The power dynamics of the internet age

With the (not so) new medium of the internet a shift in power social relations has taken place, one which the movement has yet to realise and adapt to. These change according to the exact  type of page you are viewing, whether it be a forum, a webpage, a facebook group but  similarities exist and invertible new power dynamics are created, some groups (which I will not name) recognise this and use it to their advantage to further their own agendas over that of the users. Thus the main two groups of the internet are the content users and content providers, the providers can easily become the oppressors and in many cases do, they are the censors, they have control over what content the user can view and interact with, usually unaccountable and unopposed.  This hierarchical position is naturally an extension of how the bourgeoisie control  us  through the idea of hegemony, the internet was not created by the worker, it was created by the DARPA and the CIA, the imperialists, so it stands to reason their agendas were inbuilt it the structure we so readily use. Though its not all doom and gloom, there is a kind of “content-electoral-democracy” that takes place, where we are given a set of boxes and we just have to tick, i.e we can choose from a list of what content we interact with, though this content will always be controlled and censored by a single party, with its own agenda and belief system.

Forums have become a very popular medium on the internet to discuss ideas, actions and  one exists for pretty much every kind of thing that we interact with on a daily basis. Here a kind of new “state” has arisen, they each have their own rules and code of conduct, their judicial system and lastly their own government. They are ruled by a group of admins, who then have underneath them a group of mods, these enforce what law they see fit and are for the most part completely unaccountable to the rank and file members, they are usually not elected and hold a kind of “dictatorship over the content user”.  This is the central committee of the modern age and as have many groups recognised a brilliant way to control the flow of information while giving an illusion of freedom. To counter this admins and mods should have fixed term positions (power corrupts and the longer they have this power over information the more likely they will become corrupt due to the power dynamics). Everyone who is a contributing member should be in a “lottery” where admins and mods are chosen at random to ensure that everyone takes part in the power structure, removing the status control and the benefits that come with it.

What of a website? A website is even easier to control than a forum, it will like a forum have a small team but unlike a forum its less interactive and even easier to moderate because for the most part unless chosen to be so, website creators are in the dark, in the shadows, you won’t know them or their agendas. The information you receive then is solely in the hands off that person, the only positive is you can choose which website to view, read and thus believe. The main problems arise when forums are linked to websites, status comes into play and a website will start to gain more power. The pluralist idea is the only thing that can counter act this and that is solely down to the content user and their wishes.

Finally social networking sites a bastion of information, a stalkers fantasy turn reality. Not only is it possible to bully your enemies through this (i.e if you are a member of a forum and they get your personal data, they can then begin a campaign against you because you go against their paradigm), it is also possible for group pages to be deleted by the site, comments can be deleted, censorship is a big part of the social networking idea, from the creators of the site and the creators of the page. All the while an illusion of choice is rammed down your throat, and a popular culture spreads its tentacles through the social-power dynamic of you and your friends, one that for the most part the majority of people are unaware of. A new form of socialisation thus has arisen, the social network.

In conclusion, the government has made a few mistakes with the internet file sharing being the biggest one at the moment, and also the free-flow of information (though this serves as disinformation which is why its allowed), it has empowered people who for the most part would not be empowered but a new dynamic has arisen and one that needs and has not yet been addressed, which is counter productive and it is imperative that as our dependence on the internet grows that these problems are addressed, otherwise a new greater (unrealised) form of oppression will be allowed to grow unheeded, this will hamper the flow of ideas.

[On a side note, the notion of a troll is a defence mechanism against this oppression, it’s the inner rebel shouting back at the oppression brought on through silly acts of disobedience, defiance and general idiocy so that two fingers can be stuck up to the established internet order. Well there is that, and attention seeking alienated people of the masses]

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The trap of reform; Left the hidden vanguard of Capitalism

The Trap of Reform; The left, the hidden vanguard of Capitalism.

