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Dave POOLE: Praxedis Guerrero in the Mexican Revolution

Scanned from Anarchy (Journal of Desire Armed) #74, Spring 2013, page 28

Article published on 20 May 2016
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Editors’ Introduction

This biographical essay is reprinted with permission from Cienfuegos Press Anarchist Review #4 (1978). A few edits have been made for the sake of clarity and continuity, and several explanatory notes have been added in brackets. A much more extensive biography of Guerrero, To Die on Your Feet, was written by Ward Albro (Texas A&M Press) in 1996; he also wrote an excellent biography of Ricardo Flores Magon. [Ward S. Albro, Always a Rebel: Ricardo Flores Magon and the Mexican Revolution. Texas Christian University Press, 1992—scanning note]Despite its attribution to Emiliano Zapata, Guerrero was the actual originator of the famous phrase "It’s better to die on your feet than to live on your knees."

"Si os parece que andando no Negais a la libertad, corred entonces."

— P.G. Guerrero

Praxedis G. Guerrero, anarchist militant, propagandist, poet, and secretary to the Junta Organizadora del Partido Liberal Mexicano was the first Mexican anarchist to give his life for Land and Liberty, when he was killed, at the early age of only 28, during an attack on the town of Janos, Chihuahua, in the early months of the Mexican Revolution. Together with Ricardo Flores Magon, Praxedis was one of the main animators of the early revolutionary attempts made by the PLM to rid Mexico of its aging and dictatorial ruler, Porfirio Diaz, who for forty years had subjected the Mexican people to the most cruel despotism and slavery; during the imprisonment of Ricardo Flores Magon, between 1907 and 1910, Prixedis took on this revolutionary task almost single-handed. Joining the PLM’s Junta Organizadora in 1907 soon after its foundation, Praxedis not only became its most able and important military organizer, but also a clear-sighted propagandist who contributed much to the anarchist ideas of the PLM.

In his short but heroic life Praxedis translated the anarchism of theory into the anarchism of practical action.

Praxedis Gilberto Guerrero was born on August 28, 1882 in Los Altos de Ibarra, Guanajuato state, the sixth son of a very rich landowning family. After attending both primary and secondary school in Leon, he went to San Luis Potosi in early 1900. Here he worked as a laborer in the Cerveceria de San Luis and later in the Fundacion de Morales before returning to Los Altos de Ibarra some months later. For the next year or so he assisted his father in the family business, making several trips as its representative to Puebla, Mexico City, and Laredo.

In May 1901 Praxedis was accepted as a correspondent on Filomeno Mata’s anti-Diaz journal Diario del Hogar, but whether this was a full- or part-time post we do not know. Later that year however he joined the Second Reserve of the army, rising in November 1901 to the rank of subteniente [second lieutenant] of cavalry.

By 1903 he had become interested in the anti-Diaz Liberal movement that had been founded two years before, and began to read their publications, in particular Camillo Arriaga’s El Demofilo and Ricardo Flores Magon’s El Hijo del Ahuizote. At the same time he began to read the works of Bakunin, Kropotkin, and Malatesta, which were at that time difficult to obtain, although Kropotkin’s The Conquest of Bread had been published in pamphlet form by the opposition journal Vespar during the preceding year.

On April 2, 1903 a demonstration of 10,000 liberals in Monterrey, Nuevo Leon protesting against the re-election of General Bernardo Reyes as state governor, were fired on by federales [national army] under the command of Reyes himself. Fifteen protestors were killed and many more wounded. When the news of this massacre reached Praxedis he resigned his military post in disgust and returned to his family’s hacienda in Los Altos de Ibarra. He worked there as an agricultural laborer until September 1904, when he, together with Francisco Manrique and Manuel Vasquez, two fellow workers at his father’s hacienda, decided to leave Mexico and find work in the United States.

