Bert Olivier
Bert Olivier

The ‘space of flows’ and the social elites of today

In Manuel Castells’s influential book, The Rise of the Network Society (Second edition, 2010, Chapter 6), he devotes a very revealing discussion to what he describes as the dominant spatial form of the network society, namely the “space of flows”.

In his theorisation of the novel, now dominant spatial mode – the “space of flows” – which has replaced the traditionally dominant “space of places”, Castells (2010: Chapter 6, Section 5) points out that the new kind of “mega-city” taking shape today in various parts of the world as an interconnected series of functionally connected urban areas (around Hong Kong, for instance), can be understood as a process, rather than as a place in the traditional sense.

If this seems counter-intuitive, consider that, as he shows at length in the book, contemporary society is articulated through “flows” of various kinds – “flows of capital, flows of information, flows of technology, flows of organisational interaction, flows of images, sounds, and symbols”. Moreover, “Flows are not just one element of the social organisation: they are the expression of processes dominating our economic, political, and symbolic life” (Castells 2010: Chapter 6, Section 5).

Hence, he defines the novel, dominant spatial mode as follows: “The space of flows is the material organisation of time-sharing social practices that work through flows. By flows I understand purposeful, repetitive, programmable sequences of exchange and interaction between physically disjointed positions held by social actors in the economic, political, and symbolic structures of society. Dominant social practices are those which are embedded in dominant social structures. By dominant structures I understand those arrangements of organisations and institutions whose internal logic plays a strategic role in shaping social practices and social consciousness for society at large.”

Fortunately, given the sometimes confusing level of abstraction involved, Castells makes the “space of flows”, as material support of flow-oriented social practices, more concrete by specifying three constituent “layers” of such material support: first, “ … a circuit of electronic exchanges”; second, the “nodes and hubs” of the space of flows; and third, “ … the spatial organization of the dominant, managerial elites”.

The first layer comprises broadcasting systems, telecommunications, micro-electronics-operated devices, computer processing, but also transportation at high speed, because it depends on information technologies. What makes this different from former material support systems, is that here – in a manner uncannily mimicking the poststructuralist re-interpretation of Saussure’s structuralist notion of language as a diacritical system of differences (signifiers that have meaning only in terms of their differences, inscribed in each signifier as a trace) – “no place exists by itself, since the positions are defined by the exchanges of flows in the network”. Castells adds something that emphasises the precondition for being a potentially significant participant in today’s “processual” society: “Thus, the network of communication is the fundamental spatial configuration: places do not disappear, but their logic and their meaning become absorbed in the network”.

The “nodes and hubs” of the second layer are an indication that, while the structural logic of the space of flows is “placeless”, this space is not. The electronic network that underpins it functions as a link between specific places – more or less like a “rhizome”, in Deleuze and Guattari’s botanical metaphor for contemporary society – with specific functions, such as exchange or communication “hubs”, or the “nodes” where strategically significant functions are located. Not all of these are of equal weight in the system – the “key” hubs and nodes occupy hierarchically higher positions in the system than others, always subject to change, depending on the evolution of network activities.

As an example of this nodal structure of the space of flows Castells mentions the system of decision-making governing the global financial system, although it is equally valid for advanced technology manufacturing. Important to note is the fact that the level of fulfillment of a certain function in the network, rather than location, determines the overall importance of a “nodal” entity. The fact that Castells can simultaneously refer to centres of advanced medical treatment as well as of the production and dissemination of narcotics (e.g. cocaine) production as instances of the contingent evolution of hierarchically important nodes, confirms Jacques Derrida’s claim, in Specters of Marx, that international criminal networks have become inseparably entwined with the capitalist economic system.

The third material layer of the space of flows involves the spatial distribution of the social agents that dominate this space, to wit, the “managerial elites”. To anyone under the illusory impression that the “representative democracies” of today enshrine the principle of social and economic equality, Castells’s description of the social hierarchies engendered by the processes comprising the space of flows, would come as a surprise – and here in the work of an “impartial” social theorist, and not in that of Marxist thinkers such as Hardt and Negri, or a poststructuralist political philosopher such as Jacques Ranciére.

