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[liberationtech] Privacy, Moglen, @ioerror, #rp12

Jacob Appelbaum jacob at appelbaum.net
Wed May 9 11:17:25 PDT 2012


On 05/09/2012 02:55 AM, Pavol Luptak wrote:
> On Tue, May 08, 2012 at 08:45:08PM -0500, Steven Clift wrote:
>>    As a relic non-profit dating to 94 before Google and Facebook that hosts
>>    two-way online community, our biggest competition from everyday potential
>>    users and in particular those most likely to put energy into starting a
>>    new online neighbor forums is ...
>>
>>    Why not just use Facebook?
>>
>>    We are working up a blog post with all sorts of reasons, but in general
>>    control and capitalism aren't going resonate with 85% of our users and the
>>    other 15% aren't the donating types. Well, maybe some are.
> 
> True capitalism (anarchocapitalism) is not about control (it is voluntarily 
> society). I would not call the current system "capitalistic", it is more
> a socialistic corporativism.
> 

Anarchist theory generally suggests that so-called "anarchocapitalism"
is a co-option of anarchist theory. Generally speaking anarchism
requires mutual aid, solidarity, democracy and order enforced through
consent, not force. To be clear - I'm talking about anarchist theory and
not about some Hobbesian notion of the world as chaos without a State.

If we don't quibble about every point above and just look at democracy,
we can see that capitalism is oriented at devaluing each person in order
to enrich a few. There are lots of benefits and just as many downsides.
Capitalism attempts to value a person in society by their collection and
accumulation of wealth. This is inherently anti-democratic - one person
is valued far above another as a matter of fact - in theory, capitalists
say this is because of merit but in practice, I find this to be rubbish.

Corporations are the core of capitalist ideology in the modern
implementation. I would say that Facebook is however not a socialistic
corporation at all - it is all a matter of so-called "voluntary"
"choices" - of course ignores the network effect and other lots of
subtle things.

The current system is capitalism and it's hilarious to hear cries of
failure about it not being "pure" enough. One hears this from communists
all the time in defense of communism, despite Stalin's reign of terror
in the 20th century. Facebook is a capitalist success - private capital,
free association, investment, private property, riches - in the end, it
is happening because of the value of surveillance and control. What will
become of it? What is happening now as a result?

As it turns out - notions of "voluntary" participation are not all
they're cracked up to be if one looks at things on a small scale. Most
people have little choice about joining such networks once they become
the defacto standard. I've chosen to opt-out, a few others will as well
- probably at some kind of societal cost we do not yet understand.

Ahem. I'm sure Dmytri will have lots to say on the matter. We don't
always agree about the words we use; I do think we largely agree about
the goals a society might want overall. I look forward to his reply -
it's always fun to discuss these things with him!

All the best,
Jacob



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