Capitalism Destroys, the People Build
Subcomandante Insurgente Moisés.
The words of the EZLN’s General Command in the voice of Subcomandante Insurgente Moisés in the Zapatista community La Realidad at the presentation of the Zapatista Autonomous School, “Compañero Galeano” and the Autonomous Clinic 26 of October, “Subcomandante Insurgente Pedro” to the Zapatista bases of support, March 1, 2015.
Good morning to everyone, compañeros and compañeras of this zone, in this caracol of La Realidad, Selva Fronteriza zone.
We are here with you today, compañeros, compañeras of this zone, to officially turn over these buildings to the compañeros and compañeras bases of support of this Zapatista community, La Realidad, Nueva Victoria, as it is called in the struggle for us as the Zapatista Army for National Liberation.
Compañeros and compañeras, what we must make clear and understand is that the pain carried by each Zapatista continues, not only the Zapatistas in Mexico, but across the world, because we do not have with us the compañero whose name this new construction carries: compañero Galeano.
This construction was the fruit and the work, the efforts and the organization of the compañeros and compañeras of the International Sixth and the National Sixth. Here we are demonstrating what we Zapatistas are, in Mexico and in the world.
What we are, what we think, and what we want, is life. We want them not to kill us.
The work of the capitalist system is to destroy what the poor people build. But the poor people will not stop building, because it is their life. The system destroys what the people build because it knows that one day the system itself will be destroyed, because it is based on exploitation and humiliation. Capitalism does not build life, and it leaves us, the poor, with nothing. All we have is what we build ourselves, the men and women who struggle, no one else.
That is why we are stating what we are, here at the construction site, here in the community of compañero Galeano, teacher of the Zapatista Little School, sergeant in the struggle, miliciano in his organization, authority in his own life, an example for all of us.
Capitalism wants to put an end to this example and we will not allow it.
We want to say clearly here in this community, for those who are not on our side: we are not against them. We want respect; they know that. And we have said: if they respect us, we will respect them; we are not here to kill poor people. But if they let themselves be used by the system, they know that they are on the side of the criminal, the exploiter, the murderer, that is, capitalism.
We want to say clearly here, for the people who do not agree with us: we are not bothered if they are not in agreement with us, because one day this will be for them. Maybe not those who are mothers and fathers now because many of them are already fifty or sixty years old, but their children will see the fruits of what we are building.
We tell you from our hearts and in all truth: we are struggling for the people of Mexico, and maybe we will even be an example for the world. We want to make that clear, because what we want is life. We have said clearly that we are also struggling for the soldiers, for the police officers, because we know that they are also poor and that it is because of their poverty that they sell their bodies, their lives, their souls, their blood, their bones, their flesh; they sell out because capitalism buys them off so that they will defend it. We will never see a rich person, or the children of the rich, among thesoldiers that come here to confront us. The children of the rich may be there, but as the generals who exploit their own soldiers.
We know this is how it works, the rich people’s trick they buy us off – the poor people of Mexico – by giving us little gifts so that we believe that the government is good. But the bad government of the capitalist system will never be good, and never ever will the rich be good. Take a simple example: if sometimes we fight among ourselves, as relatives, brothers, sisters, or uncles and aunts, even though we are family, from the same father and mother, how is it possible that we could believe what the rich say? How is it possible for us to believe that they are good when we don’t know even know them? For example, now that election time is coming, which of the candidates do we actually know?
We want to say clearly and make absolutely clear: we don’t have anything against our brothers, those who want to be brothers to those of us who are in struggle. Whether they want to [struggle] or not, it’s no problem either way. But just like we say there is no problem, we don’t want them to give us any problems. The person that goes looking for problems finds them. And when we say this – that those looking for problems find them – it is also true for we as Zapatistas. It is true for anyone who provokes conflict. That is why we are saying clearly here: we are not going to cause problems, because we don’t have anything against those who don’t want to struggle with us.
