Sunday, February 29, 2004

Anarcho-Capitalism In The UK! 

Drunk and angry one night, I fired off an email to this site, which I discovered somehow or other and was immediately depressed by. I wasn't going to bother to respond, because I am neither a conservative nor a punk (as currently defined -- my nostalgia for the punk of yesteryear is unparallelled) and there was no reason for me to criticize them for their goofy, destructive, misguided beliefs (specifically, the belief that The Misfits are worth listening to).

Then I made the mistake of reading their column, "Indicting The Punk Establishment." It was typical "conservative as victim" bullshit (because, after all, many of the people who work in the media for huge monopolistic conservative companies are moderately liberal in their personal beliefs, and the only things those conservative suckers control are the three branches of government) combined with that horrible "cool conservatives!" meme that gets trotted out every so often. But what got me was the claim that "The roots of punk rock are founded as much in conservatism as it is in liberalism."

That is simply not true. Even if you believe Johnny Ramone to be the intellectual backbone of The Ramones (and it was obviously a DeeDee/Joey balance of power, as anyone can tell), you cannot tell me that Punk as a movement was the sort of thing that would have shared an ideology with Bill O'Reilly (though his verbal tics are often very punk -- if he redirected his "shut ups!" at, say, The Queen, he might have something).

So, because it's been a while and still no response from those dangerous, newsmax-linking rebels, I might as well post the damn thing here, or else it'll never see the light of LED-simulated day:

From: Alex
To: Nicholas Rizzuto of Conservativepunk.com
Subject: Your Essay
"I wanna steal from the rich and give to the poor."
-Joey Ramone

"Till half and half is equalized, put down the tools"
-Joe Strummer

"Conservatism, we can say, is part of our punk heritage."

I have absolutely no problem with a site called "Conservative Punk" because punk is, and has been for some time, a complete joke. It is conservative now, certainly, in the sense that it is an establishment with a "heritage." Its wheezing, pathetic survival into the 21st century gives it the ability to become conservative -- but it is ridiculous to claim it has any original connection to conservatism as you define it. Random punks were or became "conservatives," yes, but they were tangential supporting characters in the history of what was an anarchic and anti-establishment revolution (a failed revolution, obviously, but like Castro's Cuba, it has become a laughable "never-ending revolution").

Punk was anti-establishment -- conservativism, by definition, wants to stick with the establishment. Your site is advocating the re-election of the incumbent president. That is, in fact, the opposite of punk. The idea of punk as originally realized having anything to do with modern American conservative politics does not pass the laugh test. Though I guess you could be talking about punk's flirtation with facism, but I hope very much that you aren't a skinhead.

For reference while composing your vitriolic response, I'll tell you now that I'm not a hippie, I'm not a punk as defined by your site or by www.punkvoter.com, I'm not a Democrat (in the sense that I generally don't have much use for the Democratic party platform). You would probably define me as a pinko-radical-anti-American-socialist-commie-anarchist, though I would be perfectly happy if we just bled the rich dry and gave everyone handouts.

I point out, also, that your side is the most passionate soldier in the drug war, and that's simply the least punk thing ever.

You don't need to feel obligated to publish this on your site, though at least one dissenting opinion (with response from you, of course) might be nice in a venue that advocates dissent so strongly.


This very old Salon piece makes a number of good points on the topic much better than I did.

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