On History, Repression, and the Infinite
This is the first of three expositions detailing our final three barriers.
The Mexican Guerrilla and Forgetfulness
History tells us that the Nazis cleansed Berlin of Jews in the days leading up to 1936 Summer Olympics. Before everyone arrived from abroad, the Jews had been pushed out of sight, the brutality and pogroms hidden away. The city was brightened, the roads were cleaned, and the shops were open. Three years earlier, Hitler had presided over May Day celebrations, having successfully hijacked the ideas of socialism and revolution from the Marxists, many of whom also happened to be Jews. In 1945, Hitler killed himself and had his body burnt. The war he started before his death consigned the world to its current fate of authoritarian domination. Long after he died, the SS patrolled the streets and Nazi rockets filled the sky.
In 1968, the students of Mexico City (DF) began boarding buses and handing out literature, marching in the streets against the PRI government, and withstanding heavy assaults by the police. They fought to free their imprisoned friends, to keep beauty alive, and to destroy the capitalist terror around them. They were executed in cold rooms after defending the occupied UNAM, the wandered drunkenly down Insurgentes knowing their future was gone, they fucked in dirty bathrooms knowing the world was against them, and they witnessed the tumultuous expansion of the world revolutionary Geist before their intoxicated eyes. Some of them were part of the Anarchist International, although we may never know to what extent.
Ten days prior to the opening of the 1968 Mexico City Summer Olympics, the PRI government sent a group of paramilitaries called the Olympic Brigade to liquidate the student movement. The Brigade was created to cleanse the city and erase all unwanted disturbance. In the Plaza de las Tres Culturas, hundreds of students were killed outright, their blood and life and beauty permanently staining the dry ground of the capitol.
The Olympic Brigade had been trained and equipped by the CIA to fight the Communist International. A year earlier, on October 9th, 1967, Che Guevara had been killed by the CIA trained military while attempting to start an insurgency in Bolivia. Five months earlier, a school teacher named Lucio Cabañas witnessed the police fire on a group of his students who had occupied a school. After this bloodshed, Cabañas fled into the mountains of Guerrero where he soon joined a band of guerrillas.
The guerrillas were lead by Genaro Vázquez Rojas, a man who had been a school teacher in the slums of DF and had once studied law at the UNAM. After leaving the capitol metropolis, Rojas moved to Guerrero and formed an above ground group for the defense of peasants and farmers. In 1962, this group staged a demonstration in Iguala that was attacked by the police, leaving 30 people killed and Rojas implicated in the death of a cop that had been assigned to follow him. The group was outlawed by the PRI government and Rojas fled into the mountains and where he soon formed a band of guerrillas.
Rojas was eventually captured in 1966 and thrown into prison. On April 22, 1968, six months before the student massacre in DF, Rojas’ group broke him out of his cage and returned to the mountains of Guerrero. During his absence, Lucio Cabañas had joined the group. These two school teachers quickly became very close as Mexico plunged into the battle between the capitalists and the communists.
The group staged its first bank robbery in April 1969. During the process, the police apprehended all of the fighters and recovered the stolen money. Their next action was better prepared and on January 5th, 1971, the guerrillas kidnapped the head manager of the Commercial Bank of the South from his car on the freeway. The group freed him after receiving a 500,000 peso ransom payment. On November 19th, the group kidnapped the dual soft-drink mogul and Chancellor of the University of Huerrero. After the authorities released nine political prisoners and paid another 500,000 peso ransom, the group released their capitalist prisoner. Tiring of these disturbances, the CIA instructed the Mexican military on how to crush the band of 300 guerrillas. Thousands soldiers encircled the coastal mountain the group used as its base of operations. The circle tightened and eventually the authorities were able to kill Rojas after he crashed his car during an escape attempt.
His comrade Lucio Cabañas took leadership over the group after his death and lead the group out of the encirclement. Over fifty guerrillas were killed in this time period, but they were eventually able to regroup and attempt another action. In December, 1974, a commando kidnapped a senator from Guerrero and during an attempt by the authorities to free the captive politician, Cabañas was killed in a shootout. The group he led had carried the name Partido de los Pobres, the Army of the Poor.