It is a shame and it makes us sad to see them fooled, exploited, and humiliated. They don’t have anything to teach their children for the future. For the Zapatistas, our children matter to us, and we want to show them a path to a future where there is no more exploitation or humiliation, where we can govern ourselves.
And so, compañeros, compañeras, this building that we are inaugurating is the fruit, the resultof how our compañeros and compañeras of the Sixth understand us, but also of other brothers and sisters of Mexico and the world who still haven’t become part of the struggle of the Sixth, of the struggle convoked by our Sixth Declaration, but who support us in their hearts.
Perhaps here, on this long journey, they will realize what is happening and join us in struggle. But here we see part of the efforts, struggle, and organization of these brothers and sisters, of Mexico and the world who are not part of the Sixth.
But the greatest part comes from the efforts, the sacrifice, and the organization of the compañeros of the National and International Sixth.
Here we are demonstrating how when poor people organize themselves, the capitalist system is unnecessary. A system that dominates and humiliates is not necessary. Here, in practice, is an example of this fact. Capitalism, the bad government of this country, ordered the destruction of the autonomous school belonging to the Zapatista bases of support. And they did destroy it – as destroying things is easy – just like they destroyed the community’s health clinic, as it is (inaudible).
And here is the result, the result of the strength and the organization of our compañeros and compañeras of the national and international Sixth. What the poor people of Mexico and the world [re]built came out even better than it had been before.
So let this be clear: this is a demonstration that what matters for our compañeros and compañeras of the National and International Sixth is the struggle for life.
What pains us the most is that this construction cost us dearly, because this house is not worth the life of our compañero, teacher of the Little School, compañero Galeano. His life has no price. But unfortunately the bad government, the three levels of bad government and the people who sell out, who don’t consider their own children, did what they did to our compañero Galeano.
What we want to say here, because what we say here goes out to the world, is to tell our compañeras and compañeros of the International and National Sixth what we must realize: let’s not organize or do something just when a compañero or compañera is dead.
The truth is that we need to organize ourselves without waiting for something like this to happen. If we organize, we can demonstrate that the capitalist system and the bad government aren’t worth a thing.
We must build what has to be built even when we aren’t suffering deaths because we don’t want these kinds of things to happen. It is the fucking capitalist system that wants this.
We want to make it very clear once and for all that we do not hate poor people. What we want is an end to exploitation.
We want to make this clear, that we have to support other compañeros and compañeras, not only those who live in the Zapatista zones, but other compañeros who are lacking.
This is how we demonstrate that we aren’t just saying that we are organized; our organization is demonstrated by doing what we say, carrying it out in practice.
There are many things that we want to say compañeros, which is why, for the next few days, we will work here with you. Right now we are here to turn over to the compañero bases of support of the Zapatista Army the building that our compañeros and compañeras of the Sixth have given us.
This building belongs to the people. The people have to think about and plan for how it will be used, because what they do with it will serve as an example for other compañeros and compañeras.
The hard part, the part that is hardest to wrap my head around, is that our compañero Galeano should be here with us.
But he isn’t here and we know who is responsible, and the question that we put to those responsible (for what was done to compañero Galeano) is how many millions of pesos did the people who you killed owe to you? What did compañero Galeano steal from you to make you do what you did? The people who did this can’t answer these questions, because the truth is that he didn’t steal anything from them. He never stole anything from them or owed anything to them. In fact, they owe us.
That is why we want to make clear here that we are not against anyone. We ask them to respect us, but we aren’t only asking this of them; we Zapatistas also have to show respect, and so we’ll see who starts the problems.
Because we Zapatistas have to think of the little boys and girls, and so we also want to tell them to at the very least think of their own children. They know what happened in 1994. When the bad government decides to act this way, we know that the army won’t respect anyone; those citizen ID cards they talk about aren’t worth anything. The truth is that nothing will protect them. They [the bad government] will name and blame everyone as Zapatista; the people know this and we want to remind them of it.
