EZLN Communiqué: Them and Us, I: The (un)reasonables above
January of 2013.
Those above say:
“We are those who rule. We are the most powerful, although we are the fewest. We don’t care what you say/hear/think/do, as long as you are mute, deaf, immobile.
We could impose as government relatively intelligent people (although they are getting really difficult to find in the political class), but instead we chose someone who can’t even pretend he knows what’s going on.
Why? Because we can.
We can use the police and military apparatus to pursue and incarcerate true criminals, but these criminals are a vital part of us. So instead we choose to pursue you, beat you, detain you, torture you, incarcerate you, murder you.
Why? Because we can.
Innocent or guilty? Who cares if you’re one or the other? Justice is just one more whore in our little address book, and, believe us, it’s not the most expensive one.
And even if you obey to the letter what we impose, even if you don’t do anything wrong, even if you are innocent, we will crush you.
And if you insist on asking why we do it, we will answer: because we can.
This is what it means to have Power. Money, riches, and such things are often talked about. But believe us, what excites us is that feeling of being able to decide the life, liberty, and welfare of any of you. No, power is not money, it’s what you can do with it. Power is not just the ability to exercise it with impunity, but, and above all, is the ability to do so irrationally. Because being in Power is doing and undoing for no other reason than having possession of Power.
And it doesn’t matter who appears up front, to cover for us. All this stuff about right and left, those are just direction for the chauffer to park the car. The machine functions by itself. We don’t even have to order punishment for whoever is insolent enough to challenge us. Governments of any size, across the political spectrum, in addition to intellectuals, artists, journalists, politicians, and religious hierarchies fight over the privilege to please us.
So, in other words, screw you, fuck you, rot, die, become disillusioned, give up.
For the rest of the world, you don’t exist, you are no one.
Yes, we have sown hate, cynicism, bitterness, desperation, the theoretical and practical sense of to-hell-with-it-all, the conformism of the “least worst,” fear become resignation.
And, yet, we fear that this could become organized rage, rebellion, without a price tag.
Because we control the chaos we impose, we administer it, we measure it out, we feed it.
Our “forces of order” are our forces to impose chaos.
But the kaos that comes from below…
Ah, that one… we don’t even understand what they are saying, who they are, how much it would take to buy them. And then they’re so rude as to not accept handouts, to not wait, ask, or plead, but instead exercise their liberty. Have you ever seen such obscenity!
This is the real danger. People that look elsewhere, that step out of the mold, or break it, or ignore it. Do you know what has always worked for us? The myth of unity at any cost. To identify only with the boss, the leader, the caudillo, or whatever you want to call it. It is easier to control, administer, contain, buy off a few rather than to do so with many. And cheaper. That and the individual rebellions. These are so movingly useless.
On the other hand, what really is a danger, a real chaos, is when each and every one becomes a collective, a group, a band, a race, an organization, and they learn to say “no” and to say “yes,” and they come to an agreement among themselves.
Because the “no” is aimed at those of us who rule. And the “yes”…ugh.. this is indeed a calamity, just imagine if everyone constructed their own destiny, and decided for themselves what to be and do. It would be like saying that we [those in power] are dispensable, disposable, that we are in the way, that we are the ones who are unnecessary, the ones that should be imprisoned, that we are the ones that should disappear.
Yes, a nightmare. Yes, of course, only now it’s our nightmare. Can you imagine what bad taste the world would consist of? Full of indians, blacks, browns, yellow, reds, rastas, the tattooed, the pierced, the studded, punks, darket@s, chol@s, skaters, those of that flag with the “A” that have no nation to buy them off, full of young people, women, prostitutes, children, old people, pachucos, drivers, peasants, workers, trash, proles, of the anonymous, of the…the others. Without a privileged space for us, “the beautiful people”… the “decent people” if you understand what we mean… because one can see a mile away that you didn’t study at Harvard.
Yes, that day would be night for us… Yes, everything would blow up. What would we do?
Hmm… we hadn’t thought about that. We think, plan, and execute what to do to prevent it from happening, but, no, no that possibility hadn’t occurred to us.
Well, in that case, then… hmm… I don’t know… maybe we’d look for whom to blame and then, well I don’t know, look for a plan “B.” Of course by then it would be useless. I think that at that point we’d remember that phrase from that damned red Jew… no, not Marx… Einstein, Albert Einstein. I believe that it was he who said: “Theory is when you know everything and nothing works. Practice is when everything works and nobody knows why. In this case we have combined theory and practice: nothing works… and nobody knows why.”
You’re right, we wouldn’t even manage a smile. Sense of humor is a legacy we haven’t been able to expropriate. Isn’t that a shame?
Yes, no doubt: these are times of crisis.
Oh hey, aren’t you going to take pictures? I mean, so we can fix ourselves up a bit and put on something more presentable. Nah, we already tried that in “Hola”[a Mexican magazine]… ah but what can we tell you, it’s clear that you haven’t gotten past the “libro vaquero”[a Mexican comic].
Ah, we can’t wait to tell our friends that someone so… so… so… other, came to interview us. They’re going to love it. And well, it will give us such a cosmopolitan image…
No, of course we’re not scared of you. With regard to that prophecy… bah, that’s just superstition, so… so… so autochthonous… Yes, that’s so third world[i]… hahahaha… what a great joke, let me write that down for when we see the boys later…
What? It’s not a prophecy?…
Oh, it’s a promise…
(…) (titutata-tatatatá sound, the smartphone ringing)
Hello, police? Yes, I need to report that someone came to see us. Yes, we think it was a journalist or someone like that. He looked so… so… so other, yes. No, he didn’t do anything to us. No, he didn’t take anything either. It’s that, now that we left the club to see our friends, we’re seeing that something has been painted on the gates to the garden. No, the guards didn’t see anybody. Of course not! Ghosts don’t exist. Well, it’s painted in many colors… no we didn’t see any paint bucket around… So, we were saying that it’s painted with many colors, really colorful, really tasteless, very other, nothing like the galleries where… what? No, we don’t want you to send a patrol. Yes we know. But we called to see if you can investigate what they painted means. We don’t know if it’s a code, or one of those strange languages that the proletariat speaks. Yes, it’s just one word, but we don’t know why it gives us chills. It says:
(to be continued…)
From whatever corner, in whichever world.
[i] “That’s so region 4” is the original. Region 4 refers to Latin America in the way DVDs are coded.
[ii] “We will win a thousand times,” in Mapuche.
See and watch the videos that accompany this text:
“Pachuco“, with La Maldita Vecindad y los Hijos del 5to Patio. A video that, now yes, is from what they call a perspective “from below,” that is, from the middle of the mosh pit. Moral of the story: don’t record while you’re on the trampoline. And what’s up Maldita? Don’t be so predictable and come to an agreement. Or what, you’re going to abandon the people at the mercy of the justin biebers of the world? Okay then, a hug from here from Solin, because you all understood that the communities are the real Kalimán.[i]
b.- “Más por tu dinero” (“More bang for your buck”)
“Más por tu dinero“. Screenplay and direction by Yordi Capó. Guadalajara, México, August 2003.
c.- “On mice and cats.”
Animated drawings based on the words of Thomas C. Douglas (1904-1986).
[i] Kalimán is another old comic. Solin was the sidekick of Kalimán.