Castells’s description of the directional functions of these elites leaves no doubt that contemporary society is “asymmetrically organised around the dominant interests specific to each social structure”, and that, while these interests may differ between identifiable groups – and hence involve different spatial logics – the dominant interest-groups have a spatial logic of their own. Here Castells (2010: Chapter 6, Section 5) issues an important reminder:

“But such domination is not purely structural. It is enacted, indeed conceived, decided, and implemented by social actors. Thus, the technocratic-financial-managerial elite that occupies the leading positions in our societies will also have specific spatial requirements regarding the material/spatial support of their interests and practices. The spatial manifestation of the informational elite constitutes another fundamental dimension of the space of flows. What is this spatial manifestation?

“The fundamental form of domination in our society is based on the organizational capacity of the dominant elite that goes hand in hand with its capacity to disorganise those groups in society which, while constituting a numerical majority, see their interests partially (if ever) represented only within the framework of the fulfillment of the dominant interests. Articulation of the elites, segmentation and disorganization of the masses seem to be the twin mechanisms of social domination in our societies. Space plays a fundamental role in this mechanism. In short: elites are cosmopolitan, people are local. The space of power and wealth is projected throughout the world, while people’s life and experience is rooted in places, in their culture, in their history. Thus, the more a social organisation is based upon a-historical flows, superseding the logic of any specific place, the more the logic of global power escapes the socio-political control of historically specific local/national societies.”

Castells goes on to indicate that this logic of domination appears in the space of flows in a twofold manner, both of which are familiar to all of us, albeit not as participants. The elites establish “their own society” (including secluded communities, exclusively priced real estate, spatially restricted, networked, subcultural, decision-making interactions such as those on the golf course, in exclusive restaurants or airport lounges), and they create a culturally distinctive “lifestyle” intent on unifying and “standardizing” the symbolic spatial environment of elites globally (e.g. international hotels with similar room-design and decoration). This makes for a society that is, to say the least, as hierarchical as Plato’s ideal Republic.

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  • 45 Responses to “The ‘space of flows’ and the social elites of today”

    1. The Supremo Elitist World Body, in my opinion, is the UN. Most of the world leaders there seem to be totally out of touch with their people and only in touch with each other.

      April 22, 2013 at 6:59 am
    2. The African Union and Arab League are also, like the UN, elitist bodies..

      The Arab League has proved incapable of sorting out Syria, which would mean kicking a “pal” out of the elite; and the AU uses “Unity Government” theories to make certain none of their “pals” ever loses power.

      Both the AU and Arab League have therefore been accused of being “Dictators’ Clubs”.

      April 22, 2013 at 7:23 am
    3. Rene #

      Castells’ analysis is remarkably accurate – in my work, I am constantly at one or other of the interfaces of the space of flows, although I am not part of the elites.

      April 22, 2013 at 8:44 am
    4. Brent #

      Bert your last paragraph could be written about any society (note Soviet era elites living in exclusive protected areas plus owning country dachaus) in the world at any time in history. The question is; have things got better or worse the past 100 years? Would love your answer (in plain english) with proof of your conclusions ie make your academic thoughts relevant to SA now? Brent

      April 22, 2013 at 9:06 am
    5. Bert Olivier
      Bert #

      Brent – I agree that the last paragraph applies to any society today, almost more to the now capitalist Russia than to others, but your question is based on a misunderstanding. It is not a matter of whether things have become ‘better’ over the last 100 years; if you understand Castells’s assessment of contemporary society at all, you would see that we live in a fundamentally different kind of society compared to previous ones. The ‘network society’ has never existed before in this form, and therefore the form that domination assumes today is different from every other era. In every era there has been domination – read Machiavelli’s The Prince, for instance – but it has always assumed different forms. Today we seem to live in such great democracies, but the domination is still there (here in SA as much as, if not more than, elsewhere), as Castells shows very clearly. Read his books – especially the one I refer to here. His research is based on thorough ‘empirical’ investigation, which then informs his theory of the ‘network society’.

