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<nettime> RU Sirius: The Revolution - A Political Party
Pit Schultz on Tue, 6 Oct 1998 08:26:36 +0200 (MET DST)


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<nettime> RU Sirius: The Revolution - A Political Party


THE REVOLUTION: A Political Party

(Published originally at www.disinfo.com.)

by R.U. Sirius

"Religion is poison, sure. Hey man. So is ideology."
                        Yippie MauMau of Tibet, 1969


"We need history because it is the storage closet in which the costumes are
kept. We are the first era that is truly learned so far as 'costumes' are
concerned -- we are better prepared than any time has ever been for the
Great Carnival, the most spirited Mardi-Gras laughter, the most reckless
fun, for the transcendental summit of the utmost idiocy, for a truly
Aristophanean mockery of the universe. We can be the parodists of world
history, the Punchinellos of God! If nothing else living today has a future
-- perhaps it will be our laugher that has one."
                        Nietzsche

"We're unmaking history here!"
                        Hassan I Sirius, in an email to Lisa-Marie Presley

PRE-RAMBLE:

In 1996 I ran for President.

OK. I walked actually.

Honestly? I laid down. I was high on morphine one evening at a Chinese
restaurant in Berkeley while the (UN)Democratic Convention was busy crowning

President Groovy and his stiffy (Al Gore.) It appeared in front of my
imagination in flashing neon like a Jenny Holzer video sculpture: DERISION
96: FUCK THE VOTE!

I couldn't shake it. It was a perfect slogan. And that ought to have been
enough. I mean, consider the alternatives.

I imagined the disenfranchised American masses rising up. Concerned pundits
driven to apoplexy because everywhere Clinton, Dole, and Perot went there
would be a crowd of lunatics shouting 'R.U. Sirius?!!' What other possible
response to the politics of the moment? There would have been copulating in
the voting booths. Dan Rather's electronic circuits would have sizzled and
smoked in astonishment as I blipped onto the radar screen. 1%... one lousy
fucking percent was all I asked!!!

Fuck 'Em If They Can't Take A Joke or When the Going Gets Wired, the Weird
Turn Sirius:

It didn't catch on.

I want to propose to you. That's right, you with the microchip up your
sphincter. And the rest of you too... even the ones who write me email
saying stuff like, 'I agree with what you're saying about total revolution
and free food, needles, and condoms, but why didn't you say anything about
the face on mars?'

Let's play a game. Let's play wonk. Let's imagine that we actually have the
power to make policy in this democracy.

I'm going to run a serious campaign this time.

Let's call this new party the 'The Revolution.' (Note to Richard and the
Disinfo crew: I was gonna call it the 'Alternative Party' but instead I'm
changing the name to The Revolution, because I really like the chicken
burritos [without the onions] at Taco Bell. And I figure that if they're
advertising revolution right now, it's gotta be mass market. I know... lame.

But hang with me for a moment. I wanna get some votes in this election, not
just please a handful of too-hip-to-breathe compatriots with pictures of
Lynette 'Squeaky' Fromme and Antonin Artaud on their computer monitors. I
want millions of votes. And I figure; if we can have an 'alternative music',

if we can have an 'alternative culture' that's embraced by Volkswagen and
Jordache jeans, why can't we have an 'alternative' political party and get
at least half as many votes as Eddie Vedder sells CDs? Are you following me?

Am I making sense here? I think this makes sense. We can hype The
Revolution( in the context of 90s content-free bohemianism. 'Get a
cappuccino at Starbucks and then Vote The Revolution(!' Voting radical as a
fashion accessory. How can it miss?)

Perry Farrell can organize the campaign tour. Reebok and Nike( will battle
Coke and Pepsi for the opportunity to endorse. In fact, this may be an ideal

way to avoid the trap of being beholden to dozens of wealthy and powerful
financial contributors. We will instead be beholden to just one sponsor.
Let's say it's Reebok. I agree that, for instance, if I'm elected President
I will wear Reeboks everywhere. I wear the logo on my t-shirt during State
dinners, press conferences, etc. We paint the Reebok( logo on the front of
the White House. During the inauguration ceremonies, Monica Lewinsky will
appear wearing naught but a lovely pair of Reeboks. Replace the stars on the

flag with the Reebok logo. We give Reebok all of the advantages that other
politicians give all their contributors. But then we're free to screw all
the other mega-corporations if and when we see fit.

Looking further down the road, I can imagine sponsorship replacing taxation.

Three decades ago, corporations carried more than 30% of the tax burden. Now

corporations carry less than 10%, and we all have to make up the slack. But
what if we could trick the corporations into sponsoring social programs and
infrastructure. 'Alabama's Generous Food Stamp Program is Brought to You By
Burger King.' OK, I know... further down the road, as I said.

The Revolution( 15 POINT PARTY PLATFORM FOR NATIONAL POLITICS

NOTE: All of these platform points are stated simply in three-or-less
sentences. The reality would be far more complex. I'm not going to nerd out
here with details and qualifiers. What I will be doing is detailing in each
one of these, one by one, in the months to come.

1) We will repeal five times as many laws as we pass.  We need to simplify
and clarify the rules of the game. We will do a better job of enforcing and
obeying a few reasonable rules than thousands upon thousands of
incomprehensible statutes.

2) End all corporate welfare. Let allegedly-free enterprise stand on its own

two feet.

3) No Federal Personal Income Taxes for individuals with incomes of less
than $100,000 per year. Encourage states and counties to also end taxation
of middle-class and poor individuals. Institute a flat tax on all income
over $100,000.

4) Legalize most pleasure drugs, prostitution, and gambling. Institute a
'sin tax,' taxing these activities at 100% to make up for some of the funds
lost as the result of #3. Use part of this tax income to make counseling and

rehabilitation easily available in all locales.

5) Close down the prison/industrial complex. Pardon all prisoners who are in

for non-violent crimes involving sums involving $25,000 or less, provided
they have no known history of violent activities. Pardon all prisoners
listed with Amnesty International.

6) Defend civil liberties. For the first time in recent memory, let's have a

federal government that respects The Constitution and The Bill of Rights.
Let's have the ACLU and the EFF and other pro-rights organizations inside
the federal government.

7) Stop policing the world. Become just another member of the UN, with
responsibilities equivalent to our numbers. Reduce the Pentagon's budget by
at least 50%.

8) Close down the National Security State. Since the end of World War II,
representative democracy has been hostage to the National Security State.
Release all secret documents (excluding only those recent ones that present
a very clear and present danger), fire the CIA, and reform the federal
intelligence apparatus.

9) Put environmental concerns before profits and jobs.  On the other hand,
put scientific consensus and reason ahead of emotion-based environmentalism.

Protect the environment while limiting Orwellian bureaucratic absurdities.

10) Open federally-funded birth control clinics all across the country,
guaranteeing women in every locale reasonable access to her legal right to
abortion and other forms of birth control.

11) Allow 'autonomous zones.' Offer ways in which localities and even
households can -- with a very few limits -- opt out of the system.

12) Re-establish social services at pre-Reagan levels, for starters. Study
the possibility of a 'workfare' state that would create an ultimately
self-sustaining 'generic' maintenance economy that would involve those who
don't receive income independently, or through employment, in the
production, distribution, and receivership of life's essentials. Ultimately,

an advanced high tech society will need to end the  employment/make money
ethic entirely or risk a total psychotic break from the social/environmental

pollution wreaked by billions of desperate people on a hustle.

13) Study the possibility of restructuring the economic/money system toward
making money consistent with actual value in an age where
money-as-information is excessively abstracted from the creation of real
wealth and unfairly favors those who know how to manipulate it.  Also,
question the oligarchic power of those who control the money system, such as

the Federal Reserve, the IMF, and the World Bank, reforming or possibly
eliminating those organizations.

14) Fund a 'Manhattan Project Toward Utopia.' Finance and encourage
altruistic scientific and technological projects geared towards
breakthroughs that can diminish or eliminate scarcity, disease, and other
forms of suffering that most people would prefer not to experience.
Establish a principal of universal access to the products of such
breakthroughs.

15) Victory Over Horseshit!***  The political process in America is hostage
to certain obvious absurdities that are an embarrassment before the
civilized world: like the continuing embargo against Cuba (and particularly
the Helms/Burton bill), the excessive numbers of state executions, our
refusal to sign the land mine treaty, the opposition to policies like needle

exchange that are geared towards slowing down a plague, refusal of funding
for international birth control, ad infinitum. Let's have a national
government that calls ridiculous horseshit what it is.

What Is To Be Done

It's all a monstrous joke! It's serious. I'm Sirius. Can we MAKE FUN and
still get serious political change on the public agenda?

Can we do it any other way than by making fun?

I hope that volunteers will come forward to help put this party together.
Let me be honest. I haven't done a fucking thing, other than write this
thing that's in front of you. Like most of you, I've been busy trying to
keep alive.

Needs include: researchers to do the detail work on the platform.
Researchers, or people with a working knowledge of the political system, to
delineate and deal with the legalities of forming a political party, getting

on ballots, fundraising, etc. Fund-raisers. Members. Media coverage. Lecture

invitations. Endorsements from the famous and the fashionable. Advocates.
Avocados. Cans of tuna fish. Pencils. Ad infinitum.

Wouldn't it be fun if a group of non-ideological, non-purist, fun-loving
non-believers actually mounted a campaign to end oppression, just to see if
it might work? Could be the best role-playing game you've ever tried.

*** VICTORY OVER HORSESHIT was originally the slogan of Art Kleps
'Neo-American Church,' a religious organization started by a psychedelic
prankster extraordinaire in the 1960s.


The Revolution: A Political Party, and other The Revolution propaganda
appears at http://www.disinfo.com

To become a member of The Revolution send email to
Unverified {AT} aol.com.
Write Member in the Subject Header

To become a Volunteer for The Revolution send email to
Unverifiec {AT} aol.com
Write Volunteer in the Subject Header

The official site of The Revolution
http://www.the-revolution.org



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Date: Mon, 5 Oct 1998 16:46:18 -0700 (PDT)
From: "R.U. Sirius" <rusirius {AT} well.com>
Message-Id: <199810052346.QAA27586 {AT} well.com>
To: pit {AT} midas.in-berlin.de
Subject: this one is for sending out to the NETTIME list...


THE REVOLUTION: A Political Party

(Published originally at www.disinfo.com.)

by R.U. Sirius

"Religion is poison, sure. Hey man. So is ideology."
			Yippie MauMau of Tibet, 1969
         

"We need history because it is the storage closet in which the costumes are
kept. We are the first era that is truly learned so far as 'costumes' are
concerned -- we are better prepared than any time has ever been for the
Great Carnival, the most spirited Mardi-Gras laughter, the most reckless
fun, for the transcendental summit of the utmost idiocy, for a truly
Aristophanean mockery of the universe. We can be the parodists of world
history, the Punchinellos of God! If nothing else living today has a future
-- perhaps it will be our laugher that has one."
			Nietzsche

"We're unmaking history here!"
			Hassan I Sirius, in an email to Lisa-Marie Presley

PRE-RAMBLE:

In 1996 I ran for President.

OK. I walked actually.

Honestly? I laid down. I was high on morphine one evening at a Chinese
restaurant in Berkeley while the (UN)Democratic Convention was busy crowning
President Groovy and his stiffy (Al Gore.) It appeared in front of my
imagination in flashing neon like a Jenny Holzer video sculpture: DERISION
96: FUCK THE VOTE!

I couldn't shake it. It was a perfect slogan. And that ought to have been
enough. I mean, consider the alternatives.

I imagined the disenfranchised American masses rising up. Concerned pundits
driven to apoplexy because everywhere Clinton, Dole, and Perot went there
would be a crowd of lunatics shouting 'R.U. Sirius?!!' What other possible
response to the politics of the moment? There would have been copulating in
the voting booths. Dan Rather's electronic circuits would have sizzled and
smoked in astonishment as I blipped onto the radar screen. 1%... one lousy
fucking percent was all I asked!!!

Fuck 'Em If They Can't Take A Joke or When the Going Gets Wired, the Weird
Turn Sirius:

It didn't catch on.

I want to propose to you. That's right, you with the microchip up your
sphincter. And the rest of you too... even the ones who write me email
saying stuff like, 'I agree with what you're saying about total revolution
and free food, needles, and condoms, but why didn't you say anything about
the face on mars?'

Let's play a game. Let's play wonk. Let's imagine that we actually have the
power to make policy in this democracy.

I'm going to run a serious campaign this time.

Let's call this new party the 'The Revolution.' (Note to Richard and the
Disinfo crew: I was gonna call it the 'Alternative Party' but instead I'm
changing the name to The Revolution, because I really like the chicken
burritos [without the onions] at Taco Bell. And I figure that if they're
advertising revolution right now, it's gotta be mass market. I know... lame.
But hang with me for a moment. I wanna get some votes in this election, not
just please a handful of too-hip-to-breathe compatriots with pictures of
Lynette 'Squeaky' Fromme and Antonin Artaud on their computer monitors. I
want millions of votes. And I figure; if we can have an 'alternative music',
if we can have an 'alternative culture' that's embraced by Volkswagen and
Jordache jeans, why can't we have an 'alternative' political party and get
at least half as many votes as Eddie Vedder sells CDs? Are you following me?
Am I making sense here? I think this makes sense. We can hype The
Revolution( in the context of 90s content-free bohemianism. 'Get a
cappuccino at Starbucks and then Vote The Revolution(!' Voting radical as a
fashion accessory. How can it miss?)

Perry Farrell can organize the campaign tour. Reebok and Nike( will battle
Coke and Pepsi for the opportunity to endorse. In fact, this may be an ideal
way to avoid the trap of being beholden to dozens of wealthy and powerful
financial contributors. We will instead be beholden to just one sponsor.
Let's say it's Reebok. I agree that, for instance, if I'm elected President
I will wear Reeboks everywhere. I wear the logo on my t-shirt during State
dinners, press conferences, etc. We paint the Reebok( logo on the front of
the White House. During the inauguration ceremonies, Monica Lewinsky will
appear wearing naught but a lovely pair of Reeboks. Replace the stars on the
flag with the Reebok logo. We give Reebok all of the advantages that other
politicians give all their contributors. But then we're free to screw all
the other mega-corporations if and when we see fit.

Looking further down the road, I can imagine sponsorship replacing taxation.
Three decades ago, corporations carried more than 30% of the tax burden. Now
corporations carry less than 10%, and we all have to make up the slack. But
what if we could trick the corporations into sponsoring social programs and
infrastructure. 'Alabama's Generous Food Stamp Program is Brought to You By
Burger King.' OK, I know... further down the road, as I said.

The Revolution( 15 POINT PARTY PLATFORM FOR NATIONAL POLITICS

NOTE: All of these platform points are stated simply in three-or-less
sentences. The reality would be far more complex. I'm not going to nerd out
here with details and qualifiers. What I will be doing is detailing in each
one of these, one by one, in the months to come.

1) We will repeal five times as many laws as we pass.  We need to simplify
and clarify the rules of the game. We will do a better job of enforcing and
obeying a few reasonable rules than thousands upon thousands of
incomprehensible statutes.

2) End all corporate welfare. Let allegedly-free enterprise stand on its own
two feet.

3) No Federal Personal Income Taxes for individuals with incomes of less
than $100,000 per year. Encourage states and counties to also end taxation
of middle-class and poor individuals. Institute a flat tax on all income
over $100,000.

4) Legalize most pleasure drugs, prostitution, and gambling. Institute a
'sin tax,' taxing these activities at 100% to make up for some of the funds
lost as the result of #3. Use part of this tax income to make counseling and
rehabilitation easily available in all locales.

5) Close down the prison/industrial complex. Pardon all prisoners who are in
for non-violent crimes involving sums involving $25,000 or less, provided
they have no known history of violent activities. Pardon all prisoners
listed with Amnesty International.

6) Defend civil liberties. For the first time in recent memory, let's have a
federal government that respects The Constitution and The Bill of Rights.
Let's have the ACLU and the EFF and other pro-rights organizations inside
the federal government.

7) Stop policing the world. Become just another member of the UN, with
responsibilities equivalent to our numbers. Reduce the Pentagon's budget by
at least 50%.

8) Close down the National Security State. Since the end of World War II,
representative democracy has been hostage to the National Security State.
Release all secret documents (excluding only those recent ones that present
a very clear and present danger), fire the CIA, and reform the federal
intelligence apparatus.

9) Put environmental concerns before profits and jobs.  On the other hand,
put scientific consensus and reason ahead of emotion-based environmentalism.
Protect the environment while limiting Orwellian bureaucratic absurdities.

10) Open federally-funded birth control clinics all across the country,
guaranteeing women in every locale reasonable access to her legal right to
abortion and other forms of birth control.

11) Allow 'autonomous zones.' Offer ways in which localities and even
households can -- with a very few limits -- opt out of the system.

12) Re-establish social services at pre-Reagan levels, for starters. Study
the possibility of a 'workfare' state that would create an ultimately
self-sustaining 'generic' maintenance economy that would involve those who
don't receive income independently, or through employment, in the
production, distribution, and receivership of life's essentials. Ultimately,
an advanced high tech society will need to end the  employment/make money
ethic entirely or risk a total psychotic break from the social/environmental
pollution wreaked by billions of desperate people on a hustle.

13) Study the possibility of restructuring the economic/money system toward
making money consistent with actual value in an age where
money-as-information is excessively abstracted from the creation of real
wealth and unfairly favors those who know how to manipulate it.  Also,
question the oligarchic power of those who control the money system, such as
the Federal Reserve, the IMF, and the World Bank, reforming or possibly
eliminating those organizations.

14) Fund a 'Manhattan Project Toward Utopia.' Finance and encourage
altruistic scientific and technological projects geared towards
breakthroughs that can diminish or eliminate scarcity, disease, and other
forms of suffering that most people would prefer not to experience.
Establish a principal of universal access to the products of such
breakthroughs.

15) Victory Over Horseshit!***  The political process in America is hostage
to certain obvious absurdities that are an embarrassment before the
civilized world: like the continuing embargo against Cuba (and particularly
the Helms/Burton bill), the excessive numbers of state executions, our
refusal to sign the land mine treaty, the opposition to policies like needle
exchange that are geared towards slowing down a plague, refusal of funding
for international birth control, ad infinitum. Let's have a national
government that calls ridiculous horseshit what it is.

What Is To Be Done

It's all a monstrous joke! It's serious. I'm Sirius. Can we MAKE FUN and
still get serious political change on the public agenda? 

Can we do it any other way than by making fun?

I hope that volunteers will come forward to help put this party together.
Let me be honest. I haven't done a fucking thing, other than write this
thing that's in front of you. Like most of you, I've been busy trying to
keep alive.

Needs include: researchers to do the detail work on the platform.
Researchers, or people with a working knowledge of the political system, to
delineate and deal with the legalities of forming a political party, getting
on ballots, fundraising, etc. Fund-raisers. Members. Media coverage. Lecture
invitations. Endorsements from the famous and the fashionable. Advocates.
Avocados. Cans of tuna fish. Pencils. Ad infinitum.

Wouldn't it be fun if a group of non-ideological, non-purist, fun-loving
non-believers actually mounted a campaign to end oppression, just to see if
it might work? Could be the best role-playing game you've ever tried.

*** VICTORY OVER HORSESHIT was originally the slogan of Art Kleps
'Neo-American Church,' a religious organization started by a psychedelic
prankster extraordinaire in the 1960s.


The Revolution: A Political Party, and other The Revolution propaganda
appears at http://www.disinfo.com

To become a member of The Revolution send email to 
Unverified {AT} aol.com.  
Write Member in the Subject Header

To become a Volunteer for The Revolution send email to
Unverifiec {AT} aol.com
Write Volunteer in the Subject Header

The official site of The Revolution 
http://www.the-revolution.org
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