La tarcoteca

By Pablo Heraklio & cols. Tarcoteca @

martes, 7 de febrero de 2012

Translation: José Luis Garcia Rua: "People must take the streets without compromise"

Translation of article: José Luis Garcia Rua: "People must take the streets without compromise" published by La voz de Asturias newspaper 3th febrery 2011.

<<Jose Luis Garcia Rua. For much of Asturian syndicalist [nort region of Spain] his name equals inspiration and example of struggle. Hovering around 90, García Rua remains fluid verb and the air of ascetic mystic who has found his own light to illuminate his reality. Garcia Rua welcomes La Voz de Asturias at his home in Gijon, spartan and transient. For a few days, the historic CNT syndicalist, thinker and philosopher, returns to the cold of their city from the south, almost mythical, from Granada, where he lives. Today, at 20 hours in the Old Institute, will conference about the 15-M movement [Spanish occupy the street] within cultural classroom activities that bears his name.

Newspaper spanish version in this link:

Audio version avaliable in spanish in this link:

Has shed light 15-M to the worker movement? Are you surprised by the uprising of the younger?
In fact, I was waiting for this rise of young people for a long time. I always trusted much in youth, a particularly abused sector of population in the called "transition", that really was a democratic disguise. Since then, youth is an article for break in, a mental molding that is directed exclusively to a virtual hedonism, as what they call massive public drinking [botellon].

Do you think 15-M has serve for something or you see sings of collapse?
I think it does not crumble, but beware, because the power has too many instruments to divert it and the movement is able to walk toward nothingness. The will to become power to transform the system from within is misleading, because the state absorbs everything and transforms everything.

If I ment a figure: 5.3 million…[actual number of unemployed in Spain]
The Left has a lot of blame for that, because he has lost the original meaning of the word. It has gived up to the post-Franco period [dictatorship period 1939-1975] and has accepted a position from the fundamental reasons of Franco, to which our current Right has not condemned. Hence, arise cases like Garzon [Supreme Court judge that investigate civil war crimes, actually pursued by this].

Does not seem schizophrenic Garzon sitting on the bench?
No, not schizophrenic, but the result of the Spanish political situation, which is a consecuence of the mistakes made by us that fought for democracy and let be put in its place a fake democracy, which masks the problems. In “La Moncloa Pacts” [1977 state agreements, still in effect] we already saw what would Spain become in future. The worker movement tried to sneak into the power, which is a big mistake. That, in a way, is the legacy of the great mistake of Marx, who was searching the bourgeois revolution considering the state as a unifying institution. These errors had to be paid.

From your words it appear that the objective of the working class can not be arrive to the power...
Never. Power is the Leviathan, the pagan monster. Power is, in itself conservative. You enter with the intention to change and all you do is strengthen it. That called "social contract" in the French Revolution was nothing but an illusion. "Liberty, Equality, Fraternity" has come to nothing. That was perverted and now the state is much more powerful, because it has already reached the inside of people, who have internalized a way of doing things emanating directly from the Power. Returning to the 15-M, the danger is adhering to these siren voices that come from political parties and the state itself. If you simply ask for more popular participation and to change the electoral law, then the movement will be in vain.

What should be its goal?
Fight the stablish power structures and forget institutionalization, because we know where it lead. We must seek self-government, deal with society and the state and get that self-organize society.

Lets Talk about Asturias, what do you think that Cascos [Actual “Gobernator”] convening early elections?1
I heard something about that, but the truth is I'm totally detached from politics. Now, what I find is that Cascos is wondering him-self, "Why did I won the election?” And is that politics is a mistake as purpose and as method, is the same who wins if PP or PSOE or Cascos. They all will do the same.

The PP has started strong…2
PP is criticed, which has a month in government, announcing the cuts, but PSOE spent four years doing the same politc. Capitalism must be opposed from the base and not being cooperative with it. From what I see Rajoy apologice, such as "sorry for these cuts, but economic laws are insatiable, they have no other way to express”. He seems to mean that one must accept this reality and these cuts, and enshrined as one method of achieving future enrichment. This is how the world has fallen apart. I am convinced that self-management of production can be performed without these complications. Everything has become very complicated, the laws are variegated.

What do you suggest?
In this moments we have to proceed as with the famous Gordian knot, it could not be undone: we have to take the knife and cut it to undo. No half measures. The people must take the streets, but with Light, allowing the thought allows movement. Now that ideologies crumble, it's time to create a self-managed and conscious movement.

