The Ante-Chamber of Revolution
A Prelude to a Theory of Resistance and Maps
Ours is not the house of pain and misery.
That is how he who robs
and deceives us has painted us.
Ours is not
the land of death and anguish.
Ours is not the treason nor does our way
have room for the
Ours is not the empty ground and the
Ours is the house of light and joy.
That is how we created
it, that is how
we struggle for it, that is how we nurture it.
the land of life and hope.
Ours is the path of peace
which is planted
with dignity and harvested
with justice and liberty.
- Fifth Declaration Of The Lacandon Jungle
The Ante-Chamber of Revolution
Zapatismo is not bound by the limits of interconnectivity or the raw
violence of neo-liberalism. It is a network of hope embedded deep in the heart
of a community which opposes the loss of voice in its own home. A community
which walks with the ghost of history and the ghost of exchange. Zapatismo
haunts the big MASK with small masks that walk between code. They have sent us
notes about this virtual condition, sometimes they ask that we pass the notes
on, and sometimes they ask us to sing a tender song. They say they became an
intergalactic protocol by slipping under the electronic fabric one drunken
night. They say that the man they woke up with the next day screamed he had been
tricked, then later came back screaming that this was his bed, his home, and his
kitchen - but the man is wrong, very wrong - this was our home, a home for the
The Book of Mirrors, The Hybrid, and the MESH (a short essay)
Late Capital is caught by its own reflection, it wants to be both
original and copy, soft and hard, top and bottom, speed and inertia. The Rand
Corporation calls for hybrid hierarchies and networks, with both Top Sight
Command and Distributed Network Teams that function as an interconnected MESH of
total command and total autonomy, for power only. The Hybrid MESH now has many
names: flat power, soft power, liquid power, power ad infinitum. Late Capital
agrees with Mao on what this power must do: centralize strategically, but
The Zapatistas say:
Ya basta! Break the Mirror! Do you really need
*Maps (A Long Footnote)
Several different maps of information have been put on the block for
our inspection: frontier, castle, real estate, rhizome, hive, matrix, virus,
network, plug-in your own, etc., Each map creates a different line of flight, a
different form of security, and a different pocket of resistance.
A digiscape full of drifters, free roaming data
cowboys, mail tribes, code ranchers and bandwidth barons. ISP justice decides
the laws for their community. Those that go beyond the local enclave's limit are
on their own in a lawless infinity. On the frontier the only security one has is
that of a few trusted URL's, one's faithful machine, and keeping the VirusScan
loaded and close by at all times. On the Frontier: It's every link for itself
and Microsoft against all.
Resistance on the Frontier: Banditos! We don't need no Stinkin'
This is a space of bunkers and transcendental
hierarchies, with moats, high walls, and drawbridges. Movement between these
bunkers is done by Knights, bearing the latest war gear, protecting the flow of
messages and goods. The most important defense of A Castle is the amount of
"Air" between the outside and the castle's core. For Castles it is the roads
between them they fear. Anything could be lurking in the dark woods.
Resistance between Castles: Robin Hood! Steal from the Rich and Give
to the Poor!
This is similar to where you are now, as you
read or hear these words. Space is owned or rented by individual
transnational-companies, and anything in-between. Lots of big signs selling
things, gentrification of homes for senior citizens, the endless streams of the
homeless. Everyone wants laws to protect the welfare of exchange under the sign
of social control. They say they want to protect the children. In this space,
only the commodity is protected.
Resistance under the For Sale Sign: Squat the Future! Burn the sign
Here Bodies without Organs schizflux between roots,
pop-up flora, holes and machinic desire. Endless tendrils criss-cross space,
some spaces become hard and never move again, some spaces become smooth and
never crack, nothing escapes the virtual struggle between The State and The War
Machine. Here, endless interconnectivity rules all possibility as an either/or
line of flight-territorialize or de-territorialize, you have no choice.
