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(en) Czech, AFED: Want to hear a secret? - Essential and maybe a little scary facts about the We Don't Need a President campaign (ca, de, it, pt, tr)[machine translation]
Wed, 1 Feb 2023 08:31:08 +0200
Secret 1 ---- Want to hear a secret? Basically, we don't care if you went to the
polls. As you probably know, some time ago we launched the We Don't Need a
President mini-campaign with a special website. Several reasons led us to this.
On the one hand, it annoys us that, no matter how much one might get the
impression from the political and media frenzy, as if the world could be torn
apart with the second round of elections, in reality the election of an official
will not affect the difficulties of our lives or society. ---- Often stupid,
poorly paid and insecure work, expensive and high rent prices in contrast to the
ever-richer oligarchs and their political henchmen, the advancing climate crisis,
the ongoing campaign of the Russian emperor against ordinary people in Ukraine,
discrimination against various "others", fear of what will be tomorrow. Mantras
that if it's hard for us, we're probably not trying hard enough, and if we try
harder, we'll get a chance to spin more money in the malls, or some more modern
variation on New Age esotericism.
Practically nothing that annoys us about the complex of relations we call
capitalism will be significantly changed by the election of a new "head of
state". Moreover, the opinions presented in televised debates are one thing, the
reality of the endless growth of the elite's profits and the simultaneous
imposition of losses on the shoulders of the weakest is another. The energy put
into buzzing around what today's form of capitalism does so well-creating
marketing-honed savior figures-is needed elsewhere.
Although we generally think that a person has the right to criticize even when
they are not presenting a concrete solution, this is only one layer of that "we
don't need a president". What the boycott-smelling slogan really says is a call
to action. We don't need that president because we have to - and we believe we
can - do the really important things from below, together, without the circus of
shiny billboards and press conferences. Where we live, work, meet, not during a
ritualized act in the polling station.
While the first round of elections was being counted in the Czech Republic, in
Lützerath, Germany, thousands of people tried to break through between police
batons and water cannons to help the defenders of the village resisting with the
last of their strength the state-corporate effort to expand a dirty lignite mine.
We couldn't think of a better example of what we're talking about here.
A mysterious monk mocking the heavy-clads stuck in the mud; the defenders of the
village who, despite the risks, occupied an underground tunnel or defied the
police on ropes in the treetops; friends writing to us "with tears in our eyes,
but the first barrier of fools has been broken" or thousands of other people
standing at the right time in the right place with the intention of defending the
future of all of us - they all showed what it really means to vote. In the sense
of "choose" - to choose the path of decisive joint actions where they are needed;
not to vote someone we have never seen in our life, and we only know him through
his expensively paid PR.
When we say "we don't need a president" we are calling for action.
Want to hear a secret? Much of the institutions and superior-subordinate
relationships that we are told from childhood that without them life would fall
into chaos only mask what people can do without them. The law and the police are
said to be there so that people don't kill each other, steal, commit violence and
evil against each other. However, the vast majority of people do not murder their
parents for an inheritance, rob a little old lady in a dark alley, beat a random
person with a pint, or sell heroin to children. Not because it's forbidden, but
because it's wrong. If someone desires to do such a thing, the vast majority of
people will condemn it and possibly try to prevent it.
And vice versa: the crap that is experienced by countless people around the world
(from rape in the family, which usually does not receive an adequate response, to
violence of an immeasurable scale, such as, for example, the offensive war of a
dying empire against the population of a neighboring country), is literally based
on inequality, power, can.
The violent relations of patriarchy assuming that "if the man wants, the woman
must" are maintained precisely because of the hierarchization of society, not in
spite of it. And they weaken only thanks to the activity of countless tenacious
and courageous women fighters for another world, not due to the sacred existence
of the state. And in the end, only people defend such a Ukraine, with their own
strength, intellect, courage and will. It is no coincidence that there are
anarchists among them, standing against the murderous onslaught. Not because they
have to, but because it's the right thing to do. Meanwhile, their and our friends
in Russia resisting the mobilization and the Z-fascist regime are being tortured
by the police and condemned by the courts based on laws and sections. They are
underground, although they are preventing evil.
The law is a double-edged sword. If the supporters of the state, institutions,
hierarchy and the sanctity of legality could see with their own eyes what has
happened in various places in history completely legally, or even by law, they
would be in shock for at least a week. Conversely, a large part of positive
social relations is not held together by legislation, but by basic shared values,
awareness of mutual humanity, and often active mutual, egalitarian help. Let's
call it affinity, the same word we use to name our basic "organizational unit"
for troublemaking-the affinity group.
If we go further, it is hard not to notice that the mythical capitalism, its
corporations and managers are not what provide us with houses, food, health and
other care, a beer after work or a movie in the evening. Things are made by
people, they are made up of purposeful, coordinated activity: work. The ballast
around it represents only a form of organization, one of the possible ones.
Anyone who has experienced non-payment of wages, dismissals under false
pretenses, all kinds of labor law violations, or being promoted by an incompetent
fool to a higher position can quite rightly question whether or not it was ever
good form. After all, if we were to ask the people who, at the short end of the
rope, supply capitalism with the cheapest or hardest work in the poor countries
of the so-called global South, we would find out very quickly that our
difficulties with a job are still a village within this supposedly "best of the
We can be more. If we don't become bloody psychopaths when there isn't a police
patrol nearby, we can organize very well without the constant threat of uniformed
violence. Based on mutual help, equality and the will to defend against evil, we
can create a different, better life together. And this change begins the moment
we imagine the world differently.
When we say "we don't need a president", we are calling for self-confidence.
Want to hear a secret? Anarchists are not another interest group trying to get
you elected: in fact, we're just trying to use them to make a point. Even
specifically as the Anarchist Federation, we do not feel that we are any kind of
representation or authority, on the contrary, we adhere to the old saying "trust
no one, don't trust us either". Accordingly, we want to add to it: "trust
yourself and the people with whom you want to determine how you will live".
We organize from below at the level of local groups and we are convinced that
through similar, non-hierarchical activity we can contribute to overcoming the
current choices of lesser evils to a society in which we will be able to make
real choices in the sense of decisions and actions. Freely, sustainably, equally
in all diversity. Without misery, exploitation, racism, oppression of any kind.
We do not come up with precise instructions and dogmas, on the contrary, we are
suspicious of social engineering and the promises of all kinds of preachers, even
if they swear by revolution instead of God. Anarchism as an emphasis on freedom
and solidarity is a moral compass and method for us, since the world we dream of
can take a thousand forms and use a thousand other words. It is about free
people, not about a new ideological facade.
What we present is not a sacrament or magically revealed truth. It's an option.
It's a chance that instead of tossing a coin and waiting to see if it lands "ox"
or "donkey", which will then squat in the Castle, we can throw it. We can change
the rules and start making real choices.
When we say "we don't need a president" we are crying out for hope.
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