The average lifespan of a political movement is comparable to that of a person. FairCoop has turned 4 (Happy Birthday!), and is equivalent to a little child: small, full of curiosity and excitement, with great potential, and with more to learn than to teach.
Let's take a short retrospective of the last four years:
- 2015 was a year of gestation. We wandered Europe trying to build something nobody understood, we were like prophets in the desert. The task was simply impossible, the goal too ambitious. But we didn't give up, especially Enric who never lost hope, and with his never-ending energy and determination saved the movement from early extinction.
- In 2016 the seeds we planted sprung, FC finally took off, and what seemed impossible started to become possible. Many Local Nodes appeared, including the first one outside Europe, in Kurdistan; getFairCoin began to distribute coins; producers and merchants joined UseFairCoin and FairMarket; and people started to believe. Yet, by the end of the year, one FairCoin was valued at less than 0.05 EUR, reminding us that our dream was still a long way from being realised.
- In 2017 the prophet in the desert had its first encounter with the devil, who promised her a fast path to glory. FC, who was no more than a 2-year-old toddler, was enchanted by the shining of the devil's gold and rode the crypto bubble wave.
The value of our coin rose to 1.20 EUR in a few months. Many flies swarmed in, attracted by the stench of easy cash. But we also experienced some legitimate growth: many new nodes opened, the global structure was formalized in the shape of OCW, BotC and Freedom Coop started to shine, and the impossible definitely lost its ugly ‘im’. FC was finally a reality and was here to stay.
- In 2018 the desert turned green, euphoria settled in, and we began to build monuments to the false idols of Capital and the gods of Growth. We were rising with the flies.
Then, something striking happened: the global crypto bubble burst, and the coin dropped to half of its value. The flies flew away taking their money with them, thus deepening the liquidity problems and leading to a political crisis. It was great news.
The wake up call which ended the dream didn't come too late, the monuments were not complete yet. The crisis saved us from totally falling into the hands of the capitalist leviathan.
As we opened our eyes in the dark bedroom we finally saw the monster under the bed. At such point there is only one thing to say:
But who is mom? The CIC? Occupy? Bitcoin? No, those are more like big sisters. The truth is, we don't really have any parents.
Aside from participating in FC, I have also worked with the Kurdish revolutionary movement, made up of organizations like the PKK and many others. They are currently the only ones in the world who are challenging capitalist modernity in a meaningful way.
Even though their methods and targets are very different from ours, we share a common final goal, and revolutionary perspective.
At the age of 40, I regard the PKK as a good parental figure.
The PKK didn't reach their glory when they were 4 years old.
They had to wait decades.
They managed to liberate vast areas in Syria and Iraq from the influence of the State, which are now self-managed in a democratic way, based on values of anti-patriarchy and ecology. They are one step closer to our integral revolution, and we sure have much to learn from them.
The PKK is, like us, an orphan. The system they are implementing, known as democratic confederalism, is unprecedented.
They didn't reach their glory when they were 4 years old. They had to wait decades, operating as an unknown and underground rhizome, slowly and patiently learning, building trust and strength, deeply questioning themselves and even undergoing internal radical paradigm shifts. Until they finally emerged in 2011, to lead the way to the most successful libertarian revolution in modern history.
The most important lessons I have personally learned from the PKK could be applied to FC. Some of them can be summarized in a few bullet points:
- Believe. Do not doubt. Be 100% sure that we are going to succeed, and make your decisions accordingly. The impossible has happened, is happening, and will happen. But only if you believe.
- Be patient. Growth is a means, not an end. Focus on quality rather than quantity.
- Question everything. Your biggest enemy is inside yourself. Avoid dogmatism. Be flexible. Your environment is changing, don't be afraid to change with it.
- Stay radical. Be consistent with your principles, even at the price of decreasing your quality of life.
- Never complain. Complaining is stupid.
- Be disciplined. Focus. Don't waste time. Don't be easily offended. Remember what we are here for.
- Be committed. Choose your level of commitment, and communicate it clearly to your comrades. Whether it is 1% or 100%, stick to it like a sacred promise.
- Do not talk about your comrades, especially if they are not present. Not even to say good things about them. Don’t listen to rumors, and be careful not to start them.
- Criticize those who are open to critique. Be open to critique. Critique is essential for a healthy community. Always accept critique when you receive it, even if you disagree or don't understand it.
- Delegate. Rest if you are tired. Ask for help if you need it.
- You are not important. Don't think about yourself. Take the shittiest job, the worst chair, the smallest piece of pie. Leave the good pieces for the others.
- Be healthy and happy. Get up early. Exercise. Don't do drugs. Work offline, socialize with your neighbors. Love and be loved.
Some of them might seem contradictory, but if you really understand them you'll see they are not.
Oh, there is one more:
- Be a terrorist. When the State discovered the word 'terrorist', it was love at first sight. For us it is very useful too: being accused of terrorism is a sign that you are doing things right. But of course that's never going to happen to FairCoop, right? It's... impossible.