Henry Rollins interview by Maximus D. Estevez and Jonathan "Toth" Getzschman: full text available here. Submitted by Jonathan "Toth" Getzschman.
"I don’t go to CNN for news like I don’t go to a Burger King for a meal."
Max: In America's search for transparency, new organizations have been formed, such as Wikileaks. America is torn on that specific issue. Some view it as treason. Others view it as patriotism. What is your take on the subject?
Henry: If WikiLeaks is treason, then so was the outing of CIA agent Valerie Plame [VP Dick Cheney called her and her husband "Fair Game" after they proved and announced to the media that Bush was lying about Saddam Hussein's WMD's] and let’s get everyone into court and get it going. If America has so many things that we are not supposed to know about, perhaps it’s time to change the way we do things. The way America conducts itself at this point only seems to lead to new conflicts. If America didn’t go to Iraq, there would be no deficit. Since the American media has been bought and paid for, some people need alternate sources to get their information.
I don’t go to CNN for news like I don’t go to a Burger King for a meal.
Max: In a time when many American's are wanting more transparency in government and to get their voices heard, what do you see as the most honorable and expedient way to get the government to listen to the will of the people?
Henry: Campaign finance reform would help. Thanks to the Citizens United case, politicians can be wholly own by corporations and really don’t have to listen to the people. If the government really listened to the people, do you think we would be in Iraq now? Do you think we would have the healthcare system we do? I think for at least the last three decades, politicians have been distancing themselves from the citizens they serve. I don’t know if that will change in our life time. I think both the left and right are part of the problem.
Toth: Aside from Campaign finance reform, how can the US public get our government to realize the importance of transparency?
Henry: I don't think it can. I think that big business, multi-national corps. have had every administration's ear from at least post-FDR to now. At the end of the day, your vote is somewhat meaningless, rioting is useless, destruction is pointless. When the SCOTUS gave corporations First Amendment rights, the writing that has been on the wall for years was set in neon. I think what needs to happen is more things like wikileaks. The curtain that protects the wizard has to be assaulted. You might not like what you get but in the end, I think we will all be the better for it.
Toth: In your opinion, what is the best means of networking for like-minded people who want change?
Henry: Internet, twitter, things like that. They are cheap, hard to stop and easy to start.
Toth: Do you boycott certain businesses, if so which ones?
Henry: I don't eat at fast food places. I don't base any opinion I have on things I learned on any network news outlets, even if it turns out to be true. I have to cross reference the information. Past that, I rely on myself to make the right decision at the time. I don't have kind of list though.
Toth: For all the rumors about "secret societies" do you believe that most of the major decisions are made by "shadow governments" and if so, how do the People out them?
Henry: I think business runs the world. Always follow the money. From all that hearts and minds crap in any country the America is "spreading Democracy" in to anywhere else. Dig down into the ground. If there's oil there, chances are, that country needs some Democracy and we're the country to drone strike them into freedom.
Toth: Do you think WikiLeaks as a whistle blower outlet and activist for "free press" is a good idea? Why?
Henry: Ultimately, yes. The America has to change its policy. It won't unless it's outed. Why should it? Corps in the America loved Mubarak, he bought their shit with your tax dollars. Great deal. Transparency means transparency. Ripples in the water upset those who are used to navigating in placidity. That is to say, there will be some lawyers involved.