Resistance: Not Futile, not Fanatical - Fundamental for Humankind

Gaither Stewart - Pravda
January 8, 2009

(Buenos Aires) A book by the dean of Argentine writers, the 96-year old Ernesto Sabato, bears the title, La Resistencia, though the word Resistance itself is used sparingly in his 150-page book-essay. Yet, his message is clear: man must resist against injustice. I began this essay from that point.

Resistance begins in doubt. Then it grows into the adolescence of skepticism and matures into defiance, confrontation and struggle. Resistance is above all the determination to say, no. No! to euphemism and deceit. No! to falsehood and lie. No! to promises of comfort and ease and assurances that ours is the right way of life.

Resistance is real life as opposed to virtual life. Resistance is the precise opposite of acceptance of what society offers and the resulting retreat into comfort and ease, into the assurances that your lifestyle is the right one, that your way of life is the right way of life. Resistance is the rejection of Power’s version of life. It is rejection of wide-eyed acquiescence to Power’s lure.


Fear is thus a symptom of our times. Fear of non-achievement. And today, it refers also to artificial fears such as the fear of terrorism, ironically, of terrorist acts executed by ourselves against ourselves. Does one not talk openly today about the next institutionally organized terrorist act permitting the arrival of martial law in the land? All talk of the threat to the “future of our children” terrorizes American nights.

Resistance requires company. It requires companions in order not to be alone. Otherwise, fear wins out. But once you are on the inside of resistance, once you are involved and committed, each step becomes easier, your step becomes lighter. Resistance gradually comes to feel normal. You are not crazy; society is.

Unfortunately those who arrive at even the entrance door to the world of resistance are few. Most stand outside the door. Worse, many believe they are inside what is considered “real life” without realizing that they are outside of life, that they are walking on air. They are tamed by obedience to a way of life that does not respect human beings. Power says it is better not to get involved, better not to commit yourself, that anyway everyone and everything is corrupt.


Such thinking, resistance thinking, leads you in unexpected directions. For example one grasps that the opposite of peace is not necessarily war; the opposite of peace is also the abundance of social inequalities, the lack of respect for fundamental rights; it is all the situations of injustice; it is everything that widens the abyss between rich and poor, whether nations or individuals.


Resistance to injustice should not be seen as revolutionary. But it is! Yet, as a rule, resistance to injustices does not have to mean to block the efficient uses of national resources of any country or to limit individual freedoms. It doesn’t even have to mean support for Socialism. But in my opinion resistance does mean rejection of savage capitalism that worships the market as an absolute, as if it were the end goal of human behavior and human society.
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