Tag Archives: Atassa

(en) Notes on anarcho-primitivism

Interesante texto de crítica hacia el anarco-primitivismo, escrito por el jefe editorial de “Atassa”.


I would be lying if I said I don’t like to pick fights. But I would also be lying if I didn’t say that I think that they are no good for me most of the time. The realm of “anti-civilization” ideas is small, and those who oppose civilization totally is even smaller, those who have certain ideas about it even smaller, etc. I believe it was Henry Kissinger who said that university campus politics were so nasty because the stakes are so small. That goes the same for our milieu. I don’t even know anyone “in real life” who holds anything resembling these ideas. So picking someone off in a rhetorical strike is petty at best and foolish at worst. In a lot of ways, you are in the same boat no matter how many distinctions you make. If you’re “sane”, you would bury the hatchet and like everyone.

Of course, man does not live on sanity alone. (Here comes the big “but…”) Once you have a certain “epiphany”, you realize that you aren’t even on the same page with those who any outsider would determine you should have an affinity with. I came out of anarcho-primitivism, at least in theory, though I was never comfortable with it. The anthropocentrism, the optimism, the idea that there is some primordial state that fits the human psyche like a glove… none of these aspects ever sat well with me. As a Marxist, I had always envisioned “nature” as an act of human intellect and will, or something that is acted upon by human intellect and will. That is, human life isn’t just something that is “produced” by our nature manifesting itself in a particular circumstance. It is an active pulsating thing that is the result of man testing his strength against entropy and chaos. I think it is evident that our situation is out of balance: that all human projects are ultimately unsustainable, and often how human society forms is the product of millions of disparate wills firing at once, to produce both harmony and disorder, the rising and falling away of artifice and hierarchy, a return to a base that can become unsettled in a cycle that reaches into the far recesses of the past…

For some time, I thought that this understanding was one that was in play in other schools of anti-civ thought. I was never on board the “selling” aspect of it: you’d be happier and healthier without civilization, your community would be more stable, your life will be more fulfilling, etc. For me, life has always been about struggle, it has not been about happiness but about meaning; not about freedom but about what you do with it. Perhaps I am too “pre-modern” in that sense in my thinking: egalitarianism has never been a concern, individuals remain pawns in a great cosmic play, only our part now is to tear down without hope of building again. It is to realize that man is the compendium, not the end, of the cosmos, and if he fails as the embodied steward of the physical world, the only honorable thing to do is bow out and let the world return to what it was before us. That’s not something you can sell to the idealistic youngster looking to make the world a “better place,” but it’s the only thing I’m interested in.

I have been reading the newest issue of Black and Green Review, and while I don’t want to slam it or critique it in any systematic way (mainly because who cares? and what’s the use?) it has made me realize that we (the creators of that magazine and I) are in this for entirely different reasons. One essay is a thorough description of how one author named Four-Legged Human goes about training to be a immediate returns nomadic hunter gatherer. While it is problematic in many ways, it is refreshing in its honesty. For example, it represents a turning point in anti-civ discourse insofar as he pulls a “bait and switch” stating that, while hunter-gatherers historically may have only worked a few hours a day, those who have the vocation to become hunter-gatherers now will have to work hard, and very hard, for hours and hours a day, with the prospect of failure and starvation always hovering near. There goes that selling point, I suppose. After many generations perhaps people will return to a nomadic lifestyle of general leisure. Then again, I have very little control over my own kids, I am not sure how much I can determine the mentality of progeny I will never meet.

To back up a bit, all of this is predicated on the Master Plan of Anarcho-Primitivism, which goes as follows:

Plan A. Civilization collapses all by itself (more or less).

Plan B. There is no Plan B

Which leads to hunter-gatherer nomadic paradise eventually, which won’t be easy but is something that we are inherently equipped for, so they say. Not to violate Godwin’s Law, but I think there is no better analogy here than the Stalinist Communist Party of Germany proclaiming: “After Hitler, us”. The point of Four-Legged Human’s article cited above is to make the race of “supermen” (we all have these superpowers potentially) who will win out over civilization by attrition. It’s like wu wei or something like that…

The obsession of anarcho-primitivism of the Black and Green Review school is thus to prepare people for that future. Thus, the “primitive” societies that one chooses to emulate will be from marginal environments such as the Inuits or the Selk’nam (Ona) of Tierra del Fuego. i.e. Places where most human beings wouldn’t want to inhabit in the first place. From that foco of sub-Arctic dwellers will come the new hope of mankind, and everyone else can just die off, because they’re hopeless, full stop.

(How this isn’t nihilism, that is, embracing a system where me and mine survive but the rest can just slowly starve to death or kill each other off in resource wars, I have no idea. I guess it’s totally kosher to commit sins of omission and just let 99.99% of humanity die but if you do anything to bring it about that would bring impurity or is a waste of time at least. I am sure humanists the world over will appreciate that distinction in misanthropy.)

What is saddest about this is how anarcho-primitivism on a narrative level essentially takes up the scientific / colonial world view of the societies it attempts to emulate: taking what they like and leaving what they don’t like, as if one could just cherry pick from ways of life where how one viewed nature and how one treated it were often intimately intertwined. Therefore, one gets to the “essence” or “substance” of what it means to be a hunter-gatherer nomad, while “irrelevant” and “false” details like cosmology, mythology, ritual, etc. are all left aside as unimportant. As if the Ona were just some people who could be wrung dry of all of the badass physical endurance and perseverance, but the great rituals of the Hain, and the deities of the hoowin, had nothing to do with any of it. You can abstract and bleed a primitive society for your own purposes and use what you want to save your own skin, whereas no right-minded hunter-gatherer probably thought of the world and what he or she did on a daily basis on those terms. (See for example the article “The Seris, the Eco-extremists, and Nahualism” in Atassa 1 for an alternative vision of how to treat these sorts of societies.)

Just as in leftism, I see anarcho-primitivism as something devised in the mind of the accountant and human resource manager but taken to the Stone Age level. For me, it seems that concerns such as “How do I survive and how can I not be coerced?” seem all-too-modern and all-too-domesticated. Sure, we all want to survive, but under what circumstances? Always on the run? Waiting for Godot in the form of catastrophe to slay all of our enemies for us? Cede the best lands and go to a place where whether we survive or not is no better than a crapshoot? At least Four-Legged Human at the end of his essay admitted into the club of Super-Elite Paleo Warriors those who wanted to go into the urban park after work to weave baskets and flint knapp: way to give your readers hope. As for me, any remaining interest in anarcho-primitivism and what they think and do increasingly diminishes by the day. This happened with Marxism for me as well, even though I have not considered myself a Marxist for years but was still remotely interested in it. With anarcho-primitivism specifically, I am getting tired of the “civilization is unhealthy and is killing us” intersperse with “re-wilding is almost impossible for most people and has the good risk of killing you”. That’s alright, they can work on their projects, and I’ll work on mine.

(en) Angels of light

People would be deceived to think that I am some angsty teenager looking for attention. That’s sort of the opposite of what this is about. If I “hate” society, in my case at least, it’s not personal. I am entering my fourth decade, and you already know I have kids. My life is “happy”, comfortable even. I suppose what this is really about isn’t anger, or revenge, or being a “psychopath” (which people seem to accuse me of often). It’s consistency. Those who know about this project, those who see it as some sort of threat or have the insatiable urge to comment on it, are generally of the leftist persuasion (even if they deny it). In their universe, there are good guys and bad guys, and they’re always the “good guys”. “Those who are destroying the Earth have names and addresses.” Of course, it’s never THEIR names and addresses. As in the scholarship of Rene Girard, what they seek is a scapegoat. The world is awful and doesn’t meet their expectations for not being dominated or whatever and those at fault are easy to figure out: cops, CEO’s, cops, Nazis, cops, rich people, cops, conservative voters, fascists, cops, the State, cops…. did we mention cops? Oh yeah, cops…

As I have stated in the past, all of these people tend to “self-select” their milieu and even the geographic area where they live. They tend to reside in urban areas next to like-minded (left-leaning people). They may have even fled “awful places” where there aren’t even any anarchists or squats or vegan ethnic restaurants… Oh the barbarity! They’re fleeing something, they think that putting distance between themselves and the enemy will solve everything. The problem is, the people who they despise can also be “nice people”. Maybe their universe can’t withstand the incredibly nice older woman who has a “God bless all cops!” bumper sticker on her car but  is treating a sick child free of charge because that’s what her faith in her god tells her to do. Or maybe they don’t talk to military officers and their families on a regular basis. I do. That’s my reality in comfy, suburban America. The fact that I spend my time doing this is, well, hypocrisy. And?

See, here’s the difference between me and the edgy anarchist who thinks that being unemployable is somehow a severe strike against civilization or whatever: morality doesn’t save anyone. It determines who will die or get thrown in jail, but that doesn’t mean that it won’t turn on you even if you dot every “i” and cross every “t”. To us domesticated folk, we’re like helpless chickens on a factory farm. We can’t really escape, and even if we could, we’re still chickens. No use pretending otherwise. People who practically FROM BIRTH could hunt and gather their own food who were ten times stronger than any of us succumbed to civilization: I could probably name a dozen or so off the top of my head. This isn’t an intellectual problem or lack of will. We’re in a war of attrition, and civilization wins against any opponent save for entropy. And the game goes on until one of them wins. Having “good thoughts”, “good behavior,” hating the right people and loving those who think like you won’t save you, and it won’t save your precious movement or ideas.

Indeed, what binds civilization together ultimately is love and community. It might be a “distorted” love, but it’s love for the hyper-civilized. If you want to figure out why the world is so messed up, it’s not because people are mean to each other. It’s because they’re nice. It’s because the Navy Seal has the loving wife and children at home that he goes half way around the world to kill someone, who also, it turns out, has a wife and loving children. It’s because that woman is respectful and prays for the police that she has a smile on her face and the kindness to take care of that child. You can’t separate the two. Leftists / progressives think they can: just swap out one authority for another, one organized system of violence for another, but content doesn’t change. They’ve never successfully done it, but it’s “still possible”. The problem with liking some parts of this society but hating other parts is that it’s all one body, it all moves as one. It’s like saying that one loves the fingers but hates the hand: it’s a non sequitur.

Most people realize that. That is why they put bumper stickers on their cars supporting police. That is why they say the Pledge of Allegiance, call the cops on criminals, and aspire that their children be “productive citizens.” Ultimately, that’s why leftists exhort people play along with bourgeois “lesser evils,” why anarchists limit themselves to purely symbolic or reformist actions, and why even those who claim to be against civilization uphold its moral modus operandi. And that’s why people hate eco-extremists. They’re the only ones who admit that maybe our neat categories of guilt and innocence, meanness and niceness, are mere fictions when you get to the bottom of it.

Of course, here the “sane” reader will hit the roof and just state: “What, you think we should just blow everyone up then!? If that’s the logical conclusion of what you are arguing, it is absurd on its face and ipso facto false.” Maybe. But every other moral argument falls flat on its face as well. That cop you want to string up has a wife and kids. Your grandmother doesn’t want him strung up. Is she wrong? Why? That CEO who pollutes the river or whatever also has kids. He may volunteer to coach Little League on the weekends. The kids he coaches and probably many of his workers don’t want you to put a bullet in his head. Are they wrong? Why? Is getting rid of these people really going to lead to your utopia? Is their blood worth it? According to whom?

I will leave these people to their casuistry and continue to look to people who are at least consistent, who don’t feel that they need to stand around like canon lawyers and father confessors justifying their lust for violence and revenge. True, I won’t take part in these acts myself: perhaps I am too hyper-civilized to go that route. I will continue to make small talk with the military wife and treat cop-loving senior citizens with respect. That’s what a double life is all about, and it doesn’t bother me in the least. Their niceness is what is destroying all that I love and cherish. But I will continue to try to engage the world as innocent as a dove but as wise as a serpent knowing full well that:

“And no marvel; for the Adversary himself masquerades as an angel of light.” – II Corinthians 11:14

(en) A short introductory video to Atassa #1

Desde el blog de la revista “Atassa”, publicamos un video introductorio que presenta el interesante contenido de esta.

Saludando a las individualidades que hicieron posible ese importante aporte para los angloparlantes interesados en la tendencia.

¡Adelante con los proyectos de difusión contra el progreso humano!

¡Adelante, eco-extremistas teóricos “estadounidenses”!

(en) Mexico – Nineteenth Communiqué of the Individualists Tending Toward the Wild

“If civilization wishes to survive, it will have to dispose of civilization and return to barbarism.”

V.

Mexico is in a convulsionary situation. The crisis has hit like a wave against the coast. The price of gasoline has made the hordes of slaves leap over the thin line between legality and illegality. The last three days have seen looting, thefts, robberies, and numerous acts of criminality. These acts have occurred not only in Mexico State and Mexico City, but also in Veracruz, Hidalgo, Cancún, Michoacán, among other places.

Organizations of civil society have denounced the looting as the work of “provocateurs” employed by the political parties. They are “infiltrators” who have embedded themselves in the demonstrations to “delegitimize” social protest. They accuse the looters of being common criminals, etc. In any case, eco-extremist groups can’t just stand around in this sudden tremendous national crisis.

Those who are not prepared for these situations are scared and cry themselves to the point of desperation. Those of us who are prepared for what is happening have entered the fed-up bands of the hyper-civilized. We infiltrated them while camouflaged and hooded, and we sought to push the crisis from bad to worse.

That is why for some days now members of ITS have infiltrated the ranks of the looters and, along with criminal accomplices from poorer neighborhoods, we have committed various criminal acts. These have been quite satisfying to our uncivilized tastes, namely, seeing the decline of civilization and the fall of social values into the abyss of common vice.

Robbing foodstuffs, robbing the registers of abandoned banks, participating in several acts of looting, breaking pharmacy windows, breaking the windows of convenience stores, lighting gas stations on fire, vandalizing buildings and vehicles, throwing stones at police and soldiers, breaking the chains and metal barriers off of large stores, shooting into the air to make the police flee, leveling executive  offices, etc. We’ve done all of these things day and night in Mexico State, in the municipalities of Coacalco, Ecatepec, Tultitlan, and Tlalnepantla; in Mexico City as well as Iztacalco, Iztapalapa, and Venustiano Carranza. The list of acts that we could claim responsibility for would be quite long, for it is clear that we aren’t the only ones responsible for them. Anonymous people and common criminals also deserve a lot of the credit, so we will keep things rather general.soriana-estado-de-mexico

tienda-coppel-ciudad-de-mexico

To take advantage of the chaotic situation that rules in the streets and to value the conditions of rupture at this precise moment are aspects of our modus operandi. It doesn’t matter to us that we appear to be within contingents of social organizations that we hate as long as the End is destabilization and the deepening of the social and economic crisis that we are living presently. For that reason, we exhort all of the eco-extremist groups within and outside of Mexico to go out into the street and to make sure the crisis only gets worse. They should join up with common criminals, take out their arms in broad daylight, and break whatever occurs to them. Let them commit arson and detonate explosives. Let them claim the streets, commit crimes, join along with the mobs, and enjoy social decline.

comercial-mexicana-estado-de-mexico

Carrying out the War against Civilization WITHIN Civilization itself

Individualists Tending Toward the Wild – Mexico State

-Ourobosos Silvestre

– Pagan Sect of the Mountain

– Popocaliztli Clan

Individualists Tending Toward the Wild – Mexico City

– Eco-extremist Circle of Terrorism and Sabotage

– Fury of the Lynx Clandestine Group

-Indiscriminate Faction

-Eco-extremist / Nihilist Mafia

-Indiscriminate Group Tending Toward the Wild

(es-en) La flor del inframundo que creció en esta era: una introducción al eco-extremismo

Traducción al español del texto/presentación de la Atassa Magazine.

¡Por la expansión del eco-extremismo en práctica y en teoría!


“Una salus victis nullam sperare salutem.” (La única esperanza del conquistado es no esperar la salvación”).

-Virgil, The Aeneid

si la muerte llega seguiremos destruyendo el infierno, asqueroso mundo te veré caer riendo, en este enfrentamiento eterno […]”

-Décimo primer comunicado de Individualistas Tendiendo a lo Salvaje 2016

El eco-extremismo es una de las más recientes escuelas de pensamiento de nuestro tiempo, pero más que una escuela de pensamiento, es un plan de acción, una actitud hostil y un rechazo a todo lo que ha precedido en la sociedad tecno-industrial. Nacido de diversas ideologías radicales como la liberación animal, el anarquismo insurreccional, el anarco-primitivismo y el neoluddismo de Theodore Kaczynski, ha germinado y brotado en algo totalmente distinto: en un poema de amor a la violencia y la criminalidad; una visión ecológica radical donde la esperanza y el humanismo son superados por el cañón de una pistola, la explosión del artefacto incendiario y el cuchillo que acecha a la presa humana en la oscuridad. Todos sus verdaderos adherentes son actualmente desconocidos. No es una ideología que se formó en la academia o incluso en espacios políticos “alternativos”. Sus escritos sólo se pueden encontrar (algunos dirían irónicamente) en sitios anónimos en Internet. El eco-extremismo se formó en las sombras, y permanecerá ahí, es una amenaza clandestina hasta que todos los eco-extremistas sean capturados o asesinados… es decir, hasta que otros tomen su lugar.

Poco después de escribir mi ensayo en Ritual Magazine, “Towards Savagery: Recent Developments in Eco-Extremist en México”, el grupo principal descrito en ese ensayo, Reacción Salvaje, se disolvió (en agosto de 2015), citando una nueva etapa de su lucha y su desarrollo. Muchos de los sitios web que utilicé para mi investigación, también fueron silenciosos o anunciaron su fin. Sin embargo, se oían rumores de eco-extremistas en el sur, que se hacían eco de noticias y en Internet. Grupos como la Secta Pagana de la Montaña cometieron ataques en el Estado de México y en otras partes de ese municipio, utilizando la misma retórica contra los “híper-civilizados”, y sin preocuparse por la moralidad y la sociedad tecnológica masiva. Una de las principales revistas del eco-extremismo, la Revista Regresión, continuó siendo publicada fuera de México.

Para enero de 2016, surgieron nuevos sitios web eco-extremistas e incluso salió un extenso documental de vídeo sobre el eco-extremismo. Al final del mes se publicó el Primer Comunicado de Individualistas Tendiendo a lo Salvaje, (ITS) en el principal sitio web eco-extremista, Maldición Eco-extremista, así como con las noticias de sitios anti-autoritarios. Pronto empezó a surgir la continuación de los ITS que se había extendido a otros países, a saber, Chile, Argentina y más tarde Brasil, junto con los grupos terroristas nihilistas aliados en Italia. Los textos eco-extremistas han sido traducidos a idiomas que van desde español e inglés hasta turco, checo y rumano. Las acciones eco-extremistas en el último año en el calendario han variado desde incendios provocados, amenazas de bombas, bombardeos indiscriminados, hasta el asesinato de un trabajador científico en la universidad más grande de México. A nuestro conocimiento, nadie aun ha sido arrestado o investigado por estos crímenes.

Recientemente la teoría eco-extremista ha enfatizado sobre el estudio histórico y en la teoría. Gran parte de la energía polémica a principios de este año fue consumida por la defensa de “ataque indiscriminado”: es decir, bombardeos, disparos, incendios premeditados, etc., que no tienen cuidado con “espectadores inocentes”, pero que atacan un blanco determinado, lo que se conoce como “daño colateral”. Otras cuestiones de discusión han sido la relación entre el nihilismo y el egoísmo, (en la idea de que los ITS y otros eco-extremistas no creen en un futuro y luchan en el aquí y ahora por ningún objetivo estratégico particular), el primitivismo, el animismo/paganismo y el individualismo. En lo que sigue discutiré términos y conceptos esenciales que esperanzadamente aclararán el lenguaje y la retórica eco-extremistas. Debe señalarse desde el principio que el eco-extremismo no pretende una claridad absoluta para el observador imparcial, sino que busca estimular la afinidad en aquellos que están de manera similar en desacuerdo con la tecnología, la artificialidad y la civilización.

