By ricardo dominguez
Ours is not the house of pain and misery.
That is how he who robs
and deceives us has painted us.
Ours is not the land of death and anguish.
Ours is not the treason nor does our way have room for the forgetting.
Ours are not the empty ground and the hollow sky.
Ours is the house of light and joy.
That is how we created it, that is how
we struggle for it, that is how we nurture it.
Ours is the land of life and hope.
Ours is the path of peace
which is planted with dignity and harvested
with justice and liberty.
--FIFTH DECLARATION OF THE LACANDON JUNGLE
The Ante-Chamber of Revolution
Zapatismo is not bound by the limits of interconnectivity
or the raw violence of neo-liberalism. It is a network of hope
embedded deep in the heart of a community who oppose
the loss of voice in its own home. A community who walk
with the ghost of history and the ghost of exchange.
Zapatismo haunts the big MASK with small masks that
walk between code. They have sent us notes about this
virtual condition, some times they ask that we pass the
notes on, and sometimes they ask us to sing a tender song.
They say they became an intergalactic protocol by slipping
under the electronic fabric one drunken night. They say
the man they woke up with the next day screamed he had
been tricked…then later came back screaming that this
was his bed, his home, and his kitchen…but the man
is wrong, very wrong…this was our home…a home
for the homeless.
The Book of Mirrors, The Hybrid, and the MESH
(a short essay):
Late Capital is caught by its own reflection, it wants to
be both original and copy, soft and hard, top and bottom,
speed and inertia. The Rand Corporation calls for hybrid
hierarchies and networks, with both Top Sight Command
and Distributed Network Teams that function as an
interconnected MESH of total command and total
autonomy, for power only. The Hybrid MESH now
has many names: flat power, soft power, liquid power,
power ad infinitum. Late Capital agrees with Mao on
what this power must do: centralize strategically,
but decentralize tactically.
The Zapatistas say:
Ya basta! Break the Mirror! Do you really need Maps!*
*Maps (A Long Footnote):
Several different maps of information have been put on
the block for our inspection: frontier, castle, real estate,
rhizome, hive, matrix, virus, network, plug-in your own, etc.,
Each map creates a different line of flight, a different form
of security, and a different pocket of resistance.
A digiscape full of drifters, free roaming data cowboys, mail
tribes, code ranchers and bandwidth barons. ISP justice
decides the laws for their community. Those that go
beyond the local enclave's limit are on their own in a
lawless infinity. On the frontier the only security one has
is that of a few trusted URL's, ones' faithful machine,
and keeping the VirusScan loaded and close at all times.
On the Frontier: *It's every link for itself and Microsoft
Resistance on the Frontier: Banditos! We don't need no Stinkin' Badges!
This is a space of bunkers and transcendental hierarchies,
with moats, high walls, and drawbridges. Movement
between these bunkers is done by Knights, bearing the
latest war gear, protecting the flow of messages and
goods. The most important defense of A Castle is the
amount of "Air" between the outside and the castle's
core. For Castles it is the roads between them they fear.
Anything could be lurking in the dark woods.
Resistance between Castles: Robin Hood! Steal from the Rich
and Give to the Poor!
This is similar to where you are now, as you read or hear
these words. Space is owned or rented by individuals
transnational-companies, and anything in between. Lot's
of big signs selling things, gentrification, homes for senior
citizens, the endless streams of homeless. Everyone wants
laws to protect the welfare of exchange under the sign of
social control. They often say they want to protect the children.
In this space, only the commodity is protected.
Resistance under the For Sale Sign: Squat the Future! Burn the sign down!
Here Bodies without Organs's schizflux between
roots, pop-up flora, holes and machinic desire. Endless
tendrils criss-cross space, some spaces become hard and
never move again, some spaces become smooth and never
crack, nothing escapes the virtual struggle between The
State and The War Machine. Here endless interconnectivity
rules all possibility as an either/or line of flight-territorialize
or de-territorialize, you have no choice.
