Destaque Internacional - Informes de Coyuntura (translated from original in Spanish)

Año V - No. 108 - Buenos Aires, 16 de agosto de 2003.-

Current Revolutionary Tactics: Apparent Spontaneity and "Invisible" Articulation on the Road to Anarchy

Premises that constitute an indispensable key to an in-depth understanding of the zigzag and chaotic political panorama of the 21st century, without which the political observer will run the risk of being lost in an interpretive jungle of hypotheses, that serve to interpret little or nothing.

A fundamental characteristic of the present revolutionary tactics in Latin America, the United States and Europe is that of giving contentious mobilizations an appearance of spontaneity, as if these were performed without the articulation and aid of activists specialized in psychology and social engineering.

It is a question of their covering with this appearance of spontaneity both the movements "without land" or "without ceiling" of Brazil, as well as the Argentine "pick carriers," the Mexican or Ecuadorian "indigenous" movements, the pseudo "pacifist" or "anti-globalization" movements of Europe and the United States, certain "anti-Americanist" groups, the so-called "new underprivileged", with their "excluded," pseudo "excluded" and "self-marginalized," the "flash mob," etc.

In reality, behind a good number of such movements, which act in that seemingly natural way, there exist revolutionary "networks" articulated "horizontally" which avail themselves of "Lilliputian" tactics and also of "invisibility," which contribute to causing them to pass unnoticed in the eyes of the majority of people. Such networks in reality constitute a whole at the same time gigantic and miniature, of contentious articulations throughout the entire world. Their members utilize powerful social instruments of psychology, of sociology, of publicity, etc., in order to achieve on the level of social groups and even of nations the deconstruction of thought, on the road to a communal-anarchistic society.

The theoretical-practical instrument of these new strategies has remained in evidence in hundreds of conferences and panel discussions performed in the World Social Forum of Porto Alegre (2001, 2002 and 2003). An exclusive series of reports disseminated by the agency Ambito Iberoamericano, the reading of which becomes indispensable, verifies the extent and the magnitude of these new revolutionary tactics, that make use of chaos not only as a goal but as an indispensable mechanism to obtain the psychological and political dismembering of society, to discourage those who are opposed, to neutralize resistance, etc.

A little known historical fact, but without a doubt relevant to illustrate the long, patient and underground work of those "networks," is that the Brazilian organizations that founded the World Social Forum are practically the same that, a decade before, had articulated the Echo 92 Alternative, performed in Río de Janeiro in 1992, where they outlined the red-green alliance between Communists and radical ecologists, which a decade later would have abundant fruits in the World Social Forum.

On a worldwide level, the revolutionary process, given its dynamism by the so-called "new social movements," has been performing a deep adaptation of strategy and of methods, although not necessarily of the communal-anarchistic goal, which remains invariable.

These premises constitute an indispensable key to an in-depth understanding of the zigzag and chaotic panorama of the 21st century. Without them, the political observer will run the risk of being lost in an interpretive jungle of hypotheses that interpret little or nothing.

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In Latin America, the very dictator of Cuba, Fidel Castro, has perceived the enormous potential for these new strategies. Thus for years he has presented to the Movement Without Land (MST), of Brazil, one of the organizers of the Echo 92 Alternative and of the World Social Forum. According to Castro, the MST is a model of "movements of the masses" to be imitated precisely for their contribution in the area of "new tactics" that serve to carry the social revolution forward, in an occasion in which, at least temporarily, they would not be given the "objective" conditions for the classical guerrilla warfare "in the Bolshevik style." The Cuban dictator, still insisting that their Communist goals remain stable, has sent leading staff members of his regime to the three Social Forums of Porto Alegre to establish alliances and to be recycled in the handling of those new strategies, which have shown to be so useful.

In recent statements to the newspaper Clarín of Buenos Aires - after making it clear that "I have absolutely not changed" and that, were the clock to be turned back, "I would have done what I did" - Castro recognizes that "it is now another era," in which the "tactics" are "spontaneous and different." The old revolutionary adds that "there are new phenomena," with a potential for "generalized protest," in the face of which, in the perspective of the new revolutionary tactics, "this is Latin America's best moment."

In addition to having referred previously to the Brazilian MST [Movement Without Land], in this interview to Clarín he adds among the Latin American examples the protest movements in Ecuador and Argentina. Symptomatically he mentions also the example of Iran, where the movement of "the Shiites and the Ayatollah Khomeini" "incited society and, without weapons, they ousted the Shah."

Castro concludes by saying that, in the face of this new opportunity, and of the real possibilities that are opened up for revolutionaries, those who begin to think in terms of an exclusive "action of force," of the classical guerrilla type, "would be carrying out a prehistoric activity" (Clarín, Buenos Aires, June 1, 2003).

It is in the context of a potential "ayatollahization" of Brazil and Latin America that the commentary of João Paulo Rodrigues, the national coordinator of the MST, should be seen - to the effect that his movement intends to camp "a million persons along the highways of the country," in a revolutionary psycho-political action of such amplitude that "it will not be necessary to seize weapons to confront the large land holdings" because simply "we will treat them with contempt."

Finally, in the context of chaos as a strategy and revolutionary goal, one can cite recent statements of the philosopher Marilena Chaui, professor at the University of São Paulo and active participant in the World Social Forum, who presents the present process of revolutionary fermentation that exists in Brazil as an "unprecedented experience," a model of "democracy in full operation," in which "conflicts," instead of being synonymous with "crisis," "danger" and of "disorder," would constitute "the very marrow" of this new chaotic democracy.