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COVID-19: Anarchy in times of pandemic – By Gustavo Rodriguez

Riot Turtle has translated the COVID-19: Anarchy in times of pandemic pamphlet which was written by Gustavo Rodriguez. Riot Turtle asks to forgive minor mistakes, Spanish is not his native language. What follows is the introduction of the pamphlet and a full version of the pamphlet in PDF format.

Originally published as COVID-19: la Anarquía en tiempos de pandemi. Written by Gustavo Rodriguez. Translated by Riot Turtle.

Full Pamphlet COVID-19: Anarchy in times of pandemic in PDF format:

Original Spanish version: COVID-19: la Anarquía en tiempos de pandemi. in PDF format:

COVID-19: Anarchy in times of pandemic

For our dear Gabriel Pombo Da Silva [1] and all our comrades who have been kidnapped by the State in these days of the plague

“…using freedom or, if you want, abusing it, is the only way to liberate us”

Rodolfo González Pacheco

“Fire can arise from the plague. And with fire freedom may come […] we want to avoid that this moment of crisis leads to a restructuring of the current system; because that could only happen in a much more authoritarian direction […]”

The Plague and the Fire

“…the vitality of anarchy (which is also for sale today) lies precisely in ceasing to be a digestible product and be the opposite, i.e: a sharp, stabbing blow to the system.”

Mauricio Morales

We are witnessing the disappearance of the world: the world as we know it. Definitely, the pandemic caused by the new coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2) has accelerated its decline, consolidating a multifactorial “crisis” of “terrifying proportions”, caused by the abrupt alteration in the continuity of the flow of goods -even of inputs and raw materials- and the consequent paralysis of the “moments” -Marx dixit- of production; which has unleashed a perfect storm in the heart of the global economy with immediate effects on the dynamics of capital expansion and accumulation. In the face of this open secret, an atmosphere of global panic is being fostered that has been increasing thanks to the daily shrinking of the world, hand in hand with the speed, complexity and intensity of planetary interconnection.

In this context, the information pandemic (much more viral than SARS-CoV-2), which always fluctuates between disinformation and the induction of collective fear, has also done its part, causing voluntary servitude -regulated by panic and uncertainty- to prepare itself to assume the role for which it has been domesticated for centuries. Evidently, the big “push” of the last three decades of Postindustrialism, with the imposition and socialization of new technologies (more than 4 billion people connected!), has been decisive in the entrenchment of cyberleviatan with a multitude of subjects much more submissive than the Minions.

In other words, this group of “conscientious citizens” who suffer from idolaters of happiness and hope, prodigious children of positivity and performance, capable to impose an indefinite sentence of house arrest on themseves in the name of the “common”, sacrificing – for “security reasons” – the little individual autonomy in which they exist.

However, without minimizing the speed of transmission and the mortality rate of the new coronavirus and, beyond the growing paranoia and its conspiracy theories (present even in in our circles), I believe that many of these conclusions about the alleged “capitalist paralysis” is actually being induced with the premeditated intention to sell us the flying motorcycle. Just take a look at the massive increase in sales on Amazon or; the iPhone 12 promotion (with 5G connectivity and ready in September!) and the release of the iPhone SE in the midst of the pandemic, to confirm that the production line never stopped. Similarly, it is notorious that the fall of oil prices was a consequence of the collapse in demand as the oil industry continued to work around the clock in all parts of the world. [2] There is no longer any question who threw the Jumanji ( “jumanji” is a Zulu word meaning “many effects,”) dice: in recent days viral videos of endangered species (for the past 240 years) being seen on “social networks” have multiplied and the return of wildlife to their ancestral habitats now invaded by asphalt and concrete has been documented, showing the largest drop in the history of emissions of the main greenhouse gas – carbon dioxide (CO2) – with a decrease of 2 billion tons, according to the most conservative predictions. What is contradictory in this story is that according to the Mauna Loa Observatory in Hawaii, last May 3 (2020) the highest concentration of CO2 in history was reached (in the midst of the vaunted “capitalist paralysis”!) and also, the extinction of countless species is registered daily.

The deliberate distortion and manipulation of emotions and thoughts for the purpose of influencing social opinions and attitudes is a method traditionally used by authority to impose periodic “reality changes” through domestication technologies that facilitate the introduction of new laws and policies to manage human life. Or, to say it with Foucault, to generate a new biopolitical paradigm. In this way, new limitations and new prohibitions are instructed in the name of the “common good”, “sovereignty” and “security” for the sake of increasing (and improving) social control. As post-modern fascism was imposed in the entire West after September 11, 2001 through “self-control” and acceptance of restrictions as a political solution to the “terrorist threat”, resulting of a cluster of induced inferences.

