[AktiviX-request] Re: [AktiviX-discuss] aktivix and academic/activist projects: principled objections?

GarconDuMonde gdm at fifthhorseman.net
Tue Dec 27 00:26:19 UTC 2005

Hash: SHA1


Josh Robinson wrote:
>> "research related to activism" i.e. not activism.
> I don't think there's such a simple divide. 

i do (obviously).

i also wanna say that both harry and alan have expressed my views, probably more
eloquently than i have. to reiterate: i think there is activism, which has as
harry states a goal of "social change" and then there is commercialism, where
things are measured in terms of their financial/monetary value. just because you
are an academic, doesn't mean you can't be an activist as well; however, i see
no way at all that being an academic automatically makes you an activist, even
if you are taking part in "research related to activism"

> This may be in part my
> trying to convince myself that my PhD and the related research is itself
> an activist project (and this is a contention that I'm prepared to argue
> at as much length as people want) 

i'd be interested to hear your rationale ;-)

- -- it's not simply the case that
> funding to be a student gives me time which I can then spend 'doing
> activism'; rather, the work I do is a fundamentally important part of
> (although not the sum-total of) my activism.

yeah, this first arguement i think is a total cop-out and invalid. after all,
the suggestion here is that you are a student as a means of fulfilling your
activism, but in that case you would remain a student/academic for life - if you
were a committed activist, then i could see you using your studies to further
your activims. for example, by studying something useful (in terms of your view
of the goal of social change) like teaching or healthcare; or becoming some kind
of "activist academic" like noam chomsky who uses his education and the respect
afforded him by other people to try and effect change in the world.

> FWIW, Aktivix already hosts lists for the Autonomous Study Project -- a
> (broadly) research and learning collective that is involved in
> researching a whole bunch of stuff to do with politics, intellectual
> property, 'culture', technology.

well, i don't know anything about this project, i wsn't involved in any (didn't
see any) discussion about it getting a list, etc. that said, there are already
several features from your description here that suggest to me it _is_
acceptable: first, the name - "autonomous," i.e. independent, not based on any
funding or external bodies (i view university hierarchical systems as just as
bad as any other hierarchical system in our society!); second, that this is a
project for both "research and learning".... although i could of course be wrong.

> Most (but not all) of whom have some
> sort of connection with one or other academic institution in Cambridge.
> If there's to be a dividing line between the two projects, I'd like to
> see the rationale for its existence.

politics: i know nothing about the politics of the current request - the only
thing i do know is that they are offering "resources" (presumably money - esp.
following discussions i saw in irc), of which i have no interest.

- --

love and solidarity,



i have a NEW key:
gpg --keyserver pgp.mit.edu --recv-keys 594B97C2
Key fingerprint = 7B70 F22D F275 D111 3A04  F9EE 0E25 4944 594B 97C2

Version: GnuPG v1.2.4 (Darwin)


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