Pablo González Casanova urges converting dreams into realities

Art from the Zapatista communities.

By: Armando G. Tejeda

With that lucidity that all his scholars and readers admire, but also with his unwavering vocation as a revolutionary to transform the world and make it more just and livable, the Mexican thinker Pablo González Casanova made an urgent call to transform debate and thought into a strategy of direct action that converts dreams into tangible realities. The 96-year old intellectual and sociologist, with his firm voice and even stronger conviction to fight against the inequality and voracity of capitalism, closed with some willful and evocative words the International Congress Thinking with Marx today, organized by the University Complutense of Madrid (UCM) for the 200th anniversary of the birth of the author of Capital.

The congress brought together more than 100 teachers from 36 universities in Europe, Latin America, Africa and the United States to analyze the work of Marx from a current viewpoint and in topics like applied economics, politics, sociology, journalism and freedom of expression, feminism, psychology, philosophy, education, science, culture, history, ecology, human rights, geo-politics and imperialism, among others. “One of the great living intellectuals of today,” the Mexican sociologist González Casanova, author of more than 10 important books of analysis, the former rector of the Autonomous National University of Mexico and a founder and opinion writer of La Jornada gave the opening and closing words of the teachers conference.

Ideological funnel overcome

During the seminar they attempted to analyze las problems of the current time from the theoretical work and framework of thought inherited from Karl Marx. A thinker that has become one of the intellectuals that have most influenced the future of the world and who, as one speaker recalled during these days, there is no country in the world of the four continents that doesn’t have a political organization, a union or a center of analysis if Marxist vocation. And that once the intellectual and ideological tunnel that Stalinism meant has been overcome, the analysis and free dissemination of Marxism has acquired a new verve, a freshness that allows it to analyze more effectively the world’s current problems, like migration, the struggle for women’s equality, the uprising of the world’s marginalized peoples, like the indigenous people of Mexico, and the urgency of converting the transformative anxieties of the centers of analysis and thought into direct actions to make that change into reality.

The Mexican sociologist has always been more proud of his status as a “comandante of the Ejército Zapatista de Liberación Nacional” (Zapatista National Liberation Army) than of his numerous academic works that are studied in various universities of the world or of his crucial contributions to the study of the theory of the State or of los models of production and their eternal contradictions.

In this sense, González Casanova insisted that, in today’s world, the “dispossessed” of the planet –those who were left without land, who were expelled due to the ferocity of the capitalist system– are dying by the thousands every day. It is a tragedy that: “is already worse than the one Adolf Hitler perpetrated in his Nazi extermination.” But thanks to those “control mechanisms” of the capitalist system it is experienced in the majority of citizens and of society as a foreign drama, when “it affects us all equally.”

“You have to think about acting to win. We have already overcome the gag of Stalinism and fortunately that has now disappeared, especially in young people. The 1968 movement was a rebellion of the youth, which entered as a new protagonist in a society in which life expectancy is very high. And they brought new values to the revolution, like joy, song, fiesta, poetry, love, the defense of women, the defense of homosexuals and whole series of new values and from a freedom that the old communists lacked. We are also heirs of that revolution and that’s why I join those young people that are making revolution today in peoples like the Zapatistas. It is a very important revolution for those peoples, but also for humanity as a whole,” he pointed out.

The Mexican thinker insisted that: “we must work” to organize “networks” or “nodes” that are linked and that will act in all types of countries –developed and not so developed– “to be able to act and change the world.”


Originally Published in Spanish by La Jornada

Sunday, October 7, 2018

Re-Published with English interpretation by the Chiapas Support Committee



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