Crossing the border at El Paso, Praxedis and his two companions made their way to Denver, Colorado, where he and Manrique found work with the Colorado Supply Company, a mining firm. In early 1905 they left Denver and, after working for several weeks as wood cutters in El Dorado, California, they arrived in San Francisco in March. Here Praxedis began to publish Alba Roja (Red Dawn). Unfortunately nothing is known about this journal as no copies have survived, but from the title we can assume it was of a revolutionary nature, most probably written for the benefit of Mexican workers in the US. Whether a success or failure, Alba Roja ceased publication when Praxedis left San Francisco in the middle of the year and headed for Pueblo, Arizona, where he worked for some time in a coal mine. Towards the end of 1905 he moved yet again, this time to Morenci, Arizona, where he found more permanent work in the foundry of the Detroit Copper Mining Company.

In 1906, the first contact was made between the Junta Organizadora del Partido Liberal Mexicano and Praxedis, when in May Manuel Sarabia, representing the Junta, visited Praxedis in Morenci. The Junta, which had been formed the preceding year in St Louis, Missouri through the initiative of Ricardo Flores Magon, [1] aimed at coordinating all anti-Diaz revolutionary activities both in exiled groups in the US as well as groups in Mexico itself, and probably knew the name Praxedis through Alba Roja.

The month following Sarabia’s visit Praxedis founded the group Obreros Libres made up of Mexicans working in the mine at Morenci. Praxedis himself was the president and Manuel Vasquez the secretary. The group was in fact an auxiliary junta to the Junta of the PLM. Regular collections were made and the group was able to send funds to help the main Junta in St Louis.

In September 1906, the first PLM-inspired uprising took place in Mexico, but owing to ill-organization and the infiltration of the revolutionary movement on both sides of the border by governmental informers, the uprising came to nothing. Many PLM members were arrested both in Mexico and the US, including two junta members, Juan Sarabia and Antonio I. Villarreal, Ricardo Flores Magon narrowly avoiding arrest himself in El Paso. On the run, with the price of $50,000 on his head, Ricardo went to Los Angeles, California via Sacramento and San Francisco. Later he was joined by Librado Rivera and Villarreal, also on the run, and together they founded Revolution in June, 1907, which they published clandestinely.

The activities of Praxedis during this period are unclear. There is some evidence to show that he may have undertaken several missions for the Junta in Mexico after the 1906 rising but this is not certain. However in June 1901, Praxedis moved to Douglas, Arizona where he worked in the mines of the Copper Queen Company, and on the 29th was appointed the Special Delegate of the Junta. He also began at this time to write articles for Revolution.

Following the arrest of Ricardo Flores Magon, Villarreal, and Rivera by the authorities on August 23, after their hiding place had been discovered, Praxedis moved to Los Angeles, where he assisted Manuel Sarabia and Lazano Gutierrez de Lara in the production of Revolution. However the journal was forced to close by the US authorities in January, 1908 after the arrest of de Lara and of Sarabia.

On November 9, 1907 Praxedis had his first meeting with Ricardo Flores Magon, when he visited the three imprisoned Junta members in Los Angeles county jail. Following this meeting, Praxedis was appointed Second Secretary to the Junta.

Now the task of organizing and coordinating PLM activities on both sides of the border fell to Praxedis and Ricardo Flores Magon’s younger brother, Enrique, who had just returned to Los Angeles from New York. After the official suppression of Revolution, Praxedis went to El Paso, where he made contact with various revolutionary PLM groups in that area. He also supervised the shipping of funds and arms across the border to groups active in the northern Mexican states of Coahuila and Chihuahua.

At about this time Praxedis’s father died, leaving him a share in the family hacienda. This inheritance Praxedis rejected.

After months of patient planning and waiting, the time for a second PLM uprising was drawing near. Armed groups on both sides of the border were prepared for action when on June 18 disaster struck. The homes of PLM activists were raided in Casas Grandes, Chihuahua after information had been given to the police by an informer who had infiltrated the group. Five days later, on June 23, Texas Rangers raided the home of Prisciliano G. Silva in El Paso and seized 3000 rounds of ammunition and important documents, including a letter written by Ricardo Flores Magon and smuggled out of jail by his companion Maria Talavera. This letter listed many PLM groups within Mexico who were ready to rise up. The US authorities immediately handed this letter over to the Mexican dictatorship, and at their request Ricardo Flores Magon and his two comrades were held incommunicado in the Los Angeles county jail.

