Claude Chastagner, professeur d'anglais à l'Université Paul
Valéry à Montpellier.
on the Net
droits réservés ©
For all the subversive and rebellious
movements of the last forty years and the
various critiques of bourgeois society carried
out since the 1960s have in fact served the
interests of global capitalism. Indeed, what
was advocated (and still is) as the necessary
condition to free the individual from the
shackles of capitalist and/or conservative
regimes was fast change, delocalisation, the
abolition of taboos and prescriptions, of
religious and traditional customs. However,
all these restrictions represented a check to
the spread of capitalism. Capitalism thrives
on the destruction of the past; it requires
the free, mobile, fast-going, isolated
consumer, contemptuous of traditions, the new
man brought about by the portable phone, the
lap-top computer and commercial TV and radio,
the P2P, file-sharing individual.
The paradox of
being at the same time the rebellious
supporter of Napster and a consumer of
corporate produced music is only apparent. The
two are in fact complementary. Which brings us
back to the historical reality of pirates:
individualistic, rebellious entrepreneurs
serving the interests of their governments.
What is left to subvert now that capitalism
has become both the enemy to slay and the
instrument with which to slay it, now that
rebellion against transnational companies is
carried out in the name of a capitalist
venture, now that consumption has become the
means to fight consumer society? How is it
possible to be at the same time in and out, to
rebel without seceding, to subvert without
renouncing, to enjoy without surrendering?
This is the fundamental challenge of modernity.
Aftermath By Jim Hu and Evan Hansen, Staff
Writers, CNET News.com October 31, 2000.
German media conglomerate Bertelsmann said
Tuesday that it has formed an alliance with
online music-swapping service Napster,
signaling a significant shift in the so far
hostile face-off between the major record
labels and the start-up. The two companies are
developing a new subscription service to let
Net users swap songs copyrighted by the
recording giant. Members of the proposed
service would be able to search and download
songs--legally--from Bertelsmann's entire
catalog of artists.
For now, the
company will offer a loan to Napster to create
the subscription service. Bertelsmann
executives invited the other major labels to
follow its lead in dealing with Napster. No
price was announced, but $4.95 [was suggested]
as a hypothetical example of a monthly fee
that might be charged for the service." A
press released dated February 20, 2001,
suggested that the there would be two kinds of
subscriptions, a basic membership (between
$2.95 & 4.95 a month, limited downloading),
and a premium membership (between $5.95 and
9.95, unlimited downloading) and that as much
as 1 billion dollars could be paid in the next
five years to the major labels.
No more comment.