The counter-revolution effected Mexico just as it did the rest of the world. Most of the insurgencies in Central and South America were crushed by the CIA and fascist dictatorships were allowed to flourish. By the 1980′s, the prospect of stopping the offensive of the Capitalist International appeared uncertain and likely to end in death and oblivion. And so one day in 1983, a group of urban guerrillas entered the untamed jungles of Chiapas in a desperate bid to relaunch the offensive in Mexico.
The EZLN and the World
We will not attempt to summarize the multiform and diverse activities of the EZLN that have taken place over the past thirty years. The texts, communiques, and books released by the Zapatistas speak for themselves. However, we will quote at length from one particular communique written by Subcomandante Insurgente Marcos in December, 1994, nearly one year after outbreak of the insurrection in Chiapas.
The cold is harsh in these mountains. Ana Maria and Mario are with me on this exploration, 10 years before the dawn of January. The two have barely joined the guerrilla. I am an infantry lieutenant and it is my turn to teach them what others taught me: to live in the mountain.
Yesterday I ran into Old Man Antonio for the first time. We both lied. He said he was on his way to see his field, I said I was hunting. We both knew we were lying and we knew we knew it. I left Ana Maria to follow the path and I went towards the river to try to find a very high mountain and Old Man Antonio. He must have thought the same thing because he appeared at the same place where I found him before.
Like yesterday, Old Man Antonio sat on the ground, and leans against a patch of dark-brown green and begins to roll a cigarette. I sit in front of him and light the pipe. Old Man Antonio begins.
“You’re not hunting”
“You’re not on the way to the field” I answer.
Something made me speak to him in the proper tense, with respect, that man of undetermined age and cedar skin who I was seeing for the second time in my life.
Old Man Antonio smiles and adds,
“I’ve heard of you. In the canyons they say you are bandits. In my village, they’re upset because you are here.”
“And you, do you think we’re bandits?” I asked.
Old Man Antonio releases a huge puff of smoke, coughs, and shakes his head. I’m encouraged and ask him another question.
“So who do you think we are?”
“I would prefer if you told me” he says and looks into my eyes
“It’s a long story” I say.
So I begin to talk about the times of Zapata and Villa and the revolution and the land and the injustice and hunger and ignorance and sickness and repression and everything. And I finish by saying so “we are the Zapatista Army of National Liberation”. I wait for some sign from Old Man Antonio who never took his eyes from my face.
“Tell me more about that Zapata” he says after smoke and a cough.
I start with Anenecuilco, then with the Plan de Ayala, the military campaign, the organization of the villages, the betrayal at Chinameca. Old Man Antonio continued to stare at me until I finished.
“It wasn’t like that” he says.
I’m surprised and all I can do is babble.
“I’m going to tell you the real story of Zapata”.
Taking out tobacco and rolling paper, Old Man Antonio begins his story which unites and confuses modern times with old times, just like the smoke from my pipe and his cigarette which mingle and converge on one another…
…I chew on the now-short stem of the pipe waiting for Old Man Antonio to continue, but he never does. In fear that I will disrupt something very serious I ask, “And Zapata?”
Old Man Antonio smiles. “You’ve learned now that in order to know and walk you have to ask questions.” He coughs and lights another cigarette and out of his mouth come these words that fall like seeds on the ground.
Old Man Antonio took from his backpack a little bag of nylon. Inside there was a very old picture from 1910 of Emiliano Zapata.
In his left hand Zapata had his sword raised to his waist. In his right hand he had a pistol, two cartridge belts of bullets crossed his chest, one from left to right, the other from right to left. His feet are positioned as though he’s standing still or walking and in his gaze there is something like “here I am” or “there I go”. There are two staircases. One comes out of the darkness, and there are dark-skinned Zapatistas as though they were coming out of something. The other staircase is lighted but there is no one and one can’t see where it goes or where it comes from. I would be lying if I told you that I noticed all those details. It was Old Man Antonio who told me. Behind the picture, it said;
“Gral. Emiliano Zapata, Jefe del Ejercito Suriano.
