The votes are in, and The Konformist readers have spoken. The World Trade Organization (WTO) and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) are your choice for the 2000 Konformist Beast of the Year - a choice that is well deserved.
As usual, The Konformist was way ahead of the curve on this one, and this is a case where we may have had as much to do with shaping underground culture as reporting it. In early November 1999, "The Battle of Seattle" had no meaning as a term, and the letters WTO didn't have much significance to most. Yet, knowing about the upcoming WTO meeting and protests, we wisely chose to award the WTO with deserved honors of Beastliness. This was quite impressive in itself, but we added an extra layer: we chose to also honor the IMF, choosing the two international organizations as "Instruments of Global Control." We even considered included the World Bank along with them (being the twin of the IMF in diabolical international financing), but decided to stick to the WTO-IMF as an alphabet soup of planetary domination.
The rest, as they say, is history.
The protests against the WTO lived up to the dreams of organizers of being the "Protest of the Century." Then, last month, the nation's capital was rocked with an impressive sequel, as protesters railed against the IMF and the World Bank.
What is most important of these anti-globalization rallies is that they attracted those both nominally of the "left" and the "right". Both Ralph Nader and Pat Buchanan (two men who, whatever their faults, represent the leading spokesmen politically of the two arms of social discontent) sounded like carbon copies as they correctly denounced the international demonic duo as a threat both to the United States and the world.
And so, the new battlelines of culture are slowly developing. Slowly, more and more people are becoming aware that the real political battle is not one of "left" versus "right". The real battle is between those with power, money and authority and those without it. As a bland race for President offers two options that underscore the lack of real choice in mainstream politics, there is a growing alienation in the public with the status quo, and more and more will quickly flock to the likes of Nader and the Greens and Buchanan and the Reform Party.
This is exactly the kind of battle that was behind the formation of The Konformist (as well as zines such as Steamshovel Press and the writings of Feral House mastermind Adam Parfrey), a fusion politics that is anti-authoritarian rather than "liberal" or "conservative". The numbers speak for themselves: if those who are alienated from establishment values are united, they are no longer a minority but a vast majority.
Let the war begin.
In the unlikely event that the WTO and IMF can no longer fill their duties as Beast of the Year (such as doing something shockingly decent), Monsanto is ready to take over the crown. Rest assured the BOTY trophy is in good hands either way, as Monsanto has been at the forefront in the battle of korporate monoliths trying to dominate world culture and economics. The chemical giant has long pushed its poisons such as NutraSweet (dubbed "NutraPoison" by its many critics), BGH-treated milk, and, most notorious of late, the genetically engineered Terminator seed technology. The good news is that Monsanto has suffered a severe backlash by a worldwide boycott, and now the bad name of Monsanto has been soiled to be deemed damaged goods. The company has been acquired by Upjohn, who is ready to dump both NutraPoison and its genetically-engineered "Frankenfood" department due to the bad publicity. The most important fact is it is mainly due to its connection to Frankenfoods which has led to the demise of Monsanto as a valued name. Less than two years ago, this was considered the leading edge source of Monsanto's expected golden future. It is only due to the widespread backlash (led by underground sources, of which The Konformist has been a leading trumpet) by consumers who have decided to revolt that Monsanto has been hit where it counts: in the bottom line. The battle continues.
If, on the unlikely event that both the WTO-IMF and Monsanto can't perform their Beastly duties, we always have Barry McCaffrey to fall back on. Considering the widespread violations of civil liberties and free speech that the fascist Czar of the bogus "Drug War" has waged, rest assured Barry will continue to do all he can to earn his Beastly honors.
Kirby The Konspiracy Boy Says, "I NEED 2 KONFORM!!!"