The time has come to speak in radical tongues and keep each other up through the night with songs of revolution.
We have one choice: we will define ourselves against the empire that has oppressed us. It is the ground beneath our feet and it is the air we breathe. It is our fatherland and our mothertongue. It is our origin and our opposite. We will become different from it, but we will always be its derivative. We will be its subsidiary and its antithesis. We will be the student who exceeds her master.
We can never undo the evils it has committed, but we can call them what they are. We can cast these mistakes in stone and raise them over the rooftops, high and higher until we make both spectacle and specter of their wicked sophistry of greed. We can name these misdeeds and speak their names often and in this way never repeat them.
We will be both opposite and derivative, so we will mind the history and the old ways that we may make truly new choices. As they have brutally fought wars, we will tenderly build unions. As they have let their cowardice and laziness rule them, we will struggle for greatness. As they have given into greed, we will demand generosity. As they have enslaved and victimized, we will liberate and dignify. We will honor what they have raped and banish what they have coveted.
As they were blind, we will see. As they were numb, we will feel. We will be passionate where they were apathetic and calm where they were panicked. We will make ourselves loving where they hated and hateful where they lusted. We will be hopeful where they made cynicism and we will be skeptical in the places they left unquestioned.
As they made hierarchies, we will make communities. As they alienated, we will connect. As they built machines, we will build music and culture and poetry. As they sought only to control and to master, we seek to understand and to partner.
As they sought to indoctrinate, we will seek to educate. We will tell the truth where they lied, and where they told the truth, we will repeat them and believe ourselves. We will overtake them not with violence — the language they believe — but the with the words they speak so falsely. They wrote great words but made them hollow with their weakness, their avarice. We will speak to them the very rhetoric they wrote for us, but we will believe it. When we claim to be created equal, we will claim it fully. We will be equals wholly, never in three fifths. Where they were happy to concede others’ dignity, we will fight for our comrades as though they were ourselves.
They may have been patriots, but will do better. We will reject the pursuit of property in favor of the pursuit of authenticity. We will be a true family, as loyal to mother as to father, as true to one sibling as another, unbound by fear, beneath no flag, powered not by oil nor by dollars but by life, by liberty, by love.
[More in this vein: the proclamations archive.]