Gen. Emiliano Zapata, Commander in Chief of the Souther Army.
Le General Emiliano Zapata, Chef de l’Armee du Sud.
C.1910. Photo by: Agustin V. Casasola.”
Old Man Antonio says to me “I have asked a lot of questions of this picture. That is how I came to be here.” He coughs and tosses the cigarette butt. He gives me the picture. “Here” he says “So that you learn how to ask questions…and to walk.”
We hope this passage from the communique will serve to fill the gap between the year 1994 and 2006. Old Man Antonio was the person who first began to trust the weary guerrillas in the 1980′s and allowed them entry into the Mayan villages. While Marcos wrote the quoted communique, the Mexican economy began to disintegrate, due partially to the sheer reality of the EZLN and the autonomous zone they created in Chiapas. The next month, Chase Manhattan would send a communication to the Mexican government, encouraging them to “eliminate the Zapatistas” in order to improve the state of the economy.
It is significant to us that Marcos found it important to publicly remember Old Man Antonio at a moment when the autonomous area was about to be assaulted by the military. Facing death and defeat at the hands of the Capitalist International, Marcos chose to remind all those who read his words that the struggle he and the EZLN fought extended back throughout linear time and would continue forever. However, an armed guerrilla group had never done such a thing as the EZLN had, nor had one ever issued such strange communiques before, nor had one been able to create an autonomous area that was public, visible, anti-authoritarian, and resilient.
Marcos is quite possibly a member of the Anarchist International, and we are sure he has thought this himself from time to time. He was most certainly influenced by the mythos and ideas of the now collapsed Communist International. In his attempts at the peace accords we can see Che Guevara speaking to the UN, demanding an ending of hostilities against Cuba. But more importantly, we can see in Marcos the story of Lucio Cabañas, the school teacher who fled into the mountains in 1967. Marcos himself was a teacher, and as he hiked into the jungle on his first journey, he underwent the process of leaving linear time that we have previously described (see Foundational Statement Of The Anarchist International). It is in his delirious writings that we can see something new, something that is distinct from all the previous failures of the Communist International. In his writings, we can see the world revolutionary Geist leaping off the page.
Marcos and the EZLN followed the Mayans in their quest to free the jungle from capitalist time. As everyone saw in the years between 1994 and 2006, they succeeded to greater or lesser extent. During this time period, the dictatorship of the PRI was finally unseated from power. The free area they created was able to withstand the tumultuous, neo-liberal assault of the 1990′s and the renewed counter-revolution that began in 2001. Despite seeing the strength of their international allies weaken during this time period of repression and totalitarianism, the Zapatistas did not abandon their commitment to the struggle against capitalist time.
On June, 28th, 2005, the EZLN released the Sixth Declaration of the Lacandon Jungle in which they explained how they had spent the years since 2001 building up the infrastructure and defenses of the autonomous area. They also declared that they would “forge new relationships of mutual respect and support with persons and organizations who are resisting and struggling against neoliberalism and for humanity, and as far as we are able, we will send material aid such as food and handicrafts for those brothers and sisters who are struggling all over the world.” The declaration also called for persons and organizations to adhere to the principles of the Sixth Declaration and begin working on what would become the Other Campaign.
In April of 2006, Marcos and the EZLN came to San Salvador Atenco, an area on the outskirts of DF that had previously resisted the creation of an airport on their traditional farmland. This was one stop among many in the Other Campaign’s effort to unite the disparate social movements of Mexico. There, the EZLN met with the People’s Front in Defense of the Earth, the group that had forced President Fox to cancel the plans for the airport only two years into his term. During the EZLN visit, the People’s Front decided to adhere to the Sixth Declaration.