All those that are opposed to capitalism, I would assume wish for its demise and destruction, though the routes may differ. If then, we wish for its destruction, we must come to understand what pushes people to go against the paradigm of the time, to seek an overthrow of the current social order. Within this article, I will use a few case studies from the past, to come to a conclusion on that matter, then from this we can work out what is the best course of action to take to reach that goal in our current time. My study and conclusion will not be based on ideology, or an adherent to any set code or practice, but merely that of looking into what has happened in the past, to seek to understand what could happen in the future. Nearly everyone on this planet, is now dependant on capitalism to live their everyday lives, from the moment they wake up to the moment they go to sleep, they eat, breath and sleep capitalism, and nothing else. Much like the serfs of the middle ages were held under their system, and any system – there are trends which repeat themselves when it comes to social order.

 

My first case study, will be that of the Russian Revolution of 1917, I won’t focus upon the Bolsheviks actives, but on what forced the people to first oust their Tsar, then push even further and destroy the social order completely.  The 1st world war, spend up what was inevitable to happen in Russia, As the empire was not winning victories, it was unable to exploit other nation states for the gain of the motherland and the people within it, this means that the citizens of Russia were the ones that had to carry the burden, the elite of the time had little choice but to demand greater and greater things from them. Also, before February, there was not enough food due to poor harvests, and the industrial side of the economy were just not getting paid enough, to keep up with inflation. This forced the industrial side to strike, and the peasantry to protest.  The inability of the Tsar to carry out the will of the people, or the majority of the Duma, meant his only option was to resign, after the continued pressure both parties were putting on the Monarch. Job done, you would think? But the people had been given hope, with the instigation of a provisional government, however what the people wanted, power, food, land was not given to them, little changed for normal people under the provisional government, and they still sought to finish the war, something which angered the military. This was where the Bolsheviks stepped in, quite uncannily reading the will of the people, they managed to capitivate their support through two simple slogans; “All power to the soviets” and “Peace, bread and land” – The people then saw the Bolsheviks as the organ to provide them with what, they were after from the very beginning; Food, land, peace and power.

Thus it stands to reason, if this was what the people wanted, it was lack of these things which made the people fight for it – without the support of the military, it’s impossible to truly say what would of happened, but they played a key part in the revolution, so it would be wrong to play down that part as well. Therefore, the Russian revolution came round for various reasons; The inability of the Tsar to pacify the people, by providing them with what they requested, like in 1905 and the strain the war (defeat) was having on the populace. So sum this up, there was mass unemployment, social and economic inequality, a shortage of food and high inflation – also an angry army/higher and lower.

 

  Now I will briefly delve into the French revolution, first and foremost their battle cry “Liberte, egalite, fraternite”  (liberty, equality and fraternity) says leaps and bounds about all revolutions, Liberty – political and economic, a drive by the oppressed to gain such things, Equality – economic and social, no one above another due to their social positions, with everyone having economic (be it in tax or wages) similarities and finally Fraternity – joining together with your fellow man to live as equals, as one. The French Revolution shares similarities with that of the Russian, the masses of France were starving, they lacked food, being hungry and desperate. Also like Russia, there had been a war had the country (though victorious this time, did not gain ripe places for exploitation) and thus the countries finances were ruined, so they both were experiencing the hangover from hell, and who had to pick up the tab? That’s right, the lower classes (proletariat, bourgeois and peasant). The final nail in the coffin, was the lack of freedom being shared among the more affluent lower members of the society.

 

Thus just like Russia, the people were starving, with little to no money and a high burden in the form of tax on them and just like Russia the leadership of the time were incapable of providing the people with what they required, “Liberte, egalite, fraternite” – this was not due to their power to due so, but just like Russia, their inability to want to modernise and change the current social orders. It was then down to the people, to rise up and take what they asked for, by force – just like in Russia. There you can see are a set of trends which are crucial for a revolution to come around, the people must be alienated or disenchanted with the current social order due to economic and social deprivation, there must be a recession, or recession like qualities (high inflation, low wages, high unemployment) and there must be a gap between the people and the government, an elitist regime that run how things work, how are out of touched with what the people need and want.

