Monday, June 27, 2005

There is no such thing as community

In anticipation of the Supreme Court's Grokkster ruling, The Wall Street Journal ran an editorial disguised as a column explaining why the premise behind the Grokkster's legality, that it is software that permits user communities to exchange files, that it enables the formation of a "file-sharing community" is silly. Says writer Lee Gomes in a parenthetical aside that really constitutes the essence of the Journal's ideology, "Note how often the word 'community,' with its warm, fuzzy connotations of Little League and bake sales, is invoked to provide an aura of decency and respectability to a crowd that doesn't particularly deserve it." Communities are for little children and housewives. Men do business. And to paraphrase conservative doyenne Margaret Thatcher, there is no such thing as community after all. It's a rhetorical strategy one group uses to steal from another group. That any group of unrelated people to unite to better each other, and not at each other's expense, is simply not to be believed. Out of hand, one must reject the notion of community and begin to seek out the ways to expose any so-called community's phoniness. This is simply because capitalist methods of doing business, espeically now, are fundamentally anticommunitarian. They rely on atomized individuals making redundant purchases and regarding their peers as competitors they must outspend to climb higher than them in the social hierarchy. In the minds of business people who share are criminals who are stealing profits from corporations. Remember that when this court ruling comes out.

1 comment:

  1. And yet ... And yet ... How often do we hear corporate press releases touting companies' supposedly responsible social commitments to "communities"? Think about Wal-Mart and how it supposedly improves communities across America.

    Communities are only such when companies want them to be. Communities are fine as long as they are occuring in big vapid commercial spaces such as Wal-Mart Supercenters -- which reminds me of a Wall Street Journal a while back about how college kids from out-of-the-way campuses play games and spend their excess leisure time inside Wal-Marts.