Subcomandante Galeano: What’s coming will be worse

By: Isaín Mandujano


Subcomandante Galeano, of the Zapatista National Liberation Army (EZLN), called to close ranks and “all struggle collectively” because what’s coming is not even remotely the coldest point of what we’ve seen so far.

At the end of the seminar of critical reflection The walls of capital, the cracks on the left in the installations of Cideci-Unitierra in San Cristóbal de las Casas, Galeano sent a video message in which he exposed that it’s urgent to all struggle together because “the worst is yet to come and the individualities as very brilliant and capable as they seem will not be able to survive if they are not with others.”

“Zapatismo like libertarian thought does not recognize the Bravo and Suchiate Rivers as limits of its aspiration for freedom,” since its slogan of “everything for everyone, does not recognize borders,” because “the struggle against capital is global,” Galeano said.

He indicated that the struggle of the original peoples cannot nor ought to be circumscribed to Mexico; it must lift up the view, the ear and the word to include the whole continent, from Alaska to Tierra del Fuego.

In his video presentation, Galeano pointed out that it’s urgent to struggle, but “it’s better to do it collectively than individually; I cannot explain the reason to you scientifically and you have every right to accuse me of being esoteric or of something equally horrible. What we have seen on our limited and archaic horizon is that the collective can bring out the best in each individual.

“It’s not that the collective makes you better and individuality makes you worse. No. Each one is who he is: A complex bundle of virtues and faults, whatever one or the other may signify, but in certain situations one or the other will flourish. Try it just once, nothing will happen to them. In any case, if they are as wonderful as they think they are, then they will reinforce their position that the world doesn’t deserve them, but perhaps they will find within themselves abilities and capacities that they didn’t know they had,” Galeano added.

He expanded: “Try it, the whole thing, if you don’t like it you can always return to your Twitter account, to your Facebook wall and from there continue telling the entire world how it should be and what it should do.”

“We have seen how collective work not only has permitted the survival of the original peoples in several terminal storms, also advancing when they are a community and disappearing when each one looks after his or her own individual wellbeing,” he mentioned to sympathizers and adherents to the Sixth Declaration of the Lacandón Jungle.

In reference to the indigenous Zapatistas communities, he continued: “The EZLN did not bring about collective work, nor did Christianity; neither did Christ or Marx have anything to do with the fact that in moments of danger facing external threats, and also for the fiestas, the music and dancing, the community within the territory of the original peoples becomes a single collective.

“I would recommend that you take advantage of what the National Indigenous Congress (CNI, its initials in Spanish) is going to do starting in May of this year. We truly hope that the CNI fulfills its own mandate and doesn’t fall into the search for votes and positions, without lending a brotherly ear to the one below that is alone and in pain, which the call to organization relieves.”

He expressed that “the walking of these compañeras and compañeros is going to make barrios, communities, tribes, nations and original peoples visible. Approach them, the indigenous, abandon if you can the lens of the anthropologist that looks at them like rare and anachronistic insects, set aside the pity and the position of the evangelizing missionary that offers them salvation, help and knowledge. Approach as sister, brother, brothers, because when the time comes when no one knows where to go, those original peoples, those that are despised and humiliated today, will know where to pass and gaze, will know the how and the when. In sum, they will know how to respond to the most urgent and important question in those moments: What next?”

Galeano asserted that when president Donald Trump “talks about recuperating the borders of the United States he says that it’s about Mexico but the finquero’s view aims at Mapuche territory,” and therefore “the struggle of the original peoples cannot nor ought to be circumscribed to Mexico (…)

“When in the voice of Subcomandante Moisés we say that the whole world is being converted into a finca and the national governments into overseers that simulate power and independence when the boss is absent, not only are we pointing out a paradigm with consequences for theory, we are also pointing out a problem that has practical consequences for the struggle, and we’re not referring to the big struggles, those of the political parties and the social movements, but rather all the struggles,” he added.

He maintained that: “among the options our position has been and is clear: There is no good overseer but we understand that someone makes the majority of the time, like consoling therapy, a differentiation between the bad and the worst. Okay. One who makes do with little or nothing conforms, but they must try to understand that the one who risks everything, and for us Zapatistas everything is all of our freedom. We don’t want to choose between a cruel boss and a kindly one, we simply don’t want bosses!”

(Subcomandante Moisés’ talk that we already published is omitted here.)


Originally Published in Spanish by

Sunday, April 16, 2017

Re-Published in part with English interpretation by the Chiapas Support Committee


2 Comments on “Subcomandante Galeano: What’s coming will be worse

  1. Pingback: “The Walls of Capital, the Cracks on the Left” | Blog of Zapatista Support Group Wellington, Aotearoa/New Zealand

  2. Pingback: Isaín Mandujano: “Subcomandante Galeano: What’s coming will be worse” | The Tragedy of Revolution

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