[Administrator’s Note: Official EZLN communications from “The Zapatistas and ConSciences for Humanity” are very long and, therefore, are taking a long time to translate; so, we’re posting news articles about it. This article has special significance to us (the Chiapas Support Committee) because our solidarity work is with the autonomous Zapatista education system.]
By: Angeles Mariscal
“We want to learn and do science and technology to earn the only competence that matters: that of life against death,” members of the Zapatista National Liberation Army (Ejército Zapatista de Liberación Nacional, EZLN) pointed out at the inauguration of the meeting with scientists from different countries that came to Chiapas to meet with members of the insurgent group.
The gathering named The Zapatistas and ConSciences for Humanity called to Germany, Canada, Chile, United States, Spain, Israel, Paraguay, United Kingdom, Uruguay, Brazil and Mexico -some members of the National Investigators System -, who will debate with the Zapatistas the work of the scientific community facing the social, economic, political and environmental crisis derived from the capitalist system.
“Scientifically are there studies about whether one can live without capitalism? What is the scientific or non-scientific explanation of why money was invented? Scientifically, can you explain to us the principles of neoliberalism? Scientifically, can you explain to us why capitalism prepares certain crisis every so often to reactivate its economy? What are the ethical principles?” These are some of the questions that the EZLN’s political and military leader, Subcomandante Galeano, asked during the inauguration.
For ten days scientists from diverse fields will debate about this and other themes, “as a start for watching and walking what to do in the world in which we live,” explained Subcomandante Moisés, who in the name of the General Command of the EZLN considered that scientific research and discoveries have been used as an instrument for the accumulation of wealth: “the rich changed the destiny for which it was created, gave it another use, for their convenience.”
“Our survival is in our hands, or the other construction of a new world (…) We Zapatistas, we’re here now as your pupils, your students, your apprentices. We don’t conceive knowledge as a symbol of social status or a measure of intelligence (…) We don’t want to go to the university, we want the university to be erected in our communities, to be taught and to learn together with our people.”
The insurgent leader threw out a challenge to the scientific community to share their knowledge with members of the EZLN. “The question that moves us, the scientific curiosity, the zeal to learn, to know, comes from a long time ago, so long ago that scientific calendars don’t have a count (…) we don’t want to go to big laboratories and scientific research centers in the metropolis, we want them constructed here. We want schools built for the formation of scientists, not workshops disguised as schools, which only teach the functions of work at the service of capitalism (cheap and poorly qualified manual labor). We want scientific studies, not just technical studies. We want to learn and make science and technology to gain the only competence that’s worth the effort: that of life against death.”
“We cannot delegate to others the work that corresponds to us as complete human beings, Subcomandante Galeano stated.
Originally Published in Spanish by Chiapas Paralelo
Tuesday, December 27, 2016
Re-Published with English interpretation by the Chiapas Support Committee