      April 22, 2013 at 10:32 am
    6. Thanks Bert, for you’ve highlighted the problem with Castell’s notion, and most of those Marxist froughtleaders. We already have the conclusion, now just to mend the premises to in a futile attempt to keep the conclusions of yesteryear relevant.

      I would disagree with Castell that “purposeful, repetitive, programmable sequences” currently characterise the flows of society. These are knee-jerk stimulus-response mechanisms of a bygone era and no longer characterise our complex society. These are appropriate for the Marxist framework, but then, Marxist analysis are appropriate for societies where workers perform purposeful, repetitive, programmable sequences of labour. For knowledge-based or information-based societies, or indeed any dynamical system as a whole, this no longer applies.

      April 22, 2013 at 3:46 pm
    7. Bert Olivier
      Bert #

      Garg – Read the book. It’s the most up-to-date analysis of contemporary society you’ll get anywhere. And what makes you think it does not show us a dynamic society?

      April 22, 2013 at 4:50 pm
    8. Comrade Koos #

      I think Karl Marx sums it up in one of my favorite quotes by him;

      “The ideas of the ruling class are in every epoch the ruling ideas, i.e. the class which is the ruling material force of society, is at the same time its ruling intellectual force. The class which has the means of material production at its disposal, has control at the same time over the means of mental production, so that thereby, generally speaking, the ideas of those who lack the means of mental production are subject to it. The ruling ideas are nothing more than the ideal expression of the dominant material relationships, the dominant material relationships grasped as ideas.”

      Marx, German Ideology (1845)

      April 22, 2013 at 5:23 pm
    9. Enough Said #

      OK, as Bert says, in every era there has been domination, even today despite out great democracies. Luckily for the wealthy, they can create a system that works for them.

      I have no problem with a hierarchical society, in fact I think that is normal, but it must be just and fair to everyone, whether you are at the bottom of the pile or the top of the pile.

      There is however something wrong when a few people own islands, personal helicopters, extremely expensive cars, luxury yachts and several villas, while nearly one billion people go to bed hungry, some not to wake up the next day due to starvation.

      April 23, 2013 at 9:10 am
    10. @Bert:
      I read your blog post. Your blog posts should be an accurate and succinct summary of the relevant bits of the book in question (in every case).

      In my comment, I was not referring to a dynamical society, but to dynamical systems in general. I’m sure you’d agree that a society as complex as ours can be described as a nonlinear dynamical system. (At least that’s the closest we can get for the time being).

      Purposeful, repetitive, programmable sequences are linear in nature. One of the reasons why social sciences are so complex is because the lines of communication increase, and with each increase, the possible communication channels also increase. This means the results of a purposeful, repetitive and programmable sequence are mostly unpredictable. This is especially true in an era where Marx’s class analysis (or any hard and fast ad hoc set categorisation) no longer applies.

      April 23, 2013 at 2:03 pm
    11. Sophia #

      A central outcome of the continued process of globalisation is that the fate of the citizens of all nation states are now determined & influenced by factors that exceed the remit of the laws or policies of their home state. Castell’s analysis seems to provide a useful articulation of the physical & social infrastructures underpinning & organising this process. In particular his work seems to offer a substantiation of how (in the absence of a global polity) a super-rich hyperclass is able to operate without legal stricture under the banner of complex corporate structures to avoid both accountability & taxation. His emphasis on flows & socio-spatial divisions also explains how such vastly different ‘worlds’ can function, largely without friction, immediately alongside one another. It follows from this that we are all participants, (even if unwilling or unwitting) within these processes. Our living within their flows makes us active perpetrators & potential beneficiaries – albeit inhabiting differing domains therein. So if we don’t like it or think it unjust – what shall we do about it?

      April 23, 2013 at 11:00 pm
    12. Enough Said #

      @Sophia, I agree. How do the 99% take back control of their lives in a globalized world under corporate control? That is the question.

      April 24, 2013 at 11:47 am
    13. Rene #

      Gargie, why don’t you admit you don’t have the foggiest what Bert is talking about here? And summarize a book longer than 500 pages in 1000? C’mon!

