Geert Lovink on Wed, 19 Mar 1997 00:02:07 +0100 (MET)

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nettime: Dejan Krsic (Arkzin/Zagreb) on the Bastard fight

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## Message of 18.03.97 forwarded
## Originally:
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Dejan Krsic on ideological fight on Bastard scene

Everything should be measured not by some external, so called Universal
standards, but by the criteria it establishes on itself, with itself, by
itself, with its own critical procedure.
So, Igor is criticising Nettime for being 'closed ... there is no
discussion (on-line) with the people from Routside'. Yet, that is the very
problem of Igor's own work and position.
He has made faux pas of signing his personal writing/ideas/viewpoints/posting
as those of Intellectual cooperative Bastard. But the real problem is not
that he signed its posting with BASTARD, but that he didn't discuss it
before with anybody - Buden, Mikulic, me - whom he meets every day in office!
So he abandoned the rule of the 'third mind', collective authorship - and
logically, slipped, made wrong move, bad text.
Keep cyberspace clean? Nein danke! It surely reflects Igors roots in
ecology/green movement, but we in Arkzin have already published a text
that deals with racist implications of some slogans of ecology/green
movement/s (living body of the wood attacked by  bugs as body of the
nation endangered by immigrants). In his call for the 'cyberspace clean of
ideologies' Igor is very close to the position of our dear President
Franjo Tudjman and his corporatist concept of unified, undivided by
ideologies, body of Croatia.
On the other hand, Buden and Hartman almost simultaneously claim that
a) 'The idea of the possible end of ideology is an ideological idea par
excellence' (which I totally subscribe) and
b) 'All dualistic choices are delusive, be it between left and right, or
Negroponte and Lovink, or WIRED and NETTIME - the bandwidth simply is higher
than that. We do not have to identify ourselves with sides, be it the
Californian vs. any other kind of ideology - there are no polls, we are not
up to votes.' As if they identify political/ideological position/ideas...
only with process of elections and voting (and one of the constant claims of
Arkzin, is that official, parliamentary politics is simply not enough, not
relevant any more - we need wider political/ideological action of civil,
marginal, subculture, NGOs... groups...)
Yes, bandwidth is surely wider, but neither the less, just because there are
no pools or votes (as some neutral, outside position, place/time that
regulates life and politics of society), we have to take the sides, we have
to take firm positions, we have  to enter political/ideological fights all
the time ... Because, doing otherwise, we would follow the idea of 'end of
ideologies' and so, be totally under the rule of the 'black hand of
ideologies'. Only way to deal with ideology/ies is to firmly say: Yes,
 this is my ideological position, this is my ideology. 
And, that's the only way for some rational discussion, dialogue,
communication... (which Igor claims he searches for) to start.
Once again, isn't Arkzin doing just that! We are not shouting Franjo
Tudjman is traitor of our own national Thing (way Croatian liberals are
opposing Tudjman), but this is our ideological position, we are against
nationalism/clean ethnic states, for the rule of the law, social welfare,
freedom of the media, peaceful conflict resolution, etc. ... And outside
the Arkzin, without it, there would simply be no place, no conditions for
emergence of Bastard!
Fact is, the Markovic has recognised some problem/s, but he has presented it
in totally wrong way!
His mentioning of 'people who lived at least a part of their lives in
socialism' should gave his text some 'credibility', but its totally false,
cause it presents him as survivor of October revolution, Kronstadt, Gulags,
victim of KGB or whatever, while we who have lived by his side (being older
even longer) know that he actually lived in badly managed state capitalism
under the disguise of workers selfmanagement.
But, whats the actual role of Igors claims. Shouting against elitism and
powerful few, 'being special' and Leaders, he is actually establishing
them as Master/s, he begs them - 'the biggest minds at the field of the
social implications of the new media' - for recognition! Yes, its his
'humble opinion', yes its 'minds of people with modest capacity (myself
for example)', but he has had that dreadful experience of 'living under
totalitarism', he had seen it all, and survived to tell the world, so
surely Master has to recognize that! And, Master has to recognise him!
And so, he casually leads 'private discussions with Geert Lovink'!
Worst of all, Igor has taken the worst possible imagery to presents
himself in a way Master could not be unsympathetic about - false image of
the Rvictim of communismS! Worst possible, not only because it is false,
but because its the cliche, role played every day by the thousands of
East Europeans.
Igor should know that there is no Stalins shadow behind Marx, but (even
more traumatic) Marx shadow behind Stalin, in same way there is no Hitlers
shadow behind Nietzche or Wagner, but Nietzche or Wagners shadows behind
Igor said: 'if I have to choose - and it might happen - between
Negropontean or Californian or whatever global state and nettimean or
rhizomean or netizenshipean or whatever avant-garde of the working class,
I have to choose the first one. Not because I like it, but for the simple
fact that Soviet revolution failed with the Kronstadt, not with the Berlin
wall. But he does not understand that Soviet revolution did not fail nor
with Kronstadt, neither with the Berlin wall (although I'm not sure does
he mean the fall of the wall or building it - which, in fact, would be much
more interesting choice!), but with the fact, and by the fact, that the so
called socialist system was pushed into competition with the capitalist
(heavy industry, arms race, space programme...) on the ground and under
the rules of the capitalism - fight that was lost before it even started.
Of course, even the idea of 'socialism in one country' and closing borders
(China, Albania...) is equally trapped into that same logic of global capital
as any other fundamentalism. 
Returning to the Californian ideology vs. nettime, we should understand that
if nettime etc. fails it wont be because its position of 'avant-garde of
the working class', or some personal character features of some elite in
'country house/s with a gazebo', but because it will accept (tacit)
ideological prepositions of global capital, media industry (as formulated
and pushed thru Californian ideology arms such as Wired) as the only possible,
as fundamental, global, universal... Yes, the bandwidth is simply higher
than that. And much more complex. Cause not only that we don't have to
choose between Negropontean or Californian or whatever global state and
nettimean or rhizomean or netizenshipean or whatever avant-garde of the
working class, but we can not choose! We have them both, in the same time.
And many other positions on different levels of received media attention. 
So, today, when media, entertainment industry (CNN, MTV... Internet with its
'domain names system' and roots in military complex) has conquered all,
when it is not possible to find some external, outside position from which
critique is possible, it is necessary to radically  accept our own
involvement, that is, politically define our own position - or opposition!
To say that one has to choose Negropontean or Californian or whatever global
state is cynicism pure and simple. Cause, if you choose it you don't 'have
to', you simply want to! And everybody is responsible for his or her
choice of the sides in ideological fight, and can not blame any Leaders,
In such situation my ideological position is surely grounded in Marxist
analysis - capitalism is the system which all that is solid melts into the air. 
In thinking about the cybersphere lets take the example of techno music -
which, because of its lack of textual message, is usually considered to be
without any political message whatsoever (Igor would like to say 'clean',
'post-ideological') is not less pointed towards capitalist market (as if
there is any other) than dominant pop scene - and so from the traditional
rockist point of view where the 'sell out' is the word for traitory! - not
any less profane, but the type of market is radically changing. 
Faster movement, exchange of informations, shifting of positions of creator,
consumer, sender and receiver of messages... all that has deep political
significance. In the same time techno scene could not be possible without
new technologies - from electronic instruments, digital equipment to
computers & software - really products of multinational corporations, often
even by-products of military/defence systems - that enable that process of
decentralisation. In that dialectic products of the system that is conquering
us globally, enables us the subversion on the local level - or, 'the wound
is healed only by the spear that smote you'.
Or as Madonna said: 'Only the one who hurts you can comfort you, only the
one that inflicts the pain, can take it away...'

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