Seminar on Anti-Systemic Movements re: EZLN Influence

The EZLN, Origen of the Current Social Unrest All Over the Globe

** Vision of González Casanova and De Sousa Santos in seminar

By: Hermann Bellinghausen, Envoy

San Cristóbal de las Casas, Chiapas, January 2, 2012

Two of the most influential sociologists-thinkers of the last half-century, Pablo González Casanova and Boaventura de Sousa Santos, referred with animation to the emergence of alternative social movements all over the world, and both found the Zapatista Rebellion at the origin of this process. “We are conscious,” González Casanova said, “that we are more all the time and that there will be more all the time who struggle in the entire world for what in 1994 just seemed like a ‘post-modern indigenous rebellion’ and that in reality is the beginning of a human mobilization considerably better prepared for achieving liberty, justice and democracy.”

The Portuguese De Sousa, ample expert of the Latin American reality and committed to democratic change in the countries of our south, considered that today “one cannot have a view from the left and struggle against capitalism” without referring to the Zapatista National Liberation Army (EZLN). He said that during the international seminar Planet Earth: Anti-Systemic Movements that was held during four days in el Cideci-Unitierra and concluded this Monday.

“The world movement of the indignados (indignant ones) of the Earth began in the Lacandón,” he points out about entry of González Casanova’s document for the seminar, and that turns out to be a “script of words” about where to travel at this complex moment; a 17-point manual, for worldwide use, for interpreting new ideas for action that will also have to be new: “Impoverished and excluded, indignados and occupiers formulate theories that contain great empirical support, based on a large quantity of experiences;” understandings, arts and techniques “that correspond to the wisdom and ‘know how’ of the peoples” that exalted Andrés Aubry, and the Tojolabal values “of human solidarity” that Carlos Lenkersdorf rescued.

“We think about the immense mobilization of the indignados and the occupiers that struggle for another possible world. Today –two admired English professors write–, the mobilization is gigantic. Never had one of that magnitude been presented, and all the mobilization ‘began (they add) in the jungles of Chiapas with principals of inclusion and dialogue,’” says González Casanova. “That universal movement in the midst of their differences lives in similar problems” and finds “similar solutions for the creation of another world and another necessary culture, which the peoples of the Andes express as living well; in which the living well of some does not depend on others living badly.”

The slogan that the Zapatista Movement used for liberty, justice and democracy “walks through the whole world not as an echo, but as the voices of thinking and a similar wanting,” points out the author of La democracia en México. Those movements “coincide in that the solution is that democracy of everyone for everyone and with everyone that is not delegated, and that some call democratic socialism or 21st Century socialism and others just democracy, and that is that, and much more, because it is a new way of relating to the land and with human beings, a new way of organizing life.”

De Sousa, a professor at the University of Coimbra and promoter of the World Social Forum, maintained last night that: “a change of civilization is needed” to conquer capitalism, dominant on a planetary scale, since “is has created a civilization-wide totality” that one must conquer. “Zapatismo is a window of what this change can be like, the only one that can save Humanity.”

In a description of the progressive processes en Brazil, Ecuador, Bolivia and other South American countries, De Sousa pointed out paradoxical aspects in relation to the content against the State in the anti-systemic protests. “The constituent assembly that is now demanded in Chile and Tunis,” he suggested, means that at the moment there it is thought that it is necessary to re-found the State. Our continent, he said, “has possibilities of using hegemonic instruments to be counter-hegemonic, utilizing them against the dominant class.”

Assuming himself a Marxist with a long history, he admitted that in the last 20 years the important popular revolts “have been led by actors ignored, strangers to Marxism.” He enumerated: women, indigenous, gays and lesbians, migrants, campesinos, and that, “using words that the traditional left izquierda doesn’t know how to use,” like territory, dignity and spirituality. He recognized the pioneer value of the new constitution in Ecuador that assumes the rights of nature, “a contribution of the indigenous movement whose importance will only grow with time” in the entire world.

Inside the “sociology of emergencies” that we live in, De Sousa recognized that the Zapatistas “taught us another way of looking at the world; they broke with prevailing Marxist orthodoxy, discourse, semantics and some novel ideas; they taught us a new organizing logic that had a fundamental influence all over the world.”


Originally Published in Spanish by La Jornada

Tuesday, January 3, 2012



One Comment on “Seminar on Anti-Systemic Movements re: EZLN Influence

  1. Pingback: International Seminar of Reflection and Analysis « Blog of Zapatista Support Group Wellington, Aotearoa/New Zealand

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