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Mutualist Blog: Free Market Anti-Capitalism

To dissolve, submerge, and cause to disappear the political or governmental system in the economic system by reducing, simplifying, decentralizing and suppressing, one after another, all the wheels of this great machine, which is called the Government or the State. --Proudhon, General Idea of the Revolution

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Location: Northwest Arkansas, United States

Friday, December 16, 2005

Hard-Drive Samizdat

Via Adam at Mutualist Journal Club. According to Calendarlive, DVDs are the new soapbox. Radical filmmakers can bypass the Hollywood distribution system by going straight to DVD.

Launching this week, on the left side of the aisle: Ironweed, a San Francisco-based DVD-of-the-month club (www.ironweedfilms.com) that will disseminate "progressive" documentaries and feature films and also serve as a networking tool. As part of a grass-roots marketing campaign, groups such as MoveOn.org, the Progressive Majority, Working Assets and the Nation magazine have alerted their subscribers.

On the right: Eagle Publishing, a leading conservative publisher based in Washington, D.C., was selling so many DVDs through its book club that it recently set up its own DVD website (www.conservativedvds.com).

It strikes me that discs may also be the new samizdat. It's quite likely that the transmission of information on the web will be increasingly monitored and restricted by Homeland Security--or whatever combination of jackbooted alphabet soup agencies in the sub-basements of Ft. Meade, and "private" Pinkertonian mercenaries, become our home-grown Gestapo. And as John Zube of the Libertarian Microfiche Project has pointed out, a single CD-Rom with 650MB capacity can hold thousands of books in text-only files. So the duplication of CD-Roms by hard drive and distribution by hand (or by snail mail, assuming "smart stamps" and other forms of enclosure of the postal commons don't render it off-limits to subversives) may be the best way of circulating libertarian literature under a police state.

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