That is why we are here asking them to listen, to open their hearts, to use their heads and think about this. There isn’t anywhere to go. Even if they flee this place, they will encounter the same death wherever they go. It makes more sense to be here, to live here and respect each other here as people, as Christians, as they say. This is something that even our animals understand, and they are just animals. We are not animals, we are men and women, boys and girls, with brains.
Everything that the indigenous receive now in Chiapas – those who take that little bit that the bad government gives out – is because the bad government doesn’t want us, the men and women, to organize. They give them these little handouts so that the people never think about organizing and struggling. This is the biggest problem that we have here because by accepting this, the people leave their children exploited, humiliated, and trampled.
This is exactly what we Zapatistas don’t want, and that is why we don’t take anything from the bad government, because we don’t want this system. The capitalist system will not be able to get rid of us. We are talking about capitalism, with its thousands of armies, and even so it won’t be able to destroy us. That is why out there they say that there aren’t very many Zapatistas left, but this is just part of the bad governments’ lies. But instead of talking the talk, as they say, we will demonstrate what we say in practice.
In the days to come, we will continue to think of, to remember, our compañero Galeano.
And so, compañeros and compañeras of this caracol La Realidad, in the name of the compañeros and compañeras of the national and international Sixth, I turn this building over to you, for the good of our compañeros and compañeras of this community, La Realidad, so that the compañero and compañera health and education promoters can begin to do their work.
We just want to make clear that this building belongs to all of us, and so those above should think about whether they want to try to destroy it again. But we also want to say to the people from this village, let the bad government come destroy it if that’s what they want. Don’t allow yourselves, señores and señoras, to be used; don’t let the bad government use you to destroy this, because you are poor people just like us, you know that.
Don’t let them use you, don’t sell out, because life cannot be bought and sold. Let the bad government come and do it themselves. What about those verses in your church or temple, the ones that tell you to love others? How does that fit in? Think about it señores and señoras, don’t be like the bad government that says one thing and does another. Don’t be like that, señores and señoras. What’s it worth to preach one thing and do the opposite? We don’t want to do this, to say one thing and do another.
As we say, we have compañeros and compañeras who are with us in struggle, and it is because of that that we are able to turn this building over to the community today, March 1. So with that, I formally turn this building over to the bases of support, today, Sunday March 1, 2015, at 10:34, southeastern time.
Many thanks, compañeros and compañeras.
From the mountains of the Mexican Southeast
For the Indigenous Revolutionary Clandestine Committee – General Command of the Zapatista Army for National Liberation
Subcomandante Insurgente Moisés
Zapatista Reality, Mexico, March 2015
Photos courtesy of Los Tercios Compas
Section “Entries from the Diary of the Cat-Dog”:
– It is not the same thing to search for a divine man to save us as it is to organize men, women, others, to collectively save ourselves. To delegate to someone else what is your own responsibility is, to say the least, irresponsible.
-Thoughtful warning: Are you depressed because the candidates from the PRI and the opposition make you nauseous? Does it scare you that, when you watch TV, you can’t tell whether you are watching the channel that shows congressional proceedings or the comedy channel? Are you sad because no one [someone] blocked you, unfollowed you, or sent you looking for your cake? Stop suffering! Tweet something like the following and see how life smiles at you…okay, so it grimaces, but that’s something, isn’t it? Here goes:
Elections are to social transformation as homeopathy is to pandemics: they are expensive and entertaining, but don’t resolve the fundamental problem.
In Mexico, the difference between a vote and a garbage can is that the first is much more expensive…and the second more useful.
In order to lose weight: After eating, read the political party’s proposals. Hydrate after vomiting. Copyright in process at the INE [National Institute of Elections].
–Tips for foreign tourists: In Mexico, the quesadillas may be without cheese, the politicians without brains, and logic without weight. That’s it.
(To be continued…)
 Member of the EZLN’s civilian militia or reserves.
 The text uses “otroas” meaning “other,” to give a range of possible gendered pronouns including male, female, transgender and others.