The comrades of Evade Chile have sent us a Spanish translation of a letter from Raoul Vaneigem, known for his important contributions to the Situationist International, sent to this territory regarding the revolts that are taking place in this and several other regions in the world. These revolts are shaking up the old world and foreshadowing the future struggles that are increasingly being waged against it.
Submitted to Enough 14. Written by Evade Chile and Raoul Vaneigem. Translated by Enough 14.
We also attach the e-mail of Evade Chile and, after it, the text of Comrade Raoul.
Our dear old comrade has sent us some words about these agitated days of world revolt in which the Chilean territory has become the protagonist:
What is happening in Chile is very important for the insurrection that is taking place in France. What is happening here and now is that Chile is becoming the result that the French state wants us to achieve: no social rights, the dictatorship of the commodity and a repression through which the state shows that it will not give in to anything.
[…] the French insurgents will soon be confronted with a choice: choose mayors who obey the power of the State or create Communes where the people themselves make decisions in their favour.
Like the insurgent masses in France, here too we face that choice between self-managing life or letting it be crushed by the inertia of power: political theatre, money, patriarchy and all its rotten institutions. Plebiscite or no plebiscite, there is no change in the ballot box.
We invite individuals, collectives and organizations that work by publishing on paper or via social networks to freely reproduce (and translate into other languages) this essay that comes from far away but springs from all fronts.
By depriving us of our means of existence, the state no longer protects us from crime, it is crime. Our legitimacy is to bring it down. The defense of life, of nature, of the human sense implies it.
The fight is still on.
EVADE CHILE #
Original text in Castellano (Spanish), PDF Documents:
It all starts here and now
So far capitalism has only faltered because of its internal development crises, its growth and decline flows. It has progressed from bankruptcy to bankruptcy. We have only managed to bring it down on very brief occasions when people have taken charge of their own destiny.
To affirm this is not to play the game of the prophets: we have entered an era where the historical situation favours the development of human progress, the rebirth of a life inebriated with freedom.
Enough with the wailing walls! There are too many funeral hymns that silently undermine the anti-capitalist discourse and give it an atmosphere of defeat.
I do not deny the interest of the disaster observatories. The repertoire of struggles is part of the will to break financial globalization and establish an international of the human race. I only hope that experimental advances, life projects and scientific contributions, whose individual and collective poetry mark their territories too discreetly, will be added.
Claiming the rights of subjectivity is a solitary act of solidarity. Nothing is more stimulating than seeing individuals free themselves from their individualism when the being is freed from having. Will it take time? Undoubtedly, but learning to live is learning to break the time line and banish from the present the return of the past where the abysses of the future are deepened.
A becoming maintained in a fetal state for ten thousand years emerges as an object of the past that we see rising from the deepest depths of the earth.
It is a blade of straw in the hay wagon of universal obscurantism. A tiny spark has set it on fire. The whole world is on fire.
It is enough for me to rejoice to see a radicalism whose conscience I have not ceased to tune up, asserting itself in this plebeian insurrection. It is a matter of my own life to add a few drops of water to the ocean of festive solidarity that beats beneath my windows. Because the people are no longer a blind crowd, but a group of individuals determined to escape from the individualistic brutality; they are a majority of anonymous people protected from reification by their status as subjects. They have revoked their status as objects, they have defected from the herd quantitatively manipulated by the courts of right and left.
I once wrote: “Life is a wave, its ebb is not death, it is the resumption of its momentum, the breath of its flight. In this way I manifested my rejection of the deadly influence that we so slavishly indulge in. I invite you here to reflect on the implications of observation for self-defence practices that apply the growing poetic power of world insurrections.
The land is our territory. That territory has the dimensions of our personal existence. It is local and it is global, because not a single moment passes without us trying to unravel, in ourselves and in the world, the joys that fall to us and the misfortunes that burden us. We are constantly moving between what makes us live and what kills us.
Only in the individualist (that cretin converted from subject to object) the concern for oneself becomes looking at one’s navel, selfish calculation prevails over solidary generosity, fictitious freedom is enrolled in the cohorts of voluntary servitude and resentful resignation.
To occupy the territory of our existence is to learn to live, not to survive. Hence the question: how can we live without breaking the yoke of the multinationals of death?
Take up the taste of permanent insurrection. The times of life are not those of economics. Capitalism has fallen into the trap of short-term profitability. Our vital determination plays out in the long term.
Resistance, whipping up finance with repeated blows, multiplying free zones are part of a harassment guerrilla that requires more ingenuity than violence (as shown by the lifting of motorway tolls, free passage at supermarket checkouts, the blocking of the economy).
The state outlawed. Capitalism and its police state will not give us a gift. They will fight the rise of areas where state oppression and market reification will be banished. They know that we know this and they think they will make us crawl weakly under the threat of their big battalions.
