“The world has changed. I feel it in the water. I feel it in the earth. I smell it in the air.”
Galadriel, The Lord of the Rings

The world has changed. Ten years have passed since the outbreak of the latest economic crisis. A crisis, that has significantly reduced trust in the representatives of the old world. Today, it is clear that pre-crisis times are gone for good, as well as the ‘90s illusion of freedom accessible to everyone. No one believes in the bright future anymore, whether a liberal undergraduate from a big city, or a female worker working hard for minimum wage in Babiš’s meat processing plant. Not even the right-wing populists and political entrepreneurs who benefit from this situation do not believe in better future.

Right-wing populism is on the rise and its leaders, who again – as they once did – want to sort people by their origin, are gainig seats in parliaments and governments of more and more European countries. Nationalists try to camouflage as an alternative to current marasm, but they do not offer anything but the strongman rule. This brute-force solution seems to be focused only on those who failed in deadly competition and ended up on the bottom of society or migrants fleeing war, terror and poverty. As a result, the strongman rule will hit everyone, including those who are applauding to such policies. Our present political representation scores up thanks to economic growth and increasingly concentrates power in its own hands. Babiš, Trump, and Macron have at least one thing in common – ten years ago we would‘ve been laughing out loud at the idea that one day, they will rule.

We are not going to cry for the old world and its representatives, who promoted neoliberal policies that put us into this situation. We are not going to sit around waiting. If we do not want to end up in a regime where the only choice for the happier ones fitting the idea of a “normal” member of a nation is to toil until their death, we have to change this world.

“It is our choices, that show what we truly are, far more than our abilities.”
Albus Dumbledore, Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s stone

“How to change the world when I’m just on my own?” is the first thing that comes to the mind of a dissatisfied person. “Go vote,” say those who believe, that in order to be politically active, it is enough to drop a ballot into the ballot box once in four years. “Join our political party,” shout political professionals who need loyal subordinates. “Start with yourself,” is the motto of those who believe that the world can be changed by conscious consumers. We are sick of people who want decide about our lives. The individual indeed does not have the power to change the world, and he or she never had such power. That’s why we decided to form a group. By organizing ourselves we have a chance to overcome the isolating forces of today’s individualistic, selfish society. We do not want to be another political party that competes for passive voters. We have decided to transform the world around us. Simply, because if we do not stand up for our own interests, no one else will do it for us. We want to build a non-hierarchical collective based on mutual support, respect and solidarity. Organization is also a way for us to learn together – and to learn from each other. We want to be as open as possible to people outside the collective. We believe, that in the future, our practice may be an inspiration for other people.

There is a difference between knowing the path and walking the path.”
Morpheus, The Matrix

The motto of our group is: “Analysis, action, emancipation”. Without a proper understanding of the way the contemporary capitalist society functions, it is not possible to strive for a fundamental societal transformation. At the same time, we need to learn from the past mistakes of the emancipatory movements, otherwise we risk repeating their mistakes. Dealing with theory, of course, does not mean just sitting over the thick books and resigning to what’s going on in the world around us. On the contrary! „Theory without practice is empty, practice without theory is blind.” Without radical criticism warranted in theory, each action remains mere activism. Without action, however, progress will not be achieved. That is why we will be active both in pursuing the prospect of the new free world and in resisting everything that sets our society back in. Emancipation means liberation from the oppression of the state, nation, capital, and patriarchy in which we all have to live.

We want a future in which the color of skin, place of birth, personal wealth and work performance, sexual and gender identity do not determine one’s fate. A liberated society cannot follow the principles of profit and constant competition. Building a society of solidarity and egalitarianism is not a naive dream, but a necessary condition for preserving one’s own humanity in the face of the barbarism of the contemporary world. The pursuit of a quality life for all is the most responsible political stance.

Knowing what we want is as important as fighting for our vision. We’re gonna start now, because yesterday, it was already too late. Some of us have experienced a lot of success as well as some dead ends, so we can reflect both and learn lessons from it, others are entering a completely new terrain. It is a promising mix that brings a lot of enthusiasm and new approaches. Whether blocking a Nazis’ march with massive civil disobedience, creating places to meet and build community relations in our neighborhoods, fighting against sexist behavior, fighting for climate justice or something completely new, we’ll be there!

“The future is unwritten.”
Joe Strummer, The Clash

The former right-wing idol Margaret Thatcher claimed that there is “no alternative” to neoliberalism. Today, thirty years later, we know how wrong she really was. Right now we are at the crossroads. We are still told (although not as often as we used to) that “we are living in the best possible world” and that everything else is utopian. But the most dangerous utopia is the notion that the current status quo is sustainable. Market logic creates an ever greater antagonisms that, without our commitment, will lead to ever greater authoritarianism and enviromental disaster. Or – and it is up to us – we will try to use the emerging antagonsims to build a society based on egalitarianism and solidarity. We are also the ones who determine the world’s course.

The social movements in the 1990s had the motto “another world is possible”. Today we know that another world is inevitable. We must not lose determination to rethink the world as we would like to have it, muster the courage to take a step into the unknown and to work towards the realization of our vision. Words like imagination and solidarity may seem inconclusive. This is because they hide a wide variety of future worlds. The worlds of mutual help between neighbors and friends, and the worlds of global solidarity. We do not forget that no problem is just local. We realize that our actions and non-actions always have concrete consequences. That is why we are here, that is why our paths are intertwined and we will together seek ways for a better future. Wanted: a better future!

Prague, August 2018

Kolektiv 115