You can never be a prophet in your own land, they say. And if you don’t have a land, you will be dispossessed of any and all the prophecies that you utter because you have no right to contemplate and feel what is not yours as if it were even for an instant.
Nobody does anything, so don’t you dare do anything, eternal outsider. Don’t open your mouth, don’t breathe too deeply. Don’t question what you are told. Bear in mind that even the poorest among the poor is of the land, the most ignorant is our fool. You do not belong to anyone, anywhere. No one awaits you. No one really understands you. To those who despair of ever being understood, I hear you. Stay on your path even if it’s lonely sometimes.
The price of your liberty is the despondence of those who don’t dare to look out of their cages to see the sun or the rain.
I feel I can add something to the debate over migration, culture and identity, as I was born in Cuba, my parents are Spanish and I was raised in New Jersey between the ages of 6 and 13. I am neither Spanish (though legally I am) nor American. I am not Cuban. I was ‘The American’ throughout high school. It was not exactly a compliment.
I tried to fit in, sometimes desperately even. I have learned that you can only give up so much in favour of the predominant culture and you shouldn’t need to do more. However, if you intend to live in a country which is not your country of birth, you must be willing to adapt and learn to appreciate and respect the idiosyncrasy of the your adoptive country. Immigration has always existed. It can be a means of enriching humanity through sharing our differences and learning from them. Living abroad can, and often does, increase your tolerance and improve your worldview.
Nevertheless, this cannot be done by promoting mass immigration, which has proven to be a dubious way of increasing the population of a country. It is conductive to the creation of ghettos and benefits no one. The migrants do not receive the necessary help to integrate and it becomes more difficult as time goes by. They cannot assimilate easily if they have a very different mindset, while the natives see themselves relegated to mere observers of the changes the new arrivals cause.
I cannot truly say I feel Spanish or anything else. However, I do believe that nowadays those who label themselves as ‘liberals’ think that the only way to fight discrimination is to erase differences, blend them until they ultimately disappear. We are all humans but we are not all the same and we shouldn’t have to be.
If you want to subjugate a people, shame the elders and uproot the young, and you will effectively have left them at the mercy of whatever cultural wind blows hardest. A culture with dry roots and no new leaves will wither and die, as the living being that it is.
I wish all cultures equally free to take pride in their identity while respecting others. I wish all cultures united in the common defense of their values against the Beast that rips apart countries and lives for their own benefit. I wish cultures to defend their right to be, to exist. Protecting or promoting diversity is not, in my opinion, done by blending in all the different options, choices and making a uniform culture, unchanging from China to Canada, from Somalia to Switzerland. This is like when you’re a kid and because you love chocolate and avocadoes and blue cheese, you decide to mix them up thinking if they’re so good on their own, they’ll be better together. What you get is a bowlful of an unidentifiable mass.
Ultimately, if you deny different cultures their identity, if you force them to succumb to the conventionalities of a uber-culture, what you are doing is putting cultural diversity at risk. You are playing God with structures that have been in place for centuries and that have evolved at their own pace and will continue to do so. Cultures tend to mix spontaneously if allowed to do so. When you tamper with the natural progression of things, it is bound to go wrong at some point.
I believe there is a way, an easy one, to achieve the understanding that we don’t have to hate anyone, much less ourselves, in order to thrive and not only survive.
If everyone acknowledged that we are equally created in dignity.
If everyone acknowledged that we should be treated according to our humanity, not according to what we look like, what gender we are, what language we speak, where we live, or how much money we have.
If everyone acknowledged that we should be treated according to the same rules: the rules of Justice.
If everyone believed that everyone else was as worthy as them.
If everyone thought that others were capable of great things, of goodness, of sacrifice.
If everyone realized that it can be as simple as ‘Live and let Live’.
If we all see that cultures are equally valuable and accepting someone’s culture doesn’t mean forgetting our own.
If we finally pointed our collective finger at the real culprits of all the wars, all the hate, all the misunderstandings.
We all know who they are. They are among us.
They are the ones who direct the masses towards their vested interests. The ones who promote individualism and fear of the ‘other’.
They are the ones who only think about increasing their obscene bank accounts, whoever may fall, whoever needs to be crushed.
They invade countries, ransack resources, enslave people with inhuman salaries.
This is something that the politicians in charge of the European Union know little of and care even less for.
It can be done. The question I ask myself is why haven’t we already done it. What holds us back from realizing that this is a revolution that either happens or will forever haunt us.
People have constantly tried to label me and I am tremendously allergic to labels! Labels force you to accept things that you might not agree with. I cannot count the number of times that I accepted a request to join a group at high school, university or at a job and it was an informal group (or so I was led to believe) and then have people assume that you support everything they say 100%.
That’s why I mostly identify as a national-anarchist. I am wary of labels, though. As ‘The Prisoner’ Said: ‘ I am A free man! I will not be pushed, filed, stamped, indexed, briefed, debriefed or numbered!’
My conclusion is clear. In order to protect cultural diversity, you must allow every culture its space, its voice, its identity, not making their differences crimes or even worse, rendering them meaningless. To do otherwise is to do away with the very roots of civilisation.
-Prologue (extract) from The Diary Of An Anarch Outsider In No Man’s Land