Some seriously good John Perry Barlow rants
John Perry Barlow is “a retired Wyoming cattle rancher, a former lyricist for the Grateful Dead, and co-founder of the Electronic Frontier Foundation”, as well as a long time cyberspace activist, and all round intelligent, seriously respected ranter.
Excerpts from his most recent rant follow –
What we need to do.
As much as I loathe organizations, we need to organize.
And we’d better start doing it now before the Empire decides it’s necessary to declare a National Emergency and make it lethally illegal to oppose it. It could get that bad.
Or it might get oddly worse than that. The Empire has discovered something important. The best way to deal with us is to ignore us altogether, as they did last Thursday <the Iraq Vote>. Our calls and letters had no effect whatever. But those were the acts of citizens. In an Empire, there are no citizens, only subjects.
Empires in the past found it expedient to jail, torture, and execute recalcitrant subjects. This one has learned that you can get a lot further with less trouble simply by pretending that the opposition doesn’t exist.
These arrogant bastards are so persuaded of their sublime duties to God and Exxon that they no longer need concern themselves with public outrage or even, I shudder to say, elections.
Let us prove them wrong. We must make ourselves painfully visible to them.
On the upcoming Oct 26 protests
<Organizer of the upcoming protests> International ANSWER is an honest-to-god Communist front. I’m not kidding. It is to the left of Mao. It is also virulently anti-semitic, and appears to be saddling up the wild horse of war opposition to pursue a lot of causes most you probably don’t support, like Shining Path in Peru.
It is so radical that I almost wonder if it isn’t a set of agents provocateurs created by the Empire to discredit the whole peace movement.
But I say it doesn’t matter who names the gathering point. Wherever we normally reside in the political spectrum, this is not about the left wing or the right wing. It’s about how to stop these wing-nuts from turning the world into a military playground for the Fortune 500. It’s not about ideology. It’s about human decency and common sense. The important thing is that we all get together in such numbers that the ideologues of ANSWER will be but a small part of something so big that neither the media nor the Empire can ignore us.
Everyone should vote
I know many of you gave up on this a long time ago, for which dereliction of citizen’s duty you are getting exactly the government you deserve. But there’s still time. Many states permit registration right down to the wire.
I particularly hope you will vote heavily against everyone who supported this treasonous resolution, no matter how enlightened they appeared before. Right now, a weakling with good intentions is worse than an outright Facist.
They didn’t listen to your phone calls or letters. Let them now hear your silent voice speaking from the voting booth.
You should also organize on behalf of everyone who had the courage to resist it. Give money and time to their campaigns. Write letters to their local newspapers, expressing your support for them and praising them for their courage on behalf of the Constitution.
Right now, I agree absolutely with George Bush on one thing. One is either with him or against him. I am against him. As Jefferson, Madison, Monroe, and Lincoln would have been.
And if that makes me a terrorist, I am proud to be one.