File spoon-archives/lyotard.archive/lyotard_2001/lyotard.0108, message 70

Date: Mon, 20 Aug 2001 13:14:56 +0100
Subject: Internet and Porn


This is an interesting if slightly naive approach to the issue of censorship and the

For myself I have seen two divergent poles in this debate on one side a
pro-censorship perspective which argues that the representation of minorities -
women, children should be controlled - and that  pornographic representations are a
subset of mis-representations that should be discouraged. The anti-censorship notion
below is the inverse of this, believing I assume that all censorship is
unacceptable, but with a delirious notion of the  working class attached onto it for
good measure...



Karl Carlile wrote:

> Be free to sun to the Communism List:
> ---------------
> The Internet and pornography
> The constant attack on the circulation of commodities in the form of pornography
> on the internet is a device to build up a climate conducive to controlling and
> regulating the internet in the interests of capital. A strategy to restrict the
> supply of pornographic commodities over the internet merely represents the thin
> end of the wedge. The entire bourgeois strategy is to build up a bad press for
> the internet exaggerating the presence of pornography. Contained in the debate
> is the false suggestion that pornography can be eliminated through censorship.
> If anything censorship leads to the eventual enhancement of the value of these
> commodities.
> It is clear that, in many ways, censorship is among the best means of
> encouraging pornography. Censorship drives pornography underground making it a
> less accessible commodity and consequently raising its price. Indeed censorship
> adds to the lure of pornography by mystifying it. In this way its price is
> further raised. The restriction of the supply of pornographic products means
> that as commodities there is a tendency for demand to artificially exceed
> supply. This tends, other things being equal, to lead to a tendency for the
> price of these commodities to rise. Consequently this tends to lead in this
> industry to a rise  in the rate of profit above the average. Consequently there
> is a tendency for more capital to flow into this industry to avail of the higher
> profit rate.
> The same tendencies operate in the narcotics industry. Censorship, the
> restriction on the exchange of commodities, tends towards a situation in which
> the exchange are  artificially distorted. This kind of environment tends to lead
> to monopoly capital. The state essentially promotes the development of the
> pornographic and narcotics industry by its the application of economic policy in
> the form of censorship.
> Capitalism hits two birds with the one stone. It exploits the issue of the
> pornographic production process to control and regulate the internet by in its
> class interests and at the expense of the class interests of the working class
> while encouraging the growth of valorisation in the pornographic industry.
> This makes for good political and economic policy.
> Regards
> Karl Carlile
> Be free to join our communism mailing list
> at


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