Justice as liberation and revolutionary praxis

“We do not build, we destroy; we do not proclaim a new revelation, we eliminate the old lie. Modern man, that melancholy Pontifex Maximus, only builds a bridge – it will be for the unknown man of the future to pass over it. You may be there to see him… But do not, I beg, remain on this shore… Better to perish with the revolution than to seek refuge in the almhouse of reaction.”

-Alexander Herzen, From the Other Shore, 1855-

In life there are only two certainties: freedom and death. And both are intertwined. Each entails the other. To know and face death is to know and be conscious of one’s freedom and the choices that one has. To be free and have freedom necessarily means that one has self-autonomy and it is this that ensures that the process of meeting death is a meaningful one. The more we know that we are dying and choose to face death, the more we are conscious that we have freedom and choose to be free. By doing so one becomes human.

And still up to now, we are being denied this right of freedom. The State that governs us at present is intent on taking away this freedom. It takes away and perverts our right to make choices. And in doing so it deprives us of our humanity.

Hence most of us are already dead even before we die. Life today is a process of dehumanization. When our right to make choices and to determine who governs us is taken away, our whole humanity and dignity is snatched away.

And yet everyday the State preaches to us the ideals of ‘democracy’, ‘rule of law’ and the ‘courts of justice’. These terms are nothing but meaningless and useless. They serve no purpose other than to disguise the violence and injustice that it perpetrates on its people everyday. These are added on to the plethora of empty and obscene phrases that continue to contaminate our minds and languages everyday such as race, religion, privileges and unity.

Those who understand the nature of power and the State will know that such phrases no longer carry any force. The costumes of race and religion have already been stripped bare. What is left now is only crude and brutal force and power. More so when the government of the State derives its legitimacy not from popular sovereignty but through force and coercion afforded to it by the abuse of State apparatus and machinery.

The State will use everything – the electoral bureaucracy, the legal bureaucracy, the judiciary, the religious bureaucracy, the police – to maintain its power and position. To maintain the interests and position of the government that sits within it. To protect those that sit in the highest echelons of the government.

Everything else is just illusions. To blind us. To desensitize us. To dehumanize us.

Oppression and injustice is tangible, and it exists in the material world. When Adam Adli was arrested under the Sedition Act, we are reminded of this. Only 66-years old ago, a certain individual by the name of Ahmad Boestamam was also charged and fined by the British for writing and distributing the Testamen Politik A.P.I. The Testamen begins with the following:


Di-dalam-nya ada di-terangkan dengan sechara ringkas tetapi padat tentang tenaga pemuda, pergerakan pemuda di-dunia, pergerakan pemuda di-Malaya dan juga tentang pergerakan A.P.I. (Angkatan Pemuda Insaf) dan tujuan2 politik-nya. 

Moga2 buku ini akan mendatangkan faedah kepada pemuda2 Melayu am-nya dan pemuda2 A.P.I. khas-nya.

Pemuda2 Melayu – Insaf-lah.



It is true then that some things do not change. The British have come and gone, replaced by newer leaders, but the structures and features have remained the same; that of the feudal State, and injustice and oppression.

It is because that some things do not change, and refuse to change, that we seek the total overthrow and change of the existing State, including all its structures and institutions. Nothing less than that will do. We are reminded of Boestamam’s Testamen:


Begitu pula dalam pergerakan kebangsaan. Kalau pemuda itu tidak dapat bergerak dan lambat berhasil-nya chita2 dengan sechara sehat, maka tidak keberatan bagi mereka untuk memilih jalan yang keras dan radical seperti memberontak.


Reform and gradual changes will not do. The people cannot wait. We cannot stand idle while our brothers and sisters continue to be dehumanized and are subjected to live in inhumane conditions each day.

They are not slaves and objects at the mercy of State, waiting each day to be given drug-like subsidies and handouts that only continue to keep them in a state of slavery and dazed.

The calls to return to ‘democracy’ and the ‘rule of law’ and the ‘courts of justice’ are nothing but disgusting lies and hypocrisy at the highest levels. Save all of this for those who refuse to take a position and who are incapable of differentiating between right and wrong, justice and injustice or oppression and liberation. As Bakunin says:


The Left says, two times two are four; the Right, two times two are six; and the middle-of-the-road compromises say two times two are five.” They never answer yes or no; they say: “To a certain extent you are right, but on the other hand…” And if they have nothing left to say, they say: “Yes, it is a curious thing.”


There is no purpose in talking about ‘democracy’, ‘rule of law’, what is law or unlawful, and what is legal or illegal anymore, when the State practices two different standards of law: one for the rich and powerful, and one for the poor and weak.

We are all familiar with these lines ‘Do you hear the people sing? Singing the song of angry men?’ But do we remember and still hear the screaming’s of a young boy and his mother? Screaming cries of injustice for the death of the father who the boy has never met? Or the screams of sadness and injustice of a weeping mother and family for a son whose death has been caused by those in institutions within the State?

Do you hear their screams crying for justice and retribution? Who speaks for them? Who speaks for the dead? Who speaks out against the rich and the powerful? Against the oppressors and perpetrators of injustice? There is nothing more to be said.

Burn. Let the State and institutions burn to the ground until they become ashes. So a new humanity can arise from this grave of ashes. A new humanism can only be achieved through popular and radical resistance and protest in the material world.

For those who feel that this is just an emotional and mad diatribe seeking to promote hatred of the State, this is not. Far from that, this is a rational, systematic and conscious attempt to seek for the total overthrow of the State and its institutions that oppress, dehumanize and inflict injustice on its people.

Some have said that they can forgive, but they cannot forget.

For us, we will not forget, and we will not forgive.


One Response

  1. I see, so all this angry talk about change is for achieving a new humanism. I see why we have been critiquing for so long without praxis, without emancipation. Because of this herd mentality that is uncritically submissive to a pathetic notion called ‘humanity’. Unfortunately this rubbish called humanity is not just a concept, as it has already transformed itself into a physiological surge in the body of the critics. They cry for ‘humanity’, they die for ‘humanity’, they fight for ‘humanity’. They want to change everything but their idol, ‘HUMANITY’.. Until we trample on this ‘humanity’ we are not going anywhere.

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