The first days of the new year saw the implementation of a rise in the price of fuel in Mexico, followed by a road blockades, seizure of toll road booths and gasoline station blockades. But what has garnered the most attention has been a series of lootings seen across many cities. The looters mostly take TVs, electronic appliances, but also toys and some “basic” necessities. There’s been more than 500 arrests in a week, some killed, panic in the government, in the business community and in all political parties.
Society bestows adoration to the commodity-form: it adores it, elevates it upon the altar, where it must be venerated. And the greatest expression of this adoration is not consumption, but rather work. Through and by work, human activity is transformed into a commodity. Although it may seem as though we only work to produce what will become commodities, or to gain access to them, our activity is itself a commodity which must be exchanged for other commodities: the very bare minimum so that we can return to work. In summation: we work so that we can purchase commodities and we end up only being able to purchase enough so that we can show up to work the next day.
It has not been the looting which has generated fear. The idea of a terrorized society has been disseminated by the State, by the media, by the press and most notably by social networks. It has been spread not only by internet bots but also by people made zombies, that repeat without thinking what others tell them. It is the bourgeois who are afraid. It is the leaders who are afraid. They are incapable of understanding the language of revolt, they have broken out in panic and they want their reaction to be our own. They only expected marches, directed blockades and peaceful actions: all this can be more or less tolerated, controlled or easily repressed.
But the revolt has broke out. People are on their own coming out of their homes, and among other things, heading to the stores and taking what they want. They profane the morality of Capital which tells us that we must work for what we want. They profane the morality of the State that says we must protest for the usual causes. Quickly people realize that is not necessary to kill oneself working on the weekly, bi-weekly, monthly, annually or one’s whole life just to get what one needs. Quickly the professional politicians have shown themselves to even more useless to everyone, when people take matters into their own hands.
Nameless looters, many without covered faces: a multitude which does not need to cover themselves up or name themselves. What did they expect? A communiqué? A news conference? A spokesperson? A leader? An explanation? That someone would give a play-by-play? That someone would say “we are going to stop all this when they comply with our demands, or sign some documents, receive us in their offices, gives us this or that, or even give us nothing”? They expected us to beg for a month’s long negotiation? Did they expect us to ask them to resign? Did they expect us to say “this is our candidate”?
This is the politics of the multitudes. Without you: without your saviors, your representatives. Without traps. Without traitors. Without heroes, without the brave, without the selfless. This is the politics of the common people without you: without the “experts,” without vanguards, without “revolutionaries,” without negotiators. This is a revolt of despair: a revolt which expects nothing from you, from your parties, from your campaigns, from your big front groups. To trust in those who do the same as I do, with those I collaborate with and those who do not snitch, to trust in our own strength.
They say this was all orchestrated, that every knows someone who knew someone – who said they were bought off to do all this. It does not matter whether this happened or not. Most of those who participated in the looting were common people. If they pay you 80 pesos a day so that you can die of hunger while working and feel a sense of pride in that, then don’t come to me with a lecture on dignity. Many people joined in and did not pay a single peso. Many people participated and risked themselves, not in the name of valor but because of necessity. Instead of taking nothing, they took a little something back. Behind this movement is hunger. If you do not understand then step back, shut your mouth and learn.
Some complain that the people are “stealing” TVs and other appliances, instead of beans and tortillas. Their ideology wants them to see the poor robbing from poverty.
They complain that the looters served to squash any protest, that they are diverting attention. Lies: protests have been already been squashed, since nobody expected anything to happen and we just resigned ourselves to watch the same theater play as before: some marches-processions, some well-channeled and contained violence, citizens, “civil society” and the “people” rebelling correctly: all in-line and without daring to step on the grass. Those who have been diverting the attention towards “fear” of the “provocateurs” has been you, the politicians, the journalists, the feeble-hearted citizens and the police. The people who have been looting were too busy in their affairs than to be distracted by your inanities.
Those with nothing, fear nothing. Those who grow fearful are the businesses, the businessmen and the small-minded. You don’t want people to take from you? Then share what you have more than enough of. You don’t want people to come into your store unless it is to buy? Then close it down. Are you going to keep on selling on credit and charging your customers who can’t put down a deposit more than double? Then you should expect the looters to charge you one day for what you have sold and charged and with interest. Everything that has been denied us, we will take, little by little and without fail.
The powerful clamor for peace, but they are the ones declaring war. Politicians will plead for calm, but our patience has run out. The lukewarm will ask for prudence, but this has grown uncontrollable. But isn’t all this prudent? To give up begging and dying of hunger!
Those who can’t see beyond their own noses will ask for a program, a “well organized” struggle. This is our program: we want everything. This is our party: we will no longer go along with you.
In support of the looters.
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