Solidarity, comrades

After I wrote my post yesterday I read a comment on #digciz by Stephen Downes, and this bit struck me:

We need to base society on voluntary cooperation, rather than involuntary collaboration.

Exactly. That’s what’s wrong, imo, with talking about digital citizens. I know not everybody shares my bleak view of the state and what it is to be a citizen (though some do), and I had a long chat with folk about it on Twitter, which Sheri mentions¬†here in a very thoughtful post.

So how should we refer ourselves when we interact online? Terry provided me with food for thought in a Vialogues comment, saying:

I am thinking more lately that citizenship is just a form of solidarity and mutual aid.

So, I disagree. I still think being a citizen is about being surveilled, and taxed, and that nation states are things that we didn’t invent and we now don’t know how to get rid of because:

A picture held us captive. And we could not get outside it, for it lay in our language and language seemed to repeat it to us inexorably. Wittgenstein, PI, $115

But I agree, in some way, with Terry’s idea that how we interact online should include mutual (where wanted) aid – in the sense that we have each others’ backs. So, on the eve of what could be a very bleak day for UK politics, I offer you solidarity, as a comrade. If you want it, that is. As one member of the human race to another. Not as a citizen – digital or otherwise.

friendship” flickr photo by CONNIE…. ¬†shared under a Creative Commons (BY-NC) license


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7 Responses to Solidarity, comrades

  1. Sarah, our conversation on twitter, helped me think another way on the information from Alec et al and the ideas on the dichotomy of human outlooks on the world. It opened a door to things I couldn’t put my finger on before. Thank you. I loved Downes quote: “We need to base society on voluntary cooperation, rather than involuntary collaboration.” And that takes conversation and acceptance. I think it also needs compassion. We are alone in the world, until we begin to make choices.

    I also see now how our framed our idea of democracy and republic is — that is there another vision for people of the world?

    Thank you for pushing me to think deeper.

    • NomadWarMachine says:

      And thank you. I agree, this all needs compassion. I think also it needs authenticity, and respect when it is due. I think with smaller communities like clmooc this is possible, for the whole of Twitter I doubt it. But that does not mean we can’t try.

  2. Want it. Need it. Appreciate it. Always. And back to you, too.

  3. Voluntary membership. Seems like a good idea to me.
    Born to citizenship certainly is not the same as choice.

    Isn’t it odd how cold the assessment is of immigrants (who strive for years to get in)?

    • NomadWarMachine says:

      Yes, very odd -and the questions they have to answer as so often ones that native citizens would struggle with.

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