Nevertheless, despite this initial setback, the first PLM group crossed the border on the night of June 24- through 25 and took the town of Vies-ca, Coahuila with ease, the local police putting up only a token resistance during which one of the rurales [rural paramilitary] was killed and one rurale and one rebel wounded. The insurgents then opened up the jail, freeing all who were held there. Making their way to the public square, they then proclaimed the PLM manifesto and declared the Diaz dictatorship null and void. After this, horses and funds from the public office were expropriated for the revolution. All this was accomplished without harm to any of the civil population. Unfortunately, this newly liberated population believed that the insurgents were not PLM liberators, but bandits—mainly because they had approached the town from the US border. In the face of this public opinion, the insurgents had no alternative other than to withdraw. [2]

"The evacuation of Viesca became unavoidable," wrote Praxedis later. "The volunteers of liberty came forth from their appointed stations and left, followed by the looks of love and of hope of the proletarian women whose sympathies had been enlivened by the actions of the true conservers of peace and order, who had voluntarily taken upon their indomitable shoulders the appellation of bandits." [3]

Once out of the town the rebels dispersed, some crossing the border into the US and others joining other active PLM groups.

The following day, to the cry of "Comrades, forward to death or the conquest of Liberty!" a PLM group of 40 men led by Praxedis, Benjamin Canales, EncarnaciOn Guerra, and Jesus M. Rangel attacked the towns of Los Vacas (today Ciudad Acuna), Coahuila. Although the town had a garrison of over 100 federales, the soldiers, instead of staying in their barracks, hid in the homes of the civil population to stop them giving aid to the rebels. After a bloody struggle during which the federales were reduced to only 15 men, the town was finally taken. Because of the insurgent losses, though, it was decided to evacuate the town. This retreat was led by the wounded Jesus M. Rangel. The price for the capture of Las Vacas was very high. Many seasoned militants lost their lives, including Canales, who was killed during the initial attack, Nestor Lopez, and Modesto G. Ramirez. [4]

Praxedis crossed back into the US and on July 1, together with Enrique Flores Magon, Jose Inez Salazar, Francisco Manrique, and seven other comrades crossed back into Mexico and attacked the town of Puerto Palomas, Chihuahua after first cutting the telegraph wires leading from the town. Searching the homes of civilians first to avoid a repetition of Las Vacas, the insurgents finally found a force of 25 rurales locked in their barracks. An attempt to dislodge them though was repulsed. In this struggle Francisco Manrique was killed, and Praxedis and another comrade wounded. [5]

Revolutionary action by other PLM groups took place in other parts of the country. An attack was made on the towns of Matamoros, Tamaulipas, but this came to nothing as did an uprising by the PLM group of Janos, Chihuahua. In Baja California, the town of Mexicali was attacked by a small PLM force who then headed inland, while an uprising of Yaqui Indians in Sonora was led by Fernando Polamarez. Risings that were intended to take place in other towns and areas never materialized because of the mass arrest of militants by the dictatorship after the US authorities had given them documents found in the raid on Silva’s home the day before the revolution. This then was the PLM revolution of 1908. Although by no means a military success, it was of the utmost importance in paving the way for the great revolution to come.

Following the ill-fated attack on Puerto Palomas, Praxedis and Enrique Flores Magon made their way by foot to El Paso via Ciudad Guzaman and Ciudad Juarez. From El Paso they went to Albuquerque, New Mexico, where Praxedis stayed to give his wounds time to heal. While he was convalescing he wrote articles for the liberal journal Reform, Libertad y Justicia of Austin, Texas edited by Antonio de P. Aranjo and Tomas Sarabia, until Aranjo was arrested by the US authorities and the paper suppressed.

His wounds healed, Praxedis left Albuquerque and went to Douglas, Arizona while Enrique Flores Magon headed for San Francisco. In Douglas he made contact with Jesus M. Rangel, and began planning a third and hopefully successful uprising. After Las Vacas, Rangel had led a rearguard action when in August he and a small PLM guerrilla group ambushed a column of federales in the Sierra del Burro, Coahuila, killing 20 soldiers.

