Thursday, 17 April 2008

Herald publish article by Plot Tracer

The article and comments are found here -

The article was an abridged version of this:


Let’s get some of the deflecting tactics out of the way first. I know that when some see my name and that I am writing from my perspective within the SL Left Unity, I will be accused of many things and not reference what I am actually saying.

I am not a Stalinist. A abhor Stalinism. I don’t believe people should be locked in jails for their political beliefs – I believe in political freedom – in fact I believe in total freedom. I believe in freedom of choice – informed freedom of choice – not the choice between 30 multi-million dollar promotional campaigns for sugary carbonated drinks that are shown to induce happiness, but actually cause obesity - the sugar and caffeine from which are like a bullet passing through the systems of our small children.

I am from Scotland in rl, and am not an anti-American – in fact America has a lot to teach the world; in my opinion US local democracy and a (flawed) Republican system has a lot going for it. It is a step forward from the Monarchy my country has. But it is flawed – and the flaws have shown recently with the corporate take over of the Presidency. The American people will overcome – I am confident of that. They saw through the lies in 1968 – they are seeing through the lies forty years later.

I am a socialist. I am an anti-capitalist – capitalism does not give us choices – it gives those with money/power choices, and keeps the rest in ghettos both physical and of the mind. Capitalism is the most controlled economy the world has ever seen – money and the moneyed are able to go where ever they want, when they want. Those outside this tiny clique must toe the line and stay behind borders. In “Projects”; in trailer parks; in council estates; made to feel guilty for their being “left behind.” Capital reigns supreme. The corporation is the new government, and those with a slice, control the army of working class people who graft or fight for the freedom of the corporation to exploit. For the freedom of the Cheney’s and Bush’s of this world to live behind their fences and to use the rest of us/ the worlds resources as their playthings. While we the working classes graft and fight and die.

Now to the point.

What sort of world would we live in if place names were trademarked? What sort of world would we live in where we could be banned for saying the wrong thing… for speaking against the government, or be banned for whatever takes the whim of those who wield power? A world where George Orwell predicted in 1984 where even the language of oppression has been changed to the language of freedom. Freedom is Slavery. Your world, your imagination – when it isn’t – really. A world were what we do is for the self aggrandisement of those who sit on committees and reap all the benefits of those who are artistic/productive/trusting. Apartheid South Africa? Nope. The US? Hopefully not. Think of a world were we readily give our personal details and preferences and sexual mores to those in authority without question. Think of a world where we have an unelected clique controlling it. Think of a world in which the “owners” are always right and correct and can delete the existence of people identified as unpersons. A world where its principles state it is “based on a belief that innovative success stems from self-directed creation, collaboration, and openness. Like the Second Life® world, Linden Lab is built on a non-hierarchical system which fosters and rewards creativity, individual initiative, and interactive participation.” Though, “Never act to advance your own interests or someone else's interests at the expense of the interests of the company. This is the one principle, outside of violations of law, for which violation will likely result in immediate termination.” The company/corporation is all. The individual is nothing. Profit is all – because that is what company law aims towards. It is the basis for the corporation. "The corporation is an externalizing machine (moving its operating costs to external organizations and people), in the same way that a shark is a killing machine." - Robert Monks, a former GOP [Republican] candidate for Senate from Maine.

I think if you have got this far you get my point.

My first foray onto the internet was back in 1992. It was a basic place – a place anyone with a tad of know how could navigate or set up a space – free of charge. A place uncontrolled and at the time thought almost uncontrollable. Well, they got to work. And we must fight back to claim this bastion of freedom from them – the Facelessbooks, the Theirspaces, the Seconded Life. They should not be allowed to win. They should not be allowed to decide who has freedom of speech or freedom to organise/ create community based on their corporate image and ultimately on profit.

Paulo Freire, the South American Educationalist said that the powerless in society can be frightened of freedom. He wrote, "Freedom is acquired by conquest, not by gift. It must be pursued constantly and responsibly. Freedom is not an ideal located outside of man; nor is it an idea which becomes myth. It is rather the indispensable condition for the quest for human completion." Only an educated, informed working class – those who graft and die for these people, will change the world. The middle class fear change, because they do-not want to fall off the cart into the lower classes (hence the bile and snidey remarks from those who have made a wee bit of cash from Seconded Life that may follow this article) and the upper classes – those who hold power and therefore control the system will not let it go.

To quote a great working class poet, “[They’ll] never live like common people, you'll never do whatever common people do, you'll never fail like common people, you'll never watch your life slide out of view, and dance and drink and screw, because there's nothing else to do. Sing along with the common people, sing along and it might just get you through. Laugh along with the common people, laugh along even though they're laughing at you and the stupid things that you do, because you think that poor is cool. Like a dog lying in a corner they will bite you and never warn you. Look out they'll tear your insides out. 'Cos everybody hates a tourist, especially one who thinks it's all such a laugh and the chip stains and grease will come out in the bath. You will never understand how it feels to live your life with no meaning or control and with nowhere left to go. You are amazed that they exist and they burn so bright whilst you can only wonder why.”

References: Orwell; 1984
“Common People” Pulp

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