 

You must be thinking, why is this article entitled The Trap of Reform; the left, the hidden vanguard of capitalism? Well. Quite simply the left are the force which stops these natural occurring forces from happening, they in fact keep capitalism alive and stop revolution from taking place, due to constantly battling and being given reform by the government. If revolution was a tree, the left destroy it while it is still a seed, making it incapable of growing into that tree. However,  these things can only be delayed, it is inevitable that such forces will eventually succeed over the left, leaving the people with no choice but revolution. It is the nature of the current social order, to do what the French and Russian ruling elite’s done to the people, however in both times, they didn’t have like we have in Britain, a history of strong “victories” against the government, or of governments tampering into the will of the people, if you will,  they throw us a juicy bone every now and again to stop us biting our masters and the left lap this bone up, we chew the bone, we bury it and forget about it, then we get thrown another.  We should not be trying to work within the capitalist system to achieve our aims! We should not be strengthening it! We should not be keeping it afloat!

So, what should we be doing?

  • Organising against the current social order
  • Building strong links with communities, communalisation
  • Solving people’s social problems
  • Competing with state and capitalism stopping people’s dependence on both
  • Constantly highlighting the flaws and contradictions in the system
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The role of modern government

-collect tax revenue (to fund private sector

-legitimise authority of bourgeoisie

-expansion through force

 

In a bourgeois led economy the state plays a vital role. What is this role? To collect taxes off the workers, taxes which the government can then in turn pay back to the bourgeoisie, but the bourgeoisie pay taxes you may say? The bourgeoisie are very adapt at tax evasion, employing high paid accountants and using tax havens, to dodge taxes – while the everyday worker has no such luck. Without the state, the bourgeoisie could not justify all the extra money it takes from your hard earned labour. They could not take this money off you any other way than the use of the state; This is the only reason the state still exists under this oligarchic capitalist empire within which the planet and the people are now enthralled. That and if the capitalist oppressors were in the limelight who would be facing the guillotine when shit hits the fan? You guessed it them, but this smoke and mirrors tactic is wearing thin, people are waking up to bourgeois control, the time is near.

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Class; notes

Some work I was doing on class a few years back.

 

Classification one:

Exploiter bourgeoisie+ exploiter State bourgeois

Exploited (petty) bourgeoisie

Exploiter proletariat + exploiter State proletariat

Exploited (petty) proletariat

 

Classification two:

Conservative: (authoritarian)

Conservative revolutionary

Social democratic

Social revolutionary: (anti-authoritarian)

 

Classification three;

High Consumer

Low Consumer

 

Footnote: higher culture and (horrible term) low culture are also key in the formation of class and class identity.

 

Exploiter bourgeoisie; consists of your bankers who are perhaps the highest form of bourgeois control, they are the ones that bankroll the states, they are the ones with the majority of economic power. Though without the power of the exploiter state they are powerless, for they cannot masquerade their dealings and have an apparent front with which to operate and exert their authority over the masses. Below the bankers you have the media and big business giants, the three as you will media, big business and banking cartels can be considered the holy trinity of capitalism – all of these control the state, through economic or blackmail and in some cases even through marriage and direct action (through their economic capital).

 

Exploited bourgeoisie; consists of your small business owners and here is the only place that social mobility truly lies (the two other classes can neither achieve any form of social mobility that will last, very few (there are exceptional excerptions but they are just that). The exploited bourgeoisie exist as small shop owners primarily, yet they are also the agents of the exploiter bourgeois class, they carry out the will of their masters without question and except (on the whole) the creed of the capitalist business oligarchic system.

 

Exploiter proletariat; consists mainly of  bosses in big companies, who are not valued or of any real use to their company other than the role of slave driver over the proletariat, for the proletariat can be much more easily co-axed by one of their own, than one of the ruling elite. This is where the first stage of bourgeosfication takes place within the work place. These would also be low working members of the state, and are usually conservative in nature, for example a postman, and in some cases even the dreaded pig.

 

Exploited proletariat; consists of all low level jobs within the service sector, and warehouse work. Also members of the building trade (as can be seen in the recession) now fall into this class, trademan while having the capacity to attain a good wage, can easily be discarded by the exploiters and are thus just as exploited by this class of people. Those that are on benefits are also on this system, as with the abandonment of Keynes economics, such an unemployed force is required (embraced by Thatcher government) and thus, they serve a purpose for the state.