Resistance at the root: Become a body with organs and smell the flowers.
A wave-system so tightly bound that no difference
resides between each segment of the wave. Each segment
is part of a wave-mass, A SWARM. The Hive is able to
absorb any change both within or without the SWARM.
Each segment-wave functions as a SWARM, alone or
apart from the other segments. Each element of a
SWARM functions locally in parallel interdependence
with the rest of the wave mass. The Hive and the SWARM
act as one, but only in one direction. Each shift in the
SWARM becomes a part of the HIVE at the same moment.
Each segment of the SWARM is a part of the HIVE, but
the HIVE is not a part of the SWARM. Each segment of
SWARM needs the HIVE to be a part of a SWARM, but
the HIVE does not need the any specific segment of the
wave-mass to be a SWARM.
Resistance among the SWARM: Use the SWAT! Act Alone.
Weaving symbionts creating, moving, offering the
permanent revolution of Pandora's code. The Matrix is
disequilibrium as invention, aphanisis as informatic-quanta,
soft accidents, and action as care. An alien politics of the
body as hope. Still the Matrix is sweating in the labor pools
of speed production. The matrices are held hostage as the
base materialism of Late Captial. Wetware for the endless
multi-tasking of choatics. The Matrix is still looming.
Resistance in The Matrix: Have a Party! Go on Strike!
bio-agents flow between complexity and containment,
diversity and control, self and other. Cellular circuits know
the difference between antigens and antibodies. Viral coagulation
filters for non-self types in the Host in order to assemble possible
defensive patterns. Bioagents fail the Host when it meets its other
as self. It has no defense against itself, or what mimics its own
messages. Bioinformatics understand the self and not the other
Resistance within the cell: Make a Vaccine! Stick a needle in a meme!
Borderless operables, hyper redundancy, massive
aggregate throughput built on endless backplanes bring
bottlenecks down to 0.Decentralized bottom up architectures,
mega-gigabit ethernets, and active response firewalls are
the multiple nexus of this space. Intelligent infrastructures
allow the emergence of total networks, micro-networks,
and weak links. Network security is being exploited by
the demand for open transnational e-commerce and
intercontinental exchange routes. Exploit scripts scan
vulnerabilities, replacement files wrap packet filters, stealth
sniffers generate new holes: linsniff.c, sunkill.c, and latierra.c.
Network gaps created by military-intelligence systems,
trans-corporate movement, software developers, end users,
providers, and the lack of centralized management clog
the possibility of an effective and total security solution.
Resistance on the Network: Disconnect! Take the Streets!
Mayan Hackers/The Inapropriate/d Resistance
without Nostalgia (A Note)
A note was hand delivered to me during a gathering of
Radical Media groups in New York City at The Thing
(a critical community server) by a network that has been
doing advance work on Zapatismo, digital activism,
and html democracies.
It was a note from the Lizard Queen:
(Message 445-Ixil /encrypted in the usual manner-con amor.c)
Fox is showing reruns of "V", that old Si-fi flick, again. We
all sit in the cantina (and watch the only TV in the community:
the women, the children, the men, and the drunks).
The Lizard agents are trying to control the world and a few
small groups form a global resistance movement. The movie
shows the conflicts and tensions between the cells, the danger
of staying aboveground, the endless struggle against the growing
technoforce of the Lizard-Power structure. The Lizards are also
harvesting the humans for snacks. This not a movie says the one
of the kids…plenty of Lizards around here.
The children spend their mornings, after helping with work at
home, here at the Center for Mayan Code. Right now they are
hacking the past/future binary that has infected the system.
Cracking mega_mythologies has become the latest fun run
Each day the children are recovering more pages from the
"stolen book." The cracked Past/Future binary is being
woven between tzotzil songs about the Man who "stole the book."
The book was produced from the coupling between Mayan and
a dog. A Man came and stole the written word, the symbolic
support of knowledge for the community. As a consequence
of this theft, the Mayans are called ignorant, and the community
of the Man proclaim themselves to be "men of reason."
