By: Gilberto López y Rivas
Without a doubt, we’re experiencing an historic moment in contemporaneous Mexico, because for the first time in many decades the popular will expressed at the polls was respected; a State fraud was not imposed, nor the fall of the system, nor the cynical “it has been as it has been” of Felipe Calderón; this is a transcendent conquest of the Mexican people, without diminishing or underestimating, it’s necessary to analyze from the critical thinking and struggle of the original peoples in defense of territories, Mother Earth and life.
This transition is not due to a sudden democratic calling of the PRI regime, but rather to three interrelated factors that prevented the imposition of the traditional State fraud: 1) The extraordinary citizen participation of more than 60 percent of registered voters. 2) The fracture of the political class in the principal parties, the PRI and the PAN, which went to the election separately, and with internal divisions that deepened during the campaign. 3) The vote of punishment from millions of voters that spoke out for change.
However, it highlights the ability of the State to reconstitute itself: the triumph of the citizenry’s massive intervention was rapidly turned into a “victory of the institutions” and the “democratic system.” Gone was the violence deployed throughout and during the electoral process, and the 132 candidates murdered were quickly forgotten.
The recognition from the officialist candidate on election night, and the terse sequence of events that culminates with the message of Enrique Peña Nieto and the conciliatory speech of the winning candidate, suggests a concerted action starting with there will be no punishment for the outgoing government’s crimes of State and against humanity, or criminal litigation over the visible plundering of the treasury and the evident complicity of the three levels of government with organized crime.
At the same time, it is significant that in his first speech as the winning candidate, López Obrador sends a message to capitalist corporations to calm them that he will not take “radical measures,” “contracts will be respected,” “there will be no expropriations” and one must understand his preferred slogan in that context: “For the good of everyone, first the poor,” about which it’s appropriate to ask: Who is “everyone”?
Also, the guiding-almost-unique idea of the whole campaign that corruption is the matrix of all the country’s evils was reiterated, AMLO denying that it is inherent to capitalism, whose cornerstone is the expropriation of labor from the working class and the dispossession of strategic-natural-resources-territories by its corporations. The president-elect denies that the law of value-exploitation-surplus-value-class-struggle applies to Mexico, insisting on the corruption factor.
This peculiar perspective of López Obrador, which corrects the “classics” of Marxism, is very important for the direction that the resistance of the original peoples follows versus the process of re-colonization of the territories for the capitalist transnationals, which is made visible by the Indigenous Government Council (Consejo Indígena de Gobierno, CIG) and its spokeswoman, Marichuy, during the campaign. Mining companies, trans-Isthmus corridor, refineries, highway projects, bullet trains and a honeymoon with impresarios, are bad signs for the original peoples.
For their part, leaders of indigenous organizations around AMLO presented a programmatic document that, with the phraseology of Zapatismo, including the use of “govern obeying” (“mandar obedeciendo,” proposes, in sum, and as a principal proposal, a return to the indigenismo already overcome since the San Andrés dialogue, now under the leadership of an indigenous bureaucracy that would form a new State secretariat.
Marichuy declared that what’s really significant will come now and that the transcendent thing is to organize if you wish to take the country towards a real change; it’s about resisting the capitalist corporations and the governments that protect them, acting from where you are, in barrios, districts, cities or indigenous towns.
The limitation of representative democracy is that citizen participation is concentrated on just one day, and therefore, public issues are the monopoly of a class of professional politicians that ignore the electorate. The EZLN and the CIG, on the other hand, propose a new kind of democracy, an autonomist democracy that is founded on a construction of power and citizenship from below; as a way of everyday life, of control and exercise of power from what ought to be; that is, based on ethical terms. It is not a means or procedure of reproduction of bureaucratic estates, but rather a social and political pact, a constituent of everyday that operates unitarily in all spheres and orders of life.
The struggle for this democracy will continue, shoulder to shoulder with the peoples, below and to the left.
Originally Published in Spanish by La Jornada
Friday, July 6, 2018
Re-Published with English interpretation by the Chiapas Support Committee