For us, as Zapatista originary peoples, the storm—the war—has been going on for centuries. It arrived to our lands with the lies of the dominant civilization and religion. At that time, the sword and the cross bled our people dry.
Over time, the sword was modernized and the cross was dethroned by the religion of capital, but it continued to demand our blood as an offering to the new god: money.
We resisted, we always resist. Our rebellions were displaced by the dispute between various forces for Power. Those forces, always from above, demanded that we struggle and die to serve them. They demanded obedience and submission under the guise of liberating us. Like those who said and say they fight, they came and come to rule. There were supposed independences and false revolutions, those past and those to come.
Since then, those above have taken turns and continue to take turns in order to govern, badly, or aspire to do so. In past and present calendars, their proposal continues to be the same: that we offer our blood, while they lead or pretend to lead.
Before and now, they forget those of us who do not forget.
And always, yesterday and today, the woman is below, even in the collective that we were and are.
But as the calendars went by, they not only brought pain and death to our people. Upon expanding its dominion, Power created new brotherly and sisterly bonds in tragedy.
We saw then the worker and the peasant become one with our pain, lying under the four wheels of the mortal carriage of Capital.
As Power advanced in its path through time, those below grew increasingly more, broadening the base over which Power is and has Power. We saw that we were joined then by teachers, students, artisans, small business people, professionals, and the etceteras with different names but identical sorrows.
But that wasn’t enough. Power is an exclusive space, discriminatory and selective. Thus different kinds of difference were also openly persecuted. By color, race, creed, and sexual preference, they were expelled from the promised land and given hell as a permanent residence.
Next came young people, children, and elders. Power thus converted the calendars one holds into cause for persecution. Everyone below is guilty: for being a woman, for being a child, for being a young person, for being an adult, for being an elder, for being human.
But, upon expanding exploitation, displacement, repression, and discrimination, Power also expanded resistance… and rebellion.
We saw then and now the raised heads of many [muchas, muchos, muchoas]. All different, but similar in their rage and refusal.
Power knows that it is what it is only when wielded over those who work. It needs them.
It responded and responds to every rebellion by buying or fooling a few and imprisoning or murdering many. It is not afraid of their demands; it is their example that terrifies it.
Still it was not enough. Having dominated nations, the Power of Capital sought to put all of humanity under its heavy yoke.
Even that wasn’t enough. Capital now attempts to manage nature, to dominate, domesticate, and exploit her. That is, to destroy her.
The destructive advance of Capital, always through war, demolished the first fiefdoms and kingdoms. Upon their ruins it raised nations.
Later it devastated nations and upon their ruins erected a new global order: the market.
The entire world became a big warehouse for commodities. Everything can be bought and sold: water, wind, land, plants and animals, governments, knowledge, fun, desire, love, hate, people.
But it is not only commodities that are exchanged in the great market of Capital. “Economic freedom” is a mere illusion that simulates mutual agreement between those who buy and sell. In reality, the market is based on dispossession and exploitation. The exchange then is one of impunity. Justice is transformed into a grotesque caricature and upon its scale, money always weighs more than truth. The stability of this tragedy called Capitalism depends on repression and disrespect.
But that wasn’t enough either. It is not possible to dominate the world if one does not dominate ideas. Religious imposition was intensified and reached the arts and sciences. Philosophies and beliefs emerged and emerge like passing fashions. The sciences and the arts ceased to be something distinctively human and instead were placed on a shelf in the global supermarket.
Knowledge became private property, as did recreation and pleasure.
Capital thus consolidated itself as a giant shredder, using not only humanity in its entirety as raw material for commodity production, but also knowledge, art, and…nature.
The destruction of the planet, the millions of displaced, the rise in crime, unemployment, poverty, the weakness of governments and the wars to come are not products of the excesses of Capital, or of a mistaken detour of a system that promised order, progress, peace, and prosperity.
No, all of these tragedies are the essence of the system.
It feeds on them; it grows at their cost.
Destruction and death are the fuel for the great machine of Capital.
Attempts to “rationalize” or “humanize” its functioning were, are, and will be futile. Irrationality and inhumanity are its key parts. There is no possible repair. There wasn’t before, and there is no way now to mitigate its criminal path.
The only way to stop this machine is to destroy it.
In the current world war, the dispute is between the system and humanity. That is why the anticapitalist struggle is a struggle for humanity.
Those who still try to “repair” or “save” the system are really proposing to us a mass global suicide, like a posthumous sacrifice to Power.
In the system there is no solution.
Neither horror, condemnation, nor resignation are sufficient, nor is the hope that the worst has passed and things can only get better.
No. What is certain is that things will get worse.
For these reasons, in addition to what each of us can add from our particular calendars and geographies, we must resist, rebel, say “no,” struggle, organize.
That is why we must raise the wind from below with resistance and rebellion, with organization.
Only then will we be able to survive. Only then will it be possible to live.
And only then, as we said 25 years ago, will we be able to see that….
“When the storm calms, when the rain and fire leave the earth in peace once again, the world will no longer be the world, but something better.”