In September, Praxedis went to El Paso where he was able to organize more revolutionary groups while Rangel went to Oklahoma to obtain funds for the PLM cause from Mexican mine workers.

At the beginning of 1909, Praxedis as the Junta’s special delegate, toured the central and southern states of Mexico, making contact with as many active groups as he could. At the same time Hilario C. Salis and Candido Donato Padua were organizing PLM actions in the states of Oaxaca, Puebla, and Tlaxcala. Both were veterans of the 1906 uprising and Padua, who was the PLM military commander of the Vera Cruz area, had managed to keep a group active since that time. Praxedis was able to keep in contact with these two comrades by letter, using the code name Nihil.

Returning to the US at the beginning of March, he travelled through Kansas, Missouri, and Illinois, enlisting support for the PLM from members of the Socialist Party.

In August he was again in El Paso where he joined Rangel and Andrea Villarreal, the sister of Antonio, who were both engaged in organizational and propaganda work there. The day following Praxedis’ arrival, though, Rangel was arrested by the US authorities for violation of the Neutrality Act and sentenced to 18 months imprisonment. After this setback, Praxedis went to the south of Texas where he found work for a time in a sawmill, after the US law machine had started to harass him.

Praxedis’ arrival in El Paso also saw the publication of the first issue of Punto Rojo, a revolutionary journal he had been planning since his convalescence after Puerto Palomas. As most of the other Liberal journals in the US had been suppressed by the authorities, Punto Rojo was of immense importance as it was one of the few ways that PLM members would keep in contact with the movement. For its short life Punto Rojo sold 10,000 copies per issue. How many issues it ran to, though is not known, and unfortunately as with Alba Roja, no copies have survived, although some of the articles that Praxedis wrote for it were reproduced in a small volume of collected works published by the Grupo Cultural Ricardo Flores Magon of Mexico City in 1924. [6] Soon after the appearance of Punto Rojo, Praxedis was forced to leave El Paso, the journal being then run by an American socialist, William Lowe and two Mexicans, Clemente Garcia and Antonio Villarreal.

At the beginning of 1910 Praxedis was working in Houston, Texas until he was forced to move to Bridgeport, where he worked in coal mines there. He was also able to contribute articles to Evolucion Social, a liberal weekly of Today. At the end of May Punto Rojo was forcibly closed down by the police and a month later Praxedis was forced to move after the Diaz dictatorship had offered the price of $10,000 for his capture.

On August 3, Ricardo Flores Magon, Antonio I. Villarreal, and Librado Rivera were freed from jail in Florence, Arizona, where they had been serving an 18-month sentence for the alleged violation of the Neutrality Act. They immediately went to Los Angeles where they were met at the railway station by hundreds of PLM sympathizers. At the end of August, Praxedis left San Antonio, where he had been working in the railway workshops, and joined Ricardo Flores Magon in Los Angeles. In September the publication of Regeneration was resumed with Praxedis as a member of the editorial board.

All Junta members now united (except Juan Sarabia, who was in prison in Mexico), plans for a third uprising were put in hand. Already as early as April, PLM military leaders meeting in Tlaxcala had decided that because of the general unrest throughout the country, the time for revolutionary action was opportune. This opinion was strengthened when 1500 armed peons took the town of Valladolid, Yucatan holding it for four days, and the following month 300 peons in Bernardino Contla, Tlaxcala, took the town hall and the PLM were dispersed only when a detachment of federales were called in.

As they prepared for their social revolution the Junta was somewhat surprised to find Francisco I. Madero, an unsuccessful candidate in the presidential elections held the previous June (Madero had stood for the Anti-Re-electionist Party and after his defeat had accused Diaz of rigging the election) was planning an uprising to begin on November 20. Their plans not being fully finalized, the Junta contacted as many PLM groups in Mexico as they could and told them to time their uprising with that of Madero. They were careful to also send out a general circular which explained quite clearly the way in which the groups were to act towards the followers of Madero.

