And I am the King of May, which is the power of sexual youth,
and I am the King of May, which is industry in eloquence and action in amour,
and I am the King of May, which is long hair of Adam and the Beard of my own body,
and I am the King of May, which is Kral Majales in the Czechoslovakian tongue,
and I am the King of May, which is old Human poesy, and 100,000 people chose my name,
and I am the King of May, and in a few minutes I will land at London Airport,
and I am the King of May, naturally, for I am of Slavic parentage and a Buddhist Jew…
It has been remarked a dozen dozen times that the strength of the Zapatista struggle, and its broad appeal, is that it does not seek to take state power, but to “open a space for democracy,” to transform social relations. What this effort at transformation implies is that power does not reside merely in the authority of the state or in the hand of the market, visible or invisible; popular power, people’s power, and ultimately, the power of mass movements to shape history, resides in culture and in the fonts of culture’s creation and proliferation–work, play, love, child-rearing, art-making, stewardship of the land, the cultivation of community. This is to say that one of the lessons to be gleaned from the Zapatistas–both from their fire and from their word–is that power resides in the production and reproduction of human dignity, and–for a lack of my own words to name it–in the revolution of everyday life.