Border Renaissance and the Sleazy Ghost of Vladimir Lenin
By Gabriel Solis
Homies and Non-Homies,
Fronterizas y Fronterizos
I am of the sincere belief that
the color of our days
are increasingly Leninist.
Here and there we wake up, turn on our computers and watch the protests. The protests are shown to us in-the-Live, vividly photographed, pre-recorded and widely disseminated. We digest this imagery as quickly as we can, and our digestion functions according to our particular bias. Some people cry, some people scream and many condemn. A smaller contingent participates.
Nevertheless, we are all responding, engaging with this Being of protest—and our engagement is shaping the era; shaping and molding it into a historical gig. Our bias affects our engagement, contorts the gig and deeply influences the color of our days.
My bias is Leninist and therefore, the color of my days are increasingly Leninist.
What then is a Leninist?
…The audience asks…
Well, this Leninist is someone who will refuse to answer such a question; because the Leninist is a human being in the process of a becoming itself—like every other being on this planet.
A better question is: Who was Lenin, why was he angry, how did he inspire other people to consider themselves Leninists, and why should El Paso-Juarez care?
I can only answer this question within the context of my own bias, so forgive me:
Lenin was a Russian revolutionary who begged the Russian people to view their era (World War I) as a special era, and to exploit the spirit of that special era for the sake of producing an egalitarian revolution. Lenin urged his Russian peoples to overthrow capitalism, feudalism and monarchy in the midst of the excessive violence (World War I) those three things had produced. Rather than accepting the ugliness of their era, Lenin promised that the Russian people could break with the violence of World War I and produce a better world.
A better world based on gender equality, universal education, the abolition of nations, workplace democracy and collective ownership.
That better world was to be called communism, and it never happened.
But Lenin did happen and so did his revolution. The Russian people ganged together, overthrew Tsar, Capitalist and Priest with the aim of producing a better world that would be called communism. Communism never came, but the attempt materialized.
So far, none of this explains how our days are increasingly Leninist. So let me explain:
I believe that we are on the verge of a new attempt—not necessarily for a pronounced “communist” society—but merely towards a new, inclusive, egalitarian society (which may later be considered communist). Its meat and intention has been un-pronounced, but the attempt is beginning to roll off our tongues with increasing ease. It is becoming easier and easier for us to imagine, to declare, that another world is possible. And this desire for another world—despite Lenin’s failures—is not necessarily destined to fail.
Will we condemn, applaud or directly participate in this new attempt for a better world? Will we push it further and further from the logic of our times—the logic of capitalism, “growth” and messianic war—or shall we settle for the standard gig, passively sympathizing, critiquing and distancing ourselves from those immersed in the Attempt?
This is inevitably the question that the Border must answer; because the Border is immersed in two special eras. The first is entirely local, concerning the coexistence of an emergent creative productivity among, with the horrific specter of drug violence, poverty and neo-liberal expansion. The second is international, concerning the global expansion of privatization, austerity, war, protest and capitalist crisis. Yet the greatest fiction we could ever write, is the idea that these elements are somehow unrelated to the violence on the Border.
So let us return to the question: Will El Chuco use its new creative energy to begin the next attempt at constructing a radically inclusive, egalitarian world? Or will El Chuco synthesize its creative potential with the ruling logic, and do “business as usual”?
I argue that we Fronterizos (at home and in-exile) should use this new vitality for the sake of challenging the violence, boredom and ecological devastation produced by capitalism. We must be like Lenin, like Mahkno, like Goldman, like Zapata, like Egypt, like Occupy—and seize the spirit of our age!
I, personally, will be like Lenin. I will continually urge my people, my precious desert-soul sisters, to resist, to protest and to construct.
And I invite you all to join me in this endeavor. Agitate, participate and consecrate a new era. Ours are Leninist days.