Resistance at the root: Become a body with organs and smell the
A wave-system so tightly bound that no difference
resides among each segment of the wave. Each segment is part of a wave-mass, A
SWARM. The Hive is able to absorb any change both within or without the SWARM.
Each segment-wave functions as a SWARM, alone or apart from the other segments.
Each element of a SWARM functions locally in parallel interdependence with the
rest of the wave mass. The Hive and the SWARM act as one, but only in one
direction. Each shift in the SWARM becomes a part of the HIVE at the same
moment. Each segment of the SWARM is a part of the HIVE, but the HIVE is not a
part of the SWARM. Each segment of SWARM needs the HIVE to be a part of a SWARM,
but the HIVE does not need any specific segment of the wave-mass to be a SWARM.
Resistance among the SWARM: Use the SWAT! Act Alone.
Weaving symbionts creating, moving, offering the
permanent revolution of Pandora's code. The Matrix is disequilibrium as
invention, aphanisis as informatic-quanta, soft accidents, and action as care.
An alien politics of the body as hope. Still the Matrix is sweating in the labor
pools of speed production. The matrices are held hostage as the base materialism
of Late Captial. Wetware for the endless multi-tasking of chaotics. The Matrix
is still looming.
Resistance in The Matrix: Have a Party! Go on Strike!
Bio-agents flow between complexity and containment,
diversity and control, self and other. Cellular circuits know the difference
between antigens and antibodies. Viral coagulation filters for non-self types in
the Host in order to assemble possible defensive patterns. Bioagents fail the
Host when it meets its other as self. It has no defense against itself, or what
mimics its own messages. Bioinformatics understand the self and not the other as
Resistance within the cell: Make a Vaccine! Stick a needle in a meme!
Borderless operables, hyper-redundancy, massive
aggregate throughput built on endless backplanes bring bottlenecks down to 0.
Decentralized bottom up architectures, mega-gigabit ethernets, and active
response firewalls are the multiple nexus of this space. Intelligent
infrastructures allow the emergence of total networks, micro-networks, and weak
links. Network security is being exploited by the demand for open transnational
e-commerce and intercontinental exchange routes. Exploit scripts scan
vulnerabilities, replacement files wrap packet filters, stealth sniffers
generate new holes: linsniff.c, sunkill.c, and latierra.c. Network gaps created
by military-intelligence systems, trans-corporate movement, software developers,
end users, providers, and the lack of centralized management clog the
possibility of an effective and total security solution.
Resistance on the Network: Disconnect! Take the Streets!
Mayan Hackers/The Inappropriate/d Resistance without Nostalgia (A
A note was hand delivered to me during a gathering of Radical Media
groups in New York City at The Thing (a critical community server) by a
network that has been doing advance work on Zapatismo, digital activism, and
It was a note from the Lizard Queen:
(Message 445-Ixil /encrypted in the usual manner-con amor.c)
Fox is showing reruns of "V", that old Sci-Fi flick, again. We
all sit in the cantina (and watch the only TV in the community:
the women, the children, the men, and the drunks).
The Lizard agents are trying to control the world and a few
small groups form a global resistance movement. The movie
shows the conflicts and tensions between the cells, the danger
of staying aboveground, the endless struggle against the growing
technoforce of the Lizard-Power structure. The Lizards are also
harvesting the humans for snacks. This is not a movie says one
of the kids - plenty of Lizards around here.
The children spend their mornings, after helping with work at
home, here at the Center for Mayan Code. Right now they are
hacking the past/future binary that has infected the system.
Cracking mega_mythologies has become the latest fun run
Each day the children are recovering more pages from the
"stolen book." The cracked Past/Future binary is being
woven between tzotzil songs about the Man who "stole the book."
The book was produced from the coupling between Mayan and
a dog. A Man came and stole the written word, the symbolic
support of knowledge for the community. As a consequence
of this theft, the Mayans are called ignorant, and the community
of the Man proclaim themselves to be "men of reason."
