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Socialism could never work as it goes against human nature. We, as a race, naturally compete.
Ha. Whom says this? The capitalists. In this system, yes, we compete instead of cooperate. We do this because we live in a competitive system, where the few exploit the majority to live in luxury and throw the rest to the devil- as long as they still work. Let me take you back to pre-civilisation, as it is so called (doublespeak).
What would man have to gain from turning on his brother? Nothing.
If they cooperated, however, they could get more than 2 men working alone. Thus, it doesn’t make sense to compete.
We have overcome these hardships that hunter gatherer societies faced. Now, a few hundered men with machinery can feed ten thousand. Survival is the key motive, the will to live. With money abolished, we are merely cutting out the middleman between work and survival, as we need money to live, thus, we work to live.
The ‘communism can’t work because of human nature’ argument has been debunked, ironically using human nature and examples from so called ‘primitive communism’.
Capitalism can’t work because of human nature, as humans don’t like being exploited. Anarchism means one is free to do what they want as long as it does it involve exploration of another, or it limits others freedom.
We will have no economic chaos, or any chaos.
Opposed to the caricature of anarchism, anarchy equals order.
We don’t want to impose our solutions by force, we want to create a democratic space. We don’t see armed struggle in the classic sense of previous guerrilla wars, that is as the only way and the only all-powerful truth around which everything is organized. In a war, the decisive thing is not the military confrontation but the politics at stake in the confrontation. We didn’t go to war to kill or be killed. We went to war in order to be heard.
This is a quote from the spokesperson of the EZLN- The Zapatista Army of National Liberation (Ejército Zapatista de Liberación Nacional).
I will refer to them as either the Zapatistas or the EZLN in this article.
Let us begin
The Zapatistas went public on January 1, 1994, the day when the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) came into effect. On that day, they issued their First Declaration from the Lacandon Jungle and their Revolutionary Laws. The declaration was that of war on the Mexican government, which was so out of touch with those it was meant to govern, that the Zapatistas declared it illegitimate.
Their original goal was to instigate a revolution in all of Mexico, but as this failed, they used their uprising as a platform to call the world’s attention to their movement to protest the signing of NAFTA, which the EZLN believed would increase the gap between rich and poor people in Chiapas (southern Mexico, where the Zapatistas are based) – one that has sadly become true.
On the morning of January 1, 1994, an estimated 3,000 armed Zapatista insurgents seized towns and cities in Chiapas, including Ocosingo, Las Margaritas, Huixtán, Oxchuc, Rancho Nuevo, Altamirano, and Chanal. They freed the prisoners in the jail of San Cristóbal de las Casas, and torched several police buildings and military barracks in the area. The guerrillas enjoyed brief success, but the next day Mexican army forces counter-attacked and fierce fighting broke out in and around the market of Ocosingo. The Zapatista forces took heavy casualties, and retreated from the city into the surrounding jungle.
This is where the strategy changed.
Due to the failure of the Mexican Government to capture the Comandantes of the EZLN, they took up a policy of negotiation.
The Zapatistas changed tactics to mobilisation and a media campaign through numerous newspaper comunicados.
On June 28, 2005, the Zapatistas presented the Sixth Declaration of the Lacandon Jungle, declaring their principles and vision for Mexico and the world. This declaration reiterates the support for the indigenous peoples, who comprise roughly one third of the population of the state of Chiapas, and extends the cause to include “all the exploited and dispossessed of Mexico”. It also expresses the movement’s sympathy to the international alter-globalization movement, and offers to provide material aid to those in Cuba, Bolivia, Ecuador and elsewhere, with whom they make common cause. The declaration ends with an exhortation for all who have more respect for humanity than for money to join with the Zapatistas in the struggle for social justice both in Mexico and abroad. The declaration called for an alternative national campaign (the “Other Campaign”) as an alternative to the presidential campaign. In preparation for this alternative campaign, the Zapatistas invited to their territory over 600 national leftist organizations, indigenous groups and non-governmental organizations in order to listen to their claims for human rights in a series of biweekly meetings that culminated in a plenary meeting on September 16, the day Mexico celebrates its independence from Spain.
The most recent campaign was when the Zapatistas marched through the streets on the 22nd of December, one day after the start of the new Mayan calendar. They marched, all in balaclavas, in complete silence.
The Zapatistas have an ideology that can only be described as libertarian socialism. The Zapatista slogan is that of mutual aid, formulated by Peter Kropotkin, the ‘inventor’ of anarchist communism:
“For everyone, everything. For us, nothing” (Para todos todo, para nosotros nada).
The EZLN opposes economic globalization, arguing that it severely and negatively affects the peasant way of life of its indigenous support base and oppressed people worldwide.