      April 24, 2013 at 12:59 pm
    14. Maria #

      Rene, I assume you meant 1000 words?

      April 24, 2013 at 2:33 pm
    15. @Rene:
      It’s easily done provided that the book in question is on about something and not having you on. Do you really have to rummage through 500 or 1000 pages to make a fair assessment of a book?

      Besides, if I’m mistaken on Castell, it’s surely easy to see that my comments contain a few words – far less than 500 or 1000. It won’t require 500 or even 1000 pages worth of words to correct me. If you’ve read Castell, please feel free to do so.

      My assessment is that Castell is trying to make the old square Marxist peg fit into a round hole where most people guilty of collective consumption are not producers of any kind – mostly out of their own choice.

      This shows you 2 things: The space flow notion allows both the rich elites and the poor to create their own spaces, through vastly different mechanisms. Which shows you what I told you: the programmable sequences are more complex than linear programming and Marx’s notions of class no longer apply.

      April 24, 2013 at 3:04 pm
    16. Master Bates #

      @ Sophia & Enough Said, this is what bothers me too. With all these fascinating descriptions and re-descriptions of the sinister & irrevocable workings of the nasty elite, one can quickly fall prey to pessimistic paranoia. Everything is – after all – not as it seems.

      I end up wondering what a constructive, active & progressive programme of challenge and change might look like. A programme that starts right here where we are as individuals and as little people just trying to make ends meet. I wonder how we could be a little less resentful, a bit more realistic and a great deal more hopeful, particularly given our short little little existences here… What do you suggest?

      April 24, 2013 at 11:24 pm
    17. Richard #

      Have you been into the Savoy Hotel in London since it was purchased and made-over by Al-Waleed bin Talal? Nothing demonstrates visually the change of the old class system railed against by Marx and the modern standard symbols of the global elites more clearly than that. It no longer has any overt “classist” residue; on the contrary, the staff are all very approachable and chummy, no-one is excluded who may in some way become part of the (permeable) elites but one is aware of its over-arching existence nonetheless. Just join the right network and you’re in (free Wi-Fi, anyone?). The paintings that were there seem still to be there, but a closer look will reveal that they are facsimiles of the real works, which are now safely removed elsewhere. Grecian-style statuary abounds, but take a look, and you’ll see they are concrete fakes. Every national holiday under the sun is celebrated. It is a place with a very specific historical rootedness that has become a place of nowhere, rather like the hotel-room in the final sequences of Kubrick’s “2001: A Space Odyssey”. And how odd that people say how welcoming and unstuffy the place is now, not realising that it has simply become a place of example of the network. I cannot think of a better demonstration of the sentence quoted: “…places do not disappear, but their logic and their meaning become absorbed in the network”. I haven’t been to Claridge’s for a long time, I wonder whether the process of dissembling has happened…

      April 25, 2013 at 2:56 am
    18. Enough Said #

      @Master Bates

      The only people that are paranoid are those trying to convince us that Marx class system no longer exists. Obviously class distinctions in society are a threat to the elite, hence the effort put into denial of class distinctions. So already by reading Marx we are doing something right.

      Reading Berts blog’s are also good as it presents a modern philosophical perspective to these issues.

      I am also active in the biggest silent revolution of all time, the environmental movement. Also join some or other global justice movement or local justice movement where you can. Educate yourself on the issues.

      Reading George Monbiot’s book ‘Age of Consent’ is another good starting point.

      “Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed, citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.”
      ― Margaret Mead.

      “A luta continua (in English: the struggle continues)”

      April 25, 2013 at 11:50 am
    19. Bert Olivier
      Bert #

      Thank you, Richard – I’ll be in London later this year, and will take a look. Your comments resonate with the part of Castells’s book that deals with architecture – I’ll write a piece on that, and you’ll see (if you haven’t read the book).

      April 25, 2013 at 12:30 pm
    20. Enough Said

      Marx wrote about factory conditions of the 19th century – where people did the work now done by machines on repetitive jobs on production lines, and also before there were labour laws or trade unions.

