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Netocracy: The new power elite and life after capitalism

Alexander Bard and Jan Soderqvist

£17.99 Pearson/Reuters

WHAT would Karl Marx have made of the works of 20th-century radical
philosopher Gilles Deleuze -- or the cultural contagions or "memes"
identified by biologist Richard Dawkins? Maybe the old Newtonian rogue would
have been baffled into silence. We'd all have copies of Capital as Idea by
Friedrich Engels and Emma Goldman on our shelves, rather than Das Kapital.
It would probably be rather better than Marx's great unread work -- or
Netocracy for that matter.

Chris Dixon writes "

The Battle of Seattle: The New Challenge to Capitalist Globalization

Edited by Eddie Yuen, George Katsiaficas, and Daniel Burton Rose

Review by Chris Dixon

Since the WTO protests of 1999, there have been countless articles and books
purporting to "document" and "explain" the so-called "anti-globalization movement."
Plenty of academics, journalists, and NGO directors have capitalized on this
opportunity; indeed, more than a few have launched their careers with it. But
out of all the reams of commentary, very little is useful for those of us on
the ground as we work to broaden grassroots resistance, link movements, and
build anti-authoritarian, anti-capitalist alternatives. Accurate, relevant documentation
and sharp analysis are hard to come by, particularly in books.

Enter The Battle of Seattle (Soft Skull, 2001). Bringing together
contributions from some fifty radicals stretching around the globe, this book
is a welcome breath of fresh air. Although it is dated by its obvious composition
before the events of September 11, 2001, the vibrancy and the lessons are even
more necessary and relevant today. As Eddie Yuen explains in the Introduction,
"one of the goals of this volume is to open up a dialogue between militants
and the broader movement, rather than denying that articulate militant voices
exist, as other collections have done." This it does, in a thankfully nondogmatic

Review: Empire and Revolution

Michael Hardt and Antonio Negri, 'Empire' (Cambridge MA and London: Harvard
University Press, 2000), pb.

Charlie Post

(Charlie Post teaches sociology in New York City, is active in rank and
file organizing in the American Federation of Teachers and is a member of
Solidarity, a US socialist organization. The author thanks Vivek Chibber
and Kim Moody for comments on an earlier draft of this essay.)

'Empire' is a paradox. An overly long (478 pages with notes and index),
often abstruse intellectual exercise, 'Empire' would appear to be a work
destined to obscurity-to be read, at best, by small groups of left-wing
intellectuals ensconced in academia. However, the books has attracted
enormous attention, not only in the academy, but also in the mainstream
press and among anti-capitalist and global justice activists in both the US
and Europe. *1

Danny Yee writes

Free as in Freedom

Richard Stallman's Crusade for Free Software

Sam Williams

O'Reilly & Associates 2002, 225 pages, index

A book review by Danny Yee

Free as in Freedom is a generally sympathetic but far from hagiographic biography of Richard Stallman, inspiration of the free software movement. While much of the material in it will be familiar to anyone actively involved with free software, there are, as Williams claims, "facts and quotes in here that one won't find in any Slashdot story or Google search". It is also an entertaining and accessible study, which I finished within a day of my review copy arriving.

Phuq Hedd writes "There's a really good, detailed review of Hardt & Negri's "Empire" tome by a member of the Workers Solidarity Movement. Central points in the review include:

1. Criticism of Empire's assertion that empire isn't really more of the same old US Imperialism dressed up in fancy new clothes (paras 18-25)

2. Commentary on the use of Foucauldian inspired ideas about "the multitude" as a replacement for Marxist ideas about the proletariat. The impetus to create this new terminology is noted to arise solely out of the problem of Marx's elitist rejection of lumpenproletarians and peasants. (circa para. 35)

3. Criticism (circa para. 38) of Hardt & Negri's denial of something that they take to be anarchist because it is "not materialist"!

4. A call for empirical evidence to prove some of Empire's claims, for example that Capitalism has lost its ability to use Imperialism to harvest 3rd World labor to the detriment of 1st World labor.

Anyway, read the rest of the review for yourselves. It's very clear and attempts to be positive where that is justified.

Phuq Hedd"

Below, we reprint the review of Empire mentioned earlier on our site at

Andrew Flood, "Is the Emperor Wearing Clothes?"

An anarchist review of Negri and Hardt's Empire

Empire review

The publication of Empire in 2000 created an intense level of discussion
in left academic circles that even spilled over at times into the liberal
press. This should please the authors, Antonio Negri, one of the main
theoreticians of Italian 'autonomous Marxism,' and a previously obscure
literature professor, Michael Hardt. It is clear that they see Empire as
the start of a project comparable to Karl's Marx's Das Kapital. The
Marxist Slavoj Zizek has called Empire "The Communist Manifesto for our

Whether or not you think Empire will be as useful as Capital, it has
certainly made an impact. The web is full of reviews of Empire from all
angles of the political spectrum. Orthodox Marxists gnash their teeth at
it, while right wing conspiracy theorists around Lyndon la Rouche see it
as confirmation [1] of the existence of a plan for globalisation that
unites the 'left and right'. After S11 numerous US liberal and
conservative reviews [2] made a big deal out of Negri's 'terrorist past'
(he is under house arrest in Italy for being an ideological influence on
the Red Brigades). They eagerly seize on Negri and Hardt's description of
Islamic Fundamentalism as post- rather then pre-modern, and their claim that
it is a form of resistance to Empire as if this description was intended
as a justification for the attack.