The dynamics of the “simulation process”, developed by transdisciplinary researchers (sociologists, psychologists, psychiatrists, neurologists and geneticists) from the Theory of Mind (ToM) [3] , enunciated by primatologists David Premack and Guy Woodruff in the late 1970s, fits perfectly with these objectives. According to Heal [4] , the whole simulation exercise starts, to a greater or lesser degree, from premises of similarity and parity between the organisms that simulate each other. The emotional element, added to the level of automatism and the integration of the social group’s parameters, “make simulationism a more plausible alternative than any other theoristic approach, in as much as it is more economical and direct ” [5]. For the simulationists, taking into account the parameters of the social group are essential to the certainty of the mental states of people in various situations, recognizing the elements integrated in the simulation as context-dependent variables.

Are we getting a preview of Ridley Scott’s next film, with original script by Jeremy Rifkin and Klaus Schwab? The narrative and the whole communication strategy around the story of the pandemic, indicates that yes: the next post-pandemic movie premiere could well be titled “Intelligent Universe”, narrating the benefits of the “new normal” that we are already getting prescribed and, the arrival (on a global scale) of hypertechnological capitalism, marked by the convergence of digital technologies (software, sensors, information technologies and communication); biological (neurotechnologies, nanotechnology and genetic engineering) and; physics (radio astronomy, quantum cryptography and quantum entanglement); with the consequent expansion of “smart homes”, “smart cars”, “smart factories”, “smart schools”, “smart infrastructure”, “smart prisons”, “smart cities” and, a big etcetera of “smart domination” [6] by the hand of cyber-physical systems fully operated by artificial intelligence. Without a doubt, we are moving towards a new form of biopolitics or, “necropolitics”, in the words of post-Marxist Achille Mbembe, arguing the contemporary forms of “submission of life to the power of death (politics of death).” [7]

Gustavo Rodriguez,
Planera Tierra, May 22, 2020
(with Mauri in the heart!)


[1] This dear comrade -accomplice and friend-, committed to anarchist practice and the dissemination of anarchist illegalism, has been deported to the Spanish State after his arrest (with a search and arrest warrant) in Portugal, putting an end to his clandestinity. At the moment he is in

“Mandatory quarantine” in the prison of Badajoz, Extremadura, pending a possible transfer.

[2] The oil industry is the sector responsible for the highest emission of greenhouse gases, followed by the textile industry.

[3] The “Theory of the Mind” is defined as “the human capacity that allows us to perform mental activity, that is, to attribute beliefs, desires, emotions, intentions to others and to ourselves” (Valdez, N., Special Educational Needs in Developmental Disorders, Aique Grupo Editor, Buenos Aires, 2007, p. 13). Revealing that human actions are the result of interpretations that we constantly internalize, giving meaning to behavior and avoiding, of “chaotic” and “dark” behaviors. This makes it possible to interpret, explain and predict the behavior of people through a “mental look” at desires, thoughts and beliefs. Or as psychologist Simon Baron-Cohen calls it, a “mindreading” that allows you to poke around and “program” the forms of communication and deception, encouraging relationships both cooperatives as competitive (Baron-Cohen, S., The Empathizing System: a revision of the 1994 model of the Mindreading System. In B. Ellis & D. Bjorklund (Eds.), Origins of the Social Mind, Guilford Publications, London, 2005, pp. 468-492).

[4] Heal, J., “Simulation, theory and content”, En Peter, Carruthers (Ed.), Theories of theories of mind, Cambridge University Press, 1996, pp. 11-21

[5] Gordon, R., “Simulation vs. theory-theory”, En F. Wilson, & C. Klein (Eds.), Enciclopedia of Cognitive Science, MIT Press, Massachusetts, 1999.

[6] Vid., VV.AA., Die Smartifizierung der Macht: Beiträge zu einer Offensive gegen das technologische (The Smartification of Power: Contributions for an Offensive against the Technological Network), Edition Irreversibel, 2018. A recommendable compilation of texts in German, written from similar positions, which invites to debate and action with a clear “approach against the smartification of power”.

[7] Mbembe, Achille; Necropolítica, Editorial Melusina, Spain, 2011

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