The Fifth... Enters the Sixth
A Utopian Call to Arms
By Colectivo “5tA brigada... ay karmela,” Mexico City
Special to The Narco News Bulletin
September 6, 2005
The only authority that we can respect has to be that of the collective and public spirit, of a society based on equality and solidarity as well as freedom and respect and mutual aid among all its members. Yes, I have here an authority that is not in any divine style but is completely human before that which we have to incline ourselves with all our heart certain that it will empancipate men and women instead of subjugating them.
We are a small collective made up of compañeros and compañeras who stake our claim as anarchists, libertarians, libertarian communists, or whatever you want to call it. We have worked as a collective ever since the university student strike of the “General Strike Committee” in 1999. Since then we have worked and participated together as the “5tA(kinta) brigada… (ay karmela)” with our modest efforts in this conglomeration of struggles (inside and above all outside of the university environment), that is the fight against capitalism, the globalization of misery and the exclusion of the people, their men and their women, against neoliberalism and, as anarchists, we are in this fight against the State and its circus of electoral democracy, in this fight for freedom, for self-management, for autonomy, in this fight for a life that has dignity and equality for all, in this fight for equality among men, women and other inhabitants of our mother América, and above all of our mother that is the entire earth.
We struggle against a system that imprisons everyone and, beyond that, imprisons all that grows on this earth, a system that keeps the people prisoners in a scam called democracy, in a trick called freedom. We raise the banners of the struggles of the peoples of the world, the struggles for land, for education and our own cultures, for health, work, home, for being the owners of our own histories, of our own pasts, for being able to be owners of our own lives, our present and future as individuals, neighborhoods, peoples, social groups, collectives, etcetera.
We are determined to fight and construct a world where nobody steps on anybody, where no one subjugates anyone, where nobody is oppressed by laws, by judges, by institutions, by economic and political ideas that defend the supremacy of and looting by one social class to dominate the people who are exploited, who are torn from their own nature; a world where individuals live and think for their own wellbeing without forgetting the collective good, for a world where the collective never ignores the individuals that form it; a world where exploitation doesn’t exist, where there is neither wealth nor poverty; a world where social and collective entities decide together what path to walk, where there is no system where one or some individuals or groups determine the lives of anybody else; a world where the only authority permissible will be a collective decision, where the words “to lead” and “to obey” don’t need to exist, where collectivities organize and among them decide the future and their acts; a world where the individual can exist without falling prey to individualism; a world where collectivity is based on the needs of individuals.
We are committed to work for a society where governments are useless, unnecessary (as it is a given that they are); a society where the people decide together how to live, resolving their problems, enjoying the fruits of their labor; a world where the greedy don’t become rich by enjoying the fruits of the labor of the rest, of the tools and the means of production as well as that which their hands create and produce, where the means of production are common property so that the fruits of labor will be collectively harvested, where private property doesn’t exist, where there is nobody that exists to govern over the life of anyone else be it in politics, culture or economically, where the peoples, neighborhoods, barrios, and communities exchange experiences, efforts, ideas and deeds so that together we can construct a libertarian world, where the principles of collectivity and mutual aid, of self-management, and autonomy are the bases of public entities and where support, respect, mutual recognition and interrelation exist between peoples to be able to confront common problems. A world where all the worlds that fit among each other coexist, where worlds that do not recognize other worlds do not fit, those worlds that want to govern and decide on behalf of the other worlds.
This is what we believe and think as a collective and we know that we are not alone on the entire earth. In this land named América and in this land they call Mexico many brothers and sisters think this way – maybe not exactly the same way, maybe they don’t call themselves anarchists, but we know that we all share the dream of a libertarian, just, collective, self-managing, free and conscious world among equals with brothers and sisters of other names and other ideas…
We believe this as a collective, as compañeros and compañeras, and that’s how we have been participating and working with the little that we can offer, and for the past year and a half we have joined with other colleagues (of diverse ways of thinking) in another collective called “coyotl yohuali,” with which we work to construct, together with other people, a life that is just and dignified; a different form of living, where productivity isn’t seen as something merely monetary, where balance in the environment can be constructed, where wellbeing is not confused with using up natural resources, where education is not about repeating laws or dates, but is complete and not just academic, where education brings us toward a conscious life and what we learn together serves the collective, ecological, economic, social and cultural good, an education that is not decided by the powerful, where the knowledge that we learn is constructed by ourselves and walks toward the wellbeing of people and individuals. We work at sharing our knowledge with that of others, other peoples, so that together we construct paths that lead us toward a happy and dignified life.
