A river that needs crossing political and tech blogs - On the political side, there is arrogance and ignorance, on the geek side there is naivety and over- complexity

My videos are on these two youtube channels visionontv 3,832,876 views and undercurrents 22,689,976 views


Enter your email address:

Entries with tag anarchist .

A political history of the internet

(This is a DRAFT)

This worth reading to go with this view time and libertarean/liberals view of who created the internet

In the 1970s the military looked at a problem – how to keep communication working in an anarchic environment (a nuclear war). Their solution was to work with this environment not work against it. They built an anarchic network – the internet. This network was small and insignificant compared to the traditional centralised networks that existed and continued to grow. Limited Background

In the late 1980s an individual at the anarchicly-organised CERN borrowed an idea that would make it easer to navigate, HTML, the based of the World Wide Web. Few took any notice. Limited Background

In the 1990s people started to build unexpected things with this open network and open standards and surprisingly these things grew and grew... In the end they pushed all the centralised dominate networks to one side where they shrank until they largely disappeared. Thus the single internet as we know it today was born. It was an unplanned birth coming from the DNA of anarchists thinking.

By 2000 the dotcom boom expanded the internet to every corner of the world. It was driven by a very different world view – much like the world view that had built the very networks that the internet had pushed aside so easily. It was an attempt to enclose the new commons, to partition it into walled gardens with gates and ticket desks. But the network that had been set-up to flourish in anarchy and togather with the overlay of open standards of WWW resisted and in the end simply pushed this dotcom boom into a dotcom bust. Limited Background

The internet expanded again, filling up more areas of our lives, and encroaching on our economic system. The network which was created for anarchy and the open standards that embedded anarchy started to touch everything. Our society is based on ever-expanding markets, and the internet was a HUGE market. Increasingly it was replacing existing markets with piracy, which wasn't a market at all. The internet is a giant copying machine and the copies are practically free. Where markets are based on scarcity, the new digital world, grown from anarchy, was based on abundance. In a world of abundance there is little for the market to buy and sell. Very limited backround and background

Round three of this fight by the old society to grasp control of the new manifested in a much more subtle walling and gatekeeping structure: corporate social networking and the fight against piracy (copying). It was an invisible but relentless push to remove the “disease” of anarchy from the core of the web (and large parts of socierty) and to bring the old order back into control. Today both Twitter (2008) and Facebook (2009) can only survive if they continually grow, and increasingly control the information flows and users access. As they do this the walls and gates that are currently mostly invisible will come more into view. I think the interconnected open web that is the internet would shrug this off as before if this was the only threat it faced. But there’s another side to the attack, the fight against piracy, which is an (largly invisible) fight against the open standards and digital logic of the web. It is leading to new laws that reach into and rend asunder the anarchist internet (the one built to work in the anarchy of nuclear war). It will do this by changing the underlying open standards that the net is built on and by rolling back to the days of the pre-internet, the age of closed intra-nets. Then Gate-keeping will be built into the DNA of this network. And this change will snuff out the anarchy and replace it with bureaucracy. The unintentional (largly unseen) experiment in complete social change will fade and die. 

What choice do we have? Now we have many, soon we will have few, and in the end we may have none.

if anyone can help find backup articals to link for this please add them to the comments, thanks.




London Anarchist Book Fair - Catholic Worker

Are a community of the international radical Christian ‘Catholic Worker’ movement. The Catholic Worker is Catholic, ecumenical, pacifist, communitarian and anarchist in the spirit of gentle personalism. The London Catholic Worker was brought together by the action of the Jubilee Ploughshares in 2000. Those who came together had long sensed the need for a Catholic Worker community of hospitality and resistance in the world’s second imperial city. Our work is now made up by two houses of hospitality, a community café and a drop-in soup kitchen, and continue to focus our resistance on the ‘war on terror’, British nuclear weapons and the arms trade. More info at http://londoncatholicworker.org/

ESF - horizontal and vertical process and how they fail to balance from 27/01/2004 and 23/02/2004

DRAFTthis is a e-mail dialogue that illustrates the issues of horizontal and vertical process and how they fail to balance.

Firstly the has been a lot of talk of me as some kind of egotistical anarchist… this is far from the truth, and by long experiences if any one asks I call my self a socialist. Maybe its time that we have a go-round of the e-mail list and introduce ourselves..

So a bit about me:


* was key to setting up the video side of the media centre in Genoa – 73 Italian riot police are facing prosecution and jail through my video work at the Diaz school raid have already testified to the prosecutors and have to go back for the court case in a few months. My video has helped to keep quite a few people out of jail.