Shortly after this, on May 3rd, an insurrection broke out in the general area of Atenco after flower sellers were physically prevented by the police from working at a market in Texcoco. The flower sellers appealed to the People’s Front for assistance. Once this collaboration took place and all of the dissidents amassed on the streets, a fight with the police started that lasted all night. People blocked the main highway, the flower sellers hid away at a house in Atenco, and the people pushed the police away from their forces, all the while ringing church bells encouraging everyone to join the fight. Eventually, the police assembled enough forces to crush the insurrection. The police brutalized and raped dozens of the people they captured. The Zapatistas remained in DF and closed off access to the autonomous area in Chiapas. This police action was widely seen as the first instance of overt repression against the Other Campaign and any other social movements that thought to rebel. This all took place two months before the 2006 Mexican General Election.
Nearly simultaneously, a teachers strike began in Oaxaca City that same May. The teachers occupied the central square of the city for a month. One of their consistent demands was the resignation of the ruling PRI governor who eventually ordered the police to crush the occupation. On June 14th, 3000 police cleared the occupation of the square after hours of street fighting. Once the eviction was over, the allied rebels formed the Popular Assembly of the People’s of Oaxaca (APPO) and on decided to reoccupy the square on June 17th. The people succeeded in holding their space and over the next months began to spread their assemblies and occupations to distant towns and urban radio stations. Universities and municipal buildings were occupied, women took over television stations and released counter-propaganda, insurgents withstood PRI paramilitary attacks, and the governor hid away in DF for a period of time.
Back in the capitol, the media and the government were busy saturating the public with controversy over who would become the next president in a tight race that had been fraught with irregularities. This spectacular distraction helped the government act with less restraint while it increased its attacks against the Planton de Oaxaca. Over the course of the next August and September, Oaxaca was a relative autonomous zone. At one point, there were over 1,000 blockades in Oaxaca City with pirate radios helping to coordinate defenses. Throughout the month of October, many people began to die during government attacks. Nevertheless, thousands kept marching, throwing molotov cocktails, and feeding each other.
On October 29th, the police retook the central square and destroyed the encampment once again. The EZLN called for a series of global blockades to take place on November 1st and 20th alongside the people of Oaxaca. On November 2nd, the authorities attempted to destroy the last remaining pirate radio in the occupied university but were repelled by the defenders. During this same day, Marcos and the Other Campaign walked up to the northern US border in Ciudad Juarez and proclaimed that they acted with the people of Oaxaca and that the border before their eyes meant nothing to them.
On November 6th, a bank, the PRI headquarters, and the Federal Electoral Tribunal were bombed by a coalition of Oaxaca guerrillas. In their communications to the public, the groups stated their actions were in retaliation for the bloodshed in Oaxaca. No one was killed in their attacks. Shortly after this, on November 20th, the EZLN shut down all of the major highway in Chiapas. This took place concurrently with other efforts across the planet. Everything culminated in the attempt to re-occupy the square in Oaxaca City on November 25th, an effort that ultimately was unsuccessful. The insurgents burnt many buildings that night during the fighting and they defended the autonomous zone to the best of their abilities, but ultimately the government forced them to retreat just in time for the ascension of Felipe Calderon to the presidency on December, 1st, 2006. With him came the drug wars that we are all now familiar with.
Since then, the autonomous area in Chiapas has had to withstand further assaults. With all of the money and resources that Calderon and the US devoted to the drug war, the EZLN was forced to go largely on the defensive. The large networks that aided the ELZN in the nineties began to collapse just before the new counter-offensive of the Anarchist International.
On May 1st, 2006, with the events in San Salvador Atenco and Oaxaca about to commence, one of the largest general strikes in the US took place across the country. The hundreds of thousands of people who took the streets that day were largely immigrant workers from Central and South America. In Los Angeles on May 1st, 2007, California, one of the main epicenters of this strike, the people were indiscriminately attacked by the police in a public display of brutality meant to terrify the undocumented workers from doing something similar in the future. This event, along with Atenco and Oaxaca, was meant to reminded all who fought against the Capitalist International they they faced the same repression.
Despite this, after the completion of first tour of the Other Campaign, the EZLN held a Zapatista Intergalaktica in Chiapas where conversations were had that led (in part) to the creation of a network that would ultimately plan an action at the border between the US and Mexico in 2007. This effort, aimed at exposing the new Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) of the US and its own network of immigration prisons, was to be a final push to keep alive the international offensive that had begun in 1994 against the Capitalist International. Fitting with the time period of counter-revolution, the actions that took place in the US were either suppressed or demonized by the authorities. At the end of 2008, the struggle to fight the immigration police apparatus had been largely recuperated by the US government and put squarely in the hands of reformists.
The old networks had lost their former power by 2007. However, as we have stated previously, that is also the year that the current offensive of the Anarchist International commenced. As if presaging the coming crisis, the anarchists of the world began to frantically burn marks on the edifice of a collapsing world system. Between 2008 and 2012, the Anarchist International has been significantly rebuilt amidst the current intrusion of the world revolutionary Geist. We have seen the occupation of squares across the world so similar in spirit and form to the rebellion in Oaxaca. We have also seen the same desire for autonomy and freedom spread in the minds of the millions of people who have been swept up during the events of the past year.
The networks of the previous offensive no longer function as they once did, but when they were on fire and abuzz with activity, the insurrection in Chiapas signaled the beginning of the offensive against capitalism that came to be known as the anti-globalization movement, an offensive that burned its way into Canada and Eastern Europe. Back then, Chiapas served as a stable center to regroup, formulate, and experiment. Many of us remember these things, but there are many who do not. It is for you that we write the majority of these words.
The Anarchist International has had an ambiguous relationship with the EZLN since its first public appearance. We were unable to adhere to the Sixth Declaration, primarily because we are not an organization, secondly because we found the scope of the project limited and unable to quickly adapt to the ever-changing methods and tactics of the Capitalist International. Many of us have never set foot in Chiapas and we would like to create our own autonomous areas (see Instructions For Rebuilding The Anarchist International) from which we can regroup and live free from capitalist time. Regardless of this, we have always offered our critical and practical solidarity to the EZLN and the indigenous people of Chiapas. The sheer reality of their accomplishment and the undeniable fact of their continued existence is proof to us that the EZLN was able to keep the Geist alive in the jungle. They are still there and are still under siege by paramilitary forces. At the time of this writing, their most recent communique is dated April 24th, 2012 and regards the tainting of autonomous water supplies by counter-insurgents. The counter-insurgency that is still being directed against them takes place amidst the horror of the drug war.
In conclusion, we would like to say that we eagerly await the moment that the EZLN understand the ideas we have laid out in our previous communications and strives to understand the centrality of the metropolis to the Capitalist International and the nuances involved in sabotaging it. There is no land to grow enough food, no ancestral ties, no natural drinking water, and no practical way to create a truly autonomous zone in the centers of the metropolis. Nevertheless, this is where our enemy resides, surrounded by millions of desperate and forgetful people. We write this to keep the memory alive and to remind you that nothing is mutually exclusive. All options are on the table and everything is possible. To our comrades old and new, in Mexico and elsewhere: remember the past and make it live once more. Once you bring it back to life, it immediately becomes the future.
Repression is the very essence of linear time. It is the constraint that is put on us to prevent us from breaking free. All who have attempted to dominate and subjugate us point to the laws that have persisted throughout linear time in order to justify their repression. The permanence of these laws is a well maintained illusion. New souls enter the world and know nothing but law and order as they proceed to live their lives. They see the police, the courts, the jails, and death chambers as unchanging and permanent. Because of this, those who have momentarily escaped linear time appear to them as bandits and criminals. These unfortunate people act as agents of repression against not only the efforts of the Anarchist International but against themselves.
All those who repress themselves instinctively repress others in order to maintain their sanity. Anyone who threatens the established order that has colonized the minds of others will face instant repression from them. This can be as simple as someone telling another person to silence themselves during a discussion or calling the police on a disturbance in the social order. If these colonized people did not repress others, their entire conception of reality would shift and force them to confront the suddenly obvious contradictions and impossibilities of capitalist normality. These agents of repression are simultaneously our nemesis and possible allies. When a person escapes linear time, they have ceased to repress themselves. When a person becomes animated by the world revolutionary Geist, they stop repressing others. Discovering ways to not only continue our struggle but to also encourage others to stop repressing themselves are the goals of the Anarchist International.
