Viva La Revolution
June 18, 2005 11:32 AM   Subscribe

Unleash the Resistance. Karen Kwiatowski worked in the Pentagon's Office of Special Plans prior to the Iraqi invasion. She is now calling on us to resist its government, in the name of liberty and in the spirit of the Iraqi insurgents. Posted on From the Wilderness, which offers insight on Kwiatowski's essay from other radicals.
posted by Candide (53 comments total)
posted by Busithoth at 11:42 AM on June 18, 2005

Wow - that was all over the place. I don't think she strung more than three coherent thoughts together in that whole letter.
posted by jmgorman at 11:44 AM on June 18, 2005

.in the spirit of the Iraqi insurgents

Dear Karen,

Let me be the first to say that I'm not going to do a goddamn thing "in the spirit of the Iraqi insurgents." I firmly believe the US has royally screwed Iraq and has bad motives in its involvement over there, but I do not and will not support terrorists and their methods.

fuck you,

posted by eustacescrubb at 11:45 AM on June 18, 2005

What, exactly, is she suggesting that we, or you, or everyone, or anyone, actually do? I can't figure that out. "Resist, resist, resist" is just a cheer, like "2, 4, 6, 8, Organize and Smash the State."
posted by jfuller at 11:56 AM on June 18, 2005

Give Karen a break... let the first Mefite who has not posted something while stoned or drunk (or both as Dr Kwiatowski apparently was when she wrote this) cast the first stone.
posted by three blind mice at 12:00 PM on June 18, 2005

She is now calling on us to resist its government...

I would love to resist its [sic] government. Unfortunately that would involve me quitting my job, leaving my family and going off to another country where I would, in all likliehood, get all blowed up. This isn't looking like a very good plan and I think my kids would be upset when my bloodied corpse turned up on FOX.

Oh yeah, the article is garbage: "They don’t understand everything that is happening, but most Iraqis have decided to pursue one or more of the countless paths of resistance to the state."

Yeah, 'cause you know, them darn Iraqis don't understand much besides resistance... good thing there are 'countless' paths. Otherwise, they'd be really confused. Pick a path. Any path.

Fight the Power, baby. Smash the State. Blah. Blah. Blah.

I'm no fan of this war but she really isn't doing anyone any favors with this recycled 60's pablum. It's no wonder she doesn't work for the DoD any longer, being she's batshit insane and all.
posted by cedar at 12:00 PM on June 18, 2005

let the first Mefite who has not posted something while stoned or drunk (or both as Dr Kwiatowski apparently was when she wrote this) cast the first stone.

See above.
posted by eustacescrubb at 12:04 PM on June 18, 2005

I think you all miss the point she is trying to make here, namely that the disgusting degree of complacency in America today is what allows the government to walk all over us. While methods of "resist, resist, resist" may be different for all groups, the source of emotion is the same, namely the willingness on the part of individuals to decide that the costs of complacency are too great compared to the costs of trying to make change. Cedar, I think you make this point by saying that resistance is not worth "your bloody corpse turning up on FOX". For others, it is.

There are a lot of words being used to describe the "insurgents" in Iraq, but complacent is definitly not one of them.
posted by H. Roark at 12:08 PM on June 18, 2005

I hope you are not implying that she suggests we should resist the Iraqi government. She is calling on us to resist our own. Her essay is a small act of resistance. Did you sign Conyer's petition? That would be resistance. It's a nice little essay, but it hardly seems to me to be as radical as you portray it in your post.
posted by caddis at 12:11 PM on June 18, 2005

She doesn’t offer any prescription for action because there is not a clear one. She is acknowledging something that many have acknowledged in the past five years, that the government is not working for its citizens any longer, and is acting recklessly and irresponsibly. She’s right, and from a certain logical perspective, it follows that it is up to the people to resist this government. I agree, and I think that the more this opinion is voiced, the closer to a solution we are. When the shit really hits the fan, do you think the policymakers are suddenly going to start behaving more responsibly? Not without pressure from somewhere. Sure revolution is impossible, given that any radical/reasonable perspective is marginal in the political arena, but these ideas need to be put out there. We’re conditioned to apathetic consumerism, I’d personally like to at least promote responsibility for our actions. I mean, we still are technically a collective nation, and may still have an opportunity to curb some of the harm our government has done.

