The blind violence committed by mobs is often fueled by the economic crisis, but the ruling class knows how to use it to its own benefit. What happened in Tlahuac was a desperate act by an interclassist mass which behaved with no perspective, pushed to react with vengeance by feelings of being manipulated and terrorized. Even though the lynching is directed against members of the repressive arm of the state, it does not mean that this violence expresses a conscious act. On the contrary, it is a manifestation of the irrational behaviors which capitalist decomposition causes. We highlight the desperate actions by members of the petty bourgeoisie and the marginal strata of society, but we note that elements of the working class also become trapped in this dynamic.
This dynamic is not the result of ignorance and backwardness alone. It is rather a manifestation of agonizing capitalism. This kind of irrational violence is not exclusive to the peripheral countries. In El Ejido in Almeria, Spain, in 2000, xenophobic fever affected the inhabitants who tried to lynch a group of immigrants. The ‘skinheads’ and the hooligans of the industrialized countries display similar characteristics.
The events of Tlahuac raise a deeper question than whether they were induced by guerrillas, or drug traffickers, or government provocation. They are an expression of desperation, immediatism, the lack of a perspective for the future. It is the practice of a mob of people who recognize that bourgeois institutions don’t offer any kind of safety , and decide to take justice in their own hands. They think that in this way they will find a solution to the problem, but they don’t see that the real problem is this system, which creates violence because of the insecurity resulting both from corruption and complicity, and exploitation and submission. Which violence is greater than the one exerted by the exploitation and poverty which capitalism imposes on the workers daily?
The events in Tlahuac are not an isolated case. It is rather a typical action, a product of capitalist decomposition. However, it’s important to notice that this kind of action is utilized by the bourgeoisie to its own advantage. Whether for its own incapacity or as the effect of the confrontation among its own fractions, the ruling class decided not to rescue its body-guards. Nevertheless, they use these events to liven up the confrontation and put pressure on the Fox and Lopez Obrador governments. This is also done to attack the consciousness of the workers, as they are invited to take sides in the dispute among fractions of the bourgeoisie.
The working class cannot be fooled. Workers need to understand that this is not a problem of so-called ‘civil society’. It is a problem that requires reflection and the ability to learn lessons from it. Workers need to see that the mobs, notwithstanding their apparently ‘massive’ action, are desperate and blind. This type of action prevents all possibility of a conscious act performed with a true sense of solidarity. A population turned into ‘vigilantes’ because it no longer trusts the police is not, under prevailing, capitalist conditions, an alternative. Far from being an alternative, it is a dangerous weapon, which the state repressive apparatus itself can use. Workers need to understand clearly that it is only the proletarian revolution that can bring an end to the sense of insecurity which capitalism gives us. Vania, December 2004
(Details of the attack can be found here: