Ian Dickson on Tue, 8 Apr 2003 23:02:54 +0200 (CEST)

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Re: <nettime> deserting the art bunker by John Jordan

>The "no" is a clear rejection of the single economic blueprint where
>the rule of capital is absolute, while the "many yesses" refer to the
>multitude of diverse, people-centered alternatives.
>The act of desertion is not just saying no - in fact its saying yes,
>yes to other ways of running our society,
>yes to a future without  war,
>yes to a culture of life.

Be careful what you ask for......

You make a good rallying cry for people to act, to get involved, which I 
agree with.

But don't assume, or even suspect, that if they did that they would stop 
war, or create a utopian society.

I have been in Direct Action. I have taken part in creative campaigns to 
raise awareness and make points.

I have been dragged away from Whitehall by police, for the offence of 
blocking a road as part of an anti-nuclear protest.

I have been threatened with dire legal action over a student sit in the 
80's. (The Uni powers didn't like our media campaign, which was based 
around the local press taking pictures of students working 24 hours a 
day. We won that one)

I have run for election to local political office twice. Failed both 

I have been the victim of burglary, and as a witness to an assault, 
threatened with being firebombed if I turned up at court. I did. He went 
down. I wasn't bombed. Only one other witness turned up. The other 30 or 
so seemed to lose their memory.

I support the war in Iraq. My only worry at first was that the Allies 
were underarmed.

My wife supports the war. She grew up in Lithuania, a country that was 
invaded by the Russians and occupied for 50 years without a peep from 
anyone else. The Russians engaged in mass murder. They quashed without 
mercy those who were brave enough to take up arms against them in the 
late 40's and 50's. (And controlled the medai to ensure that no one ever 
heard about it). Her grandfather spent 10 years in the Gulag.

In 1990 she was 22 years old and, with her mum and all their friends, 
part of a human shield that surrounded a radio station. They expected 
Russian tanks to come and kill them, but they stood their ground (the 
Russians had just killed about 20 demonstrators in Vilnius).

She understands oppression, and the fact that the Iraqis suffered a 
regime way more ruthless than the late Soviet one makes her welcome the 
war. Her views of the French are currently unprintable.

Most people do not get involved or active in political things because 
they do not feel under threat and have lives to lead. There is nothing 
wrong with that.

So campaign for people to live the life they feel is right, but don't be 
surprised if what they want, and are willing to fight for, isn't what 
you might hope.

Finally (on matters economic)

I've never met anyone who thinks that the rule of capital is or should 
be absolute in economic terms, only people who give capital varying 
degrees of importance. Also anyone who thinks that well allocated 
capital causes environmental degradation really should go and see what 
badly allocated capital does in societies with poor feedback mechanisms 
- try Eastern Europe and Russia for starters and then go in search of 
the Iraqi marshes that are so clearly visible on any maps more than 20 
years old.
Ian Dickson
01452 862637

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