The Zapatista controlled areas are ran on a bottom-up democracy system, similar to soviet democracy, limiting public servants’ terms to only two weeks, not using visible organization leaders, and constantly referring to the people they are governing for major decisions, strategies and conceptual visions.
“my real commander is the people”
Unlike other ‘revolutionary’ movements like FARC and shining path, the EZLN, before their uprising in 1994 explicitly defined a right of the people to resist any unjust actions of the EZLN. They also defined a right of the people to:
demand that the revolutionary armed forces not intervene in matters of civil order or the disposition of capital relating to agriculture, commerce, finances, and industry, as these are the exclusive domain of the civil authorities, elected freely and democratically.
“The people should acquire and possess arms to defend their persons, families and property, according to the laws of disposition of capital of farms, commerce, finance and industry, against the armed attacks committed by the revolutionary forces or those of the government.”
The following information comes from the documentary ‘a place called Chiapas’
As a young man, Subcommander Marcos was politically radicalized by the Tlatelolco massacre (2 October 1968) of students and civilians by the Mexican federal government; consequently, he became a militant in the Maoist National Liberation Forces. In 1983, he went to the mountains of Chiapas to convince the poor, indigenous Maya population to organize and launch a proletarian revolution against the Mexican bourgeoisie and the federal government. After hearing his proposition, the Chiapanecs “just stared at him”, and replied that they were not urban workers, that, from their perspective, the land was not property, but the heart of the communities.
Imagine a person who comes from an urban culture. One of the world’s biggest cities, with a university education, accustomed to city life. It’s like landing on another planet. The language, the surroundings are new. You’re seen as an alien from outer space. Everything tells you: “Leave. This is a mistake. You don’t belong in this place”; and it’s said in a foreign tongue. But they let you know, the people, the way they act; the weather, the way it rains; the sunshine; the earth, the way it turns to mud; the diseases; the insects; homesickness. You’re being told. “You don’t belong here”. If that’s not a nightmare, what is?
Marcos’ political philosophy is often characterized as Marxist and his populist writing, which concentrates on unjust treatment of people by both business and the State, underlines some of the commonalities the Zapatista ideology shares with Libertarian Socialism and Anarchism.
When asked about whether he is worried about the risk of assassination, he relied with this:
“We don’t fear to die struggling. The good word has already been planted in fertile soil. This fertile soil is in the heart of all of you, and it is there that Zapatista dignity flourishes.”
You can find many interviews with Marcos on you tube. I recommend checking them out.
The reaper comes for us all,
And is feared by most,
But I welcome that eternal sleep,
For I grow weary of life.
I am already dead,
One who has nothing to lose,
What keeps me going?
I know not
Bar that cause,
To strive for liberty,
A noble deed can yet be performed,
Before I depart from this earth.
That single thought
At the back of my head
Telling me to carry on
To pick up the hammer of anarchy,
And smash the chains that confine me,
So I can walk down that road,
To liberty, equality and fraternity.
We anarchists stand for the majority of the population. We stand for the workers, the peasants; the oppressed and the exploited.
What we despise are the oppressors, the exploiters, the bourgeoise. These people take what belongs to us all and enforce their dictatorship and political hegemony through force. Private property is one of the most repulsive inventions to have ever existed. To make it worse, our society is based upon this malicious, vile, oppressive invention. Take landlords, for instance (the first world ones, not those in rural countries); they own a house, or a block of flats, et cetera, which have been built by someone else, the materials have been crafted or taken from the earth by someone else and so on. Yet these scum charge you for a basic thing needed to live. Houses, food, education, water, et cetera, are basic human rights, and they should be free to all, not in the hands of a privileged, rich, bourgeois scum to sell or rent.
“Some work of noble note, may yet be done,
Not unbecoming men that strove with Gods.
The lights begin to twinkle from the rocks;
The long day wanes; the slow moon climbs; the deep
Moans round with many voices. Come, my friends.
‘T is not too late to seek a newer world.”
Ulysses by Alfred Lord Tennyson
Opulence is sinful, and we all pay for it
We all want freedom. What we do not understand is that the freedom of all is necessary to our freedom. To be free, one must also have economic freedom, i.e. the freedom to live as they want without being exploited. This freedom we yearn for is limited by capitalism, where a minority exploit the majority. Equality also is necessary for freedom, as if the freedom of all is necessary to our freedom, then we must be equal; none must be exploited, none must own private (not personal, a distinction must be made) property, none may rule another.
Anarchy can be summed up with this phrase: No gods, No masters. If we have no masters, we are all equal and we are all free. The state prohibits freedom and equality with it’s police force, which is essentially the private army of the bourgeoisie- thus it must be abolished.