* work full-time at undercurrents probably the most successfully alternative media organisation, prior to the IMC. Our work reached out to millions of people and helped to shape the globalisation movement that created the WSF. We tell stories that you don’t see on TV. You can watch one of our films here: http://showcase.commedia.org.uk/article/articleview/331/1/23/


* helped to found the European Newsreal which is a half hour alt-news program that is regularly translated into 5 languages to be screened around Europe and broadcast to up to 11 million people on US satellite TV


* travel extensively, organising screenings, grassroots alt-media training workshops and setting up media centres at major events.


* recently have been have been involved in the creation of Oxford IMC and the idea of local news. www.oxford.indymedia.org.uk


I see the ESF as a place to showcase alternatives by film and debate.


The horizontal globalisation movement has been going for a long time and its good that it now encompasses the SWP/GR who joined rather more recently ( and then some how, ludicrously, claimed to have invented it!) I in no way want to exclude the old left and would welcome the SWP/GR and GLA into the process – however they have to engage in the process and respect its diversity, rather than dominate and obscure it.


Hamish Campbell


UPDATE: later in the process


To try and clear up some of the purposeful misunderstandings:


I feel it is very important for the SWP/GR to be involved in the ESF process, though there very childish behaver – all this constant talk of the need to be grown up and serious makes them had to take seriously. They do have knowledge of creating (though they have a terminal problem of sustaining) large structures. They do know the language of trade unions and bureaucratic hierarchy and the will be many of them to deal with.


The problem lies in that:


* they are dominating, disrupting, dictatorial, and damming of any hope of open/democratic process which is key to the new politics that is at the core of the ESF.


* they and the people around them don’t trust democracies… and the ESF process doesn’t seam to be able to create this trust that’s us…


* the working group structure started out very well – but it cant be controlled by them thus cannot be allowed to continue… dose anyone get any idea of insecurity here… how can we bring the power back to the working groups which are working well.


* we as the ESF need to sanction them and then get on with the practicality of the London ESF gathering.


Can the ESF, that’s all of us, get back on a level with our collective hope and dreams… the SWP/GR are universally hated by a large majority of the alternative globalisation movement if they are seen to be at the centre of the ESF it WILL BE SERUASLY WEAKEND. Can they not be quite so blatant in there manipulations… and let some other voices into the monotony that is the current “dialogue”.


I for one wont the SWP/GR and the mare of London involved in the ESF process if another world is possible we have to start with the one that is here and now and that dose include them.


Hamish Campbell


UPDATE: the end of the process


Hi ESF organisers,


What should we do at the European meeting on the 6-7th? The 2004 UK European Social Forum will probably go ahead in a bastardised stunted form unless some fresh air and creative energy can be brought into the process. The current “Organising Committee” was concocted in secret, forced through a meeting by acclamation and is clearly/practically designed to exclude thoughts who aren't mates of the GLA and SWP/Globalise Resistance. This small minority have by there dogmatic/manipulative view of alt-politics made the 2004 UK ESF process in to a farce.


It’s hard to know what can be done at the European ESF meeting, as these people have long experiences of packing meetings, manipulating chairs, imposing agendas and telling lies through nit-picking truth. With no dialogue between the different groups this meeting cannot achieve anything.


* Can the organising process be opened or is this a lost minority course? Perhaps the positive way forward here is to get good facilitation for the European meeting. Is it at all possible to make this happen?


* The question must be asked and answered - are the these lying/cheating/stealing comrades even part of the movement which we are all loosely part of?


Is the ESF process a space for people who - lie, cheat and steal?


* Lieing – they keep calling for openness were everything they create is closed.

* Cheating – the chars they continually install have no mandate for consensus all key decisions are decided before the meetings begin.

* Steeling they couldn’t get a consensus on there “organising committee” structure, and refused to listen to the many alternatives, so imposed one by packing a meeting and passing their motion by “acclamation” when it is explicitly stated in the WSF principals that decisions CAN NOT BE MADE BY ACLAMATION for this very reason of groups stealing the process.


This small anti-democratic clique have pushed through there agenda ending the stale mate they created in the first place so as to close the process down to them and there mates. It will now be very difficult to work with them to open up the ESF process as if they do they risk loosing all credibility. Realise this and having long experiences of lieing/cheating/stealing they have castrated the ESF to keep their domination as they cannot quietly dominate it. I feel that if the process can be opened in even small ways they themselves and there authoritarian tactics will be gradually sidelined... they will be, in true ESF spirit, one voice amongst many.


What is to be done”


Hamish Campbell

ESF practicalities/culture/media working groups



Showing 3 results.