 

The two classifications work together, the first one is to do with economic constraints and the second is much harder to discern as it is entails the leanings towards the state that the certain member from classification one agrees with. For example you can have a member of the bourgeoisie, who is revolutionary, and you can have members of the proletariat that are conservative. These effect the class interactions on a day to day basis, and how one class views another for example if you’re a member of the exploited proletariat yet you are in classification two, a conservative it is safe to say that you agree with the current order and want things to stay the same even if they are against your own interest, or the interest of your class because this is what your views entail.

 

Every class will exploit the class below it through the creation of the hierarchical structure and this is something that will always exist as long as class does, even if there are (which do exist) those within a said class which actively work against their own class interests for the benefit of other classes for whatever reason (virtue, greed). These citizens will never seek an overthrow of the class system, but are more than likely embarrassed of their position and seek to make amends with the lower classes (or become a higher class), yet not bring them their salvation, or complete absolution.

 

For a classless society to be allowed to grow or formulate, it stands to reason that everything must be based on mutual interest and mutual interest alone, thus the hierarchical structure of class will cease to exist, as one class will or through definition cannot exploit another, for example; the land owner wants to create and sell produce, if he works in co-operation with all the people he must work with or at least interact with to get his product on the market, the relationship should be mutually beneficial to both parties; the state as a power must be dismembered and devolved for such mutual beneficial relationships to be created, for as long as the state exists so will exploitation and this line can be found as far back as the creation of “democracy” it self !

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The Left and Right “Divide”

What is the left nad right divide? I’ll tell you what it is, a complete and utter fallacy, a social engineered lie with one purpose and one purpose only, the segregation of the proletariat and apparent polar opposites with which to focus our energies on. Stop and think for a second when left battle right and right battles left, who aer we not fighting? The bosses, the bankers, the bourgeoisie, our oppressors! Everyone wants one thing and its the same thing, to live a good life. This left and right divide springs up from difference of opinion on how to reach that goal but a difference of opinion happens across the whole political spectrum, instead of viewing ourselves as one half of a whole we need to start seeing we are one piece of the whole, intrinsically linked together through our social and material conditions!

Every single human being is complicated and unique, with a different upbringing and a different view on the world, this being the case how has such an oversmplified view of politics last to this very day? The only constant thing which we all suffer is our relations to capital!

As a Libertarian, as an Anarchist, as a  Communist and as a worker the only homogenous group I am apart of is that of the proletariat, to ally with anything but this removes me from the workers interest and sets me on a path of dogmatism and repudiate ideology! Since the academisation of the workers movement a lot of arrogance has found its way into the so called “intellectuals”, that now workers concerns are of no real interest to the movement, because workers are not educated they do not understand their own suffering. Its easy to write shit off like that, just as its easy to write off the right as an extension of the capitalist state, but how does this resolve the problem? What would you do with all the people on the traditional right side of the spectrum if a revolution were to happen, execute them? send them to “education” camps? Unless a bridge can be formed over this gap, not only will a revolution never be successful, on the off chance it is it will quickly descend into civil war and follow the line of the failed October revolution.

Do not mistake this as a call to say “agree, or turn a blind eye” to their views, by all means attack their views but a common ground needs to be found with which to begin building foundations for a new society. Look back at history, has the current way benefited workers, and has it furthered the movement as a whole? I do not think so, views haven’t changed, just gone behind closed doors. A radical new approach needs to be adopted if the workers revolution is to succeed, yes some of them are racist but they are members of the working class you cannot ignore such a large section of the group you claim to represent, address their concerns and provide an alternative. You may think what I am saying to be complete rubbish but all I see is worker against worker! A splitting of the proletariat and a focus on a false enemy, I do not want a uniform society where we are all forced to think in one way, that will just lead to oppression! If the workers united on both sides of the political spectrum and threw off left and right identities in favour of one identity, the identity of WORKER then a real fight back could begin! But I guess this is too much to ask considering you can’t even throw off your own petty squabbling  amongst yourselves for no longer than five minutes before you start vying for intellectual hegemony over the masses! (or should that be the minorities).

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