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The Utopians

An Essay by Ricardo FloresMagón

Original in Spanish, translation by Luis Prada.

 

Mahatma Gandhi emancipated the Indian people from the oppression of the British Empire by non violent means of civil disobedience.

Mahatma Gandhi

Rebelliousness and legality are terms that tear each other’s hair.  Let, then, be Law and Order for the conservatives and charlatans.  "Dupes, utopians!", this is the least we are called, and this has been the cry of the conservatives at all times against those who try to put their foot outside the fence that imprisons human cattle. "Dupes, utopians!", they yell at us, and when they know that in our vindications it is taken into account the takeover of possession of the land to give it to the people, the cries are still louder and the insults stronger: "thieves, assassins, wicked, traitors!", they call us.  And nevertheless, it is to dupes and utopians of all times to whom humanity owes its progress.

What is called civilization, what is it but the result of the utopians’ efforts?  The dreamers, the poets, the dupes, the utopians so despised by "serious" people, so persecuted by the "paternalism" of governments: hanged here, executed by shooting there; burn, tortured, imprisoned, quartered, during all times of advancement, the seers that have pointed to the blind masses the luminous courses that lead to glorious summits.

It would be necessary to renounce to all progress, it would be better to renounce to all hope of justice and greatness in humanity if only in the lapse of a century the human family did not count some dupes, utopians and dreamers among its members.  May those "serious" people run through the list of dead men they admire.  What were them but dreamers?  Why are they admired, but because they were dupes?  What is what surrounds them with glory, but their utopian character?

Press on! Insult, jail and threat of death cannot prevent the utopian from dreaming.

Socrates (469-399 BC)

From that so despised a species of human beings surged Socrates, despised by the "serious" and "sensible" people of his time and admired by the same ones who, back then, themselves had him opened his mouth to force him swallow the conium.  Christ?  If they, the "sensible" and "serious" gentlemen of today, had lived at that time, would have judged, sentenced and even nailed down on the infamous piece of wood the great utopian, before whose image they make the sign of the cross and humble themselves.

There has not been a revolutionary, in the social sense of the word, there has not been a reformer that has not been attacked by the leading classes of his time as utopian, dreamer and dupe.  Utopia, illusion, dream…!  How much poetry, how much progress, how much beauty and, nevertheless, how much Thou art despised!

In the midst of the triviality of the milieu, the utopian dreams with a more just humanity, whole, more beautiful, wiser, happier, and as he exteriorizes his dreams, the envy turns pale, the knife searchesfor his back, the bailiff longs for, the gaoler pick up his keys and the tyrant makes the death sentence.  That way humanity has mutilated, at all times, its best members.

 Press on! Insult, jail and threat of death cannot prevent the utopian from dreaming.

Leader of the Civil Right Movement of the Sixties in the USA.  Brought an end to state-approved segregation and discrimination using Gandhi’s nonviolent movementphilosophy.

Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

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