El eco-extremismo es una tendencia que reivindica lo salvaje, enaltece a los antepasados guerreros y le declara la guerra a lo civilizado. El eco-extremismo está encarnado en los eco-extremistas individualistas que se esconden a simple vista y que emergen con fría ferocidad en el momento oportuno. El eco-extremista es un individualista en que desafía la prohibición del colectivo o de la comunidad, cualquier comunidad, para luchar, herir, mutilar o matar. Ningún colectivo tiene la autoridad de decirle qué hacer, ya que todos ellos han perdido su autoridad (inexistente) con su continua guerra contra la naturaleza salvaje. Junto con la renuncia del colectivo es una renuncia a la esperanza o cualquier “futuro primitivo”. Los eco-extremistas comprenden que la realidad es una basura, que el progreso es la esclavitud perpetua en un sistema asquerosamente industrial, y deciden enfrentarse a esto sabiendo que perderán, como animales salvajes que están siendo acorralados y que no tienen escapatoria, atacan sabiendo que morirán luchando, miran a la muerte a los ojos y gritan ¡Hoka Hey! (Hoy es un buen día para morir).

El eco-extremismo es la resistencia violenta de una reacción causal propia de la Naturaleza Salvaje alienar y esclavizar todas las cosas vivas en inanimadas.

Está contra la artificialidad de la sociedad moderna, y todo lo que subyuga el instinto humano a un “extremo superior”.

Naturaleza Salvaje: La Naturaleza Salvaje es el principal agente de la guerra eco-extremista. Los filisteos se oponen a la invocación de la “naturaleza salvaje” como atavismo o “superstición”, pero lo hacen simplemente a partir de su propia domesticación e idiocia. “Naturaleza Salvaje” es todo lo que crece y se manifiesta en el planeta en objetos animados e inanimados, desde guijarros a océanos, de los microorganismos de toda la flora y fauna que se han desarrollado en la Tierra. Más específicamente, “Naturaleza Salvaje” es el reconocimiento de que la humanidad no es la fuente y el fin de la realidad física y espiritual, sino simplemente una parte de ella, y tal vez ni siquiera una parte importante. El eco-extremismo, en la medida en que piensa en la epistemología de todo, se basa en el realismo gobernado por nuestros sentidos e instintos animales. Como dijo Chahta-Ima en su ensayo, “¿Qué queremos decir cuando decimos ‘naturaleza’?“:

“La Naturaleza existe porque la mente humana es débil y limitada. Es mortal, está hecha de carne, y en última instancia, esto es su límite, incluso si no podemos verla. Juega con el resto de la existencia, y perderá. La existencia de la naturaleza es el límite del pensamiento. Es el hecho de que todas las cosas no son para nosotros, nuestros pensamientos no se hacen cosas: las cosas están ahí para tomarlas, y estarían allí sin nuestra intervención. En otras palabras, no somos dioses, no somos espíritus, precisamente porque no existen esas cosas como hemos llegado a entenderlas. Nuestro pensamiento no hace y no puede comprenderlo todo, por qué es tan miserablemente poco fiable.”

Por lo tanto, el eco-extremismo plantea un pesimismo con respecto a los esfuerzos y los logros humanos, ya sean físicos, espirituales o morales. Por eso se opone a la civilización, especialmente en la manifestación tecno-industrial. La civilización moderna busca subyugar todo a sí mismo, y su hubris* es su caída. Los eco-extremistas buscan ser instrumentos de esa caída, aunque ellos no creen que ellos pueden hacerla por sí mismos. Más importante aún, la Naturaleza Salvaje se encuentra en nosotros, principalmente en nuestros instintos y en el gemido de la tierra frente a la destrucción causada por la vida civilizada. Esta tendencia busca (aunque sea imperfectamente), recuperar creencias basadas en las montañas, desiertos, costas, pantanos, bosques, animales, fases lunares, etc.

Muchos eco-extremistas escuchan el llamado de sus antepasados que resistieron la subyugación. Cuando la Naturaleza Salvaje habla lo hace en el lenguaje de los antepasados teochichimecas, Selk’nam, Yahis, Navajo, Maorí, bárbaros europeos, Waranis, Taromenanes, Seris, Toba y cualquier otro grupo que lucharon contra la extinción de su antiguo modo de vida. La Naturaleza Salvaje está así dentro de nosotros, en la individualidad que rechaza el pensamiento y la moralidad de la civilización y la domesticación.

Individualismo: Más que una corriente filosófica, el individualismo es una elección importante dentro de la sociedad de masas, es comenzar ser un lobo y dejar de ser oveja, es velar por los intereses propios y actuar en consecuencia. Un individualista aprende en su soledad y busca la auto-realización porque ha comprendido que no se puede apegar a las normas y conductas que le dicta la civilización puesto que estas son contrarias a su esencia. Niega la moral impuesta, rechaza los valores que desde pequeño le inculcaron, se forja como el hierro, no espera a los demás para comenzar a actuar, toma la iniciativa y busca complicidades afines mejorando en la práctica y teorías propias. El individualismo es tomado como un arma contra el colectivismo progresista impuesto por el sistema. Como un eco-extremista escribió:

“¡Yo y después yo!, grito intentando acabar con mi domesticación, quebrando ataduras de relaciones inútiles, lanzándome a una guerra contra la civilización y sus esclavos. Contra su colectivismo, su altruismo y humanismo, muerte a las relaciones basadas en la hipocresía, larga vida a las afinidades sinceras. Mis afines que me acompañan en esta guerra ya perdida, saben; Para mí siempre seré yo antes que ellos, y viceversa: sus yo antes que mi yo. Así continuaremos porque somos individuos amorales y egoístas.”

Los individualistas eco-extremistas son cautelosos y espirituales, aman con pasión y cuando odian, no perdonan. Son indiscriminados cuando actúan, así como fríos y calculadores. Ellos rondan con astucia como el zorro, y se camuflan en los paisajes urbanos y rurales. Los eco-extremistas usan todo lo que están a su alcance para lograr sus metas, pero tratan de unirse al pasado sagrado sabiendo que el tiempo para la paz ya no existe. Ellos tratan de ofrecer a sus víctimas como un sacrificio a sus antepasados y a la propia Tierra. Como en muchas de las guerras pasadas contra la civilización, la fuerza motriz detrás de ellos no es moralidad ni justicia, sino venganza.

Ataque indiscriminado: Solo los de mente progresista tienen un problema con el ataque indiscriminado, los que no se han podido sacudir su moralina occidental se asustan cuando los eco-extremistas hablan sobre tal temática. El ataque indiscriminado es uno de los principales métodos de ataque.

Atentar indiscriminadamente es atacar un objetivo sin tener en cuenta a los “espectadores inocentes” o los “daños colaterales”. Mientras que los individualistas eco-extremistas suelen apuntar a objetivos que son importantes para la sociedad tecno-industrial, (ministerios gubernamentales, universidades, vehículos de transporte), los terroristas individualistas lo hacen con la intención de infligir el máximo daño. Como expresó ITS en su Quinto Comunicado de este año:

“Consideramos enemigos a cada uno que contribuya a todo el proceso sistemático de domesticación y alienación, si, los científicos, ingenieros, investigadores, físicos, ejecutivos, humanistas, y ¿porque no? -apoyando la idea y la práctica del ataque indiscriminado- también contra la sociedad en su conjunto.

¿Porque la sociedad? Porque esta tiende al progreso, al progreso del sistema tecnológico e industrial, contribuye a la consolidación y al avance de la civilización. Pudiéramos pensar que ellos son solo borregos que hacen lo que les dicen y ya, pero nosotros no lo vemos tan simple, la gente sigue una línea dentro de este sistema porque quiere, si tuvieran elección seguro que les gustaría vivir como los execrables millonarios, pero se pudren en su pobreza siendo así los eternos fieles sirvientes de un sistema que nos subyuga como animales domésticos.”

El eco-extremismo lleva a cabo ataques indiscriminados como un eco de la naturaleza misma y para mostrar que su hostilidad hacia la sociedad es real. Los tsunamis no paran repentinamente cuando llegan a barrios pobres, los caimanes no distinguen entre inocentes y culpables en las cacerías nocturnas, y los huracanes no afectan a las personas según su raza. El eco-extremismo es parte de ese ciclo de acción y reacción. El tiempo para la “acción revolucionaria” ha pasado, y los eco-extremistas pretenden llevar a cabo una guerra real, con verdaderas bajas, y acciones que no son meramente simbólicas, sino que en realidad derramen sangre.

Nihilismo: El nihilismo es ante todo un rechazo al futuro. Como describí en mi ensayo, “Primitivism Without Catastrophe”, las sociedades humanas en todos los niveles, pero especialmente la sociedad tecno-industrial, son extremadamente complejas, compuestas de tantas partes difíciles de manejar como personas. Por lo tanto, cualquier aspiración a pastorear a las personas en un curso colectivo de acción, ya sea humanismo, socialismo, liberalismo o incluso anarquismo, no funcionará y se opondrá a quienes buscan resistir su propia esclavitud tecno-industrial.

En la “Mafia Eco-Extremista” (o como se le quiera llamar) hay terroristas nihilistas, particularmente en Italia. Estos nihilistas se adhieren a la posición de que el verdadero nihilismo es el nihilismo activo o no lo es, en absoluto. No sirve de nada hablar de “nihilismo” o “egoísmo” mientras uno paga impuestos y obedece las leyes de tráfico. Tal egoísmo o nihilismo puramente pasivo es quizás más afín al budismo o al nihilismo filosófico del siglo XIX, que sostiene todas las cosas que condenan a uno a ser un engranaje en la gran máquina social, pero ofrece algún tipo de integridad o pureza invisible (o un “espacio emancipado”), similar a la “liberación espiritual”. El terrorismo nihilista activo practicado por la Secta del Nihilistico Memento Mori y otras, intenta atacar lo que obviamente esclaviza al individuo a la sociedad y ese ataque debe ser siempre un ataque físico contra blancos reales como máquinas, edificios, etc., y los autómatas humanoides que los construyen y que corren alrededor de ellos. Todas las otras manifestaciones de nihilismo o egoísmo no son mejores que cristiano o el ascetismo de izquierda occidental.

“[el] golpe puro a la vida que recorre el margen del “vivir”. Yo soy el criminal nihilista que niega la humanidad obsoleta, traspasando al hombre moral-mortal, existencia de una idéntica y categórica delegación de representación  en evaluaciones iguales.”

Nechayevshchina. “Funeral Nihilista”

Paganismo/paganismo: Las creencias en las que se apoya el eco-extremismo es el animismo pagano, pues con esto se rescatan las deidades muchas veces ya olvidadas por la sociedad cristiana/secular.  Por razones profundamente personales y estratégicas, el eco-extremista busca resucitar el culto de los espíritus de la Tierra y ofrecerles sacrificios. El componente estratégico es renunciar y oponerse a la filosofía del cientificismo secular defendida por algunos anarquistas que claman: “¡Sin dios, ni amo!” Los eco-extremistas reconocen la necesidad de las autoridades espirituales, incluso si éstas son mal entendidas o casi olvidadas, que aún en última instancia, determinan el curso de la vida y la muerte. Ningún guerrero puede hacer la guerra por su cuenta: siempre hay fuerzas mayores en el trabajo, que ni siquiera la civilización tecno-industrial puede dominar. En la guerra eco-extremista, a pesar del individualismo táctico, se necesita un componente espiritual para llevar a cabo un ataque contra esta sociedad pútrida y salirse con la suya. También recuerda al eco-extremista que en última instancia, si él o ella vive o muere, no depende de ellos, sino de las fuerzas que han sido y será, incluso después de que se hayan ido. Como señaló Halputta Hadjo en su monografía, “Los Calusa: ¿Un reino salvaje?“:

“El [eco-extremista] puede atacar o puede entregarse, pero todo lo que hace, lo hace dentro de la ceguera y la impotencia de su propia naturaleza carnal. Esta no es una razón para renunciar, y no es motivo para la desesperación. Es toda esta razón, sin embargo, reverencia aquellas fuerzas que crearon las cosas de esta manera, y estos son los “espíritus” o los “dioses” de un entorno específico, como los que quieras llamar. La actitud de los eco-extremistas es la eterna hostilidad hacia la civilización tecnológica en nombre de los espíritus que son su patrimonio perdido.”

Al igual que el guerrero salvaje del pasado, se recuerda al eco-extremista que, si bien el cuero cabelludo y la sangre del enemigo podrían ser suyos a corto plazo, a largo plazo, su destino es decadencia como toda carne, con su espíritu volviendo al viento y al polvo. El eco-extremista no huye de sus “fantasmas”, de su “lado oscuro”, ni de su ignorancia, sino que los abraza para darle valor contra el enemigo. Estos son sus dioses, sus propios espíritus guardianes que son emisarios de la Naturaleza Salvaje. No requiere la racionalidad matemática de los domesticados para actuar, sino que actúa por instinto con el entendimiento para atacar a su enemigo. Su único consuelo es que él también es Naturaleza Salvaje, que su lamento es el suyo, que su victoria final será suya, aunque no vivirá para verla con sus ojos físicos. Al fin y al cabo, todos los sentimientos e ideas nobles se encuentran a la alegría de ser extinguidos, lo que debería dar al eco-extremista un sentido de urgencia en la lucha contra la domesticación y la artificialidad.

Conclusión: Guerra con fecha de vencimiento, guerra sin fin

El eco-extremismo es el sentido trágico de la vida encarnada en nuestra época. Es producto de las contradicciones de nuestro tiempo, de la nebulosidad de la erudición antropológica, de la renuncia a la acción política y del estancamiento ideológico contemporáneo. Esta tendencia sabe que este impasse** no será resuelto por mejores filosofías o códigos morales, sino sólo en la destrucción de todo lo que existe, incluyendo al “híper-civilizado” (es decir, todos nosotros). La sociedad tecnoindustrial es un problema que nunca debería haber existido en primer lugar, y todos los “defectos” y “contradicciones” del eco-extremismo como ideología son el resultado de las contradicciones de la sociedad reflejadas como en un espejo distorsionado. No hay solución. La única respuesta apropiada es el fuego y las balas.

Esta actitud pone en peligro al eco-extremista, no sólo con las autoridades de la sociedad tecno-industrial, sino también con otros grupos llamados radicales. No hay “call-outs” o expresiones de “solidaridad” en el eco-extremismo. El eco-extremismo no intenta justificarse moral o filosóficamente por sí mismo. “La inocencia” o la “culpa” nunca entran en el cálculo eco-extremista. De hecho, esta tendencia absorbe con impaciencia los “peores” aspectos de la sociedad moderna, incluida la criminalidad común, sin ningún esfuerzo letrado por justificarse a través de la lógica de la “justicia civilizada”. La reciente introducción al ensayo “Los Calusa: un reino salvaje”, destaca los actores y grupos sociales que el eco-extremismo busca imitar en nuestro tiempo:

Los Calusa: ¿Un Reino salvaje?” deja una gran lección, ya que tanto en los pequeños grupos nómadas como en las grandes civilizaciones prehispánicas se puede aprender y mucho, esto, no necesariamente cae en una “contradicción” teórica ya que el eco-extremista puede tomar de referencia tanto a los selknam como a los mayas, puede tomar experiencias tanto de la delincuencia común como de las grandes mafias, puede tomar ejemplos de los pandilleros guatemaltecos como de la rígida organización del Estado Islámico, es decir, el eco-extremista puede tomar lo que le venga en gana, sin moral alguna, siempre y cuando le deje alguna lección útil para el seguimiento y ejecución de su guerra”.

El eclecticismo teórico sólo es contrarrestado en el eco-extremista con obstinación en el ataque violento. El eco-extremista ha rechazado su afinidad con los híper-civilizados y ve prácticamente a todos como un enemigo. Estos individualistas han llegado a valorar el ataque más que sus propias vidas, como otros incontables guerreros y salvajes han hecho antes que ellos. Ellos no piden ayuda de aquellos quienes han venido a ver como en el mejor de los casos inútiles, y en el peor, el odiado adversario digno de muerte. Los eco-extremistas ya están en el radar de las autoridades de los países donde operan, y más allá. No tienen ninguna ilusión de que podrán evadirlos indefinidamente.

La Naturaleza Salvaje corroe poco a poco la civilización con la entropía, mientras el agua disminuye la piedra. Junto como el cambio climático, los terremotos y otros desastres naturales, los nuevos individualistas que resisten su domesticación tomarán el lugar de los eco-extremistas, tal vez conscientes de los que han venido antes de ellos. Ahora estamos entrando en una era de extremos, una época de incertidumbre, donde las ilusiones izquierdistas y las platitudes conservadoras ya no pueden prepararnos para nuestro futuro rumbo. El individualista seguirá siendo una amenaza invisible, inmune a la coerción moral del rebaño, y trabajando en la total privacidad con sus propios pensamientos y deseos. Las masas pueden enfurecerse y las autoridades lamentar, pero siempre habrá bolsones de negativa destructiva, emergiendo como chispas en la oscuridad sólo para salir de nuevo, hasta que esta sociedad sea molida en polvo, y los espíritus de todos los guerreros vuelven a salir de caza en la tierra de los antepasados. ¡Axkan kema, tehuatl, nehuatl! [¡Hasta tu muerte o la mía!]

NdT:

*hubris: Según los antiguos griegos, hubris es un comportamiento de orgullo que desafía las normas establecidas por los dioses, y que por consecuente genera la caída del orgulloso.

**impasse: Una situación tan difícil que no se puede avanzar y que llegó a un punto muerto en las negociaciones.


The flower growing out of the underworld: An introduction to eco-extremism

“Una salus victis nullam sperare salutem.” (The one hope of the conquered is to not hope for salvation.)

-Virgil, The Aeneid

“If death comes we will keep destroying things in hell; disgusting world, I will laugh as I see you falling, in this eternal confrontation…”

-Eleventh Communique of the Individualists Tending Toward the Wild, 2016

Eco-extremism is one of the newest schools of thought in our time, but more than a school of thought, it is a plan of action, an attitude of hostility, and a rejection of all that has come before it in techno-industrial society. Born out of various radical ideologies such as animal liberation, insurrectionary anarchism, anarcho-primitivism, and the neo-Luddism of Theodore Kaczynski, it has germinated and sprouted forth into something entirely other: into a love poem to violence and criminality; a radical ecological vision where hope and humanism are overcome by the barrel of a gun, the explosion of the incendiary device, and the knife stalking human prey in the darkness. All of its true adherents are currently unknown. It is not an ideology that was formed in the academy or even in “alternative” political spaces. Its writings can only be found (some would say ironically) on anonymous sites on the Internet. Eco-extremism was formed in the shadows, and will remain there, a clandestine threat until all eco-extremists are captured or killed… that is, until others take their place.

Shortly after I wrote my essay in Ritual Magazine, “Towards Savagery: Recent Developments in Eco-Extremist Thought in Mexico,” the main group described in that essay, Reacción Salvaje (Wild Reaction) disbanded (in August 2015), citing a new stage of their struggle and development. Many of the websites that I used for my research also went silent or announced their end. Nevertheless, eco-extremist rumblings could be heard in the south, echoed via news stories on the Internet. Groups such as the Pagan Sect of the Mountain committed attacks in Mexico State and other parts of that country, using the same rhetoric against the “hyper-civilized”, and without concern for morality and mass technological society. One of the main journals of eco-extremism, Regresión Magazine, continued to be published out of Mexico.