The Children laugh and hit the return button.
Each day the imagined community of promised monsters
grows, phantoms mix code up, reprogram the impossible,
then train others. The problem of temporal fragmentation is
getting smaller. A Shared sense of time is our priority now,
space is no longer the tool it once was. We must continue to
build networks of shared time. The Virtual Class expects
Mayan codes to stay in one place and attack from behind a tree,
they don't suspect the question of time to be use against them.
Who can know what grows in the seeds of time. How goes it
in your time?
I finally read that essay you sent about the new military theory
(Magen), they seem to have finally read the French. Fractal
infrastructures, holistic kill ratios, fatal strategies and the call
for a RMA (Revolution in Military Affairs). Question compadre:
why is it that only the military and the big companies are allowed
to speak of Revolution? While all we can hope for is a disturbance?
Perhaps it is time to speak of Zapatismo as a Revolution of Hope.
Or Perhaps we should do as the FBI suggested in Computerworld
Magazine On their "Back Page" section (page 114) of their April 20 Issue:
*A group allied with Mexico´s Zapatista National Liberation Army
is seeking worldwide electronic insurrection on May 10, the FBI
said last week. The group urges those sympathetic with the
revolutionaries to swamp government and bank computer
systems in the U.S. and Mexico via the Internet on that day.*
World Wide Electronic Insurrection should be our next goal! All
we need to do is set a date. Ask all those hackers with heart if
they can help with this. Can you also get people to fill the streets
of the world? A HUELGA across the arc of realities! Remember
to call for a world that makes all worlds possible.
Well that is all. Make sure that you read this note backwards, it will
make more sense then.
con amor y rabia (From the mountains of the Mexican southeast),
The Lizard Queen
P.S. It is clear that in the arena of political action, only
he who puts the candle where the wind is blowing will triumph;
never the one who pretends the wind is blowing where he puts
the candle. Juan de Mairena wrote that bit.
P.S.S. 1998. Mexico. While the supreme government stays on
track towards war and tries desperately to join the winds from
Wall Street in order to push the heavy sails of the ship of death,
these Mexican Mayan, who add the name of Emiliano Zapata to
their history, prepare in silence the justice and the dignity that
will have to arrive in spite of their death (or perhaps because
In silence, these indigenous watch the skies and the ground
to predict the winds from below which run through the fields
of Mexico and of the world, through the dusty streets of tiny
villages and ranches, through the messy disorder of the popular
neighborhoods, through the places of the honest unions, through
the offices of the committed political parties, through the
theatres-movies-auditoriums-salons-of shows-art galleries,
through digital laboratories and centers of scientific investigation,
through the university cubicles, classrooms and halls, through
meetings and assemblies of political and social organizations,
through the churches of the poor, through the international solidarity
committees, through the national and foreign non-governmental organizations,
through the highways, through the roads, through
the neighborhood streets, through the breaches, navigating the
rivers, in the lakes and in the seas of this country, today awash
in wet, and of this world awakening, late certainly, but awakening.
In silence the Zapatistas see and are seen.
The old nose and pipe wrote this bit. A very good bit. But the children
always want more stories about seahorses, mirrors, and lions who
P.S.S.S. Just got an email from one of our friend across the sea.
He says we must let the world know that Digital Zapatismo is a
Myth. That no one in Chiapas has a T1 line, not one Autonomous
Community has a working LAN, or even a good ISP connection.
OK. The Zapatistas entered your Networks without any modems.
Sometimes we don't even have electricity. As Homer Simpson
said, "We now live in a society where technology makes war
as easy as opening a can of Duff beer."
I hope this helps.
P.S.S.S. (The kids say-Hehe…another mega_mythology cracked! ;-)
P.S.S.S.S. Send more Laptops.
SWARM: An ECD Project for ARS Electronica Festival '98