Michael A Rizzotti
We take the opportunity to make this announcement. We at the net@ge are an open-source site. All articles, essays and past publications posted on this site are freely accessible for the purpose of a greater understanding of the Net and its effects on society, culture and spirituality. In return, we expect contributions from readers with their own comments or with help in scouting the Net for links that might be helpful in this endeavor.
Now for a few comments on the changes made by the Net since our last post. It might be said that 1999 was a stellar year in this regard. We will review some of the most important issues below. But before, i would like to address the pessimism among the netlings concerning the market fornication of the Internet. Many are concerned about the prospect of a total desecration of the Net by a hysterical and dysfunctional market.
The past and present market is only a sign of fluctuations in a manic depressive state which reached its manic peak. If it was not for the continuous feel good propaganda fed by the See No News media, the hot air balloon economy would have landed down to earth by now. The so-called “new economy” is only voodoo economics by another name. This zombie recovery has only been possible by an excessive credit expansion and by the packaging and selling of unheard amounts of debt in the security market, shoving under the carpet greater amounts of deferred inflation. All this is held together by the mighty godlike dollar.
It is not surprising that netlings feel pessimistic about the future of the Internet. Although i am saddened by the orgy of the market and the stupidity of the market players, i am an optimist. Even though the invisible hand of the market has been temporarily handcuffed by the manipulators that are holding the world economy hostage, the markets will correct and when the dust settles all the dot.cons will be exposed. Leaving the Net a free hand to alter in a true way the world economy and the way humans interact between each other and with their leaders.
This new medium will continue to make major changes to our cultures and our lives by way of bifurcation, simply because: The medium is the message and the message is interactive. This change in dynamics is here to stay and is unsettling as we can see that the US market behavior. These excesses always appear at momentous periods of history. That is what we are witnessing now as the Internet has introduced a shift in the power structure of our political systems.
Our perspective is that we have a long road ahead. Netlings should not be overly concerned with the present, but work for the future. Stick to John Gilmore’s famous observation that: “The Internet interprets censorship as damage and routes around it”. We should apply this rule to our daily lives, no matter how hard it is to do so. We should teach and explain to our parents, friends and neighbors or anybody that wants to listen to use open-source software and how to properly use the Net to foster a good local economy by promoting local businesses that cares about people and to boycott mega-corporation that destroy communities. Remember, think globally and act locally.
The Net and the war in Yugoslavia
The US led NATO war against Yugoslavia has proven to be a test case for the new Internet era that we talk so much about here @ the zine. The war has been one of the first world events to be covered extensively by the Net. We have followed it religiously. Here are a few comments on how the Net may have changed irrevocably how we perceive reality and history.
Everybody believed the corporate media’s reporting of the crimes against humanity committed by the Serbs. From the more than 100,000 or plus killed by the Serbs we are now down to few thousand. Images that showed emaciated men in concentration camps turned out to be fabricated. With this pretext NATO decided to literally destroy a country breaking the Geneva convention and its own charter in the process.
The US President being the consummate politician that he is decided to bomb the country out of oblivion at an altitude of 15,000 feet. With the results that we know. Most of the Serb army is still intact and the civilians have suffered the brunt of the casualties. Bill could not afford to have any American casualties of war since he himself through political connections avoided the draft. Furthermore, he could not risk collateral damage to the credibility of the dollar.
Here are a few interesting facts that appeared on web pages about the war. One site reported that the man that instigated the propaganda about Serbia’s ethnic cleansing in Yugoslavia was a US spi/diplomat stationed in El Salvador during the Government subsidized civil war and massacre of innocent civilians. During his stay 6 Jesuit priests, their housekeeper and her daughter were murdered by the military in power.
Had it not been for the Net it would have taken several years to find out that at the last minute an Appendix “B” was added to the Rambouillet Accord without the consent or knowledge of the other partners of the Alliance. This Appendix stated that Milosevic had to surrender his country to NATO unconditionally and without any legal recourse against the Alliance. No sick tyrant or sane leader would have signed such a deal. And he didn’t, with the consequences that we know. But the world got a hold of the Accord through a web page for everybody to read. Henceforth changing the handwriting of history.
