The Foundation for Peer to Peer Alternatives
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Latest Activity: Apr 3, 2013
The whole world may come together and peacefully rise against all that is unjust on 11.11.11 A YEAR OF DISSENT: ALL FOR ONE -…Continue
Started by Örsan Şenalp. Last reply by Örsan Şenalp Nov 25, 2011.
By Rebecca Solnit
When you fall in love, it’s all about what you have in common, and you can hardly imagine that there are differences, let alone that you will quarrel over them, or weep about them, or be torn apart by them — or if all goes well, struggle, learn, and bond more strongly because of, rather than despite, them. The Occupy movement had its glorious honeymoon when old and young, liberal and radical, comfortable and desperate, homeless and tenured all found that what they had in common was so compelling the differences hardly seemed to matter.
Until they did.
Revolutions are always like this: at first all men are brothers and anything is possible, and then, if you’re lucky, the romance of that heady moment ripens into a relationship, instead of a breakup, an abusive marriage, or a murder-suicide. Occupy had its golden age, when those who never before imagined living side-by-side with homeless people found themselves in adjoining tents in public squares.
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Newsnight’s Paul Mason, author of a new book on the revolts sweeping the world, speaks to Red Pepper
Hilary Wainwright (Red Pepper) You highlight the commonalities of the different revolts of 2011, but how do we understand the differences between revolts against authoritarian regimes and exhausted democracies? Is there a problem with this generality?
Paul Mason I’m looking for what’s common rather than making generalities. First of all, one revolt feeds off another, and you can’t underestimate the physical link: again and again, among people who were involved in March 26 in the UK, J14 in Israel, Wisconsin, you meet people who had been to Tahrir.
Spain isn’t Greece, and Tahrir and Tunis are very different. But there is the archetype of the educated youth whose life chances have been blighted by a combination of economic downturn and a regime they realise is unsustainable.
You can’t underestimate the extent to which those dictatorships had linked themselves to the economic programme of neoliberalism. Many say that the key moment in the Arab Spring was the loss of fear, and in the west it has been the loss of apathy, but the sources have been the same thing: people suddenly realising ‘change is necessary, change is possible’. The more I think about it, the more I trace it back to the collapse of the economic model – it just took a while.Continue reading →
Posted: February 24, 2012 at 10:34 am
BMN: There is a struggle going on between different views of the ownership of the data produced and shared throughout the Web. While companies and governments are claiming for a stronger copyright control, individual users and on-line communities are reclaiming open-source oriented solutions that redefine many immaterial products as digital commons. You have different ideas about the solutions to face this critical situation, especially regarding the nature of commons. How do you frame the contemporary situation from this point of view? And what future scenarios do you forecast?
GL: I am not a copyright expert nor an active Creative Commons evangelist. As a radical pragmatist I use Creative Commons as often as possible. My take on this issue has been to question the uncritical use of terms such as ‘free’ and ‘open’. We should no longer listen to (free) software experts in this regard as they are still in demand in terms of employment, worldwide, and have turned out to be bad advisers when it comes to organizing sustainable sources of income for designers, artists, musicians, writers and others in the ‘content’ business. The question whether computer programmers have the freedom to change code has been too long in the centre of attention. If we care about the so-called precarious creative workers we should shift our attention away from the professions that are (still) able to organize their own income (such as programmers and academics) and start to theorize the new digital labor conditions of the global creative classes and come up with viable alternatives. Continue reading →
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