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Hugo Blanco of course will never retire! Viva Hugo!
'Sub-Commander Marcos -- whose identity is not publicly known -- has not
died in the usual sense. Rather, the individual known as Marcos has
withdrawn from that role for reasons stated here'
Lucha Indigena Editorial Hugo Blanco
THE DEATH OF ZAPATISTA SUB-COMMANDER MARCOS
The hierarchical society that is crushing us cannot
imagine a horizontal society in which there is no chief and decisions are made
collectively.On three occasions the
Zapatista native communities have collectively organized and directed
is carried out with such efficiency that thousands of students from many
countries have been able to learn how a new world is being built.
Marcos stopped appearing in public, the vertical system's press and
spokespeople said that he must be either sick or dead.Marcos, himself, contributed to this
conclusion by admitting to several zapatologists (i.e. intellectuals with
specialist knowledge of the Zapatista movement that he had been ill, asking
them not divulge this information.This
was of course the best means of getting the news out.("It's a secret.Don't tell anyone.")
following quotations and comments together serve as a synthesis of the
"Against death, we demand life.Against silence, we call for the word and
memory.Against humiliation and
contempt, dignity.Against oppression,
democracy.And against crime,
"Through the war that we are waging, we have been
privileged to come to the attention and generous hearts of people both near and
the shooting stopped, the war continued.It was the furious war of neoliberalism against humanity.The put the Zapatistas in a dilemma.Either they prepared for war or they
concentrated on building a new world.They chose the second option, as has been witnessed by thousands of
graduates of the mini-schools.There
they teach democracy, freedom and justice, as well as wholesome nutrition, good
health and education.
the course of these 2 years a complex, multi-dimensional picture of the EZLN
the start of the uprising, those who today are pursuing the struggle and
directing the resistance were still small or not yet born."
age, there are other dimensions that show signs of progress."The dimension of class: moving from the
educated middle class to the native peasantry.That of race: from a mainly mestizo movement to one more purely
native.And, most importantly, that of
attitude: from revolutionary vanguardism to commanding by obeying; from
taking power from above to creating power from below; from professional
politics to the politics of everyday life; from leaders to the peoples; from
the marginalization of women to their direct participation; from mocking those
who are different to celebrating our differences."
"Why are they so terrified at the sight of the
people governing themselves and directing their own footsteps?...The cult of the individual finds its most fanatical expression in the
cult of vanguardism."
it has been precisely this, the native people in control and a native as
representative and spokesperson, that they find so frightening and
confusing.It drives them to keep
looking for someone who can identify the vanguards, chiefs and leaders.After all, there is also racism on the Left,
especially that part of it that claims to be revolutionary."
"If only they could see who small they are.We must ensure that they understand their own
this way a complex maneuver of distraction was undertaken, a dreadful and
amazing magic trick, a malicious trifling with our native heart.The native wisdom was challenging modernity
in of its very bastions, the news media."
was how the personality known as Marcos began to form."
needed time to be ourselves and to find those who would know to see us as we
"The people had made impressive advances at the
core of the movement.Then came the
course of instruction on 'The Zapatista Road to Freedom"....We
became aware that there now existed a generation that could look us in the
face, that could listen to us and speak without waiting for guidance or
leadership, without claiming either to submit or to follow."
The Zapatista struggle had arrived at a new stage, and Marcos the personality
was no longer needed."
So it was that Sub-Commander Marcos passed from among
my way to the Green Party conference in Brighton last autumn, I bumped
into a French member of our Party, who was clutching a copy, in French,
of Piketty’s magnus opus. She was enthusiastic but I must admit I knew
nothing of Piketty, but I guessed, wrongly that he was some kind of
latter day Foucault or Althusser, up dating Das Kapital for the modern
effects of Piketty are obvious, he has been bought and reviewed on an
epic scale. We have learnt a number of things. While Capital is nearly
700 pages long, its basic message can be summarized in a couple of
Piketty argues, that with the exception of part of 20thcentury,
inequality has tended to increase. This is, essentially, because those
who own assets tend to see their income rise at a faster rate than
those who don’t. Piketty feels that this has negative consequences and
policy makers should find ways of reversing or at least blunting this
trend. Ideally he would like to see a global wealth tax to
redistribute. Despite its length it is not ‘Das Kapital’ or ‘The Wealth of Nations’
or Hardt and Negri's ‘Empire.’ Unlike these texts 'Capital in the
Twenty-First Century' does not attempt an analysis of entire
socio-economic system, in fact, its scope is quite modest.
Marx argued that ownership of the means of production tends to lead to
concentration of wealth and income, there are a great many distinctions
between his approach and that of Piketty. These have been spelt out by a
number of reviewers including David Harveyhttp://davidharvey.org/2014/05/afterthoughts-pikettys-capital/.
Harvey’s recent book 'Seventeen Contradictions and the End
of Capitalism’, suggests for Marxist that topic of what is both right
and wrong with our prevailing socio-economic system covers at least 16
issues that are not discussed by Piketty.
think we need to build on Piketty’s work in several ways. As a Green, I
am concerned about the ill effects of our economic system on global
ecology, and like Harvey I agree that beyond ecology and equality, there
are other ill effects of capitalism. But to keep it simple we should
ask does the rising inequality identified by Piketty a) matter? and b) what do we do about it?
I think if you read either The Spirit Levelhttp://www.equalitytrust.org.uk/resources/spirit-level-why-equality-better-everyone,
which gathers empirical data, or the works of the Nobel Prize winning
economist Amartya Sen, who combines data with a more philosophical
approach, we learn that extreme inequality is undesirable. To keep it
simple, we can note that wealth is power and if wealth is concentrated
in the hands of the 0.001% that leads to a number of social distortions,
corrupting society and ultimately subverting democracy.
are some potential arguments, of course, for inequality. Many
neo-liberal economists argue that if increasing wealth is accompanied by
this is a small price for a society that is becoming richer. However
this is still trickle down, the
thesis that a little gravy dripping from the chins of the hyper rich,
will nourish us all. Trickle down has been widely criticised as at best a
flawed metaphor and at worst a weak excuse for excess. I would
respond, to those who argue for inequality, with some thoughts from
Machiavelli, James Buchanan and Frank
Knight. The hardest nosed liberals, you can find, all three, would have
had some sympathy for Piketty.
Knight, often seen as the father of Chicago School, inspired Buchanan.
He was the sceptics sceptic, he was a liberal and suspicious of state
intervention, however he was very clear that while he defended the
market system, it lead to rising inequality. Knight believed that luck
and inheritance were just as important in determining economics reward
as hardwork and ingenuity http://www.angusburgin.files.wordpress.com/2012/08/knight-article.pdf
What of solutions to accelerating inequality? Pikkety has suggested a global wealth tax and other fiscal measures might including a Land Value Tax.In
fact, we need to go further, Well the means need to be discussed but
the principle is simple, we need more democratic ownership of capital.
One person one vote, used to be subversion, the idea that we need broad
ownership of assets needs to move from heresy to policy and to be
implemented with care. Some have suggested that this is captured in the
idea of an economy for the common good and the sharing of common