I didnt mean to suggest that she's saying we should resist the Iraqi government. It's my first post, I tried to grab people's attention.
posted by Candide at 12:20 PM on June 18, 2005

She's right--we need to stop what they're doing--it's harmful to the country and makes us much less safer. But what does resistance entail, exactly? Should we stop paying taxes? March on Washington? Get violent?

I need practical suggestions that won't involve death or the Gitmo-ization of those resisting. Suggestions that millions can do that will be seen and heard and that will effect change--in policy if nothing else.
posted by amberglow at 12:21 PM on June 18, 2005

The funny thing is that, for any major issue, there are probably enough people sitting around at home saying "what can I do?", that if they all got together they could do something.

Of course, that is usually true for both sides of any issue, and popularity doesn't make an idea right.
posted by dreamsign at 12:24 PM on June 18, 2005

I hope you are not implying that she suggests we should resist the Iraqi government.

I kind of was. I must have misread the incoherent babbling.

From the original article: Thus, my gentle thoughts are increasingly turning to murder. Murder of the state. In self-defense, of course!

H.Roark: If I felt that I had to use force to resist my government I might not be so concerned about my corpse looking good on television. However, I don't feel that way and will resist in my own way, you know, getting out the vote in 2006.

Sorry. As far to the left as I am, I'm not quite ready for armed revolt.
posted by cedar at 12:24 PM on June 18, 2005

It's because of the very unaccountability of this Administration that most forms of resistance seem futile. The checks and balances are entirely gone, except for the Supreme Ct, and they're very limited in power. And the media won't indict this administration, nor are they even investigating. It's reluctantly and with great derision that the Downing St. stuff is even being covered at all. (that's bec. it indicts them in the whole thing as well as the Administration, i think)

We need new tactics, i guess.
posted by amberglow at 12:25 PM on June 18, 2005

cedar writes "I would love to resist its [sic] government."

Bizarre. I was just reading slashdot, and I saw a commenter do exactly the same thing. Twice in five minutes, I saw would-be grammar pedants make fools of themselves....

Speaking of pedantic... Cedar: Candide's usage is correct. There's no apostrophe in the possessive of "it".
posted by mr_roboto at 12:27 PM on June 18, 2005

It seems that a movement of accountability could somehow surface. It's just so obvious to so many.
posted by Candide at 12:29 PM on June 18, 2005

fuck its.
posted by quonsar at 12:34 PM on June 18, 2005

Domo arrigato, Mr. Roboto: Gee, I'm sorry you find me pedantic. If I was wrong, I sincerely apologize for any distress it caused you.

You might notice that my, admittedly mistaken, 'correction' was wrapped in comments about the topic. You might consider doing the same -- unless you feel that it's more important to attack me than to discuss the substance of the post. If that is the case, feel free to contact me directly.
posted by cedar at 12:38 PM on June 18, 2005

As far to the left as I am, I'm not quite ready for armed revolt.

Do you have any idea what line would have to be crossed for the above statement not to be true?
posted by prak at 12:39 PM on June 18, 2005

"Resist, resist, resist" is just a cheer, like "2, 4, 6, 8, Organize and Smash the State."
posted by jfuller at 2:56 PM EST on June 18 [!]

except the latter one is better.

I'm amused that she calls for the death of government, when it seems as if that's in keeping with this administration's ultimate goal.

I mean, they blow trillions on theories which haven't borne fruit (tax cuts = booming economy; war = democracy epidemic in middle east; medicare reform = lower health costs; $100 billion Missle Defense System = ability to hit a bullet with a bullet) and when they make token efforts to be fiscally responsible, it's on things like Social Security and Public Broadcasting.

I think it's a good idea to be more involved/aware in what our government here is doing. I feel at some point these fiscal chickens are going to come home to roost, and the discontent will 'kill the government' as she puts it.

But I may be projecting a more lucid argument than she's putting forth. I am intrigued that she worked in the Pentagon while holding these beliefs. I guess the nutjobs can't discriminate amongst themselves that well.
posted by Busithoth at 12:41 PM on June 18, 2005

prak: "Do you have any idea what line would have to be crossed for the above statement not to be true?"