By January of 2016, new eco-extremist websites and even an extensive video documentary on eco-extremism emerged online. By the end of the month, the First Communique of the re-founded Individualists Tending Toward the Wild (Individualistas Tendiendo a lo Salvaje, ITS) was issued on the main eco-extremist website, Maldición Eco-extremista, as well as on anti-authoritarian news outlets. Soon, it began to emerge that the continuation of ITS had spread to other countries, namely, Chile, Argentina, and later Brazil, along with allied Nihilist Terrorists groups in Italy. Eco-extremist texts have been translated into languages ranging from Spanish and English to Turkish, Czech, and Romanian. Eco-extremist actions in the last calendar year have ranged from arson, bomb threats, indiscriminate bombings, to the murder of a scientific worker at Mexico’s largest university. To our knowledge, no one has yet to be arrested or investigated for these crimes.

Recent eco-extremist theory has emphasized action above historical study and theory. Much of the polemical energy earlier this year was consumed by a defense of “indiscriminate attack”: that is, bombing, shooting, arson, etc. that does not take into account “innocent bystanders,” but strikes at a target regardless of what “collateral damage” might result. Other issues of contention have been the relationship between nihilism and egoism (the idea that ITS and other eco-extremists do not believe in a future and fight in the here and now for no particular strategic goal,), primitivism, animism / paganism, and individualism. In what follows I will discuss essential terms and concepts that will hopefully clarify eco-extremist language and rhetoric. It should be noted at the outset that eco-extremism does not aim for absolute clarity for the impartial observer, but rather seeks to stimulate affinity in those who are similarly at odds with technology, artificiality, and civilization.

Eco-extremism is a tendency that seeks to recover the wild. It exalts one’s ancestral warrior instincts and declares war on all that is civilized. Eco-extremism is embodied in individual eco-extremists hiding in plain sight who emerge with cold ferocity at the opportune time. The eco-extremist is an individualist in that he defies the prohibition of the collective or community, any community, to fight, injure, maim, or kill. No collective has the authority to tell him or her what to do, as they have all forfeited their (non-existent) authority with their continuous war against Wild Nature. Along with the renunciation of the collective is a renunciation of hope or any “future primitive”. Eco-extremists believe that this world is garbage, they understand progress as industrial slavery, and they fight like cornered wild animals since they know that there is no escape. They look death in the eye, and yell, “Hoka Hey!” (Today is a good day to die.)

Eco-extremism is violent resistance that mimics the reflexive reaction of Wild Nature itself against that which seeks to alienate and enslave all living and inanimate things. It is against the artificiality of modern society, and all that subjugates human instinct to a “higher end”.

Let us, however, start to define our terms:

Wild Nature: Wild Nature is the primary agent in eco-extremist war. The philistines oppose the invocation of “Wild Nature” as atavism or “superstition,” but they do so merely out of their own domestication and idiocy. “Wild Nature” is all that grows and is manifested on the planet in animate and inanimate objects, from pebbles to oceans, from microorganisms to all of the flora and fauna that have developed on Earth. It also encompasses all of the stars, galaxies, moons, suns, meteors, etc. More specifically, “Wild Nature” is the acknowledgement that humanity is not the source and end of physical and spiritual reality, but merely a part of it, and perhaps not even a major part. Eco-extremism, insofar as it thinks about epistemology at all, is based on realism as governed by our animal senses and instincts. As Chahta-Ima stated in his essay, “What do we mean when we say, ‘nature’?”:

“Nature exists because the human mind is weak and limited. It is mortal, it is made of flesh, and ultimately this is its limit, even if we can’t see it. It’s playing a game with the rest of existence, and it will lose. The existence of nature is the limit of thought. It is the fact that all things are not for us, our thoughts do not make things: the things are there for the taking, and would be there without our intervention. In other words, we are not gods, we are not spirits, precisely because those things don’t exist as we have come to understand them. Our thought does not and cannot comprehend everything, which is why it is so miserably unreliable.”

Eco-extremism thus posits a pessimism concerning human endeavors and achievements, whether these are physical, spiritual, or moral. That is why it opposes civilization, especially in its techno-industrial manifestation. Modern civilization seeks to subjugate all to itself, and its hubris is its downfall. Eco-extremists seek to be instruments of that downfall, though they do not believe that they can bring it about themselves.  More importantly, Wild Nature is found in us primarily in our instincts and in feeling the groan of the Earth in the face of the destruction caused by civilized life. This tendency seeks (albeit imperfectly) to recover beliefs based in the mountains, deserts, coasts, swamps, forests, animals, phases of the moon, and so on.

Many eco-extremists hear the call of their ancestors who resisted their subjugation. When Wild Nature speaks it does so in the language of their Teochichimeca ancestors, the Selk’nam, the Yahis, the Navajo, the Maoris, the European barbarians, the Waranis, the Taromenanes, the Seris, the Toba, and any other group that fought against the extinguishing of their ancient way of life. Wild Nature is thus within us, in the individuality that refuses the thought and morality of civilization and domestication.

Individualism: More than a philosophical current, individualism is an important tactical choice within mass society. It’s the decision to become a wolf in the midst of all of the sheep. It is the decision to look after one’s own interest and act accordingly. Individualists learn from solitude and look for self-realization because they have understood that one can no longer abide by the norms and customs that civilization has dictated to them. Individualists deny accepted morality, and they reject the values taught to them from birth. They don’t wait to take initiative, but rather join together with those of similar disposition to improve their theory and practice. Individualism is a weapon against the progressive collectivism imposed by the system. As one eco-extremist wrote:

“‘I and afterwards I!’ I cry trying to finish off my domestication, breaking the bonds of useless relationships, launching headlong into a war against civilization and its slaves. Against its collectivism, its altruism and humanism. Death to the relationships founded on hypocrisy! Long life to sincere affinities! My allies who fight this already lost war along with me know: For me it will always be me before them, and vice versa: their ‘I’ before my ‘I’. Thus we will continue since we are amoral and egoist individuals.”

Individualist eco-extremists are cautious and spiritual, they love deeply and when they hate, they don’t forgive. They are indiscriminate when they act, as well as cold and calculating. They prowl about with guile just like the fox, and camouflage themselves in urban and rural landscapes. Eco-extremists use everything at hand to accomplish their goals, yet they try to bind themselves to the sacred past knowing that the time for peace is no more. They seek to offer their victims as a sacrifice to their ancestors and the Earth itself. As in many of the past wars against civilization, the driving force behind it is neither morality nor justice, but vengeance.

Indiscriminate attack: The modern progressive mind objects to indiscriminate attack since it has not yet been able to shake off Western morality. For eco-extremists, acting indiscriminately is one of the primary methods of attack. To attack indiscriminately is to strike a target without regard for “innocent bystanders” or “collateral damage”. While eco-extremist individualists usually take aim at targets that are significant to the techno-industrial society (government ministries, universities, transport vehicles), individualist terrorists do so with the intent of inflicting the maximum amount of damage, and this includes human casualties. As ITS expressed in its Fifth Communique of this year:

“We consider as enemies all those who contribute to the systematic process of domestication and alienation: the scientists, the engineers, the investigators, the physicists, the executives, the humanists, and (why not?), affirming the principle of indiscriminate attack, society itself and all that it entails. Why society? Because it tends toward progress, technological and industrial. It contributes to the consolidation and advance of civilization. We can think of all who form part of society as being mere sheep who do what they are told and that’s it, but for us it’s not that simple. People obey because they want to. If they had a choice and, if it were up to them, they would love to live like those accursed millionaires, but they rot in their poverty as the perennially faithful servants of the system that enslaves us as domestic animals.”

Eco-extremism carries out indiscriminate attacks as an echo of Wild Nature itself and to show that its hostility toward society is real. Tsunamis don’t suddenly stop when they reach poor neighborhoods, alligators don’t distinguish between the innocent and the guilty in their nocturnal hunts, and hurricanes don’t attack people according to race. Eco-extremism is part of that cycle of action and reaction. The time for “revolutionary action” has long passed, and eco-extremists aim to carry out a real war, with real casualties, and actions that are not merely symbolic but actually draw blood.

Nihilism: Nihilism is primarily a refusal of the future. As I described in my essay, “Primitivism Without Catastrophe,” human societies at all levels, but especially techno-industrial society, are exceedingly complex, made up of as many unwieldy parts as there are people. Thus, any aspiration to shepherd people into a collective course of action, whether it is humanism, socialism, liberalism, or even anarchism will not work, and will be opposed by those who seek to resist their own techno-industrial enslavement.

In the “Eco-Extremist Mafia” (as they like to call themselves) there are Nihilist Terrorists, particularly in Italy. These nihilists adhere to the position that true nihilism is active nihilism or it is not at all. It is no use to speak of one’s “nihilism” or “egoism” while one pays taxes and obeys traffic laws. Such a purely passive egoism or nihilism is perhaps more akin to Buddhism or the philosophical nihilism of the 19th century, which upholds all of the things that condemn one to be a cog in the great societal machine, but offers some sort of invisible integrity or purity (or a particular “emancipated space”) akin to “spiritual liberation”. Active Nihilist Terrorism as practiced by the Memento Mori Nihilist Sect and others seeks to attack that which obviously enslaves the individual to society, and that attack must always be a physical attack against real targets such as machines, buildings, etc. and the humanoid automatons who build and run them. All other manifestations of nihilism or egoism are no better than Christian or Far Eastern asceticism.

“The pure blow to life that flows at the margin of ‘living’. I am the criminal nihilist who denies obsolete humanity, transcending the moral-mortal human, existence in an identifying and categorical representation in equal evaluations.”

-Nechaevshchina, “Nihilist Funeral”

Paganism / animism: Eco-extremism is founded on pagan animism, and it attempts to rescue ancestral deities that have often been forgotten by Christian / secular society. For both deeply personal and strategic reasons, the eco-extremist seeks to revive the worship of the spirits of the Earth and to offer sacrifices to them. The strategic component is to renounce and oppose the philosophy of secular scientism upheld by some anarchists who cry, “No gods, no masters!” Eco-extremists acknowledge the need for spiritual authorities, even if these are poorly understood or mostly forgotten, as they still ultimately determine the course of life and death. No warrior can make war on his own: there are always greater forces at work, ones that even techno-industrial civilization cannot dominate. In the eco-extremist war, in spite of tactical individualism, a spiritual component is needed to carry out an attack against this putrid society and get away with it. It also reminds the eco-extremist that ultimately whether he or she lives or dies is not up to them, but up to forces that have been and will be even after we are gone. As Halputta Hadjo stated in his monograph, “The Calusa: A Savage Kingdom?”:

“[The eco-extremist]  can lash out or he can surrender, but whatever he does, he does within the blindness and impotence of his own carnal nature. That is no reason to give up, and it is no reason to despair. It is every reason, however, to revere those forces that created things this way, and these are the ‘spirits’ or the ‘gods’ of a specific environment, whatever you want to call them. The attitude of eco-extremists is undying hostility toward technological civilization in the name of the spirits that are his lost patrimony.”

Like the savage warrior of the past, the eco-extremist is reminded that, while the scalp and blood of the enemy might be his in the short-term, in the long term, his fate is to decay like all flesh, with his spirit rejoining the wind and the dust. The eco-extremist does not run from his “spooks”, his “dark side”, or his ignorance, but embraces them to give him courage against the enemy. These are his gods, his own guardian spirits that are emissaries from Wild Nature. He does not require the mathematical rationality of the domesticated to act, but acts out of instinct with understanding to strike at his foe.  His one solace is that he too is Wild Nature, that its lament is his lament, that its ultimate victory will be his own, even if he will not live to see it with his physical eyes. In the end, all lofty sentiments and ideas are a mere heartbeat away from being extinguished, which should give the eco-extremist a sense of urgency in the fight against domestication and artificiality.

Conclusion: War with an expiration date, war without end

Eco-extremism is the tragic sense of life embodied in our epoch. It is a product of the contradictions of our time, of the haziness of anthropological scholarship, of the renunciation of political action, and of the contemporary ideological impasse. This tendency knows that this impasse will not be solved by better philosophies or moral codes, but only in the destruction of all that exists, including the “hyper-civilized” (i.e. all of us). Techno-industrial society is a problem that should have never existed in the first place, and all of the “defects” and “contradictions” of eco-extremism as an ideology are the result of society’s contradictions reflected as in a distorted mirror. There is no solution. The only appropriate response is fire and bullets.

This attitude puts the eco-extremist at odds not only with the authorities of techno-industrial society, but also with other so-called radical groups. There are no “call-outs” or expressions of “solidarity” in eco-extremism. There is no attempt by eco-extremism to morally or philosophically justify itself.” Innocence” or “guilt” never enter into the eco-extremist calculus. Indeed, this tendency eagerly absorbs the “worst” aspects of modern society, including common criminality, without any lawyerly effort to justify itself through the logic of civilized “justice”. The recent introduction to the essay, “The Calusa: A Savage Kingdom?” highlights the societal actors and groups that eco-extremism seeks to imitate in our time:

“‘The Calusa: A Savage Kingdom?’ teaches a valuable lesson; namely, that much can be learned from both the small nomadic groups and the great pre-Columbian civilizations. Here there is no danger of falling into a theoretical ‘contradiction,’ as eco-extremists can reference the Selk’nam as well as the Mayas. They can refer to the experiences of petty criminals as well as those of the large mafias; the Guatemalan gangs as well as the rigid organization of the Islamic State. That is to say, eco-extremists are free to refer to whatever they like, without any hint of morality, with the only condition that it gives a particular useful lesson concerning the planning and execution of their war.”

Theoretical eclecticism is only countered in the eco-extremist with single-mindedness in violent attack. The eco-extremist has cast off his or her affinity with the hyper-civilized and sees virtually everyone as an enemy. These individualists have come to value attack more than their very lives, as countless other warriors and savages have done before them. They don’t ask for help from those whom they have come to see as at best useless, and at worst the hated adversary worthy of death. The eco-extremists are already on the radar of the authorities of the countries where they operate, and beyond. They are under no illusion that they will be able to evade them indefinitely.

Wild Nature corrodes civilization little by little with entropy as water diminishes a stone. Along with climate change, earthquakes, and other natural disasters, new individualists resisting their domestication will take the eco-extremists’ place, perhaps mindful of those who have come before them. We are now entering an age of extremes, an age of uncertainty, where leftist illusions and conservative platitudes can no longer prepare us for our future course.  The individualist will continue to be an invisible menace, immune from the moral coercion of the herd, and working in the complete privacy of his or her own thoughts and desires. The masses may rage and the authorities lament, but there will always be pockets of destructive refusal, emerging like sparks in the dark only to go out again, until this society is ground into powder, and the spirits of all warriors go off once more to hunt in the land of the ancestors. Axkan kema, tehuatl, nehuatl! [Until your death or mine!]

(es-en) Apocalipsis Ohlone

Reflexión del jefe editor de la revista Atassa traducido al español de su original al inglés.


He estado luchando un poco para llegar a una reflexión sobre el Decimoctavo Comunicado de ITS, considerando que creo que es importante y digno de un comentario. Hay algunas cosas que no estoy seguro acerca de este texto, y algunas cosas que creo que se articulan de manera fascinante. Por ejemplo, este es el primer texto eco-extremista que es expresamente extincionista, al menos en términos de la especie humana en su estado actual en 2016. No creo que esto haya sido abordado antes en términos tan crudos: a lo más, en algunos textos eco-extremistas se ha hablado de ataques indiscriminados como si las vidas de los híper-civilizados no importaran. Aquí, la diferencia es que el textos abordado dice que el híper-civilizado debe ser extinto, punto final.

He observado que en el pasado, las culturas más civilizadas tienen un punto de vista apocalíptico (el “apocalipsis” es en griego significa “revelación”). La civilización siempre ha tenido un deseo de muerte. Los líderes de algunas de las naciones más poderosas de la Tierra, hoy profesan religiones que creen que el mundo terminará con una lluvia de fuego, y que esto es algo bueno. Otros son guiados por ideologías que afirman que el mundo físico es meramente una ilusión. Lo extraño entonces, no es que el eco-extremismo tenga una visión pesimista de la humanidad; Es más que los que llaman al eco-extremismo sobre este hecho, no se dan cuenta de que esto no es nada excepcional en el contexto de la civilización como se ha desarrollado durante miles de años. De hecho, la cuestión más urgente comparativamente hablando, es porque el progresismo de izquierda consideraría a la humanidad como algo distinto de un esfuerzo finito: un proyecto con una fecha de vencimiento.

Malcolm Margolin en su “The Ohlone Way: Indian life in the San Francisco-Monterey Bay Area”, es uno de los libros más influyentes que he leído en los últimos años. Crecí en esa zona del mundo, por lo que su descripción de la tierra antes de la llegada de los europeos me golpeó como una tonelada de ladrillos. Recuerdo esta región como un intercambio entre la tierra agrícola y urbana, con un terreno montañoso salvaje en medio. Antes de los europeos, la tierra estaba húmeda y llena de caza, era el hogar de animales como la nutria de río y el oso grizzly que no se ven más ahí. Un pasaje interesante en el libro indica que el “Ohlone”, (un agrupamiento de las tribus lingüistas en esta región que posiblemente sea arbitraria), tenía un sentido de la naturaleza finita de la existencia humana tomada en su conjunto. Como escribe Margolin:

“Pero en el fondo [el Ohlone] sabía que su mundo estaba condenado, destinado a la destrucción completa. Al principio, en el Tiempo Sagrado, el poder era puro e impresionante. Pero desde entonces siempre se estuvo deslizando, disminuyendo en calidad, cantidad e intensidad. La gente de hoy era menos poderosa que sus abuelos antes que ellos. Un pesimismo y un fatalismo arraigados recorrían su visión del mundo. Las cosas estaban empeorando en cada generación. Y en algún tiempo en el futuro de este magnífico mundo, como los mundos anteriores, estaría socavado de poder. La gente acabaría por dejar de hacer sus danzas y ceremonias, y el mundo Ohlone – su hermoso mundo vivo – se derrumbaría sobre sí mismo y se disolvería en el caos. Entonces tal vez los espíritus se levantarían de nuevo, misteriosamente renacidos de una inundación – espíritus como el Águila, el Coyote y el Colibrí – para crear una vez más un mundo fresco, claro, increíblemente poderoso, un mundo tal vez poblado por una nueva raza de personas, pero un Mundo que seguramente sería sin los Ohlones.”

Estoy dispuesto a admitir que algunas de las ideas de Margolin aquí pueden ser una profecía posterior a los hechos de un pueblo conquistado. Pero hay una interesante base existencial para que los pueblos indígenas de la costa central de California, hayan creído esto. Por un lado, relativamente hablando, no había muchos de ellos. Estos indígenas vivían en una tierra llena de animales, y el hombre ni siquiera era el animal más peligroso de California antes de la llegada de los europeos. Había una buena probabilidad de que los adultos fueran atacados por osos pardos o acosados por gatos monteses, así como en esta era moderna, siempre hay una buena posibilidad de morir en un accidente de coche. Margolin escribe:

“Pero el conocimiento íntimo de los animales no condujo a la conquista, ni su familiaridad despreciada. Los Ohlones vivían en un mundo en el que la gente era escasa y los animales eran muchos, donde el arco y la flecha eran la altura de la tecnología, donde un ciervo que no se acercaba de una manera apropiada podía escapar fácilmente, y un oso podría concebiblemente atacar. Vivía en un mundo donde el reino animal no había caído todavía bajo el dominio de la raza humana y donde (¡qué difícil es para nosotros comprender plenamente las implicaciones de esto!) Las personas aún no se veían como los señores indiscutibles de toda la creación. Los Ohlones, como los cazadores de todo el mundo, adoraban a los espíritus de animales como dioses, imitaban movimientos de animales en sus danzas, buscaban poderes animales en sus sueños e incluso se veían como pertenecientes a clanes con los animales, como sus antepasados. La poderosa y graciosa vida animal del Área de la Bahía no sólo llenó su mundo, sino que también llenó sus mentes.”

