Ian Dickson on Fri, 18 Apr 2003 08:54:16 +0200 (CEST)

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Re: <nettime> Why the Web Will Win the Culture Wars for the Left

In message <200304162358.h3GNw9326833@bbs.thing.net>, Sonia Pujalte 
<sonia@mail.mediamatic.nl> writes

>     [headited @ nettime -- mod (tb)]
>>From: CTheory Editors <ctech@alcor.concordia.ca>
>>Reply-To: CTheory Editors <ctech@alcor.concordia.ca>
>>To: ctheory@concordia.ca
>>Subject: Article 125 - Why the Web Will Win the Culture Wars for the Left
>>Date: Tue, 15 Apr 2003 13:37:33 -0400
>>  _____________________________________________________________________
>>         *** Visit CTHEORY Online: http://www.ctheory.net ***
>>  Article 125   03/04/15     Editors: Arthur and Marilouise Kroker
>>  _____________________________________________________________________
>>  Why the Web Will Win the Culture Wars for the Left:
>>  Deconstructing Hyperlinks
>>  ==========================================================
>>  ~Peter Lurie~
>>  Cultural conservatives in the United States have a lot of worries.
>>  They fear that Grand Theft Auto and other video games will turn their
>>  kids into crowbar-wielding criminals, they believe that Hollywood
>>  will turn their daughters to floozies and sons to gigolos, and they
>>  despise the constitutional barrier between church and state as an

1) To someone outside the USA it is always amusing to read articles that 
seem to be underpinned by the assumption that the Net is controlled by 
the US and subject to whims of its courts.

It isn't. You have defacto control of big areas because you don't do too 
much. Get too tight and, like stem cell researchers, tech companies will 
seek more liberal environs...

Online Gambling anyone?

2) The author seems to use conservative to mean politically right wing. 
Perhaps in the context of the US it is. But taking their main point at 
face value - that the Net undermines authority of text - what they are 
really saying is that authoritarian approaches are in trouble. 
Authoritarians come in all political shades.

3) The main criticism of deconstructionism is as follows:-

If true, then all texts are meaningless, including those describing 
deconstruction, so lets get back to plot and character.... Oft 
paraphrased as "Derrida can't make himself understood":-)


I'm not sure that the Net will change politics very much for the simple 
reason that most people, most of the time, are not interested in 
politics, and are pretty much happy to let those who are get on with it, 
so long as they don't make a cock up of everything. Political movements 
arise in times of strife, not plenty.

Interestingly if you do accept the logic of the essay then it does not 
support the theory that the Left will win the culture wars, it implies 
that soft libertarianism will. (The Left has too many authoritarian 
tendencies to survive too much reasoned debate).

ian dickson                                  www.commkit.com
phone +44 (0) 1452 862637                    fax +44 (0) 1452 862670
PO Box 240, Gloucester, GL3 4YE, England

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