I know exactly where that line is. Simply put, that line is crossed when I feel that my children are no longer free to exercise their right to free speech, their right to worship (or not worship) as they see fit and to benefit from the presumption of innocence.

I'm fully aware of the erosion of civil liberties in this country and it concerns me far more than the fate of any foreign national, but we're not exactly Cuba yet and until elections are suspended and they close the internet I'll continue to work for change within the system and remain optimistic about the colllective wisdom of the American people. I refuse to consider the possibility that the single most enlightened document since the Magna Carta, the Constitution of the United States of America, cannot withstand eight, twelve or even twenty years of battering by the mad.

If I'm mistaken, bring it on. We've done it before and we can do it again.
posted by cedar at 12:58 PM on June 18, 2005

I do not and will not support terrorists and their methods.

Freedom fighters != revolutionaries != insurgents != terrorists. I'd suppose (relying completely on secondhand sources, i.e news) that the bombers in Iraq are insurgents. Some could be qualified as terrorists, I suppose, but terrorist is a meaningless descriptor these days, most directly b/c of the bullshit, imperialist, eternal war on "terrorism."

What can you do to resist? I suppose everybody has different strategies. For me, it's giving up gasolline, protesting, voting for third parties, using alternative media sources, breaking the law, boycotting products from any producers who contribute to the GOP or Dems, etc. If *enough* people protest, the administration will collapse. In this age of consolidated industry, military, media, and goverment, how many is enough? 20 million? 50 million? Critical mass is unstoppable, and what comes next could be even worse, but nothing lasts forever. I'm not exactly sure what, if anything, we could learn from Iraqi insurgents, however.

Oh yeah, stop watching TV. ;p
posted by mrgrimm at 1:15 PM on June 18, 2005


What you may not realize is that, to put it mildly, conquest is an ugly business. And it's a business in which the winners and losers are never obvious; the conquerors are always affected by it just as much as the conquered. And, as she says, what's going on in Iraq is essentially a military conquest. But there's no reason to be wholly pessimistic about the endeavor. Iraq today is an experiment not unlike America in 1776. The experiment may succeed or it may fail. Nobody knows if you can build democracy at the barrel of a gun because it's never been tried before. In this light, your talk of 'lines' is nonsense. The illegal invasion of an Iraq by the USA is, in world historical terms, far more disconcerting than suspending national elections or censoring the Internet. The die has already been cast in ways and we haven't even begun to feel the effects. So you keep watching for the line but remember, once the avalanche has begun it is already too late for the pebbles to vote.

Still, I do think the talk of resistance may be bit premature. Like America, the Iraq experiment may turn out to be a spectacular success. People must engage the situation, completely, honestly, and hope for the best. That is all that is needed and it's all that is asked.
posted by nixerman at 1:17 PM on June 18, 2005

The illegal invasion of an Iraq by the USA is, in world historical terms, far more disconcerting than suspending national elections or censoring the Internet.

I would question this premise.

Military action, and somebody someplace will call any act of aggression illegal, isn't a new thing nor is it unique to the United States.

Now, suspending elections in the worlds only superpower would circumvent the document that this country is based upon (that ugly old Constitution thing). Like it or not, as America goes, so goes the world -- nevermind the French, they are always difficult. We give up free elections and we got nothing. Zip. Zero. Zilch. The moral high ground is hanging by the slimmest of threads as it is. All this talk of 'exporting democracy' only goes so far and chipping away at it domestically ain't helping. I would say that the US moving away from a representative republic would have as much effect on the world as nailing that Jesus guy to a stick.

Censoring the internet is most likely impossible -- ask China. If they wanted to, and the only way it would work is by physically cutting the backbone, it would pretty much be a step towards a new Dark Age. The genie is out of the bottle and as much as I hate hyperbole, the internet is the single biggest thing we have going to assure our freedom. They can't shut us up.
posted by cedar at 1:32 PM on June 18, 2005

Iraq today is an experiment not unlike America in 1776.
You lose the right to define something as 'nonsense' after including this.