Our work currently is done in rural areas, in the semi-desert lands of this land called Mexico with a view at being able, together, to improve the living conditions in the communities, also improving the conditions of what the communities produce; improving and conserving the natural world, protecting natural resources, improving productive techniques in a manner that does not damage the environment; improving education by giving it a social viewpoint and so that it relates to the reality of the people, so that it seeks to solve problems and not generate work that only benefits capitalism; seeking to solve problems with our own hands; organizing ourselves, without depending on the government, its parties, or its election campaigns; learning to work and decide collectively; learning to share our knowledge and experiences with other groups, collectives, communities and peoples to weave a grand network that sustains our lives, to weave a grand network that permits us to face this system that excludes us in every way, exploits us, uses us for its own good and the good of those that form it (the political class). It is for this that we work, knowing that the path is long and hard and that we are barely beginning to walk it, knowing that there are many other people walking and constructing, dreaming of a different way to live, knowing that the path seeks other feet, other dreams, and other words and working together for the common good. We know the path is long and hard but we are conscious that we need it and we are commited to continue walking and meeting the feet that walk on the earth all flying on the dreams of their hearts and of liberty.
In the majority of places on our earth a political and economic system rules with the single goal of defending the rich; of justifying its lootings, the robbery of what belongs to the people, defending the privileges of a few, defending the supposed right of some groups or people to exploit men, women, children and everything else that is able to generate them wealth, the supposed right that they give themselves to say “this is mine,” to exploit and over-exploit not only men and women of all ages but also to exploit and over-exploit animal species, plants of every indole, to the extreme of patenting plants and their medicinal, therapeutic, and pharmaceutical properties (that is to say, to be the owners of the plant and all its products throughout the world with the egregious arrogance to want to collect royalties if someone uses that plant or its properties), the right that they invent to be able to shave the earth and its fruits and resources from east to west, the right of theft not only against men and women, but against life itself.
The political-economic system that rules in the world has one goal only: to make itself owner of everything, of the earth itself, which cannot belong to anybody; to make itself owner of the natural resources that cannot have an owner, of animals and plants, and of men and women, who are free beings by their very nature. This system, its tools, and its means were created to defend the indefensible, the most atrocious aberrations that humanity has committed and above all society in its errant path: to defend the exploitation of man and woman by man and woman; to defend the right of some to have too much while the majority is dispossessed; to defend the shameful right of some to enjoy the fruits of labor of the people; to defend their supposed right to strip natural resources, animals, plants, minerals, water, entire ecosystems, with the stupid goal of making money; to defend the absurd right that does not belong to any human, that of declaring oneself owner of other lives, of other human beings; to defend the right to disappear cultures and erase different ways of seeing the world and life. And all this can end up in humankind’s most absurd concept: the right to private property, the right to decide for someone else, for peoples, for men and women, the right to enjoy the benefits of the work of others.
And it all began when some asshole had the idea of saying “this is mine,” and cultivated the greed and arrogance of believing himself the owner of other lives and everything that responded to everyone else.
We know the absurdity of this system that is imposed upon the world – this system called capitalism, and now called neoliberalism, based on institutions that legitimize their illegitimacy, judicial, political, economic and legislative institutions that only serve to defend the privileges of the owners of money and of the entire political class, of those who believe themselves to be owners everything, institutions that form the large institution called the STATE. And the state is charged with defending all these absurdities, charged with repressing, exterminating everyone who rebels against the political, economic and cultural order that is imposed. The state is the control mechanism of this system, the apparatus that is in charge of keeping us outside of the circus of electoral democracy that makes people believe that they are really the ones who lead; trying to make peoples, men and women, believe that it, the state, is a tool of the people to preserve order; making the people believe that in the act of marking a ballot every six years is enough to decide how our lives will be. The state is in charge of trying to trick us, of trying to blindfold us, making us believe that we are free and are the owners of our history, of our decisions and our lives; of destroying all those who don’t allow themselves to be fooled, imprisoning them, disappearing them, assassinating them, exterminating them, torturing them and forgetting them so that the grand circus can continue doing its job, its privileges, and its absurdities.
