[Reader-list] Let's think, now

pratap pandey pnanpin at yahoo.co.in
Sun Jun 30 03:05:11 IST 2002

Dear all,

I give you this thought, written somewhere alse:

"Are the social forums and global days of action - basically
constructed of these easily bifurcating communities - ever going to be 
a match for the discipline and disappointments of organized parties and

Is there politics on the Internet?"

We are looking here at an outburst. You might construe this outburst to be emotional (and therefore something that can be rejected). Yet there is a message in this outburst: can we get political?

To me, this is the question that this outburst demands. It can be read as psychological angst. It can be read as mislead idealism. It can even be read as pure vouyerism. But that is not the point of the outburst, I feel (a quote I have copied from another list).

The point of the outburst is that it touches me. I hope, dear all, it touches you.

Consider the unknown context of the phrase "these easily bifurcating communities". To me, it holds meaning, irrespective of what the writer meant. I have picked up this text, and treat it as such. Now I want to know what the text-readers feel about this bit of epistemological detail. You dudes, tell me. Tell me, you dudes.

Is there politics on the internet?

We knowing people would nod and snigger and so cover over the question. But I ask you: is there politics on the Reader-list?

It seems to me that this Reader-list is so watched over by Dudes that nobody can say anything. Either we follow their language (which is dead, historically speaking)), or remain silent. Even worse, we choose not to speak at all. What is this? Are we dead, or alive, or merely looking for plum postings (on zizek et al)?     

Is this List 

"ever going to be a match for the discipline and disappointments of organized parties and

To say this is to desire of this List a huge ambition. It is to say that this List is primarily political, and not the last resort of furstrated intellectuals (such as, according to a very senior academic, I am). It is to say that this List has things to say that cannot be said anywhere else. 

Have not all of us who refer to this List (for whatever reasons, instrumental, functional, or "frustrated") referred to it because we have found a space where we can say the things that we want to? Yet, why is it that when I read this person's comment, I feel s/he is talking not so much about the Internet, but the bloody List?

"discipline and disappoinments": What a phrase. Recently, I asked about a "list" pertainaing to the way the government wishes to place hidden protocols of surveillance on those on the Net. The "list" was about the technology being used. The "military grade" equipment. To "read" and "watch" over every word written.

Who is going to decide whether a word, or phrase, is "patriotic" or "terrorist"?

 Are we an alternative? Of sharing info., at least? Of trying to be political in a time when our politics has been completely shattered by the fascists? When the fascists have paraded their ability to kill at a time when we are are still deciding what is the epistemological basis of action?

Is this the time to decide? Or is this the time to counter fascism?

Will you be educated (or should I say skilled) and silent?

Will you let a fascist government so roll over you that you will not acknowledge the fact that it has run over your intelligence?

Let us consider this phrase: "the discipline and disappointments of organized parties and
parliaments". This is a frightening phrase. All of us pride ourselves on the fact that we dont belong to organized parties. As far as we are concerned, that's a complete and educated sin. Yet, we are faced with a situation where what we think is good is being completely overhauled elsewhere, and returned to us as exactly the opposite of what we thought was "good".

Yet, we think we are the purveyors of what constitutes "civil society". We believe so. Somehow, if this belief is taken away from us, we will resist. We will shrug our shoulders. We will raise our eyebrows. We will be shocked.

But we will not do anything to "correct" the situation. We cannot. We are so informed about the current situation that we care a fuck about the future. We are so glib about the present that the future can go to hell (or the Hindutva brigade). It is not our responsibility to produce a knowledge about the present. The Hindutva brigade is well-informed enough to leave us alone. In fact, we depend on them to produce some more books of radical promise. 

We are informed, are we not? Especially by post-modernism? By the texts of Semiotexte? Just because the University of California, Berkeley, decides it knows the future of knowledge do we have have to decide so? Hence Baubrillard, and Verilio?

We have to deal with more basic facts. Like, inequality. Like, unemployment. Like, the mobilisation of a lumpenised population fed on dreams of ethnic (actually upper-class) glory.

Where is this List? Have we lost it?



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