Or did the French invade us? I thought it was more along the lines of England trying to make us pay for their costs to keep us, after defending the colonies from the French and Indians. Not allowing representation (and a nice 2,300 nautical mile buffer of the Atlantic ocean gave the US a better chance.

The US has been trying to install the 'kind' of democracy it wants, to ensure Shiites don't take over all avenues of power, as their numbers would suggest they could. So we're inventing a system of democracy, imposing it by force along our own timeline, and dismantling/vivisecting the representative democracy we have at home.

I wish the Iraqis the best of success. I think this would come from their own hearts and minds, perhaps after some ugly periods of adjustment.
posted by Busithoth at 1:33 PM on June 18, 2005

She doesn’t offer any prescription for action because there is not a clear one.

Here's a hint: it involves guns, IEDs, and some spilled blue blood. But bitching about it is so much easier, and allows you to feel superior to the lazy bastards who do nothing, while accomplishing just as little.
posted by Civil_Disobedient at 1:35 PM on June 18, 2005

Look what's happening out in the streets
Got a revolution Got to revolution
Hey I'm dancing down the streets
Got a revolution Got to revolution
Ain't it amazing all the people I meet
Got a revolution Got to revolution
One generation got old
One generation got soul
This generation got no destination to hold
Pick up the cry
Hey now it's time for you and me
Got a revolution Got to revolution
Come on now we're marching to the sea
Got a revolution Got to revolution
Who will take it from you
We will and who are we
We are volunteers of America
posted by madamjujujive at 2:59 PM on June 18, 2005

mr grimm ... not everything you suggest is 100% possible ... some of us have to commute, buy food, etc etc from the power structure ... but much of what you suggest is the way we'll have to go

boycotting the mainstream media and voting for 3rd parties are possible now and we should do that ...
posted by pyramid termite at 3:29 PM on June 18, 2005

This pronoun, "its," to what vibration government does it refer to?

And yeah, this is a pretty incoherent opinion piece. I have no idea what she is trying to say specifically. It would be interesting if it wasn't so diffuse.

Try again.
posted by elwoodwiles at 3:39 PM on June 18, 2005

Here's a more in-depth article she wrote on salon over a year ago about being in the pentagon while OSP was going on. It was very intresting, and I'm kind of suprised this drivel came from the same person.
posted by delmoi at 6:09 PM on June 18, 2005

Pah, resistance is EASY.

Vote with your dollar. Don't purchase from companies that do things you disapprove of. And divest of such shares, too, if you own 'em.

That's all. That's all you have to do.

Well, not all: you also have to get damn clear about what is and is not important to you.

And, oh, is that going to hurt.

So start small. Baby steps. Baby formula: if you think it is damn important that newborn infants receive breast milk for feeding -- and you do, because it takes no effort whatsoever to comfirm that nearly every nutritional scientist says so -- and you make the effort to find out whether Nestle corporation, one of the largest formula companies, has behaved ethically in its marketing of its formula... why, you discover that you'd best not buy Nestle products any more.

Can you do that? Flip the candybar and see if it's a Nestle product, and put it back if it is?

Good. You're resisting. Now, do the same for every other significant consumable product you purchase. What sort of shit is your next music album's owner up to? How about the company that made your steak? Is that slavery chocolate? Is that coffee paying its farmers fairly? Is that handsoap tested on animals?

It's a pain in the ass, finding these things out.

But it's very easy.
posted by five fresh fish at 7:17 PM on June 18, 2005

did the workers get paid fairly? does the company provide medical insurance? is it farmed in a sustainable manner? (can we continue the lunacy with pesticides and herbicides?) is it endangered? (is overfishing an important issue to you?)

small ideas. easy to find out. might be difficult to not purchase something that violates your standards. might be worth the effort.

posted by five fresh fish at 7:20 PM on June 18, 2005

Agreed. Examine each thing you do in the marketplace and use an informed moral compass to navigate choices and decisions...i.e., What F3 said.
posted by Dunvegan at 7:31 PM on June 18, 2005

Historically, resistance only occurs when people have no other choice; state repression won't leave them alone and the choice becomes flee or be victimized. We are so far from that point that "smash the state" rhetoric is laughable.