      Today your income depends on your skills not on doing the same job as all your neighbours in a factory or mine.

      April 25, 2013 at 8:07 pm
    21. Richard #

      I’ll look out for it! The difference between contemporary London and Paris (or rather, the way changes have occurred over the past decade or so) is fascinating. During the financial “boom” years (really simply spending and accumulating debt years) London embraced change very eagerly, and was happy in many cases to throw the baby out with the bathwater. Paris was much more reticent, but then seemed to feel left behind, and engaged in similar. However, London then changed tack and seemed to favour the sympathetic over the denuding of period detail, realising (in my opinion) that there was a “market” for “authenticity” (even if faux authenticity) and so much of the previous denuding became unfashionable, and periodicity became the fashion. This did not occur in the provinces, however, merely in the metropolitan centres; there was almost obsessive interest rurally in keeping buildings faithful to their time of construction. British people were welcomed in France as they tended to restore, rather than demolish, contrary to their actions in London. So the cities appear to have been accepted as necessary sacrificial offerings to the rootless flows of the cultural elites, whilst ruritania did not. Paris came later to the party. I haven’t been there for some years, so will be interested to see if has followed London’s trend. These architectural changes mirror economic and power relations quite closely.

      April 25, 2013 at 9:11 pm
    22. Master Bates #

      @Master Bastes it’s not just the pitfalls of pessimism & paranoia we need to watch out for! As an avid reader of many of the authors Bert refers to in his blog; I’ve had to learn to be very careful of the hazards of intellectual arrogance & oppositional bias in my thinking. I’ve personally noticed that sticking to a rigid diet of neo-Marxist and neo-Freudian texts can very easily lead to an imbalance in one’s appraisal of prevailing social & political developments. In reading a broader spectrum of thinkers, I’ve come to better appreciate the very many complex nuances arising from any ‘critique’ of neo-liberal capitalism & the various de facto democratic systems within which it operates. Secondly, I’ve also tried to figure out how to avoid academic elitism which can often estrange potential participants in the discussion via its tendency for technical jargon and abstraction.

      In terms of action and change; there are many who believe that there are still significant opportunities for advancement, reform and radical change within the areas of innovation, regulation and education.

      April 25, 2013 at 10:45 pm
    23. @Enough said:
      Would you care to illustrate how class distinctions are threatening to the elite?

      Also please indicate to whom you refer to as the elite? The increasing petty bourgeoisie who somehow refuse to disappear?? The declining proletariat?

      I enquire because these things are not as obvious to those of us who’ve read Marx, but to whom it is obvious that Marx’s class distinctions are no longer relevant. When was the last time you were unable to accumulate capital or own property due to your social class?

      April 26, 2013 at 10:03 am
    24. Enough Said #

      Now Master Bates is talking to himself. Hmmmmmmm???

      April 26, 2013 at 10:37 am
    25. Enough Said #

      @Garg

      Answer to your questions:

      1) Social class in the United States
      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Social_class_in_the_United_States

      >>>>

      2) Latest ‘Occupy’ Movement Targets Goldman Sachs – Forbes
      http://www.forbes.com/…/2013/…/latest-occupy-movement-targets-goldman-sa...
      Mar 29, 2013 – Occupy Wall Street movement sets sites on Goldman Sachs, plan to shut down offices worldwide.

      3) Occupy Wall Street | NYC Protest for World Revolution
      occupywallst.org/
      Posted 1 week ago on April 14, 2013, 7:41 p.m. EST by OccupyWallSt. Tags: direct action. A Tennessee lawmaker has relented and agreed to drop his bill …
      About – Forum – OWS Info Tent – OccupyWallSt

      4) Posted on 4 April 2013 | 9:21 am via OccupyWallSt News. Declaration of the Social Movements Assembly. Posted on 3 April 2013 | 8:17 am via OccupyWallSt …

      5) New Documents: US spying on Occupy Movement April 2013
      occupyoakland.org/2013/…/new-documents-us-spying-on-occupy-move…
      Apr 3, 2013 – New OWS Spying Documents Reveal that Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Monitors Peaceful Demonstrations and Activists as a Matter …

      You see, get my drift Garg?

