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[liberationtech] [silk] Pre-emptive counter-revolution
dahanm at gmail.com
Wed Jul 31 07:10:37 PDT 2013
Looking at how technology in Israel used to subjugate Palestinians in the
occupied territories has been creeping into Israeli society proper, the
situation in the US and UK and the acceptance by more and more people of
security measures in the name of national security that restrict or make
redundant rights and liberties that form the basis of any democracy are
emptying the term liberal democracy of any meaning whatsoever. Yes I
definitely tend to agree with the above post - and I think that this is the
overall trajectory of most so called western democracies... We are all
moving very rapidly towards panoptic control societies and people for the
most part are either ignorant of this or don't seem to care or are simply -
and please excuse this remark - too stupid to realise the consequences...
In any case the future does not bode well...
On Jul 31, 2013 4:44 PM, "Eugen Leitl" <eugen at leitl.org> wrote:
> ----- Forwarded message from Udhay Shankar N <udhay at pobox.com> -----
> Date: Wed, 31 Jul 2013 19:09:27 +0530
> From: Udhay Shankar N <udhay at pobox.com>
> To: Silk List <Silklist at lists.hserus.net>
> Subject: [silk] Pre-emptive counter-revolution
> User-Agent: Mozilla/5.0 (Macintosh; Intel Mac OS X 10.7; rv:17.0)
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> Reply-To: silklist at lists.hserus.net
> Scary, prescient, thought-provoking - in line with the best of his
> fictional output. Charles Stross' blog is essential reading for me.
> Your thoughts on the current panopticon moves?
> Udhay (who thinks that sousveilance is our only hope)
> Charlie's Diary
> Being the blog of Charles Stross, author, and occasional guests ...
> [ Home ] [ FAQ ] [ Contact me ] [ Older stuff ]
> Back to: Crib Sheet: The Apocalypse Codex
> Who ordered *that*?
> By Charlie Stross
> "Your papers, please."
> I'm not sure what's more enraging—the casual racial profiling or the
> presumption of guilty-until-proven-innocent—but it's getting hard to
> deny that the racists are in the driving seat of policy at the Home
> Office these days.
> The racism is utterly, dismally, predictable when times are
> bad—frightened, stressed people with no economic security look around
> for someone to blame, and they can be very easily manipulated into
> blaming others. It's important also to remember that the 1930s were
> populated by people coming to terms with rapid technological
> change-induced future shock, and looking for certainty in the face of
> the future. Today, we have similar levels of future shock, largely
> social in nature: thanks to the internet we can't ignore other people
> whose views we find repugnant.
> But racism isn't the key issue here. The real question we should be
> asking is not "what" but "why".
> I have a new speculative hypothesis to stand alongside the Martian
> invasion and the bad dream. It is this: the over-arching reason for the
> clamp-down on dissent, migration, and freedom of expression, and the
> concurrent emphasis on security in the developed world, constitutes the
> visible expression of a pre-emptive counter-revolution.
> The fuse for a revolution was lit by the global financial crisis of
> 2007/08, in a process that looked alarmingly close to triggering the
> Crisis of Capitalism (a hypothesized event which is associated with an
> ideology to which the current political elite of the USA and EU are for
> the most part highly allergic, for anyone aged over 50 spent their
> formative years under the bipolar tension of the Cold War). It sputtered
> briefly in the west in the form of the Occupy and related movements, but
> truly caught fire in 2009 with the failed Green revolution and in
> 2010-11 with the Arab spring—which were inflamed by the spike in global
> food prices caused by capital fleeing into commodities in the wake of
> the banking crisis. Meanwhile, the imposition of disaster capitalism in
> the west (as a purported "solution" to the debt-based spending bubbles
> various western governments embarked on during the boom years of the
> 1990s-2007) inflamed popular tensions in those countries, with results
> like this (undirected rioting) that never adhered to any political
> direction, but nevertheless terrified the ruling elite, leading to their
> retaliation via draconian punishments.
> The wave of revolutions has so far been contained within the Arab world
> (a part of the globe which—I don't think this is any kind of coincidence
> at all—is suddenly becoming much less important to the energy
> geopolitics of the west, with the switch to fracking and renewables now
> under way). The policy of pre-emptive counter-revolution, facilitated by
> the imposition of the global internet panopticon, has clamped the lid
> down tight.
> So, in summary: I believe what we're seeing is a move towards the global
> imposition of a police state in the developed world, leveraging the
> xenophobia that naturally emerges during insecure times, by a ruling
> elite who are themselves feeling threatened by a spectre. Controls on
> movement, freedom of association, and speech are all key tools in the
> classic police state's arsenal. What's new about this cycle is that the
> police state machinery is imposed locally, within national boundaries,
> but applies everywhere: the economic system it is intended to protect is
> transnational and unconstrained. Which is why even places that were
> largely exempt during the cold war are having a common police state
> agenda quietly imposed. There is to be no refuge, other than
> destabilized "failed states" where the conditions of life make a police
> state look utopian in comparison.
> This system has emerged organically, from the bottom up, and is not the
> result of any conspiracy; it's just individuals and groups moving to
> protect their shareholdings in the Martian invaders, by creating an
> environment that is safe for the hive intelligences to operate in.
> As to how I feel about this ...
> I'm middle-aged and comfortable and have no great love for revolutions,
> even though I'd say that the imposition of a global police state
> deserves a place high on the list of complaints weighty enough to
> legitimize one. But revolutions almost invariably go bad. A few, like
> the Velvet revolution, turn out all right in the end; but many more
> provide opportunities for the vilest dregs of humanity to run amok. Only
> when the post-revolutionary society stabilizes and the convulsions
> subside do we get to see whether or not we're better off: and even if we
> are, that's scant comfort for the bereaved relatives of those who died
> in the process. As I said, I'm middle-aged, fat, and have health issues:
> don't look for me on the barricades. If it happens, I'll be over here
> wringing my hands and writing communiques calling for less smashing of
> skulls. Because? Fuck every cause that ends in murder and children crying.
> Posted by Charlie Stross at 11:19 on July 31, 2013 | Comments (29)
> ((Udhay Shankar N)) ((udhay @ pobox.com)) ((www.digeratus.com))
> ----- End forwarded message -----
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