All authority attempts to turn its subjects against each other in order to prevent them from rising up against authority. In particular, the authority of the Capitalist International has grown increasingly adept at this tactic since the initial offensives of the First International in the 1800′s. The initial repressive strategy utilized brute repression coupled with an extensive network of spies and provocateurs that were used to infiltrate the circles of the International in order to preempt doomed attacks, introduce uncertainty into the milieu, and offer leniency towards those who distanced themselves from all those who dared to act.
One notable instance of this took place in London when Martial Bourdin attempted to blow up the Royal Observatory in Greenwich Park in 1894. Very little is known other than that Bourdin frequented the Autonomie Club on Windmill Street. He was in Paris shortly before Emile Henry’s bombing of the Cafe Terminus and police records revealed that the authorities were observing him when he crossed Westminster Bridge and mysteriously disappeared. He went to unknown location and received a bomb from an unknown person. He took the train towards East Greenwich, got off at the park, and walked to the Royal Observatory, the site of the Prime Meridian, the calibrator of standard capitalist time. And then the bomb ignited, shredding his body to pieces. Later that evening, the Autonomie Club was raided, the occupants were interrogated, and the space was closed down.
Almost immediately, anarchists began to look for the people responsible for what had happened. Everyone was uncertain as to why something so unexpected had suddenly happened amidst a milieu largely composed of weary refugees from the continent. Police documents and whistle-blowing have revealed that Bourdin was pushed into this action by agents working for the Russian Okhrana. At the time, however, no one knew this with any certainty. The mystery and confusion that the authorities produced in the minds of the London anarchists was one of the primary goals of this repression. All those who did not want to jeopardize their sanctuary from the worst of the pan-European counter-revolution began to distance themselves from the bombers and their methods.
By offering sanctuary, the British state was able neutralize the fiercest elements of the London milieu. No one knew for certain what had happened, they just wanted to set themselves apart from it. Without this certainty and trust in who had been behind the bomb plot, no one could definitively affirm that an anarchist had consciously attempted to blow up the Prime Meridian. It is this uncertainty that eventually drove anarchists like Errico Malatesta, Louis Michel, and Peter Kropotkin to distance themselves from this type of attack. When an anarchist from Deptford began blowing up London post offices, many viewed these acts as more of the same suspicious incidents. Because of the repression, the real was enveloped by the false, everyone acted to protect only themselves, and capitalist time reigned triumphant over the metropolis of London.
The Royal Observatory in Greenwich was commissioned by King Charles II, just as the Pyramids of Giza were commissioned by the pharaohs. The power these monuments possess is their ability to bring order to the world. The Observatory is a reminder to all that capitalist time continues. The Pyramids are a reminder that slavery continues. These structures have a dual symbolic and material power that should not be underestimated. The simple idea that a French anarchist would attempt to blow up the Observatory was enough to confound and intrigue British society for years. Joseph Conrad wrote his novel The Secret Agent based on the incident and the papers were filled with speculation regarding the true motivation. Nearly everyone knew that if capitalist time had been Bourdin’s true and intentional target, the very fabric of reality would be challenged. It would mean the time they lived under was an illusion and capable of being destroyed. As a reaction to this knowledge, British society supported the repression of anarchists that followed the Greenwhich tragedy.
The Russian Okhrana was formed and hardened during its pursuit of the early nihilists. In the same manner, the American FBI was formed and hardened in its pursuit of the Anarchist International. Both learned very quickly how to destroy or neutralize anarchist networks. The pattern they perfected is very simple: enact immediate repression against a small segment of a network, wait for retaliation, enact further repression in response to this retaliation, and eventually draw out a hardened core from the pacified network. After this, both agencies would attempt to apprehend this core either before or during an attack. They knew that by the time they were dealing with a solid nucleus, the rest of the anarchist network would no longer be supporting their former comrades. Not only did the repression cause many comrades to blame the attackers for the crack-downs, it ultimately decreased the chance of large numbers of people escaping capitalist time. Only a fierce and large force can succeed in breaking through the threshold of capitalist order. If that force is divided and fighting itself, it simply cannot devote the entirety of its energy towards the unifying goal of ending capitalist time.
