mad hubris seems to have gripped the Power Elite lately, what with the state
of Illinois confiscating legally registered guns from law-abiding citizens and
Posse Comitatus safeguards tossed down the old memory hole in the name of Homeland
Security. It’s like the opening of The Turner Diaries. The radical
right is bubbling with conspiracy theories and stockpiling guns, ammo, MREs
and water filtration systems. The right doesn’t march or demonstrate, which
is sad, because they tend to be a colorful bunch and all the earliest warnings
on groups like the IMF, WTO, CFR, the Trilats and the Bilderbergers came
from the right. Lyndon LaRouche was the first to identify the IMF as a public
menace, and the John Birch Society was warning us about the CFR 40 years ago.
The most fascinating development in American politics recently has got to be
the unprecedented convergence of left and right in identifying as the enemy
the corporate sovereigns of the self-proclaimed New World Order.
or so people who marched against the World Economic Forum meeting at the Waldorf-Astoria
last Saturday looked a lot more diverse than I’d expected. I didn’t
anticipate running into a grizzled union man from Youngstown, OH, or a farmer
from Livingston, MT, marching with their wives and looking for all the world
like rural folk on their way to church. I found that quite surprising, and I
suspect there will be many more surprises ahead.
up to Columbia University on Friday to check out the atmosphere surrounding
the workshops and planning sessions there. There were no surprises. The college
crowd fits very neatly into the stereotype of the current state of the left:
a lot of kneejerk racist blather about the plight of cop-killer Mumia Abu-Jamal;
economic utopians with grand schemes for redistribution of wealth; the hopelessly
tenacious Greens; various communist atavisms; and the holier-than-thou posturing
of the atrociously flatulent vegans. If I can’t smoke in enclosed spaces,
the least the authorities can do is force vegans to take Beano or something,
just to level the playing field.
with interest that the Spartacists had their little information booth staffed
by a couple of really butch women. These women had that weird, kind of speedy
intensity that you get from hardcore religious fanatics and communists, and
I consider it an indicator of some sort of social progress that such a notoriously
patriarchal group as the Spartacists now has women in positions of public authority.
It is an endless source of wonder to me how people can still believe in the
viability of communism, but people have been waiting for Jesus to come back
for close to 2000 years, so it shouldn’t really surprise me.
a fairly witty and clever bunch offering cool swag from www.securethehomeland.com.
They have t-shirts with the Office of Homeland Security logo on the front and
"Real patriots turn each other in" written on the back, and I got
a bunch of cool bogus OHS stickers with "We have always suspected you"
next to the logo. Their website is both funny and informative. The Office of
Homeland Security is a creepy bureaucracy, and it isn’t going to go away.
I’m dubious about giving the government any additional funds or authority
to "protect" me without any sign of any kind of accountability for
what went wrong on 9/11. A lot of heads should have rolled. I’m not inclined
to believe that this government is any more effective in protecting me now than
it was when 19 towelheads with boxcutters changed history, and I don’t
think that the palliative of pouring money on the problem is going to solve
does, however, exhibit considerable skill when it comes to protecting our billionaires.
The NYPD was out in force in the days leading up to the march. Thursday it seemed
like there was a cop on every corner. I got down to 53rd and Park at 11 a.m.
on Saturday, forced into using an indirect and circuitous route by the numerous
street closures imposed by the cops. There was a rally of maybe 1200 people
penned uncomfortably into temporary enclosures on the west side of Park from
54th down to 50th. I couldn’t get a precise figure out of anyone, but it’s
safe to say that there were thousands of cops in the area. There were cheap,
awful loudspeakers blaring speeches into the crowd. The sound was so horrible
it was painful. It was impossible to pick out any more than a few words from
any given speaker, and it sounded very much like they were auditioning Hitler
imitators. I reached my threshold of endurance when some half-witted minstrel-show
Mumia groupie started into some kind of mutant left-wing Southern Baptist rhyming
rant, whereupon I strolled off to find a drink.
On my way
to the bar I ran into a small group of counter-demonstrators waving the flag
at 51st and Lexington. It turned out that they were participants in the online
forum at www.freerepublic.com, a site dedicated to the idea of running our government
according to the Constitution, a once-popular notion that has fallen into disrepute
of late. I was stumped by their opposition to a rally against the WEF. The Free
Republic website has numerous threads discussing the WEF, and the participants
seem fairly unanimous in their appraisal of the WEF as a major threat to our
Constitutional Republic. I guess they just couldn’t get past the show of
support for a cold-blooded cop-killer evinced by the vegan antiwar crowd. They
looked like meat-eaters to me.
As I rounded
a corner onto Lexington Ave. I was swept up by the head of a line of some 15,000
people marching on the Waldorf. It was great. I was amazed at the range of types
in the crowd and the focus on the WEF. The march was a snapshot of America,
and it reminded me of the later phase of the Vietnam protest era, when it began
to seem like the whole country opposed the war. Sure, there were self-righteous
vegans and Mumia yahoos, but there were also veterans and union guys with their
families–mainstream Americans. The cops were great, totally professional
and scrupulously polite. I saw three separate demonstrators carrying signs calling
for more pay for the NYPD, and the interactions between the demonstrators and
the cops were almost uniformly friendly. There were a couple of incidents involving
a small band of anarchist wannabes, but it only amounted to a couple dozen arrests
that day (there were more later), which is pretty good for a crowd that large.
from Montana wouldn’t give his name. "You media people have a way
with twisting up what a fella says," he explained. He and his wife appeared
to be in their early 60s, and they most definitely didn’t look like any
kind of left-wing types. I asked them why they were marching. "We voted
for Pat Buchanan," the lady told me. "And Ross Perot. We think American
companies ought to keep American jobs in America. We elect our leaders here,
we don’t need the WEF or the IMF or the UN dictating policy. And we sure
don’t need cheap flimsy clothes from sweatshops in China, which is just
about all you see in the stores these days." Her husband interjected, "Look,
a lot of these kids out here are just plain confused about some things, like
this open-borders nonsense, but they are absolutely correct about this forum
and these corporations. A nation with no borders isn’t a nation at all.
We have too many people out of work here, we’re losing the family farms
to big business, and our manufacturing base up and took a slow boat to China.
If we ever have to fight a real war, we’re in some serious trouble."
around until the sun went down. The event was enormously uplifting, a very pleasant
surprise. It was a glimpse of an open, democratic society. The possibility that
a consensus among the working and middle classes of this country could form
and mobilize against the various rapacious corporate conspiracies currently
looting the world’s economies is a very exciting idea. It seems like an
idea whose time has definitely come.