Much has been said about the upcoming IMF/World Bank meetings in Prague, by both whiny ineffectual protesters (out loud) and fascist info-state police operatives (in confidential memos).
And then there's the fluff The Prague Post puts out. But what is really going on?
Is the world such a fucked up place because the global financial infrastructure is consolidating?
Or did these problems exist prior to 56 years ago, when the IMF/WB was formed?
I would bet on the latter, although many of our writers would disagree. And the fact they haven't been rounded up by a Stalin or a Hitler and either shot on the spot or sent for re-education says a little bit about how good we have it.
Of course, if they spoke up a little too loud without some political 'roof' protecting them, or guaranteed political powerlessness, well… that traffic cop would definitely find out that you had a joint in the car, or hey, why not just declare that car 'stolen'?
If they really had it out for you and your skin was a little dark, they'd just blow you away, after all, it would be fully justified, wouldn't it?
But I say fuck that, and joke them if they can't take a fuck. Quit all that! That's right; quit it. Start your own reality, after all, you are qualified to live your own life.
Tired or the supermultiinternationalcorporatemegastores?
Then shop at that shitty little potraviny or start your own alternative. Just get your banner out of my face on my way in. There's nothing worse than having to wipe hippie off your shoe.
Direct action doesn't mean destruction. It means taking a positive action and creating an alternative. Hate the World Bank? Start your own. With all the money being spent on hotels, banners, travel and phone calls, you could get some serious seed money going. Why is it that these counter summits and action committees have to wait for this meeting to do something?
Where were they this past year? Oh yeah, they were creating/seeking a media spectacle for themselves to feel good about, to empower themselves through putting down others (who some say profit hugely by putting down millions of unfortunates, which may be so).
But here's an example; when everybody's fighting against how expensive long-distance rates are, and what a monopoly Česky Telecom has, they threw a party and got sponsors and make t-shirts. Are prices lower yet?
No. So we called around until we found a progressive western telecom, asked them how much we could get discount access codes for, and viola; the THINKSmartCard, just 7Kč a minute to the 24 most commonly called counties. That's called direct action.
It's the same with publishing.
When I got here in early 96, there was shit-all to read here, and nothing for free. Did we call up some corporately beholden and editorially straight-jacketed mega publisher and order pre-made magazines on CD-disk? (hello Cosmo, Esquire, Rolling Stone, Bazaar, I'm talking about you!).
No, we started this piece of junk you're holding in your hands. Sure we got ads from the multi-nationals, but then again, I'm multi-national.
Most of the successful corporations which people rail against just want to do one thing; work. They strive to succeed, they plan, they organize, they shop around, and they take it upon themselves to succeed. This is called direct action.
And odds are, if you're doing something positive, they'll help you out. That's why we get paid for the full page ads from multi-nationals and one certain unnamed environmental organization still owes us for the page they bought last year. Positive action?
Capitalism is the bogey word, now that big bad communism is dead, but what is capitalism anyways?
To me, capitalism is the creating of an inter-dependent bother/sisterhood of free co-operation. If you don't pay me for my work, then I can't pay my printer, and then he can't pay his employees, and those employees' kids can't go to summer camp, and we all know what a bummer that can be.
Multiply this chain downward; the printer can't pay the paper guy who clear-cuts the forests, then they can't pay the chemical corporations to bleach the fuck out of it, leaving them unable to pay the African strip mine workers 15 cents a day to get the basic elements, and boom; civil war and mass starvation.
So maybe I shouldn't publish? Not.
For every action, there are many consequences, both foreseeable and unpredictable. MonteSanto should know that their BT Corn is bad, if only because there are simpler solutions.
Protestors should know that massive and generally lame civil disturbances cause police/fascist repression, just look at what the 60s accomplished with over 3 million US citizens in custody in the 90s. If everybody had just done their acid without rubbing their lifestyle in everybody else's faces, just to get a little attention, acid would still be legal.
Same with X.
The Czech Republic is a perfect example of non-government interference, and it's highly successful, but wholly unintentional. Weak government organization allows people to pursue their lives, proving that the free association of individuals brings about prosperity and peace way better than state-mandated obedience to the monopoly of force.
Which is why when my friend Jana took her dream holiday to San Diego California with her boyfriend, they were both arrested, and these were the charges; Smoking in public, unpermitted fire outside of a fire ring, glass on the beach, open container, minor in possession of alcohol (she was 20) and the boyfriend caught an extra charge; contributing to the delinquency of a minor.
But he was able to get bail, being a westerner, she was deported to Mexico as OTM (Other Than Mexican), an undesirable alien who can't return to the US for 7 years, but that's a blessing if you ask me. That shit just don't happen here.
Basically, what I'm saying here is; do something nice with your life, be creative, help others when you can, drop the dogma, it's a waste of time, share your toys and your ideas, and make a little love as often as you can.
But most importantly, when the anger and bile and self-righteousness comes welling up from deep within, do the alternative, think, and take positive action.