By the 1930′s, the initial offensive of the Anarchist International had been crushed. The energy and networks that had spread from Europe to places as far away as Argentina and California had been all but destroyed by either the capitalists, the communists, or the early Nazis. The hundreds of thousands of people who had created the Paris Commune, the free Spain of the revolution, and maintained the diaspora of the Americas were all in hiding, dead, or in prison. The only thing that had mattered during the first global offensive was the multitude of people involved, diverse and fiery, animated by the Geist. When they were gone, very little was left besides the carnage of the second world war.
We find it highly unfortunate that the same centuries-old methods of repression are successfully being used against anarchists today. Young men are set up by the FBI in the US, encouraged to make simple molotov cocktails by an agent, and then sent to prison for years. Many people claim that anyone who encourages action are police agents, while others speak violent rhetoric and draw the attention of the authorities. The FBI gives young, inexperienced anarchists C4 and encourages them to blow up a bridge. The arrest of these young anarchists is then used as a justification for increased repression. The authorities in the US hope to create their very own anarchist to present to all those who are not animated by the Geist, an anarchist similar to the bearded bomb thrower of Edwardian London. When there is no substantial base of support, all offensive activity will be isolated and easily neutralized. This is why we have consistently reiterated the importance of revealing ourselves as anarchists to the population whenever possible and creating free areas where they might escape capitalist time. It is in these free areas, whether they be as small as a neighborhood or as large as the Paris Commune, that the Geist begins to expand and send its fire outwards. We do not want cauldrons to foment our rebellion, we want oceans.
In Bolivia, the authorities are currently attempting to pit anarchists against each other, hoping to sever the offensive tendencies from the main body. Unfortunately, it appears certain anarchists are helping them in their efforts amidst the backdrop of Evo Morales’s grand plan for the further exploitation of Bolivian land. Strikes are breaking out in the cities, the indigenous are rising up against the capitalist invasion, and the state is desperate to avoid a coherent assault on its body.
In the UK, the Anarchist Federation recently condemned an armed attack against a nuclear scientist made by an Italian cell of the Informal Anarchist Federation. In their official condemnation, the Anarchist Federation stated that they “condemn actions that put workers in danger without their knowledge and consent.” To the best of our knowledge, this IAF cell is not the same one that sent the letter bombs that hurt workers in the past. Also, to the best of our knowledge, only one worker was intentionally injured without their consent during the recent armed attack. This particular cell of the IAF made a choice to severely injure a specific functionary in the Italian nuclear network. On the other hand, the Anarchist Federation in the UK made a choice to condemn them for this. The choices of both groups should be looked at for what they are. Just as we do not forget the fascist infiltration of armed groups in Italy of the 1970′s, we also do not forget the comfort of some British anarchists.
We will quote at length from the communique issued by the IAF cell in order to provide the clarity that is necessary to avoid past errors: “If we were realists we would not take on such risks, we would live our existence producing and consuming, maybe being indignant. We are the crazy lovers of freedom and we will never renounce the revolution and the complete destruction of the state and its violence. In our anarchist and nihilist revolt, the hope of a future without borders, wars, social classes, economy, exploited and exploiter. The possibility of realizing this dream is for us like a gleam of light in the darkness. However dim this gleam may be, it is always worth reaching for, cost what it may, the quality of our life will be enriched. To you anarchists who accuse us of being unrealistic, adventurist, suicidal, provocative, martyrs, we say that with your “social” struggle, with your citizenism you work for the reinforcement of democracy. Always in search of consensus, without ever crossing over the limit of the “possible” and the “rational,” the only compass guiding your action is the penal code. Willing to risk only up to a point, always ready to find infinite ideological justifications so as not admit to your own fears.”
