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The Wind in the Trees

rw | 06.11.2011 16:25 | Occupy Everywhere | Anti-militarism | Globalisation | Social Struggles | World

This is a message to the revolutionaries on Tahrir Square from a rainbow warrior in Europe. You might doubt whether there is something useful to say from that position, but so did I before I found myself in the middle of the struggle for the freedom of our hearts and minds. You might also question whether there is anything worth to be squeezed through the prisoner dilemma that is between all of us, but so did we before we took up our last battle against the regimes we had found in our lives. Please take the time to listen to a few words from the deep woods – because as the old poem goes, after the oppressors have spoken the oppressed are going to speak.

When revolution became an issue in Egypt on that Friday in January, we saw something never seen in our historical records. In fact it was so unusual that it finally woke up enough of us who had been unaware of the situation for so long. That a regime surrendered to the determination of the people instead of continuing into utter destruction is quite a rare occurence. It is very unlikely for regimes to be blessed with the reason to say to the people you have got it right all along, we have been wrong all along. Whenever any good had been achieved it was only because we totally smashed a regime and then eradicated every trace of it. The only example of something remotely resembling this is when the cold war wall was opened, yet in that case it had not been an imperialist regime but a failed project of revolutionary secession which made such a decision. There may be further instances from long ago before the empires came in, but they are not documented. Our more recent experience is regimes do not usually go away like a season that has served its purpose, they need to be removed like waste which has remained for no purpose. When the Egyptian police were ordered retreat and the face of the regime also did so a little later, something had happened which requires explanation.

As we speak the unfinished revolution is both a success and a failure. It is a success because you questioned the demand for authorities instead of only changing them. And it is a failure because authorities were preserved instead of abolishing them. So far you only smashed the face of the regime but as a faceless entity it is still there. In its current form of unaccountable councils it is quite similar to what we have been fighting against for a long time. If a conscript can run away from an army, then an army can run away from a commander, and if the individual in doing so can carry what the army stole from the people, then an army in doing so can carry what its commanders had stolen from them. But while the runaway soldier can return to the people what he had been carrying, the runaway army cannot. It only can preserve it for a coming deconstruction of the regime or be complicit in stealing ever more. In the best case it is neither a part of the problem nor of the solution. In the worst case, it is a regime that is being commanded by its materials, rather than by any face of human reason however limited or mean.

This is what is being expressed by the presence of national flags in the squares. They were there to be available to be wrapped around the face of the regime whenever it became visible, like a claim to take back what was stolen. For those of us who had been fighting against faceless regimes before we found Egypt was more than a helpless vassal state entrapped in international dependencies, they were symbols of captivity in a grasp for emancipation. They showed us that these who upheld them had everything else stolen from them, even the language to complain against it. They were in sharp contrast to our own experiences what is useful and what is not in the deconstruction of a regime that lacks face or any other human characteristics.

Such items are representing demands that regimes ought to listen to the people. Yet whenever that happens it happens everywhere else but where they are being addressed. And where a regime is being addressed, for it to understand what is being told it would actually require reason in it. And if there was any reason in a regime it would already have retreated. It makes no sense whatsoever to address a faceless entity. It can be researched and commented upon, to accelerate the purpose of its deconstruction, and it can be entrapped and played with, to educate the unaware what it is doing. It even can be triggered to betray itself as it is trying to do what makes it a regime, but it cannot be addressed like we are used to address each other. Such as an unwelcome listener in an addressed conversation it can only be done with – for it may be unavoidable that the dead in hell have to listen to us, yet it is unforgivable if these who want to become it do as well.

It is like in the military joke of the greedy warlord who happened to die in peace so that we got to know his last words: Someone who did not believe in democracy in his youth might have no heart. But anyone who still does as a grown-up has no brain. Fighting for the freedom of either we are certain that the name for our future will be found as it writes itself into existence. And we know enough of our past to find that there is no good democracy, just like there is no good demagogy. As long as there is any regime, the former will always be the latter, and once there is no more regime we are free to search for better names. Because the purpose of it is to command our materials with reason we can understand when we address each other - and not to address a regime.

The wind in the trees is telling of the time before the empires came in. Like shadows in the night our dreams have been escaping again and again from whatever attempts these regimes have made to quench the yearning in our hearts. We were not the only ones to be hit by this, others were before us and some after us, and more than some were passing on damage to their next targets. Yet the faceless empire is so because it is the last one. As it makes sure that none can come after it, it also makes sure that it cannot stand. It is as it is and it ends as it must: When the revolution is finished we will have understood how it began, and once we are beginning to understand this we will be able to finish it.




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  1. A revolution is never finished — eyes and ears
  2. THE HOPE AND SURVIVE MANIFESTOS — Supersedes: 488077