Critical thought versus the capitalist hydra II
Mural art at CompArte in the Zapatista Caracol of Morelia, Chiapas.
By: Gilberto López y Rivas / II
Continuing with commentary on the second tome of the work Critical thought versus the capitalist hydra, Sergio Rodríguez Lascano proposes that, faced with the diversity of rebellious processes, the idea of a vanguard becomes obsolete and he replaces it with meeting and sharing, which must also be present within the terrain of ideas. “Breaking with individualism in theoretical elaboration is a precondition of critical thought.” He proposes constructing a world in which the hydra cannot be reproduced. It’s not about conceiving other worlds, but rather about constructing them. “One cannot destroy the hydra if our political and ethical behaviour is based on the same principles that the hydra has imposed, since domination is domination.”
Luis Lozano Arredondo begins with a criticism of the universities, which, he asserts, remain in the comfort of theory, while the knowledge of the communities in resistance advances in the construction of a world of self-management. He exposes how exploitation and dispossession in our country is expressed, to the extent that 85 percent of the population experiences poverty, has lost all its labour rights, and maintains high levels of unemployment and overexploitation. He proposes collaborating, cooperating and sharing our knowledge with other humans to imagine and construct another world.
Rosa Albina Garavito considers that the catastrophe that the Zapatistas announce in reality surrounds us, destroying everything in its path: our labour force –up to 60 percent of the occupied population swelling the ranks of informal employment–, labour stability, working conditions agreed upon bi-laterally, pension funds, salaries, savings accounts, the more than a thousand quasi-state companies, among them Pemex. Health services, education, housing, nutrition have deteriorated; in sum, the capitalist hydra has dismantled without effort the social rights we have won and the only thing left is our dignity and self-organization. She considers autonomy as the project of the future, with dignity and decision-making ability versus the State. With autonomy, the Zapatistas are cutting off many heads of the capitalist hydra. It is the seed of the new country.
Efraín Herrera, from the Callejero Collective, considers that they construct a distinctive aesthetic discourse starting with a rebel attitude in capitalist society, starting with what Bertolt Brecht maintained; that “before being an artist, you are a social being.” It is in the field of rebellion where one finds creative character, imaginative and purposeful. This implies taking an attitude against the State. They found that the pamphlet doesn’t provoke immediate reflection and opted for the metaphor as an effective tool that leaves the door open to a lasting reflection. They are convinced that there is no other alternative than to form more and more collectives.
Eduardo Almeida Acosta considers that we are experiencing the global apocalyptic situation, a capitalist nightmare, now neoliberal, globalizing and extractivist: “The narcissistic zeal or the effort to preserve one’s own existence at the expense of all the others… and to seek its perpetuation as a system without assigning any importance as to whether it implies violence, war and death. That is reflected in our country, the mined Mexico: a bankrupt republic, a country at war with itself; a mafia State and a corporate waster, a dark government, about social control and aligned with speculative business elements and in collusion with criminals.” One head of the hydra is the perversion of politics; another has been the injustice in the treatment of different cultures; a third is the plunder of national sovereignty, of the individual rights and of social and community rights, and a fourth head forms the complex of misadventures that all Mexico suffers due to the impoverishing management of the macro-economy. The injustices of the financial markets are another big head. He wonders: what to do in the face of this devastation? Intensifying rage, putting the body (on the line), challenging everything, inventing new forms of struggle versus domination: another democracy, other forms of autonomy, another anti-imperialism. Dreaming, imagining, ideating other forms of weaving social cohesion.
Vilma Almendra, an indigenous Nasa-Misak woman from Colombia, confronts the four heads of the hydra: terror and war, structural adjustment, propaganda and co-optation and assimilation of struggles. Terror and war as the instrument for dispossessing the communities; structural adjustment between the transnationals and the States for defining all the laws of dispossession and for imposing the agendas of above; propaganda in the communications media, the churches, the schools that seek to dispossess distinctive and critical thought, and the co-optation that robs entire processes, stops the movements, even through concepts like multiculturalism. She criticizes negotiations with governments, which are executioners and that ultimately end up with meeting after meeting, committee after committee, confusing the political agenda of struggle and being subjected to the State’s agenda. Despite it all, she considers that the policies of the transnationals and the bad government are not winning, making a journey through the struggles for Mother Earth / Madre Tierra. “It’s important to see and to know that these struggles, resistances and freedoms, despite the politics of extermination and dispossession, continue flourishing, continue emerging, are there in front of us, versus the capitalist hydra.” She invites re-appropriating words into the walk, in what she names “palabrandar our path of the dignified word.” Revitalizing the assemblies as the maximum authority. She maintains that: “from the territories, and also from academia (it’s about), attaining harmonizing theory and practice, because at times from academia we imprison ourselves in the practices and we convert them into concepts, we are leaving them without wings.” Nevertheless, she rejects that essentialism constitutes a position of the peoples and the communities; “we are not pure,” she asserts.
Originally Published in Spanish by La Jornada
Friday, August 5, 2016
Re-Published with English interpretation by the Chiapas Support Committee
Posted with minor amendments by Dorset Chiapas Solidarity on 12/08/2016