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A Soundtrack to Revolution Think about it for a moment. Every aspect of life has a rhythm. The solar system orbiting around the sun. The never-ending process of birth, growth, degeneration and death. The changing of the seasons. The metamorphosis of day to night and back again. Your heartbeat. The watch on your wrist… ...

"How many third world dictators will this get me?"
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Bad news folks. I have it on good word that the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund aren't meeting in Prague this month after all.

It is the Midwestern Association of Wing Nut Manufacturers that will be occupying the Congress Center in the third week of September; the global capitalists will fly their private jets onto an island airstrip surrounded by emerald seas in the South Pacific, an unmapped paradise somewhere between the remnants of Bikini Atoll and Skeletor's summer retreat.

'The Prague Summit' was just a six year long, immaculately orchestrated diversion to make us think the rulers of the Universe were still stupid enough to conduct business within arms reach of the benighted masses.

And we fell for it.

But who needs 20,000 bankers in town to protest anyway? I agree with those in the movement who caution against the development of a tour culture in which we follow the guilty institutions around as if they were pin-striped versions of the Grateful Dead.

Their business should be obstructed whenever possible, but demonstrations of our power should also happen irrespective of the Murder Inc. concert schedule.

Some of the most powerful demonstrations in recent memory took place during the anti-nuclear movement of the 1980s, often with no objects of protest within shouting distance but the ideas themselves.

This not only forced the media to focus on those ideas, but also kept the protest focused. Current protest culture is weakened by both the tour mentality and extremely counterproductive battles with working class cops.

The latter is partly the fault of the media, partly the fault of an incredibly stupid handful of anarchists, and partly the fault of mad dog cops.

As for TV/print journalists, they will continue to latch onto the Protestor Vs. Police angle, 20% because it sells, 20% because of the structural limitations of their media (i.e. complexity doesn't fit on the screen) and 60% because they are the ideological foot soldiers of capitalism. The less red meat thrown at them, the less they can drain the blood in front of millions of would-be converts.

But there will continue to be plenty of red meat so long as the Black Block et. al. is on the scene providing the quark of confrontation needed to bring down mailed fist of police violence. These kids think that our struggle can be furthered by breaking a random policeman's nose and spray painting Nike Town.

But our struggle can only be furthered by making common and peaceful cause with the timid and uninformed majority of the population, including those who work for the police because they were born poor.

Revolutions succeed when the blade of the state (the military and police) turns on its former rulers, not when teenage anarchists smoke enough crack to think they can do battle with the sharp end of this blade. And razor sharp it is.

As for cops, they will be violent with or without provocation, but it makes strategic sense to respect their overwhelming ability to crush skulls and fill the streets and TV screens with a wall of tear gas. At this stage of the game, there is nothing to be gained by confrontation beyond passive civil disobedience.

If you see someone about to throw a bottle or torch a police car, stop him. It takes a single moron to send months of planning and hard work up in rancid smoke.

I think I speak for many when I say we come wrapped in the delicate contradiction of "peaceful resistance" to make a stand and make a fist, not to see that fist crushed under the weight of armored tanks. Clearly, we cannot always control this, but to the extent we can, we should.

In the meantime, the world should know what the Czech Interior Ministry has been doing to its people in this "free society." Even the World Bank has criticized the extreme propaganda that Czech state and private media have been spewing about the protests and their organizers: telling people to horde food, leave town and - my own favorite - avoid all contact and conversation with protestors.

Was there a revolution in this country or not? Actually, no. The claim that 1989 was all Velvet and no Revolution has veracity, and as far as the political elite is concerned, democracy means the freedom to shut up, consume and watch television.

But what else is new in the bourgeois west? Maybe the Czech Republic is ready for the EU after all. Or maybe just when this country was mastering the complacent model of democracy, it started going quickly, and ever so loudly, out of style.

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