Friday, May 19, 2006

They Live [We Sleep]

Boulder's own Free Speech TV features a link to a new video called "The Death of the Internet?" that investigates the issue of Net Neutrality and the big power grab now being executed by the same large phone companies that are illegally giving our private information away to the National Security Agency.

The Vector Class of Robber Barons is going for broke, and perhaps most of us find the debate too abtsract to focus on, even though in our gut, we know that something terribly wrong is going on. In Ken Wark's "Hacker Manifesto" there is a section called "Abstraction" where the author writes:
As the abstraction of private property was extended to information, it produced the hacker class as a class. Hackers must sell their capacity for abstraction to a class that owns the means of production, the vectoralist class - the emergent ruling class of our time. The vectorialist class is waging an intensive struggle to dispossess hackers of their intellectual property. Patents and copyrights all end up in the hands, not of their creators, but of the vectoralist class that owns the means of realising the value of these abstractions. The vectoralist class struggles to monopolise abstraction. Hackers find themselves dispossessed both individually, and as a class. Hackers come piecemeal to struggle against the particular forms in which abstraction is commodified and made into the private property of the vectoralist class. Hackers come to struggle collectively against the usurious charges the vectoralists extort for access to the information that hackers collectively produce, but that vectoralists collectively come to own.
Now, match that up with the old adage "[f]reedom of the press belongs to the man who owns one" and think about how this big power grab by the phone companies, who are complicitly working with the current administration in making the Fourth Amendment to the US Constitution meaningless, widens the class warfare exploding in the media space.

Is democracy really that quaint?

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