[The introduction and questions providing the catalyst for Best’s deconstruction of capitalism, corporatism, speciesism and the like are by Jason Miller]
“As ye sow, so shall ye reap…”
Endless resource wars, globalization, privatization, profits over life, exploitation, raping the Earth, poisoning and irradiating the environment, exponentially criminal levels of unnecessary suffering caused by the concentration of wealth into the hands of a few, Climate Change, alarming rates of species extinction, Peak Oil, a jungle of cronyism and corruption so dense you couldn’t hack your way through it with the sharpest of machetes, and increasingly powerful monopoly entities intensifying their stranglehold on the “free market” are the rotting fruits that comprise the bitter harvest we are reaping by the bushel-basketful.
And our Karma’s not through with us yet. Not by a long-shot. As long as we maintain our jejune, myopic, and infinitely idiotic devotion to capitalism, all but a select few of the Earth’s inhabitants will continue to suffer unnecessarily. Ultimately, our malignant system, premised as it is on infinite growth and the relentless pursuit of profit, will be our undoing and will destroy the planet. While it is true that many of the ills that capitalism has amplified into crises have plagued humanity in some fashion throughout history, and it is clear that we all harbor varying degrees of greed, ruthlessness, and selfishness in our hearts, at what point do we wake up and recognize that we are committing mass homicide, ecocide, and suicide through our monumentally stupid loyalty to a socioeconomic paradigm that essentially ensures that most human beings will frequently manifest the most rotten aspects of their natures?
When Dr. Steve Best (our “czar” of animal and earth liberation at Cyrano’s Journal Online) agreed to my request for an interview via email, I had no inkling that the result would be such a powerful intellectual weapon in the struggle against capitalism.
(As an aside, I join Steve Best in offering my unwavering intellectual and moral support for direct action anti-capitalist groups such as the ALF and ELF. Monkey wrenching is a critical tactic and its practitioners are indispensable allies in our struggle against a merciless and morally reprehensible system).
Departing from his passionate commitment to animal liberation, Dr. Steve Best presents an incredibly comprehensive and convincing case that it is both morally imperative and essential to the continued existence of life on Earth that we anti-capitalists prevail:
1. What inspired you to become a leading intellectual proponent of the Animal Liberation movement?
I don’t know how “leading” I am (or “intellectual”), and the elitist tinges of this – Marx’s intelligentsia as the “head” of the “body” of the sensate working masses – sets off a riot of discordant sounds in my head as it is disharmonious with the decentralist emphasis of anarchism and ALF principles. All that aside, however, it’s not like I have a cutthroat squadron of American Idol-like professoriate contestants vying for my title. Or, I might say, the Kiss of Death on the academic market. It’s sad but true, that no other philosophers – certainly not dogmatic peaceniks like Peter Singer, Tom Regan, and Gary Francione – have slithered down the brick walls of the ivory tower with their bed sheets to proclaim their allegiance to the most elementary moral principle and axiom of common sense – the right to self-defense (whereby we are what I call the “extensional” or “proxy” agents of animals who for the most part cannot defend themselves).
So, as for those who have burned their paper-thin veneer of detached, objective scholarly commitment and ripped off the straightjacket of academic normalization, I stand alone. Or at least among a crowd large enough to dance on the head of a pin. Some academics have written about animal and earth liberation issues, and some defend animal liberation tactics amidst beer-induced bravado, but few make the transition from scholarship of animal liberation to public advocacy, which I think is crucial. And of course I have in mind here a particularly type of peddle-to-the-metal advocacy that flouts corporate/speciesist laws and defends pretty much whatever it takes to break down the doors that hold animals captive to the most brutal bastards Satan could conjure up, including criminal action and sabotage tactics – and of course the ALF will emblazon the night with a fire bomb but not harm a hair on a vivisector’s head, apropos to their nonviolent credo. But the peaceniks regurgitate the repressive and speciesist discourse of the corporate-state complex and demonize the tough tactics all-too often needed to liberate an animal as “terrorist” or “violence.” But no sooner do they bray these platitudes of betrayal do they sink in the quicksand of hypocrisy and inconsistency. For any schoolchild knows that sometimes sabotage and even “violence” are necessary to stop evil.
Click the link below to read this lengthy, graphic-laden and excellent piece in its entirety: