FSCONS 2017 - Gustav Eek - Communication Infrastructure - a form of resistance

In this lecture the democratic principles of Fripost, the free email
association (founded in 2010) will be presented. Infrastructure for
electronic communication will be resembled with a common good (a
resource). That using a critique of the public–private dichotomy,
and the tragedy of the commons. I will then demonstrate how also
complicated resources can (and must) be made subject to democratic
control.

The importance of Internet as communication medium can not be questioned. For those who take user freedom seriously it is saddening to see how the Internet has changed from being a common and highly distributed network to the increasingly privatised web we encounter today.

In this lecture I will present the democratic principles of Fripost, the free email association which was founded as a reaction to that development. I will resemble infrastructure for electronic communication with a common good (a resource), and I will demonstrate how also complicated resources can (and must) be made subject to democratic control.

Fripost and its foundation and democratic principals has been presented several times since its constitution in 2010, also at FSCONS. This is why the lecture also will take a different and broader stand, inspired by some recent readings. The Fripost initative will also be put in context of local struggles with global implication.

In short, the idea that every resource needs an single responsible and managing owner is unsatisfactory as well as the dichotomy public–private. What is not managed can not yield profit. But some things are to important even to be managed. Naturally this touches on a critique (which has been presented many times before) of Hardin’s classical tragedy of the commons. Regarding the enclosure of the commons, management in it self causes the scarcity, The commons are not scarce resources that requires management.

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Recorded by NUUG for FSCONS.