Our cry is ‘liberty or death’, and we encourage you to take up that cry too. We can not achieve liberty for the people because the people are required to take their liberty. We can not simply bring about anarchism through a coup d’état! We must educate the people on the ‘evils’ of capitalism and the possibility of the freedom and equality that is anarchism. That is the purpose of this site- to be a flame to pierce the ubiquitous darkness.
With your help our flame can turn into a bonfire. Tell all those whom you know. Take up the cry ‘liberty or death!’
By David Franco
As we are all aware, all of the world is suffering from this crisis, which, according to the media, can only be compared to the crisis of the 1930s.
It is important to understand that this crisis is not limited to any nation or to set of nations, it is a crisis of the capitalist system. This is a fact some people I know ignore.
In Portugal the crisis has been going on for some time. It is even possible to say that we have been in crisis since any of us can remember, but this one is having a bigger impact than any other that came after the April revolution.
To explain the situation in Portugal I must first explain how our political parties are. There are three center parties: PS, PSD, and CDS-PP. The PS (Partido Socialista/Socialist Party) had the majority in parlaiment before the elections of 2011, and they are mainly social-democrats. The PSD (Partido Social-Democrata/Social-Democratic Party) now has the majority in parlaiment, and I can only define their ideology as neo-liberal. The CDS (Centro Democrático Social/democratic social center) coalitions with whatever party has the majority, thus giving them absolute majority in parlaiment, and they are right-wing conservatives.
The PS and the PSD are the biggest parties, and so power alternates between them, with the CDS coalitioning with whoever happens to have the majority at the moment.
Some people now blame the PS, and their social-democratic program, for having placed the country in debt, and causing the crisis. Those people could not be more wrong. This debt is not ours, it is the banker’s! The PSD-CDS coalition government follows the program of the troika in order to give money to the big capitalists, and they do not care if we must all live in misery because of it.
The PS makes themselves look like the oposition. They say they are a left-wing party, and that they would renegotiate the terms with the troika. It is a lie! If they were in power everything would be exactly the same!
These three center parties help each other mutualy, they all serve the capitalists.
As a result of this there are many demonstrations in the country. All of them want the rejection of the austerity measures. The biggest one yet was in 2 of March (2013), where 1.5 million people went outside to protest against the austerity measures and demand the resignation of the PSD-CDS government. Our population is only of 10 million.
Meanwhile the revolutionary left, the communists, have been very quiet. The communist parties, the PCP, the BE, and the MRPP, have not been gaining as much popularity as one would expect in this country poisoned by capitalism. There is, however, one movement that is gaining popularity, the MAS (Movimento Socialista Alternativo/Alternative Socialist Movement), leninists, they are growing with the crisis, and their presence was very noticeable in the great demonstration of 2 of March.
Most people consider communism to be an old ideology that has proven to result in dictatorship of the communist party. They want something new. Now it seems like their biggest desire is direct democracy.
This has made anarchism very popular with the youth. It is the new thing they were looking for. Direct democracy and the end of capitalism at the same time. The anarchist presence is most felt around schools. The big problem with this growing anarchist movement is the lack of organization we have. We, anarchists, know each other, yet we do not form organizations. If we begin to form our own organizations we can grow larger than any communist movement.
The solution is teaching anarchism. Telling people that it is not about the inexistance of rules, it is about self-management and direct democracy.
There is a great potential for the anarchist movement to grow in Portugal. Together, through revolution we can end the state and capitalism, create the direct democracy the people dream of today.
Anarchism has many enemies, left and right, whom spread lies against it. I hope to tell you what anarchism is, and what it isn’t. Let us start by debunking some of these lies.
Your employer, your boss, your politicians will not tell you the truth, as anarchism would make them lose their power, and stop them exploiting and leeching off the proletariat.
So let us respond to the criticisms from the left, as the right intentionally lie to discredit anarchism and to keep their power. Marx and Engels said anarchism would come from socialism, but their adherents denounce it as disorder and chaos. Even the leninists, who denounce anarchists as reactionaries appear to ignore Lenin, who also claimed if one was to follow Bolshevism, we would get anarchy. So what is anarchism not?
Anarchism is not bombs, disorder and chaos;
It is not robbery and murder;
It is not every man for himself;
It is not a return to barbarianism.
Anarchism is the opposite of that.
Anarchism means no one enslave you, rob you, or impose upon you;
It means you are free to do what you want, and not compelled to do what you don’t want;
It means you should have the chance to choose how you want to live without anyone else interfering;
It means that the next fellow should have the same freedom as you, that everyone should have the same rights and liberties;
It means that there should be no monopoly, no oppression, or taking advantage of your fellow man.
To sum up anarchism, it is a condition or society where all men and women are free, where all equally enjoy the benefits of a sensible and ordered life.
This now contains anarchists. Have a gander to find out who Sasha Berkman or Bakunin is