The extent to which these conflicts still occur is a measure of the failure of the Anarchist International. We in no way wish to erase these conflicts. The Anarchist International will simply not be articulated fully unless these conflicts come to an end. While we deplore these conflicts, they are unavoidable. While we might despise every word and action that is wasted fighting over our differences, we know they will happen until they stop. Perhaps these words reveal something of the impossible shape that is the International. The scope of our project is larger than workplace struggles or armed attacks. Our project is total.
When a massive intrusion of the Geist occurs, entire cities are turned inside-out. Unlike so many other nights, no one is at home or in the tavern. Everyone is where they have never been before, experiencing a world without time. There is no more order. A frantic and chaotic peace reigns amidst the pointless remains of the old world of capitalist time. This is what must remain forever, this chaos, this peace. We are as aware as you of how difficult it will be to make this happen. The Anarchist International will remain trapped in linear time until someone creates it anew in every location across the planet. We hope you have seen beyond the barrier of our name and glimpsed the true nature of what we are. Here we all are, now, watching, waiting, acting. Here comes everybody, clumping together without trying to. A green light washes over the ocean. Look up. This is the impossible shape. The infinite.
Not contradiction, nor the absence of contradiction. The infinite is both simultaneously. It is contradiction and the absence of contradiction. One and all, infinitely, forever. It is the truth and the false revealed to be what they are while also being neither. The last remnants of rational thought floating in a green-lit ocean of irrational chaos: this is perfectly rational, for it is the only balance we are interested in achieving: the end of time, the triumph of chaos, the infinite peace.
This peace is also an eternal war, the most devastating war this world will ever know. But this war will so closely resemble peace that we will be unable to find the words to explain how it is possible to distinguish between the two. Where there is no rationality, there is no direct causality, no clear sequence of events. Chaos is how the world ends, permanently and irreversibly.
We are firm believers in what we have just said, but we continue to write more confusing words. We write them knowing they will always possess a remainder of rationality, comprehension, and reason. Everything else will always be up in the air or below the ground, equally and perfectly. Inequality exists only with reason. Rationality creates order to explain itself.
We will destroy all order. Rationality will implode like a tower. The upper floors will fall down, guaranteeing the total destruction of those below. Rationality will crush itself under the weight of its own pointlessness. The universe did not end, nor did it begin. It existed always in a moment with no time. We experience it looking backwards. There is only the end and the beginning, remaining neither and affirming both.
Montreal witnesses the expansion of the Geist and its reckless, multiform nature. It arrives and swims through every person and every house. Montreal exists within the borders of every city on a terrain that cannot be mapped. A fighter in Asturias in1936 reaches out and fires a rocket at the police in 2012. This happens in both moments, simultaneously and concurrently. If the battle is won in1936, it is won in 2012. The opposite it also true. Without time, there is no direction. The fighting in the hills of Asturias takes place forever. The streets of Montreal empty out onto the fields of eternity and continue onward, backward and forward, both and neither.
This is what we have been speaking of. The shape contorts, the image blurs, everything becomes warped by the Geist passing through time. The offensive begins again and occurs always, traveling towards the infinite in all directions simultaneously.
We will defeat all order and live freely. Were this not true, we would not exist. The black hole grows until it devours all the life and energy of the universe and then transforms itself into the cosmos, bursting forward in an explosion of possibility, chaos, and life. We are the light of the stars bursting forth from the infinite singularity. Our task is simple: to explode away from the black hole while knowing that we will fall back into it, to understand that our struggle is the universe understanding itself. The world revolutionary Geist that we have spoken of is nothing more than this knowledge spreading across the planet
We are immortal, we reappear endlessly, and we continue to push everyone around us towards the infinite. It exists outside of the time, the machines, the logic and the systems that have been created to contain it. The infinite is our final barrier. To understand it is to become it.
We wish you all well and good luck in all your efforts.
This concludes On History, Repression, and the Infinite
Towards the destruction of authority
and the ignition of life