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A Few Words

The changes occurring in the way capital functions today present a difficult challenge to all of us who reject and seek to destroy the present social order. We are living in a world in which existence is increasingly precarious, in which possibilities for a relatively autonomous existence are narrowing, in which our physical and mental beings are increasingly attacked by the poisons this system spews out, and in which the democratic state no longer feels the need to disguise what a state is but rather complacently garners citizens’ support for the most repressive measures through propaganda about “violent crime” and “terrorism”. To dream of finding individual freedom outside of the terrain of social struggle—of class conflict—is not adequate. Capital has permeated all but the tiniest crevasses of the globe and its poisons pollute even these. Our so-called “autonomous zones” are nothing more than marginal projects for survival within the present order—possibly necessary in the present precarious situation, but by no means a sufficient means for confronting the reality that surrounds us with the rebellious spirit that springs from our desire for a full and vibrant existence. Now individual freedom can only exist in the struggle to destroy the present social order—a struggle that is social, that involves the violent confrontation between those who are exploited and ruled and those control the conditions of our existence—because only in this context of struggle do our decisions and actions become one, ceasing to be a choice among the options offered by this society and becoming rather our own self-determined projects.

In this light, all easy answers must be held suspect. Whether it be so-called “revolutionary gardening” or “anarchist” free food distribution, the uncritical veneration of the EZLN or of the recent mass demonstrations against global capitalism, the acceptance of the official dogmas about AIDS or about mental illness (and the consequent acceptance of medical expertise), the simplistic generalizations about gender and sexuality put forth in so much feminist ideology and the equally unanalyzed (and often subtly racist) conceptions of race many “anti-racists” embrace, every easy answer silences the questioning essential to revolutionary struggle and individual freedom and leaves us impotent before the present horrors. If those of us who want to bring the state, capital and the entirety of this civilization down are to be strong in our attack, we will have to turn a pitiless and savage eye of critique on all the givens and commonplaces not only of the world of power, but also of the so-called radical movements that have failed to give us the powerful weapons we essential to our project of destroying this order. We can expect no saviors to come save us, no miracles to drop our revolution from the sky, no panaceas or wonder drugs to cure our ailing world. It is up to us to develop our tools, to hone our weapons, to create a revolt that is strong, intelligent and fierce. In the face of the present reality anything less becomes a prop for the present toxic reality.


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