      Shall we do other countries as well?

      April 26, 2013 at 11:08 am
    26. @Enough said:
      1) Rather, that poses a problem to Marx’s class distinctions. Note that they are quite different from Marx’s class distinctions, so once again we see that Marx’s class distinctions are in fact no longer relevant.

      2) I find it hard to take the Occupy movement seriously, tweeting stick it to the man from their Apple products to show how they’ve been marginalised.

      I get your drift, I just don’t see how this indicates a class of elite with access to capital on one end with a class of people with noting but their litter on the other. Seems to me that most people are in relative poverty and feel marginalised because their conspicuous consumption has left them with a lot of debt. Debt is, by the way, access to capital.

      April 26, 2013 at 12:00 pm
    27. Case in point, from your link that shows how the poor are so downtrodden:

      “Furthermore, like other post-industrial nations, the United States saw increased health consciousness among persons of higher social status. Persons of higher status are less likely to smoke, more likely to exercise regularly and be more conscious of their diet.[43] Additionally, poor Americans are more likely to consume lower quality, processed foods. One can therefore conclude that low socio-economic status contributes to a person’s likelihood of being obese”.

      So the poor are people who can afford processed food and cigarettes, while they don’t have time to get exercise?

      April 26, 2013 at 12:04 pm
    28. Enough Said #

      The elites take the Occupy movement and environmental movements seriously enough to spy on them. Wall st must be a little concerned or they would ignore them. :-)

      April 26, 2013 at 12:17 pm
    29. Which elites? Nobody’s spying on the occupy movement, and not many people take it seriously. Wall Street is in fact ignoring the occupy movement. Who’s the paranoid one here?

      April 26, 2013 at 6:59 pm
    30. Master Bates #

      @ Enough Said, the clue is in my name; ‘talking’ to myself is what I do!

      April 26, 2013 at 8:03 pm
    31. Unholy Alliances of Elite Leaders have plagued History. Hitler and Mussolini? The Roman Catholic Monarchs against the Protestant Queen Elizabeth? Collusion against Churchill by Roosevelt and Stalin which cost the Poles their democracy and caused the partition of Berlin?

      At present we have the Arab Gulf States in tight alliance of Royal Families;and South American leaders in “Socialist” Alliances.

      And Obama and Mandela Camps propping up the myths of each group. Obama uses Mandela as a marketing tool; and the Mandela Clan use Black Panther American supporters.

      My husband communicates with a number of friends and relatives in the USA on Facebook, who send him some very interesting extracts from the American media.

      April 27, 2013 at 7:39 am
    32. Enough Said #

      @Garg

      “Which elites? Nobody’s spying on the occupy movement, and not many people take it seriously. …………… Who’s the paranoid one here?”

      Not paranoid, just well informed.

      Massive leak reveals how Bank of America spied on Occupy Movement
      http://www.storyleak.com/bank-of-america-leak-spying-occupy-movement-citizens-anonymous/

      That answers your question does it not!!

      April 27, 2013 at 8:00 am
    33. @Enough Said:
      Well, it does answer my question as to who the paranoid one is here. You should spend some time to learn how to identify credible sources. Here’s also a critical thinking guide:

      http://www.csicop.org/si/show/field_guide_to_critical_thinking/

      Banks have always collected information on private citizens. You’ve been RICAed and FICAed have you not?

      April 27, 2013 at 10:53 am
    34. Enough Said #

      Garg – Just in-case you are not convinced Bank of America majority shareholders are not part of the global elite class.

      The bank’s 2008 acquisition of Merrill Lynch made Bank of America the world’s largest wealth management corporation and a major player in the investment banking market.

      This link posted tongue in cheek which but you will probably try and get some cheap milage out of, but it illustrates a point:
      *Bank of America Tries to Foreclosure Home Over 80 Cents”
      http://www.dailykos.com/story/2012/01/05/1051962/-Bank-of-America-Tries-to-Foreclose-Home-Over-80-Cents

      Make my day Garg, give me your wordly comment.

