Translator’s note: This is probably one of the foundational texts of eco-extremism that has yet to be translated into English. Regresión Magazine is published twice a year out of Mexico though it now has an international component.
Why and for whom is “Regresión”?
Regresión is a publication consisting of content critical of the values and the material basis of the techno-industrial system. We propagate these ideas (by means of the Internet and in print) not so that others may adopt our positions. We aren’t looking for sympathizers, nor for the approval of those who call themselves “radicals” and “revolutionaries.” We publish these texts because we have something to say, because in the context of so much hypocrisy and so many lies, we must shout the TRUTH.
It is important to point out that, even though these texts are available to all, they aren’t intended for the society at large. This is an intervention from our individuality to those few who dare to think beyond typical “radical and revolutionary” criticism. It is for those who have understood that the root of all the evils of our situation lies in the techno-industrial system and the civilization that drives it. It is for those who have left the utopias of old ideologies behind and have assumed their role as individuals within this complex reality. It is for those individuals who are tired of speaking, reading, and being “critical spectators,” and who believe that theory is only part of the foundation of their acts against the system. More than anything, however, the content of this journal is for those few people who are familiar with this discourse and practice, and for those who are new to these topics, we hope to be explicit enough so that they catch on quickly.
The word “regression” can mean many things to various disciplines or sciences, but we are using it as the antonym to “progress”, specifically civilized and artificial techno-industrial progress. For us, it is important to look back to see how humans lived in the past, how they developed, and how they died from the beginning of the species until the present. It is only in this way that we will shed light on our present situation: how we have gone from being human to being simply an instrument of the system. The irresistible advance of technology (as it has been formulated by critics of civilization) is generating serious problems for the environment and human beings, problems which range from physical to psychological damage. The consequences of following the same path will lead us toward unimaginable catastrophes.
Some advocate a revolution or the building of a movement that would contribute to the overthrow of the techno-industrial system. We refer specifically to the ideologues who follow the words of Theodore J. Kaczynski literally. To a certain extent, it is understandable that they assert various propositions to resolve the central problem. Our position, however, does not see the formation of an international movement to overthrow the system as being viable. For that reason, we renounce the term “revolution.” The strategy, like the term itself, is too fanciful, it lacks a realistic view of things, and that is why we renounce it.
For many moons now, we have stopped dreaming of a “better world,” which is either politically or “primitivistically” correct. Today, all we see is our present, the pessimist present to which we are condemned, and even though this is what we assume, we don’t surrender before it:
-The system always goes in the same direction, progress stops for no one and nothing.
-Wild nature for the most part will be exterminated or subjugated in the coming years. In our modern context, only the most deluded minds think that trying to “liberate” it is even possible.
-Maybe in 30 or 40 years (considering the current situation) all of the wild nature that is left will be reduced to recreational or tourist areas. “Ecological” or “conservationist” organizations governed by “green” bureaucrats will regulate them as they see fit, so that those spaces are preserved for scientific and economic purposes. This has already happened in Europe, and in Mexico it is the current trajectory of things.
-The behavior of the human being is being domesticated to a deplorable and maddening degree. Only the strongest and most intelligent will be able to not fall for the system’s games, trying to resist and cling to their nature.
-The whole system (or most of it) will not fall to a movement that accelerates a revolutionary process. The only thing that can overturn this complex system is wild nature itself or its very own complex technology causing collapse.
-We do not trust nor do we hope for a movement, a “great crisis,” or the “revolution.” We do not hope for change. The present is all that we have.
We have no certainty that “revolutionaries” will hasten “the destruction of the system.” Frankly, we think that if one day a movement emerges that seeks to destroy the system, it will be crushed immediately. Would the nuclear, timber, pharmaceutical, automobile, mining, and oil industries allow such a movement to exist, a movement that seeks to halt the forces that propel science and technology? Would they allow that movement to obtain victories that destroy the techno-industrial system that they have forged over the decades? No, they would not allow it, unless they could find a manner to profit from the situation after the supposed “destruction” of the system.
The reality of things is rather bleak for those of us who criticize the techno-industrial system and want it to collapse one day. We have realized this, and we accept the situation as it unfolds before us. We assume our contradictions without falling into them, nor do we resign ourselves to accept what is being imposed on us.
For years, within political movement and intellectual circles of any given ideology, solutions to the problems of the time have been proposed, for example:
-According to the history of Mexico, after the arrival of the Spanish and the death of the governor of Tenochtitlan, Moctezuma (1520), the Mexica warrior Cuitláhuac led a war against the invasion. This leader led his men in a war against the Europeans with the aim of reviving that great Mesoamerican civilization. Cuitláhuac died of smallpox without achieving anything.
-During the independence movement, the priest Miguel Hidalgo led revolts against the Spanish crown (1810). He assembled men who wanted to be free of the creole ruling elite. They wanted to form a government not imposed on them by Westerners. They wanted mestizo rulers, etc. After a bloody war, they shot the priest and cut off his head. Did they achieve independence? Maybe we should ask the Spaniards who are still owners of a large part of what is considered Mexican territory.
-In 1910, there was the “Mexican Revolution”. Emiliano Zapata was one of the most representative leaders who organized an armed struggle against the dictatorship of Porfirio Díaz, as well as the rulers who followed him. He and his soldiers wanted a new constitution, one which granted land to the peasants and would create modern public services (electricity, water, sewage, education, etc.) They asked for democracy and not a dictatorship. They betrayed Zapata in an ambush and killed him. Did he accomplish his task? Maybe we should ask the current inhabitants of the region where Zapata fought, one of the poorest and most degraded regions of the country today in 2014.
