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Zapata was a socialist alive at about the same time as Lenin with Zapata and Poncho Villa being around the same time as the Russian Revolution. The PRI (party of institutionalized revolution) is comparable to the provisional government of the bourgeoisie in Russia. Mexico is it’s own thing with it’s own history. It makes sense that Zapata be held up as a national hero in Mexico and not be subordinated to foreign revolutionaries of his own time.
At a certain point action and behavior matters more than the name you call yourself.
Their ideology is in their indigeneity. They do study western leftist currents, but don’t see them as their own movement. Rather, they see the proletarian struggle (as colonizers with colonizer class interests) as something separate from their struggle against colonization by the mexican federal government. They welcome Mexicans to engage in their own struggle, but believe it will be a fundamentally different thing with different aims. Proletarians do not understand the EZLN’s aims or ideology in such a way that a communist state would necessarily be compatible. The EZLN sees global communism as a noble goal to end imperialist hegemony, but they don’t believe a proletarian communist state will automatically consider their interests in the same way they currently can manage under self governance. For them to integrate, respect would have to be earned.
So, in other words, they don’t have a consistent or coherent ideology outside of identity politics and are opposed to solidarity with either anarchists, Marxists or soc-dems. I’ve been growing increasingly skeptical of them, as it seems more and more to me that they want to play commune out in the jungle, the rest of the country and the world be damned. If they were really deeply committed to indigenous liberation, they should recognize that there are indigenous people outside of Chiapas who also need liberation and would benefit from positive contact with the EZLN. Correct me if I’m wrong, but if they wouldn’t participate in a proletarian state in the event of one being formed in Mexico, proletarians would end up having to crush them and dispose of their unprincipled practices, right?
Edit: What I mean when I say identity politics here is that they are not trying to build any kind of solidarity with other colonized people in Mexico, which looks to me like they are far more concerned with themselves than ending capitalism in Mexico building a socialist system.
Edit: This is overstated at best and openly wrong at worst. I have been corrected.
Mexico in general has a much greater history of general strikes and coalitions between the various groups: peasants, peons, slum dwellers, industrialists, teachers, students, christian, Marxist.
They also have a much greater history of state repression.
If you’re going to be skeptical, be skeptical of your own expectations of others and mind to your own affairs.
You don’t sound like you understand Mexico. It sounds like you just heard about the Zapatas from the internet and excited yourself without any due regard for the history from the civil war onward. Now you’re frustrated that reality doesn’t align with your misconception.
That’s not the Zapatatista’s fault. That’s your fault. They’ve been alive before you and regardless of you.
Read about national liberation. Read.
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It’s a subject. Read about national liberation.
I’ve read people like Stalin, Ho Chi Minh and Franz Fanon, I’m looking at reading some of the Black Panther’s stuff, is that the kind of stuff you had in mind?
Read about national liberation.
I meant specifically their stuff about national liberation.
This cracker mentality is exactly why they don’t take marxists seriously.
They will if those people try to do things their own way, but as it stands they have enough on their plate holding their own border (similar to Cuba, which sends aid but not soldiers due to US pressure). It’s like asking a starving man why he won’t donate to charity while doing nothing yourself, and why Galeano calls out the Basque revolutionaries who pointed a finger while failing to take root in their own territory. They haven’t shown they can do the work, while the EZLN has. You are the chauvinist he is addressing in his letter.
Lovely racial slur. I have been advocating on their behalf, sent money to them, and bought their coffee as well. I’m sorry to have criticisms of them, but they have been isolating themselves deliberately, which is an error. I admire the Cubans for sending aid to people who show no solidarity with them and denounce their movement, which is the right choice to make.
lmao I thought you were engaging in good faith until you said cracker is a slur
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Shit, I meant to reply with this to the other person.
Like I said, it is a weak one, but it is none the less childish to call someone you disagree with names like this.
I’m not getting into the weeds about this with a stranger, but it’s apparent that you don’t understand that simply using mean name calling against the people in power is not the same as the people in power using hate speech to further their systemic order based on bigotry. You can’t be racist to white people as long as white supremacy is the status quo.