      April 27, 2013 at 11:13 am
    35. Enough Said #

      Garg – RICA and FICA a are government legislation not part of private banking spying operations. You obviously very confused. I don’t work for a bank but have to Fica clients for every business transaction. Since FICA we no longer have druglords trying to launder money through transactions with us.

      April 27, 2013 at 11:39 am
    36. Enough Said #

      @Garg

      Thank you for your link to “Critical Thinking” from the “Skeptical Enquirer”. Many people who are free market fundamentalists, support nuclear energy GM crops and fossil fuels, and are climate change denialists, basically fundamentalists with some scientifc or economics training, and basically any right wing agenda also love those links. Thanks for revealing your true agenda. :-)

      April 27, 2013 at 11:57 am
    37. @ Enough Said

      What a biased and prejudiced idea of people!

      I am not a free market fundamentalist nor a communist fundamentalist but oppose both an uncontrolled free market and “equality without skills or accountability” communism; support nuclear energy in non earthquake areas if waste is shot into space not buried on earth; don’t deny climate change but deny that the oil company/ multi nationals cashing in on carbon swopping hysteria/Opec funded scientists are the only or best experts or the subject; want reliance on fossil fuels phased out gradually as science comes up with alternatives because it is unsustainable to keep raping the planet of limited resources; and I am totally opposed to GM crops which are a money making and dangerous racket.

      So which category am I in?

      April 27, 2013 at 1:00 pm
    38. Maria #

      Master Bates, I agree about the many who are looking for opportunities to reform, improve, etc. the current dispensation. That’s what Bert’s post on Paul Hawken’s book was about. But we should not lose sight of the fact that people representing the million-plus organizations that all have this in common, want to get beyond the present economic and social system to a more just world. Which is a huge indictment of the present world order.

      April 27, 2013 at 1:04 pm
    39. @Enough said:
      I have no agenda other than leading horses to water. You appear to buy into the conspiracy theories. Much work to be done, my boy.

      April 27, 2013 at 1:09 pm
    40. Enough Said #

      @Garg

      Show this horse the water, because right now you have not been able to respond to the evidense presented to you.

      What are your academic qualifications?

      April 27, 2013 at 4:13 pm
    41. @Enough said:
      My academic qualifications are irrelevant and your standard for evidence is too low to conclusively prove anything. If you must know, I hold an Honours degree in Information Science. Hermeneutics and economics both formed part of my undergraduate course. It’s the discrepancy between economics and what the visual arts department claimed about economics that first alerted me to the intellectual dishonesty (or perhaps inability) of the latter.

      So you propose that Bank of America (a public company) forms part of the elite, but our government does not? See, this is why I linked you to a critical thinking guide (which, by the way, was published where it was published to try and remedy some of the UFO crackpots. You don’t believe in UFOs too, do you?).

      I was leading you to the waters where you’d have to find a clear definition of what you mean by elite (you still haven’t thought about that one, it seems). We know what Marx meant with elite, but then you and I currently both form part of that social class, as do most Wall Street workers and most Occupy protesters.

      April 28, 2013 at 1:09 pm
    42. Björn S. #

      Hi all.

      - Can somebody explain: Elites are cosmopolital, people are local?
      - What and which role can the individual play in the space of flows?
      - Can the individual be identified in one of the three layers?
      - Can somebody give a concrete example of a node or hub?

      Thanks

      May 7, 2013 at 10:24 pm
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      May 12, 2013 at 8:00 pm
    44. How To Get Rid of Piles #

      Hey! I could have sworn I’ve been to this site before but after checking through some of the post I realized it’s new to me.
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      May 13, 2013 at 5:26 am
    45. @Bjorn:
      Fantastic questions which try to relate this airy fairy ideological claptrap to something tangible. Unfortunately, I don’t think you’d get any concrete answers here. What you would get is special pleading to indicate that you are unfamiliar with the reading material, in addition to a more comprehensive reading list. Sorry, but you’re more likely to find the kind of answers that lead to more questions instead of the kind of answers that legitimise the underlying premises.

      May 19, 2013 at 11:09 am

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