-In 1968, the student movement spread throughout Mexico in the midst of a communist revival. These ideas were the tip of the iceberg after the October 2nd massacre [in Tlatelolco] in that year. Various guerrilla groups formed and waged a war to the death against the regime of the Institutional Revolutionary Party [PRI], the party that emerged after the Mexican Revolution. One of these groups was the Communist League of September 23rd (1973), and, as its name indicated, its goal was to implant socialism in Mexico. Its leader, Ignacio Salas Obregón, organized kidnappings, armed robberies, gun smuggling, prison breaks, armed uprisings in the countryside and the city, attacks on politicians and businessmen, executions of police, etc. They disappeared Obregón once his group was defeated by the government, the paramilitaries, and infiltrators. Socialism never came to Mexico.
-In 1994, the Zapatista Army of National Liberation (EZLN), led publicly by Subcomandante Marcos, took control of various municipal houses of government in response to the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), as well as to the maltreatment of indigenous people and the poor of Chiapas by consecutive federal governments. The initial goal of the EZLN was to “go to the capital and defeat the Mexican army.” The EZLN waged war on the government, and the government counterattacked. After days of shootouts, downed helicopters, deaths, kidnappings, and tortures, a truce was called. The government offered reforms and rights to indigenous peoples, as well as autonomy to the Zapatistas for their “liberated spaces”. The initial goal of the EZLN was to overthrow the government. That didn’t work out, and they remain in their communities. Their “revolution” was only local.
-In 2006, there were many popular uprisings (the striking miners in Michoacán, the peasants of Atenco, etc.) that had the goal of creating a political crisis and accelerating the fall of the government. This occurred after a political campaign undertaken by the EZLN throughout the country. The movement of teachers in Oaxaca was an example of this. Out of a failed expulsion of the municipal and state police, the teachers were able to draw in the masses and forge a popular movement (the Popular Assembly of the Peoples of Oaxaca / APPO) that aimed at overthrowing the state government of Ulises Ruiz. After months of armed street battles, deaths (on both sides), and disappearances of activists, the federal police removed the protesters by force from all of their strongholds. Everything appeared to return to normal. At the end of the ordeal, President Ruiz was still in office, and various leaders of the APPO joined political left parties. Did they achieve their goal of popular government? Of course not.
-During the presidential term of Felipe Calderón (2006-2012), the government waged a war against the drug cartels, which left 60,000 dead (not counting those buried in hidden graves). The power of the drug lords is such that they have been able to buy off municipal and state presidents, politicians, the police, and even the army. This left the populace completely abandoned by the government. That’s how the current self-defense groups arose, principally in Michoacán. These are armed groups in towns defending themselves from cartel assassins, extortioners, and informers for the narcotraffickers.
The goal of these groups is for everything to go back to normal in their communities. Unfortunately, Michoacán, until recently, was considered one of the most violent states in Mexico, and even the Americas.
What these historical cases have in common, and the reason we bring them up, is that, for many years, mass movements and ideologies have aspired to something more. They have defined ends, and many of them are so complex that they become illusory or impossible to achieve. Seen from a more realistic point of view, they seem well beyond the realm of possibility. Along with the historical events, there is the proposing of a “revolution against the techno-industrial system.” This position has been advocated by Mr. Theodore Kaczynski since the publication of his article, “Industrial society and its future”, in 1995. We repeat that we don’t believe in this revolution, nor do we think it is ever going to happen one day, not in 1000 years.
The system’s current state is untenable, and trying to overthrow it is just perpetuating the same self-deception into which leftist revolutionaries past and present have fallen. That is why we don’t advocate for a total collapse. We aren’t out to win the battle, we aren’t aspiring to “liberate” the earth from the technological yoke so that wild nature can rise from its concrete tomb. We propose a criticism embodied in practice, in individual attack, without anything to show for it, without any hope of winning or losing. Disinterested attack, guided by reason and feeling, is what characterizes us. We are human beings who refuse to form part of any of this. We refuse artificiality in our bodies and our environment with all of our being.
Regresión is not a magazine containing criticism for the consumption of the passive. It does not contain tame articles for those who do nothing. It is for the lone wolves or the clans of accomplices who cast off fear and decide to burn machines and place bombs in institutions that attack nature. It is for those who decide to plan the murder of a particular scientist in the shadows…
In Mexico, from 2011 onward, some groups have come to light who align with how we think and act. These are the Individualities Tending Toward the Wild (ITS), the Direct Attack Terrorist Cells – Anti-Civilization Faction (CTAD-FA), the N.S. –Fera–Kamala y Amala (NS-F-KA), and now the Obsidian Point Attack Circle (CA-PO). All of these groups have carried out physical criticism against technology and civilization. They have done so not expecting anything to change, they have attacked for the sake of attack and to deliver blows to the megamachine. It is for this reason that one of the central aims of this publication is the creation of new groups that attack the material basis of the techno-industrial system and those who foster it. The terrorist war to the death against the system began in 2011 with these groups, and we would like to continue it. Thus, we support their attacks, their arson, and the execution of those who deserve it; those who have committed offenses against wild nature for years.
Let us continue on the war path, the same as that of our hunter ancestors.
May society and civilization tremble at our exploding dynamite.
If technology doesn’t stop, neither will our war against it.
If technology keeps advancing, so will terrorist groups opposed to it.
The Regresión Editors