Many people have criticized me over the years for not condemning the Black Bloc and their tactics of violence against chain stores that are run by multinational corporations. I honestly think the fact that they’re willing to go out and actually destroy something is more brave than staying at home. Assuming that the police actually do their job, these people are most likely going to be facing arrest and imprisonment. Furthermore, these people believe that their lives are being fucked by the capitalist system because of some circumstance that happened in their life. I don’t know most of them, and I don’t pretend to know their reasons other than nothing else works.
Everything in life is a series of trade-offs. You have to decide first what you believe to be right and just in this world and then examine what that means. For example, what is freedom? What does it actually mean to be free? These things are taken for granted in modern society, and people seem to think that going on a roadtrip once a year to a dried out lakebed that they paid a $300 ticket for is freedom. I don’t think it is. I think it’s fun, but it’s not freedom. Other people think that freedom is about being free to buy whatever the hell you want.
Personally, while I think it would be cool to have total freedom, like what most Anarchists advocate, I don’t see that happening on a large scale in my lifetime. However, I do think it’s important to actually recognize what freedom is and to actually fight for it when you are able to. The downside to all of this is that there are many fronts that you may be fighting, and you may have allies who may not agree with you and are more than willing to stab you in the back if it’s politically advantageous for them to do so.
One thing that would be awesome is freedom from the influence of Governments. For a country that likes to talk about freedom, they really don’t seem to have a lot of it. They claim to have the freedom of speech, but only if you don’t say what they don’t want to hear. They claim to have freedom of religion, but then talk about how the United States is a Christian Nation. They claim many things that are myths, rumors or are simply untrue. The idea of American Exceptionalism, the idea that the United States is somehow special while the rest of the world is not is insanity. Until the Internet Lynch Mob turned up the heat on Julian Assange, this was the main thing that one can see when people opposed the US Diplomatic Cables.
People in North America are sold the patriotic myth. In the United States, it’s about the American Revolution, and how there is such a thing as a just war. There is also the myth of Terra Nullus, or the fact that Americans “discovered” the west. The reason they talk about how the west was won is because it was stolen, in a war, with the original occupants of that land. The main thing that I can say is that despite its flaws, the American War Myth is realistic, and isn’t a flat out lie like what Canadians think about Canada.
Canada is a very messed up country. This is a country that decided to round them up and put them on reserves, and then force them to be Christian through the use of residential schools, beatings and sexual abuse. This is a country that has been known to use the Penile Plasmograph on people right up until the present day to determine someone’s sexual orientation for political purposes, and to determine whether or not they are a child sexual offender. This is a country that had a program called PROFUNC, which stands for Prominent Functionaries of the Communist Party. This is where the government would round up anyone who was a member of, or sympathetic to the Communist Party of Canada who was on the PROFUNC list and ship them to concentration camps.
And that’s just the domestic issues. There’s also the international issues, such as all the mining abuses in various South American countries, the complicity of Canada when it comes to NATO operations, including in Afghanistan when Canadian Soldiers would hear tales of contractors providing the Afghan Military with young boys and then being told to walk away without asking questions. Those were rumors, but they were exposed in the Wikileaks cables.
We could also talk about Maher Arar, Omar Khadr or AA, who is currently living in poverty in Canada and is unable to get any money because helping him would be aiding a terrorist because he is on some strange UN list due to US suspicion that he is linked to the Khadrs. Why do I say that, because that ended up on Wikileaks as well.
The fact is that each country has its own mythos and that mythos is usually bullshit. The thing with the US Diplomatic Cables is that the action is Anti-American, and I’m NOT American. I enjoy watching the US get caught doing bad shit because I hope it wakes up the rest of the world. I don’t think the American public will support the cables, because it makes their government look bad, and “they’re Americans, and they were chosen by god!”
The concept of a chosen people is probably the most evil concept the world has ever known. This is a concept that dangerously lends itself to fascism, which casts a dark shadow across the whole planet. I don’t think we’re quite there yet, since there are still small pockets of resistance around the planet, but I’m not so optimistic to think that a burning cop car is any sign of victory. Regardless of whether that burning cop car is in Toronto, or Thessoloniki.
2011 will be an interesting year. We will see what happens to people like Bradley Manning. We will also see people like Julian Assange and Daniel Domscheit-Berg get co-opted and decend into name-calling as it serves the corporate interest. In this case, it will be in books such as “Wikileaks: My time at the World’s Most Dangerous Website”, and Assange’s latest novel. What I’m curious about is what happens with the rest of the world. We’re going to have to wait and see.