13 November 2007

Not Neutral

After yesterday’s thoughts on dialogue and Dual Power the Communist University received some valuable links from one of our most helpful readers, Rasigan Maharaj, of IERI, which is a part of Tshwane University of Technology. These links have to do with a new Marxist book about the Internet by Christian Fuchs, called Internet and Society. On the main link there are two short YouTube videos of Fuchs describing his book so clearly that you will think you have already read it.

Another link is to
Fuchs’s dialogue forum. What a pleasure to be able to go directly and dialogue with the author of such a work!

We are still in the early days of the Internet and anyone who gets into it will learn its future secrets as they develop. The principal aspect is now the social, not the technical. What is the Internet doing to society? Or better: What is society going to do with the Internet? You will have to live out the answers to this question. So rather master it, instead of being carried by it.

This afternoon at 17h00 in the SACP boardroom, 3rd Floor, COSATU House, 1 Leyds Street, Braamfontein, we will meet to discuss the
Political Programme and the Medium Term Vision (MTV), as it is revealed from the record of the 11th SACP National Congress in 2002.

After that, from 19h00 until 20h00, Cde Blade Nzimande will be on Metro FM.

Next week we will try to strip our minds back to the beginning of the modern era, in preparation for the rush of unpredictable permutations that will swirl around Polokwane, and so that we are temperamentally prepared for anything. We go back to Machiavelli’s “The Prince” (see the link below).

In the time of Machiavelli, it was still normal in the humanist circles he frequented, to conceive of a human being as an “uomo universale”, a complete person, not a qualified, limited or commodified one. This is “man the measure of all things”, pictured by Leonardo da Vinci as the “uomo vitruviano” that we recently featured. In contrast, we saw that the feeble late-modernist Le Corbusier depicted man not measuring nature, but instead being measured by it in the form of the mystical “modulor” (Fibonacci series). In the "Corb" vision, man has lost free will and has become the object, derivative of a mute and eternal “nature”, and life has become a process without a Subject.

When human beings cease to be in charge of their lives, and become passive recipients of “delivery”, they decline. Anthony Butler wrote in yesterday's Business Day of ways in which South Africans are measured, and of why the Human Development Index (HDI) is left out of the government-spun picture, even though human development is the heart of the matter (see link below).

At the weekend, the fascists did not pass in Prague, and Hugo Chavez told the Spanish king where to get off, correctly naming the King’s favourite fellow-fascist, Aznar, in public as a fascist. Not since Patrice Lumumba told the king of the Belgians his fortune, has there been such a scene.

The picture is a representation of the chariot ride of Arjuna and Krishna, written down as the Bhagavad Gita, during which the God Krishna persuades the warrior Arjuna that he must act on his judgement. It is thought plus consequent action that makes a human being. This is the essence of humanism.

Click on these links (and see the “promo box” below):

The Prince, Machiavelli, 1512 (5131 words)

Staring at sad SA human face, Anthony Butler, Business Day (970 words)

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