That being said, the U.S. appears to be very close to, if not already there, a "stuck state" wherein social and political change is no longer possible through establishment institutions. The most recent political violence has all been from the reactionary end of the political spectrum -- and it appears to have contributed to the current impass.

For any sort of revolutionary or insurrectionary violence to occur, the level of state repression will have to increase substantially. As screwed up politically as things are now, that doesn't seem like it is the direction we are going in the near or mid term and it is extremely unclear where things will be going in the long term.

As far as Karen K. goes, she didn't understand what was going on around her when she was working at the Pentagon and she seems to understand even less now.
posted by warbaby at 9:04 PM on June 18, 2005

Nobody knows if you can build democracy at the barrel of a gun because it's never been tried before. nixerman

*shakes head and walks away*
posted by nola at 9:19 PM on June 18, 2005

I think what someone who has worked behind the scenes at the Department of Defense vs. someone who has not bears some consideration. I am not saying that everyone should rise against tyranny at this point in time, but it would be a fools choice to just stand by knowing what we do in this date and time. Refer to Thomas Jefferson as to what your next steps should be as Americans (vs. 'Muricans)
posted by mk1gti at 9:58 PM on June 18, 2005

As far as Karen K. goes, she didn't understand what was going on around her when she was working at the Pentagon and she seems to understand even less now.
Spoken from the standpoint of someone who doesn't know a goddamn thing about Karen K.
I encourage all who are considering what this person said about Karen K. to do their own research on Google or whatever search engine you prefer. Once you have concluded your research, I think you'll find she has much more credibility than her detractors have.
posted by mk1gti at 10:41 PM on June 18, 2005

Can you do that? Flip the candybar and see if it's a Nestle product, and put it back if it is?

You're crazy. Lemme axe you sumthun: Do you have any idea how many companies are under the "Philip Morris" (now Altria) banner, just for example?

Here's a small list:
  1. Cigarettes: Alpine, Basic, Benson & Hedges, Bristol, Bucks, Cambridge, Chesterfield, Collector's Choice, Commander, English Ovals, Lark, L&M, Marlboro, Merit, Parliament, Players, Saratoga, Virginia Slims
  2. Drinks: General Foods International, Gevalia, Maxim, Maxwell House, Sanka, Starbucks, Yuban, Country Time, Crystal Light, Kool-Aid, Tang, Capri Sun, Country Time, Crystal Light, Kool-Aid Bursts, Tang, Total Balance
  3. Food: OscarMeyer, Louis Rich, Kraft, Lunchables, Stove-Top, Taco Bell, California Pizza Kitchen, DiGiorno, Jack's, Tombstone, Breakstone's, Breyers, Knudsen, Light n' Lively, Philadelphia, Athenos, Churny, Cracker Barrel, Handi-Snacks, Harvest Moon, Hoffman's, Kraft, Polly-O, Cheez Whiz, Kraft, Old English, Velveeta, Chips Ahoy, Ginger Snaps, Lorna Doone, Mallomars, Newtons, Nillas, Oreos, SnackWell's, Stella D'Oro, Cheese Nips, Honey Maid, Premium, Ritz, Stoned Wheat Thins, Triscuit, Uneeda, Waverly, Wheat Thins, Zwieback, Altoids, Callard & Bowser, Life Savers, Planters peanuts, Terry's, Toblerone, A-1 steak sauce, Bull's Eye barbecue sauce, Claussen pickles, Good Seasons salad dressings, Grey Poupon mustard, Kraft sauces, dips, mayonnaise, ketchup, and dressings, Miracle Whip, Oven Fry coating mix, Sauceworks, Seven Seas Salad Dressings, Shake 'n Bake coating mix, Certo pectin, Cool Whip, Dream Whip, D-Zerta, Jello, Knox gelatin, Kraft ice-cream toppings, Minute pudding, Sure-Jell pectin, Alpha-Bits, Fruit & Fiber, Raisin Bran, Shredded Wheat, Toasties, 100% Bran, Balance bars, Ever-Fresh fruit preservative, Jenny Craig bars, Milk-Bone dog biscuits, Minute Rice, Oasis bars and much, much, much more.
The only way you're going to be able to feed yourself without feeling guilty is if you either:
  1. Grow your own food.
  2. Suck it up and find a different way to protest besides boycott.
posted by Civil_Disobedient at 4:45 AM on June 19, 2005

start the revolution when the grammars correct.
posted by sgt.serenity at 6:39 AM on June 19, 2005

The historian Robert McCollough authored "The Founding Fathers". He was interviewed last week on a local public radio and said something on point about resistance:

He pointed out that during our American Revolution, 30% of European immigrants to America were for the revolt, 30% were for the King and staying with England, and another 30% were waiting to see how things turn out.