El híper-civilizado por supuesto interpone, el “¡Agua bajo el puente!” aquí, pero realmente no lo es. Mi propio sentido es que, el odio de la humanidad por sí mismo es criado por demasiada familiaridad. Los pueblos indígenas del centro de California (y de otros lugares), podían mirar un paisaje, praderas, montañas, ríos, etc., y ver una abundancia de vida, una panoplia de seres vivos. El hombre moderno lo hace para que cuando lo vea, solo se vea a sí mismo. Algunos pueden decir que esto es una cosa buena, pero sobre todo él se disgusta con eso. O bien elimina a la humanidad a través de sus gafas de sol, auriculares, pantallas de teléfonos inteligentes, etc. O consume a la humanidad como mercancía, auto-seleccionada, creada para vender según el atractivo físico, la inteligencia percibida, el interés común, etc. Piensan que no hay nada fuera del ser humano, fuera del ego, y fuera de los pensamientos sobre el mundo. Y la gente se siente particularmente inteligente y erudita al pensar en tales absurdos, aunque sangran y se descomponen como todo lo demás…

Mis propias investigaciones sobre la llegada de la civilización europea a partes de lo que hoy es “América”, concluyen en que la última herramienta de la conquista, no era la tecnología o la enfermedad (tomada en sí misma). Era un juego de números: sólo había más hombres blancos, especialmente en lo que ahora son los Estados Unidos. Los guerreros indígenas eran a menudo más valientes, mejores luchadores y con ventaja en el campo, pero las olas de conquistadores e inmigrantes seguían viniendo y arrasando la tierra, transformándola, matando a los animales y despojándola de sus características anteriores en muchos lugares. No es que los pueblos indígenas necesariamente tuvieran una perspectiva más “holística” de la tierra, o que fueran más “virtuosos”, que no eran muchos. La diferencia cuantitativa se hizo para las diferencias cualitativas en perspectiva. En lugares llenos de energía, vibrantes y llenos de vida, es difícil concebir la superioridad humana como un concepto plausible. Toma la destrucción de la tierra, de la vida silvestre, contaminando los ríos y envenenando el aire, para llegar al lugar donde uno mira alrededor y ve sólo al Hombre. Y para entonces termina odiándose a sí mismo, teniendo que mirarse fijamente, y tener el poder absoluto percibido en matarse, apagándose junto con el resto del planeta.

Los pueblos indígenas de California, por supuesto, murieron, su mundo fue silenciado junto con tantos otros. Lo que los reemplazó son ahora el mundialmente famoso Silicon Valley, junto con lo que se ha considerado como el “Salad Bowl of the United States,” Produciendo gran parte de lechuga y otros productos consumidos en las mesas de los estadounidenses.

El progresista no quiere admitirlo, pero el intercambio entre el Hombre y la Naturaleza en este punto es una proposición “o bien / o”, no “ambas / y” proposiciones. Usted puede tener seres humanos, la gran mayoría de los cuales dependen o apoyan la civilización y todo lo que representa, o puede tener cosas como agua limpia y aire fresco que hacen que la vida humana valga la pena vivir. No puedes tener ambos, no en esta etapa de juego. Es por eso que no lloro por los híper-civilizados, y no me quejo de los actos indiscriminados contra ellos, y sigo escribiendo sobre esos actos. Una vez que se convertí en un enemigo de la civilización, si usted es realmente un enemigo de la humanidad misma depende de cómo honestamente saque sus premisas.

Como dije al comienzo de esta reflexión, la gente más civilizada lo admite en el fondo. Ellos creen que Jesús o Alá o Yahvé, vendrá y destruirá al mundo por fuego y establecerán una Ciudad Eterna que no puede desmoronarse ni decaer. Son esos ateos e izquierdistas menos honestos quienes confunden a la humanidad por un proyecto transparente y permanente. Los primeros creen que uno debe seguir la moralidad para que esta Ciudad Eterna pueda surgir, los últimos creen que uno debe seguir la moralidad para mantener a la Humanidad tal como está flotando en su misión de convertirse en una institución eterna. El primero se basa en una mentira, pero es muy realista en términos de los medios para lograr el resultado deseado. Este último está sin duda, completamente engañado.

La falta de preocupación por los híper-civilizados, por los domesticados que apenas se aman a sí mismos, es base del pensamiento eco-extremista, y es un aspecto de ese pensamiento que defiendo totalmente.

No puedo dejar de citar los poemas de Robinson Jeffers en su totalidad, pero este es el texto más apropiado para poner fin a esta reflexión. Describe una escena de la tierra de Esselen, justo al sur del territorio “Ohlone”:

“Manos

Dentro de una cueva en un cañón estrecho cerca de Tassajara

La bóveda de roca está pintada con las manos,
Una multitud de manos en el crepúsculo, una nube de palmas de hombres, no
más,
No hay otra foto. No hay nadie que diga
Si las personas tímidas marrones silenciosas que están muertas intentaron
Religión o magia, o hicieron sus trazos
En la ociosidad del arte; Pero sobre la división de años estos cuidadosos
Signos-manuales ahora son como un mensaje sellado
Diciendo: “Mira: nosotros también somos humanos; Teníamos manos, no patas.
todos alaben
Ustedes con las manos más inteligentes, nuestros suplantadores
En el hermoso país; Disfrutar de ella en temporada, de su belleza, y
baja
Y se suplantado; Porque también ustedes son humanos.”

(en) Chichimecas at War

La Revista Regresión ha publicado la traducción al inglés, de varios ensayos sobre las confrontaciones que se dieron entre los chichimecas y los europeos invasores en estas tierras allá por el siglo XVI, los cuales hacemos públicos.

¡Que siga viva la semilla de la confrontación!

¡Viva la Resistencia Indiscriminada y Selectiva de los originarios!


Between Chichimecas and Teochichimecas

According to the official history, in 1519, the Spanish arrived in what is now known as “Mexico”. It only took three years for the great Aztec (or Mexica) empire and its emblematic city, Tenochtitlán, to fall under the European yoke. During the consolidation of peoples and cities in Mexica territory, the conquistadors’ influence increasingly extended from the center of the country to Michoacán and Jalisco. The conquistadors were there to stay, and the resistance of the indigenous peoples did not seem to pose much of a problem. This continued to be the case until they arrived at the northern territory of the Chichimecatlalli. The northern regions of Mesoamerica were an unknown and dangerous place, known now as the Great Chichimeca. Here, many groups of nomadic hunter-gatherers from many ethnicities had wandered for hundreds of years. The Aztecs, Otomis, and Tarascos tried at times to conquer these lands, but they were never able to do so. The Aztecs even called the Great Chichimeca, “Teotlalpan tlacochcalco mictlampa,” translated as “the northern land where death hides”. In 1526, Hernán Cortés himself wrote that, “There is a certain people who are called Chichimecas, they are a very barbaric people… I am sending now sixty horsemen and two hundred foot soldiers… to find out the secret of this province and those peoples… and if they refuse to be obedient we will wage war on them and take them as slaves… and thus Your Majesty will be served and the Spanish will benefit from taking the gold from the mines…”

According to the chronicles of Fray Bernardino de Sahagún, the Aztec emperor Moctezuma Ilhuicamina,  who governed the empire from 1440 to 1469, in a meeting he had with the elders of the city stated: “We must construct our history, because we still pass through the Valley of Mexico like Chichimecas, and this cannot be. Thus, we must erase the past Chichimeca history and construct another: the history of how we are the civilizing people, how we are the builders of the great Tenochtitlán.”

The word “Chichimeca” itself has always been used to refer to the uncivilized savages who had rejected sedentary living and continued to follow the customs of their most primitive ancestors. This was the case even though there were Chichimecas who were completely “sedentary”, among these, the Caxcans, the Pames, the Tecuexes, etc. This type of Chichimeca had embraced sedentary living and agriculture. On the other hand, the Zacatecos, the Huachchiles, and some Guamares were entirely “savage.” They were expert at the hunt with bow and arrow, they wandered the mountains naked, they painted their bodies, they wore jewelry made from bone and animal teeth, they scarred and tattooed themselves, they had long hair going down their backs, and they were hostile to any intruder or outside threat. Thus, the term “Chichimeca” can fail to be very descriptive. The governor of Texcoco, Netzahualcoyotl, was Chichimeca. Juan Diego, who supposedly saw the Virgin Mary on the hill of Tepeyac, was also Chichimeca. Those who killed friars with bows and arrows and adorned their hair with the scalps of the Spanish during the Mixtón conflict were Chichimecas as well. Thus, I have written this text in order to have a solid and concrete definition of the term, “Chichimeca” and to differentiate between the sedentary Chichimecas and their barbarous counterparts. We will the use the term “Teochichimeca” to refer to those Chichimecas who were completely savage in order to not fall into ambiguity when approaching this subject.

The seed of confrontation: The Mixtón War

During the period between 1520 to 1531, various provinces were constructed upon the ruins of Aztec civilization. Two of the most important ones were New Spain and New Galicia. The latter occupied a territory covering the present states of Jalisco, Zacatecas, and Nayarit.

The conquistador Nuño de Guzmán was charged with subjugating the sedentary and nomadic peoples of New Galicia. His governance was characterized by the excessive use of force against the natives, and he meted out deadly punishments to those who refused to be enslaved. During these years, the conquistador worked faithfully for the Crown and the Catholic faith. Even though he was later imprisoned for his brutality against the Indians, the memory of his deeds persisted in the minds of the indigenous peoples up to the day that the rebellion started.

By 1541, the natives had had enough of the mistreatment and decided to defend their way of life, their beliefs, and their ancestral lands. They began to rebel first by not attending Mass. Their discontent deepened when the friars ordered soldiers to bring them to the churches by force. It was at this point that many historically sedentary peoples abandoned the Spanish towns and fled into the hills. They adapted themselves once again to semi-nomadic hunter-gatherer life. In the mountains they began to encounter other indigenous peoples who had decided the same course of action. Thus, after some gatherings of tribes and their leaders, known as “tlatoanis,” the general revolt began. With the cry, “Axcan kema, tehuatl, nehuatl!” (Until your death or mine!), the armed groups of native peoples attacked the Spanish soldiers, burning their monasteries, churches, and small towns. They ambushed and killed friars, Spanish citizens, blacks, women, mulattoes, and the Indians allied to the whites, as well as cattle and horses.

Among the tribes who participated were Coras, Huachichiles, Caxcans, Zacatecos, Guamares, Guainamotas, Tepehuanes, Irritilas, and Huicholes.

After many attacks, the warriors assembled at Mixtón Hill, where they attacked the Spanish cavalry that was sent by the governor of New Galicia, Cristóbal de Oñate. At the same time, missionary friars also climbed the hill to try to achieve peace through their preaching of the Gospel.  According to the chronicles, the Franciscan Juan de Calero tried to dialogue with Bible in hand, to which one of the warriors angrily replied, “You will no longer preach to us things concerning heaven or hell, we do not want your doctrine!” After saying this in the native tongue, the warrior killed the friar using arrows and spears.

Fernán Gonzales de Eslava had this description of the barbarians: “In their fury, I found that they have all evils within them, and with their hellish arrows they left not one missionary alive.”

The Europeans launched many attacks against the rebels of Mixtón, all of which failed. The rebels also managed to seize many cities, including the city of Guadalajara itself. Oñate then called upon Captain Diego de Ibarra, who was an expert in military strategy. The captain tried to lay siege to the rebels on multiple occasions without result. His army continued to lose soldiers and cattle to the indigenous bow and arrow, and it was thus demoralized from suffering such heavy losses. The rebels mocked him from the top of the hill after winning each battle.

But the natives also had another thing in store for Ibarra and his men, a blow so strong that it would make the Viceroy of New Spain, Antonio de Mendoza, and the whole Council of the Indies tremble in fear. On April 9th, 1541, knowing full well the natural cycle and tending toward the wild in their favor, the natives took advantage of a solar eclipse to surprise attack the Spanish and slaughter most of them.

This blow was so severe that the Viceroy summoned a known conquistador who had been the former captain of Hernán Cortes, one who had assisted him in defeating the jaguar and eagle warriors who defended Tenochtitlán. The same overconfidence and megalomania would have him fall before the barefeet of the savages of Mixtón. We speak of course of Pedro de Alvarado.

Alvarado was confident that he could control the situation, and decided to go there directly along with his men and those of Ibarra to the Peñol de Nochistlán, another fortified hill the rebels occupied. Alvarado chose not to wait for reinforcements and was defeated in a bloody battle with the native warriors.

On June 24th, during a great battle in the forests of the Peñol de Nochistlán, the arrows, spears, and rocks would put to flight Alvarado’s Spaniards. They were so frightened by the cries and frightening appearance of the savages that they lost control of their footing and tumbled over each other like a human avalanche. Alvarado also was injured, having received various arrow wounds from points specially designed to pierce Spanish armour. His horse also fell on him and fractured many of his ribs. He was left sprawled out and badly wounded.

On July 4th, Alvarado died of the wounds that he received at the battle of Nochistlán, having lost the battle to those he had dismissed as primitives inexpert in war. At his height, Alvarado could defeat the best warriors of the Aztec military elite, but he could not overcome the wild hunter-gatherers.

This was another bad blow to the whites, who were realizing that their kingdom was in imminent danger. The Viceroy Mendoza was unsettled and extremely concerned with these losses. The rebellion had extended to Michoacán where various Purepechas had taken up arms alongside the (Teo)chichimecas. He commanded more allied indigenous peoples to be summoned to fight their related ethnicities; in this force were many Mexicas, Tlaxcaltecas, Xilotepecas, Huejotzincas and others who were mixed into with the Spanish army in order to exterminate the rebels. The chronicles recount how 50,000 men fiercely attacked the renegades and made them retreat from the cities that they had taken. The savages of Mixtón as well as those at Nochistlán fell to the superior numbers of the Spanish and indigenous allies in 1542.

Extermination was inevitable, and thus another episode of native resistance against civilization and progress ended. Many of the savage warriors died in the battle because they were not prepared to negotiate their liberty, nor would they accept the mandate of their new rulers. They chose to die rather than accept the customs and beliefs of the foreigners. Those who survived continued the fight, but not with the same effectiveness of the general uprising. The flame of conflict continued to burn, however. The Mixtón War was only the beginning of a larger conflict, the Chichimeca War: the largest and bloodiest native war in North America, one which would last a little more than fifty years.

Regresión Magazine° 2

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Chilcuague, the Chichimecas, and Cinvestav

Chilcuague

This is an ancient native plant, also called the “Aztec root,” “pelitre,” or “golden root.” It is a natural antibiotic used for digestive tract and respiratory infections. The root aids in treating inflamed gums, tooth decay, toothache, and lesions to the tongue, gums, and palate. Its extract helps to treat external wounds. The leaves are used by people in the Bajío (lowlands) of Mexico in hot sauces and alcoholic drinks. It is also used as insect repellent.

Chichimecas

The nomadic and semi-nomadic hunter-gatherers of what is now called Mexico (specifically in the central and northern part of the country) had comprehensive knowledge of their environment (as most native peoples around the world have had). They also knew the benefits and usage of the medicinal plants that grew in their region.

One of these plants was the chilcuague. The hunter-gatherers like the Guachichiles, the Zacatecos, the Guamares (the three Chichimeca groups that most ferociously resisted the Spanish invasion) used this plant for the hunt, but it proved useful in their fight against the invading Spaniards. The natives made a concentrate from the root and soaked their obsidian, bone, or wooden arrow points in it. When a Spaniard was shot with such an arrow, his muscles were paralyzed and he could no longer move, after which he was completely vulnerable to the attacking Indians. It should be pointed out that the Chichimecas not only attacked the Spaniards, but also anyone who accompanied them: black slaves, mulattoes, mestizos, young women, indigenous people, etc. The foreigners were all indiscriminately killed in ambushes in the desert and forests, since they all represented for the Chichimecas an invading foreign people. They were a threat to the tribe and their way of life in the midst of wild nature.

It is said that when the Chichimecas had captured a fallen enemy alive who was incapacitated by the root, they took out the tendons from his back and used them to tie the arrowheads onto their arrows, atlatls, and axes, or they made strings for their bows.

The Chichimecas also used the root to escape when they were captured. They would store a piece of the root in their clothes (though many went about naked) or in their long hair and chew it when captured; within minutes they would start sweating profusely and foaming at the mouth, as well as crying and urinating all over themselves. The Spanish would think that they had a strange contagious illness and then leave the prisoner outside the city to die. After a while, however, the symptoms ceased since chilcuague causes the body to purge liquids but doesn’t harm it in any other way. Thus, the savage, through his exceptional knowledge of his environment, was able to escape without being enslaved or shot.

Cinvestav

The Center of Investigation and Advanced Studies (Cinvestav) depends on the National Polytechnic Institute (IPN), which is one of the most respected institutions in biotechnology, chemistry, genomics, etc. at the national level.

Cinvestav has changed and genetically altered a number of wild native and foreign plants. One of these plants has been the chilcuague, the root of our ancestors, the one by which many were saved from death in their war against civilization; for we can say that the Mixtón War (1540-1541), the Chichimeca War (1550-1600), and the Guamares Rebellion (1563-1568) were all authentic wars against civilization, progress, and technology. The wild Chichimecas did not want the new rulers or even better ones for their land. They did not want to live in or defend the cities or the settlements of the defeated Mesoamerican civilizations. They did not seek victory. They sought to attack those who attacked and threatened them. They looked for confrontation, as one can gather from their cry, “Axkan kema, tehuatl, nehuatl!” (Until your death or mine!)

Ambitious investigators like Abraham García Chávez, Enrique Ramírez Chávez and Jorge Molina Torres of the Biotechnology and Biochemistry Laboratory at the Cinvestav-Irapuato are only some of those responsible for having converted the ancient chilcuague root into a simple commercial anesthetic for dentists.

The wild nature of the root has been perverted, and it has been converted to a product mixed with addictive chemicals for the propagation of civilization. The scientists with their technology have offended even that which is found under the earth. Using humanitarian and altruistic justifications, they cover up the true reality of domestication of the wild under the yoke of techno-industrial artificiality.

For this reason and many others, Cinvestav and similar institutions have been the target of many extremist cells from 2011 onwards:

-Beginning of April 2011: An explosive device was detonated in front of the National Institute of Ecology (INE) in Mexico City. The INE is the federal institution in charge of “environmental authorization” at centers such as the Cinvestav, allowing them to experiment and investigate wild flora and fauna on the biotechnological level. The “The Terrorist Cells of Direct Attack – Anti-Civilization Faction” claimed responsibility for the attack on September 5th, 2011 in an extensive communique. The group also noted that it had been operating for months but had not to that point issued any claims for their responsibility for their actions. It was only with the emergence of ITS activity that they decided to issue a formal communication.

