Friday, October 10, 2008

RAW speculates on Government

Spring 2000. The recent riots in Seattle, Washington, during the WTO meeting renewed publicity and public awareness of anarchism. Do you see that happening as an historical event, working to coalesce a strong anti-corporate movement, or more of a minor explosion to release tension or...? Any opinions on the self-described "black-hooded messengers" are most welcome.

RAW: It seemed to me that the Seattle protests did represent a real historical marker-- the first time since the 1930s [70 years ago, more or less!] that the labor unions and the radical youth worked together for a common goal. I hope this represents a real change. More got accomplished in the '30s than in the '60s because we had that kind of unity during the Depression and we haven't had it since then.

What protest group or alliance of concerned citizens do you believe has the greatest potential to effectively direct political and social concerns over the next ten years?

RAW: All things considered, I have more faith in the World Game than in any traditional politics. Check them out at (that site is down: I think it was about this concept by Bucky Fuller)

Given the fact that the US government continually runs operations like COINTELPRO against activists and its own citizens, whom do you believe they will be focusing their attention on over the next ten years?

RAW: The people who use computers. We have much more power than we realize, and the governing elite has started to worry about that. They may have to give up the War Against Some Drugs, not for any sane or moral or Constitutional reason, but to use the money for a War Against Some Information. Freedom of communication represents the greatest threat our Power Elite has ever confronted. Janet ["Burn, Waco, Burn"] Reno comes out with a new plan to abolish the first amendment twice a week and one of them just might pass Congress. On one hand, I don't think such schemes can "work" -- Internet has too much "redundance of control" to allow effective censorship. On the other hand, the War Against Some Drugs can't work either -- never has worked, never will work-- but trying to make it work has given us the biggest prison population in world history. Trying to censor internet may fill the prisons even more, but information will still travel faster and further than the governing class wishes. The genie is out of the bottle. The gap between what legislators can understand and what technologists can do is wider and deeper than any abyss you can imagine.

In an ideal world, what form of government would you choose to live under?

RAW: None. I would prefer a contractual association [as presented by the individualist-anarchist model] or at least some form of anarcho-syndicalism. Nobody's life or liberty are safe as long as a government exists.

In the Sixties Timothy Leary, like many activists, was sure that marijuana would be legalized in a couple of years. It is now thirty years later and the weed is still illegal. Why do you think this is the case?

RAW: We have about 1,500, 000 people in prison for marijuna offenses and an estimated 65,000,000 pot-heads who ain't been caught yet. Calculate how many people's yearly earnings depend on maintaining this system -- the cops, the sheriffs, the DEA, the defense attorneys, the prosecutors, the social workers, the prison guards, the contractors who build new prisons, the architects etc. plus the labs who do the urine tests, the nurses who administer, the chemists etc etc. If you add to this the amount of graft in this system, as shown by the recent Los Angeles and other investigations, you'll probably agree with the estimate that this black market is worth billions, not millions, per month. That's a mighty big vested interest opposed to a free market.

You have written several dozen books. You have made numerous speaking engagements. You have cavorted with some of the most interesting cultural revolutionaries around. What words of wisdom or advice can you offer to aspiring cultural hipsters?

RAW: Oh, hell, you expect wisdom from me? I'll give you wisdom. "Think for yourself, shmuck!"


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