And that is during the time George Washington is crossing the Delaware.

I need some help here. Have these numbers really changed today?

Thought for the week:

"we would be better advised to confront our own existential cowardice.

Political leaders amass power only through our moral exhaustion; they are strong only because we have allowed ourselves to become weak."
posted by goodnature at 6:56 AM on June 19, 2005

CD: So start small. If you can not eliminate Philip Morris from your life, eliminate one of its holdings.

Does Taco Bell treat its employees all right? If not, quit eating there. Is Toblerone using slavery chocolate? If so, quit eating it. What does Kraft do re: environmental waste and employee relations?

The bottom line is that you must make good with your voting dollar, or you are simply part of the global problem. The tough part is deciding if you've got the balls to make the effort.
posted by five fresh fish at 7:35 AM on June 19, 2005

I find it interesting that in a conversation about revolution against the government we are talking about boycotting with our consumer dollars.

I understand that the government is probably primarily controlled by large corporate interests. Thus, not supporting the large "evil" corporations might have an effect if we were able to wake America out of their uninformed, irresponsible, consumption death cycle (TM) and get them to "vote" with their dollar too.

However, it is my opinion that addressing the issue that government should not be controlled by corporations and that dollars should not be ballots might be a more effective tactic in the long run.
posted by jopreacher at 8:16 AM on June 19, 2005

Many of us already do those things, concerning corporations and products--unfortunately, they don't change Govt. policy or actions. Resistance against Philip Morris (not the worst company around by a long shot) does not affect lying about wars or Patriot Acts or anything that is eroding our Constitutional rights. Nor does it stop illegal torture and abuse by our Government. The recent tobacco settlement reduction shows that corporations will spend money on lobbyists and politicians whether they have a 17% market share or a 87% market share.

Maybe we could shine a brighter light on people like this? And try to get the media to cover them more? Mother of dead soldier vilifies Bush over war: PRESIDENT RIDICULED AT INTERFAITH RALLY (Gold Star Families for Peace and Clergy and Laity Network)
posted by amberglow at 8:58 AM on June 19, 2005

If you want to boycott (and also support good companies), this might be a good place to start too--THE NEW BLACKLIST: Corporate America Caves In to the Christers
(and more--the backlash from the right because of that article)
posted by amberglow at 9:11 AM on June 19, 2005

and speaking of the Iraqi insurgents (and all Iraqis), how do you think they feel when they see statements like these? ...but all of us can agree that the world’s terrorists have now made Iraq a central front in the war on terror,” said the president.
... “Our troops are fighting these terrorists in Iraq so you will not have to face them here at home.”

One more time: This is horseshit. First off, I hope that no Iraqis figure out that what the President is saying here is, “We decided to turn your country into a battleground because better you than us.” ...

posted by amberglow at 10:52 AM on June 19, 2005

CD: I'm sorry, but that is utter bullshit. What we do in the marketplace matters. I don't buy a single brand or product on your list, but I'm not growing my own food or 'sucking it up.' Perhaps you find something difficult you should try harder. Giving up may be easy, but it's a fool's way out.
posted by elwoodwiles at 12:45 PM on June 19, 2005

CD: I'm sorry, but that is utter bullshit.

The whole thing? Really? Because I'm pretty sure that list is correct. Maybe you should focus your outrage to those parts of my post that were bullshit, instead of laying down a blanket statement that contradicts reality.

I don't buy a single brand or product on your list

And that means your safe. Unless I chose not to list a bunch of other products because, frankly, it would take too long.