-February 27th, 2011: The Earth Liberation Front took responsibility for the attack on a lab at the Inifap (National Institute for Forest, Agrarian, and Aquacultural Investigation). The individuals placed explosive devices in warehouses, greenhouses, and in the entrance of one of the buildings. Also, they left identifying and threatening graffiti against the scientists who work at that facility.

Since 2005, the Inifap has collaborated with Cinvestav on experiments concerning genetically modified organisms, especially corn.

August 9th, 2011: Hours after the group Individualities Tending Toward the Wild (ITS) published its communique taking responsibility for the attack on the Monterrey Institute of Technology campus in Mexico State, an attack that gravely injured the technologists, Alejandro Aceves López and Armando Herrera Corral, the alarms went off at the Cinvestav in Mexico City, since the brother of Armando Herrera, the world-renowned physicist Gerardo Herrera, was frightened by a suspicious package in his office. He called the police’s bomb deactivation unit, which investigated the package and found it to be only a bundle of books. It was clear that investigators were shaken by these attacks.

-December 28th, 2011: The military police was alerted to the presence of a suspicious package in the Cinvestav facility in Irapuato (Guanajuato). The security cameras showed a man dressed in black who got past security and entered the facility. Soldiers removed the package and increased security around the facility. They also carried out an operation which consisted of helicopter patrols and checkpoints on the highway going towards Querétaro. The group ITS took responsibility for this action in its sixth communique (January 28th, 2012), as well as other attacks.

-November 8th, 2011: The noted biotechnology investigator at the National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM) campus in Cuernavaca, Morelos, Ernesto Méndez Salinas, was shot in the head while driving his truck on one of the principal avenues of the city. According to the press and police reports, two men on motorcycle drove by and shot him, killing him instantly. The group ITS later took responsibility for the attack.

The Biotechnology Institute of the UNAM where Méndez worked, along with the Cinvestav of the IPN, are the principal institutes for biotechnological study in Mexico. These two institutions constantly collaborate on the development of this technological evil.

-August 20th, 2012: The “Anti-Civilization Faction of the Earth Liberation Front” (FA-FLT) took responsibility for an attack with an incendiary device in front of the Mexican State Council of Science and Technology (Comecyt) in Toluca, Mexico State. The blast dealt damage to the building. Comecyt is another institution connected to Cinvestav. One of the most significant joint projects is “Abacus”: an investigative space that contains a supercomputer. Among the applied mathematical tasks being worked on by this computer are: the development of new medicines and surgical procedures, genetic sequencing, the study of gas contamination, subsurface model analysis, seismic movements, petroleum extraction, finance, market economics, the aeronautic and automotive industry, nanotechnology, and logistics. The Abacus Center is found in the middle of the forest of Ocoyocac, in Mexico State.

-September 4th, 2012: The FA-FLT was attributed with the arson of a Cimmyt truck (Investigative Center for the improvement of corn and wheat) in the municipality of Toluca, Mexico State.

Cimmyt along with Cinvestav focuses on biotechnology and advanced genetic engineering, and also collaborates frequently with Cinvestav.

-September 2012: In an article published in the scientific journal, Nature, the biotechnology investigator of the Cinvestav, Beatriz Xoconostle Cázares, condemned the arson of her laboratory and a similar arson of the laboratory of her friend a month afterward. These acts were not publicized by the press, nor did anyone take responsibility for them.

February 11th, 2013: A package bomb arrived by messenger to the nanotechnology investigator, Sergio Andrés Águila of the Biotechnology Institute of the UNAM in Cuernavaca, Morelos. The package failed to explode and the investigator was unharmed. The military police arrived at the institute and evacuated hundreds. ITS claimed responsibility for this action along with the murder of the biotechnologist Salinas in 2011. The investigator left Morelos for the city of Ensenada in Baja California where he currently works at the Center for Nanosciences and Nanotechnology of the UNAM.

-June 16th, 2013: FA-FLT claimed responsibility for the second detonation of an explosive device at the installations of the Comecyt in Toluca, Mexico State.

-February 18th, 2014: ITS claimed responsibility in its eighth communique for the sending of a package bomb on September 2012, along with two other attacks. This attack was directed to neurologists of the Autonomous Technological Institute of Mexico (ITAM) in Mexico City. The ITAM’s specific areas of research are Neuronal Adaptive Behavior, Neuroscience, and Simulations (Cannes). ITAM collaborates frequently with Cinvestav in projects involving robotics, neuroscience, and advanced computing.

-April 14th, 2014: The group, “Attack Circle – Obsidian Point” claimed responsibility for the sending of a package bomb to the Rector of the UNAM, José Narro Robles. The Rector is in charge of organizing and facilitating scientific and technological projects at the distinct institutions and universities, among which is the Cinvestav.

These attacks are wholly justified. These scientists and academic leaders – along with their laboratories, institutions, and universities – deserve to be hit in one way or another. Wild animal and human nature will not be totally domesticated while individuals like this exist: those who oppose completely the techno-industrial system.

Regresión Magazine n° 1

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The Chichimeca War

Introduction

Even with the end of the Mixtón War in 1542, the attacks of the Teochichimecas against the Spanish did not cease. The war officially ended because Spanish troops had taken the land away from the savage tribes. Hostilities between the two sides in the next stage of the conflict would be a continuation of this war, but with greater force and of longer duration.

The Mixtón War had presented a predicament to the conquistadors and their allies. The warlike tribes of New Galicia had put up a fierce defense against the invaders of their lands and way of life.

*An interesting note is that “Mixtón” means, “ladder of the cats,” making allusion to the characteristic of that hill of being so craggy, steep, and difficult to climb that only mountain lions could make the ascent.

Zacatecas silver

History records that, on December 8th, 1546, an expedition of Spanish horsemen, Franciscan friars, and allied indigenous led by Captain Juan de Tolosa, came upon a secluded and unexplored area in northern New Galicia. In the expedition, the Spanish had contact with some Teochichimeca Zacatecos. The two groups exchanged gifts, and, in return for trinkets, the Zacatecos gave the Spanish silver nuggets, indicating that their land had an abundance of that mineral. Shortly thereafter, the Spanish began to dig mines in that northern area (now named Zacatecas). Economic interests drew ambitious men to the region to start lucrative mining businesses where people literally became wealthy overnight.

Juan de Tolosa, with Governor Cristóbal de Oñate and explorer Diego de Ibarra (both wounded in the Mixtón War), as well as Leonor Cortez Moctezuma (daughter of Hernán Cortez and the Aztec princess, Isabel Moctezuma) were some of the first to open mines in Zacatecas, making roads into the area and paying for expensive exploratory trips into the Great Chichimeca. The price for invading the lands of the untamed indigenous peoples was high in many senses of the term.

From that point forward, Zacatecas’ infrastructure began to develop at a frantic pace. Cristóbal de Oñate soon became the owner of a luxurious house, three mineral grinders, foundries, over one hundred slaves, and a church where they could worship. As the years passed, the enriched foreigners became richer at the cost of the exploitation of the earth, the seizure of land, and continuous land invasion, things that were looked at negatively by the hostile tribes of the north.

In 1549, once the mining industry had expanded and become more consolidated, news of the riches of Zacatecas reached the ears of the wealthy in New Spain, in the center of the country. Zacatecas then became a meeting place for those who wanted to get rich or take advantage of the situation however they could.

In order to transport the minerals of Zacatecas to various parts of the country, the Mexico-Zacatecas highway was open. This road became the principal route for the silver stolen from the depths of the earth.

The superhighway divided the Great Chichimeca into two, leaving destruction in its wake as well as the sacking of lands and other crimes against some sedentary Chichimeca peoples, such as some Ixtlachichimecas (Guamares or White Chichimecas, named that way not because their skin was lighter than others, but because they lived in a land had much saltpeter in it). They were expelled from their lands to the mountains of Comanja, Guanajuato by orders of the mining companies. A series of events would drive the sedentary people and the nomadic peoples to become hostile and defend themselves against the invaders.

The war begins

The torture and abuse of the Spanish reignited the spark of rebellion among the indigenous peoples. Starting in 1550, a sudden resistance emerged against the mining projects and those who participated in them. The chroniclers indicate this year as the beginning of the Chichimeca War.

One of the first major episodes of this war occurred towards the end of that year. A group of savage Zacatecos killed a considerable number of indigenous Tarascos who were carrying Spanish silver out of Zacatecas. The tribesmen slaughtered all of them and took their goods.

Afterwards, a group of Zacatecos stole the flocks that were the property of  Cristóbal de Oñate and Diego de Ibarra.

The Zacateco Teochichimecas were nomads who lived from hunting and gathering, although some were sedentary, and were brave warriors who were experts with the bow and arrow. They inhabited the Great Chichimeca in the region that stretches from Zacatecas to Durango. Zacatecos were distinguished by their wearing of a rag made of natural fibers worn wrapped around their forehead while walking around partly naked. When the path was especially harsh, they were known to wear something similar to leggings made of animal skin that went from their ankles to their knees. The Zacatecos were greatly feared by the sedentary Chichimecas such as the Cazcans, whom they were at war with constantly before and after the wars against the Spanish. In the Mixtón War there was a tactical union between these two bands as well as others, but after the end of hostilities the Cazcans began to side with the Europeans. From that point forward the Cazcans were considered the allies of those who invaded the Great Chichimeca, and the Zacatecos began to attack their towns. For example, some ancient chronicles indicate that some 50 Zacatecos had successfully sacked and destroyed a Cazcan town of 3,000 people, demonstrating by this act their ferocity in the surprise attack.

After this, Huachichil Teochichimeca warriors began a series of attacks against Spanish flocks, killing shepherds and stealing livestock. The cattle and the flocks were constantly attacked by the savages.

The wild Huachichiles were the most primitive among the Chichimecas. They were isolated and warlike hunter-gatherers, also exceptional with the bow and arrow. Their area of wandering went from Coahuila to Guanajuato, and they continuously disputed a region in San Luis Potosí. Huachichiles usually walked about naked, covering themselves in tanned animal hides in the cold. They wore their hair all the way to their waist and painted their head and bodies with a red pigment (from which comes the name, “huachichil”, which in Nahuatl means, “heads painted red.”) They wore ear-expanding jewelry and bone collars, and they weaved the hair of their dead enemies into their own. They also scarred and tattooed their skin, and the Spanish in particular found their appearance to be terrifying. The Huachichil method of attack was highly individualistic. Their surprise ambushes were always accompanied by the frightening sound of drums and horrifying war yells in their primitive language. Some Zacatecos, who were their traditional enemies before the arrival of the Spanish, said that in times of war and want the Huachichiles were known to consume human flesh and drink their mesquite-based drinks out of the hollowed-out human skulls of their defeated enemies.

The ancestral knowledge of the desert, a dry and hostile place, made them completely immune to any attacks of the Spaniards. Their number and area of occupation made them even more dangerous. They were masters of war, always insisting on and organizing the other tribes into united efforts to fight against the invaders. These temporary tactical unions have been called by historians “The Chichimeca League”, of which we will speak of further below.

Pedro de Ahumada described them thus:

“The warriors of the north were barbarous men, daring and great thieves.”

“The most warlike Indians that I have seen in these Indies.”

“Untamed people and arrogant, with an audacity which increases by the day.”

“So powerful the Spaniards tremble at their very mention.”

The author of the first treatises on the Chichimecas, Fray Guillermo de Santa María, described them thus:

“They are all extremely cruel, which is the greatest sign of their brutality. To the people they seize, whether they be man or woman, first they give a ‘crown’, scalping them and leaving the skin uncovered, as in the crown of a friar. I saw a Spanish man without his scalp, still alive, and also a woman of Copoz, who lived many days without hers. They also take out their tendons and use these to tie their arrowheads to the shafts. They also take out the shinbone from the legs and also from the arms, while the person is still alive, and sometimes even the ribs, as well as a hundred other cruelties, until the soul is separated from the body of the wretch.”

In July 1551, the Huachichiles ferociously attacked a caravan that was the property of Cristóbal de Oñate. In this attack, the driver, a Portuguese, as well as two blacks and five allied indigenous people were killed, and all of the goods were stolen. In September, the red warriors killed a merchant and forty Tamemes (couriers) who took the merchandise to Zacatecas. This act was brought to the attention of the Spanish authorities, who expressed urgency against the new savage threat.

The Guamar Chichimecas (not all of these were nomads, some had become sedentary and practiced agriculture) inhabited the region of the mountains of Querétaro to Guanajuato, and part of Aguascalientes and Jalisco. They also began a violent rebellion against the conquistadors. The Spanish settlements were targets of the warriors, since they were very close to Guamar territory. In 1551, the savages ferociously attacked the property of Diego de Ibarra, killing two colonists and stealing the cattle. The small town of San Miguel was the site of a Franciscan mission, a hospital, a school, and the houses of many peaceful Chichimecas. It was also leveled by the Guamares, killing at least fifteen people in the process.

Afterwards, the Guamar Chichimeca warriors led by Carangano and Copuz the Elder burned buildings and killed all the inhabitants of a Spanish ranch.

The Guamares were brave, warlike, and considered traitors by the Spanish, since some supposedly peaceful Guamares gave information to their savage and nomadic confreres concerning the activities of the Spanish settlements where they lived. This made them all the more vulnerable to tribal attacks.

The Guamares were considered to be a type of Chichimeca who had a more advanced cultural development than the Huachichiles and the Zacatecos, since some practiced agriculture and had temples.

The Guamares maintained their skill with bow and arrow, but were also good with clubs and in hand-to-hand combat. They could go long periods without food or water. These warriors were adapted to the harsh environment, and their nocturnal attacks were a particular problem for the Spanish. The Guamares became more of a threat when they began to ride stolen horses into battle and started wielding the sword.

In 1563, the Guamar Rebellion was one of the most violent episodes of the Chichimeca War, though we will speak of this further below.

In the meantime, the old enemy of the Spanish began to recruit more indigenous people. His men had killed over 120 Spaniards and allies in only a matter of months in that bloody war. We speak of course of the active participant in the Mixtón War, one of the leaders of the Cazcan Chichimecas, Francisco Tenamaztle. Tenamaztle was still free and on the loose in the southwestern part of the Great Chichimeca. The Spanish authorities knew that the savage leader, who had once been at the head of a force that almost took the city of Guadalajara, was still leading his warriors in battle. Killing him had become one of the priorities of the conquistadors.

By that point many of the Cazcans had been domesticated by the Spaniards – in fact, they were among the peoples who helped the Spanish in their campaign against the northern nomads. This was one of the reasons that the Cazcans would become a target of the Zacateco Teochichimecas, as mentioned above.

The Cazcans were sedentary and seminomadic. They were decimated by the colonizers during the Mixtón War, due in part to the preaching of the Spanish friars who pacified them. The most fierce among them were killed or enslaved. Another way in which they broke the Cazcans was exploiting the fact that they were agricultural. The Spanish destroyed their crops, forcing them to surrender and settle among the peaceful Indians. These peaceful Indians served as a buffer in the Great Chichimeca that could also help securing the safety of the roads to the Zacatecas mines.

The organization of the Teochichimecas was not complex. In this war, the bands were led by the most experienced warrior in the group in a campaign of guerilla warfare. This tactic was both effective and devastating at the organizational level, and the Spanish simply could not counter the mobility of the insurgent factions.  The great Aztec Empire had fallen to the Europeans in only three years. The elite armies of the eagle and jaguar knights that defended the Great Tenochtitlan had been exterminated. No one at that point thought that it would take the new conquistadors significantly more effort and about fifty years to get rid of the naked primitive barbarians who wandered Chichimecatlalli.

Ancestral beliefs

In the area of religious beliefs, the Teochichimecas (Zacatecos and Huchichiles) were animists who believed that all things in nature had a spirit. A change in the environment as well as illnesses were caused by the shaman of another tribe who wielded those spirits for nefarious ends. All Chichimeca tribes had a shaman who was responsible for curing illnesses by means of plants and the invoking of spirits. After a shaman cured some ailment, it was recommended that the encampments be surrounded with thorns and prickly brush, so that the barrier could protect against harmful spirits.

Another typical ritual was at the birth of a first-born son – the members of the tribe would cut the skin off of the father until the baby was covered in it.

The Teochichimecas did not have altars, nor complex deities, nor established ritual centers. Because of their nomadic nature, they only referred to the sun, moon, and stars as spiritual entities.

Before the start of a war or tribal conflict, the tribe came together at night and danced around a great bonfire. Songs and yelps accompanied the banging of the bow, arrow, and drums that were used to make music. They painted their bodies with red pigment and charcoal, and drew animals such as snakes, coyotes, toads, and bears on their chest and back as protection. During this ritual, they drank alcohol made from cactus fruit or aloe vera, and they consumed peyote; they used these substaces as a means to obtain spiritual contact with nature and to achieve greater sensibility in the field of battle.

The Huachichiles believed that if they ate certain animals or people, they could obtain the qualities of the consumed. Even though this was a common practice among them, for the Europeans and certain indigenous peoples who had converted to Christianity, this was seen as a work of the “devil”.

The Teochichimecas defended their beliefs against those who wanted to destroy them. The elders and shamans were those who did the most to incite these efforts, and they organized large meetings even with other tribes to organize resistance against the foreigner and the invader. As in the Mixtón War, the friars feared an evil spirit who they called “Tlatol”, which was merely a translation of the Spanish of the word, “Huehuetlatolli”, a Nahuatl word (which the peaceful Indians spoke and which was understood by the language of the Teochichimecas) meaning, “the word of the elders”. The Tlatol was thus considered as a spirit of evil that the pagan cults invoked, something totally opposed to the Catholic religion.

In many places in the Great Chichimeca, resistance against the Spanish was seen as a sort of Holy War, where tribes defended to the death their beliefs and way of life. So extreme was their defense that many friars and indigenous converts to Christianity were cruelly killed by the northern hunters. They very much deserved this, however, as terrorist violence was the only response possible to the years of slavery, destruction, and humiliation that our ancestors went through.

Ancestral foods

A large part of the Great Chichimeca is encompassed by expansive and inhospitable deserts. The conquistadors who were accustomed to plentiful food sources in the city thought that food was scarce in the Great Chichimeca, but the Chichimecas were able to find multiple food sources.

The northern nomads depended on gathering done by women and children. They collected roots, tubers, pods, cactuses, seeds, etc. The men were in charge of the hunt, and their game included snakes, toads, rabbits, worms, birds, fish, larvae, hares, deer, rats, etc.

The cactus and mesquite were important sources of food for the indigenous people in the Great Chichimeca. Both the cactus and its fruit were consumed. They also ate the leaves, flowers, and heart of the biznaga (another type of desert cactus). Mesquite pods were collected and ground in large mortars to create a type of flour which could last months and even up to a year without spoiling. Mesquite was also the base of an alcoholic drink.

They also ate honey, and, when water was scarce, they drank the juice of the aloe vera plant. When the hunters came back to the camp with their prey, the meat was shared among all, and the person who had hunted and killed the animal could keep the hide. This description applies only to the wild Chichimecas. The more sedentary tribes depended almost totally on their crops.

The war intensifies

At the end of 1550, Luis de Velazco succeeded Antonio de Mendoza as governor of Mexico. This viceroy put more pressure on the army during the Chichimeca War. Even though he was cruel, he was also capable of partially quelling the conflict with ruses and key decisions. The new governor of Mexico called upon those indigenous people who had previously been warriors (Tlaxcaltecs, Aztecs, Otomies, Cazcans, and the rest) to fight against the Teochichimecas. This was a definitive move that stopped the war for a time, although many of those allied indigenous people would pay the ultimate price of their lives for their support of the Spanish invaders.

