Ricardo Flores Magón
in English and Spanish
The book frees, breaking the slave from the shackles of its own self-consciousness, exposing its eyes to the speech of a foreigner. This testimony flows down from the height of the alien and homeless Other. The teaching of a world spilling its pregnant words out beyond the narrow confines of my own thoughts and my own experience pours into me, emptying my perspectives of their solid foundation. In this translation, this anarchic Other appears as the inverter of meanings, the subverter of intentions, and the perverter of languages.
It is an honor to be able to present you here in this very space of text my English rendition of the play "Tierra Y Libertad" by the Mexican anarchist Ricardo Flores Magon. Every publication of Magon's works celebrates the persistence of a hope for a society based on liberty, equality, and sisterhood and brotherhood; despite the efforts of capitalism, religion, and government to crush this dream. Throughout his life, Magon was persecuted in both Mexico and the United States for publishing and distributing his political ideas. He was imprisoned four times in the United States. Just as in the play, Marta accuses the rich of destroying the health of the poor in prison, and a peasant testifies that the government killed his father in prison, Magon died sick in Leavenworth Prison, Kansas, on November 22, 1922. It is unclear whether this murder was intentional or was due to negligence.
I would like to dedicate this translation to all of my sisters and brothers who are currently in jail or who will be facing time in jail because of their political views. Most especially, I would like to dedicate this work to my brother Camilo Viveiros whom the Philadelphia police department wants to imprison for up to 60 years for protesting the Republican National Convention in Philadelphia, which nominated our current tyrant, George W. Bush.
To the man who taught me how to whisper, my brother, my comrade, my friend: Good Luck.
P.S. Thanks to my sistah Elizabeth Worthy, to my golden palamino Benjamin Ehrenreich, and to Luis Cardenas, Reggie Rodriguez, Mark Alonzo, and the Black Star Collective for helping me get this out. Thanks to Professors Wendell Dietrich, Saul Olyan, and Susan Bernstein for instructing me in how to read the prophets. Thanks to my parents for teaching me how to teach in Spanish and English. Send all comments to me at roadrunner AT waste DOT org or 1355 Lombard Street; Apartment 102; SF, CA 94109.
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