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Re: <nettime> Users are the Real Media Masters?
Chris Jones on Thu, 19 Jun 2003 22:41:34 +0200 (CEST)

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Re: <nettime> Users are the Real Media Masters?

> From: "Paul D. Miller" <anansi1 {AT} earthlink.net>
> Subject: Re: <nettime> Users are the Real Media Masters?
> Geert - it's interesting to see the Right wing viewpoint focus on how the
> market will somehow "magically" transform people from greed driven
> opportunists to respectful and enlightened denizens of a commons held
> together by respect for discourse (this coming from the same people who
> revere the Drudge Report - (another right wing lunatic!!). In economics,
> this is all about what people have come to call the "Tragedy of the
> Commons"

Paul, yeah - the tragedy of the commons describes the actual problems
experienced in medieval England. It remains as the fundamental flaw in the
liberal ideal, the achilles heel of the modern liberal democracy.

Unfortunately, it seems this flaw is accepted today as a capitalist
mantra...the inviolable right of the individual to pursue wealth (over

An acute irony infuses the situation; Adam Smith, the 'father of
capitalism', did not believe that man was naturally (primarily)
self-interested. He admits in the opening sentence of Moral Sentiments
(which preceded the Wealth of Nations): "How selfish soever man may be
supposed, there are evidently some principles in his nature, which interest
him in the fortune of others, and render their happiness to him, though he
derives nothing from it except the pleasure of seeing it." Further: "he is
certainly not a good citizen who does not wish to promote, by every means in
his power, the welfare of the whole society of his fellow citizens."

So how did we get here? Or...how do we get out?




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