The Children laugh and hit the return button.
Each day the imagined community of promised monsters
grows, phantoms mix code up, reprogram the impossible,
then train others. The problem of temporal fragmentation is
getting smaller. A Shared sense of time is our priority now,
space is no longer the tool it once was. We must continue to
build networks of shared time. The Virtual Class expects
Mayan codes to stay in one place and attack from behind a tree,
they don't suspect the question of time to be used against them.
Who can know what grows in the seeds of time. How goes it
in your time?
I finally read that essay you sent about the new military theory
(Magen), they seem to have finally read the French. Fractal
infrastructures, holistic kill ratios, fatal strategies and the call
for a RMA (Revolution in Military Affairs). Question compadre:
why is it that only the military and the big companies are allowed
to speak of Revolution? While all we can hope for is a disturbance?
Perhaps it is time to speak of Zapatismo as a Revolution of Hope.
Or Perhaps we should do as the FBI suggested in Computerworld
magazine On their "Back Page" section (page 114) of their April 20
A group allied with Mexico's Zapatista National Liberation
Army is seeking worldwide electronic insurrection on May 10,
the FBI said last week. The group urges those sympathetic
with the revolutionaries to swamp government and bank computer
systems in the U.S. and Mexico via the Internet on that day.
World Wide Electronic Insurrection should be our next goal! All
we need to do is set a date. Ask all those hackers with a heart if
they can help. Can you also get people to fill the streets
of the world? A HUELGA across the arc of realities! Remember
to call for a world that makes all worlds possible.
Well that is all. Make sure that you read this note backwards, it will
make more sense then.
con amor y rabia (From the mountains of the Mexican southeast),
The Lizard Queen
P.S. It is clear that in the arena of political action, only
he who puts the candle where the wind is blowing will triumph;
never the one who pretends the wind is blowing where he puts
the candle. Juan de Mairena wrote that bit.
P.S.S. 1998. Mexico. While the supreme government stays on
track towards war and tries desperately to join the winds from
Wall Street in order to push the heavy sails of the ship of death,
these Mexican Mayan, who add the name of Emiliano Zapata to
their history, prepare in silence the justice and the dignity that
will have to arrive in spite of their death (or perhaps because
In silence, the indigenous watch the skies and the ground to
predict the winds from below which run through the fields of Mexico
and of the world, through the dusty streets of tiny villages and
ranches, through the messy disorder of the popular neighborhoods,
through the places of the honest unions, through the offices of the
committed political parties, through the theatres-movies-auditoriums
-salons-of shows-art galleries, through digital laboratories and
centers of scientific investigation, through the university cubicles,
classrooms and halls, through meetings and assemblies of political
and social organizations, through the churches of the poor,
through the international solidarity committees, through the national
and foreign non-governmental organizations, through the highways,
through the roads, through the neighborhood streets, through the
breaches, navigating the rivers, in the lakes and in the seas of
this country, today awash in wet, and of this world awakening, late
certainly, but awakening.
In silence the Zapatistas see and are seen.
The old nose and pipe wrote this bit. A very good bit. But the
children always want more stories about seahorses, mirrors, and lions
who eat themselves.
P.P.S. Just got an email from one of our friends across the sea.
He says we must let the world know that Digital Zapatismo is a
Myth. That no one in Chiapas has a T1 line, not one Autonomous
Community has a working LAN, or even a good ISP connection.
OK. The Zapatistas entered your Networks without any modems.
Sometimes we don't even have electricity. As Homer Simpson
said, "We now live in a society where technology makes war
as easy as opening a can of Duff beer."
I hope this helps.
P.P.P.S. (The kids say-Hehe-another mega_mythology cracked! ;-)
P.P.P.P.S. Send more Laptops.
Ricardo Dominguez is the Managing Editor of Thingnyc and a
founder of Electronic Disturbance Theater.
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