Viceroy Velasco would authorize Francisco de Ibarra to undertake a new expedition into the Great Chichimeca in order to expand the kingdom and pacify the warlike indigenous people there. One of the strategies employed by Ibarra was to found small Spanish towns of armed colonists. Each town would serve as a military base that could resist the attacks of the Teochichimecas. These bases would also serve to defend the silver routes and larger towns. Thus, Ibarra held the attackers at bay for some years, until a further change of strategy was needed.

In 1551, the Chichimeca chief Tenamaztle was persuaded by a ruse of the Bishop of Guadalajara, Pedro Gómez Maraver, to put down his arms and cease hostilities. Tenamaztle was one of the few who had resisted after the end of the Mixtón War up to that year (1542-1551). This Chichimeca tlatoani (leader) had kept up his attacks on the Spaniards as well as his robberies of their merchandise and cattle. In 1552, Tenamaztle was caught and imprisoned. He was then taken before the Council of the Indies in Spain to be tried. How the story unfolded is widely unknown, including the ultimate fate of the warrior. What is certain is that the old tactic used by the bishop worked so that Tenameztle was finally captured, and the Spanish thought the war would then cease definitively. That was not the case.

Already in 1552, the Chichimeca warriors had studied the terrain and received important information from allies in the towns, which they used to attack them ferociously. In 1553, in the province of Jilotepec, the Chichimecas had killed more than 300 peaceful indigenous inhabitants of Spanish towns.  In that year, they also killed 65 indigenous people and burned the church of the little town of Jalpa, causing great devastation in the land. In 1554, the Chichimeca chief Maxorro had coordinated other Chichimeca groups to carry out more destructive and devastating attacks. “Majurro” was his real Chichimeca name, but he was called “Maxorro” or “Mascorro” by the Spanish. It is said that when Maxorro wounded someone in battle, he ripped out their heart and lifted it still beating to the sky a sign of victory. Maxorro and his men inflicted a severe defeat on the Spanish at the Paso de Ojuelos near Torro Hill. Six carriages under armed escort were attacked by the Chichimecas, and the warriors carried off 30 thousand pesos worth of cloth, silver, and other valuable objects. This was only a small demonstration by the wild savages of their strategic abilities during ambush. This type of action was a frequent occurrence during the war.

An accurate description of the Chichimeca warriors was written by Phillip Wayne Powell in his book, The Chichimeca War (1550-1600):

“The Chichimeca warrior in 16th century Mexico was a formidable fighter, and was among those who most stubbornly resisted the Spanish invasion of the American continent. His way of life, the vast and untamed topography of his land, and his primitive political development made him more difficult to conquer than the sedentary and urban peoples like the Spanish or the Nahuas. By nature, he wandered constantly; he was not accustomed to work, but had a ferocious practice of the art of war and the hunt. They often feared the Spanish horsemen, but they always challenged them. They despised and terrorized their indigenous neighbors who had adopted sedentary lifestyles and Christianity.  In summary, many of his cultural characteristics made him a bad candidate for incorporation into the sedentary system. His way of life, combined with certain psychological characteristics, guaranteed his resistance to all forms of subjugation.

Inherent to his nomadic state, other factors contributed to the warlike feats of the Chichimecas. Their encampments and their rancherias were difficult to access. Often, they were hidden in caves, canyons, and valleys protected by the mountains, forests, or craggy landscapes. Once these were located, the Spanish could destroy the rancherias and capture some women and children, but often the warriors escaped to establish another base. Their habit of eating foods native to the Great Chichimeca allowed them better mobility than the sedentary peoples, who needed to be near their cattle, crops, and imported supplies. The nomad could cut off the invader’s supplies and slaughter his cattle, thus paralyzing the economic and military vitality of sedentary society. The reverse was often not the case. The nomad was an expert in utilizing the refuges and the wealth that the landscape offered. The Chichimeca was thus often an invisible and therefore terrifying enemy. The type of war that the Chichimecas undertook against the sedentary invaders not only involved surprising and threatening the Spanish in their northern advance. The Spanish as well as the Tarascos, Aztecs, Tlaxcaltecas, and Otomies all learned to fear and respect the Chichimeca as a formidable warrior.”

The Chichimeca war cry led many other tribes from other parts of the country to start assaulting roads, destroying towns, and demoralizing the Spanish army. For this reason it is estimated that from the discovery of Zacatecas until 1561, more than 200 Spaniards and 2,000 indigenous allies were killed by the hands of hostile natives on the roads of Zacatecas, Guadalajara, México, and Michoacán

Security measures were undertaken to protect caravans of merchandise that were going to and from Zacatecas. For example, reinforced carriages were constructed out of thick wood with holes that could be used as gun ports in the event of a raid. By such measures, the avaricious invaders could protect their merchandise and the silver extracted from the mines. The caravans were also accompanied by heavily armed soldiers, and the entrances of mines were protected by heavily armed miners. However, not even these security measures could stop the Chichimeca warriors who constructed thicker and stronger arrows, as well as bows powerful enough to penetrate the armored carriages. Even the Spanish soldiers who wore heavy armor consisting of suede capes, chainmail armor, and a doublet were not totally protected. Vargas, in his “Description of Querétaro,” described the following:

“Ordinarily the men of this land should travel armed with two coats of mail, or one good one and another one of strong leather, with the horses well protected [with leather]. And even with this there is no certain protection against the arrows that they fire at us.”

While the attacks of the Chichimecas continued, the order of the Viceroy Velazco concerning the founding of defensive towns continued to be implemented. In 1555, the town of San Miguel was founded, which was strategically positioned on the Zacatecas Highway close to the Great Tunal of the Huachichiles. This tribe saw themselves invaded by armed colonists, and they retreated from their native territories to organize further attacks.

Malpaís

After many Spanish defeats at the hands of Maxorro and his men, the Chichimeca leader was finally defeated and imprisoned by Nicolás de San Luis Montañez who was named captain of the province of the Chichimecas in 1557. This territory consisted of fortified towns such as San Miguel, San Felipe, Sichú, San Luis, Rio Verde, and San Francisco. The Viceroy Velasco would order the attack on the savages with the aim of making them withdraw from New Galicia. After the successive founding of these towns, the Chichimeca warriors began a fierce campaign against civilization and the invasion of the Great Chichimeca. In 1561, the great confederation of native warriors made felt their vengeance against the Spaniards and their allies.

The Zacatecos and the Huachichiles torched various Spanish ranches. They killed the owners and their slaves and scalped them. They destroyed crops, pillaged all of the goods, killed the cattle, and intercepted the carriages going toward the ranches, taking all of their merchandise. The warriors killed shepherds and merchants. There was also a mine seizure on the part of the Huachichiles. The indigenous workers fled, and the besieged mines ceased operation. The economy of the region was thus paralyzed. Mining operations in Zacatecas were nearly stopped due to lack of provisions and the Teochichimeca threat.

The place where the general Chichimeca uprising was believed to be consolidated was called Malpaís, a volcanic landscape east of New Vizcaya (Durango). This land was inaccessible to Spanish horsemen, and had an abundance of tunas, yucas, and rabbits.

800 warriors led by 13 leaders were assembled in that place, where they planned their attacks and ambushes. From there, messengers were sent to other tribes, calling on them to take up arms. This is how the Tepehuanes came to join the Zacatecos, Huachichiles, and some Cazcans in the rebellion. After this addition, Malpaís had around 1500 warriors from different clans ready to fight in what would come to be known as the Chichimeca League.

Apart from the attacks on the ranches, mines, and roads, the nomadic warriors organized an assault on the town of San Martín with the aim of making it the first of many targets in their attempt to wipe the nearby Spanish towns and camps off of the map of the Great Chichimeca.

Thus, the Teochichimecas fell upon the town of San Martín in a surprise attack, first attacking during the patronal feast of the church, where the whole town was assembled and there was no means of escape. They also snuck into town and stole all of the horses of the whites; thus the colonists could only pursue the attackers on foot. The Chichimecas were able to rob many horses and arms from the Spanish, resulting in a major victory among many for the indigenous warriors.

Afterwards the royally-appointed Captain Ahumada decided to enter Malpaís in mid-1561 with only five soldiers and an interpreter, with the purpose of entering into negotiations with the inhabitants of the place. The captain asked the combatants to lay down their weapons in exchange for a pardon for past attacks and crimes. The indigenous people agreed to various peace treaties; but knowing that the Spanish could not be trusted and knew their location, they made an important decision.

Ahumada, after the final peace negotiation, decided to prepare to attack the Chichimeca rebels, thinking that they would betray him at the first opportunity. The captain stationed twelve horsemen and 80 foot soldiers at the base of Malpaís to capture any savage trying to flee. Ahumada would then enter the volcanic terrain with his principal infantry to try to drive them out. When he made his entry and arrived where the “peace negotiations” had taken place, he was surprised to find it empty save for a few warriors who refused to abandon Malpaís. These were subsequently killed by the invaders. The Spanish then burned the huts in the encampment and went in pursuit of the rebels who had fled to the Valley of Guadiana and Amantequex.

In Guadiana, a fierce battle took place that ended in the death and capture of 200 savage warriors. The prisoners had their thumbs cut off to hinder their use of the bow and arrow, especially the Huachchiles, as this was their deadly weapon of choice. Seeing the devastating defeat that the Spanish inflicted on the indigenous warriors, the Tepehuanes signed a peace treaty with the whites, who took advantage of the situation to gather information concerning the hiding places of the Teochichicmecas.

It was in this manner that Captain Ahumada pursued the native rebels from Avino, Peñol Blanco, and Mezquital, who had fled 24 leagues from Malpaís.

The savages proved to be far from docile prisoners. The chronicles tell of how fewer than 100 warriors were imprisoned in the Presidio of Peñol Blanco, but they were still able to tear off their chains, destroy the presidio, and attack the Spanish guards with only rocks. They ended up capturing a dozen soldiers and kept them prisoners while resisting the reinforcements that had come to pacify them. It should be emphasized that this resistance occurred in adverse circumstances, as they were unarmed, equipped only with strategy, ferocity, and whatever they had on hand; yet they were still able to put up a fight from midnight until dawn. Since they were greatly outnumbered, they ended up surrendering to the forces that had come from the encampment of Cristóbal de Argüello. Nevertheless, they gave a clear example of the fierce nature of the ancient inhabitants of that land.

In October of that year, Captain Pedro de Ahumada along with his army returned to Zacatecas in search of the Huachichiles responsible for the death of Fray Juan de Tapia. He attacked the encampment of these warriors and killed more than one hundred of them. During the general Inquisition-style interrogation, one of the warriors revealed information concerning the continuation of the Chichimeca League, which alerted Ahumada and his men.

In the place known as El Tunal (in Huachichil territory), around 1500 Chichimeca warriors had gathered as they had in Malpaís in order to plan out their attacks. Through Spanish intervention, it seems that the League was not able to fully assemble, though Ahumada left Zacatecas believing he had dispersed the Chichimeca warriors. He later learned that the information that his prisoners had given him had another purpose, namely, so that those remaining warriors could follow and study the movements of the whites from the hills above. The second attempt to consolidate the Chichimeca League was fomenting in the shadows under warlike audacity.

Regresión Magazine n° 3

________________________

The Guamares Rebellion

The Guamar Chichimecas, or “Ixtlachichimecas” (“White Chichimecas”, who we have addressed in a previous issue) began a series of violent conflicts that peaked between the years 1563 to 1568. The continuous sieges by the Spanish armies and the constant betrayals of the natives in the zone known as Penchichitane (or Chichimequillas) are what led to the uprising. It should be pointed out that the two ethnic groups, the Xiconaques and the Cuxtaques, (seminomadic hunter-gatherers) formed part of the Chichimeca ethnicity. Oddly enough, it should be noted as well that the former entered into contact with the Spanish in 1531, and the then leader named Xiconaque (from thence his name) warned them:

“Don’t come forward since you may perish, since beyond the Tzacatecas, who are of our kin, is a traitorous people, named Guachichila.”

The Guamares were the savage enemies of the Guachichiles, but they had to unite with them anyways against the invaders time and again. Thus we see the complicity of many diverse primitive peoples against the then common enemy. Getting back to the main theme, the indigenous Guamares of what is now Guanajuato (although incursions also extended into what is now Jalisco and Queretaro) focused their attacks on settlements and small towns strategically placed by the Spanish Crown to guard its interests in the territory. Their territories invaded, large groups of Ixtlachichimecas leveled the settlement of Penjamo, killing the pacified Indians, the colonists, and the Spanish soldiers.

Not long afterwards, the Chichimecas on the warpath directed themselves to the town of Comanja and slaughtered all of the inhabitants, leaving only two survivors according to the chroniclers of the time. After these two severe blows to the Spanish Empire, authorities concluded that this type of Chichimeca could not be pacified.

Every time the Spanish thought they had vanquished them on the field of battle, they revolted in another region and destroyed everything that they could find that represented a threat to their way of life. Thus, the Crown entrusted the pacification of the aboriginal peoples mainly by religion to Alonso de Zurita, as well as granting land concessions in more strategic areas to Spanish families living in forts. Thus, the citizenry would assist in the labor of pacification without entering directly into war.

It was in that way that many White Chichimecas were attracted to a repugnant religion’s promise of eternal life and the forgiveness of sins that was imposed on them by the colonizers. All the same, evangelization seems to have captured the imagination of many natives who came down from the mountains to hear the friars preach. While many of the natives accepted the new beliefs, others were more astute. They feigned acceptance of the worship, prayers, and teachings of the Westerners merely in order to familiarize themselves with the enemy. It was in this manner that the Guamares gained the confidence of certain Spaniards, who taught them how to ride horses as well as use the sword and arquebus (a primitive type of firearm). The Spanish thus thought they could use the Guamares like they used the Mexicas and Tlaxcaltecas to combat the Huachichiles and the Zacatecos, the only two groups they mistakenly thought were still in hostilities against them. This strategy backfired when the soldiers encountered certain Guamares face to face in battle. They wielded ancient weapons such as the bow, arrow, and club, but more surprisingly they also had swords, arquebuses stolen from the towns, and rode horses painted with the symbols of war. Making great tumult and letting forth ferocious yells, they mixed new and old methods of warfare with great physical agility, homefield advantage, and the ability to subsist on little food and water. This made the Guamares one of the greatest threats to the Spanish peace.

The roads then closed, interrupting the traffic in silver between Zacatecas and New Spain. The mountains of Guanajuato were no longer secure. The towns were abandoned for fear of new massacres by the tribal warriors. Others were reduced to ash. Production in the great majority of mines was in danger of coming to a halt. It was literally “Teotlalpan Tlacochcalco Mitclampa” (the land of misery and death). The Spanish wanted to reconstruct the town of Comanja, but this was practically wiped off the map by a massive attack by the Guamares in 1568.

Ceding territory

The only option left to the Europeans was to negotiate with the belligerent Indians. A contingent of friars backed by dozens of Spanish soldiers and hundreds of indigenous allies met with the leaders of the Guamares rebellion on many occasions. These efforts were generously funded by the Spanish Crown. They offered the chiefs land and gifts, and they guaranteed that they would not sell them or their women and children into slavery. They also assured them that the various atrocities and damage to property that they committed during war would be forgiven. It was in this way that many rebel leaders preferred to accept the conditions of the invaders and stopped the attacks. While the Ixtlachichimecas ceded territory, the borderlands became more and more militarized. The friars came in peace to visit Chichimeca settlements, convincing the natives by peaceful means to view Biblical precepts in a more positive light. Still the attacks did not cease. In 1570, the year in which they began widespread construction of prison camps for the Chichimecas who would not be pacified, various Teochichimecas staged multiple attacks on the fort of Tazazalca, Michoacan, leaving many soldiers dead. A rebellion carried out by the White Chichimecas as well was suppressed that year, as many of the leaders were “pardoned” by the Spanish Crown upon accepting terms of surrender. There were many others, however, who were not permitted the option of negotiations, since they had been fingered out by the recently converted. The mostly Guachil Chichimeca leaders who continued the hostilities were:

-Bartolomillo, who was cornered and captured by Francisco de Sande, Borderland Administrator of the Viceregal Government. It is said that Bartolomillo had replaced Xale, the fierce leader of the Great Tunal, Zacatecas, after his death. (This place was discussed in a previous issue.)

-Anton Rayado, who succeeded Bartolomillo after he was hanged. They say he was called “Anton Rayado” [Anton the Marked, translator’s note] due to the tattoos and scars on his body. They came to say that nature itself had marked him with rays as a sign of leadership of the Guachiles in their war to the death against the invader.

-Martinillo, the greatest and most destructive leader of the Guachiles who inflicted more casualties on the Spaniards than any other band. He was based in Bocas de Maticoya, San Luis Potosi. Other Guachil leaders were: Acuaname, Juan Tensso y Vaquero, Machicab, Nacolaname, Moqiomahal, Guazcualo, Gualiname, etc. To continue its expensive campaign to the tune of many pesos of gold, the authorities of the Viceroyalty decided to raise taxes and impose wine production upon the pacified towns, thus brutalizing the Indians and keeping them from taking up arms again against the Spanish Crown. Another law was passed regulating the sale of beef, requiring licenses for slaughter and sale of the meat, which was intended to keep the Teochichimecas from stealing cattle. If the owners of these cattle guarded them better and none were missing, they would receive an additional reward.

Thus, they cajoled cattle ranchers to guard their cattle better, preventing the savages from stealing them to eat the meat and use the hides, tendons, and the rest of the animal.

Nefarious alliances

After this partial ceasefire, Teochichimeca forces were diminished while trying to expel the invaders of their ancestral lands, and those who before had carried out attacks, ambushes, and massacres against the Spanish settlers turned against their old allies. They guided the whites to various hideouts and through territory of the still-insurgent tribes. This is how more than 80 Chichimeca war leaders were killed or captured in 1574. Juan Bautista Orozco was in charge of this military pacification, but his fame for pacifying the insurgents would not have been possible without the turncoat natives. These latter peoples greatly impeded the war efforts of the warriors of the North. This alliance, along with other factors of pacification (militarization of the border, the founding of fortified towns, the building of forts, etc.) led to the decrease of resistance to the white man in these territories. Nomadic tribes had already been partially absorbed by the advance of the Aztecs, the Tarascos, the Tlaxcaltecas, the Otomies, the Cazcans, etc., who fought for the Spanish army. They dealt a severe blow to the Chichimeca warriors who continued to wage war. It was thus that the Guachichiles, the Zacatecos, the Guamares, and other ethnic groups disappeared little by little and the threat that they posed was no longer so apparent.

Even then, the problems that they caused did not entirely end. As Powell indicates in his book, The Chichimeca War:

“The Tarascos were a natural recourse for auxiliary troops and interpreters in the northern war; they had been in conflict with the northern nomads for many years before the arrival of the Spanish. But some of the Tarascos, isolated cases, then seemed to abandon sedentary life to unite with the hostile Chichimecas, causing some difficulties to the Spanish.”

The punishment from Nature: The cocoliztli

In 1576, the indigenous allies were gaining ground in the Great Chichimeca, winning sympathy from the Western invaders. In this year, however, an epidemic would decimate their numbers in particular. Few Spaniards and African slaves were afflicted with this new bout of unknown plague. It should be pointed out, however, that this plague first struck the newly formed Mexican people in 1545, two years after the official end of the Mixtón War. Thus, as if Nature itself cast a curse upon them, the “coconoztli” (the Nahuatl word for illness) sapped the health of the allied group in particular. The symptoms of the coconoztli were high fever, a black tongue, nasal hemorrhaging, intense thirst, yellow eyes and skin, convulsions, delirium, and greenish urine, among others.

