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Prayer for the Dying: The Thing Worse than Rebellion

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“The thing worse than rebellion is the thing that causes rebellion.”

–Frederick Douglass

In an eerily ironic twist of fate, less than a month after I wrote a satirical interview with a despicable, fictitious proponent of our anthropocentric and ecocidal American Way of Life[1], an avaricious and bellicose way of life that is definitely a “thing that causes rebellion,” I found myself engaged in an email exchange with a rabid and very real mouth-piece for our capitalist culture of death and domination. But before I get into the emails themselves though, let me establish the basis for our fascinating “dialogue.”

To maintain its hegemony, the ruling class of the dominant culture has to rally the masses against an existential threat in order to justify the existence of a police state apparatus in our so-called “liberal democracy,” or as my “email friend” semi-accurately pointed out, constitutional republic (more on that later). Fortunately for them, the crypto-fascist corporate-state complex has tens of thousands of propaganda-dispensing foot-soldiers, ranging from inculcated “patriotic” citizen journalists to well-compensated sycophantic pundits in the corporate media.

Unswerving devotion to God, capitalism, and country was epidemic in the US until the Soviet Union collapsed and caused the haunting specter of evil “Communists lurking around every corner” to vanish more quickly than a child’s fears of the bogeyman once mom has looked under the bed and given the “all clear.” But cunning as they are, the US ruling elite contrived a replacement ideological adversary. Potentially ubiquitous and infinitely malevolent, Terrorism, the new enemy against which the dutiful are manning the bulwarks, has stoked the dying embers of patriarchal Calvinism; “free” markets and rampant consumerism; and pathological nationalism. Terrorism is a beautiful thing for those with a vested interested in sustaining the prevailing paradigm. Anyone, anywhere, anytime could be a terrorist, so long as they communicate thoughts or act in ways that pose a real challenge to the status quo.

‘Terrorism’ is a word people use to refer to armed struggles they don’t like.

—-John Burdick, Syracuse University

Burdick makes an excellent point, but the blatant abuse of the word ‘terrorism’ has gone far beyond demonizing those engaged in armed struggles that clash with our greed-driven, imperialist, nature-dominating system. Aside from brown-skinned denizens of the Middle East and Central and South America with the audacity to oppose the Washington Consensus militarily with their “terrorism,” our corporatist government has determined that we are plagued by a host of “domestic terrorists.” The primary threats, according to the FBI, are the “sinister” nonhuman animal and Earth defenders whom the feds have labeled as “eco-terrorists.”

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While many people recognize that we are in the midst of a global ecocrisis, including climate change, food shortages, rampant deforestation, the Sixth Extinction, human overpopulation, the rapidly decreasing availability of potable water, imperialist resource wars, and more, the rotten-to-the-core status quo still has a core constituency of die-hards who are so blind, hard-hearted, indoctrinated, or highly paid that they vigorously support a system that is destroying the very planet which sustains us.

And few exemplify the abhorrent ecocide-enabling champions of capitalist “democracy”[2] better than the craven and ill-educated person (or people) who are behind an Internet entity which calls itself “Target of Opportunity,” which can be found at http://www.targetofopportunity.com/index.html

Whilst exploring their site, I was surprised to note the extremely provocative and stunningly benighted nature of their content. Target of Opportunity’s (ToO’s) “Hit List,” which comes up when one clicks on the link labeled “enemy targets,” consists of an odd montage of people and groups which ToO has determined are “radical Marxist liberals,” including Cindy Sheehan, the ALF, the Berkeley City Council, Code Pink, National War Tax Resistance Coordinating Committee, Paul Watson, Progressive Democrats of America, and three of my associates in the animal liberation movement, Jerry Vlasak, Camille Hankins and Steve Best.

Curiosity piqued, I decided to contact ToO at the email address the site provides,

top@targetofopportunity.com

. Here is the intriguing back and forth I had with the twisted and pusillanimous soul(s) who would only identify as “The Men and Women of TargetOfOpportunity.com Located Throughout the United States of America”:

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3/30/09:

Jason S. Miller wrote:

Hello,

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Jason Miller, Senior Editor and Founder of TPC, is a tenacious forty something vegan straight edge activist who lives in Kansas and who has a boundless passion for animal liberation and anti-capitalism. Addicted to reading and learning, he is mostly (more...)
 

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"God forbid we should ever be twenty years wi... by MARGARET BASET on Saturday, Apr 11, 2009 at 4:18:39 AM
maybe you'd have the problems of your world so... by shadow dancer on Saturday, Apr 11, 2009 at 6:18:11 AM
Fricking GREAT article my friend!!!"Terrorism... by William Whitten on Saturday, Apr 11, 2009 at 12:36:27 PM
I think I killed the poor guy too!... by William Whitten on Saturday, Apr 11, 2009 at 12:49:25 PM