Along the FrontPosted: September 30, 2011
Acheux en Amiénois, September 30
Day 67 of the March on Brussels. From Amiens, 28 km
We are happy and singing. Not only when we enter the villages or the towns, but also in the countryside. We are singing to the cows. “Les vaches avec nous! Les vaches avec nous!”
We pass a handful of villages every day, and most of them are dead. But they are differently dead than the villages of the South. They are not completely abbandoned and falling apart, but most of them do not even have a bar. Without a bar as a central meeting point, there is no community. Most of these villages are small agricultural centers, a couple of farms, a couple of houses, and a church. The rest is silence.
We walk near the front line of the Great War. This is where the British Royal Expeditionary Force was deployed, the land of captain Edmund Blackadder.
For four years, almost a century ago, these sweet rolling hills were the theater of infernal madness. After the initial advance of the Germans in 1914, the war soon came to a halt in the muddy trenches. In 1916 the allies decided on a ‘big push’. The idea was more or less to order the soldiers into no man’s land, have them mowed down by the German machine guns, and continue to send more troops until the enemy ran out of ammunition.
Believe it or not, but the British wasted 60.000 lives on the first day alone, more than the Americans in the entire Vietnam War. In the end, after half a year of fighting, the Battle of the Somme claimed over a million lives. By that time, the allies had advanced almost ten kilometres.
I vaguely remember an essay by one of my favourite thinkers, Bertrand Russell, who did prison time during WWI for being a pacifist. He argued that even though an enormous part of the working force was condemned to the trenches and many women were working in the ammunition factories, still, life went on in Britain. People had food every day, basic services kept on functioning. His conclusion was that people work much too much, for the sake of overproduction. They could keep society going in limited numbers, working only a couple of hours per day. All excessive labour is harmful. It leads to destruction. But if it were used for constructive purposes, we could create Utopia.
These last few days the Central Committee has taken on the good habit of discussing things during the morning march, and exchanging additional information in the evening. We are well infiltrated in the official structure of the march. Comrade Getafe is giving form to the new Communication commission, Christ is in Dinamization, which prepares the assemblies and the policy, Roberto is in Intelligence, in Action and – as a former banker – in Economy. He is our treasurer. I’m in the shadow, dedicated to Intelligence and Strategy.
At this moment, Brussels and beyond is our main focus. As I understood, for the seven days between our arrival and the big demonstration on the 15th, there will be organised ‘forums’ and ‘agora’s’. I haven’t understood the difference, except that one is Roman and the other is Greek, meaning the same thing. Public square.
I fear we are focussing too much on debates. And if these debates are anything like our internal assemblies, we might slowly sink into a swamp of bullshit. The revolution is exchange of ideas, sure, but not only. In the very first place, the revolution is Rock ‘n’ Roll.
We would like to see Brussels as a creative happening, with lots of music, films and art. In such a context we could attract many people. Then we can create, first of all, a Continental Assembly, and the information infrastructure to sustain it, where we can gather initiatives, actions and propositions. The next thing would be to create thematic working groups and decide on the general direction we want our society to take in matter of Economy, Agriculture, Health Care, Environment etc. etc. People with ideas, and people with relevant knowledge on the subjects could then make practical calculations about the feasibility of the projects.
In Brussels we should lay solid foundations for our movement on a continental level, we should start creating a parallel power structure which can regulate our society once the current institutions, heirs of the Great War and all that followed, will disintegrate.
We near our final goal for the day. Our medical support vehicle is waiting to bring us water and the latest news. In a Portuguese demonstration, police have joined the indignados. In New York a hundred police officers refuse to charge our comrades occupying Wall Street.
Without the protection of armed goons, the one percent of people which detain the economical and political power, are done for. This is going to happen, people. And it’s going to happen all over the world.