So they call us every three or six years to vote, to decide democratically who will be the owners of our futures, our lives and our decisions, and who will defend those who rob the fruits of our labor and our lands. We vote for representatives, mayors, governors, local and federal legislators, and for the president, to leave the decisions about our future in the hands of these political parasites. And during campaign seasons they go all over the place and speak with a thousand tongues and a thousand faces to try to convince the majority of who is the best choice, if it will the PRI, the PAN, the PRD, the PVEM, et cetera. They go out to the farthest corners – to the most alienated, to those whose existence they ignored; places where after the election they will never return, or will remember them only when they seek another electoral post – and they will promise whatever the people want to hear, and that’s how every election season the state calls us to vote so, they say, “we can decide our future as a public and as individuals,” and the story will be the same, and one day someone will win, and on another day another will win, and the real problems of the people are never solved, because if they are solved the state will cease to exist together with the system it defends, together with all the means it constructed, will all end.
We are convinced that the only organization permissible is that which is popular, collective, autonomous, assuming responsibility for the socialization of needs, responsibilities, decisions and results among all. That is to say, the total disappearance of power, since upon socializing and collectivizing decisions, responsibilities, work, and results, power disappears because nobody is on top of anyone else, no one is worth more than anyone else, and nobody decides for anybody else, nobody has power. The only authority that we can accept is that of the collective spirit, that is to say, the authority that is us all that is not personalized, that does not govern others; the authority that doesn’t lead nor oppress nor repress, that which does not decide for us; the authority of the collective, of decisions made in common by individuals and peoples. We know that then the duties will also be collective because only that way, working collectively, will we be able to solve problems, improve our lives, and construct a different and better society where nobody excludes anybody, where nobody imposes upon anybody, where nobody exploits anybody, where no one is the owner of anyone nor of others’ decisions, nor of their future, nor their life; where what is decided is decided by all, is worked by all, and that way is enjoyed by all. Where we all make agreements and we all respect them and we respect ourselves.
And inside of this circus of electoral democracy is the important role that all the political parties play (no matter how leftist they call themselves), and their role is not minor (although it is easy to express it). The role of political parties is to give a tint of reality to this trick called democracy; a little discussion so that it seems that there are choices to be made: clearly, there are, but they are the choices that the system allows; those that although they attack it do not do it harm; those that don’t seek to destroy it; those that defend it with cloak and dagger whether they be from the right, or the extreme right, or the middle, or they try the illusion of being from the left. That more accurately put would be “a tint of left-of-center of the right.” All have the same goal of backing the state, of backing the system – some say that with a vision more human and more social – but in the end always defending the privileges that the majority of them enjoy, always defending capital, and its state of law, and always being part of the mafias that control life. And then there are the parties of the far right like the PAN with a history that nobody can deny, being the boiling pot of the most atrocious reaction, part of the most conservative and recalcitrant sectors of society, connected closely with groups of all kinds of fascist indole such as El Yunque, Opus Dei, and the Legionairres of Christ; fascist groups and followers of the shit of Spaniard Franco-ism and Italian fascism; or the PRI – does anybody need this explained? – the traitors of the revolutionary struggles of 1910, those who assassinated Zapata and Villa, those who fought the Mexican Liberal Party and the Liberal Clubs (of the tendency of Flores Magón), all those that fought, betrayed and tried to destroy the truly revolutionary ideas and efforts, those that told us that the revolution had triumphed and then took control of it and destroyed it, those that governed and still govern the country for more than a century, those that imposed and developed the dirty war since the 1960s and that continues to this day, those that fought against the guerrillas in Mexico without truce, those that are guilty of so many historic atrocities; or the PRD, the party that says it is of the left, that presumes to have been born in the so-called left and stays there. We do not deny that many of its participants were of the left, but between that and the idea that the party has been of the left or still is there is a vast distance. Better said, it has been the party of electoral opposition, but to go from that to saying that it is a party of the left – it has always been very far from that. From our way of looking at the PRD, what it has done and still does today has been to try to mediatize what it is to be of the left, to mediatize inentions, movements, people, collective, to mediatize them in the electoral routine, using them as political diving boards to position itself inside of the Mexican political class, and inside its rotten party structure, using movements, selling them or trying to sell them on behalf of its fight for positions inside a sphere of power, which like all power spheres is shit. This party boasts of having been the first democratic government in Mexico City, and believes we have forgotten those democratic beatings dished out by its democratic riot cops to a student movement in 1999, democratic beatings that more than once bloodied and imprisoned compañeros and compañeras saying that it was a call for dialogue, defending the state of law, of not wanting to see filthy students marching through Mexico City, and that is just one example, but surely there will be many more in the City of Hope, or in any other entity governed by the PRD, and only that if we forget another shameless act of having not voted for the Cocopa bill for indigenous rights in 2001 when the Zapatista command marched through a large part of Mexico.