However, their boast blinds them. What they give us is indeed a gift. They give us nothing less than a reason that overrides the reason of state. The government resorts to the dictatorship to reform, to remodel democracy with blows of clubs and lies. In this way, it turns against itself the inalienable right to human dignity. It justifies civil disobedience as a legitimate recourse against inhumanity.
Yes, our right to live now guarantees the legitimacy of the insurgent people.
This right outlaws the law of the State that ignores it.
Self-defense is part of self-organization. It puts us in front of an alternative: leaving her unarmed is a suicidal act, militarizing her kills her. Our only resource is to innovate, to overcome the duality of the opposites, the contrast between pacifism and guerrilla. The experiment is underway, it has just begun.
The Zapatista Army of National Liberation (EZLN), like any army, has a vertical structure. However, its function is to guarantee the freedom and horizontality of the assemblies in which individuals collectively make the decisions that are considered best by and for everyone. Women have obtained, by democratic vote, the guarantee that the EZLN will intervene only in a defensive capacity, never for offensive purposes. The mere presence of an armed force has so far been enough to dissuade the government from crushing the Zapatistas through the use of the army and paramilitaries. Nothing has been played, everything is played constantly.
The situation with Rojava is different. The war waged by the profit international has condemned the people’s resistance to respond on the enemy’s ground, with their traditional weapons. It was a state of emergency. However, the predominance of women, the desire to found communes freed from communitarianism, the rejection of corporate policy and the primacy given to the human being augur well for a radical renewal of the modes of struggle. Obviously, these examples are not a model for us, but we can learn lessons from their experimental nature.
Federate the fights. What is most cruelly lacking in the insurrections that are gradually spreading over our earth, which is threatened from all sides, is international coordination. If the birth of the Zapatista movement was not immediately stifled, this was due to an immediate mobilization of consciences. A shock wave shook the general apathy.
Although the yellow vest movement plucked the popular intelligence from a long slumber, the media hype, the hammering of stereotypical discourse, of neolanguage that reverses the meaning of words, have regained the upper hand and considerably increased the effectiveness of the cretinization machine. One could have assumed that a wave of global indignation and protest – a universal “I accuse” – would have freed Julien Assange and protected the complainants. The thickness of the silence has shown that the era of the murderers is quietly settling in. The cemetery is the programmed social model. Are we going to tolerate it?
No triumphalism nor defeatism! Life has uttered a cry that will not be extinguished. We only need to spread its conscience to the four corners of the world. We possess an inexhaustible creative power. It has the power to supplant, with the rhythms of newly discovered life, the boring macabre dance where life rots.
By depriving us of our means of existence, the state no longer protects us from crime, it is crime. Our legitimacy is to bring it down. The defense of life, of nature, of human sense implies it.
Overthrow it? No. When the project is conceived in this way, it is tarnished with a military and boastful connotation whose past examples call us to be cautious. Would it not be better to empty it from within, to collect and take charge of this public good (1) whose conquests it was supposed to guarantee and which it has sold to private interests? This is what the Commune is all about. Isn’t it?
Everyone is free to dissect from above the state and the mafia system of which it is the oppressive arm. Under the scalpel of analytical precision, we have seen the multiplication of a series of revelations and denunciations that strip the king to the extreme of his transhumanist inhumanity.
This points to the low works woven in the golden frames of the Elysian theatre. They show how the reality forged by the exploiters tends, by the enormity of their lie, to replace the reality lived by the exploited. How we are forcibly recruited in an upside-down world where we are only pawns manipulated by cretins.
These are relentless accusations against the state, but the state will push them with its foot until we cut them off.
The government legislates without taking into account the suffering of the people in the same way that bullfighting fans omit animal pain. For my part, I can only rebel against the oppressed innocence. I have always chosen to eradicate the misery of experience – starting with my own – in order to abolish, by attacking it from below, the system that causes it from above.
Let’s go down to our earth! The scandal is not up there, where the dismayed sociologists and economists examine the accumulation of filth, but here, at the base of the pyramid, it is in the fact that we are leaving in the hands of incompetent and swindlers areas that affect us closely: education, health, climate, environment, security, finance, transport, the plight of the disadvantaged and migrants.
Our impoverishment pays the price for the oil wars, the incursions of copper, tungsten, rare earths, plants captured by pharmaceutical patents. Will we continue to finance the extraction of our resources and the prohibition of managing their use with our taxes and contributions?
The business figures and their administrators make fun of the schools as well as the beds and treatments the hospital needs. Here we are speechless in the face of the infamous inhumanity that the rulers cover in the quilted sack of their arrogance. What are we going to do with their speeches against violence, rape and paedophilia now that predation, the basis of the economy, is being preached everywhere and children are being beaten with the slap of commercial competition and strife?
To what ignoble degree of consensual slavery must people fall to accept that the rich administrators of their misery strip them of their existence, of their family, of their environment, which they are capable of administering themselves? The bankruptcy of the State is the pyrrhic victory of the multinationals of “profit at a loss”. It is up to us to play, and to play for life is to let it win.