Let's talk about one of his passions: teaching. How you see the elimination of the subject of Education for Citizenship? [Laic subject substitute of religion in public schools]
What we have to ask is to have the same freedom to seek an education other than what the State provide. The State has it all in his hand: schools, colleges, the University ... It takes education to their side and attains kids disappointment. Power believes that Education for Citizenship will form kids in a democracy when democracy, as we do, is indefensible.

So bad situation?
If within the crisis some people get rich, if Spain have reached the 5 million unemployed and 8 million people living below the poverty line, what kind of democracy t hey talk? What the hell are telling? We have to break this in a lousy time, but conscious, measuring steps. There is a significant fact: during the Spanish Civil War, productivity in Spain grew by 60%. Why? Because it was the people itself who produced. It is said that Romanones 3, when released from prison and returned to his town, didn’t knew their own fields as they were so well maintained. He became interested in who had worked the fields and neighbors said had been the town in Co-operative regimen. Romanones told the mannager: "I want you to be my foreman," and the other replied: "I am not anyone's foreman”. That's the spirit. The worker is the one who knows how to work and must return to that consciousness.

Returning to teaching, you became revolutinarian with the project of a workers school in Cura Sama street, until they finished with it ...
No, I did not overpowered. Now I'm more radical than before.

But why did you bother?
First, because it was pay free. Then, because there were no differences between students and teachers. There was genuine brotherhood. I did not teach equations, but an education for life and that's the big problem, because a education like that disturbs any stablish power, more if it is a dictatorship. Power is not stupid and knows what can and can not be taught. Has specialists in the psychological domain of the persons. Men of action. I remember Ramos, the head of Asturias Political Police, who put me in jail several times. He told me one day: "Rua, you're a social beggar," and, finally, was right. He did not stop until he terminated with the school project I had in Cura Sama.

You are considered an inspiration for the Asturian unionism, but its essence is radically different ...
My big goal was to unite all anti-Franco [anti-dictatorship forces], without distinction, on a platform called Commune Revolutionary of Socialist Action (CRAS in spanish) but, seeing that the Communists pulled to one side, the Socialists for another and no one could agree, I quit.

Was not you tempted to get into politics?
Of course. The PCA [Asturian Comunist Party] wanted me to be his General Secretary. I told them I could not because it was not communist and they said, <<"That does not matter, man">> (laughs).It was impossible.

You was not communist because you was anarchist...
No, not at first. I became anarchist with time, but at first I was an admirer of Marx. The matter is that he failed seriously heeding Engels, which led to the dismantling of the International Workers Association and the drift towards a merger with socialism. Marx and Engels believed that the system would destroy itself, without intervention of the workers. Huge mistake. For a capitalist betray a worker causes a stir, but when a leftist betray their gender cause disappointment. You lose all hope. And that has happened in Spain from 70s. Now I don’t trust for nothing in politic, only in the popular will, but prescient, not blinded and without resorting to violence.

So bad the things have been done in this country? If, after Franco's death, Arias Navarro is replaced by Suarez. Do you know why they did it?
They did so after the King did a visit to the United States. Kissinger told him what he had to do, and there finish the transition, and a Constitution was design, that is a fable and in its eighth article justified the military intervention if a legally established government is changing the territorial structure of Spain. Does it sound like something familiar?4 Under the circumstances, how do you get out of this? I hope the youth movement lectured the working class, who is disenchanted with syndicalism and its passivity, which is incomprehensible. In my opinion, those who had to defend workers' interests and to fight capitalism have become part of the government, who subsidizes them. The youth movement, if authentic, if focus in their interest, will end infecting the working class but, attention, without falling into the violence, because that is candy for the State. Because we have to take into account that in this country a fraction of the population lives serving the State, but a vast majority suffers it. That should be the starting point to get to work, to work consistently and without falling into contradictions. This union truly will be our strength.>>

Translation notes.
[1] Francisco Alvarez Cascos, former Minister with PP, now Presidet of Autonomic Community of Asturias with his new party Foro Asturias of right branch, wins election months ago but couldn’t pass the Autonomic budget for lack of support. He was forced to convening early elections.
[2] Right party who wins Spanish elections 2 monts ago, in 20th of November 2011. In 23th December announced a pack of public cuts for 9000 million €, around 10% of annual budgets. Mariano Rajoy is the actual President of Spain.
[3] Alvaro de Figueroa y Torres 1863-1950, Count Romanones, Liberal party, Minister of agriculture, famous for his richness, remained prisioner captured by republican during the civil war.
[4] Franco sentence well know in Spain, that said “España es una, grande y libre”. “Spains is One, Great, and Free”: One means undivisible, in opposition to traditional inner nationalism (catalan, vask, Galician…), Great means imperialistic, Free means without foreinger influences (European, Russian or American).

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