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Definitions of a Comrade
argentina / uruguay / paraguay | anarchist movement | opinion / analysis Tuesday June 09, 2009 20:16 by Gerardo Gatti - FAU
An article by the FAU militant Gerardo Gatti, written in 1975, that discusses libertarian socialism.
Definitions of a Comrade
We believe that with regard to the political administration of society, it should be done away with together with private property and the end of this order in which one directs and others obey. Councils and federations of workers committees, in the neighborhood districts, communes or councils of rural peasants are distinct ways in which workers have been organising to defend the revolutionary processes against internal counter-revolution or external aggression, and to administer, arrange and conduct the whole of social life. Starting from these bases, we understand that they should organise the social organisms themselves. Effective workers' power, more direct management, less indirect representation, no type of wage differentiation, no type of advantage or privilege. This is what we understand by people's power.
None of this is anything new. It is for these ideals that workers in many parts of the world made revolutions, celebrated victories and suffered defeats. And for over a century men from the working class and others, without this orign, really put themselves at the service of these; organised conspiracies, wrote manifestos, raised funds for the workers cause and developed solidarity. One was synthesising the experience and the workers could find explanation for their disgraces.
Without knowing this story, without having read these books, even without knowing these explanations, in all the world, every day, millions and millions of human beings who suffer from prepotency, want equality; those who are hungry want to eat; those that are cold and have no roof want a house and refuge; those who suffer humiliation seek fraternity; those who are recognise as ignorant aspire to go to school, at least for their children.
In a way so often vague, often giving it different labels, most people who know suffering, dictatorships, misfortunes, despotism and poverty aspire to well-being, solidarity and understanding between humans.
The first origin and the reason for our struggle is not in any reason of high politics of the State or government, of party or organisation, of group or movement. This origin is in the pain and the desire of this great humanity, of which our people is a part.
Because we know that man is a social being, we want to develop his/ her capacity and to put it at the service of society; because we want all decisions concerning society to be assumed and resolved in a social way; because we believe that wealth cannot be individual or of a few, but social, of all, and because of this we call ourselves socialists.
Because we trust more in agreement than in imposition, more in knowledge than in coercion, more in freedom than in authority; so we are libertarians.
But we have already learned that, sometimes, labels are misleading. Therefore we don't dedicate ourselves to preaching labels in the fight of the oppressed. There may be people who, labeling themselves in a similar way, do not know well what they want, and there are also those who, with another label, or sometimes even without knowing to give labels, search for the same thing.
All those who struggle for these ideals, without meanness, in their own way and in their own measure, we call comrades.
Buenos Aires, June/ July 1975
*Translation from Portuguese: Jonathan P. (ZACF)