[iDC] Re:From Counter Culture to Cyber Culture

Michel Bauwens michelsub2004 at gmail.com
Fri May 11 08:43:51 EDT 2007

> I agree that the times for binary oppositions are over and that hybrid
> interventions are the most hopeful sites for social change today.
> Fist raising rhetoric is not helpful. Simplistic activism is not
> helpful. It makes people feel radical, it gives us a rush, it sounds
> cool but it shuts down the other side and it does not convince many
> people. I don't think that faux radicality moves us ahead.

There are two paragraphs here, the one above, and the one below.

I wholeheartedly agree with the above, but I find the paragraph below to be
simplistic. There are 3 ways to change: 1) one is through transgressive
behaviour: laws and institutions that are not followed become unsustainable;
2) the second is through the creation of alternative social relationships
... before the american, english, french revolutions there was a long period
of the undermining of the hegemony of feudal relationships; 3) reformist and
revolutionary approaches that aim to change the institutions.

Revolution is not something to wish for, the price is too high and it has to
many unintended consequences; however, it is not under anyone's control, it
is something that happens when all other avenues of change are closed in
severe crisis situations

Reform is a very valid way to change institutions, but its very success
depends on the fear of alternatives, hence on tactics one and two.

The slow march of institutions is perhaps part of the creation of new social
relationships. The 68 generation did not win many direct struggles, but they
made the inner workings of institutions unrecognizable in many ways ...

I personally favor the tactic/strategy of 'concrete utopias', i.e.
identifying which existing innovative social practices have a
productive/ethical surplus, and supporting platforms where such initiatives
can learn from each other. Whether one is inside or outside a hegemonic
institution does not matter that much. Innovative social practices within,
as without, can and should be supported, and can learn from each other.

In the end, none of us controls any agenda or any deep social process, but
we have power and intention to make a change in our personal lives, we can
connect to others, and we can perhaps, at some juncture, nudge social
evolution at particularly pregnant times, when things start accelerating,


> Fred, the powerhouses of real social change are hegemonic institutions
> and the only actual chance for networks to not kid themselves in their
> aspirations for building alternatives is to infiltrate those
> institutions.
-------------- next part --------------
An HTML attachment was scrubbed...
URL: http://mailman.thing.net/pipermail/idc/attachments/20070511/57c76111/attachment.html

More information about the iDC mailing list