Of the other parties, better that we don’t even speak of them because they aren’t anything more than signs on a stick and family businesses of the sons of magnates.
But beyond all that, the most important thing is that the political parties do not represent a solution to the problems of the people, and not only because they are parties and full of shit by their nature, but, rather, for the simple fact that they are one more tool of the state to defend the system, capital and private property, simply because their principle interest is defending a system of privileges, the privileges of the owners of money and their own privileges as members of the political class; defending a system that excludes the people, its men and its women. With this we refer principally to the party leaderships, the spokes of the parties, its stratospheres of power that decide and lead its direction; the rank-and-file members are another story.
What’s more: How can they defend a system with an electoral circus where only one third of the adult population of Mexico participates, where less than ten percent of the population decides who governs and makes laws? Thus, it is clear that the electoral democracy is not even a slightly representative, much less totally representative, with the insult that “the people decide who governs them” from among those who they will allow to govern us. And still more: Why should anybody govern us and decide for the people and live for the people? We believe and we are convinced that nobody should govern and nobody should be governed, that we all must decide together, and that a government that is socialized disappears, so it is clear that when the figures and concepts of power are socialized they disappear. We believe in the need to eradicate the words “to lead” and “to obey,” “to govern” and “to be governed,” “to own,” and “to be owned.”
We are sure that we do not need laws, and much less laws made far from the people, from men and women, laws that justify looting, robbery, and the exclusion of people from decision-making. We believe that, more than laws, we need agreements that we are all ready to comply with. But a law needs someone to make people comply, to make them ready to cumply, to obey; someone to oppress others. And when this apparatus of control exists, in this case to make people obey the law, there also exists someone who is put down, oppressed; someone controlled. We believe in the necessity to disappear all apparatuses of control and so we have to work on the conscience of the people, the men and women, not to obey laws, but, rather, to come to agreements and respect them.
That is why we believe in the total necessity of walking and finding other feet, other dreams, other intents, other knowledge; of joining together the hearts of our world to fight against this system that excludes us and brings us to extermination when it does not need us, and that if it needs us it is to enrich itself with our sweat and our hands. We know the necessity of finding other brothers and other sisters with other experiences and efforts to construct a different world where all the inhabitants will be able to live with dignity, with what his and her nature corresponds; a world we we will be able to cover all of our needs; a world without exclusion, without dispossessed; a world without someone that governs; a world where the worker and the farmer enjoy the fruits of their labor, where they are owners of their work and of that of nobody else, where all of us will be owners of our lives, our decisions, our histories, our pasts and our futures as well as our present; a world of solidarity, just and equal, conscious, clean, healthy and happy; a world without rich and without poor; a world without exploitation, where one is worthy as a human being and not as a number, a piece of fabric, or a farm tool; a world where the world and the land will be ours, of everyone and for everyone, and that therefore has no owner, where nothing has an owner, where everything will be everyone’s; of men, women and all the beings of our mother earth…
That’s why we see the need to find others that fight against this world where the people do not have a dignified place, where the people, the men and women, only fit in as workers to enrich the powerful. That’s why we see the necessity to add an echo to the Sixth Declaration of the Lacandon Jungle, so that it will be a call not only of the Zapatistas, but something that we construct together among all, a wide and general call, and there among us all we will fight and construct a world where we all dream, the world that we need, and together confront the attacks of this system, of this capitalism, of neoliberalism and its globalization of misery and exclusion of peoples. We believe it is important to join together all our many dreams of fighting for a different world and that a voice be born that is formed of many voices, distinct but together, and together to try to walk making the path with our feet; to together go constructing our world, the world of all the beings of mother earth, of our América, and of this land called Mexico. Therefore we know the need to exchange ideas, knowledge and experience to make this dream and this heart grow. That’s why we add ourselves to the Sixth Declaration of the Lacandon Jungle. We join it to make a common front among all against this system, against this capitalism that gives us every form of barbarism, against this neoliberalism that tries to privatize the inalienable rights of men and women, and beyond that the rights of every living being on this earth, against this globalization that tries to globally enrich them while it globally impoverishes us.