Contracting this disease meant certain death. Neither the Spanish doctors nor the Mexica after contracting the disease could cure it. Because of this, the number of people in the fields, the mines, the shops, the military, and the towns themselves was reduced drastically. This brought an end to the offensive against the still hostile Chichimecas, who exploited the opportunity to continue their vengeful efforts. One notable example of the losses that afflicted the auxiliary indigenous troops was that, from the one thousand Cazcan warriors who were quartered in the town of Tequaltiche in Jalisco, only two hundred survived. It should be pointed out again that the nation of Cazcan Chichimecas were the first northern nomads and semi-nomads to join the Spaniards and agreed to help them in their fight against hostile Chichimeca warriors.

This plague would last over a year, afflicting those who had turned their back on their way of life dependent on Nature, leaving to come into the fold of the new civilization: the winner and expansionist that had declared a war of extermination against the natives.

The heightening of hostilities of 1580-1585

During this time, the attacks of the Teochichimecas increased exponentially. This caused an increase in the number of forts, the militarization of the border by captains who frequently provoked the insurgent natives, and the more frequent use of force to pacify warring tribes. Aside from being highly skilled in their traditional weapons and the ancient manner of warfare, the Chichimecas by this point also knew how to utilize modern weaponry that they had stolen in battles with the Spanish army. This included being able to fight on horseback. With this augmented means of war, they decided to fight fiercely for their traditional way of life and to seek revenge for their brothers who had fallen previously in battle. The Guachiles along with the Zacatecos were the most hostile towards the Spanish. Both convinced a great number of Pame-Chichimecas to unite with them against the foreign enemy and their native allies in defense of their hunter-gatherer way of life. Thus, the small groups of warriors attacked mines and halted production; they ferociously closed off roads and ambushed shipments of silver, fine linen, and foodstuffs destined for Mexico.

It was in this way that the famous mine of Chalchihuites in Zacatecas was abandoned, as well were towns such as Queretaro and San Juan del Rio. The road to Zacatecas that went to the northern mines was also left unused. A letter to the then Viceroy Manrique de Zuniga stated the following concerning these years:

“The Chichimeca attacks are intensifying, now they are descending from the mountains in great numbers and their attacks have reached twenty leagues from Mexico City. Their victories are leading many Indians, as well as mestizos and mulattos, to join them. A total war against the Chichimecas has thus been deemed necessary. They have begun killing Spaniards, burning churches, and sacking towns. Up until now they have destroyed twenty- two estates in the San Juan Valley.”

In the middle of 1585, a group of rebel Pame Chichimecas fiercely attacked the town of Zimapan, Hidalgo, killing Spanish as well as pacified Indian allies. This situation forced the Viceroy to spearhead efforts to repel the attacks. Zuniga would adopt new methods to obtain peace in a conflict that by then had lasted 35 years. He implemented the following policies:

-Penalties for those who would enslave the Chichimecas. Having studied the course of the conflict, the Viceroy noted that the warriors were enraged when they learned that prisoners of war were enslaved to work in the mines, which caused them to attack mining operations.

-The freeing of prisoners that were deemed innocent of any crime.

-The Chichimeca leaders and warriors who were still deemed a threat were also freed but only in towns where they could be Christianized.

-The abandoning of a system of fortified bases and instead negotiating with the rebels and buying peace with clothes and foodstuffs.

-The dismissing of soldiers who had created unnecessary frictions with the Teochichimecas on the borderlands.

-The establishment of towns closer to the sites of previous conflicts, where attacks were carried out more frequently. Instead of filling these towns with soldiers, houses of religious orders were erected and “civilized”  Indians came to live there as well. Both groups would encourage the Chichimecas to abandon the armed struggle, and they would demonstrate the benefits of civilized life.

-Taking charge of the shipments of royal silver on the Zacatecas road and making sure they were escorted by armed guards to prevent ambushes from the Guachichiles and the Zacatecos.

In 1586, after implementing a new strategy to safeguard the silver coming from Zacatecas, the Viceroy was proud to report two victories over the native highway robbers. In one he told of how a great number of Teochichimecas tried to ambush a shipment of silver on the road from Mexico to Zacatecas. They were detected by the armed guards who engaged them in battle, and because of the new viceregal policy the guards were able to prevent the robbery, and even killed thirteen warriors in the process. In spite of this, the robbers were able to kill the chief of the guards and carried off one of the women. The Spanish soldiers then engaged in a rescue mission to find the woman and were able to recover her.

Viceroy Manrique proudly proclaimed the news, and remained optimistic in spite of the fact that the measures to protect the Zacatecas road would not prevent the remaining belligerent Chichimecas from regrouping. Thus, days after this defeat, the nomad warriors ambushed a group of Spaniards heading toward the San Martin mines in Zacatecas, killing two and injuring others. Hours afterward, a Franciscan friar was killed trying to assist the wounded in this ferocious attack.

The end of the conflict

Nevertheless, the Viceroy’s efforts yielded results in pacifying the groups that were still hostile to the European settlers. Many warring Chichimecas had laid aside their arms and accepted the overtures of the Spanish friars and cooperative Indians to make peace. Thus, we can indicate here the Guachichil Chichimeca leaders who made peace treaties and accepted the “kind” treatment of the invaders (especially of Gabriel Ortiz Fuenmayor), namely Juan Vaquero, Gualiname, Nacolaname, Juan Tenso, and Acuaname. The rest of the Guachichil or Zapateco leaders who didn’t accept the terms of surrender were either killed or fled north toward the lands of the Tepehuans, the Raramuri, or the Apaches. In spite of the treaties, the conflict continued at a lower intensity in the subsequent years. For example, in 1588, a large group of resisting Chichimecas was stalking and attacking the Spaniards in Yuririapundaro (Purepecha for “blood lake”) in Guanajuato.

The attackers pretended to convert to Catholicism only to seek the first opportunity to flee into the mountains from where they came. At the same time of this rebellion, another broke out in San Andres, Jalisco in 1591. Here, various “pacified” natives rose up in armed rebellion. Fray Francisco Santos feared the natives and took refuge in the convent of Colotlan. The Spanish soldiers finally came, and the friar indicated to them the place in the hills where the rebels were hiding. The Spanish surrounded the outnumbered rebels, who surrendered after calling upon the friar and promising to redouble their efforts at conversion.

After nearly forty years of war, the Europeans finally figured out how to engage the hostile northern savages. Many Chichimecas surrendered and ceased fighting once they saw that they would not be abused and would even be awarded with land, livestock, and work.

From the mixture of sedentary natives, nomadic savages, and the invading Europeans would arise the newly formed Mexican people. In 1595, the Chichimeca settlement of San Luis was chosen by the Spanish to be the home of multiple ethnic groups that would facilitate the pacification and Christianization of the savages of that region. The friars, followed by blacks, the Mexicas, the Otomies, the Tarascos, and the Tlaxcaltecas, came to reside there. In particular, the Chichimecas of that town and the Otomies had been in conflict previously, but their cohabitation led to the town being known as “San Luis de la Paz”, located in present day Guanajuato. Today it is the place of residence of the last Chichimecas in the Mission of the Chichimecas zone.

Some former Indian warriors frequently assisted the friars in locating the most stubborn hold outs so that they could come and see how civilized life was and be convinced to stay in the towns. In exchange, they were given food and clothing. This offer was almost always accepted by the intransigent warriors. In spite of this, it must be pointed out that a certain regression was occurring in some groups of ex-nomads. According to some chroniclers of the time, the Tlaxcaltecas with their increasing population took the most fertile lands, leaving the worst lands to the recently civilized and converted ex-nomads. Frustrated, the former savages renounced Catholic doctrine and returned to their old ways of life, departing towards unknown lands to the north.

The war ends (officially)

By 1600, the Chichimeca War was officially over, the attacks having been reduced to isolated incidents. There were, however, other notable uprisings in this period, two of which are worthy of mention here: the revolt of the Tepehuanes from 1616 to 1618; and the attacks of the Guachichiles in Rio Verde, San Luis Potosi from 1628 to 1629. Overall, however, the leaders of these revolts were either bought off or executed.

The friars propagated new beliefs to help the whites subjugate their fiercest enemy. Those who did not go along with it, those who shouted the frightening cry of “Axcan Kema Tehuatl, Nehuatl!” (Until your death or mine!), those who preferred to die rather than renounce their ancient way of life and belief, were summarily killed. These are the lessons that history leaves us concerning the resistance to the death that took place in this region against the foreign ideas that sought to replace the ways of our ancestors. We must again take up these important lessons as we wage just war against the same perennial enemy. We speak of course of the alien, the harmful and the foreign that we, the inheritors of that warlike blood, call “civilized devastation,” “invasive technology,” and “human progress”. We continue to be on the side of wild nature. We continue to venerate the sun, the moon, the wind, the rivers, the coyote, and the deer. We continue to renounce Christianity with our pagan rituals in the dense woods. We continue to be the caretakers of the bonfires. We continue to dance around the flames.

Even though we are civilized, we continue to have the instinct to attack.

Authors of the work,

“Ancient Wars against Civilization and Progress”

-“Kill or Die” Faction

-“Stalking Mountain Lion” Faction

-“Thunder of Mixton” Faction

Revised by

-“Council of the Uehuetlatolli” Faction

-“Uaxixil Spirit” Faction

(en-tü) Knives in the shadow

Traducción al inglés y al turco de “Cuchillos en las sombras”, uno de los poemas en la Revista Regresión N° 6.


Oh flesh that is torn apart!
The blood rains down on the asphalt,
The cry implores, it almost weeps,
Body that fades up high
Body killed by a roar,
A howl and a wise meow,
Disguised as knives destined to stab,
To extinguish the shine of the civilized.
The shadow hides the act,
Faces dyed in savage pupils;
They share destruction and touch,
Only the stars caress grief.
Grief, pains, tragedies…
Those which have condemned, chained.
Untamed forests, only in the memory,
Knives in the shadow for every savage slain.

-Lunas de abril


Gölgedeki Bıçaklar

Ah bu beden paramparça!
Asfaltın üzerinden aşağı yağan kan,
Haykırarak yalvarır, neredeyse ağlar,
Yükseklerde solan beden.
Bir feryat ve bilgece miyav,
Bir kükreme tarafından öldürülen beden,
Bıçaklanmaya mahkûm bıçak gibi gizlenmiş,
Medeniyetin parlaklığını söndürmek için.
Hareketi gizleyen gölge,
Vahşi öğrenciler tarafından boyanan yüzler;
İmha ve iletişimi paylaşıyorlar,
Sadece yıldızlar acıyı okşuyor.
Keder, acılar, trajediler…
Kınanmış, zincirlenmiş olanların.
Evcilleşmemiş ormanlar, sadece zihinde,
Her vahşi katil için gölgedeki bıçaklar.

(Mexico) Eighteenth Communiqué of the Individualists Tending Toward the Wild / Indiscriminate Faction

Traducción al inglés del dieciochoavo comunicado de ITS en conjunto con el Grupúsculo Indiscriminado.

¡Muerte a la moral del ataque!


“I chase you, you look for prestige, that’s why now we talk about explosives.” In the shadows there emerge figures that stalk your back and stab you to death, or with bombs. It is winter, the snow wipes away my footprints… you provoke, they will kill you by mouth.”

 Mr. Grey

The Indiscriminate Faction in coordination with the Individualists Tending Toward the Wild take responsibility for the following attacks:

1. Wednesday, October 19th: We abandoned an explosive device in the transport bus “COPESA”, on the Cuemanco Canal corridor of Chalco-metro Barranca del Muerto. We do not know what became of that device.

2.Thursday, November 19th: We abandoned an envelope with an explosive charge in the Faculty of Sciences of the UNAM. The envelope wasn’t addressed to anyone, it was only labeled, “Winner of the iPhone Award.” This was for any person who would take it and find a nice explosive present when they opened it.

3. Wednesday, November 23rd: We abandoned an explosive device in the Faculty of Philosophy and Letters of the UNAM. Let this be a warning to all of those worthless leftist humanities students who talk shit about us. Let it be known that we have eyes and ears in places they wouldn’t expect…

4. Thursday, November 24th: We left another explosive device in the same bus as we did in October.

d645ju

Communique of the Indiscriminate Faction

You’re attacking public transportation that is used by the poor citizenry, those hard working folks! A “sympathizer” might be riding on it. Yes! And we will keep doing it, we don’t care who is riding mass transit, and that’s why we attack it. We want to harm passengers as well as infrastructure which every day erase more of the little nature that still exists. If we attack persons it’s because they’re just as responsible for urban sprawl, for cutting down trees to build their miserable concrete houses, more highways, and thus, bringing more cars with them to get back to their comfortable houses.

Since human beings have become sedentary, they have condemned themselves to extinction. This world doesn’t need more humans. It doesn’t need for the human being to keep living in it. To see a more beautiful world, the human being must go extinct. We know that this is far off, even though it is still possible. We know that we personally will not get rid of the human masses, but as long as we’re walking the Earth, we’ll try to kill off the greater part of the human masses that we can. That’s why we attack the most affluent neighborhoods.

Another idiot has said, “If you are so radical and nihilist, why don’t you just strap a bomb to yourselves?” Oh, brainless and dumb kids, you haven’t understood a thing. In the end, “he who likes to eat shit will keep eating shit.”

“I go from the mountains towards the buildings. You’re not doing honor to this, cousin. I left my life behind, I don’t need it. The crows make the scarecrow sweat. I am a wolf, not a baby goat.”

Once again with the UNAM… blah blah blah the same drivel that one would expect. There the “computer geeks” are formed (a slang term that makes us laugh quite a bit). It pisses us off to repeat the same thing as always, the same “sound bite”, so once again: Yes, once more, the UNAM. If it’s simple to attack mass transit which is so full of people, imagine how easy it must be to attack a university. Piece of cake! We don’t have to disguise ourselves to pass unperceived, or put on a fake moustache or wig. We don’t even have to invent a movie script, though I suppose we could say something along the lines of:

“We put on a fake mustache; we even disguised our gender so that no one would notice and we entered the UNAM to leave an explosive package… While we were leaving, we aimed a nine millimeter pistol at the students and personnel. When we go to the exit we robbed a bus with forty people on it to plant our explosive device. Then the police followed us and a firefight broke out in which we wounded five police and killed three more.”

Wow, not even ISIS does that! But no, we only went in and left some bombs and that’s it. We did it in plain sight. In the Faculty of Sciences we left an explosive package in the hallway of pp Building. In the Faculty of Philosophy and Letters we left a bomb while the same old leftists were hawking their wares, or rather, their “self-managed works.” It’s that easy to attack the citizenry, without any complications or without much of a spectacle.

But why attack the good and popular left anarchists? These beings, these “anarchists” don’t merit our respect. These anarchists only know how to complain and cry about being victimized. That’s all they know how to do… oh, and march, sure. Mexican anarchism is dead, it’s in death agony. This pack of kids only knows how to get drunk, snort drugs, and believe themselves to be super-insurrectionaries of direct action. You don’t think so? Then ask yourself the question: why support a “comrade” (as anarchists like to call them) when he’s detained for just being a little druggie faggot? We say let them die like dogs. Why support those little cliques of “support for anarchist prisoners” when they fuck up the donations for the prisoners? Rascals! Do they really think that people don’t know? Ugh. Of course people will come out of the woodwork and scream that it isn’t true. “Those are lies!” “A group full of infiltrators says that to tarnish the anarchist movement!” “They’re part of the government!” [Sob] What “anarchist movement”? That’s a wrap, dudes! You guys are just a bunch of conformists and reformists. Since the real anarchists of old have went extinct, the “new anarchists” aren’t worthy of any respect.

Lastly, to finish our sermon, we have seen the growth of a number of individuals who feel a fleeting empathy with the “eco-extremist tendency”. To them we would like to state the following:

It makes us sick to our stomach that more and more individuals are attracted in a superficial manner to this. We despise that there are more people out there who are flaky, those who feel themselves to be “free and wild” with lines crossing their face. They are the ones who like to hike in the woods, the desert, and the jungle. They feel like they’re shamans and pagans (we’d love to see them sacrifice or kill something, to see how much of the “shaman” they still feel then). We hate these people who hold their little “re-wilding skills” events. We’re sick of these people. For this reason, hypocritical fake groups emerge like the Whore Eco-Extremist War… Oh, excuse us, Guamera Eco-extremist War and Shadow of the Forests (who are either people with a short attention span or police who we are dealing with in these lands.) We’d like to state to all those people who attracted by “natural beauty” that you too are in our sights. Just like the list of scientists, the list of “forest lovers” who we will attack is quite long. Don’t be surprised if one day while you’re out camping the “Devil” shows up. This time you won’t be offered as a sacrifice, you’ll just be fertilizer for the trees. “The coyotes descended from the mountain, now they return to them.”

Without further ado we end this entry. The next time we’ll just take responsibility for our attacks and that’s it. That’s in order to keep the tendency “pure” since, as in the Mafia, we believe in hierarchies and no one can enter unless we give the order.

-Indiscriminate Faction (GI)

-Individualists Tending Toward the Wild (ITS)

“Fury of the Lynx Occult Group”

-Indiscriminate Group Tending Toward the Wild (GITS)

(es-en) Animismo apopático

Texto-reflexión del jefe editorial de la revista Atassa traducido al español, en donde trata el tema sobre al animismo tipo eco-extremista. Recomendable lectura para su crítica y el ahondamiento de creencias individuales alejadas de la religiosidad chocante y alienante.

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Una objeción que en el pensamiento eco-extremista se repite una y otra vez es que cae en el misticismo / superstición como si fuera alguna moda de la Nueva Era, pero esta vez con bombas. A decir verdad, aferrándome a los escritos eco-extremistas tanto como traductor como pensador, tengo que admitir que también tengo problemas a veces esta nueva “espiritualidad” de ciertos escritos eco-extremistas. Por ejemplo, voy a citar un pasaje de un artículo no traducido [al inglés] que es una especie de “autocrítica” por haber tomado en serio los comunicados de un grupo llamado “Guerra Eco-extremista Guamera”. Después de haber demostrado que sus comunicados eran muy probablemente el resultado de un “trolling”, entonces lanzaron esta maldición:

“¡Nos cagamos en sus falsedades, arrojamos fluidos sanguinolentos en sus intenciones sospechosas, y maldecimos con todas nuestras deidades sus cuerpos y mentes!

¡Que los señores oscuros Mesoamericanos, Tlacotecolotl y Miclantecutli los atormenten y los devoren vivos!

¡Que las paganas maldiciones en náhuatl que aterrorizaban a los occidentales despierten de su sueño y destruya a estos farsantes!

¡TEHUIHUICALLIZTLI TLAMI MICQUI!”

Las personas modernas por supuesto no pueden dejar de rodear con sus ojos esto, y tengo la misma tentación. Yo no porque, mientras que el buen anarquista o el izquierdista puede condenar la “superstición” porque piensan que conocen la historia, conozco la historia aún mejor, así que pienso dos veces antes de hacerlo. Hegel escribió en alguna parte que, mientras que los griegos antiguos podían inclinarse a los ídolos, el hombre moderno ya no puede. Esto es porque se ha hecho un ídolo de sí mismo, de su logro científico y la comprensión del mundo. Aunque voy más lejos que muchos defensores “anti-civilización”, en mi apreciación de la ciencia y la tecnología modernas (principalmente por lo que hacen, no por lo que representan), sé muy bien que ellos también son producto de una cierta Forma de pensamiento religioso, de una genealogía que se remonta a Einstein y Newton y a la magia renacentista, al neoplatonismo, a la escolástica, a Aristóteles, a los pre-socráticos, etcétera. Rehusar la “mistificación” de la naturaleza basado puramente en la racionalidad de la Ilustración parece detenerse muy por debajo de los orígenes históricos de la “racionalidad” en Occidente. No veo el pensamiento secular como otra cosa que una menor desviación de todas esas tendencias.