My point was that you might be supporting the very companies you hate, inadvertantly, because they don't like to publicize all their sundry financial holdings. If you really think you aren't buying anything from an evil corporation (as opposed to not-evil ones), I've got a bridge I'd like to lease to you with 0% APR financing.

I didn't suggest one "give up," merely "change tactics."
posted by Civil_Disobedient at 2:33 PM on June 19, 2005

Hey, "bullshit" was over the top, apologies.

I wasn't questioning the list, corporations are very, very diversified and, yes, hard to boycott entirely. What I objected to about your post was that you stongly imply that boycotts are ineffective, that our influence in the marketplace is too small to make a difference. We, as consumers, have a huge impact on the marketplace. In many ways we are the marketplace and the corporations have sprung up to address our needs. Now that corporations have torn themselves from our control, like some Frankenstien's monster, we need to reassert control. I think one lever is in the choices we make as consumers. Buy local, buy organic, but most importantly, we should not buy what we do not really need.

I realize you suggest we change tactics, but I have no idea what you might mean by that. I suppose though, that truly changing our consumerist habits is a change in tactics. Not everyone can fight the "revolution," but every little action helps. What doesn't help is an all or nothing, 'you're part of the solution or our part of the problem' mentality I see in many people.
posted by elwoodwiles at 4:09 PM on June 19, 2005

How about buying nothing...eating out of dumpsters and stealing food whenever you need. Look for Food Not Bombs groups around you.
Drastic, yes.
Radical, yes.


Crimethinc can get you Days of War, Nights of Love.

posted by schyler523 at 4:20 PM on June 19, 2005

amberglow: "unfortunately, they don't change Govt. policy or actions."

Unfortunately, too true. But it is a start of sorts.

The other dead-easy thing to do is to become an activist. The first small steps toward that are to do things like contacting one's representatives regarding various issues.

They listen to those who squawk loudest, as our friendly neighbourhood conservative christians have discovered. If we want a liveable society, we had all better get our shit together and counter those that want a taliban.

How much effort does it really take to write a letter every few weeks sounding off on the issue de jour? Not much, as I'm sure even CD will agree.

If anyone is unhappy with the way their government represents them, or unhappy with the way corporations are fucking over everything in the name of profits, they have no one to blame but themselves if they are not at least making such dinky minimal efforts as choosing how to spend their dollar and contacting their political representative.
posted by five fresh fish at 6:41 PM on June 19, 2005

Wow, a surprising number of people on mefi can't read.
posted by nightchrome at 7:16 PM on June 19, 2005

I realize you suggest we change tactics, but I have no idea what you might mean by that.

What I said about boycotts wasn't very fair. A boycott is a nice start, sure. The colonists had a couple of boycotts. Whenever you hit a company's bottom line, you can influence their methods, because, even though a company could simply wait you out, they'd certainly prefer you just got back to buying stuff from them.

A good example would be McDonalds and their use of styrofoam. Thing is, selling styrofoam wasn't their revenue model. So it wasn't terribly difficult to just find another supplier and, viola!, problem solved.

But how do you go about boycotting your government? Not voting? Fat lot of good that will do. How do you attack their primary interests? Stage a protest and hope that the public's had enough of some Florida vegetable that the news media will give you ten seconds of air-time, where they either vastly underreport your numbers, or spin it as a bunch of "uncontrolled rioting."

Public opinion can be influenced in a number of ways. You could, for example, start assassinating the CEOs of some of our country's larger financial institutions (banks, credit card issuers, insurance companies, etc.). In such a situation, your targets are reasonably unprotected. And the public wouldn't get hysterical, because they would know that they weren't targets, because they were just the little guy, not some "rich, fat-cat jerk who probably ruined a bunch of lives, anyway."

Just for example.
posted by Civil_Disobedient at 10:55 PM on June 19, 2005

"Let me be the first to say that I'm not going to do a goddamn thing "in the spirit of the Iraqi insurgents." I firmly believe the US has royally screwed Iraq and has bad motives in its involvement over there, but I do not and will not support terrorists and their methods.

fuck you,


Yet again, fighting the people who invaded your country is considered a "terrorist" act. Yeah, maybe you can suggest Iraqis resist by not buying coca cola, dimwit!
posted by acrobat at 4:58 AM on June 21, 2005

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