Fifth Estate Collective
The following article is reprinted from the 7 June 1977 edition of the Mexican newspaper Excelsior and was translated for us by a comrade in Montreal. Although written in a journalistic style (for instance calling people “anarchists” who might have no interest in the label) it chronicles activity similar to that of the Metropolitan Indians in Italy (see FE #284, July 1977) and the Breakers of Paris. There will undoubtedly be more to come.
ANTI-CRATS: PLAGUE OF SPANISH POLITICS
[anticrat = acrata = against all authority]
MADRID, June 6, 1977—“We don’t want leaders,” shouted someone, yelling from the back. “That’s it!” answered another from deep in the crowd. Then he offered, “We don’t want leaders, we want weiners!”, provoking guffaws all around.
This mocking scene is repeated every weekend in political meetings in the large cities of Spain. The protagonists are always the same: a group of unkempt youth mostly under 20 who are apt to polarize around a black flag with a letter enclosed in a circle painted in the center.
Frequently, kicking and clubbing marshals of the organizing political Party retaliate against the deriders by running them out of the arenas where public rallies are held.
Nevertheless, what these anticrats are looking for is not to provoke their political opponents. “We came only to have fun and to air our position, which is the total lack of one,” explained J. L.R., a disheveled 18— year old present at left-wing rallies.
As for 16-year old M., she defends her right to make fun in order to strip the solemnity and the lofty airs from those concerned with the struggle for power that will take place in the June 15 elections. Most of her comrades agree with her that what interests them is to demystify everything, ridicule everything so that the carnival set up by those lusting for power is exposed in all its absurdity.
“To the extent that you strip the solemnity from the speeches and the hollow rhetoric, the speaker is left naked and appears as man with all his defects, more forlorn than an orphan. That’s why they hate us and say that they are fed up with us,” says P., a 19-year-old sprouting a beard.
“Juana the Crazy, Martyr of Insanity, we will avenge you!” they write on the walls. “Don’t trust God, Franco is in Heaven,” is another line that reappears each day on different walls.
They likewise demand freedom for fictional characters taken from television series, and push the absurd as such, intentionally going beyond the accepted boundaries of logic.
Detractors of All That is Established
However, the young anarchists are not like the Nihilists of the last century who systematically opposed everything, except their own metaphysical conception of Nothingness. The anticrats have principles and many ideals that naturally are not in line with those of the society at large reflected through political parties.
The anticrats are concerned about nature and maintaining the ecological balance; they cherish individual liberty and preach respect for others; they protect and defend marginal groups, such as homosexuals, civil offenders, or gypsies; they believe in the supremacy of imagination and intelligence; while on the other hand they look down on the society of consumption, repetitious labor, industrialization, all those who submit, the satisfied bourgeois...
Many of them live in urban or rural communes located throughout the country, where they put their ideals and beliefs into practice. Most of the communes have made no name for themselves and their exact locations are not known, which has avoided hassling by authorities and the bother of unwanted weekend visitors.
Although related to the Hippies of the 1960s and to the Paris experiences of May, 1968, the young anarchists (who go so far as to scorn their quasi-co-religionists in the anarchist trade union federation, the CNT) express themselves through a half-dozen publications, in which personal ads often appear asking for people to join communes, or ads searching for companions for long trips to Asia or Africa on little money. In addition there are sexually-oriented want-ads and proposals.
“Oh, Virgin Mary...”
What no one can deny is their strong sense of humor and the absolute impudence with which they irritate crowds that go to listen respectfully to their leaders. In meeting after meeting they have created a genuine spontaneous literature based on slogans and chants: “A stoned people is more alive,” “A united people is a people without parties,” “Carrillo, sing us ‘Face to the Sun’ on Eurovision,” and many other unprintable ones to which are added wall paintings. One of those that covers the walls of Madrid announces, “Oh Virgin Mary, you who have conceived without sinning, help us to sin without conceiving.”