cj#416> Cyberspace Society (sample posting)


Richard Moore

Date:         Wed, 17 Jan 1996
From: Vigdor Schreibman - FINS <•••@••.•••>
Subject:      Re: LaBarre on Chapman's LA Times column
To: Multiple recipients of list CYBER-SOC

On Tue, 16 Jan 1996, Mark J. Harris wrote:

> I'd like to point out that some of us Gen-Xers are *right here,* and are
> very interested in the struggle.

  I do appreciate that!

  I think a lot of us get a bad rap for
> apathy - when we're really too busy trying to save our butts from the world
> the WWII and 60s generations have left us - declining wages, environmental
> disasters, massive debts, decreasing control of the economic destiny of our
> personal and national worlds, little hope of attaining a standard of living
> like the middle class has now, etc.  Retreat out of disgust and fear is
> *not* apathy.  In fact, considering that polls have shown that more of my
> generation believes in the possibility of life on other planets than the
> possibility of collecting Social Security when we retire, it's amazing that
> ANY of us have faith in democratic institutions at all.  (I, for one, do.)

  There is little in the existing structures to sustain democracy, and no
one can possibly be satisfied with existing institutions or the
opportunity for citizen action to sustain democracy, let alone the
latter's response to this situation.  Writing about Democracy in America,
for the Kettering Review (Fall 1993), Lewis H. Lapham (former
editor-in-chief of Harper's), observes:

  If the American system of government at present seems so patently
  at odds with its constitutional hopes and purposes, it is not
  because the practice of democracy no longer serves the interests
  of the presiding oligarchy (which it never did) but because the
  promise of democracy no longer inspires or exalts the citizenry
  lucky enough to have been born under its star.  It isn't so much
  that liberty stands at bay but rather, that it has fallen into
  disuse, regarded as insufficient by both its enemies and its
  nominal friends.  What is the use of free expression to people
  so frightened of the future that they prefer the comforts of the
  authoritative lie?

> Let's face it, corporate America is not interested in leaving anything for
> succeeding generations - or the current lower middle and poorer classes.  I
> cannot see any more fundamental problem than that.  Now, how do we go about
> convincing the electorate that if we allow corporations to make money here
> we must force them to also invest in public infrastructures (of all kinds,
> virtual and physical) that create wealth in the long run?  How do we lend
> these ideas to international development to end world poverty?  Can

  Viable conditions for existence require not only an infrastructure that
can support economic prosperity but one that promotes social equity and
ecological balance, which is the mission of the Cyberspace Society charter
[Fins-CS-01].  Allowing the business community to take a free ride on
society and the environment, with the growing obscene inequities in the
distribution of wealth and income and alarming threat to the survival
of the biosphere of Planet Earth must not be allowed any further.  An
infrastructure that supports the essential balance in key systems cannot
be the subject of debate it must be the subject of civil society's
fundamental understanding and demand.

  The opportunity to set matters right in cyberspace is our last chance.
The special democratic citizens in this space must show up to this call.

Vigdor Schreibman - FINS <•••@••.•••>


 Posted by Richard K. Moore (•••@••.•••) Wexford, Ireland
 •••@••.•••  | Cyberlib=http://www.internet-eireann.ie/cyberlib
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