McKenzie Wark on 26 Feb 2001 01:40:32 -0000

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Re: <nettime> In Defence of Cultural Studies aka Debord and nostalgia

I'm sure Keith Sandborn is not intentionally asserting a racist
view of the world, but what else are we to make of this:

"Certainly the 3rd world power elite would like
development and if they can become rich and stash the money in Swiss
bank accounts they hardly trouble over fouling the nest of their
fellow countrymen and women, or anyone else, which ultimately
includes the 1st world as well."

It doesn't seem to be possible in this framework to listen to voices
from the developing world and take them seriously. What you can
hear if you listen is a desire shared by elites and ordinary people
alike. A desire to experience growth in jobs, income, economic
power. A desire to develop in the same way the west has. What
they hear the environmental movement telling them is that they
have to forego that improvement in living standards to the west
can continue to enjoy its privileges on whatever resources are

Not the least reason to be sceptical about the grand theories of
history of all types is precisely the extent to which they universalise
from a somewhat narrow experience of the world. 

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