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In Defense Of Anarchist Memory: One-Hundred Years Since The Death Of Ricardo Flores Magón

Statement from anarchists in so-called Mexico calling for a year of activity to defend and continue the anarchist memory of Ricardo Flores Magón, one-hundred years since his death.

Originally published by Its Going Down.

Let every man and woman who loves freedom and the anarchist ideal, propagate it with determination, with tenacity, without concern for mockery, without measuring the danger, without regard to consequences; let’s get to work comrades, and the future will be our anarchist ideal

Ricardo Flores Magón

On November 21, 1922, the anarchist Ricardo Flores Magón was assassinated in a prison cell in Leavenworth, Kansas, in the United States. One-hundred years since his assassination at the hands of henchmen of the United States government, official history has sought to sugarcoat the life and struggle of Flores Magón and the Mexican Liberal Party (PLM), presenting him as a “precursor” to the so-called “Mexican revolution,” and of the reformism of Francisco I. Madero. They have tried to portray Ricardo Flores Magón as a journalist and liberal writer who fought against the Porfirio Díaz dictatorship, seeking to erase his revolutionary and anarchist character, in order to recover his figure and use it for political capital.

Ricardo Flores Magón was against all caudillismo and cult of personality. He energetically rejected the nickname “Magonismo” to refer to the anarchists of the PLM affirming that this was a term used by the government to make people believe that it was just another movement like “Maderismo.” The term was not only rejected by Ricardo Flores Magón, but also by the men and women of the PLM, “As anarchists we do not have idols,” they said. Today, those in power seek to use the term “Magonismo” to confuse people and avoid calling the PLM and Flores Magón as they were: anarchists. Hiding, at the convenience of their interests, what these anarchists truly fought for and to what they offered their lives: the abolition of private property, church, and state.

Ricardo Flores Magón was a committed anarchist, combatting throughout his life what he called the dark trinity: authority, capital, and clergy. For that reason, he experienced persecution, exile, imprisonment. Yet, his unbreakable spirit felt a passion for freedom so immense, that none of the torture inflicted upon him succeeded in appeasing that flame which burned in his chest. Together with other men and women, he promoted social revolution from below. A revolution that didn’t seek to raise a new tyrant to power, but rather to destroy the very foundations of the capitalist system of domination and exploitation, so that the red flag of land and freedom could wave high and free like the wind, for everyone.

With the announcement of the so-called Fourth Transformation (4T) declaring 2022 as the year of Ricardo Flores Magón, as anarchist individuals and collectives, we declare that the memory of Magón and the PLM cannot be recuperated by the grotesque morning news conference spectacles of López Obrador. On the contrary, we reaffirm that the memory of the PLM forms part of the history of the struggles of the people for their emancipation and freedom. It is the history of Ricardo and Enrique Flores Magón, of Librado Rivera, Práxedis Guerrero, Anselmo Figueroa, of the Indigenous Mayo Fernando Palomares, of the Indigenous Yaqui Javier Huitimea, of Hilario Salas, of the mythical Santanón, of Cándido Donato Padua, Blas Lara, Emilio Guerrero, of the Indigenous Tarahumara Camilio Jiménez, of the tireless Nicolás T. Bernal, of Joe Hill, Jack Mosby, and the Wobblies, of the compañeras Margarita Ortega, Maria Talavera, Teresa Brousse, Concha Rivera, of Francisco Mendoza, of Jesús Rangel, of the newspaper Regenaración, of the brave PLM guerrilla fighters, of the strike at Río Blanco, at Cananea, of the insurrections of Acayucan, Las Vacas, or Palomas. It is the history of thousands of insurrectionary women and men who struggled in the ranks of the PLM for the freedom and regeneration of community.

It is the memory of rural and city workers who struggled to end economic exploitation. It is the memory of our fallen compañerxs like Tobi, Ruffo, Sacra, and so many others who gave their lives for a free world, of men and women who sought to do away with borders and flags, of those who dreamed to destroy prisons, police, and militaries. It is the memory of those of us who are enemies of all states, all authoritarianism, and all hierarchy.

For everything above, we invite anarchist collectives, organizations, and individuals to participate in the Activities in Defense of Anarchist Memory: 100 Years Since the Death of Ricardo Flores Magón, beginning on January 7, 2022, the 115th anniversary of the strike in Río Blanco, until December 30, 2022, 112th anniversary of the death of Práxedis G. Guerrero.

It is not our intention to add another date to the book of saints of the left. They already have too many martyrs and heroes. Our aspiration is to rescue anarchist memory, to know, remember, study, divulge, and propagate it, in order to continue writing the history of anarchist struggle through action. To this end, we invite all anarchists, those proud to be such, to organize forums, discussions, book presentations, study groups, art exhibitions, movie presentations, radio programs, rallies, meetings, concentrations, mobilizations, and anything that will help us turn memory, our memory, into an anarchist weapon against all tyrants and oppressors. The fight for our memory is another area of struggle against our oppressors and we are ready to give it.

Today just as yesterday, the exploiters are maintained by blood and fire. As all authority, the so-called Fourth Transformation (4T) utilizes violence and repression to impose its politics and megaprojects, and not at any moment has it hesitated to persecute, assassinate, and imprison anyone who defies it. This is the case of the seven compañeros of the community assembly of Eloxochitlán de Flores Magón, in the Sierra Mazateca of Oaxaca, birthplace of Ricardo, who have been in prison for over seven years for maintaining alive their community autonomy, resisting with tenacity and courage the continued attacks on part of the owners of money and power.

Thus, while paying homage to the legacy of Ricardo Flores Magón, the so-called Fourth Transformation (4T) continues to reinforce capitalist oppression. On one hand it manages it, with the implementation of assistance and palliative programs which do nothing to reverse the misery and suffering of the thousands of proletarian and Indigenous women and men who live in this region. On the other hand, it magnifies it, with an alarming expansion of militarization in our communities in order to impose megaprojects like the poorly named Mayan Train and the Interoceanic Corridor, deepening the dispossession of territory and the devastation of the earth, in benefit of the dominant class.

One hundred year since the death of Ricardo Flores Magón, as anarchists we will continue to wave the black flag of freedom. We continue opposing whatever government, no matter if they say they are of the left, because for us “changing the master is not a source of freedom nor well-being.”

Let’s continue the example of the anarchists of the Mexican Liberal party, fighting for life, holding up the flag of Regeneración, seeking land, bread, and freedom for everyone. With rebellion we shout, while we move like water.

Long Live Land and Freedom!

Long Live Anarchy!

Freedom for the Prisoners of Eloxochitlán de Flores Magón!

January 2022

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