Getting straight to the autonomous, anticapitalist and anti-authoritarian point: we want a different world, and we are fighting for it. We want a different world, because in this world profit, manipulation and force are in charge, with all the misery that implies. The search for profits destroys life, manipulation turns human beings into things, force keeps us under control, violence makes us obey and helps the rich keeping and even augmenting their riches – at our expense and at the expense of each other, through competition and war.
It is a cruel and disgusting way of running a society. It is also completely unnecessary to do it that way. It can be done very differently. Where state governance, capital and the search of profit keep us voiceless and subjected, we call for stateless self-rule, a communal life of free and equal people. Anticapitalist and anti-authoritarian aspirations go hand in hand.
Human beings would be better off if they could take their own lives in their own hands, if they do that together, and if, while doing this, they treat the planet and all that lives on it with respect. We need personal freedom and autonomy. We need cooperation and solidarity, on the basis of the recognition of each other’s equality. We need to value life around us – a life of which we are a part of and which we cannot live without. Individual and collective self-determination in a sustainable world in which other living beings have an equal right to exist as human beings. Let that be the starting point.
A free communism, a social anarchism
We do not accept any imposed authority, no force from above, no orders from a higher power! Our urge for freedom does not tolerate that. Moreover, our capacity to cooperate as equals makes it unnecessary to allow ourselves to be commanded. The state, with its army, police, secret service, prisons, you name it – that state better disappear. No state also means: no borders between states, free migration. No state also means: no armies standing opposite each other, no ideology which ties us to the rulers with their state authority as if the powerful and the powerless belong together in one hierarchical society. We desire to see state and hierarchy replaced by self-rule, self-management at the places where we dwell, work, live our lives. Anarchism? Yes, that is what you could call our opinions: a social anarchism. But what matters is not the word. What matters is the idea.
We do not accept the search for profit, no compulsive, enforced growth at the expense of what is better and more sustainable. Not having to work for a boss, not to be paid poor wages while a board of directors and shareholders appropriate vast riches for themselves out of the results of what workers produce. Not destroying and wasting everything for profit and at the expense of our environment, plants and animals. Sustainability as a goal is essential. Human beings are not the only ones that will be destroyed if we destroy our surroundings. We inhabit this planet together with other animals, with other living beings, the worth of which goes deeper than simply the usefulness they bring us.
In a free society with solidarity at its core, we do things because we see their point, because they fulfil a human need, because we enjoy doing them. Where the things we do concern us together, we decide together about these activities. We want to get rid of capitalism and all kinds of class domination, just as we want to get rid of private property as the basis of enrichment. In place of all that: deciding collectively about what we make, just like we decide collectively about natural resources. What we make, we share, just like we can share in what others make. Communism? Yes, if you want to call it that: a free communism. But again, it is not the word that counts. It is the idea that counts.
Equality and solidarity
The state and its force, capital and its exploitation – these are two sides of the same coin. Both must go, just like every imposed hierarchical structure must go. To make room for a society of sustainability, freedom, solidarity and equality. That equality is fundamental.
Wherever white people stand above black people, injustice rules. Wherever man stand above women, injustice rules. Where heterosexuals stand above lesbian women, gay man, bisexual women and men, transgender and everybody that does not fit in whatever pre-formed box or category, injustice rules. Patriarchal and racist systems need to be demolished, we fight the views and ideas that support and justify these systems and the forms of inequality and oppression they are connected with and that sets people against each other that would be better off if they would unite against capital and the state. Recognition of each other’s equal worth is necessary for an honest solidarity. Otherwise, we would get stuck in charity.
Autonomy in the struggle for freedom
A world of freedom, solidarity and equality demands struggle. The state will not disappear just because we ask for it, through petitions. Those in power will not allow themselves to be voted out of that power. Boards of directors, shareholders, top functionaries of capital: they will not be lobbied out of their positions. If one of them departs, another will take his or her (usually his) place, and nothing fundamentally changes. We overthrow power in another way, and a multitude of means are available for the struggle. Action on the streets, in companies and institutions. Demonstrations, strikes, sit-ins, blockades, occupations but also the spreading of stickers, posters and publications. Squatting actions, sabotage, riots’ and at the same time the forming of free ways of living and free communities. All of these are a part of the social struggle against the establishment of state, capital and hierarchical authority.
In this fight, we stand for autonomy. Our personal autonomy, to live as a free human being, taking the here and now as context and point of departure. Our social autonomy, because the fight better remain independent from party politics, established trade unions and all similar organisations of world improvers within established frameworks. With whoever we cooperate for concrete goals: always as an independent force, always unbound and with our hands free. The fight that truly offers a perspective for liberation is our autonomous freedom struggle. And yes, we happen to be active in Brabant. Hence: Autonomen Brabant.