"...The Junta advises you to rise up in arms using Madero’s movement, but not to join it...attract all those of good faith who are willing to fight; trying all the time to counteract all Maderist tendencies, so that revolution may be made for the benefit of the Mexican people, instead of being a criminal way for the ambitious to gain power..." [7]

These instructions were signed by all the Junta members.

The Maderists rose on their appointed day but were all but defeated. The PLM now took the offensive.

At the end of November Praxedis left Los Angeles for El Paso, where he gathered together a group of 22 men, and on the night of December 19, crossed the border into Chihuahua. His plan was to take several small towns in the north of the state and then the state capital. On December 22, the insurgents expropriated a train bound for El Paso. 20 kilometres south of Ciudad Juarez they took the engine and one car and went as far as EstaciOn Guzman, blowing up bridges and cutting telegraph wires behind them. At El Sabenal they were joined the following day by an additional 25 rebels. That day Praxedis was able to report back to the Junta in Los Angeles: "Until today there has been nothing new. But today the Northwestern Railroad is without bridges. The people are joining us voluntarily, Guerrero." [8]

In Guzman, the rebels divided themselves into two columns. While one, led by Prisciliano G. Silva marched towards Laguna de Santa Maria, the other, consisting of 32 men led by Praxedis, marched towards Casas Grandes. Their intention to take this town, though, was abandoned when they discovered that the town had a garrison of 450 federales. Bypassing Casas Grandes they attacked the town of Janos on December 29. After a long and bloody fight the town was taken by the PLM insurgents, but before the detachment off ederales stationed there were overcome, they managed to alert the Casas Grandes garrison. Immediately a force of 150 federales, together with a detachment of rurales, were sent to Janos. During the night engagement that followed their arrival, Praxedis was mortally wounded. [9] He died at the age of 28.

In November 1932 his remains were exhumed and taken to the state capital, Chihuahua, where they were reinterred with great pomp. This was done not to honor an anarchist but to honor a mere National Hero by a so-called revolutionary regime that then, as today, subjects anarchists to the most brutal torture and murder.

As can be seen from this brief biographical sketch, Praxedis G. Guerrero was above all an anarchist activist. As he wrote to Manuel Sarabia in May 1910: "I am going towards a practical anarchism to avoid the error committed by many ’dogmatists’ who have placed themselves outside the masses and have in effect, turned a sharp blade into an instrument of blunt wood...." [10]

Despite this emphasis on the practical and active rather than the theoretical, Praxedis did make a very important and lasting contribution to revolutionary journalism, as his few surviving writings show. These articles, mainly written for Punto Rojo and Regeneracion for 1909 and 1910 respectively, sprinkled as they are with poetic imagery, show a very clear insight into the ills of an authoritarian society, and offer a libertarian alternative that could be adopted to overcome these ills. Several themes preoccupy these articles, the most prominent being racialism, womens’ emancipation, rational education, and most importantly, the necessity for revolution.

As a Mexican worker in the United States, Praxedis saw at first hand the prejudice practiced by the American bosses and general public against all migrant workers in general and Mexican workers in particular. Of all ethnic working groups in the US, the Mexicans were the most poorly paid. In many towns they were forbidden altogether from public places, and after the revolution of 1908 mine owners in Texas and Oklahoma reduced the wages of Mexicans to prevent them from giving financial aid to the PLM.

"...Racial prejudice and nationality," he wrote "clearly managed by the capitalists and tyrants prevent peoples living side by side in a fraternal manner...

"...A river, a mountain chain, a line of small monuments suffice to maintain foreigners and make enemies of two peoples, both living in mistrust and envy of one another because of the acts of past generations. Each nationality pretends to be above the other in some kind of way, the dominating classes, the keepers of education and the wealth of nations, feed the proletariat with the belief of stupid superiority and pride in order to make impossible the union of workers of all nations who are separately fighting to free themselves from Capital...

"...If all the workers of the different American nations had direct participation in all questions of social importance which effect one or more proletarian groups these questions would be resolved promptly and happily by the workers themselves..." [11]

"Racialism was not only practiced against groups of workers but also against individual workers. One such case was the lynching of a Mexican worker in Texas for the supposed murder of an American woman. Praxedis wrote in disgust of this incident:

"Where?