What power do I have? I’m not a mod of any kind here, and if I had any power in society do you think I would be here? I’ll grant I’m privileged, but power is something else that I neither have nor want.
It’s a slur, if a weak one. But sure, advocating a broader movement built on their successes is chauvinist, I guess.
The problem here is genocide, them barely speaking the same language, or sharing the same culture with proletarian Mexico, or even rural Mexico for that matter.
All of these things that you want to have happened have happened Mexico and exist in the Mexican under currents.
Why are you putting all of the eggs in one basket as if the rest of Mexico had no sense of self or class conscience? It’s because you don’t know what you’re talking about. All you know is the Zapatistas so you expect a bunch of indians in the jungle with no industrial base or capacity to wage an armed struggle against a far greater foe.
Again, Mexico has a massive history of socialism, ML, strikes, general coalitions, and everything else you’d be expecting but you don’t know that.
You don’t know anything about Mexico but you read a thing on the internet. It’s not even that you put too much weight into some hold-out indigenous movement; it’s that you do it at the expense of the rest of Mexico.
You are a cracker who thinks buying coffee and posting online are revolutionary activities
It’s all I can do short of flying there and picking up a rifle. I’m in and have been in a couple of orgs in real life that have given messages of support their way. What have you done for them?
No, I think their position is mostly respectable. It’s not “identity politics” it’s national liberation and isolationism.
I would agree that it was national liberation if they were not decidedly only focused on their home in Chiapas. Isolationism is not a socialist idea. Without any solidarity for others in the country including many more indigenous people, I think it is safe to say that they are not conducting a national liberation struggle but rather are satisfied with running their little commune. Saying they are respectable doesn’t respond to my line of questioning, which was that if an armed commune is as openly hostile to a workers state as to say themselves that they shit on the revolutionary vanguard, we will not be allies after the revolution. This does raise the question of having to end the EZLN if they refuse to cooperate. We have to recognize that, for whatever good their project has done, it has been extremely limited and has not translated into a heightening of the class struggle in Mexico and is not leading to a revolution of any kind. I knew that they had explained that they weren’t MLs, but to go out of their way to say that MLs are wrong and deserving of their scorn is enough to start losing my support.
You haven’t read enough about national liberation. Read more.
This is exactly the kind of chauvinistic approach that has alienated so many Indigenous movements from western Marxists. National liberation for Indigenous people does not run along the lines of colonial borders: they seek liberation for their nation, which is to say for their people, whose nations do not conform to the borders imposed upon them by colonial powers.
Imposing views about the “correct” form of a national struggle is a continuation of settler dynamics in which those who deem their own ideals to be “more advanced” or “superior” to the communal organisations of Indigenous peoples see it as their place, and more their duty, to “correct” them and “raise them” to the standards of the settlers.
In Native Americans and Marxism this exact tension between western Marxists and Indigenous peoples is explored, where we can see that many Indigenous people struggle to see western Marxists as anything more than a new form of the same colonial dynamic, where Indigenous nations and Indigenous sovereignty will continue to be pushed aside for the “greater good” of the settler. To many Indigenous people, there is no liberation through western Marxist organising when their traditions, communities, ties to the land and sovereignty will continue to be in question. While the settler proletariat seeks to gain, they would be left in the same position as colonial subjects.
This can be seen in your own thinking when you finish by saying that they have lost your support, showing that your belief in the autonomy, sovereignty and self-actualisation of Indigenous nations is something they have to “earn” to be worthy of support. Anything other than unconditional acceptance of Indigenous self-direction is a continuance of colonial ideology. It is not for settlers to determine the direction of the colonised.
As a side note, your dismissal, also, of “identity politics” shows a misunderstanding of the very radical origins of identity politics. The first usage of identity politics was the Combahee River Collective’s statement in 1977. To the CRC, identity politics was an understanding of the interlocking forms of oppression that are imposed on the exploited by virtue of their very identity, and thus something that can not be either transcended or pushed aside. The CRC asserted that such oppressions–racial, gender, class, sexuality–are sources of political radicalisation and revolutionary zeal. As queer Black women, they saw the unique and varied, overlapping oppressions that came through misogyny, homophobia, racism, and the poverty they experienced due to racial capitalism. Their socio-economic position made them uniquely susceptible to violence and disenfranchisement, making them less invested in maintaining the status quo, and ultimately, capitalism. They saw this as a furtherance of Lenin’s call for Communists to side with racial minorities in their fight against the “special oppression” they faced as national minorities and the racism leveraged at them. Identity Politics was an understanding that your very self would render you eminently exploitable, and thus Identity Politics was not about who you were, but what you could do to confront these interlocking oppressions and combat the systems that kept them in place.
