<alter-ee> CSAF MayDay Speech in Prague
Mon, 5 May 2003 19:24:37 +0200
Today already for more than one century, anarchists and the broader workers
movement are celebrating MayDay. Totalitarian ideologists and (neo) liberal
propagandists have managed to make most of the society forget the real
message of this day. We would like to propose clearly, that MayDay is not
some superficial workers holiday for us. We understand it as a celebration
of the fight for freedom, which is led by workers, students and unemployed
people against capitalism, all forms of class society and any type of
compulsion. On the first place, it is the work forced to us and abstracted
from context, which we are fighting against. We are never going to celebrate
our handcuffs, but our struggle against them.
The first of May reminds us of the judicial murder of several anarchists in
Chicago in the year of 1886 during their struggle for and eight-hour shift.
This murder was one of the many proves that the state stands on the side of
economic Úlites, and serves them any time and in any case. The state itself
hardens and reproduces social differences.
The defenders of the state are telling us all the time of the rights the
state is supposed to guarantee us. But the Chicago murder shows us a more
general fact: if the state is not forced by pressure of the non-privileged
people, there are no rights guaranteed at all.
It is then understandable, why anarchists and other enemies of state
celebrate the MayDay tradition. And on the other hand it is a paradox, when
it is celebrated by political parties who try to win power inside the state
structures, or posthumous children of totalitarian regimes and parties,
responsible for many murders and massacres.
MayDay is also a symbol and celebration of our international solidarity. It
is an opportunity to reject artificial constructs of "national states". In
today's world it also means a chance to reject the mutual setting of people
against one another by military conflicts, propaganda and religious
fundamentalism. . We refuse artificial constructs of identity, we refuse to
believe that we have more in common with those who rule and exploit us
because we are supposed to be a part of one "civilization" than for example
with Arabian or Latin-American workers.
The fact that we declare ourselves as internationalists and that we will not
let anybody set us against each other doesn't mean that we deny cultural
identity and historical experience. The only thing we say is that this
identity and this experience are not bound either with the institution of
national state or with some so-called "civilizations. It is bound wit every
individual person and different communities, independent on the fact if a
person was born in them or chose them voluntarily.
Today, in the time of "national" and "civilization" conflicts, we think it
is important to indicate the context of "natural" regions, and remind others
of their historical experience. In our case we are talking about the region
of Eastern Europe. Our historical experience is on the first place our
common history of living in a state-capitalist system, which had two major
consequences: first it proved that the state and a free society based on
social justice are not compatible terms. Second, it discredited any possible
alternative to capitalism in the eyes of the society, and opened the door to
a strong neo-liberal expansion.
The realistic socialism was not the failure of Marx's analysis of capitalism
or other opinions of this important, though a very controversial thinker.
However, it was a clear controversial of the idea of his an his followers
that it is possible to reach the emancipation of all people, if the working
class will take over the state power as a political party, either in the
elections or by a military revolution.
The reality formed by Lenin, Trocky and their followers proved, that one of
Marx's greatest opponents was right - Michail Bakunin. Already in the 1870┤s
he was pointing out that the win of the political power will lead to the
formation of a new exploiting and repressive class; new, this time red
elite, which will be the same if not even worse than the one ruling before.
Tens of years of brutal repression made his words come true more than
enough. Today it is more than clear that if the people should be and feel
really free, the state has to be destroyed together with all other forms of
hierarchy and supremacy. Bolshevik regimes served to the neoliberalists as a
monster, which until today eliminates any alternative to capitalism. The
state anti-Bolshevik propaganda just helped in the process of restoration of
classical capitalism and other attacks on our living conditions, which we
face in everyday life. Different asocial steps of current politic take away
from us the little of social advances we have gained.
We stand today face to face to a great challenge. The states are integrating
to form superstates. The capital straightens its hegemony not only by
economic weapons but also by a never-ending war. We are pushed to loyalty
with these trends by our politics, having no chance to present our point of
view. At the same time, the "superstate" and capitalist system is not able
to solve fundamental problems such as the social or ecological crisis. At
this time we consider important to open a discussion about alternatives.
We are anarchists that mean we want people to be free to decide about their
own lives. We don't have any perfect plan how to build the future society,
no utopia vision of this future world. We are saying that its appearance
will fully depend on the people who are going to form it, and we,
anarchists, are just pointing out a few principles, on which the society
should be based on. These principles are equality and diversity. The life of
each person has its value and no one has the right to rule anybody else. All
people should have the same chance to develop themselves in a society that
will not restrict them in any means. Equality doesn't mean all people should
be and behave exactly in the same way. We know very well that people differ
from each other, that they have different needs, and that these differences
between them are developing the whole society.
Freedom and self-government form the base. We want to live in a society,
where we could rule our own lives, and wouldn't have to listen to some
artificial authorities. We also ask the freedom to take part in
decision-making processes - to have the right to decide about everything
concerning our lives. The group of selfish individuals fighting for their
profit at the expense of others is not our ideal in any case. No one has the
right to usurp the welfare belonging to everyone. Our goal is balance and
cooperation, not competition and supremacy.
photo-gallery from Mayday here: http://www.csaf.cz/english.php?file=91
Statement of CSAF Slovakia here. http://www.csaf.cz/english.php?file=88