"In the model nation, in the land of the free and the home of the brave, in the land still overshadowed by the hanging of John Brown in the USA in a Texas village called Rock Springs.

"When?

"Today, in the 10th year of the century, in the epoch of aircraft, of the wireless, of the telegraph, of Peace Congresses and of Humanitarian Societies.

"Who?

"A crowd of white "men" to use the name they like: white men white white.

"These men who burnt alive a man were not cannibals, they were not natives from Equatorial Africa, they were not wild men from Mayaya, they were not Spanish inquisitors, nor were they troglodytes, nor were they illiterate naked men from the jungles; instead they were the descendants of Washington, of Franklin, of Lincoln, it was a well-dressed crowd, educated and proud of its virtues, they were citizens of the United States white men.

"Progress, civilization, culture, humanitarianism. All lies over the calcified bones of Antonio Rodriguez. All fantasies asphyxiated in the pestilential smoke of the Rock Springs bonfire. There are schools in each town and on each ranch in Texas; through these schools passed the boys who bbecame the men of the lynching crowd. It was in these schools that their intellect was formed, it was these schools that produced those who set fire to a living man and said, some days later, that justice had been done.

"In these schools men are educated to go beyond wild beasts." [12]

Together with the elimination of racial prejudice, the emancipation of women was for Praxedis as indispensable as revolution itself. Speaking at a public meeting devoted to this subject in Los Angeles only a few weeks before his death, he pointed out quite clearly that the main obstacle to the true liberation of women was the bible, that taught the impurity of women, and custom that has translated this into the inferiority of women:

"The child and the woman have always been the elected victim of barbarism, and only in some countries have women enjoyed a few privileges that have placed them above men socially, such as the primitive clans where matriarchy existed. But today women do not yet occupy the true place in society that they should, as women, have...

"...Religion, whatever its name, however it presents itself, is the most terrible enemy of women. Under the pretext of consolation it annihilates her consciousness; in the name of a sterile love, it takes her away from love, fountain of human life and happiness; with rough phantoms sketched in unhealthy poetry she is separated from the real, strong and immense poetry of a free existence.

"Religion is the auxiliary of domestic and national despots; its mission is one of taming; caresses or the whip, the cage or chains, all these are employed to obtain the same results. Women are enslaved as a first step, because the woman is the mother of the child and the child becomes a man...

"...Feminism serves as a base for opposing the enemies of women’s emancipation. But there is certainly no attraction in, say, a woman policeman, in a woman removed from her soft sex to grasp the whip of the oppressor...

"...Liberation, equality, does not try to make man as woman; it gives the same opportunity to both the faces of the human species so that they both develop without obstacle, helping one another without demanding rights for one only, without impeding each other’s place in nature. Men and women have to fight for this rational equality, to harmonize the individual happiness with the collective happiness. Without this there will be, perpetually in the home, the seeds of tyranny, the buds of slavery and social misery. If custom is a yoke then we must break the custom, however sacred it appears. In breaking such customs, civilization advances. Some though will say it is a bridle, but such bridles have never liberated the people, never satisfied hunger nor redeemed slaves." [13]

By far the most important contribution Praxedis made to revolutionary propaganda was on the nature of, and the resistance to, tyranny. A resistance that could only be revolution:

"...Tyranny is a logical result of an illness in society and its only remedy is revolution..." [14]

After objectively analyzing the nature of tyranny Praxedis concluded that

"tyrants and common criminals are equally subject to the natural laws of determinism, and even though their acts appall and anger us, we must agree with justice on the irresponsibility of one or the other; but without arriving at absolute judgments it can be said that tyranny is the most excusable of crimes because it cannot be committed by one individual acting alone. It only occurs when, at the same time, there are circumstances of great complexity outside the individual’s will, where there are powerful men waiting who are more apt and better gifted in qualities for evil. In effect, would a tyrant exercise power over a people who did not give him supporting elements? A common malefactor can commit his evil acts without the complicity of his victim; a despot though cannot exist or tyrannies without the co-operation of his followers and the most numerous part of them; tyranny is a crime of unconscious collectivities against themselves and it must be attacked as a social illness by means of revolution, considering the death of tyrants as only an incident in the struggle, nothing more than an incident, not an act of justice." [15]

Praxedis also saw clearly that tyrannies were made, in part at least, through national gratitude. Many "heroes" and "national saviors" have been hoisted into power by a grateful people, blinded to the true nature of both the individual and his followers. Of course when they realize what they have done it is too late. Praxedis gives the example of Agustin de Hurbide but history is full of examples, Mexico’s own Madero or Castro to name only a few:

"Gratitude is the flower of servility; the libertarian despises it because it has the odor of a slaves prison.

"The people do not owe gratitude to their liberators just as they do not owe love to their tyrants." [16]

Tyranny as Praxedis saw it could only be overthrown by revolution, a revolution that would, by necessity, be violent. There was no other way; reformism, pacifism or acceptance of tyranny as a necessary evil all being equally repugnant. He accepted revolutionary violence for what it was and nothing more, and died putting it into practice.

"... We are not looking for a subterfuge to gloss over the violence which unavoidably and by necessity will have to accompany the liberating movement. We deplore violence, it is repugnant to us, but confronted with an enslavement that will continue indefinitely, or the use of force, we choose the temporary horror of armed struggle without hate for the irresponsible tyrant...

"We undertake violent struggle without making it our ideal, without thinking of the execution of a tyrant as a supreme victory of justice.

"Our violence is not justice, it is simply a necessity that fills itself at the expense of feeling and idealism, and on its own it is insufficient to assure for the people the conquest of progress. Our violence would have no purpose without the violence of despotism nor would it have any reason if the majority of the tyrant’s victims were not consciously or unconsciously accomplices of today’s unjust situation. When human aspirations are free to develop in the social milieu, then the production and practice of violence would be wrong; but now it is a practical means of breaking old molds that the evolution of pacifism would take hundreds of years to corrode.

"The aim of revolution, as we have said many times before, is to guarantee for all the right to live by destroying the causes of misery, ignorance and despotism, scorning the humanitarian theorists’ cry of sentimentality." [17]

Works consulted

Cumberland, Charles C. "Precursors of the Mexican Revolution of 1910". Hispanic American Historical Review 22, May 1942.

Ferrua, Peitro, Gli Anarchist Nella Rivoluzione Messicana: Praxedis G. Guerrero (Edizioni La Fiaccola, Ragusa 1976)

Guerrero, Prixedis G. Articulos de Combate (Ediciones Antorcha, Mexico D.F. 1977)

Endnotes

1 For further material on Ricardo Flores Magon and the Partido Liberal Mexicano see my article "Ricardo Flores Magon and the Mexican Revolution" in the Cienfuegos Press Anarchist review No. 3 and my introduction and chronology in Land and Liberty! Anarchist Influences in the Mexican Revolution. Ricardo Flores Magon (Cienfuegos Press 1977).

2 Guerrero, "Episodes of the Revolution of 1908: Viesca," Regeneracion, September 24, 1910.

3 Ibid

4 Guerrero, "Episodes de la Revolution de 1908: Las Vacas," Regeneracion, September 10, 1910.

5 Guerrero, "Episodes de la Revolution of 1908: Palomas," Regeneracion, October, 1910.

6 Guerrero, Articulos de Combate.

7 Circular dated November 16th 1910, quoted in D.H. de Santillan, Ricardo Flores Magon, el apostal de la Revolution social Mexicana. (Mexico D.F. 1925).

8 Regeneracion, December 31, 1910.

9 Regeneracion, January 14, 1911.

10 Letter from Guerrero to Manuel Sarabia, May 28, 1910, in Articulos de Combate, p.49.

11 Programa de la Liga Pan-Americana del Trabajo, ibid p.124-125.

12 Blancos, blancos, ibid p.144-145.

13 La Mujer, ibid p.137-143.

14 El objeto de la Revolution, ibid p.98.

15 El medioy el fin, ibid p.132-133.

16 La inconveniencia de la gratitud, ibid p.106.

17 El medio y el fin, ibid p.132-133.


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