By: Armando G. Tejeda
Pablo González Casanova, an intellectual and former rector of the Autonomous National University of Mexico (UNAM), pointed out that: “50 years after the student movement of 1968 and after the Tlatelolco massacre, we see that the new revolution that was born in the midst of drama stayed and never left our society, or our social movements.”
The Mexican thinker inaugurated the International Congress Thinking with Marx today, at the University Complutense of Madrid (UCM) for the 200 anniversary of the birth of the author of Capital, an event in which homage was rendered to the students murdered in the Plaza of the Three Cultures of Mexico City, which “changed forever the forms of struggle of the Left in Latin America.”
The selection of the date for the start of the Congress around the figure of the critical and theoretical legacy of the thinker Karl Marx was intended to coincide with the 50th anniversary of the Tlatelolco massacre and also became a homage to the 1968 student movement in Mexico, Professor Eduardo Sánchez Iglesias, one of the organizers of the gathering, recognized. “It is part of the history of our peoples and that’s why it’s important to remember that October 1968, which changed the history of the social movements in Latin America,” he explained.
The congress brought together more than 100 educators from 36 universities of Europe, Latin America, Africa and the United States to analyze the work of Marx from a current point of view and in themes like applied economy, politics, sociology, journalism and freedom of expression, feminism, psychology, philosophy, education, science, culture, history, ecology, human rights, geopolitics and imperialism, among others.
The person responsible for opening the congress was also the founder and writer for La Jornada, Pablo González Casanova, who the rector of the UCM, Carlos Andradas, presented as “one of, if not the most important thinker of today,” upon defining him as an intellectual that has been implacable in developing critical thinking throughout his 96 years of existence. Marcos Roitman Rosenmann, also a professor of sociology and a disciple of his, introduced González Casanova “as a young promise that has never stopped thinking,” and that: “is now going to provoke us to think about our time and also to do it from the critical perspective of Marx.”
When the brutal repression took place in the Plaza de las Tres Culturas, González Casanova was the director of the Instituto de Investigaciones Sociales (Social Research Institute) at the UNAM and heard news of the massacre when he went out to see a play. In his conference lecture, the Mexican sociologist pointed out: “Now that we are celebrating the 50- year anniversary of the 1968 movement, one of the contributions was the presence of youth as a whole. With the young people appeared love, joy, celebration, dancing and another revolution appeared. That stayed and did not leave our social movements. It was when they assumed the class struggle like we elders had done and said that they would also fight for liberty, justice and democracy. They also assumed the idea that democracy should be rooted in the people and that we think of democracy as a power of the people, not as a mediation of the State and the groups that control it. 1968 was a new example of struggle and the joy in struggle, but with the objective of creating a network of networks like the one the Zapatistas have now constructed.”
During his talk, in which he was speaking with a view to planting a seed for critical reflection, González Casanova warned that: “at this moment, the number of dispossessed or displaced in exodus is much greater than the number of those that have died in the deserts, the jungles or in the lakes, than those that Hitler killed in the concentration camps. And we can not ignore that.”
Originally Published in Spanish by La Jornada
Wednesday, October 3, 2018
Re-Published with English interpretation by the Chiapas Support Committee