We join commited to fight for a world and a society where solidarity, mutual aid among all groups, communities, peoples, among all the individuals, men and women, exist, a world and a society based on equality, freedom, self-management, autonomy and cooperation, based on respect, on sharing, based on collectivity, on collectivism, and never based on private property, or on superiority, or on exploitation, or on looting, or on robbery, or on forgetting, never based on privileges or exclusions.
But in this we do not join ourselves to the effort to generate a new constitution, because we are certain that what we need is not another constitution that somebody will make us comply with; that what we need aren’t laws to obey, nor control apparatuses in charge of making us comply, nor do we need a homogenizing ideal that denies cultural diversity. Thus we believe that what is important is working for self-management and autonomy of peoples, based on mutual aid, the recognition of the others, and mutual and collective cooperation, based on autonomous forms of organization, where we all make agreements that we are ready to comply with and work for them. A constitution needs a state that makes it work, a state needs police and military corps to make obedience and these are apparatuses of power and control and all power and all control rot the hearts and the dreams of those who feel themselves their owners. Power and control corrupt although they were not created with the intention to subjugate. When someone feels power and control his greed and his vanity explode. Thus, we believe in fighting not for a new constitution, not for laws, but for the autonomous organization of peoples, communities, barrios, and social entities, to fight for agreements and solve the collective problems working collectively and deciding collectively. We believe in the figure of the collective, the assembly – autonomous, collective and popular, or following each community, people or barrio’s own forms – to organize itself and decide on its own, and so we do not seek to make laws that someone obliges others to comply with. Better said, we must seek and make agreements that we are all disposed to comply with. And that is how we join ourselves to the call of the Sixth Declaration of the Lacandon Jungle, to construct a large network that sustains the life of the people, a collective network, where we can construct a better world, a network of dreams and hearts where we can fight against this system of oppression and inequality, where we will be able to walk toward a dignified life. But we do not join with the idea of constructing a new constitution, because of the fact that we believe the state should disappear and a new constitution needs an apparatus of power and control to make people comply. We fight to struggle for the collectivization of authority, which is to say to make it disappear it, to destroy power; we fight to work for the conscience of the people, and its autonomy, and its self-management, based on support, cooperation, and mutual respect, based on freedom and collectivity.
We fight to work for the organization of the people, for the construction of collective, autonomous and popular organization, that can only be constructed by autonomous and collective means and not from a sphere of power, whether called president, congress, governor, king, oligarchy, central committee, et cetera.
We fight to work to come to agreements collectively and not to make laws that require a control apparatus, but, rather, to fight and to work for autonomy and collectivity.
Colectivo “5tA brigada… ay karmela”.
Colectivo “coyotl yohuali”
We don’t recognize the right of the majority to dictate laws to the minority, although the will of the majority might be widely accepted. The fact of having a majority absolutely does not demonstrate that it is right. To the contrary, humanity has always been pulled forward by the initiative and work of individuals and minorities while the majority walks more slowly and conservatively, obeying the strongest who find himself in the the position of advantage previously conquered.
But if we don’t admit the right of the majority to dominate the minorities we refuse also and more vociferously the right of minorities to dominate the majority. It would be absurd to insist that the minority is right because it is a minority.
In the end, it’s not about being right or not…
It’s about freedom…
Liberty is the only means to reach through experience what is true and best for one and for all…
We believe then that we need to reach a peaceful and prolific coexistence between majorities and minorities via free agreement, mutual understanding and the intelligent recognition of the necessary practices of collective life and of the transitions that circumstances make necessary.
– Radio Sabotaje
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