by QMS, March 28, 2014
With thanks to: Frantz Fanon, Maria Mies, Bruce Lee, Marx and Engels, Silvia Federici, George Jackson, Claudia von Werlhof, Mao Zedong, Leslie Marmon Silko, Joel Kovel, Fred Ho, Russell Maroon Shoatz, John Clark, Black Elk, Subcommandante Marcos and the EZLN, Max Stanford, the Haudenosaunee nation, and to everyone who participated in the 2014 scientific soul study group.
To know fire, get burned.
To know water, experience drowning.
What is the ratio of concepts in your head to calluses on your hands?
Think about it now, while there's time to think.
Grasp the purpose of science in the crunch of chaos,
Like you realize the soul in knowing a death.
Know your enemy, know yourself –
Dance the dialectics and don't drop the beat.
Do not arrive at revolution lightly,
Or get shipwrecked on your own shallowness.
Revolution is the search and rescue of the original instructions:
Discovery of our nature, our self transformation, our I that is your I.
What will matriarchy mean on the mass migration from the coastlines?
What will indigeneity mean when you join the ranks of the massively incarcerated?
What will ecosocialism mean when its your hunger and cold versus the ecosystem?
All these things will come to pass –
Don't ride an ass in search of an ass!
The cause is not a slogan, it is a covenant we make in the desert,
Knowing that life and death are at stake,
Knowing how little stands between evolution and extinction.
When, and not if, our first tumors are diagnosed,
We will feel the gravity of our dreams,
Feel their weight on the scales of fate,
Make no mistake, our ideas will be tested,
At the crest of the crashing wave of history,
This is the horror and the wonder of our destiny,
The Pachakuti, the endless beginning or the beginning of the end;
The mission that our generation will fulfill or betray.
We are not alone.
Time: the trick played by modernity to cut us off from the past.
History is life, and death:
From the first rape, the second witch hunt, the third colony, the fourth paycheck,
Little by little we have whittled the tree of life and knowledge
Into toothpicks for the affluent, barricades for the turbulent, toilet paper for the flatulent.
History is death, and life;
Billions of ancestors promise and deliver on the revolutionary truth
That we can win.
But revolution is not an event.
It is never won or lost once and for all.
Every victory is partial, every defeat is temporary,
Yet in every moment of freedom,
Every other freedom is remembered, celebrated, rehearsed, and prefigured.
Prepare to be attacked from all sides.
Don't turn back but pick up the slack and grapple with the facts.
But don't just act. Revolution is deeper –
Deeper than doing, deeper than proving, deeper than winning or losing.
Revolution is Being, not just seeing or believing or scheming.
It is the highest calling of being,
The deepest interpretation of life's meaning.
It is the vital thread with which we stitch the quilt of our being.
It is the truth with no future, the freedom which cannot be preconceived.
If it doesn't blow your mind it's the wrong kind of revolution, brother,
If it doesn't encompass the sacred hoop of mother and child,
If it isn't the call of the wild, beyond postures and styles,
Then it's a lie, not worthy to learn the secrets of your eyes, sister,
Not worthy of your kiss.
Our vision of revolution has to connect the ancient past to the far-flung future:
The councils of mothers that fought the rise of patriarchy for thousands of years,
The peasants that preferred to die rather than exchange their labor for a wage,
The spiritual warriors of Abya Yala who burned before they renounced their beliefs,
The anti-colonial shamans who prophesied the war of the worlds to come,
The revolutionary Marxists who made a science of freedom, millions who led and who followed,
Generations of guerrillas, dynasties of diggers,
Unwritten and unrecorded encyclopedias of maroons...
And our children who will grow up in mass migrations,
Who will fight in civil wars and work in the factories and plantations of corporate city states,
Their children who will fight for meaning amidst mass extinction,
Their children and their children's children, who will join it or overcome it.
From male hunting groups to kingdoms to corporate executive boards to drones and GMOs and bulldozed homes,
One struggle, one vision, one practice, one prophecy:
We can find it in the unity between our immediate needs and our fundamental fantasies.
Find it in the tiger's den, in the personal struggle, in the general strike,
And in the moon reflected in the river.
Find it in birdsong and big bands, in poisoned oceans and tar sands,
In ancestral lands and in your two hands,
Find the elation in the negation of the negation –
Because revolution is the way station between this world and the next,
So in the silence between your breaths, test yourself,
Against lies and illusions –
And study the solutions!
Because if you really mean revolution,
There are no foregone conclusions.