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Geert Lovink’s agenda voor 2009

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Geert Lovink

Seven Resolutions for 2009

1. Radical makeover of Indymedia into an irresistible network of
networks, aimed to link local initiatives, worldwide, that aim to
bring down corporate capitalism. In order to do this Indymedia needs
to go beyond the (alternative) news paradigm. This is the time to do
it. If not now, when? The debate should be about the possible
adaptation, or perhaps transcendence (think negative dialectics) of
the social networking approach. Is it enough if we all start to
twitter? Perhaps not. A lot of the online conversations at the moment
circle around these topics. There is a real momentum building up
here, and that’s exciting.

2. Renaissance of theory, radical texts
that appeal to young people
and help them to dream again, aimed to develop critical concepts,
cool memes and audio-visual whispers that can feed the collective
imagination with new, powerful ideas that are capable to move people
into action. Theory, in this context, means speculative philosophies,
not academic writing or hermetic bible texts, aimed to exclude
outsiders and those with the wrong belief system. Overcoming
political correctness in the way that beats populism would be the way
to go.

3. Dismantling the academic exclusion machine. With this I mean the
hilarious peer review dramas that we see around us everywhere, aimed
to reproduce the old boys networks, excluding different voices,
discourses and networked research practices. We need to have the
civil courage to say no to these suppressive and utterly wrong
bureaucratic procedures that, in the end, result in the elimination
of quality, creativity and criticism (and, ironically, of innovation,
too). In the same way we need to unleash a social movement of those
who dare to say no to all these silly copyright contracts that we’re
forced to sign. We should stop signing away our ‘intellectual
property’ and begin to radicalize and help democratize and popularize
the creative commons and floss movements.

4. Overcoming media genres and expertise prisons in order to
productively connect our knowledge and experience. With this I do not
mean diplomatic gestures to open up token channels for
interdisciplinary dialogue. Any formal attempt to bring together
people from different backgrounds is bound to fail. What might be a
solution is to go for hybrid-pervert situations in order to
investigate the absurd edges of the knowledge universe. Again, any
model that somehow wants to move towards a synthesis (or convergence)
is doomed to be irrelevant and will only be instrumentalized in
institutional restructurings in which the creative-subversive
elements are the ones that will be excluded.

5. Squatting the overlooked ruins of the 2009 crisis. There is an
enormous economic infrastructure that is being abandoned at the
moment, ripe to be socialized. The problem, however, is that we do
not really ‘see’ it, in the same way as in the 1970s and 80s many did
not see the subversive potential of squatting warehouses, factories
and old housing stock. Luckily this is merely a matter of start
wearing the right pair of glasses. Put them on and you discover an
abundance of abandoned resources, ready to be re-used.

6. Global crackdown of the corporate consultancy class.
We have to
get a better understanding of the dubious role that the Ernst &
Young/PricewaterhouseCooper etc. consultants are playing, from
downsizing firms, coaching NGOs and global civil society
professionals, privatizing public infrastructure, to running entire
education sectors. Not only are they experts in cooking the books
(see the dotcom crash). Their role as (invisible) advisers, speech
writers and PR managers needs some serious investigative journalism a
la Naomi Klein.

7. Opening channels for collective imagination. It’s not enough to
say that another world is possible (we know that). Radical reform
plans are available-and are being implemented as we speak-by the
bankrupt neo-liberal elites, in a desperate attempt to somehow make
it to 2010 or 2011, when the recession will be over and old policies
can be continued again. It’s not enough to be satisfied with the
promise of a green GM car, made in the USA. We can think, and build,
so much more. For this to happen, the corporate elites need to be
dispossessed of their power. Calling for ‘change’ comes with
consequences: dethronement. Sorry, you fu*ked up badly. It’s time to
step down and move on. Exit.

Geert Lovink (Netherlands) is a Dutch-Australian media theorist,
author of Zero Comments, and director of the Institute of Network
Cultures in Amsterdam, where he also teaches at the new media masters
program of Mediastudies/University of Amsterdam.

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