Geo Barcan John Perry Barlow: A declaration of the independence of cyberspace

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[1996]

 

  • Barlow's text is an exact example of the thinking behind the Californian Ideologists, as Barbrook describes: On superficial reading, the writings of the Californian ideologists are an amusing cocktail of Bay Area cultural wackiness and in-depth analysis of the latest developments in the hi-tech arts, entertainment and media industries. Their politics appear to be impeccably libertarian - they want information technologies to be used to create a new `Jeffersonian democracy' in cyberspace in its certainties, the Californian ideology offers a fatalistic vision of the natural and inevitable triumph of the hi-tech free market.

 

  • Barlow praises Jefferson as Barbrook anticipated

 

  • In his opinion, cyberspace = the place of mind and freedom

 

  • these libertarians believe in wealth, independence from the government, freedom of speech, free internet distribution

 

  • such thinking lead to what we have today ⇒ capitalism and states in which, as Cecilia Pearce describes, the corporation makes and dictates the politics. they did not annihilate the power and values of governments, but they transferred them somewhere else, in a different form of evil.

 

  • Governments don’t---and can't---govern the Internet.

 

  • Barlow believes the Internet is a separate, global place without the physical boundaries that define states and give them their power.

 

  • it became a rallying cry for a certain kind of digital civil libertarianism

 

  • "I do have a kind of Marxist sense of the inevitability of this shift taking place, that there will be a global commons that includes all of humanity. And that it will not be particularly subservient to governments in any way." [Barlow]