RN: Silly political allegiances


Jan Slakov

Dear Renaissance-Network,         Nov. 24

When I saw Brian Hill's birthday wish to Noam Chomsky, I thought that surely
many of you would like to see it too.

It says a lot about the usefulness of seeing beyond the silly political
allegiances people sometimes make...!

From: "Brian Hill" <•••@••.•••>
Subject: Happy Birthday Noam!
Date: Sat, 21 Nov 1998 22:16:45 -0800

Dear Noam;

Wow, how time flies when you're making revolution.  Stanley Diamond
first brought you to my attention while I was working on my Ph.D. in
Marxist Anthropology at the New School for Social Research in New York
in 1968.  During this time I was very involved with some of the Weather
Underground when they were top 10 on the FBI list.

In 1971 I moved to Berkeley and the hills with the back-to-nature
movement and quickly realized that our struggle was not right against
left, but top against bottom, and that we should combine our diverse
cultural/political/economic qualities into new grass roots unities.

I became a mountain man/gold miner in the California hills because the
1872 Mining Act still permits citizens to acquire a basic means of
production, i.e., land, to inhabit and derive subsistence from.  It was
not long before local red necks came to me and requested help so that
they could escape and, perhaps, help transform our oppressive system of
economic and government.  Survivalism grew out of this association.
Soon the grass roots right red necks became involved in such radical
right movements as Neo-Nazi-ism, the Aryan movement, the Identity and
the Tax Resister effort.

At this point I began to introduce these well meaning, but unenlightened
groups to your work.  Miraculously, your books and tapes permitted these
innocent grass roots right folks to see through racism and to begin to
see the real monsters that control too much of the world today.

Now, almost thirty years later, there is growing a new split between the
grass roots and corporate right and a new alliance between the grass
roots right and left here in the Western states.

Thank you, and happy birthday.

Brian Hill
Now I have another little discussion about the usefulness of sharing our
views with people who we see as seriously misled...:-)

One of the people on our list, another Canadian, feels it is unhelpful (to
say the least) for David Orchard to remain involved with the PC (Progressive
Conservative) Party now:

Jeff Jewell writes:

"Does Orchard actually think that his fanclub hopefuls, who held their
noses to join the PC party in support of his ill-conceived leadership
bid, really want him to remain in the PC party now that they've
rejected all that he stands for?"

I think this apparent conflict between Jeff Jewell and my views is worth
airing with this list because you should see that there are very different
ways of seeing David Orchard's leadership gambit and also that I feel (and I
think Jeff does too) that it is important that those of us who share common
convictions not allow differences of opinion on matters of strategy to
create unbreachable rifts.

Jeff wrote (to someone else who had supported Orchard's leadership bid) (on
Mon, 16 Nov 1998 19:41:16 -0800):

"I admire your faith in Orchard, and your desire to salvage Canadian
sovereignty -- something which I too am fully committed to.  But I would
advise you and other Orchard supporters to take a hard look at reality, and to
evaluate the effectiveness of his 'leadership' -- which on any objective terms
has been abysmal.

If I were the BCNI [i.e. the Canadian branch of the Trans World Oligarchy's
corporate interest implementation group], I could hardly imagine a better
situation than to have Orchard and Barlow [Maude Barlow, leader of the
Council of Canadians] as 'leaders' of the 'activist' groups opposing
globalization in Canada.  After all, if the realization of your
machiavellian agenda requires the dismantling of the nation state, you have
to expect that some people will notice this, and a few will even want to
express their dissent.  Under these circumstances, it would be very helpful
to have the dissenting organizations led by people who were inspirational
talkers who could suck in all the concerned patriots -- but never accomplish
anything beyond writing books, giving speeches and raising money.

BTW, you will also note that Orchard was unable to get any support from Barlow
-- much to the consternation and dismay of her fanclub, many of whom are also
members of the Orchard fanclub.  Maybe you think Barlow is also a 'unite the
right' advocate.

For your information, I also tried to breathe life into Orchard's moribund
leadership campaign in the final week -- by suggesting through a common friend
an initiative which he might have taken that would have gained great attention
and provided new and stronger reasons why he should be supported rather than
Clark.  While I fully respect that only Orchard could decide on the merit of
such a suggestion, the disappointing fact is that he did NOTHING to try to
change a situation in which he was clearly going down to defeat.

It gives me no satisfaction to be proven correct in my negative expectations
of Orchard's leadership gambit.  But it troubles me greatly that the good
people he has led continue to be misled by him, and remain confused about the
political realities of this world."


Jan's comments: Actually, I have to confess some lack of confidence in my
own ability to know a politically effective (or ineffective) movement or
decision when I see one.

When I "joined" the PC Party to vote for Orchard, I did so as a "tourist"
(as some would say). Part of the reason I liked the idea is that I liked the
idea of making something of a joke of the whole idea of party discipline or
faithfulness. Part of the statement I was making is that I will support
people who have the "wrong" label but who are committed to good policies.
So, I would have expected David Orchard to leave the PC Party when it
rejected him and his ideas. Nonetheless, I can see that there are people who
are not "tourists" in the PC Party for whom David spoke. Surely it is
because of this constituency that David has decided it is best, at least for
now, to still be connected to the PC party.

Speaking personally, the experience of supporting David Orchard and thinking
through what this means for me has had at least one side-effect: I see, once
again, why party politics is unappealing for me. 

It is very rare that people and ideas I find helpful get elected
politically. When they do, that is great, but I would not write them off as
hopelessly naive just because they lose.

While speeches and books do not add up to political power in themselves,
they can help. 

And I continue to believe that it is worth our while to speak to many
different types of people in our effort to create a livable world. In other
words, just because someone is a member of or a supporter a political party
I am disgusted with, I do not figure that there is no point trying to
convince them of things no one from their party is likely to try to convince
them of. 

I see David Orchard's campaign as an attempt to do this sort of reaching out
to a constituency who might not otherwise have thought much about Canadian
sovereignty issues. If we look at his campaign in that light, it might seem
like less of a waste.

But please do not worry that I have joined some Orchard "fan club". I have
some serious reservations myself about certain aspects of his campaign. And
I feel his message is important, but that there are more important messages
that need airing at this time.

I'll follow Orchard's continuing political ventures with interest, but not
necessasrily with any faithfulness or adherence. And I very much appreciate
that you, Jeff, and others, have told me about your reservations about
Orchard. It is largely because people like you were not afraid to ruffle my
feathers by telling me of your own misgivings that I (and others, surely) am
not really in danger of following David Orchard's further political efforts
with unthinking faithfulness.

all the best, Jan