Title: Stopping to Reflect
Author: Anonymous
Date: Summer 2019
Source: Translated for The Local Kids, Issue 4
Notes: First appeared untitled in Blatte (Sussurri e grida dal sottosuolo), Issue 2, December 2015

Stopping to reflect, now more than ever, seems a waste of time. In the tumultuous succession of events, with which even our most up-to-date smartphones seem unable to keep pace, the only possible watchword seems to be: Just do it. But do what? This I still don’t understand.

If you keep an ear open, everyone seems capable of talking about everything: an opinion on every event, a solution for every problem, from small-time drug dealers at home to global terrorism. And I, who ceaselessly have the feeling that I don’t understand shit, observe and plod on. I can cope with the apathy of the many, most likely because I have no deep relationship with the many, mainly due to my arrogance. But “the comrades” are the ones who block my sun! The assemblies, the fliers, the blogs, the initiatives, the rallies, the actions … the benzodiazepines! Perhaps these are what I could truly make use of.

Yes, because there are immigrants turned back at the borders, Western bombings over half the world, security alarms and restrictions of individual freedom, Rojava under attack, racism, job insecurity, repression, and a measureless list of other fronts of struggle. There’s something for every taste and every ideology. The one who hesitates is lost, the one who reflects too much is an intellectual, and the one who does not throw himself into the fray is a collaborationist.

If these really are the rules of the game, for now, I’m out. I tried to take on the role of the anarchist militant, seeking for a long time the facet of anarchism that most suited me. I have recognized “comrades” and done things “as comrades”. I don’t spit in the vegan plate from which I have eaten, I simply stop for a moment, even if out there everything proceeds straight towards catastrophe.

I see people who talk fervently of things happening on the other side of the globe, but let crimes and abuses go on under their noses; persons convinced that they are fighting an invisible enemy or one immeasurably larger than them, who in the meantime behave in an authoritarian and despicable way with those around them; people, promiscuous in expressing solidarity to every exploited individual, who mess up relationships and are alone or cling to a few exclusive ties; persons ever intent on propagating better, possible societies because in fact they are deeply dissatisfied with their existence; persons who shout at others to free themselves from their chains, and then run back to the job, to the family, to their jails.

I have been and still am one of these persons. I want to stop being this!

Our lives burn fast without leaving a trace. Our gaze is turned upward and away, while around us all becomes a void. By dint of climbing and taking shelter at ever purer heights, the earth is finished, and we are fighting among ourselves about who should rush down first. I’m about to go back to the valley to reflect on what to do, perhaps I’ll even find a (travelling) companion [compagno - fellow subversive, comrade / compagno di viaggio - travelling companion].