What should we do with their ministries and bureaucracies whose mission is to demonstrate that the enrichment of the rich improves the condition of the poor; that social progress consists in reducing pensions, unemployment benefits, stations, trains, schools, hospitals, food quality?
When are we going to reappropriate what belongs to humanity and is within our reach? Since this public good is the one that touches us most closely, it is part of our existence, of our family, of our environment.
In opposition to the supposedly leading institutions, we erect as an absolute demand that human freedom revokes the freedoms of profit, that life matters more than the economy, that the manipulated object gives way to the subject, that the worker, product and producer of misfortune, learns to become the creator of the world by creating their own destiny.
The polluters and arsonists of the planet use ecology as a detergent to wash away dirty money. Meanwhile, at the bar of daily lies, consumers are drinking to climate-friendly measures, while ten metres from home they are fighting against pesticides, against industries (Seveso), against the damage of profit. How can we not see this as proof that our struggles are local and international?
The people, the neighbourhood, the region do not need a ministry to enact a ban on toxic companies as soon as they base themselves on new practices and experiments, such as permaculture, the reinvention of useful, pleasant and quality products.
Promoting free transport is a plausible response to the privatization of railways and road networks through government scams.
Self-construction is capable of wiping out property speculation. Stimulating the search for non-polluting energy sources (solar power plants?) is capable of eliminating oil, nuclear energy and shale gas. As for the ministry of concentrating education, it will not resist the schools of life that individual and family initiatives are spreading everywhere.
It is not our problem to leave mercantilism out of the euro or not. The real issue is to foresee the disappearance of money and to design cooperatives that promote the exchange of goods and services whether they use a non-cumulative currency or not. The fact that these solutions, which are practicable in small entities, will then be federated at regional and international level, will mark a decisive turning point in the course of the traditional organisation of things.
So far, quantity has been privileged. The only reasoning was in terms of large groups. The reign of the majority, of figures, of statistics imposed a disorder on the gregarious multitudes where the repressive order appeared illusory as a factor of equilibrium.
Long live the Commune. The self-managed Commune is the power of the people by the people. Just as the patriarchal family structure was the basis of the State, sacred or profane, the Commune and its self-managed assemblies will make the heart of individual generosity beat. Just as religion was once the false heart of a heartless world, so now human life gives its rhythm to the new world. It abandons the old to the exhausting tachycardia of stock market speculations.
Peaceful insurrection is a demilitarized guerrilla war. It must have as its basis and objective the self-organization of the autonomous communes. Before the authority of the master, our most fearsome enemy is the resignation of the slaves. The abolition of the state as an organ of repression requires the growing development of civil disobedience. The resistance, obstinacy and ingenuity of the yellow vests suggested to me that the determination to confront the violence of state repression and to stand firm without falling into paramilitary leftism, retro-Bolshevism and other Guevarist palinodias should be called “insurrectionary pacifism” or “peaceful insurrection”.
Avoiding face-to-face encounters with the repressive power of the enemy implies new angles of approach in dealing with conflicts. So far, the most effective approach is the firm and fluctuating resolution of yellow vests. It is their way of intervening where they are not expected, of hitting, of harassing, of showing up, of walking away and of being omnipresent. An unusual and surprising inventiveness is what makes them a “knife without a handle whose blade has disappeared”. As one insurgent poetically put it, “We don’t shoot with a gun, we shoot with our soul”.
January 12, 2020
(1) It is important that you specify what is meant in France by “public good”. The public good is what is called in Latin res publica, from which the word “republic” comes. But the important thing does not lie here. The “public good” is part of a historical phase of capitalist development, at a time when it was still capable of appeasing the people by throwing crumbs at them. To avoid the threat of a revolution, the French state granted the “Council of the Resistance” a series of measures to defuse the risk of a conflagration: unemployment benefits, social security allowing access to medical care, guarantee of a retirement pension at the age of 50, family allowances, regulated salaries, right to strike, relative freedom of expression. In addition to this, transport and hospitals were able to function properly. All these reforms improved the survival of the popular class while maintaining its submission. It is these social conquests, obtained at the price of vindictive struggles, that today form this “public good” and it is precisely this public good that the State, the right hand of the multinationals, is selling to the private sector. It is a whole system of survival that is being threatened. The fight against the liquidation of the old-age pension system is a symbolic detail. It reminds us that the existence of the majority consists of working to death and dying looking for work. This is something we no longer want. And it also reminds us how this miserable reform was acquired. By a resistance movement that harassed the Nazi occupier and that had promised to harass the supposedly democratic capitalism that had taken the lead. What this resistance movement did not do in the second half of the 1940s, it can do today. Not with the rifles of an urban guerrilla movement, the results of which we already know, but through the clandestine harassment of the enemy, through the blows inflicted on the grinding machine that profit sets in motion against us. It is the insurrectionary poetry, individual and collective, that will destroy the zombies who rule us by piercing their wallets instead of their hearts.
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