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zusammenfassung zur aec diskussion 18:00 - 20:00

Free Speech Round Table (english)
Moderation:  Gerfried Stocker

  • Thomas Lehner (Stadtwerkstatt)
  • Alexander Baratsits (Radio FRO)
  • Konrad Becker (Public Netbase)
  • Pitt Schultz (Nettime/MicroLab)
  • Rafaelo Samo (Netartist)

Austria is not the only place in the European Union where free speech is
under heavy attack. France are discussing very restrictive restrictive
approaches to regulate the creation of internet content. Different than
the United States Europe is answering the question of
internationalization with tight surveillance of the civic sector with an
inner-national civic reorientation towards conservatism and banal
nationalism. Japan is going similar ways. It isbound into a political
reorientation towards the pre-war era fostering the establishment of a
traditionalistic and conservative political regime based in national
nostalgy. The difference between these developments lies in the
discourse. While the Austrian media and culture scene has benefitted
from a abundant financial subsidy system by the state for the last
twenty years, current developements cut back public funding for the
purpose of reducing the state´s indebtness. So the discussion about
Austrian repressive strategies is mainly about funding, when it comes to
the question of securing free speech. But funding is just one and a very
reductionist approach to the current situation. National and xenophobic
propaganda is instrumentalized on the national level to legitimize
political forces, which promote economic liberalism and the cut backs in
official spendings. Critical voices are therefore under steady and haevy
attack, as they are disturbing the process of  agenda setting  and
awareness building by the economic and political system.
But this problem also exists on the internartional level. It is just
taking different forms. Repression has many faces, and it will be
difficult and complex to develop a mutual concept to fight this
anti-democratic forces as the concept of mutuality is growing more and
more unpracticable in the process of internationalization.