Bureau of Public Secrets Website Posts New Kenneth Rexroth Essays

"There is a lot of bullshit in Lawrence, Miller, or Patchen --
but their enemies are my enemies." (Kenneth Rexroth) Three new Rexroth essays are now online at the BPS website --


Mark Twain

"It was the official culture which was schizophrenic, not Mark Twain. The whole meaning of Mark Twain is that he 'saw life steadily and saw it whole'... If Baudelaire was the greatest poet of the capitalist epoch... Mark Twain wrote its saga, its prose Iliad and Odyssey."



"Lawrence did not try to mislead himself with false promises, imaginary guarantees... Communion and oblivion, sex and death, the mystery can be revealed -- but it can be revealed only as totally inexplicable. Lawrence never succumbed to the temptation to try to do more. He succeeded in what he
did do."


Kenneth Patchen

"Patchen has gone back to the world of Edward Lear and interpreted it in terms of the modern sensibility of the disengaged, the modern comic horrors of le monde concentrationnaire. It is as if, not a slick New Yorker
correspondent, but the Owl and the Pussycat were writing up Hiroshima."

* * *

The Bureau of Public Secrets website features "The Joy of Revolution" and other writings by Ken Knabb (recently collected in the book Public Secrets); Knabb's translations from the Situationist International (the notorious avant-garde group that helped trigger the May 1968 revolt in France); and the Rexroth Archive (texts by and about the great writer and social critic Kenneth Rexroth).


P.O. Box 1044, Berkeley CA 94701

Bureau of Public Secrets

Technology and the Commodification of Higher Education

By David F. Noble, Monthly Review, March 2002

The following article is adapted from David Noble's new book, Digital
Diploma Mills: The Automation of Higher Education,
just published by
Monthly Review Press. Noble, a professor at York University, should
need no introduction to MR readers. For the past three decades he has
established himself as one of the great scholars and historians of
technology, demystifying the subject and placing technology in the
necessary social and political economic context. His publications
include America by Design: Science, Technology, and The Rise of
Corporate Capitalism
(1977), Forces of Production: A Social History
of Industrial Automation
(1984), and The Religion of Technology: The
Divinity of Man and The Spirit of Invention
(1997, all published by
Alfred A. Knopf).

For nearly all of that time, Noble has been a critic of the
"business-model" of higher education in the United States, an effort
to subject learning to marketing practices, bottom-line return on
investment, and capital accumulation, without regard to the demands
of learning and scholarship. As Noble points out, the use of these
techniques are all too widespread in this country's universities.
These days they feature prominently in the push for "distance
education," Noble's critique of which is central to this article and
to the argument in his book.

On the basis of his scholarly accomplishments, a search committee
selected Noble in 2001 to be appointed to the endowed Woodsworth
Professorship in the Humanities at Simon Fraser University. In
violation of every academic norm, the administration is blocking the
appointment, presumably on political grounds. Noble's criticism of
online education and the corporatization of academia in Digital
Diploma Mills brings together and crystallizes his pacesetting work
in this area.

-The Monthly Review Editors

Sins of the Father

By James Ryerson

A review of Heidegger's Children

Hannah Arendt, Karl Lswith, Hans Jonas, and Herbert Marcuse

By Richard Wolin

Illustrated. 276 pp. Princeton, N.J.: Princeton University Press. $29.95

If recent history is any judge, Princeton University Press is taking a risk
by publishing this book -- a provocative and erudite study of the
affinities between the Nazi sympathizer Martin Heidegger and his Jewish
philosophy students. Ten years ago, after Columbia University Press
published Richard Wolin's last book on Heidegger, the French intellectual
Jacques Derrida denounced it as ''a sneaky war machine'' and had his lawyer
threaten to impound future editions.

Though Wolin's grievance with Derrida is not at issue in ''Heidegger's
Children,'' one can't help feeling that, indirectly, it is being reprised.
The heart of that controversy was Wolin's accusation that Derrida had
tailored his ''far-fetched and illogical'' opinions about Heidegger's
Nazism to dodge an important question:

By embracing the legendary German thinker's philosophy, had Derrida and
other radical postmodern leftists accepted the core of Heidegger's dubious
politics as well?

Deterrence as Bug Spray

A Review of Lab USA, by Kevin Pyle (Autonomedia, 2001)

Eugene Thacker

reposted from the ITWP project website

hosted by James Der Derian at Brown:

Information, Technology, War, & Peace

Paging through the "illuminated documents" of Lab USA, one cannot help but to look at current events in a different, if more sinister, light. Combining the genres of documentary research and the graphic novel/underground comix genre, Lab USA provides us with a hard looks at the genealogy of medical, psychological, and genetic experiment in America.

Exhaustively researched and patiently illustrated, Lab USA juxtaposes the graphic and illustrative dramatization of human guinea pigs with the sterile, harsh presentation of medical reports, patient testimony, legal proceedings, policy amendments, and the writings of the scientists, bureaucrats, and government officials behind the use of human beings in medical experiment. In this, it uses the strategies of the graphic novel and comix to both dramatize and reflect back upon the way that scientific-military knowledge is mediated in the public domain.

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