"There is a crack in everything, that's how the light gets in"
(Leonard Cohen)
"Ignore all proffered rules and create your own, suitable for what you want to say"
(Michael Moorcock)
"Look for your own. Do not do what someone else could do as well as you. Do not say, do not write what someone else could say, could write as well as you. Care for nothing in yourself but what you feel exists nowhere else. And, out of yourself create, impatiently or patiently, the most irreplaceable of beings."
(Andre Gide)
"I want my place, my own place, my true place in the world, my proper sphere, my thing which Nature intended me to perform when she fashioned me thus awry, and which I have vainly sought all my life-time."
(Nathaniel Hawthorne)
“A book must be the axe for the frozen sea within us.”
(Franz Kafka)
"All mankind is of one author, and is one volume; when one man dies, one chapter is not torn out of the book, but translated into a better language; and every chapter must be so translated"
(John Donne)
“Never attribute to malice that which is adequately explained by stupidity.”
(Robert J. Hanlon)
"Life is beautiful, but the world is hell"
(Harold Pinter)

Sunday, July 13, 2014

Balkanising the Web

Keep it uncensored
EXTRACT: Of course, there is a certain truth to this - the internet is essentially free and a form of ‘real-time’ communication, obviously representing a marvellous technological advance. A tool to use. Communists would be the very last people to shun or belittle new technology, especially when it comes to the means of communication: we embrace anything which facilitates a freer and greater circulation of ideas. Alex Callinicos (‘Stalinicos’) of the Socialist Workers Party may mutter about the “dark side” of the internet, but that was just the instinctive reaction of a bureaucratic control-freak when confronted by a seemingly unstoppable flow of dissent. His equivalents throughout history have made similar complaints, whether it was about the seditious Caxton printing press, trains, paperbacks, radios or (in the case of the North Korean dictatorship) photocopiers.

Having said that, what needs to be realised is that the internet is not an astral force that floats above our base and fallen world - gloriously disconnected from the global capitalist system or governments. It is not necessarily indestructible, let alone a magical technology that bypasses the need for ‘old-fashioned’ forms of political organisation. The same old problems of class society and the cash nexus remain. There are various agents that want to tame and subvert the internet’s emancipatory potential - even start closing the gates if it comes to the crunch.
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