[Trisquel-users] I want to share this interview with RMS

nux at blueyonder.co.uk nux at blueyonder.co.uk
Wed Aug 20 11:06:50 CEST 2014


Interesting point of view expressed in that last link. I've not heard him  
speak before.
To my mind there's a minor problem with his point of view. He says that the  
behaviour of large software based Corporations is froth rather than substance  
and that to focus on that is to waste time.
It reminds me of one of Chomsky's talks where he says, when asked about the  
Boycott Israel Campaign (that seeks to force Israel economically to change  
its policy towards the Palestinians), that such campaigns are a waste of time  
and would probably, if anything, make things worse. He then cites the end of  
apartheid in South Africa as only having occurred when Governments began to  
put South Africa under sanctions. The point being avoided here is that it was  
individuals campaigning for an end to apartheid and individually boycotting  
South African products, that grew into a movement big enough to gain  
Government attention, that caused Governments to start applying real  
sanctions. Prior to individuals calling for an end to apartheid the British  
Government, nor the US Government for that matter, cared in the slightest  
about the plight of those on the rough end of apartheid. On the contrary,  
South Africa was subject to the British crown for some time; their legal  
system subject to the UK's. Much money was made in gold and diamonds and you  
can bet the British Establishment got a hefty slice of that cake.
So, to bring it back to the point in hand, there is a spreading consciousness  
about Corporate behaviour - tax evasion, little if any accountability before  
the law, perversion of the political and media systems, privacy and  
surveillance, etc, and were that to be derailed into a political debate about  
rights then those Corporations would get to carry on with less attention and  
that is to their benefit. Any political debate, if it doesn't end up as an  
intellectual knife fight, which is what it almost certainly would do, would  
lead to Charters and Bills of Rights, that won't have any legal force and  
would, even if they did, take decades to get through the court cases and the  
appeals and the waiting for the legislature to define certain concepts and  
the retrials and the final rulings, before any of us knew where we stood.
So I'm extremely suspicious of intellectuals who seem to me to be saying  
"look elsewhere, this is not the answer" when history shows that it is indeed  
the answer, or at least, the first step towards a good answer.
He's right to say there needs to be a political/moral debate but, to my mind,  
diverting attention away from the currently coalescing centers of information  
control and economic power is misdirection. And that makes my alarm bells  
ring.


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