>fundamentalist religion and Utopian communities. The USA was created
>without kings. Business is as important as government here. What you see
>as a corporate takeover of a collective social space we see as a form that
>has matured and doesn't need government sponsorship.

You have left out most of the American people in your statement
of the "we". You have left out the labor rebels who fought over
many long years to win rights for workers in the US.

You have left out the civil rights protesterx, the anti war movements,

All these are movements of people - and basically most have been
directed against the exercise of unbridled power by corporations
in the US.

There were the muckrackers in in the early part of the last century.

There were the International Workers of the World and their fight
for labor rights and free speech rights for workers.

this is the tradition of the US people, not "business is as important
as government". That is perhaps what a small sector of the population
-- those in support of the corporate take over of US society -- 
would like the world to believe, but that is not the reality.

The people I speak with are very upset about what is happening
with the exercise of unbridled corporate power in the US now and 
what the government is going to allow that.

About Geert's original question.

There has been protest about the privatization of the Internet when
people saw a way to protest that as at the NTIA online conference
in November 1994.

And there was lots of protest at the ICANN meetings held in the US
(especially the ones in Boston, which were the ones I was able to 

And there was lots of protest about the government passing the
Communications Decency Act (CDA) and trying to block free speech
on the Internet.

So there is protest, it is just the press doesn't report it and 
doesn't look to understand it.


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