Esto podría ser un buen punto desde el nivel abstracto, pero en términos concretos, la gente moderna está radicalmente separada de la “espiritualidad” como algo distinto de una elección del consumidor. Un eco-extremista mismo lo ha señalado, como en el largo ensayo de Halputta Hadjo, “Los Calusa: ¿Un Reino Salvaje?”:

“Antes de discutir la religión Calusa y la oposición de los españoles a ella, siento que es apropiado discutir brevemente el cisma en la mente moderna entre la religión y el conocimiento. Para llegar inmediatamente al punto, la religión de la gran mayoría de su existencia ha sido una cosa eminentemente práctica. Es decir, cómo la gente creía y cómo sabía que del mundo era uno en sí mismo. Eso es porque los seres humanos, por lo general no tienen el lujo de hacer actos de fe, esperando contra toda esperanza. “Bienaventurado los que no han visto, y sin embargo creen”, habría sido una premisa incomprensible para cualquier persona “primitiva”, y este fue el caso más probable con los Calusa. Sus espíritus y su entorno eran uno mismo, sus prácticas religiosas y su forma de vida eran una sola, y no había ninguna razón para dudar de ello, ya que se basaron en las cosas que constituían su realidad cotidiana. El Calusa creyó en un mundo lleno de dioses, algo que no nos es posible concebir en nuestra mentalidad tan occidental y tan secularizada. Por lo tanto, desafiar sus creencias era desafiar su forma de vida. Fuera de la mayor parte de los pueblos de su región, fue el Calusa que conservó sus creencias hasta el fin. Ellos nunca fueron conquistados, sino que desaparecieron gradualmente, junto con el mundo espiritual que habitaban.”

En el Occidente moderno, no vemos que son nuestros espíritus, o más bien la Tierra, la que nos alimentan. La civilización nos alimenta, la tecnología nos arropa, la moral nos protege, etc. Por lo tanto, no es de extrañar que incluso el más “radical” de los ideólogos híper-civilizados vuelva la mirada hacia los sistemas pasados para acercarse al mundo y los encuentre deseosos. No siente ninguna conexión con ellos, puede respetarlos, pero no se va a subyugar a ninguna entidad numinosa, ni pretender ser su mensajero, etc.

¿Cómo entonces se enfoca la idea del “paganismo / animismo” (sí, hay una diferencia, pero no me importa ese punto)? ¿Cómo se recuperan los “dioses”, es incluso necesario, deseable, etc.? Siento que Halputta Hadjo en su ensayo ya abordó ese punto al final de su trabajo, pero voy a proporcionar mi propio enfoque. Lo que sigue es mi propio intento de ser un animista en el siglo XXI, con todas las contradicciones en el pensamiento y ninguno de esos rituales frescos. Es mi actitud, y sobre todo mi comprensión de que probablemente nunca tendré lo que necesito, porque sentir que “necesito” es el problema en primer lugar.

Mi propia entrada en la crítica contra la civilización viene del sentido de lugar. De hecho, los libros influyentes para mí en los últimos años no han sido acerca de la teoría, sino sobre dónde plantar mis pies ahora y donde los he plantado. Por ejemplo, tuve el gran placer de traducir el XVI Comunicado de ITS de la ciudad de Torreón, Coahuila. Esta es la ciudad de mis abuelos, mi madre fue criada en un pequeño pueblo a sus afueras. A menudo iba allí cuando era niño en vacaciones, y mi sentido siempre fue que era feo y poco atractivo. Un desierto sin mucho que ver, olía a animales de granja y había edificios de adobe en ruinas, no esperaba visitar más ahí. De hecho, he borrado de la memoria el paisaje de mi cabeza. Así que esta parte del comunicado sonó cierto para mí:

“La Naturaleza Salvaje fue destruida, el futuro ideal es tan gris e inerte. Desde esta realidad atacamos; somos individualistas librando una guerra vengativa, en nombre de la montaña derrumbada para construir una mega carretera, por la flora y fauna destruida en nombre del progreso, en nuestro ser portamos la esencia del río desaparecido por alguna gran presa.”

“Merecido lo tiene Torreón y sus ciudadanos, quienes con sus prácticas colaboran a la perpetuación de la civilización tecno-industrial. Ves al horizonte y encuentras un cerro negro artificial creado por la empresa “socialmente responsable” de nombre Peñoles, agua envenenada, el aire contaminado, fauna y flora aniquilada por la expansión sin freno que tiene la urbe. Para todo eso…, tres muertos nos parecen pocos.”

Ahora, no soy el mayor admirador de la prosa histriónica. Me sostengo la nariz y hago todo lo posible por traducir estas cosas. Pero el sentimiento no está lejos de lo que yo siento. Aunque soy el primero en admitir que la naturaleza cambia y cambia a menudo, lo que los humanos modernos hacen con el medio ambiente sigue siendo repulsivo y enloquecedor. No es el cambio el problema, es la tasa de cambio más la arrogancia detrás de esto, la miopía, el fracaso por dejar de dañar nuestro entorno que es sólo una extensión de nuestra herida y alienación entre sí. Llegué a la conclusión hace algunos años que si tú no puedes amar tu entorno, el agua, los árboles, el aire que respiras, etc., tú no quieres nada. Y sí, para mí, en ese mundo, ITS tiene sentido. Llámame psicópata o lo que sea, no me importa.

Al igual que los eco-extremistas de La Laguna, miro ese lugar tan distante ahora en mis recuerdos de infancia, pero también al lugar donde crecí, a los ríos y pantanos que se secaron cuando el agua se utilizó para regar los campos y ayudar al ganado sediento. Miro los ríos por aquí que los antiguos temporeros dicen, solían ser claros cuando estaban creciendo; se podía ver su fondo, pero ahora son grises y opacos. Miro los pinos y los cipreses y a los pocos grandes cipreses, gruesos y sabios, anudados por la edad y la ferocidad: el resto de árboles viejos que no fueron cortados para hacer la Gran Ciudad que puedo ver a través de Ok’wata. El eco-modernista y el progresista me dirán que deje a la naturaleza salvaje irse, para no llorar, y para mirar hacia delante. Rechazo eso, lo niego con todo mi ser. Mientras que otros híper-civilizados no ven más que centros comerciales y parques, veo una escena de crimen, de hecho, la escena del único crimen que vale la pena abordar. Mi existencia y la existencia de los que amo se basa en una mentira, un orden social que no tiene derecho a estar aquí. O tiene un “derecho”, pero no merece mi respeto o lealtad. Ni una onza de eso.

Admito que no puedo ser animista como los pueblos primitivos lo fueron. Sé que las estrellas son sólo bolas muertas de gas, que la luna es una roca fría en órbita alrededor de la Tierra, que la enfermedad es el resultado de microbios y virus y no de un poderoso shaman a tres aldeas de distancia echando hechizos, y así sucesivamente. Sé estas cosas, pero porque las conozco ese es el problema. Las conozco por el sistema, para el que soy un medio y no un fin. Las conozco a causa de un sistema que es racional cuando se dirige a esas cosas, materia inanimada que puede manipular, pero no tiene idea cómo organizar y controlar animales humanos reales en muchas circunstancias. Las conozco a causa del sistema que pone en peligro la Tierra por el bien de los dólares o de las ideologías estúpidas. Mi adhesión a un “animismo” es mi preferencia por no haberlas conocido. Por supuesto, eso no es posible ahora, no puedo darme una lobotomía con respecto al conocimiento moderno. Pero puedo estar bien consciente del precio, y declarar que todavía no vale la pena.

Tengo una excepcional formación teológica / espiritual, aunque sea en mi catolicismo ancestral y en otros caminos espirituales que he investigado al azar. Tengo que admitir que la adhesión al “animismo” me deja frío porque sé demasiado acerca de los rituales y los dogmas para ir inventando mi propio credo. Nunca voy a ser capaz de evocar a los dioses mesoamericanos y maldecir a la gente con una cara seria. Pero tampoco voy a ser capaz de condenar a las personas que lo hacen, todo lo contrario. Puede que no sea capaz de creer que los árboles, las rocas, los ciervos, los caimanes, las bayas, etc., tienen espíritu, y todos están sufriendo debido a nuestra aflicción contra el planeta por nuestra negligencia y codicia, pero yo reconozco que me gustaría hacerlo. Sin embargo, tengo esos momentos de atención, esos momentos de asombro y admiración que todos debemos tener ante la Naturaleza Salvaje, y eso es suficiente para mí, supongo.

Lo apopático es la escuela del pensamiento teológico que afirma que sólo podemos acercarnos a lo Divino o lo Transcendente a través de la negación. Es decir, conocemos lo Divino no por lo que es, sino por lo que no es. Mi propia creencia en el animismo es que todas las ideologías humanas caen de plano, todas son el resultado de volcarse a la propia cabeza, hacia las ideas y certezas de uno, en lugar de salir. Los ojos están destinados a ver las cosas, los oídos para escucharlas, las lenguas para saborearlas, etc. Las cosas son primarias, no las facultades que las perciben y procesan. Mi verdadero ser está fuera de mí, y el sentido del hombre está fuera de su propia historia… No puedo concluir esta reflexión mejor que citando el poema de Robinson Jeffers, “Credo”, en su totalidad:

Mi amigo de Asia tiene poderes y magia, arranca una hoja azul de una joven goma-azul

Y mirándolo, recolectando y calmando

El Dios en su mente, crea un océano más real que el océano, la sal, el real

Pésima presencia, el poder de las aguas.

Él cree que nada es real excepto cuando lo hacemos. Yo humildemente he encontrado en mi sangre

Se crió al oeste del Cáucaso el misticismo más duro.

La multitud está en mi mente, pero creo que el océano en la bóveda de hueso está sólo

El océano de la bóveda del hueso: ahí está el océano;

El agua es el agua, el acantilado es la roca, vienen choques y destellos de realidad. La mente

Pasa, cierra los ojos, el espíritu es un pasaje;

La belleza de las cosas nació ante los ojos y fue suficiente para sí misma; La desgarradora belleza

Permanecerá cuando no haya corazón que romper.


Apophatic animism

One objection that eco-extremist thought gets over and over again is that it lapses into mysticism / superstition as if it were some New Age fad, this time with bombs. To tell the truth, grappling with eco-extremist writings both as a translator and a thinker myself, I have to admit that I too have problems at times with this newfound “spirituality” of certain eco-extremist writings. For example, I am going to cite a passage from an untranslated article that is a sort of “self-criticism” for having taken seriously the communiques of a group called “Guamera Eco-extremist War.” After having shown that their over-the-top communiques were most likely the result of “trolling”, they then cast this curse:

“We shit on their lies, we cast bloody fluids on their suspicious intentions, and we curse their bodies and minds with all of our deities.

May the dark Mesoamerican lords Tlacotecolotl and Miclantecutli torment them and devour them alive!

May the pagan curses take away their sleep and destroy these impostors!

TEHUIHUICALLIZTLI TLAMI MICQUI!”

The modern person of course can’t help but roll their eyes at that, and I have the same temptation. I don’t because, while the good anarchist or leftist may condemn “superstition” because they think that they know history, I know history even better so I think twice about doing it. Hegel wrote somewhere that, while ancient Greeks could bow to idols, modern man no longer can. That is because he has made an idol of himself, of his scientific achievement and understanding of the world. While I will go further than many “anti-civilization” advocates in my appreciation of modern science and technology (mainly because of what they do, not for what they stand for), I know full well that they too are a product of a certain form of religious thinking, of a genealogy that goes back past Einstein and Newton and into the Renaissance magic, Neoplatonism, Scholasticism, Aristotle, the Pre-Socratics, etc. To refuse the “mystification” of Nature based purely on Enlightenment rationality seems to stop well short of the historical origins of “rationality” in the West. I don’t see secular thinking as anything other than a minor deviation from all of those trends. 

That might be a good point on the abstract level, but in concrete terms, modern people are radically separated from “spirituality” as anything other than a consumer choice. Eco-extremism itself has made this point, as in Halputta Hadjo’s long essay, “The Calusa: A Savage Kingdom?“:

Before discussing Calusa religion and the Spaniards’ opposition to it, I feel that it is appropriate to discuss briefly the schism in the modern mind between religion and knowledge. To get immediately to the point, religion for the vast majority of its existence has been an eminently practical thing. That is, how people believed and how they knew were one in the same. That is because human beings usually do not have the luxury to make leaps of faith, hoping against hope. “Blessed art they who have not seen, yet believe,” would have been an unfathomable premise to any “primitive” person, and this was most likely the case with the Calusa. Their spirits and their environment were one, their religious practice and their way of life were one, and there was no reason to doubt them because they were based on the things that constituted their daily reality. The Calusa believed in a world full of gods, something that we cannot possibly conceive of in our very Western and very secularized mentality. Thus, challenging their beliefs was challenging their way of life. Out of most of the peoples of their region, it was the Calusa who held out the longest in their beliefs. They were never conquered, but rather disappeared gradually, along with the spiritual world which they inhabited.

In the modern West, we don’t see that it is our spirits, or rather the Earth, that feed us. Civilization feeds us, technology clothes us, morality protects us, etc. Thus, it is no surprise that even the most “radical” of hyper-civilized ideologues looks back at past systems of approaching the world and finds them wanting. He feels no connection to them, he might respect them, but he isn’t going to subjugate himself to any numinous entity, or pretend that he’s its messenger, etc.

How then does one approach the idea of “paganism / animism” (yeah, there’s a difference, but I don’t care at this point)? How does one recover “gods”, is it even necessary, desirable, etc.? I feel Halputta Hadjo in his essay already addressed that point at the end of that work, but I will provide my own approach. The following is my own (half-assed) attempt to be an animist in the 21st century, with all of the contradictions in thought and none of the cool rituals. It’s my attitude, and mainly my realization that I will probably never have what I need, because feeling that I “need” it is the problem in the first place.

My own coming into the anti-civilization critique comes from a sense of place. Indeed, influential books for me in the past few years have not been about theory, but about where I plant my feet now and where I have planted them. For example, I took great pleasure in translating ITS’s Sixteenth Communique from the city of Torreón, Coahuila. This is the city my grandparents are from, and my mother was raised in a small village on its outskirts. I often went there as a child for the holidays, and my one sense was always that it was ugly and unappealing. A desert with not much to look at, smelling of farm animals and dilapidated adobe buildings, I did not look forward to my visits there. Indeed, I’ve sort of blotted out the memory of the landscape from my head. So this part of the communique rang true for me:

Wild Nature has been destroyed, the ideal future is so grey and inert. We attack from this reality. We are individualists waging a war of revenge. We do so in the name of the mountain that was destroyed to make a super-highway, for the flora and fauna destroyed in the name of progress. In our being we hold the essence of the river that disappeared when they built the great dam…

Torreón and its citizens deserve it, those who in practice collaborated with the spread of techno-industrial civilization. You look to the horizon and you see the black artificial hill created by the “socially responsible” Peñoles Corporation, as well as poisoned water, contaminated air, and flora and fauna annihilated by the ceaseless expansion of the city. For all of that… three dead seems very little.

Now, I am not the greatest fan of the histrionic prose. I hold my nose and do my best to translate that stuff. But the sentiment is not far from what I feel. While I am the first one to admit that nature changes and changes often, what modern humans do to their environment is still repulsive and maddening. It’s not the change that’s the issue, it is the rate of change plus the hubris behind it, the shortsightedness, the failure to stop hurting our surroundings that is merely an extension of our hurting and alienating each other. I came to the conclusion some years ago that if you can’t love your surroundings, the water, the trees, the air you breath, etc. you will love nothing. And yes, for me, in that world, ITS makes sense. Call me a psychopath or whatever, I don’t care.

Like the eco-extremists of the Laguna, I look at that place so distant now in my childhood memories, but also to the place where I grew up, to the rivers and swamps that dried up when the water was used to irrigate fields and support thirsty livestock. I look to the rivers around here that the old timers say used to be clear when they were growing up; you could see to the bottom of them, but now they are now grey and opaque. I look to the baby pines and cypresses, and to the few great cypresses, thick and wise, knotted with age and fierceness: the remaining old growth trees that weren’t cut down to make the Great City I can see across Ok’wata. The eco-modernist and progressivist will tell me to let Wild Nature go,, to not mourn but to look forward. I refuse this, I refuse it with all my being. While the other hyper-civilized see nothing but strip-malls and parks, I see a crime scene, indeed, the scene of the only crime worth addressing. My existence and the existence of those I love is based on a lie, a social order that has no right to be here. Or it does have a “right”, but it doesn’t deserve my respect or loyalty. Not one ounce of it.

I admit that I can’t be an animist like primitive peoples were animists. I know that stars are just dead balls of gas, that the moon is a cold rock orbiting the Earth, that illness is the result of microbes and viruses and not of a powerful shaman three villages away casting spells, and so on. I know these things, but why I know them is the problem. I know them because of a system for which I am a means and not an end. I know them because of a system that is rational when it addresses things, inanimate matter that it can manipulate, but has no idea how to organize and control actual human animals in many circumstances. I know them because of a system that endangers the Earth for the sake of dollars or dumb ideologies. My adherence to an “animism” is my preferring not to have known them. That is of course not possible now, I can’t give myself a lobotomy regarding modern knowledge. But I can be well aware of the price, and state that it still isn’t worth it.

I have an exceptional theological / spiritual formation, though it is in my ancestral Catholicism and some other spiritual paths I have investigated haphazardly. I have to admit that an adherence to “animism” leaves me cold because I know too much about ritual and dogmas to go about concocting my own. I am never going to be able to conjure up Mesoamerican gods and curse people with a straight face. But neither am I going to be able to condemn people who do, quite the contrary. I may not be able to bring myself to believe that the trees, the rocks, the deer, the alligators, the bayous, etc. all have spirits, and all are suffering due to our afflicting the planet with our carelessness and greed, but I acknowledge that I would like to do so. Still, I have those moments of attentiveness, those moments of awe and wonder that all of us should have before Wild Nature, and that is enough for me I suppose.

Apophaticism is the theological school of thought that states that we can only approach the Divine or Transcendent through negation. That is, we know the Divine not through what it is, but through what it isn’t. My own belief in animism is that all human ideologies fall flat, all are the result of turning in to one’s own head, towards one’s ideas and certainties, rather than turning out. Eyes are meant to see things, ears to hear them, tongues to taste them, etc. Things are primary, not those faculties of ours that perceive and process them. My true being is outside of myself, and the meaning of man is outside of his own history… I can’t conclude this reflection better than by citing Robinson Jeffers’ poem, “Credo,” in its entirety:

My friend from Asia has powers and magic, he plucks a blue leaf from the young blue-gum

And gazing upon it, gathering and quieting

The God in his mind, creates an ocean more real than the ocean, the salt, the actual

Appalling presence, the power of the waters.

He believes that nothing is real except as we make it. I humbler have found in my blood

Bred west of Caucasus a harder mysticism.

Multitude stands in my mind but I think that the ocean in the bone vault is only

The bone vault’s ocean: out there is the ocean’s;

The water is the water, the cliff is the rock, come shocks and flashes of reality. The mind

Passes, the eye closes, the spirit is a passage;

The beauty of things was born before eyes and sufficient to itself; the heartbreaking beauty

Will remain when there is no heart to break for it.