Don't just stand there

James Ridgeway in the Nov. 13 Village Voice:

Power may be wielded to advance ideology, but more often, ideology is a front for the simple protection of power. Bush may pose as a Texas wildcatter, a Bible-thumping Christian zealot, a war-ready patriot, and a champion of the common man. But in reality, he's a blue-blooded New England Methodist who dodged the draft by joining the National Guard and pledged for Skull and Bones at Yale. And he's never had anything remotely like an ideology, with the possible exception of the 12-Step Program. If Bush succeeds in spite of an elitist pedigree, it's because he heads—and epitomizes—today's Republican Party. This is a party that wields the money and power of Big Business, shrewdly woven into a populist, patriotic ideology designed to appeal to a country so desperate for passionate ideals that in return it will give them the license to rob their pensions and send their children to war.

Those who fail to fall for all this are left feeling powerless and depressed, wondering where to go next. The answer is not terribly hopeful, but it is very simple—and it has nothing whatsoever to do with party politics. Take every opportunity to oppose the power structure: March on Washington, go on strike, organize a boycott, start a resistance radio station, take to the streets with the anarchists. If you are looking for models, they are all over the rest of the world: the East German Christian opposition to the Honecker police state that led to the toppling of the Berlin Wall, the massive Czech uprising, the South African overthrow of apartheid, the protests in Seattle. Don't wait for the Democrats to do it. Do it yourself. Stand for something.

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Published on November 29, 2002 12:47 PM.

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