A struggle is ensuing to produce and protect what is being called the Knowledge Commons in defiance of the latter day regime of enclosures around knowledge and informational goods. As with the pre-capitalist common lands on which the majority of people subsisted, the idea is that we can build a resource, a life source, of intellectual wealth to sustain people within informatic capitalism.
But this endeavour is not without political, tactical and philosophical problems. In this first issue of the new format Mute, we foreground the antagonisms which the Knowledge Commons throw up.
Texts by: Gregor Claude, Yves Degoyon, Martin Hardie, Benjamin Mako Hill, Jaromil, Yuwei Lin, Peter Linebaugh, Aymeric Mansoux, Agnese Trocchi, RampArt Hacklab, Palle Torsson, James Wallbank, Steve Wright, Simon Yuill and Soenke Zehle
A few highlights from this issue:
FLOSS Redux: Notes on African Software Politics by Soenke Zehle
The info-technological development of Africa is providing a critical laboratory for testing the utilitarian and egalitarian claims of the FLOSS community. The question of whether to adopt a free or proprietary route quickly expands beyond the immediate consideration of set up costs. Soenke Zehle considers how FLOSS fares in the competition to be the fittest 'tropical' technology, assesses different visions of continent-wide development, and examines FLOSS's own ambiguous economics
Reality check: Are We Living In An Immaterial World? by Steve Wright
Immaterial Labour is seen by (post) Marxists and capitalists alike as the motor of the new economy. Steve Wright recovers Marx's theory of value from critics such as Antonio Negri to ask whether it is as 'immeasurably' productive as is claimed?
Charters of Liberty in Black Face and White Face: Race, Slavery and the Commons by Peter Linebaugh
The Magna Carta is renowned as the 'Charter of Liberty' which inspired modern constitutional safeguards against the power of the State. But its smaller companion, the Charter of the Forest, enshrining the customary rights of the commoners to land and resources, has been overlooked. Cutting between the political struggles of the early 1970s
and the 1720s, Peter Linebaugh shows how the struggle against enclosures in the woods of England is inextricably linked with the struggle against slavery in the Atlantic
Contents of this cluster
- When America Sneezes…
- Free Labour Or Social Sculpture?
- Patently Obvious
- FLOSS Redux: Notes on African Software Politics
- Reality check: Are We Living In An Immaterial World?
- Freedom's Standard Advanced?
- Change of the Century: Free Software and the Positive Possibility
- Copy That Floppy!
- Charters of Liberty in Black Face and White Face: Race, Slavery and the Commons
- State Wide Shut
- Gender Dimensions of Floss Development