Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Kilo and the information revolution..Not.

An utterly pointless article by Michel Kilo in al Quds al Arabi... His is the historical narrative that we are so sick of and one that has it's roots in On Liberty by Mill. That view of history is that it is the story of the struggle of the individual against tyranny.

He, Kilo, portrays the "information" society as something which is shaping individuals. A miraculous and wondrous phenomenon that is now forging a new global consciousness were it not for the "evil" religous fundamentalists on one side and the oppressive governments on the other. Both of these groups are at opposite poles of the political spectrum, but they are united in their fear and hatred by this phenomenon, by you...the new child of the people. Yes that is right, this is your struggle for freedom that is under threat.

Articles like this remind me of those old children's cartoons. Once the series is running out of villains, they are then all grouped together as they pose a new, more serious threat to the galaxy. Then we can watch them lose again over another five or six episodes. This kind of political writing might be fun in the beginning, but the novelty soon wears off and it rapidly becomes tiresome and predictable. Kilo is probably a nice guy but he is no intellectual.


R.Sole said...

"That view of history is that it is the story of the struggle of the individual against tyranny."

Given that Kilo has been arrested and jailed several times simply for speaking his mind, I'd say his adoption of that view is unsurprising. Cartoon villains are imaginary, real jails are not.

Do you have any actual substantive criticisms of his position? You didn't make any in your post. Note that allegations of repetition, triteness, tiredness etc are criticisms of style not substance - we are not discussing a novel or a poem here, after all. Imagine if someone dismissed the writings of Plato because he was "boring".

I am going to guess you are under 30.

Maysaloon said...

To have substantive criticisms of Kilo's article would be to subscribe to the same perspective and ideology that he does. When he writes about the "information" society, or about his individual's struggle against the tyranny it is not he himself that is saying any words, he is simply repeating a mantra derived from the West, with Western assumptions, and all the baggage that comes with an individualist perspective of history.

Now you seem to be far more intelligent than to simply assume that I am happy for people to be locked up arbitrarily. Am I making criticisms of his style? No. I am making criticisms of the most fundamental type, of the arguments he is making precisely because I know where they come from. These arguments are tired and unoriginal because his entire perspective does not offer a solution to the problems he is trying to tackle. So my answer is no, I will not make what you call "substantive" crticisms of an argument the entire premise of which I do not agree with. That is just ridiculous.