When the Russians entered and occupied Pristina by surprise, NATO did not send Solana, the organization’s leader, to negotiate with the intruders. Instead William Cohen the US Secretary of Defense was sent, proving that Solana was simply a puppet and the US was orchestrating the war on a foreign soil.
But why did the US orchestrate such an attack? Several reasons come to the fore. The Alliance was celebrating its 50th year of its existence and wanted to do it with a bang. However, the Alliance was setup to contain the Soviet Union during the cold war and with the fall of the Berlin that threat no longer existed. The Alliance had to find a new reason for the Military Industrial Complex to upgrade and sell its gear and for the US to maintain its presence in Europe. The Euro was just making its entrance as a world currency. An unwelcome challenge to the supremacy the dollar. By causing mayhem in European the US could inflict uncertainty in the continent and the Euro while maintaining an aura of safe haven in the US while sustaining the credibility of the dollar.
Welcome to the New World Order
The first important observation that we make is that we are now living in a world of instant history. This is a novel dynamic. You can link to all the facts for or against an event that is taking place. The fact that opposite parties can expose their views instantly sets the stage for a global tribunal for everybody to see and judge their own versions of the truth. It is perhaps “The End of His Story” as we know it and the slow demise of a monolithic hold on propaganda.
The second important observation is that the readers could link to the best journalists in their field. Articles by Robert Fisk of The Independent gave a first rate journalistic accounts of the war in Yugoslavia. The integrity and reputation of the journalist being the most important factor for their popularity. The journalist becomes de facto more important than the institution they work for. What we have here is a re-valorization of the individual versus the organization. This bodes well for a future association of Net independent journalists that will be free of corporate censure.
A third observation is that a full spectrum of facts relating to the events are exposed: true and false. Therefore the event/news is no longer linear with a single angle of the story but more non-linear where the facts from different perspectives can be seen: an omni-data so to speak.
The Battle of Seattle
The Battle of Seattle will remain in our collective memory the first great victory against the Incorporated Body’s subversion of democracy world wide. The spontaneous antagonism from a wide variety of groups that rallied together against a common foe prove to be enlightening in many respects. The Non Governmental Organizations (NGOs) showed an incredible ability for strategic and organizational skills to battle derivative capitalism. All thanks to the powerful use of the Internet between many very diverse groups and interests. Solidarity in plurality has been the lesson of the event. That solidarity was only possible because of a spontaneous antagonism against a common adversary: global corporatism.
The observation we make is that the Net is able to rally together a great diversity of interests against a perceived threat to human dignity. Corporations have a great role to play in our societies, but that role is not to impose their vision of efficiency and profit at the expense of democracy and justice. The uprising in Seattle brings to the fore this observation: that plurality counts and is still alive against the Corporate ideal of uniformity. Nature shows that the result of evolution is diversity. Corporate raison d’être is to undercut competition and reduce diversity in order to conquer markets. This runs counter to evolution and is devolutionary.
We will refer to Starhawk’s observations of her own experience of the Battle of Seattle posted on this site. She points out several important facts: That “No authoritarian figure could have compelled people to hold a blockade line while being tear gassed-but empowered people free to make their own decisions did choose to do that”. What we have here is a movement without a leadership figure but a rallying solidarity against a common foe. The adversaries are the IMF and WTO. Two secretive world bodies that decide the economic future of the world without the prior approval of the citizens of this planet. As Starhawk explains the struggle was a spontaneous rebellion to overthrow corporate control of economic and political policies world wide.
About her experience in Seattle she adds: “For me, it was one of the most profound spiritual experiences of my life.”
We agree with her assessment about the essence of the movement. It is spiritual and it produced a spontaneous assembly of assemblies to fight against a perceived adversary of Liberty. The struggle is best illustrated as follows. The IMF and WTO are secretive bodies with agendas and policies hidden from public scrutiny. Whereas the NGO’s want to reveal the true nature of an elitist and unaccountable incorporated body. We therefore make this analogy with a primal mythical antagonism:
NGOs vs Corporatism
openness vs secrecy
the forces of light vs the forces of darkness
Until next time: It’s all in the distribution stupid, and go Gnutella…