In describing freeculture.org, I feel it is important to point out the strong leadership that Nelson provides, because, without that leadership, I feel, freeculture wouldn’t have the potential that it does. I have bombarded Nelson with arguments against pretty much anything he showed support for over the past week or so, playing the continuous devil’s advocate in #freeculture, and he has parried them nicely without the extremist zealotry I have come to expect from these kinds of youth “freedom” movements.
Perhaps it is my own aversion to excitability, my history with activists or activism (check my domain name), or just a general distrust of anything regarding the topic of freedom, but I always find the attitude they present to be dogmatic at best. They are frustrated with the current state of things, they feel like they are the people who really understand what the problem is, they have a magic equation that describes everything, and, they want me to stand up for myself and fight for a difference, damnit. The movement attracts people who buy in to the magic equation, buy in to the people behind it, or who just want a movement for ‘their generation.’
If I had just stumbled across freeculture.org on my own, I would surely have classified it thusly. One look at the opening, “A Call to Action,” immediately causes me to write off anything they have to say. Something about Nelson, however, makes me read it again and gives me confidence that they will, as a movement, progress past these early stages of rebellious youth and land on something more revolutionary, something more evocative of altruism than of justice.
I don’t agree with all their goals, with all their arguments, or even all their definitions of the terms in use, but, I do think they will evolve, and that they will have success because they will be able to acknowledge ideas that may not agree with their own. For that, I will stand with them and offer my support in whatever ways I can.
If you haven’t yet checked out freeculture.org, it isn’t the book by Lessig, and, it’s worth a gander. The site itself is still in it’s infancy, but it doesn’t have too many rough edges.