Thanks for making no attempt to understand where my criticisms are coming from and jumping straight to “they must be a chauvinist.” My point is that they aren’t building any kind of solidarity with anyone, and that is a fundamental task of the proletarian movement, to build solidarity between working and oppressed peoples around the world. Denouncing everyone and not seeking to expand what I acknowledge is a better set of living conditions to the other indigenous people in the area seems closed-minded and opposed to solidarity. I’m not saying they are wrong in some nebulous way, I’m saying it is confusing and disappointing to not see them expanding the boundaries of class struggle and anti-imperialism, and that their hostility to proletarians is utopian and anachronistic. My understanding is that there are several indigenous nations in Mexico, and while the ELZN are of those they aren’t a whole indigenous nation or even part of just one indigenous nation, as they are limited to half of Chiapas which is home to a few ethnic groups, some of which are present in the other part of Chiapas or other parts of Mexico. It makes no sense that they should stay holed up in one small area and not try to liberate others, no? Why not make some effort to at least unite the indigenous people of Chiapas or the whole areas that those nations occupy, if Mexico as a state is too colonial? I would support the self determination of all of the nations of Mexico and the broader Americas to the point of independence, but not as explicit enemies of the broader proletarian movement. Look at the USSR as compared to the Russian empire. Many nations became Union Republics, some ASSRs. Consider the handful of socialist states in Asia working together on the basis of solidarity. The thing was and is, none of them were cut-off communes without proletarian states. They should be allowed to define the nature of their existence and relations between them and the other nations, but there must still be some working relationship between them and the rest of the world, no? Even with the other indigenous nations of their region, they seem completely ambivalent, and if indigenous proletarians (as there are many of those in Central America) built a proletarian state, from what I’ve seen of the Zapatistas they would be hostile to it in much the same way they are hostile to other orgs now. While they claim not to be anarchists, I would compare their theory and practice to them in several ways. I do not support anarchists, but my support for the Zapatistas is still critical support (note that I said losing, not lost). I think they are making errors in neither working with others nor seeking to expand their own influence. Perhaps identity politics is the wrong term, by I was not aware of that history, what I am talking about is the non-Marxist schools of thought that seeks to seeks to oppose imperialism or colonialism while rejecting Marxism, as they have explained they do. I think it is wrong to compare Mexico to the US when it comes to racial/ethnic politics here, because Mexico is substantially different. To my understanding, the majority of the population in Mexico are mestizo, which makes calling them settler seem a bit off.
This looks interesting and I will read it soon. Would you mind giving me a brief rundown, as it is quite long?
They are based regardless.
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Nah, they really aren’t. Don’t get me wrong, they are alright. Just not MLs.
From 2002: https://theanarchistlibrary.org/library/ejercito-zapatista-de-liberacion-nacional-a-zapatista-response-to-the-ezln-is-not-anarchist
How interesting. The writer seems not to like Marxism, yet responded in a very Marxist way. Just look at that final paragraph.
I think it makes more sense if you consider the perspective of indigenous people who read Marx: that he was a copycat inspired by “primitive communism” to formulate proletarian communism. Marx/Engels were aware of certain elements of human evolution and the nature of indigenous societies through flawed early studies, and if you look in their notes, these used these ideas to formulate their theories of human nature and communism.
Yeah the first chapter of Origin of the Family is Engels regurgitating “race science” that was used as justification for colonialism.
A YouTube link was detected in your comment. Here are links to the same video on Invidious, which is a YouTube frontend that protects your privacy:
They don’t seem to want to openly have a specific ideology. I’ve seen lots of anarchists claiming them, but they don’t seem to claim them back.