cj#249/ANALYSIS> Maden re: Stahlman rejoinder

1995-07-24

Richard Moore

Joshua sent the following in to cyber-rights, but it continues some of our
cyberjournal threads, and I hope you find it of interest...


-rkm


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Date: Fri, 21 Jul 1995 01:00:10 -0700
Sender: Joshua Madan <•••@••.•••>
Subject: Re: cr#808> Stahlman: a rejoinder


        Having just read Mark Stahlman's post to cyber-rights I feel
compelled to respond even though it is against my better judgment.

> The battle is between those who try to herd people as if they
> are sheep -- left or right -- and those who oppose manipulation
> and favor reason -- left or right.  Or Old Media vs. New Media
> -- to use my metaphor.  To cast the enemy as a right-wing
> business bunch is convenient and comfortable for some people
> who are still fighting some obselete class-war but totally
> misses the reality of the present situation.

        Perhaps Mr Stahlman lives and/or works in a different New York
City than I, but for those of us here in New York, New York there
is little doubt that class warfare is alive and well.  To cite the New
York Times (a bastion of both the economic elite as well as the 'old
media') the last decade and a half has seen a massive transfer of
wealth from working class and lower middle class people to the
privileged few.  To cast the issue as one between 'those who try to
herd people as if they are sheep' and those who don't is to make an
obvious and very facile point.  Why does Mr. Stahlman think that some
would mold public option, for the sake of doing so or is it to further
some other end?  The more difficult and interesting question goes
unaddressed here.

>                                 Personally, I don't worry about
> the "monopolies" much because they couldn't actually produce
> real innovations if their lives depended on it.

        Am I mistaken or was Bell Labs the wholly own subsidiary of ATT
for decades?  Or am I wrong in thinking that they produced any 'real
innovations'?  I think Mr Stahlman is confusing a monopoly with a
certain type of corporate culture; monopolies can and do produce 'real
innovations' (aside: could an innovation be other than real I
wonder?), certain corporate cultures stifle creativity.

> The real problem is the "Technocrats."  These are the
> characters who want to use these new technologies to pull us
> all into the "system."  They generally favor "democratic"
> reforms and are all for high levels of "citizen involvement."

        I suggest Mr Stahlman read:

 The crisis of democracy : report on the governability of democracies
to the Trilateral Commission., by Michel Crozier, Samuel
P. Huntington, Joji Watanuki.  puplished in 1975

        if he really wants to get an idea of what our
political/economic elite thinks of democracy.  They are scared to
death of democracy and citizen involvement because in involvement of
the 'great masses' in the decision making process makes it to hard to
govern (in the interests of the few).  The reason why the net has not
been a major threat to them is the remarkably low portion of the
population that has access to it and the fact that most of the people
that do are more interested in preserving the current organization of
society rather than threatening it.  If and when the net truly becomes
a populist medium we will see all sorts of regulation, no doubt under
the guise of 'deregulation' (the elimination of puplic oversight and
accountability) and privatization.

> Exon's unconstitutional bill isn't designed to stifle debate or
> support "monopolies."  Don't be super-silly.  It's designed to
> clean up the net so that more "democracy" can take place.  It's
> part of an effort to involve the public in a mass-hypnosis of
> Internet-based polling.  It's a psychological warfare attack.
> And, for ideological reasons far too many people are falling
> for it.

        'clean up the net so that more "democracy" can take place' are you
kidding us Mr. Stahlman ?  Do you really want us to believe that this
bill has nothing to do with a war being waged by such people as the
Christian Coalition?  Nothing to do with the Contract for the American
Family?  You think it has nothing to do with such issues as access to
free and safe abortions, freedom to sleep with a member of the same
sex, or AIDS prevention measures in our high schools?

> The history I refer to is the history of psychological warfare,
> propaganda and brainwashing.  Almost all of this stuff is
> liberal/left politically and it is motivated by rationale like
> "control the population to make sure another Hitler never
> happens."  Margaret Mead wasn't a right wing yahoo.  She was a
> pacifist, social-relativist, futurist liberal.

        Perhaps Mr. Stahlman would like to flesh out the above with
some documentation and detail, as it stands it sounds dangerously
close to the rantings and ravings of 'a right wing yahoo'.

>                            But, if we keep pretending that
> those pathetic losers on the corporate jets are the number one
> enemy, then the real enemy in our midst -- the do-gooder social
> worker with Web-server -- has a much better chance to enslave
> us all.  We will be aiding their lamebrained half-assed
> social-welfare "conspiracy."  Cut it out!

        'those pathetic losers on the corporate jets' could not have a
better propagandist than Mr. Stahlman.  While much of the population
is downsized right out of a job in order to sift even more of
society's wealth into the hands of a few, the impoverished population
can console themselves with the thought that their masters are
pathetic and deserving of their pity and compassion.  I'm no liberal
but I'm no fool either, 'the real enemy in our midst' is not 'the do-gooder
social worker with Web-server' but those who seek to mislead, control and
enslave others out of greed and the furtherance of their own self
interest.  The growth of technologies like the net has not made class
warfare and struggle obsolete it just moves it into a new venue.

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