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Two excellent comments on the current tendency to simply see no tension between creative practice and capital accumulation ("yes, you can make money and still be creative!" etc.) appeared in Dutch in the last month or so. One by Geert Lovink and one by Theo Ploeg. Both focus their comments mainly on the Dutch situation and Amsterdam in particular, but these are of course more generally applicable.
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There is a lot of overlap here with Richard Barbrook's new book called The Class of the New and which contains an excellent introduction to the whole discourse of creativity as it has emerged over the last decade, but which has a much longer historical heritage. The overlap, of course, is the acknowledgement that creativity is not limited to this specific class (or social group or whatever) that can actually make money out of it, but that it is a fundamentally human condition, which – if the world would be perfect – would need to be supported and cultivated in order to contribute to the 'civilisation of humanity'
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What I find interesting from a sociological perspective is the question if this is actually possible. To what extent can one promote a notion of individualistic creativity without simultaneously producing (as a side-effect almost) an underclass of actors not able to express their own creativity, since they have to do shitty jobs in order to make a living? Even among those creatives supportive of open source technologies and collaborative working practices etc., there is a real danger that this will remain limited to a relatively small group privileged enough to be able to spend enough time on these practices. Creative environments are very fragile and I am rather doubtful if they can survive and flourish (and thus expand among other groups) without state intervention (either on a national or a more local/urban scale) along the lines of collectively owned infrastructures.
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